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Grievance Policy and Procedure

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To provide a mechanism for the resolution of Complaints, grievances or problems raised by Employees in relation to human resource management and employment related matters.

2 Scope

This policy and procedure applies to all Employees of the University.

3 Policy Statement

The University provides a mechanism for Employees to raise a Complaint or grievance in relation to internal human resources or related matters. These procedures emphasise a collegial approach to grievance resolution through informal facilitation and mediation, and are designed to lead to a prompt resolution of difficult problems.

4 Principles

These grievance procedures are governed by the following principles:

  • Grievance procedures will not be used to challenge Decisions of the Council, or procedures required by industrial legislation or regulations.
  • Where a grievance arises as a result of a University Decision, the University will, where possible, refrain from the activity during the period taken up by discussion under these procedures which will be completed within 21 days where practicable. Additionally, the status quo of the Employee concerned will, where possible, remain unchanged in all other aspects.
  • Where the Employee or their Nominated Representative, and the Director (Human Resources) agree, the time-limits set out in these provisions may be extended and/or the grievance process may begin at the second level of these procedures.
  • Where two or more Employees believe they have an identical or common problem, they may take action together and the matter will be dealt with as a single grievance.
  • A matter raised within these procedures may be withdrawn by the Employee or their Nominated Representative, at any stage during these procedures by notice in writing, to the Director (Human Resources).
  • Offers of compromise as well as agreements reached during these grievance procedures will not constitute precedents in regard to similar grievances, and are without prejudice to positions taken in similar circumstances or more general issues.

5 Procedures

In some circumstances a Complaint under this policy and procedure may also be regarded as a matter that requires attention under the Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure.

With the exception of Complaints that are made in accordance with the University's Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure, the University will not normally investigate anonymous Complaints unless the issues raised within the Complaint are of a serious nature and sufficient information is provided.

5.1 First level: facilitation

When an Employee wishes to raise a grievance with the University within these procedures, that Employee must initially attempt to resolve the grievance through discussions with the other party or parties involved in the grievance process.

The Employee must also verbally advise the Employee's immediate supervisor of the situation. Where the Employee claims to have been aggrieved by the Employee's immediate supervisor, the Employee may instead inform the supervisor's immediate superior, if the Employee feels unable to approach the immediate supervisor on the grievance issue.

Human Resources is available to facilitate one-on-one discussions, on request.

The person or persons with whom the grievance is raised will make a full verbal response to the Employee not later than five working days, where practicable, from the date the matter is raised.

The Category 4 Delegate or above must ensure the matter proceeds in accordance with the time frames stated in these procedures and the dates of meetings are clearly documented. The Employee may be assisted by a Nominated Representative in preparing for, and participating in these procedures.

5.2 Second level: mediation

If the Employee is dissatisfied with the reply (or if there was not a timely reply at the First Level), the Employee, or, where requested, their Nominated Representative, must advise the Director (Human Resources), of the unresolved grievance.

At the request of the parties involved in the grievance process, or at the discretion of the Director (Human Resources), the Director (Human Resources) will arrange a mediation of the grievance with the aggrieved person or persons by independent and neutral mediators, within five working days where practicable.

The Director (Human Resources) will ensure that all parties involved are fully informed of the grievance, including the provision of any related written material(s).

5.3 Third level: referral to the Fair Work Commission

Where the grievance remains unresolved after five working days, or as soon as practicable, following the mediation, either party to the grievance process may refer the matter to the Fair Work Commission.

All recommendations made by the Fair Work Commission will be binding on the parties involved in the grievance process and will constitute a settlement of the matter.

6 Delegated responsibilities

Approver

Level of Delegation

Director (Human Resources)

Arrange mediation.

At mediation level, ensure matter proceeds in accordance with the stated timeframes.

Category 4 Delegate or above

At facilitation level, ensure matter proceeds in accordance with stated timeframes.

7 References

Nil.

8 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

9 Policy Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

Regulated Policy and Procedure

Approved Date

26/3/2015

Effective Date

26/3/2015

Review Date

Relevant Legislation

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (Qld)

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017

Related Policies

Disciplinary Action for Misconduct or Serious Misconduct Policy and Procedure

Code of Conduct Policy

Employee Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Complaints Policy and Procedure

Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure

Related Procedures

Related forms, publications and websites

Public Interest Disclosure website

Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission

Queensland Ombudsman's Office

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Complaint

An expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, an Employee or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible....more

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....more

Delegate (noun)

Delegate (noun) means the officer, Employee or committee of the University to whom, or to which, a delegation of authority has been made under this Policy....more

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....more

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....more

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Nominated Representative

Means in relation to an Employee, a person selected by the Employee to assist or represent the Employee. The person may be an officer or employee of the relevant Union, or any other person chosen by the Employee. In relation to the University, it means a person selected by the University to assist or represent the University. The person may be an Employee of the University, or an officer or employee of AHEIA, or any other person selected by the University. The Nominated Representative must not be a practising barrister or solicitor and must not present a conflict of interest.

Keywords

Grievance, Complaint, mediation, resolution

TRIM Record No

13/331PL

*This file is in Portable Document Format (PDF) which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Acrobat Reader may be obtained from Adobe. Users who are unable to access information in PDF should contact the Policy Coordinator policy@usq.edu.au to obtain this information in an alternative format.
Failure to adhere to this policy may be a breach of the USQ Code of Conduct.