Mediation is a voluntary confidential process that allows two or more colleagues to resolve their complaint in a mutually agreeable way with the help of an impartial third party, a mediator. Mediation focuses on the interests of the needs of the colleagues involved and on solutions rather than on determining or assigning blame. What distinguishes mediation from other forms of dispute resolution is that the mediator does no impose a solution but rather works with both parties to create their own solutions. Mediation is not suitable in certain cases for example, harassment, where the formal process should be followed straight away. Have a look at the dignity at work policy for more information.
Mediation can be successful if you and the other person are willing to participate fully in the process and genuinely want to repair the working relationship. Mediation is a voluntary process, so you and the other person have a choice about whether you want to participate. It is entirely acceptable for either of you to decide not to participate in mediation and your decision will not impact on any formal process. For information, advice or access to mediation, talk to your manager at the earliest opportunity. And if you’re a manager and need advice, contact the People and Culture Office on 86500.
Raising a grievance
The grievance procedure is in place to help you resolve concerns you may have in relation to your employment. If you raise a complaint, we’ll listen to you and work with you to resolve any issues wherever we can. Where you feel comfortable and able to do so, we would always encourage you to speak to your manager to try and resolve any issues informally. However if this is not right in the circumstances, then we have a grievance procedure in place. Guidance for staff raising a grievance is available here. If you do raise a grievance, it’ll be treated seriously and fully investigated. We’ll also respect and maintain your confidentiality and will remind anyone involved in your complaint about their responsibilities to maintain confidentiality. You’ll have the right to be assisted at any meetings.
General grievance guidance is here. Grievance guidance for witnesses can be found here. Guidance for managers handling a grievance can be found here. Guidance for the appeal manager can be found here. If you are a member of staff and someone has raised a grievance against you, guidance can be found here.
We recognise that you may need additional support, so remember you can talk to your Trade Union representative if you’re a member, or our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider. You can contact EAP in confidence on 0800 032 9849.
Public Interest Disclosure Policy (Whistleblowing)
We’re committed to managing the organisation in the best way possible. Part of that is creating an open and supportive working environment where colleagues and others that we deal with feel able to speak up about any suspected wrongdoing. Indeed, we expect individuals who have serious concerns about any aspect of our work to come forward and voice those concerns. If something is troubling you that you think we should know about or look into, use the Public Interest Disclosure policy. This is where you will find out more about the types of matters which you should report and the reporting procedure that you should follow. This policy is designed to protect those raising a genuine concern from determent. You don’t need to have any proof that any of these things are happening. Rather than wait for proof, we would prefer to raise matters when it’s still a concern. Full information can be found in the Public Interest Disclosure policy.
Our disciplinary procedures and guidance explain what will happen if the expected standards are not met. In most cases an informal approach can resolve the problem; however in more serious circumstances formal action may need to be taken in line with our disciplinary procedures. The disciplinary procedures and guidance also provides examples of misconduct and gross misconduct and the level of sanctions that may be imposed. They also explain the process we will go through in investigating any allegations to ensure we reach a fair outcome. This includes giving you the right to be accompanied to any meetings, time to prepare for any formal hearing and the right to appeal against any formal outcomes. For full information, refer to the disciplinary procedures and guidance (see below). If you’re a manager and need advice, contact the People and Culture Office on 86500.
Related guidance documents: