Employment Relations is a regular part of any business whether it’s an issue that an employee has with the employer or another member of staff (Grievance) or an issue that an employer may have with one of its employees (Disciplinary). Added to that is Long Term Sickness, Flexible Working, Maternity/Paternity/Family leave etc.
Grievances generally arise when an employee has an issue with their employer or one of their employees, this could be for a range of reasons such as Bullying or Harassment by another member of staff, pay, restructuring or changing an employee’s role etc.
There are statutory requirements that employers need to be aware of with regards to Grievances and these generally vary from location to location, however typically an employee should state their grievance in writing to an employer who in turn needs to investigate the matter thoroughly. Employers need to ensure that they at least follow the statutory requirements, but also need to ensure they are following their Company’s policy or that of any Trade Union/Collective Agreement. The outcome of any grievance must address and resolve the issues raised or, provide sufficient justification that the grievance is unfounded, providing the rationale behind that decision. If the employee is unhappy with the outcome of their grievance they may be entitled to an appeal and, take the issue up with a more Senior Manager than the one they first raised the grievance with. The outcome of any appeal would be final.
Disciplinaries on the other hand relate to issues employers may have with their staff, these generally relate to any misconduct, poor performance, excessive absences etc. Much like a Grievance there is a statutory process that needs to be followed, which varies from location to location. Typically an employer needs to inform an employee of the accusations being made against them in writing and arrange a meeting with the employee to allow them the opportunity of stating their case. An employee can often be entitled to a fellow employee or Trade Union Representative at any of these meetings. Once all the information has been heard and presented the person chairing the Disciplinary needs to go away from the meeting and consider all the information before arriving at a decision. Once the decision has been made the employee needs to be informed in writing. The outcomes may range from the employee being informed that no further action will be taken through to summary dismissal. Employees may have the right to appeal against a decision, so it’s advised that you put a time limit on any appeal, provided it’s permissible under local legislation.
The above is merely a broad outline of some of the challenges that regularly arise in the employment relationship, and it’s imperative that the correct processes are followed, failure to do so can often lead to an employer being taken to an Employment Tribunal which could lead to heavy legal fees, loss of managements time and compensation pay-outs. Additionally, any outcome would need to be considered fair. Always check the statutory requirements, company policy and any collective agreements.
Benchability can help you with these processes and guide you throughout. Our advice is always driven by current legislation .We can provide you with:
- Process and Policy Guidance
- Flexible working, maternity, paternity, family leave, long term sickness
- Drafted letters of all the correspondence you may need
- Chairing of disciplinaries and grievances on your behalf
- Disciplinary and Grievance training
- Independent Disciplinary and Grievance investigations
- Termination/Compromise agreements through a mutual termination, should the relationship be broken and, no legal opportunity exists for a unilateral termination
Our experience covers Senior Partner disputes through to general administration and the shop floor.