Discipline and Grievance Procedure

  1. Introduction

This procedure applies to all employees of the Council.

The objectives of the procedure are:

  • To foster good relationships between the Council and its employees by discouraging the harbouring of grievances;
  • To settle grievances as near as possible to their point of origin;
  • To ensure the Council treats grievances seriously and resolves them as quickly as possible; and
  • To ensure that employees are treated fairly and consistently throughout the Council.

Matters excluded from this procedure are as follows:

  • Appeals against salary or gradings;
  • Appeals against disciplinary actions;
  • Income tax, national insurance matters, rates of pay collectively agreed at the national or local level;
  • Rules of pension schemes; and
  • A grievance about a matter over which the Council has no control.
  1. Informal Grievance Procedure

In the interest of maintaining good working relations the employee is encouraged to first discuss any grievance with (his/her manager/the Town Clerk) with a view to resolving the matter informally if appropriate. If the employee feels that this is not appropriate or he or she wishes to pursue a formal grievance they should follow the procedure detailed below.

  1. Formal Grievance Procedure

Standard Council Grievance Procedure

The employee must set out his/grievance in writing (‘Statement of Grievance’) and provide a copy to his/her manager/the Town Clerk.

Once the Council has had a reasonable opportunity to consider its response to the information provided in the Statement of Grievance the employee will be invited to attend a grievance meeting to discuss the matter.

The employee must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting.

Grievance meetings will normally be convened within 14 days of the Council receiving the Statement of Grievance.

The employee has the right to be accompanied to a grievance meeting by a fellow employee or by a Trade Union representative.

If the meeting is inconvenient for either the employee or his or her companion, the employee has the right to postpone the meeting by up to 10 working days.

A grievance meeting may be adjourned to allow matters raised during the course of the meeting to be investigated, or to afford the employees manager/the Town Clerk time to consider the decision.

After the meeting the employee will be informed of the Council’s decision within 5 working days. (The meeting may be reconvened for this purpose.) The council’s decision will be confirmed to the employee in writing.

If the employee wishes to appeal against the Council’s decision he or she must inform the Council within 5 working days of receiving the decision.

If the employee notifies the Council that they wish to appeal, the employee will be invited to attend a grievance appeal meeting before the Council’s Appeals Panel. The employee has the right to be accompanied to a grievance appeal meeting by a fellow employee or a Trade Union representative.

A grievance appeal meeting will normally be convened within 7 working days of the Council receiving notice that the employee wishes to appeal pursuant to above. If the meeting time is inconvenient for the employee or his or her companion, the employee may ask to postpone the meeting by up to 10 working days.

After the grievance appeal meeting the employee will be informed of the Council’s final decision within 5 working days. (The meeting may be reconvened for this purpose.)

  1. Modified Council Grievance Procedure for Former Employees

If an ex-employee wishes to raise a grievance, he or she must set out their grievance and the basis for that grievance, or to ask for the ex-employee’s agreement to the Council responding to the grievance in writing.

Following receipt of a Statement of Grievance pursuant to above, the Council will either write to the ex-employee inviting him or her to attend a meeting to discuss the grievance, or to ask for the ex-employee’s agreement to the council responding to the grievance in writing.

If the ex-employee does not agree to the matter being dealt with by correspondence within 7 working days of the Council writing to them pursuant to above steps of the standard Council grievance procedure will be followed. The meeting will be conducted by the Council’s Discipline and Grievance Panel.

If the ex-employee does agree to the matter being dealt with by correspondence, the Council’s Discipline and Grievance Panel will consider his or her grievance and will respond to the ex-employee in writing within 14 days of the receipt of such confirmation setting out the basis for the council’s decision.

  1. General Procedural Information

Grievance raised under the standard Council grievance procedure will normally be investigated, and any meetings to discuss the grievance conducted by the employee’s manager/the Town Clerk.

If an employee’s grievance is about his/her manager/the Town Clerk, they should raise the matter with the Chairman of the Council’s Discipline and Grievance Panel. All investigations and any grievance meeting will be conducted by the said Discipline and Grievance Panel and any grievance meeting will be conducted by the said Committee. Any grievance appeal meeting will be conducted by 3 members of the Council who do not sit on the Personnel Committee or the Discipline and Grievance Panel.

Where a grievance is raised by the Town Clerk or if all employee relations matters are dealt with by the Council’s Personnel Committee, all investigations and any grievance meeting will be conducted by the said Committee. Any grievance appeal meeting will be conducted by 3 members of the Council (the Appeals Panel) who do not sit on the Personnel Committee.

A copy of the Statement of Grievance, a note of the decision taken at the first stage of the procedure, any notice of appeal and appeal decision will be placed on the employee’s/ex-employees personnel file, together with any notes or evidence taken or compiled during the course of the procedure.

 

Sanctions

The following sanctions will apply when an employee needs to be disciplined:

First problem and a minor one – verbal warning given by the Mayor.

Second problem, and a minor one – further verbal warning from the Mayor.

More serious matter – first written warning from the Town Council.

Second time and serious matter – final written warning from the Town Council.

*Gross misconduct – suspension ON FULL PAY and Hearing.

*Gross misconduct is a substantial matter such as theft, deliberate harm to or misuse of/to Council property or causing harm to a fellow employee. This list is not exhaustive.

Where the Council needs to give written warning to the Town Clerk it will be given on behalf of the Council by the Mayor. Where the Council needs to give written warning to any other employee it will be given on behalf of the Council by the Town Clerk.