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Grievance Policy during COVID 19

Grievance Policy and Procedure during COVID-19 Emergency

Page updated 2 June 2022

The UCD Grievance policy and procedure, including supports and informal and formal options for resolution, remains available to you during this Covid 19 period. Due to the restrictions as a result of Covid 19, supports and processes will take place remotely through a combination of e-mail and video conferencing such as Zoom. We will endeavour to adhere to timelines as per our procedures but please be aware that there may be delays due to the current situation.

During the period when University services are being delivered from home/remotely, employees can continue to utilise the UCD Grievance process. Following receipt of a complaint under this policy, subsequent meetings and if necessary, hearings, will be conducted remotely utilising remote meeting facilities. UCD line managers who are engaged in a grievance process will be fully supported during the process by their HR Partner and Employee Relations (ER). Below are the steps for how a grievance process can be conducted remotely.

Process

Informal Stage

At the informal stage, the complainant can engage with their line manager remotely utilising remote technology to resolve the matter informally. If this proves unsuccessful, the issue can escalate into the formal realm for a stage 1 hearing with their line manager. Below are the formal stages.

Formal Stages

Stage 1

The complainant forwards a detailed complaint by email to the line manager. A hearing date will then be scheduled to carry out the hearing remotely. The right to representation will be afforded and the attendance of a representative from ER will be confirmed.

Following the hearing, the decision will be issued by email by the line manager to the employee referencing  the right of appeal and to whom the appeal should be forwarded.

Stage 2

If the complainant wishes to appeal the outcome of the stage 1 process, they should forward the original complaint statement and an outline of the basis of their appeal to the next level line manager. A hearing date will then be scheduled to carry out the hearing remotely. The right to representation will be afforded and the attendance of a representative from ER will be confirmed.

Following the hearing, the decision will be issued by email by the next level line manager to the employee referencing the right of appeal and to whom the appeal should be forwarded.

Stage 3

An appeal of stage 2 should be forwarded to HR (ER) by email by the complainant for consideration. If appropriate, an investigator will be appointed, and the terms of reference of the investigation compiled. If an investigation is not deemed warranted, the complainant will informed by ER by email that the local stages of the grievance process have now concluded.

Stage 4

The complainant may choose to refer the grievance to the Workplace Relations Commission.

Disciplinary Process during COVID-19 Emergency

The UCD Disciplinary Statute and procedure, remains available to you during this Covid 19 period. Due to the restrictions as a result of Covid 19, supports and processes will take place remotely through a combination of e-mail and video conferencing such as Zoom. We will endeavour to adhere to timelines as per our procedures but please be aware that there may be delays due to the current situation.

During the period when University services are being delivered from home/remotely, the UCD Disciplinary Statute and Procedure (Statute 28) will remain in operation and disciplinary processes can continue to be carried out, albeit remotely. All parties engaged in a disciplinary process will be briefed by Employee Relations who will outline the steps for how the disciplinary process will be conducted remotely. Below are key steps from Statute 28 which will continue to apply during a disciplinary process, they are as follows:

  • All aspects of Statute 28 will continue to apply including the processes associated with Gross Misconduct and Dismissal.
  • Under Statute 28, the line manager/Head of School conducting the disciplinary hearing will determine what witnesses, if any, will be called. The employee can submit suggestions for witnesses, which will be considered by the line manager/Head of School.
  • The right to representation will apply at all stages of the disciplinary process.
  • Under the Statute, if any party, including an employee, is not available to fully engage in the disciplinary process for any reason, the Director of Human Resources, or nominee, may postpone or defer the disciplinary process in the interests of thoroughness and fair procedures for a reasonable period.
  • Employees are required to attend disciplinary hearings and cooperate with all aspects of the disciplinary processes detailed in this Statute. Disciplinary hearings may be conducted, and sanctions may be imposed on an employee, notwithstanding the employee’s failure to attend a disciplinary hearing(s) and/or cooperate with these disciplinary
  • At each stage of the disciplinary process, the right of appeal is afforded.

If a disciplinary process is commenced under Statute 28, there are important time requirements that all parties will need to be aware of. Below are the time requirements applicable to Stages 1 to 3 of the disciplinary process and are applicable where a disciplinary sanction may result in a Verbal, Written or Final Written Warning.  We will endeavour to adhere to timelines as per our procedures but please be aware that there may be delays due to the current situation.

  • Employee required to give three days notice of inability to participate in the disciplinary meeting and notice of intention to be represented at the meeting.
  • A formal disciplinary investigation meeting with the employee should be conducted by the line manager/Head of School or a nominee of the Director of Human Resources. The line manager/Head of School may be accompanied by an appropriate HR representative. The employee should be given at least five working days’ notice of the meeting. The employee must confirm attendance at the hearing at least three days before the scheduled hearing date. The employee may be accompanied at any such meeting by a colleague of their choice or by a whole-time official of a recognised union.
  • The outcome of the disciplinary investigation meeting should ordinarily be communicated to the employee within ten working days of the conclusion of the The line-manager/Head of School should ensure that the employee is made aware of their right to appeal any disciplinary sanction imposed within 10 working days. This appeal will be considered without prejudice.

Contact Culture & Engagement

Culture & Engagement, UCD HR 3rd Floor, Roebuck Offices University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
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