CONFLICT at work is costing employers 350 days of management time every year and has been made worse by statutory procedures, according to a report due to be published today.
The government is being urged to change the procedures after claims that it has failed to reduce the number of employment tribunal cases.
Hearings have become more complex, while managing conflict at work has been made more bureaucratic, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) claims.
Its survey shows large firms are landed with bills of more than 210,000 for dealing with employment tribunal claims.
A third of those questioned said disputes were less likely to be resolved informally because of statutory procedures introduced in 2004. Many employers said the number of formal disciplinary and grievance cases had increased since the procedures were brought in.
Ben Willmott, the CIPD's employee relations adviser and author of the report, said: "The statutory dispute resolution proce- dures have led to a formalisation in how conflict is managed because employers are afraid of falling foul of the law. But an early intervention and informal resolution by managers is usually much more effective."
He went on: "The Department for Trade and Industry should consider going back to the drawing board when they review the statutory procedures later this year."
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