Review of the Dignity at Work Policy

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					DIRECTORS’ GROUP DG/030/08 12 March 2008 REVIEW OF THE DIGNITY AT WORK POLICY Background 1. The attached paper reviews the dignity at work policy and highlights the key issues which have emerged in relation to the procedures, the dignity at work contacts and investigating officers. It proposes a set of recommendations which we seek directors’ agreement on with a view to further improving the existing policy. Contact Aneela McKenna ext 86853. 2. The Personnel Office has been consulted on this paper and is fully supportive of the proposed changes to the Policy. Timing 3. The timing is not urgent. Discussion 4. Since the policy was introduced we have encountered a number of issues with the application of the policy particularly in relation to its procedures. They have not been applied consistently which has been due to: i) ii) iii) iv) v) Inappropriate timescales set out in the policy Confusion over which policy to apply depending on the complexity of the complaint Inappropriate sections in the informal stage which should fall under the formal stage The option to raise a grievance if there is no case to answer under the dignity at work procedure No option for suspension if the complaint is likely to be gross misconduct

5. There were issues raised about the current use of the contacts and the investigating officers which are detailed in the attached paper. 6. Reviewing the policy has led us to the view that the overall policy needs revised and that the current network of Contacts is refreshed. In the attached paper we propose a set of recommendations for Directors to agree which will help to improve the overall application of the policy. Equality implications 7. Revising this policy will strengthen our overall approach to preventing harassment and bullying in the organisation. It will also help us to meet the requirements of anti discrimination legislation and demonstrate that we are committed to taking action. The actions proposed in this paper will also address many of the issues which were raised in the staff audit in relation to dignity at work. Dependencies


DIRECTORS’ GROUP DG/030/08 12 March 2008 8. There is likely to be dependencies on other offices if Directors agree to allow the investigating officers to be given time off from their normal duties in order to carry out the investigation. 9. It will also be important for new Contacts to seek approval from their line manager if they wish to take up the role of a Contact. Contacts will require time off from their duties to attend the dignity at work network meeting which take place every three months and to deal with dignity at work complaints as and when they arise. Resource Implications 10. There are resource implications which are already covered by SDO’s budget. This covers the cost for training the investigating officers and dignity at work contacts. 11. There will also be staff time spent on recruiting the contacts, amending the policy and grievance procedures and advising line managers and staff of the changes to the policy. This will impact on the Personnel office and SDO. Next Steps 12. Our next steps are to work closely with the Personnel office in implementing the changes to the policy. The personnel office will be required to make the changes to the grievance procedures. 13. We would also like to show our appreciation to the existing contacts who have been in the role for 4 years. If Directors agree to the changes we will be recruiting new contacts and would be grateful if Directors could give a personal thanks to the contacts in their directorate. Publication of the Scheme 14. This paper can be published under the SPCB’s Publication Scheme. Action required 15. Directors are invited to: Discuss the issues identified in the review of the policy Agree the proposed changes to the policy Thank the Contacts for their efforts Chief Executive’s Group - March 2008