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Regulations for the Staff Employment Review Panel and University Appeal Panel


Council Regulations 1 of 2017

Made by Council with effect from 15 February 2017 (Supplement (1) to Gazette No 5149, 16 November 2016)

Amended on 24 November 2017 (Gazette, Vol.148, p.129, 9 November 2017)

1. In these regulations, references to sections are to sections of Statute XII unless otherwise indicated.

Staff Employment Review Panel

2. (1) Where the Vice-Chancellor refers a complaint under section 29 (1) (d), the Registrar shall select by lot five members of Congregation to a Staff Employment Review Panel (“the panel”) constituted in accordance with regulations governing the membership of panels convened under Parts B, D and H of Statute XII.

(2) The panel shall be provided with advice and assistance, including legal and/or medical advice as required, by Personnel Services. This shall include advice in relation to equality and diversity as appropriate where the panel or the member of academic staff who is the subject of the case for dismissal (“the member of staff”) consider that a matter relating to a protected characteristic is material to the case. Appropriate records of its decision-making shall be kept.

(3) Personnel Services shall designate a secretary to coordinate all arrangements necessary for the hearing.

3. No case for dismissal shall be determined without an oral hearing at which the member of staff is entitled to be present and to be accompanied and represented by a colleague employed by the University or trade union representative or, if given the nature of the case the Registrar so agrees, by a legally qualified person. If the Registrar does not agree, he or she shall submit to the panel both the application from the member of staff and the reasoning for the refusal. In such instances, the panel will bear in mind the absence of legal representation in its management of the case.

4. The Registrar shall appoint a suitable person to present the case for dismissal before the panel (“the presenter”). The intention is to avoid the need for legal representation before the panel. Only in cases where the Registrar has agreed to the use of legal representation by the member of staff, may the presenter be legally qualified.

5. In good time to allow the member of staff to produce his or her case in response in advance of the hearing, the designated secretary shall send the member of staff the written case for dismissal, which shall include:

(a) details of the allegation(s) or circumstance(s) relied upon in relation to the conduct, capability or performance of the member of staff concerned;

(b) an explanation of the basis on which these are said to constitute good cause for dismissal;

(c) any documents or other evidence, including witness statements, relied upon in support of the case for dismissal; and

(d) confirmation that the Vice-Chancellor or a Review Panel has determined that there is no reasonable prospect that the case for dismissal will or may involve an issue of academic freedom as defined in section 4 (2).

6. In good time to allow for consideration by the panel and the presenter before the hearing, the member of staff shall send to the secretary his or her written response which shall contain an explanation of his or her response to the case for dismissal, copies of any documents on which he or she wishes to rely, a list of his or her witnesses, and copies of their statements of evidence.

7. (1) Where the case for dismissal, or the member of staff’s case in response, involves any issue of physical or mental incapacity or capability, Personnel Services shall, if requested by the panel, arrange for the panel to be provided with access to expert medical advice in relation to such incapacity or capability or to any steps which may be taken in mitigation of the same.

(2) Where Personnel Services have arranged for the panel to be provided with access to expert medical advice, the member of staff may be required to make himself or herself available for examination by such medical expert as may be appointed for this purpose and at the University’s expense.

8. Subject to the provisions of Statute XII and these regulations, the panel shall have general power to manage its own proceedings, including to:

(a) postpone or adjourn a hearing, if it considers that there are reasonable grounds to do so;

(b) set time limits on the evidence given or representations made, consistent with providing a fair opportunity for each party to present its case at the hearing;

(c) determine the order of proceedings at the hearing, consistent with each party being given a fair opportunity to give evidence, call witnesses, question any person who gives evidence and make representations;

(d) permit the introduction of new evidence at the hearing, where there is good reason to do so, and, if so, to adjourn the hearing if the panel considers this is necessary to enable the other party to consider the proposed evidence or further evidence in response; and

(e) ensure that each step in the proceedings is taken as promptly as is reasonably practicable.

9. During preparation for the hearing and the hearing itself, the member of staff has the right in strict confidence to discuss the situation with and obtain advice and moral support from colleagues in the University and outside it, personal friends and family. Such communications must not impart more information, nor be made to more people, than is strictly necessary in order to obtain the necessary advice and moral support. In addition, the member of staff must not share any information that would or could prejudice the fair and proper conduct of the hearing, breach the confidentiality of others, make known information about the parties to the hearing that could be considered slanderous or libellous, or otherwise breach the member of staff’s contractual or common law duties.

10. The member of staff and the presenter shall have the right to call witnesses and to ask questions of any witnesses called in support of the case for dismissal or the case in response respectively.

11. The panel may dismiss a case for undue delay.

12. The panel may remit any case to the Vice-Chancellor for further consideration, in particular, if an issue arises in the course of proceedings which in the panel's view requires the consideration of academic freedom.

13. The chair may, by an appropriate certificate in writing, correct any accidental errors in documents recording the decisions of the panel.

14. The panel shall hear representations on the appropriate sanction, if any, and any evidence or representations in mitigation, before deciding whether the complaint should be upheld and, if so, what sanction, if any, should be imposed.

15. The panel shall produce its decision in writing, together with a statement of its findings of fact, the reasons for its decision and its recommendations, if any, as to the appropriate sanction, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the hearing and send it to the Vice-Chancellor, the member of staff, the presenter, and Personnel Services. The panel shall try to come to a unanimous decision. However, a decision can be reached by a majority.

16. (1) Where any case for dismissal has been upheld and the panel has recommended dismissal, the Vice-Chancellor may dismiss forthwith or upon such terms as he or she considers fit.

(2) If the Vice-Chancellor decides not to dismiss, the actions he or she may take are as set out in section 39 (2).

(3) Any warning given under section 39 (2) (c) shall be recorded in writing and shall remain live for two years.

17. (1) By its decision under regulation 15 above, the panel shall notify the member of staff of his or her right of appeal under section 38 and shall enclose a copy of these regulations with its decision.

(2) If a member of staff wishes to appeal a panel’s decision under section 38, he or she shall send written grounds of appeal to the Registrar within 14 days of receipt of the panel’s decision.

(3) The Registrar shall refer any appeal under section 38 (b) to a Pro-Vice- Chancellor.

(4) The Registrar shall bring any appeal under section 38 (a) to the attention of the Vice-Chancellor who shall refer the appeal for determination to a University Appeal Panel constituted and acting in accordance with regulations 18–27 below.

University Appeal Panel

18. (1) A University Appeal Panel (“the appeal panel”) shall be comprised of five members of Congregation selected by lot by the Registrar in accordance with regulations governing the membership of panels convened under Parts B, D and H of Statute XII.

(2) The appeal panel shall be provided with advice and assistance, including legal and/or medical advice as required, by Personnel Services. This shall include advice in relation to equality and diversity as appropriate where the panel or the member of staff consider that a matter relating to a protected characteristic is material to the case. Appropriate records of its decision-making shall be kept.

(3) Personnel Services shall designate a secretary to coordinate all arrangements necessary for the determination of the appeal.

19. (1) The appeal panel shall hear and determine:

(a) an appeal from any decision as provided for by section 52; and

(b) appeals from decisions of the EJRA Committee.

(2) A notice of an appeal to the appeal panel shall be served on the Registrar within 14 days of the date on which the written notice of the decision being appealed was received by the member of staff unless:

(a) the regulations and/or procedures governing the decision being appealed allow a longer period; or

(b) the Registrar considers it is in the interest of justice and fairness to allow a notice to be served outside of that period.

(3) There shall be no right of appeal from a finding of fact made by a Staff Employment Review Panel or by a Redundancy Panel under Part B of Statute XII except that, where the appeal panel is satisfied that it is necessary in the interests of fairness, the appeal panel may consider new evidence from the member of staff which was not before the original panel and/or may conduct such further inquiries or investigations as it considers necessary.

(4) Subject to regulation 19 (3) above, the appeal panel shall consider the grounds of appeal raised by the member of staff and conduct an appeal by way of review rather than re-hearing.

20. (1) No appeal shall be determined without an oral hearing at which the member of staff is entitled to be present and to be accompanied and represented by a colleague employed by the University or trade union representative or, if given the nature of the case the Registrar so agrees, by a legally qualified person. If the Registrar does not agree, he or she shall submit to the appeal panel both the application from the member of staff and the reasoning for the refusal. In such instances, the panel will bear in mind the absence of legal representation in its management of the case.

(2) The Registrar shall appoint a suitable person to respond to the appeal (“the presenter”). The intention is to avoid legal representation before the appeal panel. Only in cases where the Registrar has agreed to the use of legal representation by the member of staff, may the presenter be legally qualified.

21. Subject to the provisions of Statute XII and these regulations, the appeal panel shall have general power to manage its own proceedings, including to:

(a) postpone or adjourn an appeal hearing, if it considers that there are reasonable grounds to do so;

(b) set time limits on the evidence given (if any) or representations made, consistent with providing a fair opportunity for each party to present its case at the appeal hearing;

(c) where the appeal panel is satisfied that it is necessary to do so, obtain expert medical evidence, or further or up-to-date expert medical evidence, in the circumstances set out in regulation 7 (1) above and where the member of staff has attended for medical examination as set out in regulation 7 (2) above.

(d) determine the order of proceedings at the appeal hearing, consistent with each party being given a fair opportunity to state their case on the appeal; and

(e) ensure that each step in the proceedings is taken as promptly as is reasonably practicable.

22. The appeal panel may remit any case to the Vice-Chancellor for further consideration, in particular, if an issue arises in the course of proceedings which in the panel's view requires the consideration of academic freedom.

23. The appeal panel may, by an appropriate certificate in writing, correct any accidental errors in documents recording its decisions.

24. Where the appeal concerns a decision to dismiss without notice, the member of staff shall be suspended without pay pending determination of the appeal.

25. (1) The appeal panel shall decide whether to confirm or revoke the decision of the original panel, or to impose a different sanction. The appeal panel shall try to come to a unanimous decision. However, a decision can be reached by a majority.

(2) If the appeal panel on an appeal from a decision of a Staff Employment Review Panel decides to revoke the decision to dismiss and impose a different sanction, it may recommend one of the steps set out in section 39 (2).

(3) Any warning given under section 39 (2) (c) shall be recorded in writing and shall remain live for two years.

26. The appeal panel shall produce its decision in writing as soon as is reasonably practicable after the appeal hearing and send it to the Vice-Chancellor, the member of staff, the presenter and Personnel Services.

27. The appeal panel’s decision shall be final.