Employment disputes

Workplace disputes can cause anxiety, damage to your professional reputation and loss of earnings. If you are involved in a dispute, our employment solicitors can advise you about your rights and options and make sure you are treated fairly.

Can you resolve a workplace dispute without going to tribunal?

Employment tribunals are usually a last resort for resolving workplace disputes.

The first step to resolving a dispute is to raise an informal grievance with your employer. If that fails, the second step is to follow your employer’s formal grievance procedure.

Resolving a dispute with your employer is more likely to lead to a quicker amicable outcome than proceeding to an employment tribunal.

Raising an informal grievance

Raising an informal grievance can mean sitting down with your employer, manager or somebody from the human resources department for an informal chat or a structured meeting.

Our solicitors can help you to resolve a dispute with your employer informally. We can advise how to gather evidence, open discussions with your employer and the best way to approach an issue.

Following formal grievance procedure

If you feel the informal grievance has been unsuccessful, you may make a formal grievance.

When you raise a formal grievance, your employer must follow their grievance procedure. If they do not have a set of procedures, they must follow the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) formal grievance process.

Please talk to our expert employment solicitors if you decide to raise a formal grievance. We can work with you to prepare evidence, draft a written complaint and ensure your rights are protected.

What are the types of employment disputes?

There are many types of workplace disputes, such as:

Breach of employment contract

An employment contract is a legally binding agreement between an employer and an employee. A breach is when one party breaks a term of the Contract. For example, an employee does not work their agreed hours, or an employer does not pay wages on time. 

If you think your employer has breached the employment contract or you are accused of a breach, please call our solicitors for advice.

Bullying and harassment at work

Bullying and harassment can be constant teasing, threats, verbal abuse or excessive criticism. It is any conduct that leaves someone feeling angry, distressed or humiliated.

Under the Equality Act 2010, harassment is defined as, ‘Unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.’

The law protects from bullying or harassment at work. Please talk to our solicitors today if you are affected.


Serious disputes can arise if an employee is discriminated against on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. These are ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010.

Discrimination at work is illegal, so please talk to us if you are a victim of discrimination.

Employer investigations

If a disciplinary or grievance issue arises, an employer must carry out an investigation. The purpose of investigations is to gather evidence to deal with the issue.

An investigation is an integral part of a grievance or disciplinary case. If you are involved in a dispute and your employer fails to carry out a thorough and fair investigation, you may take legal action against them for not following correct procedures.

Misconduct at work

Misconduct at work is when an employee has behaved wrongly in the workplace, for example, refusing to work or being absent from work without permission.

Gross misconduct is behaviour so serious it is grounds for immediate dismissal without notice. This could be fighting, theft, malicious damage or other unacceptable conduct.

With any misconduct, an employer must follow correct disciplinary procedures. This may mean an employee is suspended from work on full pay pending an investigation into what has happened.

If you have been accused of misconduct, our solicitors can make sure you are treated fairly and that your rights are protected.

Salary disputes

This type of dispute could arise because an employer has not paid an employee what they owe them or wrongly deducted money from their salary. Salary disputes can also be around equal pay.

Unfair and constructive dismissal

There may be grounds for an employee to claim unfair dismissal if they have been unfairly dismissed, such as if they have been unfairly selected for redundancy.

Constructive dismissal is where you feel that continuing with your job is no longer possible due to treatment at work.

If an employer dismisses you on the grounds of incapability but have not carried out performance management and dismissal processes correctly, there may be grounds to claim unfair dismissal.

An employee must be employed for at least two years to bring a claim unless the treatment resulted from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

Please talk to our solicitors about concerns relating to unfair or constructive dismissal.


Whistleblowers are workers who report certain types of acts, such as criminal offences or dangerous health and safety breaches that have taken place in the workplace. Whistleblowers are protected by law and must not be treated unfairly by an employer.

If you are considering blowing the whistle on your employer, it is important to check you will be protected under the law. It is important to follow the correct process and recommended to seek confidential advice from our specialist solicitors before whistleblowing.

Have a question or need some help?

Contact our expert team today and receive your free initial assessment

Why choose Davisons employment dispute solicitors?

Our specialist employment lawyers have experience in successfully dealing with a range of employment disputes.

  • Results

    We believe that we are the best, industry leaders and market innovators. We have your back, whether you are moving into your dream home or needing a complex family divorce.
  • Where and when you need us

    Local offices and dedicated people who are accessible, friendly and here to help.
  • Experts in what we do

    We have the best people to help you, high skilled and vastly experienced. We’ll provide you with clear advice, not just options so that you can see a clear way forward.
  • Accreditations

    We have several accreditations that ensure the legal advice we provide is of the highest standards.

Get your FREE Initial
Assessment now

Fill in the form with your details and a bit about your current situation and a member of our team will be in touch to offer you a FREE initial assessment.

Please let us know you are not a robot