Do it right: employment disputes

Avoid them. Steer clear of nasty disputes by treating your staff fairly and consistently and establishing clear policies on pay and disciplinary and grievance procedures. Hardly rocket science.

Nip it in the bud. If an employee has a complaint, listen. A supportive arm around the shoulder is better than fingers around the throat later.

Find a referee. If both parties are at loggerheads, an independent mediator can highlight ways for them to reach a voluntary agreement without any blood-spilling. They're cheaper and quicker than a tribunal.

Go to arbitration. In cases of unfair dismissal, an independent arbitrator offers a speedy, informal but legally binding alternative.

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