Exeter Rowing Club on receiving a grievance will appoint an officer of the club, normally the chairman, as the mediator in agreement with the complainant.
The mediator should advise the terms of the procedure, for example who may attend and the conduct of the meeting.
Such mediation is not obligatory but may help to resolve the situation, clarify any misunderstandings or help identify the issues in dispute before a hearing is convened.
The outcome of the mediation stage is not binding but may be referred to in any subsequent hearing or appeal as may any failure or refusal to participate in such proceedings.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the mediation he/she must set out in writing his grievance and request for a hearing and send to the secretary within a reasonable timescale. This may vary depending on the issue at hand but should not, where possible, exceed three months.
The hearings panel will consist of the officers of the club plus the welfare officer.
At a minimum it the hearings panel should comprise a chairman and two officers one of whom may have relevant ‘expert’ knowledge. All panel members must be independent of the dispute.
The complainant should signify his agreement to the constituted panel.
The panel must give a fair and independent hearing to both sides of the dispute within an appropriate and agreed timescale.
The complainant has the right to be accompanied.
Discussions should be well recorded.
If either party chooses not to attend the hearing, the panel, if properly constituted, has the right to proceed with the hearing based on written submissions.
The result and sufficient reason to explain the result of the hearing must be communicated to both parties within 14 days.
The panel should be aware of the possible outcomes of the hearing in line with the constitutional body’s jurisdiction.
If the outcome of the hearing is unacceptable to either body they have the right to appeal.
If either party wishes to appeal against the outcome of the hearing they should set out the grounds on which they wish to appeal in writing. This letter should be sent to the chairman of the appropriate body within 14 days of the outcome of the initial hearing being known. An appeal should be granted where there is a “strong arguable case” that either:-
- relevant information was ignored or not considered by the original panel; or
- the disciplinary process was tainted by unreasonable bias or conflict of interests; or
- the provisions of the disciplinary procedure were not adhered to; or
- the original panel exceeded its jurisdiction; or
- the findings of the original panel were irrational or otherwise exhibited an error of general law.
Exeter Rowing Club must appoint an independent appeal panel to consider the appeal, none of whom have had any prior involvement in the matter. Normally this will consist of the Vice-Chairman, Vice-Secretary, Vice-Treasure and Vice-Captain(s)
The appeal panel should be constituted along the same principles as the hearings panel outlined above.
The chairman of the appeals panel should convene a hearing of the appeals panel in
a timely manner and, in consultation with the other panel members, will decide the conduct of the proceedings, if appropriate he may request written submissions and the appeals panel may or may not require the parties to be attend.
The appellant has the right to be accompanied at an appeals hearing.
Discussions should be well recorded.
The outcome and sufficient reason to explain the outcome of the appeal panel will be communicated to both parties within 14 days of the appeal panel hearing.
The outcome of the appeal will be final.