Conflicts at work take many forms. It might be an individual with a grievance, a problem between an employee and a manager or conflict between two co-workers.

In all cases the best course of action is to get advice early from your trade union if you are part of one or if not via and independent agency such as ACAS

Acas provides free and confidential advice to employers, employees and their representatives on employment rights, best practice and policies, and resolving workplace conflict. The helpline has a free translation service for over 100 languages

Acas helpline
Telephone: 0300 123 1100
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Examples of disputes

Disciplinary investigations and hearings

Employers should deal with issues promptly, fairly and consistently. Investigations should be carried out to gather and establish all the facts of the case.

Employees should be given the facts of the case and allowed to put their response forward, they have the right to be accompanied at any formal disciplinary meeting and allowed to appeal against any formal decision made.This must be done in writing.


A grievance is a complaint made by an employee to their employer, which requires the employer to take further action. Employees can use grievance procedures to resolve workplace disputes. Grievances can be informal and formal. Raising a grievance may result in a grievance hearing, as part of the employer's internal procedures. A grievance must be made in writing. Should an employee be unhappy with the outcome an appeal can be made but must be in writing.

Early conciliation

Acas is able to offer early conciliation to help to settle the dispute without going to court. For tribunal claims lodged on or after 6 May 2014, it is a legal requirement, unless an exemption applies, for a claimant to have made an early conciliation notification to Acas.

Employment tribunals

Employment tribunals deal with legal hearings between workers and employers when there is a dispute about employment rights that can't be resolved less formally.


If you suspect unlawful activity at work, you may want to inform someone about it. UK law protects whistleblowers from unfair dismissal, or other detriment, as a result of having blown the whistle, as long as the disclosure is made to the right person, in the right way.

If you would like further information you might find the links below useful:

Find your local employment rights advice provider though the Community Hub 

Solve workplace dispute


Employment tribunal

Pay and work rights

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