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Annie Hayes

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Be prepared for new dispute regulations, say Citizens Advice

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Citizens Advice, the national umbrella organisation for Citizens Advice Bureaux is urging employers and workers to be prepared for new rules, tabled for implementation this Friday (1 October) on dealing with disputes at work.

The new rules oblige employers to have legal minimum procedures in place for handling grievances, dismissal and disciplinary actions.

But the changes also place a duty on employees to follow new procedures if they have a grievance at work.

Ignoring the procedures and failure to follow them correctly by either party may result in a reduced or increased compensation award by an Employment Tribunal.

The three-step procedure is designed to encourage employers and employees to discuss problems first before resorting to an Employment Tribunal.

Step 1: obliges employers to put their reasons in writing explaining why disciplinary action or dismissal is being considered. Employees considering raising a grievance must also state their reasons in written form.

Step 2: A face-to-face meeting between parties is the next step. Both sides must be given time to consider the facts prior to the meeting. Following this, the employee must be informed of the decision and made aware of their right to appeal.

Step 3: the final step is to set up an appeals panel if required. Employees must be informed of the outcome.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive David Harker said: “It is important that everyone understands the change because if the procedures are not followed they could seriously affect people’s rights to make a claim to an employment tribunal.”

What you need to know – dealing with grievances, dismissal and disciplinary action at work is now available from the Citizens Advice Bureaux.

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Annie Hayes

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