1. Introduction (applicable to all staff)

1.1 The University of Bath recognises that from time to time individual employees may wish to seek to have grievances relating to their employment resolved. The purpose of this document is to ensure that employees are aware of the procedure available to them for making their grievance known and dealt with.

1.2 The University's objective is to encourage communication so that questions and difficulties arising during employment can be brought into the open and resolved quickly, fairly and as close to the level of origin as possible.

1.3 The University Mediation Service is available to assist the parties to a grievance to find their own solution to disputes. If at any stage in the grievance process the parties believe that the grievance could be resolved through mediation, the University Mediation Service may be used. This service is accessed through the Department of Human Resources. Normally mediation will form part of an informal attempt to resolve the grievance. If the parties decide to attempt to resolve their dispute through mediation once they have invoked the formal grievance procedure, the procedure will be suspended while the mediation takes place.

1.4 This grievance procedure will be carried out in confidence (unless otherwise agreed by the parties involved) and will not prejudice the current employment or future career prospects of the employee raising a grievance in good faith. All grievance records (including those of formal grievance and appeal hearings) will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

1.5 Grievances will normally be handled by the immediate line manager except that, if the grievance is against that person, they should be addressed to a more senior manager within the department. If the grievance is against the head of department, or there are other reasons why it may not be appropriate for it to be handled by the head of department, advice should be sought from the Director of Human Resources (or the University Secretary if the grievance is about the Department of Human Resources) as to who will handle the grievance. Accordingly all references later in this policy to ‘line manager’ in relation to the handling of grievances should be taken to apply to whomever is handling the grievance.

1.6 The advice of Human Resources should be sought throughout the process (via the relevant HR Manager).

1.7 The timescales set out in this document may be varied by mutual agreement in individual cases. The employee will receive an explanation of any delay in the process and be advised of when progress is expected.

1.8 The consideration of a grievance may be deferred if other proceedings relevant to the individual and their grievance are pending or in progress.

1.9 The 'Dignity and Respect for Students and Staff of the University of Bath: Policy and Procedures for Dealing with Complaints' sets out how complaints of bullying or harassment will be handled at the informal stage. All formal grievances by employees will be handled in accordance with the policy and procedure set out in this document (unless explicitly stated otherwise).

1.10 This procedure may not be used to resolve grading issues resulting from the pay modernisation exercise for which a separate process exists.

1.11 No action will be taken against employees who raise a grievance in good faith. The University reserves the right to instigate disciplinary action if the case is judged to be vexatious or defamatory. HR should be consulted.

2. For Staff Covered by Statute 25

Staff covered by Statute 25

Academic Staff: - Professors - Readers - Senior Lecturers - Lecturers

Senior Administrative Staff: - Director of Estates - Director of Finance - University Librarian - University Secretary

Raising a grievance informally

2.1 Any employee who has a grievance relating to their employment may raise the matter informally with their immediate manager, during the course of normal work, making it clear that they are raising a grievance. The investigation of the grievance will normally be initiated by the manager within 5 working days.

2.2 The grievance may be discussed informally by both parties and a third party, which may include a Trade Union representative, acceptable to both in the hope of resolving the matter. The University Mediation Service (see above), accessed through the Department of Human Resources, is available to staff to assist an informal resolution of the grievance.

2.3 The manager will inform the employee of the outcome of the investigation orally or in writing. It is hoped that the majority of cases will be resolved at this stage. The formal grievance procedure will only be invoked if the grievance has not been resolved informally.

Formal grievance procedure

2.4 If the grievance has not been resolved informally, the aggrieved employee may submit their grievance to the Vice-Chancellor in writing within 10 working days of being informed of the outcome of the informal investigation. The written statement will set out the nature of the grievance and the remedy sought. The Vice-Chancellor will refer the matter to a Grievance Committee for consideration.

2.5 The Grievance Committee to be appointed by the Council* will comprise:

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor or a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Chair) One member of Council not being a person employed by the University One member of Academic Staff nominated by Senate *Where necessary, this will be done under the urgent business procedure.

None of the members of the Committee will have had any prior involvement with the case.

2.6 The University Secretary will arrange for the hearing by the Grievance Committee in accordance with the procedure set out in Section 25, Part VI, of the Statutes and Ordinance 21, Grievance Determinations Ordinance.

Appeal

2.7 If the employee is dissatisfied with the outcome of the Grievance Committee, he/she has the right to appeal to the Vice-Chancellor. The employee must set out clearly his/her grounds for appeal in writing within 10 working days of receipt of notification of the outcome of the Grievance Committee. The Vice-Chancellor, assisted by the Director of Human Resources, will meet with the employee to hear and determine the appeal. The employee has the right to be accompanied by a friend, colleague or trade union representative.

2.8 The Director of Human Resources will inform the employee of the outcome of the appeal, which is final. This written confirmation will normally be provided within 5 working days of the appeal hearing.

  1. For staff not covered by Statute 25 (see Annex A)

Raising a grievance informally

3.1 Any employee who has a grievance relating to their employment may raise the matter informally with their immediate manager, during the course of normal work, making it clear that they are raising a grievance. The investigation of the grievance will normally be initiated by the manager within 5 working days.

3.2 The grievance may be discussed informally by both parties and a third party, which may include a Trade Union representative, acceptable to both in the hope of resolving the matter. The University Mediation Service (see above), accessed through the Department of Human Resources, is available to staff to assist an informal resolution of the grievance.

3.3 The manager will inform the employee of the outcome of the investigation orally or in writing. It is hoped that the majority of cases will be resolved at this stage. The formal grievance procedure will only be invoked if the grievance has not been resolved informally.

Formal grievance procedure

3.4 If the grievance has not been resolved informally, the aggrieved employee may submit their grievance to their Head of Department in writing (with a copy to the Director of Human Resources) within 10 working days of being informed of the outcome of the informal grievance. The written statement will set out the nature of the grievance and the remedy sought.

3.5 On receipt of the formal grievance, the Head of Department or a senior manager designated by the Head of Department will review the complaint and commission any further investigation. As part of the process, the employee and any other party to the grievance will be invited to a meeting as soon as practicable so that the designated manager has the opportunity to clarify and consider the complaint. The employee has the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.

3.6 As soon as reasonably practicable and not less than 15 working days before the meeting, the HoD or designated manager will confirm the arrangements for the hearing to all parties in writing. At least 10 working days before the meeting, the parties will provide the HoD or designated manager with the documentation which they wish to have considered at the meeting. He/she will ensure that each party to the grievance receives a full set of the documentation not less than 7 working days before the meeting.

3.7 A record will be made of the meeting. The HoD/designated manager will have a note-taker present to enable him/her to concentrate on listening to the grievance. The parties to the grievance will have the opportunity to correct any factual inaccuracies in how their comments are recorded and will be asked to sign a copy of the record of the meeting to confirm that it is an accurate record.

3.8 It is important that the meeting is not interrupted and that the employee feels that the grievance is being treated confidentially. If the employee or his/her companion/trade union representative is unable to attend on the date proposed, the employee can ask for the meeting to be delayed up to a maximum of 5 working days. The 5 day limit may be extended by mutual agreement.

3.9 At the meeting the employee will be allowed to explain their complaint and how they would like to see the matter resolved. Any other party to the grievance will be invited to give evidence. The HoD/designated manager may adjourn the meeting to take advice, or where necessary, to commission further investigation.

3.10 Once the HoD/designated manager has investigated the employee's grievance, he/she will need to decide whether the grievance is justified or whether it should be dismissed. If the grievance is found to be justified, he/she will determine action for redress of the grievance. The HoD/designated manager must inform the employee in writing (copied to the Director of Human Resources) of the outcome of the grievance within 5 working days of the meeting and advise him/her of his/her right to appeal.

Appeal

3.11 If the employee is dissatisfied with the outcome of his/her grievance after the meeting, he/she has the right of appeal. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Director of Human Resources within 10 working days of receipt of the outcome of the grievance and must make clear the grounds of appeal. The appeal will be heard and determined by a more senior manager than the one who dealt with the original grievance, assisted by an HR Manager. Neither will have had previous involvement with the case. The employee has the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.

3.12 The Director of Human Resources will inform the employee of the outcome of the appeal, which is final. This written confirmation will normally be provided within 5 working days of the appeal hearing.

4. After employment

4.1 Wherever possible, a grievance should be dealt with under the above procedure before an employee leaves the University. However, a former employee may submit a grievance up to three months after his or her employment with the University has ceased. Where it is not reasonably practicable to apply the above procedure, or by agreement between the former member of staff and the University, a modified procedure will apply. Under the modified procedure, the former member of staff shall set down in writing the nature of the alleged grievance and send it to the Director of Human Resources. The University will consider the grievance and respond in writing.

Approved by Council 29th November 2007