Hugh Storry Deans
How to Deal with a Grievance or a Disciplinary Matter Effectively.
It is an inevitability that at some point an employer will be asked to address a grievance or potentially have to deal with a disciplinary matter. All employers should therefore have in place a Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure, which should be issued to the employee around the same time as their terms and conditions of employment / contract of employment was.
These procedures set out the basic/minimum steps that should be followed in either situation. Too often than not, employers forget that they have procedures, let alone have actually read theirs, or have shared or provided training to their management teams on what to do in the face of a grievance or disciplinary issue.
This often leads employers and management delaying in dealing with and addressing issues, due to a lack of understanding on what should e done, especially in the absence of having an internal HR Advisor. This often exacerbates an already difficult situation and makes it harder to positively deal with the matter and can lead to errors in the procedure, which can be capable of amounting to a potential Unfair Dismissal claim against the Company.
So what should employers do:
- See professional advice to make sure that they have a Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure that is compliant with employment law/ACAS guidelines and works within their business structure
- Issue the Procedure to all staff when they join and ensure that the Procedures are readily accessible to staff and management.
- Ensure management are trained in how to use and response to these procedures
- Ensure Management have access to professional advice and guidance.
If employers fail to be proactive in these circumstances more often than not, the situation will spiral out of control, confidence will be lost, mistakes will be made and the risk of claim increases.