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.
Disciplinary procedures are used for dealing with problems with employees' conduct or their performance, which could lead to warnings or dismissal.
An independent mediator can sometimes help resolve grievance or disciplinary issues. There is no charge for using the Labour Relations Agency's mediation service.
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.
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 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.
To make a claim to an industrial tribunal for unfair dismissal, in most circumstances employees will need to have worked continuously for the organisation for one year. There are other types of claim, for example regarding unpaid wages, holiday entitlements or discrimination, which do not require one year's continuous service.
When employers wish to make employees redundant they must follow a clear and fair process. The Labour Relations Agency has a redundancy flowchart and sample letters which can help employers and employees in this situation.