UCL News


Changes to UCL HR Policies: New UCL Dignity at Work statement and changes to UCL Grievance policy

22 January 2015

The Human Resources Policy Committee (HRPC) has ratified changes to the UCL Grievance Policy and approved a new UCL Dignity at Work statement to replace the UCL Harassment and Bullying policy.

Quad These changes were made following consultation with staff and the trade unions and the latter are in agreement with the changes.

The new Dignity at Work statement outlines expectations of behaviour in the workplace that incorporates clear messages about zero tolerance towards harassment and bullying. Any complaints about harassment and bullying behaviour should be dealt with via the Grievance policy. This is in line with guidance from the Government's Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) and best practice.

These changes will take effect on 1 February 2015.

Details of the consultation comments and the management response as well as the new policy and procedure are available on the HR policy consultation webpage. The new policy and procedures will go live on the A-Z of HR Policies on 1 February 2015.

Grievance Policy

Key features

The key aims of the revised policy are to facilitate early resolution of grievances, speed up hearing arrangements and to reduce paperwork/administration. Main changes We have streamlined the policy, and separated out the processes to be followed. There is a clear expectation that parties will consider mediation before progressing to the formal stage to emphasise the importance of mediation rather than arbitration of disputes (whilst acknowledging that this is not appropriate in all circumstances) and we have introduced additional options for alternative early dispute mechanisms.

There is a reduction in Appeal panel membership from 5 persons to 3 persons (including 1 Trade Union representative) to enable Appeal Hearings to be set up more promptly.

There is new guidance and a template form on the preferred format for written submissions with the aim of reducing the level of paperwork associated with grievance submissions.

There is greater clarity on how to manage grievances about staff that include students.

Management accountability

Managers have clear accountability for managing grievances and outcomes raised through this policy, with support and advice from a range of sources, including HR Consultancy Services and the Equalities and Diversity team. Early informal resolution is encouraged.

Transitioning arrangements

Where matters are currently being managed within the existing grievance or harassment and bullying policies, managers should complete the stage they are at in the existing policy. Where a new formal grievance is raised this should be managed under the new Grievance policy. Please contact your HR Consultant for guidance where transitioning between the policies.

Training for Managers

Please note there is a requirement that all staff hearing formal grievances must be trained. This includes awareness of discrimination matters including unconscious bias. The Harassment and Bullying policy didn't require managers to be trained.

To book onto this training please visit the OD website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/od/pdp/hrhp/index.php.

Dignity at Work Statement

The Dignity at Work statement aims to clearly and simply identify why everyone deserves to be treated with fairness and respect, explain what unacceptable behaviour looks like, and suggests how it can be dealt with. The Statement aims to be wider in scope than the current harassment and bullying policy and to promote recognition of diversity within the workplace;

If you have any questions about the operation of these policies please contact your HR Consultant.

Fiona Daffern, Head of Employment Policy Development, Human Resources Division