1. Security protective marking
1.1 Not protectively marked.
2. Summary of changes
2.1. The following changes were made to this policy on 3 December 2012:
2.2. This policy is scheduled for full review in December 2014.
3.1. This policy applies to all police staff (including Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)) police officers and special constables and may be extended to cover other people within the organisation (for example agency staff and volunteers).
4. Policy statement
4.1. Kent Police is committed to ensuring that people are treated fairly, with dignity and respect and are able to work within an environment free of harassment, victimisation and hostility. It is recognised that in any organisation problems sometimes occur, ranging from minor to more serious issues. Wherever appropriate, the force will seek to resolve matters that arise in the course of working relationships informally. This approach helps minor concerns to be resolved speedily without recourse to formal action and is of benefit to both the individual and to the organisation. The early, satisfactory resolution of problems will help to create a better working environment for everyone. The principles of effective grievance resolution in Kent police are available here together with the ACPO standards. Frequently Asked Questions are available by following this link (FAQs).
4.2. All individuals should feel confident to raise any issue in the knowledge that they will be treated fairly and honestly. Likewise individuals who make honest mistakes should feel confident that they too would be treated fairly. The focus when raising a grievance will therefore be on individual and organisational learning and shall not be about apportioning blame or applying punishment.
4.3. It is essential that resolution takes place at the lowest possible management level and managers must take personal responsibility for ensuring a proportionate and reasonable response. The reason for shortcutting the informal process should be fully documented. The investigation of a grievance does not require the same rigour as a discipline or criminal investigation.
4.4. The purpose of the Grievance Resolution Process is to enable people to resolve the issues which personally affect them, and may include:
4.5. This policy exceeds the minimum standards set down by ACAS and will be followed in all cases. The only exception will be where the individual is no longer employed by Kent Police. Advice should be sought from an appropriately qualified HR professional in this instance. All stages should be followed unless justified in writing by the manager dealing with the grievance and the appropriately qualified HR professional advising on it.
4.6. Mediation – There are no formal internal processes other than “normal” line management intervention. Formal mediation can be arranged via Human Resources - HR Services page or by contacting the Business Centre on 830, through ACAS or KCC Mediation services. There is a cost implication for both of these providers which individual Divisons/Directorates and Departments will be responsible for. Further information can be obtained from the following link ACAS- Mediation. Experience has shown that entrenched positions can be adopted when problems are ignored.
4.7. Throughout the process the wishes of the individual raising the grievance will be the prime consideration, except where the issue raised involves an alleged criminal or disciplinary offence. Where the issue raised involves an alleged criminal or disciplinary offence the matter should be referred immediately to a member of the senior management team for advice. This course of action should be explained clearly to the individual who raised the issue so that they understand that in certain circumstances formal procedures may be unavoidable.
4.8. Procedure - There are three stages to the Grievance procedure which are:
4.8.1. This is also illustrated in the attached flow chart . In some circumstances individuals may have the right to take a case to an Employment Tribunal. This procedure in no way affects this right. However, individuals are normally encouraged to use and exhaust this internal procedure before considering taking tribunal proceedings, although time limits for this apply.
4.9. It is essential that the relevant timescales are adhered to throughout the process; but where there is a failure to meet these timescales, the reason for this failure should be recorded and explained to the individual as soon as possible. There is also a requirement to maintain written records throughout the Grievance process. Forms 3007 (Formal Grievance Notification Form– Individual), 3008 (Formal Grievance Response Form – Manager) are available to achieve this.
4.10. Confidentiality - The Grievance process will remain confidential to the individuals raising a grievance and those who are named and spoken to as part of any enquiries or investigation. Any lessons learned or recommendations made as part of the process shall be documented and passed to HR Partner Administration at Kent Police Training School for wider dissemination in an anonymous form within Kent Police. Information may necessarily be shared with:
- the Human Resources and/or Legal Services Departments, Senior Management responsible for the day-to-day operational responsibility and welfare of the individuals, other relevant departments that can assist in the resolution of the grievance;
- the Professional Standards Department, nvestigate separately where an issue of criminality or Police Misconduct is raised;
- the Legal Services Department where an employment tribunal or other court proceedings are brought against Kent Police.
4.11. Where a grievance is raised formally the individual must be invited to a meeting to discuss their concerns, normally within five working days although this can be extended by mutual agreement. At this meeting they will have the right to be accompanied by a trade union or staff association representative or other workplace colleague. They will be kept informed of progress and notified in writing of the outcome.
4.12. When informed of the outcome, the individual must be advised of their right of appeal to a more senior manager at the next stage of the procedure. Where an appeal at any stage of the process is made by an employee or officer outside of the timeframes set out in this policy, advice should be sought from an appropriately qualified HR professional and/or the Legal Services Department to assess whether the appeal should be heard.
4.13. Support - During this process all parties to a grievance may have access to particular support which may assist with the resolution of the issue. Such as Unison, Federation, Staff Association, Human Resources and the following support groups; Kent Minority Ethnic Police Association (KMEPA), the Kent Network of Women (KNOW), the Gay and Lesbian Support Group and Crystal Clear, Disability Support Group. HR at Kent Police Training School are the nominated lead who will oversee the Grievance process.
4.14. Where the aggrieved is a senior officer or senior member of staff, it will be possible for them to resolve their grievance using the informal and formal stages of this procedure. However, they may wish to discuss their concerns with the Head of Operational HR, if other avenues of support available are not regarded to be appropriate.
4.15. Victimisation - treating someone less favourably because they have invoked the Grievance procedure, or they support someone who has, is unacceptable and may constitute a disciplinary offence or discrimination by way of victimisation under legislation. From 1st October 2010, the primary source of legislation is derived from the Equality Act 2010.
4.16. Any person seeking resolution of a grievance, or anyone supporting such a person, who feels victimised should raise their concerns with their line manager, the person investigating the grievance or an appropriately qualified HR professional at Kent Police Training School. It may be necessary in some cases for a separate grievance to be investigated to consider the allegations of victimisation. In some cases the transfer of one or both of the parties concerned may be helpful and welcome, however transfer of an aggrieved member of staff may be construed as victimisation and should only be made after advice from an appropriately qualified HR professional and with the full consent of the individual.
4.17. Where the issue involves the reporting of wrongdoing, or disclosures under the Public Interests Disclosure Act 1998, this will be dealt with in accordance with policy I18 Wrongdoing. Please note that “whistle blowing” is an unacceptable term since we wish to emphasis that reporting wrongdoing is to be encouraged and is part of doing the right thing.
4.18. Bullying and harassment – A grievance or complaint in respect of bullying and harassment will be regarded as an extremely serious matter and will be given the utmost priority in accordance with policy L02 Harassment.
4.19. Where a grievance or complaint for bullying/harassment is raised by an individual as a direct response to legitimate management action to deal with capability or discipline issues, the formal stage of the grievance or complaint will be undertaken by an independent manager (to be selected by the local SMT) and the two resulting investigations should, wherever possible, run simultaneously but independently.
4.20. In cases where the allegation is that the proposed action is, in itself, either discriminatory or the reason given by management is not the real reason for the proposed action, the grounds for the grievance should normally be considered as part of the management case. This may be during the investigation, as part of any formal hearing or at the appeal stage, depending on when the grievance is raised.
5. Other useful links
The Chief Constable reserves the right to apply the policy as described in this document. The force cannot guarantee that the resources referred in links to other sites remain up to date, current or accurate.
6. Retention and disposal of records
6.1. Documents mentioned in the above policy will be retained for the period specified in the supporting disposal schedule
7. Equality impact assessment
7.1. This policy has been assessed with regard to its race and diversity equality. As a result of this assessment, the policy has been graded as having a medium potential impact.
7.2. Attached is the latest equality impact assessment that forms part of the policy review process.
|Policy reference:||L99 Grievance Resolution|
|Policy owner:||Head of Human Resources|
|Contact point:||Policy Unit, 01622 653070|
|Date last reviewed:||03 December 2012|
|Document last saved:||29 January 2013