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How to Deal with Work Disputes and Problems

Our guide to work disputes explains all about legal issues in the workplace and your rights.

Unfortunately, there are a variety of problems which can arise in the workplace, and it can sometimes be hard to know how to respond in these situations. Knowing your rights under employment law is a huge help.

All kinds of situations can be a cause for concern when you are trying to do your job. These may include:

  • the way you are treated at work or the behaviour of other employees
  • the terms and conditions of your contract
  • tasks you are being asked to do at work
  • conditions in the workplace

Fortunately there are a number of rules in place which mean that you should be able to take action if you are having genuine issues at work.

Disciplinary proceedings

Your employer may bring disciplinary proceedings against you if they feel that your behaviour in the workplace or performance in your role are of an unacceptable standard. Even in this situation, however, they are expected to follow appropriate procedures and treat you fairly.

If you are facing disciplinary proceedings in the workplace, make sure you know your rights and read up on what you can expect to happen with our guide to disciplinary procedures.


If you have a workplace issue which has not been dealt with to your satisfaction through informal means, you may want to consider raising a grievance. A grievances is a formal complaint that your employer will be obliged to investigate using appropriate and fair processes.

Whether your issue relates to your workload, poor management, the behaviour of other co-workers, or any other work problem, take a look at our page on grievances to find out what you should do next.

Employment tribunals

If you feel that an issue at work has not been resolved properly despite having undergone your employer’s formal complaints procedures, you may want to consider having your case heard at an employment tribunal. Employment tribunals are independent bodies which can make a ruling on whether you are being treated unfairly at work.

For everything you need to know about the process, from the preliminary requirement of Early Conciliation to the presentation of your case, visit our page about employment tribunals


It is illegal for your employer or other workers to discriminate against you at work. Discrimination is when you are treated less favourably due to one or more of what are termed ‘protected characteristics’.

To find out more about the definition of discrimination and what to do if you have encountered it in the workplace, please read our guide to discrimination.

Health and safety

Your employer is required by law to ensure that your workplace is as safe as possible, and that any risks are recognised and minimised. Health and safety covers all kinds of workplace hazards, ranging from keeping people safe around dangerous machinery to maintaining a comfortable temperature in an office; and if your employer does not take it seriously there could be severe repercussions.

For everything you need to know about your employer’s responsibilities regarding health and safety in the workplace, take a look at our health and safety section.

When work comes to an end

Leaving your job can be unpleasant, particularly if you do not agree with your employer’s approach or feel you were unfairly forced out. If you think your employer acted illegally in terminating your role, you may be able to make a claim.

To find out more about unfair dismissal and redundancy issues, take a look at our page about work coming to an end.

If you want more information about appealing against an unfair dismissal, watch this video from employment law specialist Jayne Nevins, who will talk you through the process of making a claim.

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