Right of appeal

An employee can appeal to the University to challenge the decision. The appeal must be submitted to the Director of Personnel and Staff Development in writing within 14 days of receiving the written notice refusing their request or part of their request. The appeal notice must be dated and must set out the employee's grounds for making the appeal.

There are no restrictions on the grounds of an appeal. For example, an employee might appeal because they want to challenge a fact given to explain why the business reason applies, or bring to the University’s attention something they weren't aware of when they rejected the application (eg that another member of staff is now willing to cover the hours the employee wishes to train).

The appeal will be considered by a different manager to the person who considered their initial request, as agreed with the Director of Personnel and Staff Development. Generally this will be another member of the College or Service management team, although in some cases it may be necessary to refer the appeal to a senior manager in another College or Service.

The University must act within 14 days of receiving the employee's appeal notice. The University can accept the appeal without an appeal hearing, in which case the manager considering the appeal should write to the employee setting out the same information as is required when accepting an initial request. Alternatively, an appeal meeting must be arranged and held within 14 days of the date the University receiving the employee's appeal notice.

Where it is necessary to hold an appeal meeting, the manager considering the appeal should write to the employee:

  • giving reasonable notification of the time, date and venue of the appeal meeting (a minimum of one week is recommended);
  • advising them of their right to be accompanied (see below);
  • asking them to confirm their attendance and whether or not they will be accompanied.

If the employee more than once fails to attend a meeting to discuss their appeal without reasonable cause, the University can treat the request as withdrawn. This should be confirmed to the employee in writing.

The manager considering the appeal must inform the employee of the outcome of their appeal in writing within 14 days of the date of the meeting. If the employee's request is accepted, the manager considering the appeal must provide them with written notification (as above). If the decision is still to refuse the request, the employee must be sent a dated, written notification including:

  • the grounds for the decision;
  • why the grounds apply in their circumstances.

The appeal is final within the procedures of the University and there is no further right of appeal. The employee may use the Grievance Procedure only to pursue a complaint that the University has failed to follow its own procedure or that the decision is discriminatory. An employee cannot pursue a complaint through the Grievance Procedure because they simply disagree with the business grounds given by the University.

Right to be accompanied

The employee has a statutory right to be accompanied by a work colleague (eg a union learning representative) at any meeting, including an appeal meeting. The companion can address the meeting and confer with the employee during it, but may not answer questions independently of the employee.

If the companion is unable to attend the meeting, the employee can ask the manager to rearrange the meeting. The time the employee proposes must be convenient for all attendees, and should take place within seven days of the date originally proposed for the meeting.

Managers may seek further advice from Staff Learning and Development on how to consider and evaluate requests from employees:

  • Managers in Professional Services should contact Clive Betts (Tel: 01392-725348)
  • Managers in Colleges should contact the Head of Staff Learning and Development (sldadmin@exeter.ac.uk)