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T. 8 Grievance and discipline D. Borisova Human Resources Management.

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1 T. 8 Grievance and discipline D. Borisova Human Resources Management

2 Aspects  Rights and of responsibilities employers and employees  Managing discipline in the workplace: from punishment to performance  The role of HR professional  Grievance and discipline policies, procedures, rules and sanctions  Union role and non-union issues, institutionalization of conflict in the employment relationship  General concerns in grievance and discipline handling

3 Grievance and discipline as employment procedures “…those organisational mechanisms, which provide a formal regulatory framework for handling specified issues and, in so doing, define and limit the exercise of managerial authority and power” Salmon, 2000

4 The disciplinary procedure “Setting the standards of conduct expected from employees, specifying what is to be done following behavior, which is deemed unsatisfactory” Marchington, Wilkinson, 2000

5 Rights and responsibilities  Legal issues in employment contracts  Informal expectations in the psychological contract  Ethic, moral, social issues – common interest  Policy framework, procedures, appropriate sanction

6 Importance of proper handling of discipline issues  Decrease of employee frustration  Increase of the motivation and productivity  Increase in retention rates  Decline in labor turnover  Avoids the overall employee discontent and possible legal actions

7 Dismissal Procedure  Purpose: ensures that standards are maintained  Need for proper training of managers to:  Gain and record accurate information  Skills needed: interviewing, questioning, listening, writing, record keeping  Responsibility of employer to conduct full and proper investigation of the facts  Advisory role of HR professionals to secure legal compliance

8 The HR Role - general  A “welfare” or “go-between” management and employees  Responsible ultimately to the employer  Advisory role to secure fairness, justice and legal compliance  Must investigate issues thoroughly in due course, therefore needs to have skills in:  Situation analysis  Report writing  Understanding of ACAS code and the law

9 The HR Role – in practice  Devise the procedures  Provide specialist advice  Ensure that everyone is aware of the procedures and acts consistently  Ensure that line managers are suitably trained  Monitor the effectiveness of the procedures

10 Five Manager’s “musts”  Fairness  Reasonableness  Consistency  Operating with just cause  Operating within the law

11 Institutionalization of conflict in the employment relationship (UK, 1960+)  Industrial Relation Act (1971) and the concept of “unfair dismissal”  Use of Arbitration, Conciliation and Advisory Service (ASAS) Code of Practice (1975)  Employment Right Act 20+ org must provide information about existence of G&D procedures  Employment Relation Act (1999) the right to be accompanied  Employment Act 2002/2003 the removal of 20 employee threshold

12 The ACAS Code of Practice (2004)  Aim: to help all who may be concerned with such issues by providing practical advice about handling grievance and discipline at work  Legislative treatment: failure to comply with the code could not directly be used to file an unfair dismissal case, but could be used as an evidence  Reasons:  To promote fairness and to set standards of work and conduct and what may happen if these standards are not achieved  To provide fair and consistent method of dealing with alleged offences  To ensure there are orderly employment relations so that everyone knows what is expected of them

13 The essential features of a disciplinary procedure  To be in writing and available for everyone  To specify to whom it applies  To be non-discriminatory  To ensure the matters are dealt without unnecessary delay (i.e. to set up a firm time-frame)  To allow the hearings and the information to be kept confidential  To state the disciplinary actions which might be taken  To specify the levels of management which have the authority to take the various forms of disciplinary action  To provide for workers to be accompanied (by a colleague or a trade union official)

14  To provide for workers to be informed about complaints against them and where possible all relevant evidence before the hearing  To give opportunity to workers to state their case before a decision is reached and to inform them about the decision  To ensure that, except for gross misconduct, no worker is dismissed for a first breach of discipline  To ensure that disciplinary action is not taken until the case has been carefully investigated by the management  To ensure that workers are given an explanation (in written) for any penalty imposed  To provide the right for appeal (could be established in separate procedure) The essential features of a disciplinary procedure (contd.)

15 Types of offence  Vary in different companies  Depend in the internal regulations and organisational culture  Divided in two categories: disciplinary offence and gross misconduct.  Examples: absenteeism, timekeeping, poor performance, failure to obey organisation rules, e-mail abuse, threatening behaviour, abuses, etc.

16 Steps in taking disciplinary actions 1. Issue formal letter from the employer confirming the problem 2. Convey a formal meeting giving the right to the worker to explain his point of view 3. Decide on whether a disciplinary action is justified and take a decision for: - improvement note for poor performance; - written warning; - final written warning; - dismissal or other penalty (if previously agreed)

17 The statutory ‘three-step’ disciplinary procedure 1. Write to the employee notifying them of what they are alleged to have done wrong – in terms of performance or conduct; set out the basis for the allegations; and invite them to a meeting to discuss the matter. 2. Inform the employee of the grounds for making the allegations and hold a meeting to discuss them – at which the employee has the right to be accompanied. Notify the employee of the decision and the right to appeal. 3. Hold an appeal meeting (if the employee wishes to appeal) at which the employee has the right to be accompanied – and inform the employee of the final decision.

18 Grievance and disciplinary sanctions in UK workplaces  UK 1999 - 91% of workplaces with formal grievance procedures (only in 30 % they have been used)  Dissatisfaction, complaint, formal raising of a grievance  UK 1999 - 92% of workplaces with formal disciplinary procedures  Absenteeism, poor performance, poor timekeeping, refusal to obey reasonable instructions,theft/fraud etc.

19 Accompaniment  Supervisor  Line manager  Trade union representative  Colleague, could be from outside the organization

20 Unfair dismissal claims  Largely based on procedure mistakes, not on employer unfairness  Qualifying period for unfair dismissal is 12 months  Unfair dismissal award up to £50 000  No waiver clauses in fixed-term contracts  Subject to three main provisions:  representation, employment tribunals and detriment

21 Definitions of Grievance  “Infliction of wrong or hardship on a person; injury; oppression” – the Oxford English Dictionary  The 3 stages of Pigos and Myers (1977):  Dissatisfaction – anything that disturbs an employee, whether or not he expresses it in words  Complaint: a spoken or written dissatisfaction, brought to the attention of a supervisor and/or shop steward  Grievance – a complaint, which has been formally presented to a management representative or to a union official

22 The grievance procedure “Indicating what is to be done in the event of an individual issue or complaint” Marchington, Wilkinson, 2000

23 Formal Grievance Procedure 1. Purpose and scope of the procedure 2. The principles that underline the procedure 3. The stages in grievance procedure (usually 3 stages) 4. Exceptional circumstances (such as reporting to higher manager for grievance against the direct manager) 5. The appeal procedure (Don’t forget: short time limits; provide for representation; information about the decision taken; confidentiality of the records kept)

24 What do employees have grievance about (IRS 2002)  Harassment / bullying / sexism / racism  Discipline and/or new working practices  Working conditions or working hours  Grading and pay  Discrimination

25 Managing discipline in the workplace: from punishment to performance  From punitive to corrective discipline  Improving individual performance through discipline  Towards “self-discipline” in contemporary workplace  The balance between control and commitment in the workplace

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