Agenda item

Review of Grievance Policy


The reviewed Grievance Policy was before the committee, to consider and approve as per their remit.  The review had been undertaken in light of recent grievance cases that had highlighted some aspects that could be improved in terms of the provision of information to the employee following an investigation.


The changes covered:

·         Clarification on some elements of the policy, for example the role of the manager considering the grievance, and the role of the employee’s companion;

·         A new section covering who can attend the grievance proceedings with the employee, amalgamating information from other section to provide increased clarity;

·         Further clarification regarding situations where investigation is required;

·         Further clarification on the written records retained, and what information from those records will be shared with the employee.


UNISON had been consulted on the amendments to the Policy and been asked for their feedback, which was provided to the committee verbally:

o   That the policy and impact assessment doesn’t acknowledge that some people may require the meetings and/or records to be held/presented in a different format due to their protected characteristics – it is acknowledged that this isn’t explicit in the policy or impact assessment, but it is very much part of our practice and will continue to be so. It was therefore suggested that HR add this to both documents before they are published;

o   That the policy does not recognise that groups of employees, as well as individuals, may have a grievance which could be dealt with through this policy – again, this is not explicit but has been the practice and it was suggested that this is clarified in the policy document before publication;

o   That the policy does not recognise that that there are also other avenues available that the employees can take to resolve their grievance, including an appeal with timescales set out; ACAS; their Union; or the Tribunal service and guidance may need to be given to support employees – the appeal stage of the process was included in the policy at paragraph 15. With regard to other avenues, such as ACAS, the trade union or employment tribunals, these are outside the scope of the organisation’s grievance policy and form part of general employment law, so it was proposed that these are not incorporated into the policy. Employees also have access to a wide range of information on the government’s website and through avenues such as their trade union or citizens advice, should they wish to access further information on ACAS or tribunal routes.

The committee discussed the response from UNISON and agreed with the course of action proposed, in that the policy should be updated to cover the first two points.  An amendment to paragraph 15.5 was proposed and supported to include the word “internal” so that this paragraph would read as “This is the end of the procedure and there is no further internal appeal.”

Specific grievance cases that had prompted this review could not be discussed, however in response to a question, summarised information would be provided to the committee as part of an annual report that would show the scale of work but not the detail or confidential information relating to these cases.

RESOLVED that the change to the Council’s Grievance Policy be approved.

Supporting documents: