April 07, 2007

Grievance procedures failing

Acas has this week published the results of research into the impact of the Sexual Orientation Regulations and the Religion or Belief Regulations 2003.

The report, commissioned by the DTI, found that workplace discrimination allegations regarding sexual orientation were dominated by claims of bullying and harassment including name-calling, verbal threats, intimidation and physical assaults. Many religion and belief employment tribunal claims also included instances of bullying or harassment.

Another key finding was that grievance procedures were found to be an unsatisfactory arrangement for resolving employees' complaints. [We had to wait for ACAS to discover this!]

"For a majority, dispute resolution procedures were seen to be flawed, often exacerbating the experience of discrimination rather than resolving it," said the report. [Fascinating news!]

"One strong theme among both sets of claimants was the tendency of their employers to respond to their complaint by seeing them as the problem, rather than the victim of unfair treatment." [Even more fascinating news!]

Acas's Rita Donaghy said: "These 2003 Employment Equality Regulations provide a further step forward in outlawing discrimination in our workplaces. This is the first time since the new regulations came into force that sexual orientation and religion or belief at work has been subject to research. The findings shed new light on these issues both from the employees and employers perspective."

In light of the review findings, the Government has now issued a consultation document aimed at improving the way employment disputes are resolved. [We are holding our breath!]

From: http://www.clickdocs.co.uk/news/view.asp?ID=212

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