Since the Supreme Court ruled last Summer that employment tribunal fees were to be abolished, its no surprise that the number of claims being made since has skyrocketed.
Employment tribunals can be scary, expensive and have the potential to do real harm to your business and credibility – and they will undoubtedly keep you awake at night.
So what can you do as an employer, to help mitigate against a claim situation arising in the first place?
Quite a lot so it happens!!
- Check your employment contracts and keep them up to date. Essentially, a good employment contract can help prevent future misunderstandings. It is your first line of defence.
- Discipline and grievance. Make sure you have a clear set of policies and procedures and that you instigate these processes in time and correctly when necessary ………and keep them up to date! The cost of putting in place these policies, or updating existing ones will be significantly less that the cost of defending a claim!
- Redundancy is a time of high emotion and it is critical that you make sure you follow a good procedure with empathy and support for the individuals at risk of losing their jobs. If you need to make changes to your staff, always seek advice from an HR professional
- Management training. All people managers should be trained to follow the correct procedures when dealing with disciplinary or grievance problems. A lot of staffing disputes can be nipped in the bud if caught early enough and dealt with efficiently by well trained line managers
- Take advice. If in doubt, always take advice from a professional to make sure that you are following the right processes or procedures. A small investment now might save a big legal bill down the line
- Paper trail. It is vitally important to keep a paper trail of your communications with staff. Employment tribunals are most avoided or won by employers who have records that prove (as opposed to just hearsay) their case. Document every meeting and conversation and ensure that detailed records are maintained on file.