1.1 The College endeavors to maintain a harmonious working environment for staff, which promotes understanding, support and mutual respect. To this end, the College encourages frank and constructive dialogue between parties of different views, and prompt resolution of conflicts and disputes before they escalate into serious grievances.

1.2 In order to foster a trusting culture and reduce misunderstanding, the College encourages frequent and regular communications between supervisors and staff members. If indeed a staff member has a work-related concern, he/she is encouraged to raise and discuss it with his/her immediate supervisor in the first instance. He/she may raise it with the Programme Director/Unit Head if the supervisor is involved, or with the respective Dean or Vice-President if the Programme Director/Unit Head is also involved. Likewise, complaints against the Deans could be raised with the Vice-President (Academic), whereas complaints against the Vice-Presidents could be raised with the President. Unless the staff member considers it necessary to lodge his/her problem or complaint in writing, he/she is encouraged to raise and discuss it verbally first.

1.3 Supervisors should respond promptly and without prejudice to complaints or grievances made by their staff, and make every attempt to meet with parties concerned informally to understand the reasons behind such complaints/grievances and to settle them. In most cases, grievances are due to misunderstanding, miscommunication and/or oversight. Apologies and possible redress could help settle the grievances. The sooner a grievance is attended to and dealt with, the better the chance of its being resolved informally. The assistance from the Human Resources Office (hereinafter “HRO”) may be sought if deemed necessary. In case the staff member chooses to raise his/her complaint in writing, the supervisor to whom the letter is addressed should inform the staff member concerned in writing of the outcome of the enquiry.

1.4 However, in the event that this preferred mode of informal resolution fails, a staff member may follow the procedures below to make his/her grievance heard.

2.Definition and Scope of Grievance

2.1 For the purpose of these procedures, grievance is defined as any unresolved   complaint in the College, made by a staff member, or a group of staff members, against any staff member or a group of staff members. If the subject is about the sexual harassment complaints, the complaint or grievance should be handled in accordance with the respective policy and procedures.

2.2 A complaint lodged by a group of staff members should be specific and common to all members of the group. The group shall appoint a representative from among its members as a spokesman to act on its behalf for the purpose of these procedures. These procedures must under no circumstances be used as a means of negotiating changes in the terms and conditions of employment.


3.1 At different stages of handling of the grievance/complaint, "mediation" can be initiated either by the complainant, or the relevant authority dealing with the complaint at that stage. Subject to the consent of both parties concerned, an independent third party could be invited to assist in facilitating "mediation" as a means to resolving the grievance/complaint.

4.Formal Procedures

4.1 Written Complaint to HRO

In cases where discussions at the Dean/Vice-President level have failed to   produce an outcome acceptable by the complainant, or if the complaint is against the Dean/Vice-President, the staff member having the grievance may, at his/her discretion, pursue the case by writing to HRO, setting out the nature of the grievance and the allegations made.

After considering the grievance and steps that have been taken to resolve the matter, HRO shall decide on the further appropriate action to be taken and the decision should be conveyed in writing to the complainant within two weeks of the receipt of the letter. These further actions shall include, inter alia, the following:

(i) HRO will refer the grievance to the appropriate Dean/Unit head for consideration if he/she considers that appropriate steps have not yet been taken to resolve the grievance at that level; or

(ii) HRO will refer the grievance to the proper committee/panel for review if it does not fall within the scope of these procedures; or

(iii) Refer to HR Working Group for discussion which can decide to refer the grievance to a Panel on Conflict Resolution (hereinafter “PCR”) to undertake a formal review of the grievance.

4.2 Enquiry by the Panel on Conflict Resolution

 4.2.1 Membership

(i) A Vice-President or a senior staff member appointed by the President as the Chairman;

(ii) A member of the Personnel and Staff Affairs Committee appointed by the President;

(iii) Two representatives from teaching units and one representative from administrative units appointed by the President;

(iv) Director of HRO as Secretary and member to the Panel.

In the event that the membership includes anyone who has a direct interest in the complaint, stands in the same line of authority as any of the parties involved in the dispute, or has taken part in handling the complaint on an informal basis, President shall appoint an alternative member for handling that particular complaint.

4.2.2 Terms of Reference of Panel on Conflict Resolution

(i) to provide input and advice on all grievances brought to the attention of the Panel;

(ii) to report to the President.

4.2.3 Procedures The person against whom the grievance lies shall be provided with a copy of the written submission from the staff member having the grievance. He/she shall be invited to make a written statement in response to the allegations made against him/her within two weeks of the date of notification. This written response statement shall be made available to the staff member having the grievance who will also be notified of the date, time and venue before the PCR meeting. Upon receipt of written grievance, the Panel may appoint a vetting group consisting of two of its members to conduct a preliminary investigation of the case as it deems appropriate. Both the staff member having the grievance and the person against whom the grievance lies shall have the following rights:

(i) to appear before the PCR;

(ii) to present evidence to the PCR;

(iii) to call his/her own witness(es); and

(iv) to be accompanied by a friend who is a staff member of the College who may provide personal support for the staff member concerned when he/she appears before the PCR, as an observer but not an advocate. (As the grievance procedures are not a legal proceedings, legal representation on behalf of either party shall not be allowed) Both the staff member having the grievance and the person against whom the grievance lies shall be given at least 10 working days' notice before the date, time and venue of the meeting of the PCR. Each party shall inform the secretary to the PCR in writing, at least 5 working days before the hearing, of the following:

(i) whether he/she will appear in person before the PCR;

(ii) whether he/she will be accompanied by a friend who is a staff member of the College, and, if so, the name of the staff member;

(iii) whether he/she wishes to call any witness(es) within the College to appear before the PCR, and, if so, the name(s) of his/her witness(es); and

(iv) any other evidence that he/she wishes to present in respect of the case. During the course of enquiry, the PCR shall consider evidence presented by both parties, and by any witness(es) called by them. The Panel may call such other witnesses and examine such other evidence as it deems appropriate to gather more information about the grievance. Legal advice may be sought by the PCR during the entire process of the enquiry to ensure that proper procedures have been followed in handling the complaint. The Panel shall report the result and suggestions to the President. The PCR shall complete its enquiry as soon as possible and no later than 2 months since its confirmed membership, and shall submit to the President a report on its findings and recommendations no later than 10 working days after the date of its last meeting. The President shall notify the PCR of his/her view for recommendations within 7 working days upon the receipt of the report.

4.2.4 Notification of the Decision

Both parties of the grievance or complaint shall be notified of the outcome of the enquiry in writing no later than 7 working days after a decision has been made by the President.

4.2.5 Timeline

The staff involved in handling the grievance or complaint should ensure that each step is dealt with expeditiously and within the time frame allowed. For a case involving a formal review by the PCR, the staff member making the complaint could expect to be notified of the outcome of the enquiry within 4 months of the date of his/her written complaint to the HRO.


If either party is not satisfied with the outcome of the enquiry, an appeal may be lodged no later than one month after being notified of the outcome of the enquiry. The party lodging the appeal should give the reasons for his/her dissatisfaction and state whether he/she has fresh evidence to support his/her appeal. The President will make the final decision.


All parties involved in handling staff grievances (including any person who may have direct or indirect knowledge of the matters) shall keep them in the strictest confidence. All records of meetings and, where appropriate, all evidence presented will be kept in the HRO.

7.Non-Reprisal for Raising Grievances

No staff member shall be subject to victimization or reprisal for raising a grievance or appearing as a witness in good faith under these procedures.

8.Further Amendments

The College shall keep these procedures under review and, in the light of experience, refine and amend these procedures as and when necessary.


Flow Chart of Handling Staff Grievance


1. The procedure was approved by HR Working Group on 24th May 2018, and then approved by Personnel and Staff Affairs Committee on 5th June 2018.

Flow Chart of Handling Staff Grievance