As Coronavirus in Northern Ireland continues, It is important that businesses and workers know what their rights and responsibilities are when it comes to protecting staff and themselves from the spread of the virus.
Employers have a duty to protect their employees and visitors from harm. They must do risk assessments and they must report any serious incidents to the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland. Employees are expected to take reasonable care of their own health and safety.
Grievances are concerns, problems or complaints that employees may raise with their employers.
Workers have the right to take paid time off during working hours to accompany fellow workers employed by the same employer to certain disciplinary and grievance hearings.
An independent mediator can sometimes help resolve grievance or disciplinary issues. There is no charge for using the Labour Relations Agency's mediation service.
Disciplinary procedures are used for dealing with problems with employees' conduct or their performance, which could lead to warnings or dismissal.
Flexible working can deliver a win-win situation where employees are happier and more engaged because they are better able to manage the various demands on their time.
The Agency also facilitates a range of independent appeals (mainly grievance, bullying / harassment and discipline), for example where the final stage of an organisation’s procedure offers the option of 'an independent appeal of the decision via the Labour Relations Agency'.
The best way to prevent relationship problems is to have policies and procedures that are fair, constructive and clear and there should be constructive communication to address issues as quickly as possible. We can help you to check if your policies and procedures are in line with best practice.
However, where relationships have been damaged by events in the workplace, the Labour Relations Agency can provide impartial and confidential mediation, conciliation or arbitration support to help resolve the situation.