11 March 2019

ADVICE COLUMN: Workplace Disputes

I am having problems at work. My employer has called me a meeting to discuss this. I am worried. What should I do?

If you're unhappy about something that your employer has said or done, you should always try and talk about it with them. It's a good idea to try to sort out problems early on. If things aren't sorted out quickly, this could cause bigger problems between you and your employer.

It's a good idea to write down your concerns and anything that happens. This will be useful as a record and reminder of the situation.

If you've been dismissed, or your employer starts formal disciplinary action against you, there is a procedure they should follow under a code produced by the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). As part of this, you should be given the chance to defend yourself in a meeting, and to appeal their decision. If you can, you should do this in writing to your employer. You should explain to them why you don't agree with their decision.

If you can, it's often helpful to get advice so you know where you stand. Your employer may be entitled to do what they're doing and you may not be able to do much to change it. On the other hand, your employer may not be entitled to do what they're doing, and you might be able to use your legal rights to change things.

If you're a member of a trade union, you should always try to talk with your union official about any problems you have at work. Part of your trade union's role is to help sort out problems individual members have at work. Problems can often be resolved more easily with the help of your union. But if you're unhappy with a decision your union has made for you, then you should get advice elsewhere.

If talking about things with your employer hasn't worked, you might want to think about another way to sort out the problem. One way of doing this is to put in a grievance. A grievance is a way of more formally raising your concerns, problems or complaints about work with your employer.

For more information and advice go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk 

07 March 2019
The FAIR Project                                         

The FAIR project is a service for people over 50 in Torbay. It stands for Financial Advice, Information & Resilience and offers advice and information on benefits, local welfare provision, getting the best utility deals and help for those in debt. The project is a joint venture involving local community groups and specialist providers and is led by Citizens Advice Torbay. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund via Ageing Well Torbay.

We offer a drop-in service and people can self-refer at four community access points:

The Acorn Youth Community & Sports Centre, Lummaton Cross, Barton, Torquay,

TQ2 8ET. 01803 328819  www.acorn-centre.org.uk

Open Monday – Friday 9 am – 9pm. Saturday 9 am – 5 pm.

Brixham Does Care, Old Market House, Town Hall, 1 New Road, Brixham,

TQ5 8TA.  01803 857727   www.brixhamdoescare.co.uk

Open Monday – Friday 9.45 am – 4 pm.

Brixham Youth Enquiry Service (YES), The Edge, Bolton Street, Brixham,

TQ5 95H. 01803 851414  www.bxyes.org.uk      

Open Monday – Friday 11 am – 5 pm.

Crafty Fox Café ‘n’ Hub, 103 Foxhole Road, Paignton, TQ3 3SU.

01803 669005  www.craftyfoxcafe.com

Open Monday – Friday 10 am– 3 pm

Volunteers at the community groups will assist clients with simple benefits and debt enquiries and refer more complex cases on to specialist partners as appropriate. These specialist partners are Citizens Advice Torbay, Age UK, Homemaker SouthWest and Torbay Advice Network. Mencap, Healthwatch, Sanctuary Housing and VisualEyes are also partners in this initiative. Mencap will be running workshops for unpaid carers and people with a learning disability around various aspects of finance.

For more information please contact FAIR co-ordinator Susan Bottomley:

susan.bottomley@citizensadvice.org.uk 07706 714366