14 Jul 5 Ways To Avoid An Employment Tribunal
No one wants to think that a situation will arise within their company that will lead to an employment tribunal. But to take the approach of ‘it won’t happen to me’ is one that could have significant consequences.
There has been a huge rise in the number of cases that have been taken to tribunal over the last few years with estimated average compensation payouts amounting to £7000 per claim. Thanks to ‘No Win, No Fee’ legal advice, employees feel more secure in taking their case further without risk to themselves. Therefore, it is essential that businesses are taking their own steps to avoid cases ending in tribunals.
Here are our 5 top tips for avoiding employment tribunals.
1. Understand Your Responsibilities
As an employer, it is absolutely essential to have a comprehensive understanding of employment legislation to protect the rights of your workers. By having processes in place that comply with current legislation, you immediately reduce the risk of situations arising that could end in employment tribunals. Having clear policies in place which are shared with all staff and which are complied with at all times will safeguard both staff and employees alike. 80% of all tribunal cases are lost as a result of a business failing to follow procedures and employment legislation.
2.Train your management
Your management is likely to be the first point of contact in disciplinary proceedings and it is vital that they have been trained in how to manage them effectively. If your managers fail to act in compliance with legislation or with your procedures, it will be you who will have to face the consequences in an employment tribunal. Take the time to ensure that all managers understand the correct processes to follow and seek advice from HR if they have any doubts. Provide managers with the training they need to be able to deal with these situations in a calm, measured way, even when dealing with potentially difficult members of staff
3. Act Early
Don’t bury your head in the sand. Early identification of potential issues can resolve a situation that could later end in an employment tribunal. Even though it may feel easier to avoid awkward conversations and meetings, they could potentially resolve situations that could escalate if left unmanaged
4. Consider Alternatives
It may be worrying to have to consider the thought of paying an employee a premium in the form of a settlement agreement, but it is worth considering the potential benefits of actions such as these verses a case being taken to an employment tribunal. The process of an employment tribunal may be long, costly and ultimately damaging to your company. Remaining open to alternatives really might prove to be incredibly beneficial.
5. Move Forward Positively
Even with clear assessments of risks and policies in place, it is possible that situations will arise that will end in grievance procedures. This is the nature of an ever-changing business landscape with changing legislation and employee rights. The most important thing is to move forward positively after these events, ensuring that you learn from previous mistakes and are able to avoid them reoccurring in the future. If similar cases are taken to a tribunal at a later point, there will be no leniency if it is identified that you have failed to act on an issue that has been previously identified.
Unfortunately, even when you have dedicated HR support, it is inevitable that there are some situations where employment tribunals may be necessary. By working with Altum HR we ensure that your business is fairly represented, ensuring the very best conclusion for all parties. If you would like more information or advice about employment tribunals please do get in touch to discuss how we can help you.