The Joint Industry Board (JIB) has reiterated the importance of early workplace dispute resolution in order to prevent conflicts spiralling out of control and parties becoming ‘entrenched in their views’.
The JIB has over 50 years’ experience of dispute resolution through conciliation and mediation. Under its employment terms and conditions, the JIB has its own resolution procedure where disputes relating to the JIB Agreement and dismissals can be resolved at no cost to either the company or the individual. This is a less formal process than going through an employment tribunal and has proven success, with 100% of cases being resolved in the last five years.
The JIB has operated a resolution facility since it was set up in 1968 and this free-to-access procedure remains a fundamental aspect of the JIB Agreement, provided to member companies, operatives and registered apprentices.
Sheik Khan, Secretary and Head of Industrial Relations for the JIB, says: “As an independent industrial relations body operating on behalf of the industry, we provide a service that is specifically tailored to the JIB Agreement. There is a much greater chance that the issue can be resolved at an early stage, particularly with the involvement and knowledge of people with industry experience.
“Since the introduction of Pre-Claim conciliations in 2013, there have been more than 300 claims resolved by the JIB and only four committee hearings. With the average one-day unfair dismissal claim costing over £8,000 where cases reach the employment tribunal, this represents a potential saving to the industry of £2.6 million. Where cases cannot be resolved we aim to complete these within 14 weeks which is a real advantage given that in some areas the current waiting times for an employment tribunal hearing is over a year.”
He adds: “We are fortunate to work with very professional and pragmatic people within both the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and Unite the Union, and a lot of our success is down to the sensible approach taken at both regional and national level.
“Although we are incredibly proud of our successes, we cannot stand still, and we are currently reviewing the procedures to simplify and streamline them.”
The JIB is pleased that this service continues to be valued and will continue to support good industrial relations in the electrical industry.
David Kieft, Owner and Director of RDM Electrical and Mechanical Services, describes how much his company values its JIB membership, saying: “The recognition we gain in other areas of the construction industry by virtue of our JIB and ECA membership is extremely helpful, even if it is hard to quantify its monetary value. With the JIB and ECA, there is always somewhere to turn; always someone there who can help you with any issues. These people are always on top of their game and professional at all levels in their approach!”
Further information about the benefits of JIB membership can be found in the membership brochure, here.