Volunteer Grievance Policy
Frome Community Bike Project is dependent on the goodwill and time given by its volunteers. The purpose of this procedure is to provide an open and fair way for volunteers and members to raise complaints and to enable FCBP to try to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. If you are upset about something, please inform the Coordinator of your session or the Volunteer Coordinator about it.
- FCBP will deal with issues promptly and consistently, and will carry out any necessary investigations.
- Wherever possible, complaints should be dealt with informally.
- The volunteer shall have the opportunity to state their case.
- The volunteer shall have an opportunity to appeal against a decision.
- The volunteer has the right to be accompanied at any formal meeting.
- Grievances should be kept confidential as far as possible (as far as is allowed by the need to carry out a full and thorough investigation).
- Formal grievances will be heard by a Grievance Panel (usually consisting of 2 Directors and the Volunteer Coordinator). Appeals will be heard by the remaining Directors (who were not on the initial grievance panel).
Complaints or problems relating to your voluntary time at FCBP can be sensitive issues and it is preferable to try and resolve these as quickly and informally as possible. The aim is to resolve routine grievances in this informal manner.
Step 1: Where possible, speak with the person(s) concerned immediately about your complaint. If you don’t feel able to sort out the problem face to face with the person responsible, or if you have tried to sort the problem out face to face but couldn’t come to an agreement, or you feel that the situation is serious, you need to move on to step two.
Step 2: Speak with the Coordinator of your session about your complaint and see if they can help. (If your complaint is with the Coordinator of your session, please speak with the Volunteer Coordinator). During the meeting, the Coordinator will take notes, and you should both aim to decide what you and FCBP are going to do to try to resolve the issue.
The Coordinator you have spoken to is responsible for the next step. They will agree the next step with you during the meeting – for example, they might arrange for something to be changed, or have a chat with another volunteer or member of staff to try and resolve any conflict, or they may recommend moving on to the Formal Grievance procedure. The Coordinator will keep a record of the conflict/problem and the steps taken to solve it, it in case it recurs or develops, and they will report back to you what they did about it.
If this does not resolve the situation, or the Coordinator feels the situation is serious, you need to move on to the Formal Grievance procedure.
If you have followed the informal procedure and you think that the problem has not been solved, or if you believe the problem to be serious, you must follow the formal grievance procedure.
Step 1 – Raise the grievance in writing: You should raise a grievance in writing to the Directors’ Group without unreasonable. You must detail in writing the specific circumstances which constitute the grievance, with dates, times, witnesses, etc. and attach any supporting evidence, as applicable. The Directors’ Group will appoint a Grievance Panel, usually consisting of 2 Directors and the Volunteer Coordinator. The Grievance Panel will arrange a formal grievance meeting, usually to be held within 5 working days.
Step 2 – Grievance meeting: The Grievance Panel will invite you to attend a meeting, without unavoidable delay, to discuss the matter. The invitation should also state that you are entitled to be accompanied to the meeting. FCBP will also consider whether any reasonable adjustments are required for disabled volunteers, such as allowing a support worker or sign language interpreter to attend the meeting.
In the meeting:
- The Grievance Panel will take notes or record the meeting
- The Grievance Panel will introduce the meeting, read out the grounds for your grievance, ask if they are correct and require clarification if unclear
- You will be given the opportunity to put forward your case and say how you would like to see it resolved. You may call witnesses and refer to any documents previously provided to the Grievance Panel
- The Grievance Panel may question you and any of the witnesses
Step 3 – Investigation and decision: The meeting should be adjourned by the Grievance Panel in order for them to undertake an investigation into the volunteer’s complaints. The investigation should be full and thorough in order to determine, as far as possible, the facts of the case and to allow the Grievance Panel to come to a decision. Where necessary, the meeting will be reconvened to allow the Panel to put further questions to the volunteer. The Panel may need to take the case to the Directors’ Group.
Having considered the grievance, the Grievance Panel will give their decision regarding the case in writing, normally within five working days. The decision will set out what action is being taken to address the grievance and will notify you of the right of appeal and the procedure to be followed if you choose to do so.
If you are unhappy with the Grievance Panel’s decision and you wish to appeal, you should inform the Directors’ Group.
You will be invited to an appeal meeting, normally within five working days, and your appeal will be heard by the Directors who were not part of the initial Grievance Panel. You have the right to be accompanied to this meeting.
After the meeting, the relevant Directors will give you their decision, normally within 24 hours. This decision is final.
All parties involved will be asked to maintain confidentiality.
The Coordinators and Directors will endeavour to respect your confidentiality as far as possible, but may need to discuss the problem and possible solutions amongst themselves. If you request that an issue not be discussed with certain individuals (because you have conflict with someone in particular) this will be respected. However, confidentiality should not be used as a barrier to solving problems. If it is felt that the problem will be prolonged by secrecy you will be informed that the grievance cannot be kept confidential.
FCBP retains the right to breach confidentiality (and will inform the employee of this intention) should it be believed the client is a) in danger unto themselves or anyone else, or b) the client is operating beyond the law (extreme circumstance).