GRIEVANCE POLICY

Forming part of: Giant Steps Tasmania’s Personnel Manual

Click here to see a flow chart of how this policy works.

Policy Statement

 All staff of Giant Steps Tasmania have the right to a safe working environment and all staff and parents/ carers of student/ adult clients at Giant Steps Tasmania have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

 

Policy Purpose

 The purpose of this Policy is to guide Giant Steps Tasmania’s approach in the management of complaints which arise as workplace grievances.

Giant Steps Tasmania provides these procedures so that staff can have a workplace grievance addressed and so that parent/ carers can have grievances relating to perceived inequities of treatment or procedures addressed. All staff members and parents/ carers have a right to use the procedures in this policy.

 A copy of this policy is given to parents/ carers on enrolment of a student/ adult client and to staff members during their induction.

 

Definitions

 A Grievance means a complaint from a staff member or parent/ carer concerning treatment at Giant Steps Tasmania that is inequitable or procedurally unfair; or a complaint that arises from perceived personal concerns relating to one or more work-related interpersonal relationships.

 If more than one staff member/ parent raises the same or substantially similar grievance(s), then each matter will be managed separately.

 

Implementation

 In the case of all grievances, Giant Steps Tasmania will review the allegations and respond to the staff member who raised the complaint.

Neither the Principal nor any member of the Board of Governors will accept any anonymous allegation or complaint and should any member of the Giant Steps Tasmania staff be found to be involved in the submission of an anonymous allegation or complaint, disciplinary measures will be taken against them.

 

Giant Steps Tasmania aims to ensure that:

  • grievances are addressed sensitively, promptly and in accordance with relevant Giant Steps Tasmania policies and principles of natural justice;
  • all reasonable steps are taken to respect the confidentiality of the people involved in a grievance;
  • fairness and impartiality prevail throughout the appropriate resolution process - until a grievance is investigated and a decision is made, a grievance is an allegation, not a fact;
  • appropriate records are maintained throughout the resolution process;
  • persons who notify grievances are protected from victimisation or reprisal; and
  • persons who notify grievances are regularly informed of the progress of the matter, including the consequences of any finding that the grievance is substantiated or not substantiated.

 

It is expected that most grievances should be able to be resolved informally. Before entering into the formal process, the aggrieved staff member/ parent should attempt to resolve the grievance with the help of the Principal or, if the grievance is against the Principal, with the help of a member of the Giant Steps Tasmania’s Board.

 

In circumstances where it is not possible to resolve the matter informally, the Principal or the member of the Board may refer the matter to the Chairman of the Board within ten (10) working days of the action forming the grievance having taken place and a formal investigation will commence:

  • Before a grievance is investigated, the party with the grievance describes the allegations they wish to make (in most instances, but not all, this will need to be in writing), including particulars of the allegations so that they can be investigated appropriately;
  • The person against whom the allegations are made is provided with a copy of the allegations that will be investigated and provided with the right of response; and
  • All parties are informed in writing of the outcomes of any investigative process.

 If the grievance is dealt with by formal investigation, the Chairman of the Board will:

  • organise for mediation to occur to try and resolve the grievance;
  • ensure that parties have access to union representation/ advocacy/ third-party support as necessary;
  • investigate the matter to make findings as to whether or not some or all of the grievance is substantiated;
  • make a relevant determination about the grievance; or
  • refer the matter to an external investigator to make findings as to whether or not some or all of the grievance is substantiated.

 If a grievance is investigated under this Policy and findings are made that substantiate any or all of the allegations made, the Chairman of the Board may:

  • arrange for the counselling of the staff member involved on their behaviour and the findings of the investigation;
  • pass the matter on to an external organisation (e.g. police)
  • carry out disciplinary action, which could terminate the contract of employment of the staff member who is the subject of the allegation; or
  • take no further action

 A grievance can be withdrawn at any time in writing with all aspects of confidentiality being maintained throughout. No further action will be taken unless the grievance relates to possible physical danger, criminal investigation, disciplinary action or employer liability. In these cases the Chairman of the Board must be informed, irrespective of which stage the grievance has reached and he/ she may refer the matter to an external agency.

The parties to a grievance are required, at all stages of this policy and procedure, to maintain confidentiality in relation to the concern or compliant. The parties must not disclose, by any form of communication, either the fact or the substance of the matter to anyone other than an advocate, staff or a qualified counsellor.

 A person must not victimise or otherwise subject another person to detrimental action as a consequence of that person raising, providing information about, or otherwise being involved in the resolution of a grievance under these procedures.

 Any breach of either the confidentiality or non-victimisation requirements will be treated seriously by Giant Steps Tasmania, and may result in disciplinary action.