Employment Law: Dealing With Disputes At Work

Sometimes problems that occur in the workplace can quickly spiral out of control, and in some cases it can be difficult to know how to deal with those situations. Knowing your rights under employment law can help, whether you’re an employer or an employee, and in many cases this will help you to solve the dispute before having to go down the costly route of a court case. There are a number of different disputes that can be a cause for concern, including the way that you are treated at work or the behaviour of other employees, the terms and conditions of your contract, tasks you are being asked to do at work and the conditions of the workplace. There are a number of rules in place under employment law which mean you will be able to take some form of action if you believe that you have the right to do so.

Disciplinary Proceedings

If an employer feels that your behaviour in the workplace, or your performance within your role are of an unacceptable standard, then disciplinary proceedings may be brought against you. However even in this case, under employment law, the employer must still follow appropriate procedures. Firstly, you should receive a letter explaining the issues, a disciplinary meeting should be arranged in which the issue can be discussed with you, a decision should be made by the employer and then you can appeal against the decision if you believe that it is unfair. Some of the decisions that the employer can make include a written warning, a demotion, or even a dismissal. In other cases however, they may decide that you are not at fault and drop the issue, or provide you with further training to ensure that you are competent at your role in the future.

Discrimination

Quite simply, it is illegal for an employer or other workers to discriminate you at work on the basis of age, disability, gender, race, sexual orientation and many other characteristics defined under the Equality Act of 2010. If you believe that you are being discriminated against at work, you should first informally discuss the matter with your employer, manager or HR department. If your problem is then not resolved, you can be advised on your next steps by a specialist team who may advise you to take a discrimination claim to an employment tribunal.

Health & Safety

By law, your employer must make sure that your workplace follows certain health and safety standards and that all risks and workplace hazards are minimised, by carrying out a risk assessment. In addition to this, all employers must make sure that immediate medical help is available by ensuring first aid provisions, and a trained first aider should be employed within the company.

Dismissal, Redundancy & End Of Work

Leaving a job can be unpleasant, and employment can end for a number of reasons. Knowing your rights in this case is important. If your employer has dismissed you or have made you redundant, and you believe that you have been unfairly dismissed then you may be able to make a claim. There are also certain processes that an employer needs to go through, and you will have specific rights in regards to notice periods, redundancy pay and offers of alternative employment.

In some cases when it comes to work place disputes, a settlement agreement or severance agreement can be entered for dismissal, redundancy, discrimination or harassment. This involves the employee promising that they will not make any claims for unfair dismissal against an employee and waive their rights for doing so. A settlement agreement will be drawn up by a solicitor or other advisor. However, in some cases workplace disputes are settled through an employment tribunal although this can be costly.

If you’re in need of advice regarding a work place dispute, our specialist employment law team can provide practical advice on defending or bringing Tribunal claims and negotiating compromise/settlement agreements. Contact us today for more information on the employment law services that we provide.