Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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FOI4532/Janaury 2023/ HR Data

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold part of the information you have requested.

Please see below the answer to your request.

Questions and final response: Question 1 – Please provide details for how many complaints of bullying, racism, sexism, discrimination or harassment have been made at your authority for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

                                                    Question 2 – Please also provide a breakdown of action taken for these cases. How many accused individuals have been found to be guilty, how many accused were terminated, how many resigned with full pension before a judgement was reached, and how many were acquitted.

Response For Both Questions

We use a HR system to capture employee relations case data.

The data stored on the system allows us to generate reports for analysis of the number of case type i.e., discipline, grievance, attendance and performance, for a given period, we can identify length of time to resolve and an ability to compare data year on year.

The reporting functionality has been structured around our internal reporting requirements and national reporting.

During the above years, we had 140 Disciplinary and Grievance Cases recorded involving ECFRS employees.

Our reporting does not provide a sub-category of case type i.e. disciplinary regarding a bullying, or disciplinary regarding racism, it will only say whether a case is a disciplinary case.

The table below shows the total number of Disciplinary and Grievance cases received in the years requested:

Year        Disciplinary      Grievance

2017        29                    19

2018        9                      10

2019        6                      4

2020        5                      11

2021        9                      19

2022       10                      9

Totals      68                     72


I can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold this information in the individual case files, however from our preliminary assessment, we estimate that compliance with your request would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This is currently £450. This limit is calculated 18 hours of work at a cost of £25 per hour.

The information you have requested is not available because the information is contained within employee data files, for each record to be examined and scrutinised to the level requested, would involve 20 minutes per record, there are 140 Disciplinary and Grievance cases that would require this level of scrutiny to ascertain the information that you request.

The calculation we have made is 140 cases x 20 minutes =2,800 minutes = 46 hours x £25 per hour =£1,150.00 cost of task.

This exceeds the cost limit. Therefore, we will not be complying with this part of your request. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice in respect of this part of your request.   

Under section 16 of the Act, our duty to assist those requesting information, You may consider narrowing your request to fewer years i.e. 2021 and 2022, this would bring the request under the cost limit. I hope this is helpful to you.