Industrial Relations Disputes Procedures and Resolutions

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that for the 2010 December quarter, 17,000 employees were involved in industrial disputes and 27,200 working days were lost. For the year ending December 2010, there were 126,600 working days lost!

This is not only an expensive loss of productivity, but not good for industrial relations or employee morale either!

Occasionally, disputes cannot be resolved internally or quickly to the satisfaction of both parties and in these cases HRM Consulting assist in the resolution process – often an impartial party can take the emotion out of a difficult and stressful experience.

An example of a Disputes Resolution Procedure;

Any dispute arising during the course of employment shall be resolved in accordance with the following procedures:

(a) the matter shall first be discussed by the aggrieved employee with their supervisor;

(b) if not settled, the matter shall be discussed by the aggrieved employee, the supervisor and the appropriate line manager;

(c) if not settled, the matter shall be discussed by the aggrieved employee, the appropriate line manager and the divisional manager;

(d) if not settled, the matter shall be discussed by the aggrieved employee, the divisional manager and appropriate human resources representative of the company;

(e)   an alternative option by agreement of the parties at this stage is to refer the dispute to mediation.  The mediation will be conducted in accordance with agreed procedures from a panel of agreed mediators;

(f) if the matter is still not settled, it may be submitted to Fair Work Australia for determination;

(g) until the matter is considered/resolved, work shall continue normally.  No party shall be prejudiced as to the final settlement by continuance of work in accordance with this policy;

(h) where a bona fide safety issue is involved, the Company and the appropriate safety authority must be notified or a genuine attempt made to notify that authority;

The employee, if requested, can have a witness present at any of these meetings, whose purpose will be to observe the process of the discussion.

In addition, HRM Consulting's service extends to putting in place procedures to ensure similar disputes do not arise or may be handled efficiently and to the agreement of both employer and employee.

Putting procedures in place to ensure harmonious industrial relations is a much more cost effective way of running your business. Contact us if you need help.