Disputes in the workplace

Information and guidance on reducing the risk of grievances and disputes in the workplace

Minimising the risk of disputes and grievances in the workplace

​Conflict that is not resolved quickly can affect the health and wellbeing of employees. It can cause stress, frustration, ill health, mental ill health and reduced productivity.

Addressing the following steps will help minimise the likelihood of disputes and help you manage them more effectively.

This information is current, but it is important to consider issues in your workplace that are specific to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and make suitable arrangements to keep your staff safe. For more information and advice on working safely, read our COVID-19 guidance

No employee or manager wants to become involved in a workplace dispute or conflict. Positive management processes and relationships with employees are a crucial part of minimising the risk and encouraging early resolution of disputes.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has a set of stress management standards which outline the 6 elements of good management processes

  • demands
  • control
  • support
  • relationships
  • role
  • change.

Relationships are one of the key elements of the HSE standards. It includes the promotion of positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour.

The standards also explain the importance of agreeing with the workforce the policies and procedures to prevent, deal or report unacceptable behaviours.