dispute resolution

Resolving disputes in the workplace

Disagreements or disputes with an employee can have a negative impact on your business.

Handled incorrectly they cost time and money, causing stress for both parties. But this doesn’t have to be the case – and you don’t have to end up in court.

How should you resolve a dispute with an employee?

Follow these five simple steps:

1. Work out what you’re dealing with

There are usually two types of disputes between an employer and employee.

If one of your employees has raised a concern or lodged a complaint with you or one of the managers, this is known as a grievance.

If you’ve got an issue with an employee’s work, conduct or absence, this is a disciplinary matter.

2. Talk it out

It’s always a good idea to try and resolve issues informally first.

Invite the employee to talk about the problem. Can you agree on a solution together?

You should have both grievance and disciplinary procedures in place. Make sure you follow them. By following correct procedures, you can show you acted lawfully and fairly if the employee goes on to challenge your actions or decisions.

3. Keep a record

It’s important to keep copies of all relevant correspondence and documents between you and the employee. These could provide evidence if the case goes to court or a tribunal.

4. Ask for help

If you’re unable to sort out the issue informally then an employment lawyer will be able to advise, helping you resolve the workplace dispute.

You should seek professional advice sooner rather than later.

5. Choose the right option

There are a number of different methods of resolving a workplace dispute and a professional will be able to advise you on the best option.

These could include:

• Simple commercial settlement – in some circumstances this could be the quickest and most cost-effective solution
Arbitration – based on an agreement between the parties involved
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – this covers a number of methods without going to court (such as mediation and conciliation)
• Litigation – involves going to an employment tribunal

Let us help

At Wallace Robinson and Morgan, our dispute resolution solicitors have experience in a wide range of commercial disputes – including disputes with employees.

We can advise you on which approach is best for your particular circumstances and represent you in all forms of dispute resolution, including court hearings, mediation and arbitration.

If you need advice, contact Daniel Zakis or Alison Willis on 0121 705 7571, or email danielzakis@wallacerobinson.co.uk or alisonwillis@wallacerobinson.co.uk

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