Grievance Procedure

This procedure is for staff and contractors who wish to raise a complaint. Everyone is entitled to a safe and fair working environment. If you have a grievance or complaint to do with your work, or someone you work with, then follow this procedure.

See also the Disciplinary Procedure, which is for managers disciplining a staff member or contractor.

Step 1: Dealing with grievances informally

You may wish to raise the problem informally with the person responsible. Explain the situation and how it has made you feel. It can be helpful to make and then share notes on a specific event, so the other person is clear about your concerns.

Try to be generous in your interpretation of other people's actions -- e.g. what feels to the recipient like nastiness might just be carelessness, which is more common. To help in having a constructive if difficult conversation -- when talking about an event, try to describe your feelings, and avoid judging the other person's intentions.

Use the opportunity to ask the person to change or stop their behaviour.

Alternatively you may speak informally to your line manager, who can provide confidential advice and assistance in resolving the issue informally. Your line manager may raise the issue with other managers to help resolve it.

Step 2: Formal grievance

If you do not feel that informal steps are appropriate, or they have been unsuccessful, you should raise the matter formally. To do so, simply send an email to your manager with the subject "formal grievance".

If your grievance is against your manager, or you feel unable to approach him or her, you should talk to another manager, or to the staff representative.

If the matter involves a criminal assault, then you may also want to speak to the police straight away.

Once a formal grievance has been raised, two senior members of the Good-Loop team (ideally including the individual's line manager) will be appointed as investigators to gather and review evidence and by speaking to all parties involved. They may also look into email, chat, and other records.

Please keep accusations confidential during an investigation. This allows for a fairer investigation, and also minimises the harm if there was a misunderstanding. However people should not feel isolated in stressful times, so you can speak about it to your line manager, a close friend or partner (asking them to keep it confidential), or health professionals (including a counsellor or therapist).

Step 3: Grievance hearings

The investigators will arrange a meeting with you, normally within five working days, to discuss your grievance. You have the right to be accompanied by a trusted friend, the Staff Represenative, or a trade union representative at this meeting if you make a reasonable request.

The investigators will carry out similar meetings with other staff who are involved.

The investigators will give you a decision in writing as soon as they reasonably can, and normally within a week. If it is necessary to gather further information before making a decision your manger will inform you of this and the likely timescale involved.

Step 4: Appeal

If you are unhappy with the investigator's decision and you wish to appeal you should let the investigators know.

You will be invited to an appeal meeting, normally within five days, and your appeal will be heard by two more senior managers or two members of the Company Board.

Again, you have the right to be accompanied by a trusted friend, the Staff Represenative, or a trade union representative at this meeting if you make a reasonable request.

After the meeting you will be given a final decision, normally within 2 working days.

Step 5: Outside Appeal

If you disagree with the outcome of the process, and if you feel your legal rights have been violated, then you may wish to find outside legal advice. This would be at your own cost. Outside legal counsel can re-open the case by writing to your manager.

If you have been the victim of criminal behaviour, then you can also consider speaking to the police.

Step 5: Corrective Action

If the complaint is upheld, we will begin a Disciplinary Procedure. If the complaint is not upheld, the accused individual will have their name cleared. In either case we will consider how best to manage any ongoing working relationship between you and the person concerned.

Note: This policy is based on ACAS template "Sample grievance procedure"