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Dear Clare - or anyone else ! - Redundancy grievance

Discussion in 'Governors' started by stevehdep, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. I am a CoG less thena year in the role, but with 20 years gov experience. I have also 20 yrs teaching experience.
    The school at which I am CoG has been going, as so many have, through a redundacy procedure for support staff. Three members of the support staff had to be made redundant. The correct procedures were followed as to the consultation, identification, hearing and appeals, as far as I am aware.
    One of the members selected has sent me a letter raising a grievance because the school employed two additional members of teaching staff, one permanent and one temporary, during the process. However, this was discussed by the governors during the decision and budget setting procedure. The teaching staff complement was below that needed as supply staff had been used to fill vacancies caused by staff leaving. The support staff pool was identified as the number was high in relation to the teaching staff complement.
    In your opinion have we as governors, and has the school, acted wrongly? Is this person right to have a grievance? A s far as I am aware, the situation was discussed and made known all the way through the process.
    Thank you for your comments.
     
  2. I am not an HR specialist, but surely redundancy relates to roles rather than individuals. the roles that you made redundant were for support staff whereas the new positions were for teaching staff. If any support staff were suitably qualified and experienced to meet the job descriptions for the teaching posts then presumably they would have been entitled to apply.
    As far as I can see there has been no incorrect action, provided you followed the correct procedures for consultation and identification and the process was carried out fairly.
     
  3. No the school has not acted wrongly, based on the info you have provided. As zeberdie says it is the post that is redundant so employing additional teaching staff whilst shedding support staff does not in itself break employment regulations and law.

    The person raising the grievance is sabre rattling in my opinion. Even if they were a qualified teacher in the subject/KS that you appointed new staff to, they woud have little grounds for appeal unless they were not allowed to apply.
     
  4. Just another thought, there could be an issue if you were to create a new post with substantially the same jd/ps as one of the redundant posts as it could then be argued that you were using redundancy to get rid of a person not a role.
     
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    I agree that on the facts as stated you have followed proper procedure and have done nothing wrong. The staff member is no doubt just clutching at any straw they can thing of to avoid losing their job. However, you are still left with the problem of what to do about the the matter as they have raised it formally. Although they have called it a grievance I'm wondering whether it shouldn't more properly be treated as an appeal against being selected for redundancy and then use your redundancy appeals procedure. Presumably that involves a panel of governors (not involved in the original decision) hearing the appeal. It would be better to do that than dismissing it out of hand and then have the employee take you to Tribunal.
     
  6. Thank you all for your replies. You have confirmed my feelings. I feel we did follow all the procedures very carefully and properly. We actually have already had appeals which were heard properly and dealt with accordingly. I would question whether, as this person has already ceased being employed by the school, a grievance can be raised by them.
    I knew that the roles were being made redundant rather than the people, and I have checked the staffing structure that was issued and this included the teaching staff we were proposing to hire.
    I too think that this person is trying to create difficulties and hassle rather than having any real grounds for reinstatement, and so will refer the matter to HR and ask them to deal with it.

    Thank you again for your replies.
     
  7. If they raised the grievance before there employment was ended, then you should continue with your grievance procedures for that gievance. They cannot raise a new grievance as a member of staff because they aren't.

    If they are disatisfied with the outcome of their appeal then their only recourse is to an employment tribunal.
     
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    That may be what your own policy says, in which case you must do that, but there is no specific legal requirement to allow a grievance to continue if the employee has left your employment, and neither is it a recommendation in the ACAS guidance. Take HR advice if it becomes an issue. Our GB policy - approved by HR - specifically says that a grievance is terminated if the staff member ceases to be an employee during the course of the grievance procedure.
     
  9. You are right - the law has changed since i was last a TU rep. However, the EHRC site still seems to have guidance suggesting that EtTs can increase compensation in equality cases where greivances have not been dealt with.

    Also, you need to take care with "HR advice", - in my experience it is a bit like consulting lawyers - there are as many conflicting views as there are practioners. Certainly don't assume LEA HR advice will correct - if we had blindly followed our LEA advice over the ten years i have been a governor we would be over a million pounds down (for example terminating sicl staff whilst they were still entitled to contractual sick-pay - ETs have taken a dim view of this).
     
  10. Based on the information you have included it seems that these are two separate issues. My understanding is that in redundancies it is the post that is made redundant not the individual - so you cannot make post A redundant on Friday and advertise to fill a similar post on Monday. That does not appear to be the case here, the post being made redundant and the posts being filled are completely different (the redundant posts are support staff posts and the recruitment has been for teaching posts) and so on the basis of the information provided there does not appear to be grounds for a grievance. As ever, the governors should ensure they get appropriate advice - your HR advisors (whether the LA or other provider) should be able to give chapter and verse.
    Clare Collins
     

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