1. It is our policy to ensure that all employees have access to a procedure to help deal with any grievances relating to their employment fairly and without unreasonable delay. We aim to investigate any formal grievance you raise, hold a meeting to discuss it with you, inform you in writing of the outcome, and give you a right of appeal if you are not satisfied.
Using this procedure
2. This Grievance Procedure should not be used to complain about dismissal or disciplinary action. If you are dissatisfied with such decisions the appeal process for the respective procedure should be used.
2.1. We also have separate policies for raising issues that relate to harassment, bullying and whistleblowing. If you wish to report such matters the respective procedures under the Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy or the Whistleblowing Policy should be used. Details of these Procedures are contained in the employee handbook, of which a copy can be obtained via your Quest Pay Solutions Consultant.
2.2. Grievances should be raised promptly and without unreasonable delay. Lengthy delays can affect the company’s ability to investigate and resolve issues. If a grievance is raised after an unreasonable period the company reserves the right to reject the grievance.
2.3. If you wish to raise a grievance after your employment ends, grievances will be accepted for up to 2 weeks after the date your employment terminated. However, the company reserves the right to consider the grievance and respond in writing only.
Raising grievances informally
3. Most grievances can be resolved quickly and informally through discussion with a manager or HR. If you feel unable to speak to a manager, for example, because the complaint concerns him or her, then you should speak informally to a more senior manager or HR. If this does not resolve the issue, you should follow the formal procedure below.
Formal written grievances
4. If the informal stage is not appropriate or if your grievance cannot be resolved informally you should submit a written grievance to a manager (or HR if the grievance concerns a manager).
4.1. The written grievance should confirm that it is a grievance and it should give a brief description of the nature of your complaint, including any relevant facts, dates, and names of individuals involved. In some situations, we may need to ask you to provide further information.
4.2. Under this Procedure you have the statutory right to be accompanied at formal meetings, but not informal meetings or investigatory meetings (see “Right to be accompanied’ section of the Handbook).
5. In some cases it may be necessary for us to carry out an investigation into your grievance. The nature and extent of the investigation will be determined by the Company. The investigation will depend on the circumstances and may not always include and investigatory meeting. The investigation may involve a basic fact find or it may, if appropriate, involve interviewing and taking statements from you and any witnesses, and/or reviewing relevant documents. The investigation may be carried out by a manager, a member of HR or another person appointed by HR.
5.1. You must co-operate fully and promptly in any investigation. This may include informing us of the names of any relevant witnesses, disclosing any relevant documents to us and attending interviews, as part of our investigation.
6. We will arrange a grievance meeting, normally within one week of receiving your written grievance.
6.1. If you cannot attend the hearing you should inform us immediately and we will arrange an alternative time. You must make every effort to attend the hearing. If you fail to attend without good reason or are persistently unable to do so (for example for health reasons), a decision may be taken in your absence based on the available evidence.
6.2. The hearing will usually be conducted by a manager (or if this is not practicable HR may appoint another individual from the Company or Group who is of equal or higher seniority to the manager) (“the Hearing Manager”). A member of HR may also be present.
6.3. The purpose of a grievance meeting is to enable you to explain your grievance and how you think it should be resolved, and to assist us to reach a decision based on the available evidence and the representations you have made.
6.4. After an initial grievance meeting, we may carry out further investigations and hold further grievance meetings as we consider appropriate. Such meetings will be arranged without unreasonable delay.
6.5. Where possible the decision will be communicated to you at the hearing and then confirmed in writing within 1 week of the hearing. If it is not possible to confirm the decision at the hearing, then the written decision will be sent usually within one week of the hearing. The decision will confirm the outcome, the reasons for the outcome and your right of appeal.
7. If you are not satisfied with the outcome you may appeal by sending full written grounds of appeal to a manager or HR within 5 working days of the written decision.
7.1. An independent person will be appointed to hear the appeal (the “Appeal Manager”). The Company or HR shall appoint the Appeal Manager who may either work for the Company or work elsewhere in the Group.
7.2. The appeal meeting will normally be held within 1 week of receiving the written grounds of appeal. If the appeal meeting cannot be scheduled within 1 week you will be advised of the reasons and the meeting will be scheduled without unnecessary delay.
7.3. Depending on the grounds of appeal, an appeal meeting may be a complete rehearing of the matter or a review of the original decision.
7.4. Following the appeal, the original decision may be confirmed, revoked or replaced with a different decision.
7.5. The appeal decision will be confirmed in writing, usually within one week of the appeal meeting. There will be no further right of appeal.