Statutory dispute resolution procedures
All employers are bound by statutory dispute resolution procedures. Employers are required to apply certain procedures when dealing with disciplinary or dismissal situations. Employees also have to take certain steps to try to resolve their grievances with their employer before bringing a claim in an employment tribunal.
Whenever an employer is contemplating dismissing an employee or taking disciplinary action it must follow the standard dismissal and disciplinary procedure.
A modified procedure applies in cases where the employer has already dismissed the employee in circumstances in which it was reasonable to do so without investigating the circumstances (e.g. the employee has been violent in the workplace and poses a real threat to the employer).
The main consequence of a failure by an employer to follow the procedures is that dismissal will be deemed to be automatically unfair (subject to the employee having a year’s service) and the compensatory award may be increased or decreased by between ten and 50 per cent, depending on which party is at fault.
Where an employee has a grievance about an action by his employer, he will need to initiate the statutory grievance procedure before he can bring a subsequent employment tribunal claim.