Workplace Disputes

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  • Involves discussion between both parties in attempt to compromise and reach a formal or informal agreement.
  • Collective bargaining is the common term used to describe negotiations over workplace disputes within an organisation.
  • An employer association may also be called on to assist the employer with negotiations.


  • Neutral third party invited to assist disputing parties in finding an alternative way to reach an agreement.
  • May be independent or a representative from a business, tribunal or gov agency such as Fair Work Commission, Anti-discrimination board (in NSW) or Australian Human Rights Commission.


  • If the parties of the dispute are not able to reach a settlement yet, Fair Work Australia will be notified and requested to assist with the resolution. Their role is to assist stakeholders in reaching an agreement here all concerned parties are satisfied with the final outcome. Both parties have a legal obligation to attend conciliatory meetings, however, agreements are not legally binding

Grievance procedures

  • A grievance is a dispute between parties
  • Grievance procedures These are the procedures and rules employees, unions and employers follow to resolve disputes.
  • Effective procedures require a full description of complaint and person the grievance is made against should be given details and opportunity to provide their view.
  • The benefits of grievance procedures
    • A workplace grievance issues are clearly outlined
    • Appropriate and correct processes for raising complaints are illustrated
    • A mechanism enabling quick resolution of disputes

Extract from Business Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2010 Board of Studies NSW.