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Disciplinary Procedure

Disciplinary Procedure

1. Purpose

This procedure sets out the way The Bowlby Centre aims to deal with breaches of The Bowlby Centre values, failures to work within The Bowlby Centre’s expectations for working together collegially or refusals to comply with the procedures of the organisation.

The Bowlby Centre aims to value everyone who makes up the organisation and to have firm boundaries and ways of proceeding when these boundaries are broken or the behaviour of an individual is outside The Bowlby Centre ’s or the UKCP’s policies or legal requirements. The procedure aims to give a clear and transparent framework for the organisation to deal with its members, students and contractors if difficulties arise and to have a procedure that ensures everyone is dealt with equitably.

2 The disciplinary procedure applies:

where a person’s capability or performance falls below the expected standards and/or does not meet The Bowlby Centre ’s values
where someone’s behaviour or conduct is inappropriate, not in tune with the values, or not in line with contractual (written or verbal) requirements or the law.

3. Responsibility for dealing with the problem

In a voluntary organisation it can be complex to establish who is responsible for managing the difficulties when someone’s behaviour transgresses the organisation’s boundaries as some people have individual responsibility delegated by a Committee rather than a system of line management.
The responsibility for dealing with inappropriate behaviour will lie with the Executive or its delegated Committee Chairs or where a line manager is identified with them.

4. Informal action

Usually the best way to deal with minor misconduct or failure to meet the values is by an informal approach so that problems can be thought about and dealt with quickly and confidentially.
However there may be situations where matters are more serious or where an informal approach has been tried but is not working.

5. Formal Action

5.1.1.Step 1

Informing the person of the problem 

The first step is to inform the person of what they are alleged to have done which is not within the expected way of relating, or contravenes The Bowlby Centre ’s values or is in some way thought to be inappropriate or to break boundaries. This is usually best explained to the person verbally and followed up in writing.

5.1.2. Step 2

A meeting to explore the problem

The second step is to arrange a meeting to discuss the matter. This should normally be held at The Bowlby Centre and enough time should be allowed between the receipt of the letter from Step 1 and the meeting for the person to prepare but not so much that memories fade or anxieties are made worse by uncertainty or avoidance. The arrangements for the meeting are the responsibility of the The Bowlby Centre representative managing the procedure.

The meeting should normally be held by two people from The Bowlby Centre– one of whom should act as observer and be responsible for taking notes of the meeting. The individual may have someone with them to be an observer of the meeting, if they choose. If either party cannot attend the meeting through circumstances beyond their control a second meeting must be set up as soon as practical by The Bowlby Centre.
If one of the observers cannot attend then if possible another observer should be found or the people involved should agree to proceed without the observer.

At the meeting The Bowlby Centre representative should explain the difficulty or what the person is alleged to
have done and how that breaches The Bowlby Centre values or ways of working together. And go through the evidence that has been gathered. The individual should be encouraged to ask questions and talk through their view of the situation.

The Bowlby Centre representative should make clear about what happens next.

5.3. Step 3

Notifying the individual of the outcome.

The Bowlby Centre people should review the meeting and decide whether the evidence shows a breach of the expected standards and if so recommend the action to be taken. This must be agreed by The Bowlby Centre Chair or the manager The Bowlby Centre person reports to. If the investigating person is the Chair then it should be agreed with another member of the Executive.

5.3.1. If no case is found the individual should be written to explaining this and seeking to explore any action the organisation needs to take to manage any distress.

5.3.2. In the case of unsatisfactory performance the individual should be given a written note which outlines:

  • The performance problem.
  • The improvement that is required.
  • Any support that has been agreed on to help with the problem.
  • The timescale for achieving the improvement.
  • A review date.

The note should explain this is the first step in the formal disciplinary process and that failure to improve could lead to a final warning and being asked to step down from the position within The Bowlby Centre .

It should cover the opportunity for the individual to appeal (see Section 5.5.)

5.3.3. In case of behaviour which does not match the values, or inappropriately breaks boundaries the individual should be given a written note which outlines:

  • The nature of the behaviour
  • How this behaviour does not match The Bowlby Centre values and ways of relating.
  • The change in behaviour required
  • Any support that has been agreed on to help with the problem.

The note should explain this is the first step in the formal disciplinary process and that failure to change the offending behaviour could lead to a final warning and being asked to step down from the position within The Bowlby Centre. It should cover the opportunity for the individual to appeal (see Section 5.5)

5.4. Step 4
If the problem continues or for serious breaches of boundaries or values:

5.4.1. Where there is no change of behaviour or improvement in performance within the timescale expected, the individual will be asked to a second meeting (arrangements as before) where this will be explored.

5.4.2.If after this meeting it is decided that the situation is not reconcilable then a final warning will be given using the same procedure as in Section 5.3 and the person may be asked to stand down from their position and warned that continuation of the behaviour may result in them being asked to leave the organisation.

5.4.3. If after proper investigation and discussion the problem involves behaviour which is considered a gross violation of The Bowlby Centre ’s values or consists of illegal or abusive behaviour of any sort then people investigating the situation may recommend that the action taken is as in section 5.4.2. i.e. that the person is asked to stand down from their position or leave The Bowlby Centre. If this the case the situation will be considered by a Bowlby Centre member who is part of The Bowlby Centre ’s Complaints Procedure which will be organised through the Chair of the Ethics Committee. A period of suspension from roles within The Bowlby Centre may be necessary while the investigation takes place. It should be made clear to the individual that such suspension is not in itself a disciplinary act and does not imply any prejudgement.

6. Appeals:

The person who has received disciplinary action may appeal against the action if for example:

  • They think the finding or penalty is unfair.
  • New evidence comes to light which has not been considered

6.3.1. If a person wishes to appeal they should ask for the situation to be reviewed by writing to The Bowlby Centre Chair who will make arrangements for a meeting (as in Section 5.3) to hear the appeal. If The Bowlby Centre Chair has been involved in the original disciplinary decision then the appeal will be held by a member who is part of the organisation’s complaints process which will be organised through the Chair of the Ethics Committee.

Written records will be kept confidentially in The Bowlby Centre office in the interests of all parties.

These will include:

  • The difficulty being dealt with
  • The individual defence
  • Findings made and actions taken
  • Details of any appeals
  • Time scales agreed.