Any club can experience differences of opinion or disagreements between committee or club members. However, usually these can be resolved amicably between the individuals concerned.Where the dispute is against the club, the following Grievance Procedure will be followed.
The aim of this policy is to ensure that all grievances are resolved quickly and also, where possible, at the level at which they arise.
- Should a club member have an issue relating to the club, every effort should first be made to resolve the matter informally.
- The club encourages the use of informal discussion to resolve grievances. Therefore, unless they feel unable to do so, any member wishing to express a grievance, should first of all discuss the issue with the club captain or another appropriate member of the committee. This provides an opportunity to resolve the grievance without recourse to the formal procedure.
- If the grievance cannot be resolved informally, the aggrieved member must inform the club captain (or another appropriate committee member) of the basis for the grievance in writing.
- Where two or more members raise a grievance on the same issue, this will be known as a “Collective Grievance”. In such cases, a representative may set out details of the grievance in writing on behalf of the members.
- The Club will convene a panel to deal with the matter. The panel should normally consist of three persons, one to act as Chairman. A Secretary may also be needed. The panel will need to consist of people not involved in the grievance.
- The Chairman must invite the aggrieved member to the hearing meeting to allow the member to discuss the grievance, notifying all parties of the date, time and place of the hearing and the names of the panel members.
- This meeting should be held as soon as possible but no later than 14 days following receipt of the grievance. The timing and location of the meeting must be reasonable to all parties. The aggrieved member must take all reasonable steps to attend this meeting. If this cannot be achieved, the reasons for the delay must be recorded. The aggrieved member is welcome to take a companion to the meeting to provide support.
- A copy of this Grievance procedure should be provided to all parties before the hearing meeting.
- Before the meeting, the aggrieved individual should also provide a statement of case, setting out his or her views and all relevant facts to the Chairman, who will ensure this is circulated to the panel members, together with all documentation relating to the grievance.
- If appropriate, both parties to the grievance are able to call witnesses, the aggrieved member going first and each party should be allowed to question the other party’s witnesses. Where possible, witness statements should be obtained and exchanged prior to the hearing.
- The hearing should be as informal as possible and should be conducted in a manner that enables both sides to put forward their cases amicably to enable the grievance and all the information available to be fully considered.
- Witnesses must wait outside the hearing room until they are called. After questioning, they may wait in the hearing room, taking no further part in the proceedings.
- The Secretary will make notes of the hearing and the panel will make every effort to announce their decision verbally to all the parties without delay followed by written confirmation to reach all parties within five days.
- Where it is not possible to meet this timescale because further investigation is required, any extension to the deadline set out in this procedure should, if possible be agreed with the aggrieved individual. Reasons for the extensions must be recorded and an estimate of the revised timescale given.
- Parties to the grievance are required to take all reasonable steps to meet the timescales outlined. Where this is not possible, the parties must keep each other informed and proceed without delay.
- If the member is satisfied with the resolution, this should be recorded and the grievance closed.
- If the member is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, the member can appeal by informing the Club Captain or Vice Captain that he or she wishes to appeal against the grievance panel’s decision. An appeal must be made in writing within 14 days of the member being informed of the decision.
- Should the Appeals Procedure be invoked, the Club will appoint an Ombudsman, agreed by both parties, to chair the appeal hearing; and one other