It is recognised that disagreements may arise among pre-school staff, or between staff and committee. These can usually be resolved informally by discussion, although the assistance of the area organiser or Local Authority advisor may be sought where the grievance is outside the scope of the procedures set out below.
A more serious situation arises when a dispute can not be resolved, or when the committee is dissatisfied with the conduct or activities of an employee.
Pre-school Committee will only accept and act on complaints in writing.
Instant dismissal is possible only in extreme circumstances of gross misconduct. Examples of such misconduct are:
i) theft or fraud
ii) ill-treatment of children
iv) malicious damage
v) gross carelessness which threatens the health and safety of others
Otherwise an employee will not be dismissed without the appropriate warnings. Any disciplinary matter will normally be dealt with in 3 stages:
1. An oral warning
2. A written warning
3. Notice of dismissal
The employee may be accompanied by a friend at which stage if he/she wishes, that nominated person may speak on their behalf.
1. If an oral warning is to be given:
a. The employee will be interviewed by the Chair of Pre-School who will explain the complaint.
b. The employee will be given the full opportunity to state his/her case.
c. If warning is still considered to be appropriate, the employee will be told:
i) what action should be taken to correct the conduct
ii) that he/ she will be given a reasonable time to rectify matters
iii) that if he/ she fails to improve then further action will be taken
iv) that a record of the warning will be kept
v) that he/ she may appeal against the decision
2. If the employee fails to correct his/ her conduct and further action is necessary:
a. The employee will be interviewed and given the chance to state his/ her case, as before
b. If the need for disciplinary action is established, a letter will be sent to the employee immediately.
c. The letter will:
i) contain a clear reprimand and give the reason for it
ii) explain what corrective action is required and that reasonable time will be given for improvement
If the circumstances appear to warrant instant dismissal, the employee may be suspended while investigations are made.
If an employee is dissatisfied, he/she must have the opportunity for prompt discussion with his/ her line manager. For the manager of a Pre-School, this would normally be the committee Chair. For the other Pre-School staff it would be the manager. If the grievance persists, there should be a sub-committee of the Pre-School committee set up for this purpose for further discussion, at which the employee will indicate if he/ she wishes to be accompanied by a friend.
There must be a right of appeal, perhaps to the full Pre-School committee at which the employee’s friend may be present.
The aim of the above procedure is to settle any grievance fairly and as near as possible to the point of origin. It is intended to be simple and rapid in operation.