Case Study

Strong HR Management Resolves Baseless Grievance Against Headteacher


The challenge

BIRCH-HR have been working with this school for years. An employee, a Caretaker, took a period of extended sickness absence every year, staying away from work until such time as his salary went down to half-pay.

Consequently, we became involved this time when once more he went off sick. When the Headteacher requested that the employee come back to work, he put in a grievance against the Head, a ‘Dignity at Work’ complaint. The Head then asked the Caretaker to come in for a meeting, to which he responded saying that he was not fit. As required, the school then arranged for him to see an Occupational Heath therapist.

What we did

BIRCH-HR have developed a great relationship with the Union Rep. We suggested that the employee came in with this Rep and that we could resolve the matter informally. The employee declined. At this point, the Headteacher felt strongly that we have grounds for reasonable dismissal.

Accordingly, we sent a letter to the Caretaker explaining the situation and that he was being put onto half-pay.

The result

Upon receipt of the letter, the employee immediately called the school to say he was returning to work.

We have had a discussion with the Union Rep to confirm that this behaviour is unacceptable and cannot continue. It has been agreed that there will be a round-table meeting with the Caretaker, the Union Rep, the Headteacher and BIRCH-HR to ensure that this situation will not arise again.

A leading team of HR specialists, BIRCH-HR support members of the education, health and SME sectors by providing insightful HR consultancy services leading to effective solutions and cost savings. They work with organisations to manage HR policies, procedures and day-to-day challenges in the most proactive, straightforward and cost-effective manner. Their professional services result in organisational growth, positive change, cost reductions and improvements in recruitment, retention, management and leadership.

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