Conflict And Dispute Resolution
A mentally healthy workplace has clearly understood guidelines in place to act on grievances, complaints and disputes arising over organisational matters – such as workplace agreements, salary, hours, overtime, promotion and recognition.
Under the Australian Fair Work Act (2009) employers are obligated to have a dispute resolution process in place to act on grievances, disputes or differences that arise under modern awards and the National Employment Standards (NES). And to resolve them as quickly as is reasonably practicable.
The Fair Work Commission advises that a best practice dispute resolution process should:
- Be simple, quick and fair; that is, issues should be resolved quickly rather than allowed to escalate, and that all sides to a dispute are taken into account
- Be resolved at the workplace (where possible)
- Be handled sensitively and resolved confidentially
- Be transparent – that is, following an agreed process known to all employees.
- Should a dispute remain unresolved, the matter may be referred to the Fair Work Commission by either party
Getting this right will not only improve morale and productivity, but reduce staff turnover, reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, and build a stronger mentally-healthy workplace.
© 2019 The LITTLE BLUE BOOK OF WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH – page 44-45