Grievances and Dispute Notifications for Employees

Fixed Fee Consultation
For guidance on all matters related to workplace disputes, contact Peters Bosel Lawyers today.

Grievances and Disputes Notifications for Employees

Fixed Fee Consultation
For guidance on all matters related to workplace disputes, contact Peters Bosel Lawyers today.

If you have a dispute at work our specialist employment lawyers at Peters Bosel can help

While no one seeks conflict or disagreement at their place of work, it’s a fact of life that it can sometimes happen.

Whether you have a grievance with your employer or a fellow employee, there’s little doubt you would like it resolved quickly and to your satisfaction. It’s important that you understand your options and your rights if you have a dispute at work, and this is where experienced employment lawyers like Peters Bosel can help.

These days, most workplaces provide detailed dispute resolution policies and procedures to help address any issue you may have at work. If your workplace is covered by a registered enterprise agreement, it’s mandatory that the agreement include a dispute resolution clause that:

  • sets out a procedure requiring or allowing either the Fair Work Commission or some other independent person to settle the dispute; and
  • allows for the representation of employees covered by the agreement when there is a dispute (for example by another employee or a union).

If your place of work is covered by an enterprise agreement, or modern award it will include a procedure for resolving disputes between employers and employees about any matter arising under the enterprise agreement, the modern award and the National Employment Standards (NES).

Best practice steps to resolve a dispute

The Fair Work Ombudsman provides a Best Practice Guide for effective dispute resolution, which combined with good legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer can help you navigate your way through a dispute at work. These steps are reflected in dispute resolution clauses within the Fair Work Act.

In summary, it suggests the following steps:

  • Yourself and/or your representative meet(s) with your direct supervisor to discuss the grievance or dispute;
  • you attempt to resolve the dispute with your supervisor after they’ve listened carefully to your account of the issue. If resolution at this stage is not possible, or it is not appropriate that the supervisor deal with it, the matter should be referred to senior management;
  • senior management listens to your concerns and either resolves the dispute or refers the matter to more senior management;
  • more senior/national officers listen to you (and/or your representative) and attempt to resolve the dispute. It is either resolved or referred to an independent body; and
  • an independent conciliator or mediator (for example the Fair Work Commission) assists to resolve the dispute.

How the mediation process works

If it is decided to try and resolve the dispute through a mediator, you should understand that the mediator is there to manage the process of conflict resolution, rather than evaluate or determine the dispute. An effective mediator creates the structure within which the parties to the dispute can self-determine a resolution.

Preferably mediation will be conducted offsite to provide privacy for all parties and reinforce the independence of the process. It’s also important that all parties are aware at the outset how the mediator proposes to conduct the mediation and that this is approved by the parties. If a resolution is achieved at the conclusion of the mediation process, the terms of such an agreement should be put in writing and signed by all the parties to the mediation.

At every stage from the airing of the grievance through to mediation and resolution, it’s important that proper procedures are followed to minimise the possibility of more costly legal action at a later date.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email