Grievance Procedures

Grievance Procedures

1. Introduction

These procedures will be used by the Vegetarian Cycling & Athletic Club (VCAC or the Club) to resolve grievances raised with the Club.

A grievance is an issue, complaint, dispute, concern or problem. For the purposes of these procedures a person raising a grievance will be referred to as the Aggrieved and the individual against whom the grievance is being taken will be referred to as the Respondent. The terms ‘Aggrieved’ and ‘Respondent’ in the context of this document are in no way intended to imply fault by either party.

These Grievance Procedures enable individuals or groups to raise issues that affect their well-being and ability to perform within athletics effectively. It is impossible to provide a comprehensive list of all the issues that might give rise to a grievance, but some of the more common include: breaches of health and safety, conducts, breaches of policies, practices and procedures and equal opportunities.

The Club recognises the importance of dealing with grievances, disputes and complaints seriously, fairly and quickly.

Any person that raises a grievance will:

i) Be given a fair hearing concerning any grievances they may have;

ii) Have the right to be accompanied by a supporter when raising a grievance;

All parties to a grievance should cooperate constructively to resolve matters by informal methods wherever appropriate. It is hoped that grievances can be resolved amicably thereby maintaining, and where necessary, restoring good relations within the Club and with others.

If it has not been possible to resolve the grievance informally, a person with a grievance must state his or her grievance formally in writing to the Club Welfare Officer, which may be by email for this procedure to be applied.

Where the person with a grievance has a disability, the Club will make reasonable adjustments to ensure they are not treated less favourably and will provide assistance where reasonable.

2. Raising Grievance Issues Informally

VCAC is committed to the resolution of individual grievances informally whenever possible. An Aggrieved is strongly encouraged to seek to resolve any matter with the club or individual concerned prior to any formal action.

VCAC will give any grievance that has been raised informally proper and full consideration. The Club will be encouraged and supported to facilitate mutually acceptable solutions to genuine concerns raised.

3. Raising Grievance Issues Formally

3.1 Costs:
Each party shall bear its own costs in connection with complaints made or disputes or appeals brought under these Procedures.

3.2 Stage One:

i) If the Aggrieved has not been able to resolve a grievance informally, the Aggrieved may request a review of the grievance by the Club. The request should be made in writing which may be by email to the Welfare Officer.

ii) The request should state the details of the grievance, the action taken by the Aggrieved to resolve the matter so far and the outcome or remedy sought and the circumstances which warrant the grievance to become formal. Copies of relevant papers in support of the grievance should be included with the letter.

iii) If the Welfare Officer is a cause of the grievance, the request should be made to the General Secretary, who will consider the grievance.

iv) The Welfare Officer or General Secretary considering the grievance will notify the Respondent that a grievance has been submitted by the Aggrieved and will provide the Respondent with a copy of the grievance.

v) The Respondent will be given the opportunity to provide a statement and any relevant papers in response to the grievance, normally to be returned to the Welfare Officer or General Secretary within one week.

vi) Both Parties should be made aware that the information provided by them may be disclosed to the other party to the grievance.

vii) In exceptional circumstances, it may also be necessary for the Welfare Officer or General Secretary to carry out further investigation into the Aggrieved grievance by meeting or discussing with the Respondent and any relevant witnesses to any of the matters complained of. If this is necessary, the Welfare Officer or General Secretary will again forward any witness statements and / or relevant papers to the Aggrieved.

viii) It may be necessary to undertake further investigation of the grievance, in which case the meeting or discussion may be adjourned in order to enable this to take place, and reconvened within a reasonable period of time. The timetable for any further investigation necessary will be discussed and agreed with the Aggrieved. Every attempt will be made to address the issue promptly.

ix) Following the meeting, the Aggrieved will be informed by the Welfare Officer or General Secretary in writing of the decision under Stage One of the Grievance Procedure. This will normally be issued to the Aggrieved within one week of the close of the grievance meeting. The letter will generally summarise:

i. the nature of the grievance;

ii. the investigation that was conducted;

iii. the decision;

iv. the reason for the decision;

v. any outcome for a change in practices as a result of the decision; and

vi. a copy of meeting records and any formal minutes taken.

x) A copy of the paperwork referred to in ix) above will also be provided to the Respondent. Any dissenting comments in connection with the decision will be recorded.

3.3 Stage Two – Appeal:

i) An Aggrieved or Respondent who is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance meeting held under Stage One above may appeal.

ii) The Aggrieved or Respondent should write, or by email, to the Welfare Officer within two weeks of receipt of the letter issued following Stage One of the Grievance Procedure.

iii) If the Welfare Officer is a cause of the grievance, the request should be made to the General Secretary.

iv) The letter should state the grounds on which the verdict of Stage One is challenged and the remedy or outcome which is sought.

v) The Welfare Officer or General Secretary shall appoint an Appeal Panel of three members from the VCAC Committee. The Welfare Officer or General Secretary will also be responsible for appointing the Chair of the Panel. In the interests of fairness and impartiality none of the members of The Panel shall have been directly involved in the matter being considered.

vi) The Appeal Panel should receive in advance copies of any documents that either party wishes to refer to during the Appeal Hearing. The Appeal Panel must also be informed of any witness statements whom either party wishes to put before the Panel.

vii) The Welfare Officer or General Secretary will arrange for a Hearing to be convened for The Panel to consider the appeal. The purpose of the Hearing will be to understand the on-going nature of the grievance, to review the basis for the earlier decision, to explore potential solutions and to reach a decision.

viii) Due to the likely geographical spread of The Panel, the Hearing may take the form of email discussions or telephone conversations between the Panel members. All related communications between The Panel members will remain confidential in so far as it is related to the matter being considered.

ix) The Aggrieved or Respondent will be afforded every opportunity to state their grievance to The Panel. It may also be necessary for further investigation to take place within a reasonable period of time. Again, the timetable for investigation will be discussed and agreed with the Aggrieved or Respondent. Every attempt will be made to address the issue promptly.

x) A letter with the decision under Stage Two of the Grievance Procedure will normally be issued within one week of the conclusion of the Hearing. The letter will generally summarise:

i. the nature of the grievance;

ii. the investigation that was conducted;

iii. the decision;

iv. the reason for the decision;

v. any outcome for a change in practices as a result of the decision;

vi. a copy of Hearing records and any formal minutes taken.

xi) a copy will be sent to all parties involved in the grievance and an opportunity made for the recording of any dissenting comments.

xii) this will conclude the process for the resolution of grievances.

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