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 Understand what is meant by, and the role of discipline and grievance at work  Understand the importance of acting ethically in discipline and grievance.

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Presentation on theme: " Understand what is meant by, and the role of discipline and grievance at work  Understand the importance of acting ethically in discipline and grievance."— Presentation transcript:

1  Understand what is meant by, and the role of discipline and grievance at work  Understand the importance of acting ethically in discipline and grievance management  Understand the consequences of failing to manage and how to develop effective processes Learning Objectives Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

2 Grievance and Discipline  Grievance: The formalisation of a claim that one or more persons (co-workers or management) have acted wrongly towards another person(s), and as a consequence, inflicted physical or psychological harm on that person or others. This may involve an act, or acts, of misconduct.  Discipline: The formal measures taken, sanctions applied and outcomes achieved by management in response to perceived acts of misconduct. (Banfield & Kay, 2008:118). Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

3 Grievance and Discipline  Employee Dissatisfaction = Grievance  Employer Dissatisfaction = Disciplinary  Important to take employees’ grievances seriously or legal action can follow  Dispute Resolution Regulations 2004 – employees do not need to use internal procedures before going to a Tribunal Tribunals: Judicial bodies which hear and determine statutory employment claims (since 1960s in the UK). Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

4 Grievance & Disciplinary Procedures and the Role of the Law Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010  Need to have disciplinary procedures in place is governed by both statutory obligations (Employment Act 2002) and guidelines established under the ACAS codes of practice – 1 st introduced in the 1970s and have been updated at regular intervals (ACAS, 2004). ACAS: Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Non-governmental body, governed by a council.


6 Dissatisfaction: anything that disturbs an employee, whether or not the unrest is expressed in words Complaint: a spoken or written dissatisfaction brought to the attention of the supervisor Grievance: a complaint that has been formally presented to a management representative or to a union official What Do We Mean by Grievance? Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

7 Types of Complaints Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010  Factual and can be easily tested  Based on partly subjective reactions  Involving the hopes and fears of employees

8 Frequent Causes of Grievances Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010 o Unacceptable language, images, initiation rituals and other forms of informal shop/office-floor behaviour o Harassment and bullying o Victimization and unfair discriminatory treatment o Unreasonable and “unlawful” requests to take certain action that might, e.g.: involve breaking health and safety regulations o Failure to honour promises or obligations e.g.: payment of bonuses, or reward

9 Features of a Grievance Procedure Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © Fairness: is needed, to be just, but also to keep the procedure viable. If employees develop the belief that the procedure is only a sham, then its value will be lost and other means will be sought to deal with grievances. 2.Representation: can help individual employee who lacks the confidence or experience to take on the management single-handedly. (e.g.: a representative – union official)

10 Features of a Grievance Procedure Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © Procedural Steps: are best limited to three. o Preliminary: When the grievance is lodged with the immediate superior. o Hearing: give the complainant the opportunity to state the grievance to a more senior manager. o Appeal: will usually be to a designated more senior manager, and the outcome will be either a confirmation or a modification of the decision at the hearing. 4. Promptness: avoids the bitterness and frustration that comes from delay.

11 Outline Grievance Procedure Fig: 22.3 (Torrington et al., 2011:502 )


13 o 18 different experiments to investigate obedience to authority with over 1000 subjects. o Subjects showed high obedience even when delivering “shocks” of 450 volts. o Throughout the experiment: 65% continued – authority figure present 20% continued – without authority figure o Highlighted significance of obedience and power in everyday lives o Subjects showed astonishing compliance with authority o Predilection to obey instructions from authority figures Milgram Experiments Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

14 1.Family: Parental regulation “Don’t tell lies!” “Obey me!”consistent 2.Institutional Setting: First schools, then job prescribed by someone else at work. 3.Rewards: Compliance with authority rewarded, disobedience punished 4.Perception of Authority: Normative support. Certain institutions, have a socially controlling figure; limited to the situation (e.g.: usher in a cinema) Factors for Obedience to Authority Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

15 5. Entry into the Authority System: Having perceived an authority figure, an individual must then define that figure as relevant to the subject. (e.g.: firefighter evacuating a building, and asking to use a different accounting system). 6. Overarching Ideology: Justification of legitimacy by the values and needs of society is crucial for individuals to provide willing obedience. This enables people to see their behaviour as serving a desirable end. (e.g.: Milgram justified the experiment in the name of science and education. ) Factors for Obedience to Authority Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

16 Gross Misconduct: breaches of standards and rules that are serious and unacceptable in any circumstances. ACAS list of example offences: o Theft, fraud and deliberate falsification of records o Fighting at work o Sabotage and deliberate damage to company property o Being incapable through the use of alcohol and/or drugs o Serious negligence that could cause, or has caused, injury, loss or damage o Serious acts of insubordination and threatening behaviour o Unauthorised entry into computer records o Breach of company rules governing use of the Internet Gross Misconduct Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

17  Facilitate and administer grievance and disciplinary issues  Plan and negotiate the procedural framework or organisational justice  Involve in interviews and problem-solving discussions  Maintain viability of the whole process  Monitor and make sure grievances are not overlooked  Oversee disciplinary machinery Human Resource Role Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

18 Types of Discipline  Discipline: Regulation of human activity to produce a controlled performance. o Managerial Discipline: Everything depends on the leader. Only through individual direction can that group of people produce a worthwhile performance. o Team Discipline: The quality of the performance depends on the mutual dependence of all, and the mutual dependence derives from a commitment by each member to the total enterprise. (e.g: dance troupe) o Self Discipline: Self discipline is like that of the juggler or the skilled artisan, where a solo performer is absolutely dependent on training, expertise and self-control. Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

19 Negative: Produce punishment or prevention. Positive: Valuable quality for the individual who is subject to it. Value of Discipline Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

20 Three Forms of Discipline Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010 Fig: 22.1 (Torrington et al., 2011:494)

21 The Framework of Organisational Justice Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010 Fig: 22.2 (Torrington et al., 2011:496 )

22  Affects behaviour of people  Develops norms that are hard to alter  Provides a pattern of conformity  Affects the freedom and sincerity with which people discuss dissatisfaction Organisational Culture Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

23  Every workplace has rules  Rules need to be clear and readily understood  Number of rules should be sufficient to cover all obvious and usual disciplinary matters  Helpful if rules are jointly determined  Easy access to rules Rules Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

24 1.Negligence: is failure to do the job properly. 2.Unreliability: is failure to attend work as required, such as being late or absent. 3.Insubordination: is refusal to obey an instruction, or showing deliberate disrespect to someone in a position of authority. 4.Interfering with rights of others: covers a range of behaviours that are socially unacceptable. Fighting (clearly identifiable), harassment or intimidation (difficult to establish). 5.Theft: clear-cut aspect of behaviour that is unacceptable. Paper clips, Paper, CDs, adhesive tape, local telephone calls, pens, pencils? 6.Safety offences: are those aspects of behaviour that can cause a hazard. Types of Rules Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

25 Ensuring Rules are Kept Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © Provision of information: so that everyone knows what the rules are. 2.Induction: can make rules coherent and reinforce their understanding. 3.Placement or relocation: can avoid the risk of rules being broken, by placing a new recruit with a working team that has high standards of compliance.

26 Ensuring Rules are Kept Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © Training: increases awareness of the rules, improving self- confidence and self-discipline. 5.Review: ensures that rules are up-to-date, and also ensures that their observance is a live issue. 6.Penalties: make the framework of organisational justice firmer if there is an understanding of what penalties can be imposed, by whom and for what.

27 Types of Penalties Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010 a)Rebuke: The simple ‘Don’t do that’ or ‘if you’re late again, you will be in trouble’ is all that is needed in most situations. b)Caution: Slightly more serious and formal, which is then recorded. There is no triggering the procedure for dismissal, just making a note of the rule being broken and an offence being pointed out. c)Warnings: For the employer to show procedural fairness there should normally be a formal oral warning, or a written warning, specifying the nature of the offence and the likely outcome if the offence is repeated.

28 Types of Penalties Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010 d)Disciplinary transfer or Demotion: This is moving the employee to less attractive work, possibly carrying a lower salary. e)Suspension: This tactic has the benefit of being serious and is not as long lasting as demotion. The employer has a contractual obligation to provide pay, but not provide work, so it is easy to suspend someone from duty with pay either as a punishment or while an alleged offence is being investigated.

29 Disciplinary Procedure Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010  Procedures similar to grievance  Depends on fairness, promptness and representation  Additional features:  Authorisation of Penalties The law requires that managers should not normally have the power to dismiss their immediate subordinates without reference to more senior managers.  Investigation Procedure should ensure that disciplinary action is not taken until it has been established that there is a problem that justifies the action.  Information and Explanation If disciplinary action is possible, the person to be disciplined should be told of the complaint, so that an explanation can be made, or the matter denied, before any penalties are decided.

30 Outline Disciplinary Procedure Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010 Fig: 22.4 (Torrington et al., 2011:504 )

31 Recommended Stages in a Disciplinary Procedure Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010 LevelRecommended Duration Level of Manager likely to Implement Verbal Warning6 MonthsLine Manager Written Warning6 MonthsLine Manager Final Written Warning12 MonthsSenior Manager DismissalPermanentSenior Manager

32 Class Activity – Case Study Sandy’s is a small, privately owned hairdressing business. There are 3 employees – 2 hair- dressers and an apprentice/receptionist – and 1 hairdresser who works from the premises on a self-employed basis. While the owner is on holiday, she asks the last person who leaves the premises to lock up and responsibility for the till is given to the more senior of the 2 employed hairdressers. On returning from her holiday, she is informed by the senior hairdresser that the other employed hairdresser in the salon has been seen taking money from the till and that the till did not add up at the day. When challenged, the person said that they had borrowed the money to get lunch and had intended to pay it back after lunch, but had forgotten. The incident happened 3 days ago. The owner’s partner is a friend of yours and does not get involved in the business, but is registered as one of the directors. He has asked you for advice because the owner no longer trusts the person involved and does not want to continue her employment. There are no formal procedures in place due to the size of the business. Q1. Consider what advice you would give. Q2. What are the arguments for and against: a)Taking a lenient line and allowing the person to continue to work, after discussing with her your concerns? b)Dismissing her on the grounds of stealing money from the till?

33 Further Reading Banfield, P. and Kay, R. (2008) Introduction to Human Resource Management. USA: Oxford University Press. Chapter 5: Managing Discipline and Grievance pp Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S. and Atkinson, C. (2011) Human Resource Management. Great Britain: Pearson Education. Chapter 22: Discipline and Grievance pp ACAS Website (2011) Dr. Gizem Öksüzoğlu Güven © 2010

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