The purpose of the Grievance Procedure is to support the College’s commitment to promoting and ensuring a working environment where individuals are treated with respect and courtesy. The procedure is designed to resolve problems, for example concerns relating to harassment, bullying and victimisation or where a member of staff feels that they have been unfairly or unreasonably treated and to provide members of staff with a reasonable and prompt opportunity to obtain redress of any grievance. It is hoped that grievances can be resolved amicably thereby maintaining, and where necessary, restoring good relations within the College.

All parties should co-operate constructively in resolving matters. To this end, members of staff are encouraged to only use the formal procedure where the matter has not been resolved through informal dialogue. It should be noted that if a member of staff wishes to remain anonymous, it may not be possible to take any action against the person causing offence. It may, however, be possible to address a complaint through indirect methods, such as publicising and drawing attention to this policy, and through training initiatives.

The College treats equality of opportunity seriously and has an equality framework to ensure equality of opportunity.  Implementation of the Grievance policy must be clear and transparent and not subject to any unfair discriminatory practices by line managers.

Whilst attempting to resolve a grievance informally, you should keep a record of any discussions you have and copies of any correspondence, in the event that follow up action becomes necessary.*

All College employees are covered by this policy, with the exception of those staff covered by the Appendix to the Statutes governing academic staff (see Ordinance D9).

I want to raise a formal grievance:

What should I do?

What should I do to raise a formal grievance?

  • Read the College’s Grievance Policy and Procedure for full details on the process that will be followed.
  • Set out your Grievance in writing to your HR Manager, including:
    1. The details of the Grievance, with reference to dates, times and places
    2. Names of any witness(es) to the incident(s) (if applicable)
    3. Action taken to resolve the matter so far
    4. Details of the outcome/remedy sought
    5. Copies of any relevant papers in support of the Grievance
  • You may find it helpful to complete our Guidance for writing a grievance document, which will fully inform the investigation team of the issues you are facing and the steps you have taken, if any, to informally resolve it.  Using this document is not mandatory.
  • The College understands that this may be a difficult time for you and you are encouraged to make use of the range of support available to you.

What happens?

What happens when I raise a formal grievance?

  • An appropriate manager will be identified to investigate
  • The individual(s) against whom you have raised a grievance will be provided with a copy of the grievance and given the opportunity to respond.  You will be provided with a copy of the response
  • The appropriate manager will aim to meet with you within ten working days of receipt of your grievance
  • The appropriate manager will meet with the individual(s) to hear their response, normally within ten working days of meeting with you
  • Further investigation may be conducted (including meeting with any witnesses)
  • You will be advised of the decision, normally within ten working days of the close of the investigation, and the following individuals will receive a copy of all paperwork:
    You, the individual(s), respective representatives, relevant line manager(s)
  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you will be given the opportunity to appeal the decision

What are the possible outcomes?

What are the possible outcomes of a formal Grievance investigation?

  • The grievance is upheld and an informal resolution is recommended
  • The grievance is upheld and a disciplinary hearing is convened
  • The grievance is not upheld but with recommended actions
  • The grievance is not upheld and no further action is taken
  • The grievance is partially upheld and a combination of the actions above are recommended

You will have the right to appeal the decision within ten working days of receipt of the outcome.

Who will find out?

If I raise a formal Grievance who will find out about it?

  • The individual against whom you have raised the grievance
  • The respective representatives (if applicable) – e.g. Trade union representative or work colleague
  • The respective line managers
  • Any witnesses contacted as part of the investigation

All those involved in the investigation will be instructed to keep the matter confidential.

What support is available to me?

What support is available to me?

  1. Human Resources

    Members of staff can seek support and advice from Human Resources; by contacting the HR Staff Hub.

  2. Trade Union Representation and Support  

    The College recognises three Trades Unions; UCU, Unison and Unite.  For more information on the role and support provided by Trades Unions’ representatives is available from the Joint Trades Union’s website.

  3. Staff Supporters

    A Staff Supporter is an existing member of staff who is part of a trained network of volunteers which provide confidential and positive assistance to all Imperial staff when they need information, guidance and support. Staff Supporters have received bespoke training and are able to provide confidential assistance on a range of issues, from queries about career advice or flexible working, to concerns about the behaviour of a colleague. Further information is available.

  4. Counselling

    All College staff and members of their family living with them can get free professional and confidential help from Confidential Care, the College's Employee Assistance Provider, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You can call 0800 085 4764 or log into using the User ID: Imperial and Password: College to access confidential advice and support

  5. Harassment Support Contacts

    The College has established Harassment Support Contacts to support individual members of staff who are concerned that they are the subject of harassment, bullying or victimisation at work.  The role of a Harassment Support Contact is to act as a sounding board, by giving individuals an opportunity to talk through their concerns with a trained member of staff who will respect their privacy, discuss options and implications, and generally provide confidential and informal support, A list of the Harassment Support Contactsis available.

  6. Occupational health

    The Occupational Health (OH) Service can provide specialist advice on your fitness for work and on health issues in the workplace.  This includes seeing you when referred by your line manager or Human Resources.  OH also provide advice on workplace adjustments to help ease you back into work following sickness absence, where appropriate.

  7. Equality and diversity

    Our dedicated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre (EDIC) works to support staff and make Imperial a better place to work by promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. Find Out More.

    For more, please visit the advice and support webpages