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Dispute Settling Policy

Purpose and Scope
Earshot Media is committed to preventing and effectively responding to grievances in the workplace.
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to Earshot Media in managing grievances and disputes between staff, Board members, volunteers and students.
This policy applies to all Earshot Media staff, volunteers, students and Board members. It encompasses grievances between staff and

  • Other staff
  • Board members
  • Volunteers
  • Students on placement with Earshot Media.

This policy does not provide detailed guidance on:
  • Grievances that have not been able to be resolved between staff and students - refer to Student Placement Policy.
  • Feedback and complaints from Earshot Media members and stakeholders - refer to the Feedback and Complaints Policy.
  • Managing staff performance - refer to the Staff Performance and Development Policy

Grievance: a clear statement by an employee of a work-related problem, concern or complaint, including those involving:
  • the interpretation and application of an organisation’s people management policies - this includes allocation of work, job design, performance management
  • a workplace communication or interpersonal conflict
  • an occupational health and safety issue
  • an allegation of discrimination within the meaning of the relevant Anti-Discrimination Act, including harassment
  • a question, dispute or difficulty concerning the interpretation, application, or operation of an award/enterprise agreement or other agreement.

Grievance management aims to find an outcome that is satisfactory to all relevant parties and minimises the detriment to ongoing relationships.
Earshot Media provides an equitable, safe and encouraging workplace with the absence of nepotism or patronage.
Board members, staff, volunteers and students behave in a professional manner that respects the rights of others.
Earshot Media has industrial and legal responsibilities to take all reasonable steps to identify and attempt to prevent and resolve grievances in the workplace.

Grievance management is consistent across the organisation, regardless of who is managing the process.
Grievances are managed equitably and transparently and to the satisfaction of all parties where possible.

Functions and Delegations
Position Delegation/Task
Board of DirectorsEndorse Grievance and Dispute Settling Policy. Compliance with Grievance and Dispute Settling Policy. Act as facilitators in resolving grievances.
Management CEO/Manager Compliance with Grievance and Dispute Settling Policy. Attempt to resolve grievances informally in the first instance. Contribute to resolving grievances once a supervisor or other third party becomes involved. Maintain a record of grievances and related actions and decisions.
Staff Compliance with Grievance and Dispute Settling Policy. Where responsible for supervising other staff, act as facilitator in resolving grievances. Contribute to resolving grievances once a supervisor or other third party becomes involved.

Risk Management
All staff, volunteers, student placements and Board members are made aware of this policy during orientation.
The Board ensure mechanisms are in place to ensure that it can demonstrate that decisions and actions relating to grievance and dispute settling are transparent and fair.
Earshot Media staff, with grievance and dispute settling functions are provided with ongoing support and professional development to assist them to implement effective and transparent human resource management.
Earshot Media provides an equitable, safe and encouraging workplace environment.

Policy Implementation
This policy is developed in consultation with all employees and approved by the Board of Directors. This policy is to be part of all staff orientation processes and all employees are responsible for understanding and adhering to this policy.
This policy should be referenced in relevant Earshot Media policies, procedures and other supporting documents to ensure that it is familiar to all staff and actively used.
This policy will be reviewed in line with Earshot Media’s quality improvement program and/or relevant legislative changes.

Policy Detail
A grievance raised by Board members, staff, volunteers or students is considered separate and independent to disciplinary processes undertaken to manage performance or conduct matters identified by the employer.
If a grievance is raised during disciplinary or performance management processes, the grievance is to be addressed as per this policy and the disciplinary or performance management process continues independently.

Informal Grievance Resolution
In the first instance, a grievance should be resolved between the aggrieved person(s) (the complainant(s)) and the person(s) with whom the complaint rests (the respondent(s)).
Where the grievance cannot be resolved between the two parties through an informal process, or if the complainant(s) does not feel able to approach the respondent(s), or if the respondent does not feel able to participate, a formal grievance resolution procedure is to be undertaken.

Formal Grievance Resolution
A complainant may make formal notification of a grievance by documenting details of the grievance and lodging with their direct supervisor.
Where the grievance is about their direct supervisor, the complainant shall lodge the grievance with the next in line supervisor or with the CEO/Manager.
Where an identified potential or real conflict of interest exists for the supervisor in managing the grievance, the next in line supervisor or the CEO/Manager shall manage the grievance resolution procedure.
Where the complainant’s direct supervisor is the CEO/Manager and is also the respondent to the grievance, the complainant shall lodge the grievance with the Earshot Media President.
The person who has received formal notification of a grievance shall acknowledge receipt of the grievance in writing within five (5) working days.
The person managing the grievance shall interview the complainant to clarify allegations and details, ascertain desired outcome(s), and advise of the process to be followed, see the Managing Disputes Procedure.
After action has been taken to resolve the grievance, and no further response is received from the complainant, the grievance is considered closed.
Where a grievance remains unresolved, the person managing the grievance may seek a more senior staff member or the Earshot Media President to contribute to the resolution process. Additionally, external mediation may be undertaken in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
The complainant and/or the respondent may request to have Union representation as part of the external mediation procedure.
The complainant and/or the respondent and/or Earshot Media may seek assistance from a relevant industrial tribunal.

Withdrawing a Grievance Complaint
The complainant may withdraw the grievance complaint at any time through written notification.

All details of a formal grievance are to be documented by the person managing the grievance.

Employee Performance and Development Policy
Feedback and Complaints Policy
Managing Disputes Procedure
Student Placement Policy

Department of Premier and Cabinet, 1996, Dealing with Employee Work-Related Concerns and Grievances – Policy and Guidelines, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Sydney.
The Office of the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment and the Public Employment Office, 1996, Harassment Free Workplace: Policy and Guidelines, The Office of the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment and the Public Employment Office, Sydney.

Quality and Accreditation Standards
Standard 2.2: Human resources management support quality health care, a competent workforce and a satisfying working environment for staff.
Criterion 2.2.5: Employee support systems and workplace relations assist the organisation to achieve its goals.

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