How to deal with work disputes and problems

A variety of problems can arise in the workplace, and it's sometimes hard to know how to respond to these situations. Being aware of your rights under employment law can be a huge help.

25th April 2018

Issues of concern could include:

  • The way 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.
  • Conditions in the workplace.

Fortunately there are rules in place which mean that you should be able to take action if you are having genuine issues at work.

Being aware of your rights under employment law can be a huge help.

Disciplinary proceedings

Your employer may bring disciplinary proceedings against you if they feel that your behaviour in the workplace or performance in your role are of an unacceptable standard. Even in this situation, however, they are expected to follow appropriate procedures and treat you fairly.

If you are facing disciplinary proceedings in the workplace, make sure you know your rights and read up on what you can expect to happen with our guide to disciplinary procedures. You should also check your employer’s disciplinary procedure.

Guide to disciplinary procedures

Grievances

If you have a workplace issue which has not been dealt with to your satisfaction through informal means, you may want to consider raising a grievance. A grievance is a formal complaint that your employer will be obliged to investigate using appropriate and fair processes.

Whether your issue relates to your workload, poor management, the behaviour of other co-workers, or any other work problem, take a look at our post on grievances to find out what you should do next. You should also check your employer’s grievance procedure.

Grievances at work

Employment tribunals

If you feel that an issue at work has not been resolved properly despite having undergone your employer’s formal complaints procedures, you may want to consider having your case heard at an employment tribunal. Employment tribunals are independent bodies which can make a ruling on whether you are being treated unfairly at work.

Employment tribunals are independent bodies which can make a ruling on whether you are being treated unfairly at work.

For everything you need to know about the process, from the preliminary requirement of Early Conciliation to the presentation of your case, read our post about employment tribunals.

Guide to employment tribunals

Discrimination

It is illegal for your employer or other workers to discriminate against you at work. Discrimination includes situations where you are treated less favourably due to one or more of what are termed ‘protected characteristics’.

To find out more about the definition of discrimination and what to do if you have encountered it in the workplace, please read our guide to workplace discrimination.

Workplace discrimination

Health and safety

Your employer is required by law to ensure that your workplace is as safe as possible, and that any risks are recognised and minimised. Health and safety covers all kinds of workplace hazards, ranging from keeping people safe around dangerous machinery to maintaining a comfortable temperature in an office; and if your employer does not take it seriously there could be severe repercussions.

For more information about your employer’s responsibilities regarding health and safety in the workplace, take a look at our post about health and safety.

Health and safety at work

When work comes to an end

Leaving your job can be unpleasant, particularly if you do not agree with your employer’s approach or feel you were unfairly forced out. If you think your employer acted illegally in terminating your role, you may be able to make a claim.

If you think your employer acted illegally in terminating your role, you may be able to make a claim.

To find out more about unfair dismissal and redundancy issues, take a look at our post about work coming to an end.

If you are made redundant or dismissed

Holidays and time off work

People take time off from their jobs in all sorts of situations - whatever your reason for needing to take a period of leave, there’s likely to be a facet of employment law which covers it.

April 2018 Learn more
Dismissal from work

In the majority of cases, if your employer wants to dismiss you from your job, they are required by law to follow certain procedures to ensure that everything is done fairly. Make sure you know your employment rights in a dismissal situation.

April 2018 Learn more
Grievances at work

If you have a problem at work that has not been resolved through informal discussion, your next step should be to raise a formal grievance through your employer's grievance procedure. This means they must take steps to fix the issue.

April 2018 Learn more

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