How to Deal with Workplace Disputes

How to Deal with Workplace Disputes LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondonAlthough many working relationships proceed without major problems, in some cases workplace disputes can cause valid concerns to both employers and employees. In this article you will find a useful information on how to proceed and what to expect when faced with a potential workplace dispute.

Understanding the legislation that concerns the management of workplace disputes

The legislation governing workplace disputes has as its main objective finding an early solution to any problem that may affect the working relationship between employers and employees. Whenever a dispute arises, the current regulations are there to help the process be solved quickly and without unnecessary difficulties.

In 2009, some changes were made to the Employment Act to include detailed procedures regarding the management of workplace disputes. In January 2013, the Employment Relations Ministry proposed a series of amendments to the current workplace dispute guidelines and called for the implementation of new statutory codes of practice on this matter. The new codes of practice will introduce modifications to the maximum amount that can be paid as unfair dismissal compensation, as well as outline in detail what constitutes improper behaviour and what factors should be taken into account when negotiating financial compensation at the end of a working relationship.

Types of workplace disputes and how to deal with each of them

Disputes in the workplace will usually fall within one of the following categories: grievances or disciplinary issues. In both cases, employers and employees are advised to raise their concerns informally before proceeding with a formal grievance or a disciplinary procedure.

Grievances can be defined as concerns or complaints that an employee has regarding his or her working conditions, treatment at work, or the application of the relevant statutory rights. There are a series of defined steps that must be taken when raising a grievance, and the details will be outlined either in your contract of employment or in your employer’s human resources or company handbook. In most cases, the procedure for raising a grievance involves:

a) informing your employer about the issue in a dated and signed letter, in which you also suggest what response you expect from them. It is recommended that you keep a copy of this letter

b) once they receive the letter, your employer must arrange a meeting in which you can discuss the issues involved in detail. During this meeting, employees have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or by a trade union representative, when applicable

c) you should receive a written statement from your employer that describes the actions they have decided to implement with regards to your grievance

Most workplace disputes should be settled at this stage. If they are not and you do not agree with the way your employer has handled the grievance, you must inform them in writing about your intention of appealing their decision. A further meeting will then be arranged, and whenever possible, it is recommended that a senior manager is present at the appeal meeting.

On the other hand, disciplinary issues are raised by employers and concern employees’ behaviour, absences, or their failure to meet contractual requirements and standards. The procedure for dealing with disciplinaries involves the same steps as above.

What to do if a workplace dispute cannot be settled through grievances or disciplinaries

If the issue that caused a workplace dispute persists following a grievance or disciplinary procedure, the current employment legislation recommends that advice is sought from an independent third party before taking things further. The Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has been created specifically for that purpose. Employees who are or might be involved in a workplace dispute are encouraged to speak to an ACAS advisor or to visit their website to find specific guidance on how to proceed. ACAS also provides a free of charge early conciliation service that may help find a solution without needing to go to an employment tribunal. Alternatively, employees that are represented by a trade union can contact their union representative. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau and the Civil Mediation Service can also be of help.

The organisations listed above can act as mediators and advise employees on whether or not they have a right to raise their issues at an employment tribunal. The last step before going to a tribunal would be to involve an arbitrator (usually ACAS), whose decisions are legally binding for both parties. It must be kept in mind that employees who wish to make a claim before a tribunal must do so within a maximum of three months following the date of the incident. Making a claim should be considered the last resort to solving a workplace dispute.

Further information on Workplace Disputes, as well as guides on a range of other employee rights can be found here Employee RightsMaternity RightsEqual Opportunities and
Office Relocation: Employee Rights, Office Occupational Health and Safety.

Focus On: Wimbledon Village Business Centre

To the south west of London, approximately 7 miles from the city centre, is the affluent suburb of Wimbledon, famous for its common- a large recreational park, and the English tennis championships which are held at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club every June. Attractive to residents as well as businesses, companies and organisations for its green spaces, community feel and close proximity and ease of access to central London, Wimbledon is a popular location for offices and work spaces.

The area closest to the common is known as Wimbledon Village and is built on the site of the original medieval settlement; the High Street at the centre comprises local shops and delicatessens, small designer boutiques and gastro pubs. Wimbledon Town is more modern and developed, built around the Broadway and the station which has been part of the rail network since 1838. A highlight of the town is the Centre Court Shopping Complex which was built to incorporate the original Town Hall based on designs by architect Sir George Grenfell Baines.

Wimbledon Village Business Centre, formerly known as Thornton House, is a large residential property, renovated to create spacious office units boasting their own grounds and maintaining some original character features which create a peaceful and conducive working environment. The centre offers a range of suites available in different sizes depending on requirements. Amenities include the use of a large free car park. What’s more, the exclusive shops, bars and restaurants of desirable Wimbledon Village are within just a few minutes walking distance. Set on Thornton Hill, the building offers scenic view of Wimbledon College, the village, Wimbledon town and beyond to Central London. Continue reading “Focus On: Wimbledon Village Business Centre”

A Closer Look at the Marble Arch Business Centre

London’s Marble Arch is located in the very heart of the city; at the north-western corner of world famous Hyde Park, with the city’s premier shopping area, Oxford Street on one side and the trendy, stylish Notting Hill area on the other. Marble Arch is the perfect location for businesses looking for a for a place to base themselves where all the action of London is on the doorstep; business centres in Marble Arch benefit from a highly prized and prestigious address and all the advantages that come with it.

Bryanston Street Business Centre is an outstanding and noteworthy building in its own right, standing tall and distinct with windows on all sides, offering superb 360 degree views of London, particularly from the offices on the 18th floor. Offices of varying sizes are available on leases ranging from 3 months to 5 years and are fully serviced, managed and staffed with office furniture and amenities including exclusive climate control for each space. The first floor boasts conferencing and meeting rooms including break out spaces and all within two minutes walk from Marble Arch tube station (Central line). Continue reading “A Closer Look at the Marble Arch Business Centre”

Your Rights as an Employee: Office Occupational Health and Safety

There are many factors that can influence job satisfaction and productivity levels in the office. Although elements like economic retribution, good working relationships with colleagues, and autonomy are all very important, health and safety considerations cannot be taken out of the equation. The importance of health and safety in the workplace should not be underestimated, as the well-being of both employers and staff depends on it.

Since potential hazards are everywhere, it is important to be familiar with and understand what regulations are in place in order to protect your health and well-being at work, as well as which are your rights as an employee in terms of health and safety. This article provides an overview of the most important aspects of the current health and safety legislation, with the objective of helping you understand better your rights in the office.

Continue reading “Your Rights as an Employee: Office Occupational Health and Safety”

A Guide to London’s Mayfair

The neighbourhood of Mayfair is one of London’s most prestigious addresses. Embassies, five-star hotels, exclusive boutiques, and some of the capital’s most expensive real estate can all be found here. Over the years, the area has been home to some notable residents, like Alexander Graham Bell, Jimmy Hendrix, Oscar Wilde, and even Queen Elizabeth. If you are interested in finding out more about this area of London, this article provides a good introduction to the history of Mayfair and a guide to some of its most iconic landmarks.

Mayfair London @officeinlondon

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Time for a Cuppa – Office Tea Parties for Charity

Here at London Office Space, we just can’t get enough tea and when we were researching for our tea infographic we came across this excellent initiative: Time for a Cuppa. There was just enough time to showcase what it’s all about with it being only a few weeks away.

Time for a Cuppa March 1-8 2013
Time for a Cuppa March 1-8 2013

We caught up with Amy Cudmore from Dementia UK to ask her some questions about Time for a Cuppa and what companies and office workers could do to help raise funds for this very important cause.

Continue reading “Time for a Cuppa – Office Tea Parties for Charity”

Valentine’s Charity Gifts

Once again, Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you may be wondering how to surprise your significant other and loved ones. While there are many original Valentine’s Day gift ideas out there, you surely want to your gift to be meaningful and memorable too. And no, there is no need to fly your other half to Paris in order to do that. In this article we review some of the most remarkable Valentine’s Day gifts that you can offer without breaking the bank.

Unique and special Valentine gifts for a special someone: Why Valentine charity gifts are a brilliant idea

Valentine’s Day is all about showing appreciation, love, and affection towards those very important people in your life. While jewellery, chocolates, and other traditional Valentine’s Day gifts are definitely well-received presents, giving a Valentine’s charity gift is a sure-proof way to impress your loved ones. This kind of gift is usually relegated to occasions like Christmas, and not generally expected during this date, so by choosing a charity gift as your special Valentine’s Day present you will surely make an impression that will make you stand out in the eyes of lovers, friends, and family. In fact, since choosing a charity gift often involves saving a life, you could even say that Valentine’s Day charity gifts can turn you into a hero for a day (or more!).

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Discover London’s Hidden Interiors with our February Prize

If you are like us and love London but feel there’s simply not enough hours in the day to absorb all the things this wonderful city offers, why not enter our February competition? A fantastic book called London Hidden Interiors can be yours if you happen to be our lucky winner.

London Hidden Interiors by Philip Davies reveals 180 of London’s best conserved and least known interiors in 1500 stunning photographs. Considered to be one of the most extraordinary collections of contemporary photographs of London’s historic interiors ever published, this hardcover book is our February competition prize we are happy to send your way.

LOS competition - win London Hidden Interiors by following @officeinlondon

All we ask you to do is follow us @officeinlondon on Twitter and retweet one of our tweets where we mention this competition. It’s easy, and for those interested in finding out more here’s a list of terms and conditions. Good luck! Continue reading “Discover London’s Hidden Interiors with our February Prize”

How do Pensions Work?

A pension is a tax free way to save for your retirement. There are a number of ways to save for a pension and various types of pension schemes available including state pensions, workplace pensions and personal pensions. The pension plan you choose will depend on a number of factors including your age, salary, financial situation and the company you work for.

Pensions and Retirement

Department for Work and Pensions

The Pensions Advisory Service

Online Pension Planner

How much is a State Pension?

The current maximum amount of basic state pension you can claim is £107.45 weekly (as of October 2012) and the maximum state pension amount increases annually.

Once you reach state pension age you will be able to claim the basic state pension, however you must have paid National Insurance (NI) contributions or have been credited with NI contributions during your working life. Continue reading “How do Pensions Work?”

Lizzie from Texas: I loved London!

Back in November when we published our Time for a Cuppa infographic, we got in touch with two lovely ladies – Pippa and Jules – otherwise known as the Darjeeling Darlings, who are based in San Antonio, Texas, and absolutely adore good quality tea.

Reading their reviews of Tea Rooms across Virginia, Florida, Texas and California, we couldn’t help but notice one additional participant of those little afternoon tea parties – someone we here in the UK are rather familiar with, who they refer to as Lizzie.

Among other things, we wrote in our email:

“We absolutely loved your Lizzie, she has a great taste and seems to really love tea. Just out of interest, has she actually been over here in the UK? If not, why don’t you post her over, and we will take a photo of her in front of the Buckingham Palace? Just an idea!”

It took a while to pack (all those dresses, hats, handbags and jewellery!) but guess who arrived at our LondonOfficeSpace.com office earlier this month?

Her Majesty the Queen! Continue reading “Lizzie from Texas: I loved London!”