5 Reasons Why Employers Find Themselves at Tribunal

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5 Reasons Why Employers Find Themselves at Tribunal

No employer likes the idea of being taken to a tribunal. At best, it’s an expensive and time-wasting distraction, while at worst you could end up having to pay out a hefty compensation.

Few employers would deliberately abuse the rights of their employees, but it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are five of the most common.

Five Reasons Employers Find Themselves at a Tribunal

No employer likes the idea of being taken to a tribunal. At best, it’s an expensive and time-wasting distraction, while at worst you could end up having to pay out a hefty compensation.

Few employers would deliberately abuse the rights of their employees, but it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are five of the most common.

1. Failure to Supply the Required Documentation

You have a legal requirement to supply anyone you employ for longer than a month with a written copy of the main terms and conditions covering their employment. This must be given to them within two months of them starting.

If you don’t supply this, you may be leaving yourself open to being taken to a tribunal. In particular, you could be found to have wrongfully dismissed an employee if your reasons are covered by terms and conditions you haven’t made them aware of.

2. Failure to Have or Follow Policies and Procedures

It’s vital for all employers to have written policies and procedures in place, especially grievance and disciplinary procedures. All your employees must be aware of these policies and procedures and be able to refer to them.

It’s equally important, of course, to follow them. If, for instance, you’ve dismissed someone without following the correct disciplinary procedure, they could make a complaint for unfair dismissal, even if your reasons were otherwise justified.

3. Failure to Prevent Discrimination in the Workplace

Besides discrimination on the grounds of race and gender, there are many other grounds covered by employment legislation. This includes, for instance, age, sexual orientation, religion and disability, but it’s essential that you keep up to date with all possible grounds.

You may not discriminate deliberately, but you need to ensure you’re not being discriminatory without realising, such as failing to make the workplace accessible. It’s also important to realise that, as a business owner, you’re responsible for what goes on in your business. Failure to tackle discrimination between employees is likely to land you at a tribunal.

4. Failure to Apply Bonuses as Agreed

If a bonus is discretionary, it’s easy to assume that you can pay it or not as you like. While it’s true you can decide in advance what principles you are applying, once those have been announced you’re contractually obliged to stick to them.

Even if the undertaking is only given verbally, this can still be considered as a contract, if the employee can produce evidence of it.

5. Failure to Follow the Correct Procedure about Redundancy or Business Transfer

If your business employs fifty or more people, you must inform and consult with employees or their representatives about any major change. This can include, for example, redundancies, plans to sell the business or plans to buy another business.

If you have a formal agreement, such as with a trade union, consultations must take place under this agreement. However, even without that there must be consultation on significant changes.

These are just a few of the many reasons that could land you at a tribunal. You’re very welcome to get in touch with us if you want to learn more about ensuring this doesn’t happen to you.

About the Author

Having worked within HR Management for 19 years, in 2013 Kelly wanted to make better use of her skills and knowledge by adding value within the SME arena. Kelly believes that whilst people management and the resulting transactional tasks are an essential part of any business, they can be time consuming and unrewarding, so another passion of hers is to release this burden from smaller businesses and allow them to get on with their passion – their business!
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