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Essay, 11 pages (2500 words)

Grievance and discipline procedure – relate to alton towers

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There are three stages when a grievance occurs. For example: if a cleaner is being bullied by other employees at Alton Towers and decides they will no longer tolerate it and complain these stages will be taken. The first thing they will do is: 1.

tell their manager (keep it within the department) To see if they can resolve the issue before more people become involved. For example: the line manger of the employees will may talk to them and tell them it should not happen again. If the manger does not resolve the issue and they continue to bully the cleaner it will be taken to the next stage. 2. Outside the department i. e.

telling a more senior member of staff. This is usually done when a grievance cannot be solved by the employee’s line manager. For example: The cleaner may tell a more senior manger to deal with the employees in the correct manner i. e. suspension etc.

However, if the senior manger fails to overcome the problem or refuses to do anything about it then the cleaner may get a third party involved. 3. Outside the organisation e. g.

through ACAS. This will only occur for major grievances that the employee may feel will be ignored by the business. This independent party will discuss the problem with both sides and come to a mutual agreement about what consequences should be done. There are four major groups/organisations that can help solve disputes between employees and employers.

Trade UnionsTrade unions are organisations that look after the rights of workers. A number of employees belong to the same trade union because they will have more power as part of a group than as an individual. This organisation deals with problems in their first stage to prevent them from escalating. The main representatives of the trade union will negotiate with the employers of a business if employees are not happy with a specific thing. A trade union supports their members financially if there is a strike and legally if they wish to pursue things further through the courts.

Trade unions can also help employees with the following issues: Pay, working conditions, pension issue, health and safety, training, holiday, redundancy and hours of work. Employments TribunalsEmployment tribunals are less professional courts that will hear the claims of disputes between employees and employers. An employment tribunal will be the next stage taken if the dispute is not solved by the trade union. An employment tribunal will consist of employees at Alton Towers (that may not work directly with the employee with the grievance) and members of their trade union. Both sides of the problem will be heard and then members of the tribunal will decide what action should be taken. ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)This is an independent party that is called when negotiations are unsuccessful.

This organisation will hear both sides of the argument and help to resolve the issue. ACAS have no association with either the employee or employer so they will not be influenced by either, they will try and come to some sort of agreement that both parties will be happy with. European court of justiceThe European court of justice is a more superior court that will listen to the evidence and make a decision about who is the right and wrong. And, here it will be decided what action will be taken against the party that is in the wrong.

These people are neutral and specialise in disputes. Advantages and DisadvantagesTrade UnionIf a ride operator at Alton Towers has been racially abused by another employee several times and nothing was done to help they may decide to take the grievance to their trade union. This will be an advantage to the employee because the managers at Alton Towers will be more willing to take note of the offence as the employee will have more support and so it will be harder to ignore the problem. However, the disadvantage of involving a trade union is employees have to pay for membership.

However, this could be a disadvantage to the employer because other employees that are members of that same trade union may not be as willing to work as efficiently as possible because they feel Alton Towers are being unfair to their colleague. Furthermore, when a Trade Union is involved they may encourage their members to threaten Alton Towers with sit-ins, strikes etc, which will lead to the business not being able to run as efficiently as possible. Employment tribunalAn employment tribunal may be beneficial to an employee because the business will be more likely to take their claim seriously as now a court has become involved. The disadvantage of an employment tribunal is that members are made up of employees at Alton Towers and trade unions.

Therefore, they could be bias towards either party as both sides can have an influence on members of the tribunal. For example: employees may be more likely to take their employer’s, Alton Towers, side and people from the trade union will be more likely to take their member’s side because that is their job. Therefore, the outcomes of this could be unfair as members of the tribunal will have clouded judgement and support the person that they associate with and not the person who is actually right. ACASThe advantage of involving this organisation is that it is independent and therefore, will not be biased towards either side as they do not know them personally. And this is beneficial because they are likely to make the right decision as they concentrate on resolving the issue fairly.

The disadvantage of this is that ACAS is an external organisation and so others may be aware of the grievance and this will tarnish Alton Towers’ reputation and thus it may be harder for them to recruit employees in future. In addition to this, it could be a disadvantage to the employee because Alton Towers may be upset that a third party has to get involved and so when the grievance is resolved they may not want the employee to have their job back. I think the best method of resolving a dispute is to keep it within the business by either telling the line manger or a more senior manger. This is because the grievance will be sorted out at a very early stage and this will prevent it from escalating and causing more problems. For example: if a manager sorts the problem out immediately there will be no need to involve external organisations that can be costly for both Alton Towers and its employees.

Also, by resolving the dispute within the business, Alton Towers will not risk damaging their reputation and so their customers will be likely to remain loyal and they will continue to be able to attract new employees. Furthermore, their employees will remain motivated and wanting to work at Alton Towers as they will know their problems will be dealt with immediately. Examples of Disputes that may happen at Alton TowersA dispute may occur between ride operators at Alton Towers and their employers over wages. The ride operators may decide they should be paid more but employers do not agree. If this happens the employees may decide to take action against the business and get their trade union involved. The union will negotiate with employers at Alton Towers over the pay rise but if they refuse to listen they may decide to take further action.

For example: the trade union may advise its members (the ride operators at Alton Towers) to go slow. i. e they should not work as efficiently as they possibly can. Instead of getting a many people as possible onto the rides they should work slowly and take their time so customers get fed up and complain.

This will show employers that the ride operators are needed so customers can have a good time and remain loyal to Alton Towers. Due to this, employers may consider the pay increase because if employees are not motivated they will not provide excellent customer service and so Alton Towers will lose profit as they will lose customer loyalty. If employees do not want to go slow because they think the business is still going to benefit slightly as some customers will still be happy with the service as they may get to go on the ride, then the employees may decide to take another action. For example: they may decide to have a sit-in i.

e. they will go to Alton Towers but not do any work. This will be bad for Alton Towers because their main business activity is the theme park so if customers are unable to go on the rides they may demand their money back and not return to Alton Towers and this will cause them to lose business. Also, if employees decide to do this, the public will know there is a problem between employees and employers at Alton Towers and the media may get involved and this may cause more people to lose faith in Alton Towers and visit other theme parks instead.

This is because the media will expand the issue and cause it to be blown out of proportion which will be very damaging to Alton Towers’ reputation. On the other hand, if employees decide they do not want the dispute to be made public because Alton Towers may decide to sack these people for giving them a negative reputation, they may choose an alternative action; banning overtime. This will mean if Alton Towers are short of an employee and need someone to cover their shift, existing ride operators will refuse. This will show employers that the ride operators should be listened too because if they do not work overtime then Alton Towers will not be able to run as efficiently as possible. In addition to this, the trade union may encourage employees to work to rule. This would mean that employees would take their breaks at their set times and not wait till it is more convenient for Alton Towers.

i. e. if 1pm is a very busy time for certain rides e. g. ‘ Rita’ as everyone is back from lunch, then many employees are needed, but some of their lunch breaks are at this time, they would usually take their breaks later when the queues quieten down.

However, during work to rule, they will still take their breaks no matter how busy it is. Furthermore, if the ride operators needs are ignored and the dispute is not resolved, they may decide to strike (this is usually done in extreme cases i. e. a last resort).

This would mean that employees will not go to Alton Towers and do their job. This will make employees see how much they are needed because if there are no ride operators to operate the rides then Alton Towers will lose out on profit as thousands of people will not go to the park whilst employees are on strike. Moreover, if there is a strike of large scale the media will surely be involved and Alton Towers will gain a negative reputation. How disputes affect Alton TowersDisputes can affect Alton Towers in a number of ways. They will have negative effects on the business.

For example: if employees decide to strike and/ or have a sit in then there will be no one to work at Alton Towers and so they will not be able to do their business activity and this will cause them to lose customers. Also, this will make the media aware of the problem and cast a negative image of Alton towers nationally, so they will lose many potential visitors which will cause them to lose profits as their production costs will be more then their income. Also, some employees may decide to leave Alton Tower so they will be short on staff and unable to run as efficiently as possible. Also, if they are unable to find immediate replacement for these employees then they may lose further customers as customers will have to wait longer in queues and so may decide not to return to Alton Towers in future.

In addition to this, if others hear of the reasons why employee left e. g. through media coverage or former employees, then it will be harder for Alton Towers to recruit new employees. This is because people will not be willing to work there as they may think Alton Towers do not listen to their employees and the working conditions will not be in the interest of the workers. Moreover, if employees have disputes with the employer it can cause tension between them and this may result in them being less motivated and slacking.

Three examples of grievancesA grievance may occur between an employee and their employer at Alton Towers when certain laws are not followed. For example: if Alton Towers break ‘ The Equal Pay Act’ by paying one employee more than another than this can cause problems. For example: if there are two supervisors for the same restaurant at Alton Towers, and they both work the same number of hours and do the same work, but one is a male and the other is a female, and the female gets paid less than the male. Then, the female supervisor will decide to take action against Alton Towers.

This is because both supervisors should be treated equally under the law and so legal action can be taken against Alton Towers as they will be in breech of ‘ The Equal Pay Act.’If this occurs the female supervisor will report the grievance to her line manager. The department manger may not be able to resolve the dispute because he/she is not in charge of employees’ salaries and does not have the authority to change them. Therefore, the grievance will be passed on to the next stage (taken to the senior mangers). These mangers will have the power to increase the female supervisor’s salary and resolve the dispute. However, should they decide they do not want to pay her as much as the male supervisor, then it will become an even more serious issue.

This is because Alton Towers will be seen as discriminative against females and so the grievance will be taken further (to a party outside the business) e. g. ACAS. This organisation will discuss the issue and come to a mutual agreement. Another grievance may occur when there is a chance of promotion within a business.

For example: if there is a position available for ride supervisor at Alton Towers and two employees applied; one was black and the other was white and the white employee got the job although the black employee was the most suitable; he had more experience and relative skills, then this could cause a conflict between the black employee and employers at Alton Towers. This is because the black person may feel they were discriminated against; the only reason they didn’t get the job was because of their skin colour. If this is proved then Alton Towers would be breaking ‘ The Race Relations Act 1976.’ Under this law all employees regardless of race, colour etc should be given equal opportunity but in this case the employee has felt that they have not been treated equally and given the same opportunity as the white employee so Alton Towers have broken this law.

The ride operator will take the matter to his line manger and the manger fails to overcome the employees concerns and show that he was not discriminated against the ride supervisor may decide to complain to a more senior manger. If this manager fails to give valid reasons for not promoting the black employee then he may take the matter to an external organisation. A trade union will support the employee if he decides to take legal action against Alton Towers and The European Court of Justice will decide if he was discriminated against. Furthermore, a grievance may occur when an employee is unfairly dismissed. For example: if a shop assistant is sacked because the manager has a personal problem with them; dislikes them due to a past encounter, then under ‘ The Employment Act 1975’ they are not allowed to sack them for this reason.

If the shop assistant complains and explains the reason they were dismissed then it would come to light that the manger has breeched The Employment Act.’In this case, the employee is unable to take the problem to his line manger because they have a grievance with them therefore, they will take their grievance to a more senior manager. If this manager decides the employee should not have been sacked then they will re-hire the employee. However, if the senior manager is a personal friend of the shop manager, and therefore, ignores the allegations against the manager, then the grievance will be taken to the next stage and an external organisation will be involved, for example: The European Court of Justice.

Here, they will listen to the claims and see if there was valid reasons for the employee to be dismissed. If not, then they will decide what actions should be taken against Alton towers.

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