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The Sarah Buxton blog


How can you resolve associate disputes?

The cost-of-living crisis means we're all keeping a closer eye on our finances. Understandably, when the economy is struggling, emotions may become more heightened when navigating the topic of money - especially in a workplace scenario.

This economic pressure has led to increasing associate disputes, often concerning payment amounts and dates. If this story sounds all too familiar, you might be wondering how to resolve the situation. Here’s everything you need to know:

Communication is key

Often, a clear conversation at the outset of the working relationship is all it takes to avoid an associate dispute - issues often arise when you or your associate feel like you’re on different pages about payment terms.

If you feel a dispute brewing, the first thing you should do is sit down with your associate and try to have a reasonable conversation. Listen to their concerns and try to understand if there’s any way that you can move forward without needing legal support.

If the situation is complicated or your associate is unwilling to discuss the issue and seek a fair resolution, it could be time to seek legal advice.

Check and update your contracts

As with all potential issues that could result in legal action, thorough and accurate contracts will protect you in this worst-case scenario. Regularly check and update all your employment contracts to ensure they cover all eventualities.

Associate contracts are no exception. As these disputes are so common due to the nature of the role, they’re amongst some of the most important to get right.

When drafting and reviewing your associate contracts, you should think of all the potential reasons for a dispute: payment agreements, unpaid debts, equipment usage, surgery space, and liability in the event of patient complaints.

Your associate contracts should have various clauses for each of these potential events, and you should take time to understand these in detail. Don’t dismiss the small print, as this could leave you on the back foot if the dispute results in legal proceedings.

Seek advice from an experienced employment lawyer

If you think you may be facing an associate dispute that can't be resolved through open communication, we urge you to seek a resolution as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.

You should always try to avoid potential court action, and I can help you reach a fair agreement based on your associate’s contract.

I can also help you to make your associate contracts as watertight as possible so that they protect you if and when a dispute arises.

My dispute resolution support includes:

  • Initial advice via telephone

  • Email support

  • A clear, robust, fair and effective letter drafted on your behalf to resolve any dispute(s)

All you need do is fill out a form detailing the dispute - I’ll take care of the rest!

Do you need help navigating an employee dispute? Learn more about my dispute resolution services here, or contact me to set up a call.

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