Manak Solicitors share their advice for raising employee rights issues with your company.
We all encounter problems at work from time to time. Some will work themselves out naturally, but others will require more decisive action. Whilst addressing an issue can be a potentially awkward chat to have, knowing the steps you need to take will reassure you that you’re dealing with it in the correct manner.
When it comes to issues regarding employee rights, the law could potentially become a factor, which is why it’s so important to know exactly what you’re entitled to. Mismanagement of your rights can not only hinder your performance at work, but it can also impact your mental and physical wellbeing, so it’s crucial to tackle the problem as soon as possible. If you notice an issue in regards to your employee rights, here’s all you need to know about how to overcome it.
Know your rights
Knowing your rights as an employee is imperative, so you can identify any potential issues that may arise and affect your ability to work effectively. There will be some variation on employee rights depending on your job role or employment status, but there are some that come as standard across all workplaces. These include things like anti-discrimination and the right to earn the National Minimum Wage.
When starting out in a new role, it’s important to be clear about your employment status, as this will determine the rights you are or aren’t entitled to. There are several categories, including worker, employee, and contractor. Make sure this is clearly set out in your contract, as written agreements will be useful in acting as a reference point further down the road if any disputes were to arise.
Think carefully about what you want to say
Before speaking with your employer, you first need to carefully think about what it is you want to say. What’s caused the problem, and what would a positive outcome look like? It can help to take some notes to ensure you don’t miss anything and be sure to collect any relevant evidence or information that will help your employer to better understand the issue. If you feel comfortable doing so, it can be useful at this stage to speak to a colleague or family member to help you to arrange your thoughts.
Who to speak to
Deciding who you’re going to speak to about the problem is a crucial part of the process. There will always be someone you can talk to, be it inside the company or externally. This decision will depend on who you feel most comfortable approaching, and who you think will be able to provide an effective solution. Some companies might have a grievance or complaints procedure, which should be outlined in the staff handbook or on the company’s website.
If you’re uncertain, you might start by arranging a meeting with a line manager or member of the HR team. If after this meeting you feel the issue still hasn’t been resolved, then you might need to raise it with a more senior member of staff. Alternatively, you might feel more comfortable writing a letter to your employer. This should include details about the problem, all the steps you’ve taken to address it, and what you’d like the outcome to be. This can be helpful if the problem gets taken further, as it provides written evidence that you have raised the problem.
Finding a solution
Hopefully, after speaking to the relevant members of staff, you and your employer will be able to figure out a resolution. This should then be written up as proof of your agreement, and to ensure the problem doesn’t arise again. If you are unsatisfied with your employer’s suggested solution, you have the right to formally appeal. In this case, you should look to follow the ACAS Code of Practice in regards to appealing a disciplinary or grievance outcome.
To sum up
No matter your job role or industry, addressing and overcoming employee rights issues as soon as possible will prevent them from turning into more serious problems further down the line, saving you significant time and stress. To help your case, it’s important to remain professional at all times throughout the complaint process, as acting in a disruptive manner could cause further problems.