Model Resolution Policy

The TCM Model Resolution Policy

In 2008, following the publication of the Gibbons Review of Employment Dispute Resolution in Great Britain, the UK Government repealed the legislation requiring UK employers to have a minimum grievance and dismissal procedure in place.

The revised ACAS code came into effect in April 2009. The ACAS code suggests principles that should be followed when dealing with grievance and disciplinary issues:

  • Employers & employees should raise & deal with issues promptly.
  • Employers & employees should act consistently.
  • Employers should carry out any necessary investigations to establish the facts of the case.
  • Employers should inform employees of the basis of the problem and give them the opportunity to put their case in response before any decisions are made.
  • Employers should allow employees to be accompanied at formal meetings.
  • Employers should allow employees to appeal against any formal action.

Employers and employees should always seek to resolve disciplinary and grievance issues in the workplace. Where this is not possible, employers and employees should consider using an independent third party to help resolve the problem.

– ACAS code suggests

Whilst it is vital that employers follow the minimum standards set out in the ACAS code, it must be acknowledged that, for many employees, taking out a grievance is still a daunting and often distressing experience.

Behavioural, relationship and contractual issues are dealt with by organisations using the same grievance procedure. They use a one size fits all approach to dispute resolution. The reliance on a single grievance procedure to resolve all of the intricate, diverse and complex issues that a modern, progressive organisation faces is both unrealistic and untenable.

In addition, the very term “grievance” is unhelpful as it conjures up connotations such as grief, blame, hostility, stress, betrayal, loss of control and sanction. Grievance procedures are predominantly concerned with the rights, rather than the interests, of the parties.

Personal feelings can be overlooked in an attempt to codify a grievance in black or white terms based on facts and evidence, rather than emotion and perception. Rather than encouraging dialogue, grievance procedures harden positions and polarise the parties. 
The use of “informal resolution” clauses or even mediation, which in themselves are positive attempts to resolve disputes, still operate within a grievance framework. Where mediation and informal resolution sit within a grievance procedure, they are doomed to failure.

It is now time for a radical rethink of dispute resolution within our organisations.

Introducing the TCM Model Resolution Policy
The TCM Model Resolution Policy – Key Features

“Resolution runs through our business like Blackpool runs through rock.”

The TCM Model Resolution Policy replaces your existing grievance procedure. It offers a collaborative system of dispute resolution which balances the rights of the parties with their interests and their needs. In doing so, it brings the core principles of mediation to the forefront of dispute resolution and encourages constructive resolution at every stage of a dispute.

The TCM Model Resolution Policy draws on five core principles:

  • Fairness
  • Mutual respect
  • Empathy
  • Dignity
  • Dialogue

Advantages of adopting The TCM Model Resolution Policy

One of the key advantages of the TCM Model Resolution Policy is that your organisation becomes conflict resilient. It develops a constructive system for dispute resolution which is integrated into the values, the culture, the processes and the behaviours of the organisation. HR professionals, line managers and employee representatives should be encouraged to be conflict competent. They should be trained to spot, prevent and resolve conflicts through a mix of dialogue building, coaching and mediation.

Certain situations may require investigation or other formal action, such as contractual matters; allegations of criminal or serious misconduct; situations where public policy, procedural or legal issues arise; or where the welfare of individuals is threatened. These are catered for within The TCM Model Resolution Policy.

The benefits of adopting the TCM Resolution Policy

Promoting  and encouraging positive relationships and constructive dialogue. It’s about leaders and managers walking the talk.

  • It links dispute resolution with your values and vision, and it promotes positive and constructive behaviours in the workplace.
  • It replaces your existing grievance policy with a simple Resolution Policy.
  • Employees, employers and unions can work collaboratively and achieve constructive resolutions to disputes and conflicts
  • It develops a conflict resilient workplace and conflict competent management and HR functions.
  • It gives control and responsibility back to your employees and managers.
  • It offers a new name and a new focus for dispute resolution.
  • It reduces the amount of time HR professionals and managers spend on grievance case management.
  • It will help your organisation to transition from a “grievance culture” to a “resolution culture”.
  • It includes a comprehensive dispute triage process which Human Resources (HR) and Employee Relations (ER) professionals can use to assess the most suitable route to resolution.
  • It is compliant with the Acas disciplinary and grievance code of practice.
  • In more serious disputes and in cases where there is a clear breach of your code of conduct, it offers the opportunity to escalate to an investigation or other formal action.
  • There is an opportunity to offer mediation at each stage, even where the case has escalated to formal action. It gives greater control and offers greater flexibility to all parties.
  • It supports return to work procedures following absence or suspension.


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