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How to handle a situation where employees refuse to work with a colleague

Author: Claire Birkinshaw


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  • Investigate the reasons behind the breakdown in relations and take whatever action is necessary to alleviate the situation.
  • Consider disciplinary action where appropriate.
  • Where the breakdown is irreversible and employees are applying pressure to dismiss, consider a dismissal on the ground of "some other substantial reason".
  • Where the problem relates to an individual being HIV positive, allay staff fears through consultation and education.
  • Bear in mind that pressure from staff in the form of a strike or other industrial action cannot be taken into account when the fairness of a subsequent dismissal is assessed.