Library Volunteer Grievance Procedure

Sherburn & Villages Community Library Management Group


1. Purpose and scope

The purpose of this procedure is to resolve grievances as quickly as possible to the satisfaction of the Volunteer concerned and their colleagues. It is hoped that most grievances will be resolved informally but, where this is not possible, volunteers should use the following formal grievance procedure.

2. Principles
Each step of the process will take place without unreasonable delay.

Meetings will be at a reasonable time and location to suit the individual who must take reasonable steps to attend.

At formal grievance and appeal meetings the individual has the right to be accompanied by a companion of their own choice. The companion is allowed to address the hearing, put the individual’s case and sum it up but cannot answer questions on their behalf.

Confidentiality will be maintained; only those who need to know about the grievance will be informed. The data protection policy will be followed at all times.

After the grievance and regardless of the outcome, all those involved are expected to work together in a positive manner. Support will be provided as needed.

3. Procedure

Informal stage
If a volunteer has a grievance he or she should discuss it informally with their Team Leader in the first instance in order to settle the grievance if possible. Similarly a Team Leader should raise the matter with one of the Volunteer Managers.

Formal Stage
1. The Volunteer can escalate the matter by putting their grievance in writing to the Volunteer Manager who will again attempt to resolve the issue. This written statement should include the reasons for their grievance, suggestions for how it could be resolved and the desired outcome.

2. If necessary, the Volunteer Manager will invite the employee to a meeting to discuss the grievance. The employee will be informed of their right to be accompanied by a companion of their choosing. During the meeting the employee will be allowed to explain their grievance and how they think it should be resolved. If needed the meeting may be adjourned for any investigation that may be necessary.

3. After investigating and considering all the facts raised in the grievance meeting, the Volunteer Manager will inform the Volunteer in writing of the decision, and of the right to appeal and the time scales in which to do so.

Appeal stage
If the employee is not satisfied with the Volunteer Manager’s response, he or she may appeal against the decision in writing, to the Chair of the Library Management Group.
The Volunteer should do this within 5 working days of receipt of the letter confirming the outcome of the grievance hearing. The Chair will nominate two members of the Management Group (who have not so far been involved) to hold an appeal hearing. After the appeal hearing the Volunteer will be given a written response within 5 working days.
The Trust is committed to ensuring that all grievances are fully investigated. Before a decision can be reached, it may be necessary to carry out interviews with third parties such as witnesses, colleagues and other stakeholders, as well as analysing written records and information.

Overlapping grievance and disciplinary cases
Where a Volunteer raises a grievance during a disciplinary process, the disciplinary process may be temporarily suspended to deal with the grievance. In circumstances where the grievance and disciplinary issues are related it may be appropriate to deal with them concurrently. The Management Group will decide on the most appropriate way of handling overlapping disciplinary and grievance situations.
The grievance procedure should not be used for appeals against disciplinary decisions, as that is the purpose of the disciplinary appeals procedure.

Adopted by:                                  Date: