2.12 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
2.12 Resolving disagreements Employer grievance procedures Grievance procedures (for an employee with a problem or complaint) Disciplinary procedures (when the employer has a problem or complaint about an employee) Most organisations have procedures to resolve disputes, ie:
2.12 Resolving disagreements 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.
2.12 Resolving disagreements 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)
2.12 Resolving disagreements Disciplinary procedures Usually 3 stages, depending upon reason for action. Stage 1 Minor offence = verbal warning Stage 3 Serious or repeated offence = final written warning Stage 2 More serious offence or ignoring verbal warning = written warning to employee Summary dismissal – being sacked without notice for very serious offence.
2.12 Resolving disagreements 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)
2.12 Resolving disagreements 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.
2.12 Resolving disagreements 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
2.12 Resolving disagreements 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
2.12 Resolving disagreements 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