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Grievance procedures not working says CBI

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The CBI’s research into workplace grievances has shown that the statutory procedure introduced in October 2004 has had no long-term impact on the number of cases reaching the tribunals.

Last year the number of tribunal cases jumped by a third, reaching the levels of 2003/4.

CBI director of human resources policy Susan Anderson said: “We are disappointed that the new regulations, designed to resolve disputes in the workplace, and new tribunal procedures have failed to have a greater impact in reducing the number of tribunal cases.

“Employer confidence in the system remains low and it is still seen as too adversarial and damaging to employee relations.

“The process is so expensive and time-consuming that many firms, particularly smaller ones, prefer to settle out of court even after advice they are likely to win the cases. The likelihood of employers recovering their costs when they are successful is very low.”

CBI surveys show that fewer than a third of employers believe the system to be effective and one-in-four companies settle rather than go to a full tribunal.

The CBI will be making recommendations later this year to improve regulations, in particular to ensure that minor complaints are not treated as full blown grievances.

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