As an employer dealing with the stress of employment tribunal claims typically makes up one of the more undesirable aspects of the role. This is hardly surprising when faced with the statistic that 90 percent of employers will in fact lose their claim due to failing to follow what is generally viewed as a ‘fair process’.
However all is not lost for the savvy business owners among us. Before employers cry out in despair at the complex minefield that makes up HR & employment law; by following these 6 simple steps you can switch the tables and place the odds firmly on your side.
The first hurdle is in understanding the legal requirements placed upon you and your business when dealing with employment and HR matters. Take the time to identify your responsibilities as an employer ensuring you are fully aware of the processes involved, for example in the event a grievance is made. Implementing clear disciplinary and grievance policies is a simple yet effective way of minimising the risks posed by employment tribunal claims.
2. Additional Support
With HR issues adopting a proactive approach is best. When a problem arises nipping it in the bud at the earliest opportunity can often minimise the disruption or collateral damage. In this respect it is worth investing time and money in senior members of staff or those who occupy management positions ensuring they have a basic understanding of employment law. Farleys can provide various types of HR and employment law training for varying levels of HR experience and cost.
Clearly outline the codes of conduct for your workplace including what is viewed as ‘appropriate behaviour’. Although ‘banter’ is an accepted part of office culture there is fine line between what may be interpreted as a harmless comment or an offensive remark. Make sure staff are aware than remarks regarding an employee’s race, religion, gender will not be tolerated creating a working environment where every member of your workforce feels comfortable.
4. Reviews & Records
Conduct regular reviews and appraisals into your employees’ progress. Doing this will allow both you and your employees to set a clear objective to work towards as well as acting as a formal record in the event your employee fails to meet performance targets or carry out duties to the accepted standard.
Handle complaints as soon as they arise regardless of how trivial you believe them to be. Even in instances where complaints are made informally such as in passing conversation, ensure all the necessary steps are taken to fully investigate the issue and find a practical solution. Failure to deal with complaints can be detrimental to staff morale allowing what may have started as a small issue develop into a contentious employment law dispute.
When thinking of HR & employment law issues it’s easy to overlook the importance of rewarding high performers as well as disciplining those who fail to hit the mark. Rewards act as a great incentive in driving performance as well ensuring high flyers in the team know that their hard work and dedication is appreciated.
Here at Farleys Solicitors our specialist employment law & HR team have a wealth of experience advising businesses across the full range of employment issues. For further advice regarding contracts of employment, HR management, employee exits, grievances, disciplinary procedures or employment tribunal representation call 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.