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Resolving disagreements. Disagreements between employers and employees. May occur rarely, if ever May be minor, and quickly resolved May relate to only one employee May be serious and more difficult to resolve May involve several people May have to be settled outside the company.

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disagreements between employers and employees
Disagreements between employers and employees
  • May occur rarely, if ever
  • May be minor, and quickly resolved
  • May relate to only one employee
  • May be serious and more difficult to resolve
  • May involve several people
  • May have to be settled outside the company
employer grievance procedures
Employer grievance procedures

Most organisations have procedures to resolve disputes, ie:

  • Grievance procedures (for an employee with a problem or complaint)
  • Disciplinary procedures (when the employer has a problem or complaint about an employee)
employee grievances
Employee grievances

May be about:

  • Pay (eg mistake in pay packet)
  • Work issues (eg change of hours or duties)
  • Discrimination or unfair treatment

All may be resolved quickly and informally without using grievance procedures.

formal grievance procedure
Formal grievance procedure

Usually in three stages:

  • Within the department (eg with own supervisor or manager)
  • Outside the department (eg with more senior manager)
  • Outside the organisation (eg through ACAS – the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
disciplinary procedures

Stage 1Minor offence = verbal warning

Stage 2More serious offence or ignoring verbal warning = written warning to employee

Stage 3Serious or repeated offence = final written warning

Disciplinary procedures

Usually 3 stages, depending upon reason for action.

Summary dismissal – being sacked without notice for very serious offence.

legal reasons for dismissal
Legal reasons for dismissal
  • Breaching contract of employment
  • No work to do (redundancy)
  • Employee incapable of doing the work
  • Involvement in illegal activities
  • Some other substantial reason (e.g. continually refusing to comply with reasonable requests)
types of dismissal
Types of dismissal
  • Fair = sacked for valid reason
  • Unfair = sacked for no good reason
  • Wrongful = sacked and statutory notice period ignored
  • Constructive = employee resigned because work conditions intolerable

Employees sacked unlawfully can take their case to an employment tribunal.

resolving disagreements1
Resolving disagreements

Parties involved at each stage:

  • Union/staff representative gives advice and help
  • ACAS – will help to resolve issue
  • Employment Tribunal – like an ‘informal court’ to hear claims
  • Employment Appeal Tribunal – will hear appeals against decisions
  • European Court of Justice – decision binding upon British government
good practice by employers
Good practice by employers

Problems minimised and working relationships better if:

  • Good communications between management and staff
  • Both can trust each other
  • Decisions are seen to be ‘fair’
  • Union or staff reps get involved in disputes at early stage
  • There is an expert Human Relations manager in the firm who understands legal rights of both parties
summary
Summary
  • Most disputes solved quickly and informally
  • Grievance and disciplinary procedures help to protect employees and employers
  • Access to trade union advice/ACAS can help to resolve difficult disputes
  • Tribunals available for employees with no other way of solving dispute
  • European Court of Justice rarely used