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Disciplinary & grievance

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MiP supports members who are facing disciplinary action by their employers, or who want to take out a grievance because they believe they've been treated unfairly at work. As well as giving you individual advice and representation, we may take legal action on your behalf if it's likely to help your case.

Unfortunately, we can't represent you or provide legal advice during the first four weeks of MiP membership, or support you with any issues that arose before you joined or that arise in the first four weeks of membership. For more details on these restrictions, please visit our individual representation page.

Disciplinary action

If you've been told by your employer that disciplinary action is being taken against you:

  • Make sure you have a clear, written statement of the allegations. If anything's vague or unclear, ask HR or your manager to clarify in writing what you've been accused of.
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date copy of your organisation's disciplinary procedure.
  • Contact your MiP national officer immediately for advice. Do not respond verbally or in writing to the allegations until you have spoken to your national officer.

You should also talk to your national officer if something has happened at work which you think may lead to disciplinary action, even if you haven't been notified formally.

Your MiP national officer will look into your case and advise you on the next steps. We will usually try to resolve the issue informally whenever possible. If your employer launches a disciplinary investigation, we will support you throughout that process – advising you on how to respond, representing you at hearings and taking legal advice where necessary.

Your national officer will also ask you to fill in a short form so that we can log details of your case and track progress on our system. In some cases, your national officer may refer your case to a local MiP rep or link member, if they will be better placed to support you.

Throughout the process, you should:

  • Keep your national officer informed – check in with them regularly by phone and make sure you copy them into any correspondence with your employers.
  • Avoid responding in haste to any new allegations or other developments – tell your employer that you need to speak to your union rep first.
  • Keep copies of all emails and other correspondence relating to your case and make a note of any verbal conversations with your manager or HR. Make sure you store this this information at home (not just on a work computer) and share it with your national officer or MiP rep.
  • Take advice from your national officer before discussing your case with colleagues or talking to the media.
  • Talk to your national officer about other types of support available from MiP or your employer – such as help with managing stress, personal problems or returning to work.

Evidence suggests that people from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background are more likely to face disciplinary action, and experience worse outcomes from the process, than other staff. If you believe discrimination may be a factor in your case, please raise this at the earliest opportunity with your national officer. You can also read our advice pages on discrimination and equality.

Grievances

If you believe you have been treated unfairly or unreasonably at work, you can take out a grievance against your employer. Every NHS employer will have an established procedure for considering grievances, and MiP will support you through with advice, representation and legal advice where necessary.

Your national officer will advise you on what constitutes a legitimate grievance, but common examples include:

  • Unreasonable workloads or working conditions
  • Changes to your job description or duties
  • Unfair allocation of overtime or on-call duties
  • Denial of promotion or training opportunities
  • Victimisation for whistleblowing, previous complaints or trade union activity
  • Micromanagement
  • Unreasonable refusal of annual, special or carers' leave
  • Damage to your professional reputation
  • Bullying or harassment
  • Discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, age, sexual orientation, gender identification or disability

If you think you have the basis for a grievance, speak to your national officer as soon as possible. In most cases you need to lodge a grievance within three months minus one day of the incident or situation to which it refers – so don't hang about!

Your national officer can advise you on the strength of your case, how the process will work and some of the remedies that might be available if your grievance is successful. We will try to resolve grievances informally wherever possible – many cases are the result of misunderstandings, and everybody usually benefits if problems can be resolved without formal procedures. If this is not possible, we will support you throughout the process – advising you on preparing your grievance claim, representing you at hearings and taking legal advice where necessary.

Your national officer will usually ask you to fill in a short form so that we can log details of your case and track progress on our system. In some cases, your national officer may refer your case to a local MiP rep or link member where they will be better placed to support you.

You should also:

  • Make sure you have hard evidence to support your grievance – keep a diary, make notes of conversations and copies of emails and other correspondence. Share this information with your national officer or MiP rep.
  • Keep your national officer informed – check in with them regularly by phone and make sure you copy them into any correspondence with your employers.
  • Take advice from your national officer before discussing your case with colleagues or talking to the media
  • Be aware that formal grievance procedures can be a lengthy and stressful experience. Consider carefully if you complaint is sufficiently serious to warrant putting yourself and your colleagues

What happens if MiP are representing the other side too?

As MiP represents a range of management grades, occasionally we find ourselves representing managers on "both sides" of a dispute. For example, you may find yourself facing disciplinary action as a result of a grievance taken out by another manager who is already being represented by MiP.

In these cases, we would always allocate your case to a different national officer or MiP rep, who will act independently on your behalf. In some cases, MiP may be able to broker an informal settlement to the dispute.

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