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Work problems

If you experience problems at work, it is important that you seek a solution before the difficulties become overwhelming.

The information on this page is designed to help find the right advice and take the most appropriate action.

What to do initially Toggle accordion

If you believe the matter can be resolved within the organisation, consider:

  • An experienced colleague or a sympathetic line manager may be able to help you resolve matters before they become too serious or stressful. When attempting a resolution, it is important to remain calm and collaborative. It is best to write down your main points of concern, along with your suggested solution. You should always be allowed to have a colleague or adviser with you in meetings relating to your employment, especially if you are making a complaint.
  • Internal procedures: all organisations or employers should have someone who knows their legal responsibilities as an employer, even if they do not have an official Human Resources department. However, many small businesses do not have this resource and if your initial concerns are not addressed you should seek independent advice.

Where to get advice and what action to take Toggle accordion

  • Internal policies and staff handbooks; if you believe they will be impartial, your organisation’s Human Resources Department
  • Your Trade Union, if you belong to one
  • Citizens advice
  • A solicitor

Common problems in the workplace Toggle accordion

Sometimes it is easy not recognise the problem for what it is. Here are some common problems experienced in the workplace:

  • Bullying and or harassment at work
  • Sexual harassment at work
  • Discrimination
  • Unfair dismissal / constructive dismissal
  • Unequal pay
  • Unreasonable or unlawful deductions from pay
  • Inadequate job descriptions / unreasonable or onerous contracts
  • Change to responsibilities without consultation
  • Ineffective line management / job performance reviews.
  • Ineffective employee recognition.
  • lack of job-related accountability – colleagues not pulling their weight and creating an unfair burden on others
  • Improper, unreasonable or stifling company policies
  • Lack of training
  • Lack of equipment and facilities 
  • Unsafe working environment or unsafe practices
  • Lack of sufficient breaks – either in terms of frequency or time allowed.
  • Lack of an effective and accessible “whistle-blowing” procedure.

If you experience one or more of these difficulties, or one not described here, you should try and get it resolved as quickly as possible. All companies and business owners have the obligation to treat you fairly and this includes listening to employee concerns and resolving employment related problems fairly. Some of the above examples, such as bullying or harassment, or unfair dismissal, will require independent advice.