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Grievance Procedure for Grades 1-4

 1.         Introduction

1.1       This procedure provides a fair and consistent framework for dealing with grievances. Grievances are concerns, problems or complaints that employees raise with their employers in relation to matters affecting them as individuals or their personal dealings or relationships with other staff. Where grievance issues arise, a fair and consistent approach will be taken with the aim of safeguarding a mutually constructive and supportive working environment

1.2       The procedures should be implemented in line with the approach outlined in 1.1 above, providing all employees with an effective mechanism for raising a grievance.  This policy and procedure will be supported by appropriate training and development.  Any action necessary under this procedure will have as its main objective the promotion of good relations between individuals. 

1.3       In some circumstances, it may not be appropriate to use this procedure, these include:

  • when the grievance relates to matters which are being investigated or are connected with current disciplinary proceedings or any disciplinary sanction that has been imposed against the individual, they should follow the separate disciplinary appeals procedure;
  • When there is a collective dispute.

1.4       The University is committed to using mediation to resolve issues in a timely and effective manner, particularly when there is conflict between colleagues or a need to rebuild relationships after a formal dispute has been resolved. Mediation is a voluntary process, where an independent third party helps people in dispute to attempt to reach an agreement or resolution of an issue.  Mediation requires the consent and commitment of all parties involved and can be used in place of any stage of the process.

1.5       At all stages of the formal process, an employee who is the cause for concern will be entitled to be accompanied by a local Trades Union Representative or work colleague of their choice not acting in a legal capacity. A Trades Union Representative who is not an employed official must have been certified by the union as being competent to accompany the employee.


2.         Staff Covered by this Policy

2.1       This procedure will apply to all staff that are on Grades 1–4 during their employment. [1]

2.2       If a grievance relates to the actions of a particular employee, that employee will be advised as soon as reasonably practicable of the nature of the grievance and be given the opportunity during the investigation and/or at any meeting, where appropriate, to state their case.


  3.        Stage 1 – Informal Resolution

  3.1      The employee should, as far as is reasonably possible and appropriate, aim to resolve the grievance informally through discussion.  This should normally involve the employee and their immediate line manager and any person(s) to whose conduct the grievance relates.  If the grievance relates to their immediate line manager, the employee should discuss the matter, on an informal basis, with the manager of the line manager.   

3.2       If the grievance continues to be unresolved at this stage then the employee should meet with the Head of School [2][3]  or designated nominee to try to resolve these issues. At any point during this meeting the Head of School or designated nominee could suspend the meeting to commence the formal resolution process set out in point 4 below.

3.2       If the grievance cannot be resolved in this way, either because informal discussions are, in a particular instance, inappropriate, or because they have failed to resolve the grievance then the formal procedure should be followed.

3.3       The informal stages of the procedure are an attempt to resolve issues without the use of the formal stages.  Where it is deemed appropriate advice and guidance may be sought from the relevant Human Resources Manager.


4.         Stage 2 – Formal Resolution

4.1       If the employee has been unable to resolve the grievance using the informal methods outlined above, or if they feel unable to raise the matter informally, they shall write to their Head of School outlining the detail of their grievance and specifying clearly what remedy they are seeking.  If for any reason the employee is unable to submit their grievance in writing they should contact Human Resources.

4.2       Where the grievance has already been addressed informally with the Head of School, or where the grievance concerns the Head of School, the grievance should be raised with the Vice-Chancellor who will appoint a nominated representative to act on his/her behalf.

4.3       The Head of School will appoint an Investigating Officer. A member of Human Resources staff will work with the Investigating Officer throughout the process, assisting with the case and collating all relevant information. This investigation will be conducted without unreasonable delay.

4.4.      The Head of School will write to the employee who has raised the grievance to inform them of the name of the Investigating Officer.

4.5       The Investigating Officer will write to invite the employee who has raised the grievance to a meeting. Other individuals with relevant knowledge may be identified as possible witnesses and be interviewed as part of the process.

4.6.      The Investigating Officer(s) will compile a report of their findings for consideration by the Head of School.  The Head of School will decide if any remedial action is appropriate and inform the employee who raised the grievance of their decision.


5.         Stage 3 - Appeal

5.1       If the member of staff is not satisfied with the response provided by the Head of School, they must write to the Director of HR Operations, within 7 working days of receipt of the letter confirming the outcome of the grievance.  The letter must set out the grounds of appeal as follows:

(a)        Provide a copy of the letter sent under paragraph 4.6 above;

(b)        details of the steps taken in attempting to resolve the grievance thus far, enclosing copies of all relevant correspondence;

(c)        The reasons why they are dissatisfied with the outcome of the stage 2 of the procedure.

5.2.      The Director of HR Operations will arrange for a senior member of staff, who has no previous involvement in the case, to meet with the employee to deal with the appeal.  Support will be provided by a senior member of HR staff unless that support is more appropriately provided from another division.   

5.3       The employee, and other(s) to which the decision is relevant, will be notified, in writing, of the Appeal decision.  Such notification will be sent within 5 working days of the appeal meeting.  The decision of the Appeal is final.



[1] Also includes KTP Associates and all other staff in receipt of grades 1 – 4 Terms and Conditions
[2] Where the term Head of School is used for the purposes of these procedures this term refers to both Head of School/Directorate
[3] this also includes a designated nominee