Procedure for dealing with a clinical academic contract where the honorary NHS contract has been compromised (Ordinance 34)

  1. Introduction
  2. Procedural issues
    1. Action before appeals
    2. Nominees
    3. Confidentiality
    4. Attendance at hearings
  3. Enquiries
  4. Formal action
  5. Appeals
    1. Appeals against suspension
    2. Appeals against dismissal

1. Introduction

This procedure applies to a member of the clinical academic staff who is required to engage in clinical work or activities, and for that purpose to be registered with the General Medical Council, Dental Council or similar body, and/or to have an honorary or substantive contract or status with a National Health Service Trust or similar body. Where such registration, contract or status is terminated, withdrawn, revoked or suspended, this procedure shall apply for the purpose of determining whether the contract of employment between the University and the member of staff should either be terminated or suspended with or without pay. Suspension shall be without pay where the registration, contract or status has been suspended as a substantive disciplinary measure.

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2. Procedural issues

Action before appeals

Nothing in this procedure shall prevent the University taking action before the hearing of any appeal by the member of staff against the termination, withdrawal, revocation or suspension of the registration, contract or status.

Nominees

In this procedure, unless the context indicates otherwise, references to the Vice-Chancellor shall be construed to refer either to the Vice-Chancellor or to an appropriate member of staff nominated by him or her to act with full authority on his or her behalf.

Confidentiality

Throughout any proceedings taken under this procedure, the University shall seek to ensure that a high standard of confidentiality is maintained, before and after the hearing as well as in relation to the hearing itself. Care shall be taken not to undermine the position of the member of staff concerned in relation to his or her colleagues. Investigations shall be undertaken with discretion. Where necessary to ensure confidentiality, administrative support shall be provided by  Human Resources Wherever practicable, hearings shall be held away from the member of staff’s normal place of work. None of this shall preclude information about the outcome being given to any person where this is appropriate.

Attendance at hearings

A member of staff who is subject to proceedings under this ordinance has the right to attend hearings and to be represented by an adviser, friend, trade union or other representative. If the member of staff is for good reason unable to attend a formal hearing, the hearing shall be adjourned to a suitable alternative date within a reasonable time. However if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the member of staff is refusing or failing to attend a hearing without good cause, the member of staff will be informed that a further hearing is being arranged. On that further occasion the University may proceed in the absence of the member of staff, unless satisfied that there are good grounds for his or her non-attendance. Any submission concerning non-attendance made by the member of staff in writing, or by his or her representative in person or in writing, shall be considered before any decision is taken to hear the matter in his or her absence. If the hearing proceeds in the member of staff’s absence, any submission made about the misconduct by the member of staff in writing, or by his or her representative in person or in writing, shall be considered at the hearing.

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3. Enquiries

Before taking formal action under this procedure the Vice-Chancellor may make, or cause to be made, such enquiries as he or she considers appropriate. These enquiries may include considering what duties, if any, the member of staff could perform in the absence of the registration, contract or status, and whether there are any requirements for such duties to be performed. If the Vice-Chancellor considers it appropriate to make such enquiries, the member of staff shall be advised in writing that his or her employment position is being considered under this procedure and that enquiries are being made. He or she shall be invited to comment in writing. After completion of the enquiries, the member of staff shall be advised of the outcome of the enquiries and of the action being contemplated under the procedure below.

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4. Formal action

After enquiries have been made, or in a case where the Vice-Chancellor decides to proceed without making such enquiries, the Vice-Chancellor shall write to the member of staff. The Vice-Chancellor shall advise that:

a) no action will be taken under this procedure;
b) the University is contemplating suspending the member of staff with or without pay; or
c) the University is contemplating terminating the contract of employment between the member of staff and the University.

If the Vice-Chancellor decides that it is appropriate to consider suspension or dismissal, he or she shall arrange a hearing. The Vice-Chancellor shall inform the member of staff in writing at least seven working days in advance that there is to be a hearing. The letter shall include:

At the hearing, the Vice-Chancellor shall explain to the member of staff why he or she is considering dismissing or suspending the member of staff. The Vice-Chancellor shall interview the member of staff, who shall be given the opportunity to respond. The Vice-Chancellor may request an HR manager or another member of staff to attend the hearing. Witnesses may attend to give relevant evidence. The Vice-Chancellor shall ensure that a note is taken of the hearing.

In a case where the registration, contract or status has been terminated, withdrawn or revoked, the Vice-Chancellor may, after the hearing, decide to dismiss the member of staff; or to dismiss the member of staff but offer alternative employment; or not to dismiss the member of staff. In a case where the registration, contract or status has been suspended, the Vice-Chancellor may decide to:-

At any stage in this procedure the Vice-Chancellor may adjourn the hearing to a date to be agreed with the member of staff, to allow for such further investigation, evidence or consideration as the Vice-Chancellor shall consider appropriate. Further evidence may include a medical report on the member of staff's health and fitness for performing his or her duties.

 

5. Appeals

All appeals must be made in writing to the University Secretary within twenty working days of the date when the letter confirming the decision appealed against was sent. The appeal letter shall set out clearly the general grounds on which the appeal is based. A member of staff shall not normally be permitted to raise grounds at the appeal hearing if these were not raised in the original written appeal submission. An appeal may be made under this procedure after a member of staff has left the University following dismissal, however appeal proceedings may be suspended pending the outcome of an employment tribunal application.

Appeals against suspension

Appeals against suspension will be heard by a pro vice-chancellor with no prior involvement in the case, whose decision shall be final. The pro vice-chancellor will be advised by the  Human Resources Director. The member of staff may present his or her case in person or in writing, and may be represented by an adviser, friend, trade union or other representative. There shall be no entitlement to a rehearing of the case. The pro vice-chancellor may overturn the suspension if he or she considers it just to do so. In particular he or she may do so in the light of new evidence, or where it is considered that the original hearing was not conducted fairly, or where the decision was unreasonable in the light of the findings of fact.

Appeals against dismissal

Appeals against dismissal shall take the form of a review. There shall be no entitlement to a rehearing of the case and witnesses may be called only with the appeal committee’s permission. Grounds for appeal include (1) new evidence which could not reasonably have been presented at the hearing at which the original decision was taken (2) that the original hearing was not conducted fairly or (3) that the original decision was unreasonable in the light of the findings of fact. The committee shall overturn the original decision if it considers it just to do so.

Council will appoint a committee of three to consider the appeal, none of whom shall have had any prior involvement in the case. The committee shall include a lay member of Council as Chair, and a member of the academic staff appointed by Senate. The committee may include, in addition to its other members, an appropriate medically qualified representative of the National Health Service, appointed by the Chief Executive of the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Area Health Authority or successor body.

The University Secretary shall act as secretary to the appeal committee. The procedure shall be determined by the committee (Guidelines on procedure shall be issued from time to time). The member of staff may present the appeal in person, attend hearings and be represented by an adviser, friend, trade union or other representative. The University may be represented by a member of staff or lawyer. The committee may adjourn hearings, set time limits for stages of the proceedings, correct accidental errors and dismiss an appeal if there are undue delays in taking the matter forward. Every effort will be made to deal with the matter expeditiously. The committee shall give a reasoned decision in writing, which shall be sent to the member of staff and to Council.

Any dismissal under this procedure shall remain in force pending the outcome of an appeal. If the decision to dismiss is overturned, continuity of employment shall be restored.


Approved by Council 2005, effective from 1 January 2006

1 Guidelines on procedure shall be issued from time to time.

 

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