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Resolving grievances policy for public servants

Version 

Section amended

Description of change

Reason for change 

Date approved 

1.4

All 

Format and layout of document changed

Policy and procedure slimmed down to fewer pages, instructions on how to carry out the procedure now in toolkit items

23 February 2022  

 


Introduction of performance and accountabilities section

Clarity on who is accountable for what  

 

 


Introduction of 14 day response period, including fact find

To encourage informal resolution where possible  

 

 


Introduction of resolution panel 

To resolve grievances in a timely manner, ensuring to understand the grievance before investigation  

 

 

Policy scope 

Policy applicable to police officers 

Police officers now in scope (excluding Chief and Deputy Chief of Police where own procedures apply) 

 

 

Policy scope

Amended time of triggering event taking place from 6 months to 8 weeks

To encourage grievances to be raised in a timely manner 

 



​Addition of code of practice
​Clarity on which code and policy family this policy belongs to
​23 January 2023


​Amend Director General to Chief Officer
​Change in role title
​25 January 2023


Version 

Section amended

Description of change

Reason for change 

Date approved 

1.4

All 

Format and layout of document changed

Policy and procedure slimmed down to fewer pages, instructions on how to carry out the procedure now in toolkit items

23 February 2022  

 


Introduction of performance and accountabilities section

Clarity on who is accountable for what  

 

 


Introduction of 14 day response period, including fact find

To encourage informal resolution where possible  

 

 


Introduction of resolution panel 

To resolve grievances in a timely manner, ensuring to understand the grievance before investigation  

 

 

Policy scope 

Policy applicable to police officers 

Police officers now in scope (excluding Chief and Deputy Chief of Police where own procedures apply) 

 

 

Policy scope

Amended time of triggering event taking place from 6 months to 8 weeks

To encourage grievances to be raised in a timely manner 

 



​Addition of code of practice
​Clarity on which code and policy family this policy belongs to
​23 January 2023


​Amend Director General to Chief Officer
​Change in role title
​25 January 2023


Introduction

This document comes in two parts. 

Part one sets out the Jersey Public Services policy and principles regarding resolving workplace grievances.

Part two provides the procedure, setting out how to implement the policy with links to toolkit items to give you more information. The procedure is intended as a guide only and may change or be varied from time to time.

TitleResolving Grievances Policy
Author Employee Experience
Document Type Policy
Issue date 30 November 2022
Effective date 30 November 2022
Review date30 November 2024
Version 1.4

This policy supersedes all previous policies, circulars and procedures connected with grievances within the Public Service.

Code of practice and policy family

This policy forms part of the code of practice for performance and accountability. This code will be reviewed at the start of each term of States Employment Board, or earlier where relevant legislation or regulations change.

Resolving grievances policy

Policy purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide clear information and guidance about the Jersey Public Services approach to resolving workplace grievances.

Policy principles

All our policies are underpinned by our values and behaviours.

This policy and procedure aims to:

  • ensure everyone is treated in a fair, consistent, and equal manner, free from discrimination and victimisation
  • be clearly written, easy to understand and apply
  • ensure our compliance with the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003, Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 and other relevant legislation and regulations

Our commitment to you:

  • we will listen to you and take every concern raised seriously
  • to the benefit of all involved, wherever possible we will deal with grievances informally first
  • concerns will be dealt with sensitivity and where possible in a swift manner
  • where an investigation is necessary, it will be fair, independent, and confidential
  • we will ensure that you are not victimised, unfairly treated, or disciplined for raising a genuine grievance
  • you have the right to be accompanied at any formal meeting
  • you have the right of appeal against any formal decision made
  • wellbeing support is in place and available to everyone

Acting early, mediation and other helpful measures set out in the procedure are key to fulfilling this commitment, to help maintain good working relationships and safeguard wellbeing.

People and Corporate Services will monitor data recorded in accordance with our Employee Privacy Notice regarding grievances to help address areas of concern and safeguard against future problems.

Policy scope

This policy applies to all Jersey public servants whether permanent, non-permanent, or on a zero-hours arrangement. It also applies to police officers within the States of Jersey Police Force excluding Chief of Police and Deputy Chief of Police where alternative procedures apply. Whilst this is a Jersey Public Services policy, it applies to public servants employed by the States' Employment Board. Any reference to States of Jersey means the wider non-executive arm of public services.

This policy does not apply to agency workers or those providing an external consultancy service to the public sector, who should raise any grievance with their employing agency in the first instance or refer to their contract for service.

An employee wishing to raise a formal grievance should do so within 8 weeks of the actual triggering event taking place, only in very exceptional circumstances may this period be waived.

This policy should not be used as a mechanism to appeal against other employment matters with their own appeal mechanisms.

Bullying and harassment concerns will be dealt with under the Dignity and Respect at Work policy. Concerns regarding whistleblowing will be dealt with under the Whistleblowing policy.

Concerns that require resolution will not normally be admitted for consideration at a formal stage until an attempt has been made to resolve at an informal level.

If more than one person has the same grievance and they wish to raise it together, they can raise a joint grievance and this policy and procedure can be followed. However, concerns that are the subject of a collective negotiation with a trade union, staff association will be referred to the union framework. Any grievance raised prior to an employee leaving their employment will be dealt with under this policy and procedure as appropriate.

Performance and accountabilities

All of us 

We all have a responsibility to treat one another with fairness and respect. We all have a responsibility to follow the timescales set out in the procedure to support a swift resolution. 

Line Managers 

Our managers are role models, set clear standards and are supportive (People Strategy Commitment – Your Experience). As a line manager, you are responsible for modelling our values and behaviour expectations. You set the tone for your team. You also have a responsibility to attempt to resolve all grievances informally in the first instance.

Our People Strategy 

You are responsible for familiarising yourself with this policy and understanding your role in the procedure, particularly addressing concerns swiftly. You are also responsible for undertaking any relevant management training or briefing sessions related to this policy or people management.

You are accountable for applying this policy to your work areas and the responsibility for addressing grievance matters sits with you, unless agreed otherwise with the HR Case Management Team.

You are responsible for ensuring good two-way communication is maintained throughout any part of the process to keep all parties informed and up to date. 

You must ensure that individuals are aware of the support measures available to them and be mindful of general team wellbeing during any grievance process. 

You are also responsible for helping to repair working relationships after any process has concluded. 

Group Director, People and Corporate Services 

You are the custodian of all Government of Jersey people policies.

You will ensure that this policy and its procedure are implemented using appropriate communication methods, to aid organisation wide awareness, in order that responsibilities can be fulfilled.

You will ensure that reviews take place in line with the schedule in the policy control sheet and that development of this policy and procedure is in keeping with the Corporate Policy Framework, People Policy Guidelines, and our People Strategy.

People Consultancy Services Team are responsible for providing advice and monitoring any formal processes in line with this policy and procedure.

HR Case Management

You will provide advice and support as and when required on this policy and procedure.

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Officers and Heads of Administration

You are accountable for familiarising yourself with:  

  • our six Codes of Practice  
  • this policy and procedure  

You are responsible for ensuring line managers and employees within your department carry out their responsibilities, as set out in this policy. This includes the notification and recording of any breaches and upholding the spirit of the code of this policy and its procedure.

You are responsible for modelling and championing our values and ensuring that our organisation's standards and expectations are communicated clearly and fully adopted by your department. You set the tone for the behaviours both within your department and across the organisation.

States Employment Board 

The Board has a duty to issue Codes of Practice in accordance with Article 8 of the Employment of States of Jersey Employees (Jersey) Law 2005. This code will be reviewed at the start of each term of States Employment Board, or earlier where relevant legislation or regulations change. 

What is a grievance

A grievance is a workplace concern, problem, or complaint, normally about unfair, or perception of unfair treatment in the workplace. A grievance might be about your terms and conditions of employment, physical working environment, new working practices or general treatment at work.

If the concern falls outside of the scope of this policy, please refer to the most appropriate policy or seek HR case management guidance and support for clarification.

The procedure

How to report a grievance

You can report a grievance as follows:

  • with your line manager
  • if the grievance concerns your line manager, then with their line manager
  • if your grievance is regarding a different department or service in the organisation, then via the relevant department complaints procedure

How to report a concern

Informal approach - How your grievance will be dealt with

Line managers have a responsibility to act swiftly and initiate a 14 day response period. Your involvement at this early stage could be crucial to a swift resolution. During this period informal approaches are explored with the aim of resolving the concern as swiftly as possible, to benefit all those involved. This may include a five day fact find. 

Concerns should not be ignored or left to fester. There is a strong emphasis in this policy to resolve concerns informally. Therefore, you are expected to be open to any of the informal approaches proposed and to give them a chance to run their course. This gives the best opportunity for a successful outcome for all parties. 

Guidance on informal approaches

Formal approach: How your grievance will be dealt with

The formal approach is used:

  • when the informal approach has not satisfactorily resolved all or some of the situation
  • the grievance requires further investigation
  • you feel your grievance cannot be progressed by your line manager

If the formal approach needs to be used, you will need to put your grievance in writing. This can be done by submitting a formal grievance form and submitting to:

  • your line manager
  • if your grievance relates to your line manager or you feel it cannot be progressed by your line manager, then it should be submitted to your line manager's manager or HR case management
Formal Grievance Form

The person who receives your formal written grievance will be known as the resolution manager and they will:

  • write to acknowledge receipt of your grievance within 2 working days
  • arrange a formal grievance meeting
  • inform you of your right to representation
  • advise HR Case Management of your written grievance who will appoint a case manager to support and advise you through the formal grievance process and assign a resolution panel

Guidance on formal approaches 

The resolution manager will arrange and invite you to a grievance meeting with a resolution panel within 5 working days of receiving your grievance in writing. You will receive 10 working days' notice of the meeting.

The resolution panel will consist of:

  • resolution manager
  • HR representation

At this meeting:

  • your written formal grievance will form the basis of the discussion
  • you will be given the opportunity to explain your grievance, why informal resolution has not been possible and how you think it should be resolved
  • discuss and decide if further investigation or referral to an alternative policy is required

The resolution manager is the decision maker and will determine the outcome of your grievance. They will tell you the outcome either at the end of the meeting or within 5 working days if no further investigation is required.

Further investigation required

The resolution manager may need to adjourn the meeting if they need to investigate anything which you have said, or new facts which arise. You will be kept informed of any progress and timescales. The investigation process will follow the investigation framework.

Formal grievance process outcomes and recommendations

The outcome of your grievance will be considered based on:

  • the findings from resolution meetings
  • the findings from the investigation if applicable
  • what is fair and reasonable
  • whether referral to another policy is required

Support may also be offered and could include the following:

  • counselling 
  • mediation 
  • training 
  • another form of support 

Falsely or maliciously raised grievance

If it is found that a grievance has been falsely or maliciously raised, this is a serious breach of this policy and disciplinary action may be taken against you.

Withdrawal of a grievance

This must be done in writing to the person to whom the grievance was initially raised. If circumstances warrant it, we reserve the right to continue to investigate the grievance.

Appeal 

There is a right of appeal against the outcome or if you feel that any stage of the grievance procedure was wrong or unfair. Grounds for your appeal should be set out in writing, within 5 working days of the outcome and sent to the HR Case Management team.

An appeal panel will be assigned who will review the grievance paperwork (including the investigation report if applicable). A formal appeal meeting will be held to provide you with the opportunity to discuss the reasons for your appeal. You will be provided with an outcome within 5 working days of the formal grievance meeting.

Roles and responsibilities during this procedure 

A public servant or employee is: 

  • any employee who has raised a grievance, either informally or formally through this policy 

A resolution manager is:  

  • the person who is the decision maker and responsible for the case, either at the informal or formal stage of any process. A resolution manager is usually from the business, as a direct line manager or a line manager's manager. For smaller departments, this person can be sought from across Government of Jersey, and is appointed at the formal stage
  • therefore, may or may not be the employee's line manager

A HR representative is:

  • a member of People and Corporate services who provides procedural and employment legislation advice to the resolution manager during the formal grievance meeting

A case manager is:  

  • a member of the HR Case Management team assigned to the formal case
  • responsible for providing HR advice on every stage of the procedure and process of the case assigned – there may be occasions when some tasks can be delegated but they have ultimate responsibility to ensure the process is compliant with the policy

An investigator is: 

  • someone impartial required to carry out an investigation into the terms of reference provided and provides an investigation report

A Trade Union representative:

  • works in partnership with the Government of Jersey to promote the ethos of this policy and its procedure  
  • adequately supporting any member who approaches with a grievance
  • ensures representatives are trained and undertake any training provided by the Government of Jersey to assist you with your understanding and responsibilities in this policy

A companion support: 

  • under discrimination legislation, employers must make reasonable adjustments to accommodate an employee with a disability. This may mean flexibility in agreeing to a companion such as a support or care worker in addition to a trade union representative or workplace colleague. This is in addition to the union representative/workplace colleague

An appeal manager:

  • someone independent and impartial to review the reason for your appeal and determine if the outcome should be different

The point of reference when managing any case should be the relevant Government of Jersey Policy and supporting guidelines.

Line manager responsibilities informal stage:

  • attempting to resolve all grievances informally in the first instance
  • clearly documenting any attempt made to resolve the complaint informally
  • supporting and facilitating the return to work of any party to the process who has been absent
  • supporting in rebuilding the team if needed

Resolution manager responsibilities if formal:

  • completing the case management referral form and submitting to HRCaseManagement@gov.je if the attempt at informal resolution was not successful or if there is criteria for the grievance to proceed to the formal stage
  • attending any meeting to include the HR representative with the complainant
  • confirming and agreeing the terms of reference for the formal grievance and investigation
  • deciding on the course of action following the conclusion of the investigation
  • attending the meetings to include the case manager to advise the complainant of the outcome of the investigation

Case manager responsibilities once they have been allocated the case:

  • reviewing details in the case management referral form, ensuring the form submitted is the current version and has been appropriately completed
  • sending the draft terms of reference to the complainant for their approval, ensuring the complainant is satisfied that all areas of their complaint is covered
  • securing and appointing an appropriate independent investigator
  • ensuring regular updates are received from the independent investigator and parties to the process are updated
  • reviewing the investigation report and advising the resolution manager

Investigator responsibilities:

  • prepare and draft an investigation plan
  • identify sources of evidence
  • carry out interviews with employees or witnesses
  • raise any wellbeing issues to the case manager 
  • provide a statement to witnesses after the investigation meeting in line with agreed timescales
  • produce a report with findings 

Trade Union representative's responsibilities:

  • to accompany the complainant throughout the formal process 
  • may respond to any views expressed at the grievance meeting if requested to do so by the employee
  • may confer with the employee
  • cannot answer questions on the employees' behalf 
  • may address the resolution manager in accordance with the wishes of the employee 

Appeal manager:

Reviews the grievance paperwork and the investigation report where a full investigation has taken place together with your grounds for appeal.

Right to be represented or accompanied, including companion support

By law, any employee can bring one person to a formal meeting, this can be a trade union representative or a workplace colleague. In addition, employees who require reasonable adjustments may also be entitled to companion support.

Right to be accompanied

Support and wellbeing

Our wellbeing is our priority, everyone should feel safe and supported in the workplace, sources of wellbeing support and guidance can be found for public servants on MyStates.

Confidentiality

We all have a right to confidentiality throughout this procedure. Read our confidentiality toolkit for more guidance.

Confidentiality

Glossary of terms

See our glossary of terms for definitions and explanations.

Glossary


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