Workplace conflicts can have a negative impact on a working environment and the productivity of employees. It is therefore important to deal with disputes quickly and efficiently in a way that satisfies all those involved.
When a dispute does arise, there are a variety of different ways to find a resolution. Below we provide an overview of some of the main ways that problems at work can be dealt with.
If you are involved in a workplace problem or would like to put procedures in place for future dispute resolution, we can provide advice based on your particular circumstances to help you reach a satisfactory and fair outcome.
Resolving Disputes at Work
Mediation offers an informal, voluntary and confidential way of resolving a workplace dispute and maintaining an employment relationship. It provides a space for those involved in an employment problem to talk through their issues and find a solution with the help of an impartial and independent person known as a mediator.
Mediators are specially trained individuals that assist those involved in a dispute to understand why there is an issue and how it can be resolved. A mediator doesn’t make a decision in relation to a dispute but instead helps those involved to solve issues together.
Mediation can be a quick and cost-efficient way of resolving a workplace dispute without going to a tribunal or court. However, unlike a decision from a tribunal or a court, agreements reached through mediation are not legally binding.
Employment tribunals are judicial bodies that hear disputes relating to employment rights, such as discrimination, unfair dismissal, unpaid holiday pay or unlawful deduction of wages. Tribunals are less formal and expensive than courts, however, they are similar to the extent that decisions of a tribunal are legally binding and they can make awards for compensation, although only up to a certain amount.
Before making a claim to an employment tribunal, an attempt must be made to settle a workplace dispute through Early Conciliation, via ACAS. This is a form of dispute resolution where an independent and impartial individual, known as a conciliator, will work with those involved in a dispute and explain the approach a tribunal will take when faced with a particular claim. If it isn’t possible to reach a resolution through conciliation, a claim can be made to a tribunal.
When an employment dispute is particularly serious or one of the parties is not being responsive, it may be necessary to take legal action by raising court proceedings. To make an employment related claim in a civil court, the dispute must relate to breach of an employment contract, such as a dispute over remuneration or the meaning of a particular clause.
Courts provide a formal space for enforcing a right against another person and result in judgments that are legally binding on both parties. Unlike awards for compensation made by tribunals, financial awards made by the courts are not limited by a cap.
Advice on Resolving Employment Disputes
At BBM Solicitors, ensuring your employment rights are protected is important to us. We regularly help employers on their position and options in relation to redundancy, TUPE, disciplinary and grievance issues, performance management, absence management, unfair dismissal, employment tribunal representation, breach of contract, dispute resolution, discrimination and contract variation. Please contact us for assistance with any employment issue that you have. Our expert lawyers are trained to be able to provide guidance on the best way to reach the most positive outcome.