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Appealling a Grievance - can anyone help with this?

(11 Posts)
TheLabradoodlesAunt Mon 13-Jul-15 13:00:34

I put in a formal grievance about my boss, which was not upheld, largely, it seems, because she "couldn't remember" saying any of the hateful things she did say, and commented that if she had said them, which she disputed, it would not have been malicious, but with the best of intentions.

I want to appeal, because it seems to me that her failing memory and claim to be nice, trump what actually happened, written evidence and witnesses to her behaviour. I have asked for the official interview notes, but have told that they cannot be passed to me (not even what I said!). I've spoken to ACAS who have said that it is best practice to release the notes, but my employer is adamant that they won't release them, and have also claimed exemption under DPA. I spoke to the ICO's office about this, and they seemed to think the notes would be releasable if I put in a DPA request.

I have five days in which to put in an appeal, but would feel on stronger footing if I could see what had been written! I was sent a first draft of my interview to correct, but have not seen the final version.

I don't know what grounds I have to appeal it on either - can I simply say that her word seemed to take weight over mine, and my evidence, and ask someone to look at it again? The HR person who conducted the grievance noted that there was evidence that my boss had said something along the lines of what I alleged but no concrete evidence that she had said exactly what I claimed. And as neither she nor my witness could remember the exact wording (my witness also used to work for my boss), it could not be taken as harassment under the Equality Act.

Can anyone help with this please? sad

flowery Mon 13-Jul-15 13:36:11

What outcome were you hoping for from the grievance? Just in terms of establishing whether appealing is likely to get you whatever you were looking for.

TheLabradoodlesAunt Mon 13-Jul-15 17:31:52

Hi Flowery. I wanted an apology for the hurt she had caused, acknowledgement of its inappropriateness and the stress she had put me through, retraining so that she can better understand the role of a manager and ensure appropriate duty of care, particularly for cases which may fall under the Equality Act (which mine very much did).

The organisation I work for has a terrible reputation for bullying, and if this is how they handle grievance cases, I don't see that the reputation is ever going to improve!

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Mon 13-Jul-15 17:35:44

What does your formal grievance policy say about appeals? Usually there has to be something substantive - such as the stated process not being followed - in order to go to appeal, you can't just appeal because you don't like the outcome

TheLabradoodlesAunt Mon 13-Jul-15 18:20:48

It doesn't say that there has to be something substantive, just that it has to be submitted within 5 working days. The process was not followed correctly either - they were supposed to find someone to deal with it within five working days - it took them over a month. Then they were supposed to make a decision within 20 working days, and were way outside this as well.

I doubt an appeal will get me anywhere, I just feel that they are sanctioning bad behaviour and my boss will go on to offend again (she is no stranger to the formal grievance about her behaviour).

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Tue 14-Jul-15 13:30:25

In which case I would say - assuming that you are prepared to go through all this again, and for the end result to be the same - that your grounds for appeal would be that the prescribed process was not followed, and had it been there is a chance that your boss would have had better recall of the incident in question because the period of time that elapsed would have been shorter.

That said, I don't know where they can realistically go from here: it's really difficult finding evidence (even on the balance of probabilities) to support action where it's essentially one person's word against another

yummumto3girls Tue 14-Jul-15 21:22:36

Just to point out that they do not need "concrete evidence" as you said, they just need to have a reasonable belief that the events happened as described, if you say you have witnesses do they not corroborate what you say. Maybe the appeal could include "bias" and failure to follow a reasonable investigation. Including their failure to follow timescales you appear to have good grounds for appeal.

TheLabradoodlesAunt Wed 15-Jul-15 09:02:20

Yummum, they do have reasonable belief that events happened as described - my witness backed me up on this, but said she could not remember the exact words used. This seems to be their get out clause, and why they have found in my boss's favour, and that she claims no malintent from what she said. She has said time and again during her interview that her concern was solely for my wellbeing and getting me feeling happier. Quite how she thought she was doing this, given that I had no personal contact with her at all in five months - no conversations, no emails, no phone calls, nothing beyond distant interaction in meetings!

flowery Wed 15-Jul-15 10:07:56

I'm confused. You had no personal contact with her for five months but she said/did things that you feel constitute harassment? In relation to a protected characteristic?

TheLabradoodlesAunt Wed 15-Jul-15 10:14:02

Yes, Flowery. I will PM you as it will probably out me, and I know that a couple of people I work with are Mumsnetters.

twidsmum Mon 20-Jul-15 11:24:09

Ask for a copy of the companies Diciplinary procedures.
Any notes in a meeting should be submitted to all concerned.Did you read and sign the notes at the end of the meeting?Any corrections should have been made at the time.
Did you take a witness(for the meeting-not from events) in with you?
What Yummum says is right .There seems have been bias.
If she was saying things "getting you to feel happier",she should have,as a Manager,been dealing with your situation in a more appropriate manner than she did.

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