Workplace disputes can happen within any company, whether or not you are directly involved. Issues can arise over rates of pay, working styles, discrimination or even disagreements over specific tasks and these issues aren’t always going to be easy to resolve.
Solving workplace disputes is extremely important as failing to do so can lead to further issues arising within the workplace.
To help the UK workforce better understand how to solve disputes and issues that occur in the workplace, legal solutions firm LexisNexis has outlined its best advice for solving disputes with your employer.
An expert from LexisNexis, says:
“Workplace disputes need to be dealt with efficiently and with a high level of care. When you notice an issue in the workplace, or, if an issue begins to affect you, it’s so important that you take the first steps to solve it as soon as you can, whether that’s by talking to your HR department or your union representative.
“Trade unions can be beneficial when it comes to workplace disputes. They are available to everyone who is employed within the UK, no matter what industry you’re working in. However, with just a quarter of the UK workforce being part of a trade union, only a quarter of employees are able to access help from union representatives during workplace disputes.
“If you’re not a member of a trade union, you are able to access help, especially when it comes to issues in the workplace, with your workplace’s HR department or even by speaking to your manager. By addressing workplace issues directly with HR or management, you’re going to be able to escalate the issue at a quicker pace, with people who are directly involved with the company.”
Request a meeting with your manager
Open methods of communication are key to starting to solve workplace disputes, as you need to ensure that your manager, and in some cases, more senior members of the company, are fully aware of the issue at hand.
If you set up a meeting with your manager to discuss the issue, your manager can advise you of the next steps to take, alongside being able to escalate the issue to more senior members of staff themselves if needed.
Ensure that you’ve written out everything that you want to discuss with your manager, so that any important issues aren’t forgotten about when you get into discussions.
However, in some cases, your manager may be the cause of your issue and therefore won’t be the best person for you to speak to about the issue itself. If this is the case, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of other ways to resolve disputes, especially if the dispute involves your manager.
Register with a trade union
There are many benefits to being a member of a trade union, but one of the main benefits is the external support that you’ll be receiving throughout your time in employment, especially when it comes to issues and disputes. Trade unions can offer further support than internal teams within the place where you work, and can sometimes do more for you than the HR and internal support teams within your organisation.
Unions have the ability to negotiate better pay, ensure that you’re working in good quality conditions and will be directly involved in any disciplinary meetings.
You can find out more information about trade unions, how they can help you and their recognition here: https://www.lexisnexis.co.uk/legal/guidance/trade-union-recognition
Speak to HR teams
Speaking to the HR department in your workplace is a great way to solve issues within the workplace, and in some cases, HR teams may be able to resolve your issue themselves. HR teams in a lot of businesses will take on the task of conflict resolution, meaning that they will put the measures in place and have the conversations needed to resolve the dispute.
If your issue or dispute is regarding another member of staff, or a specific company policy, then speaking to the internal or external HR department is the best step you can take.