The HSE carried out a preliminary screening of the complaints made against a manager under the Executive’s <em>Dignity at Work Policy</em>.
The purpose of the preliminary screening is to decide if the alleged behaviour, which is the subject of the complaint, falls within the definition of bullying, harassment or sexual harassment.
According to the original complaint, the authority of the employee who was responsible for medical cards and doctor visit cards appeals had been eroded by a line manager.
The employee claimed bullying behaviour by the manager had reduced this part of his work to a routine task and had been “embarrassing to him in front of staff, whereby his authority of appeal decision-making has been removed without consultation or discussion”.
The employee sought to appeal the findings of the screening committee.
As this avenue is not permitted under the national policy, the employee sought to have the policy amended.
He also expressed concerns regarding the findings of the committee in relation to the instances that were not allowed to proceed to investigation.
The employee was advised that should he have any issue with the preliminary screening, it is possible to invoke the grievance procedure.
However, the complainant chose not to invoke this process.
“A preliminary screening was carried out by the respondent [HSE] in line with the <em>Dignity at Work Policy</em>,” according to the adjudication officer.
“This screening was carried out to determine whether the alleged behaviour outlined by the complainant against his line manager falls within the definition of bullying, as outlined in the <em>Dignity at Work Policy</em>. The screening committee issued its findings. The <em>Dignity at Work Policy</em> does not provide an appeals process in respect of the preliminary screening. The complainant is asking for that policy to the changed. Such changes can only be agreed at national level between the trade unions and the respondent organisation. However, the complainant can raise a grievance under the grievance and disputes procedure in relation to any aspect of the screening committee findings.”
As a result, the adjudication officer found that the complaint was not “well-founded” and that the HSE has agreed processes in place in cases of alleged bullying.