Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

HR and employment related disputes – how best to manage?

HR policies and procedures will only be effective if they are followed. The most common failure amongst businesses is at a management level. With employees increasingly aware of their rights and willing to enforce them, businesses can get caught up in costly employment related disputes whether the allegations have merit or not.

Employees remain the foundation of any business, however if they’re not performing their role or become disruptive, the business can suffer greatly. 

Get Indemnity explains that with human resource advice not always readily available, having a formalised process can be the difference between parting company amicably or being tied up in an employment tribunal.

Understanding employment contracts

Employers in the UK are required to give employees a written statement of the main terms and conditions of their employment, which includes policies and procedures for dealing with both disciplinary and grievance issues.

A formalised set policies and procedures can save you a lot of time and money. Even for a small business it is important to maintain and follow policies that comply with the ACAS guidelines. To protect against employment related disputes, policies and procedures should be carefully considered with respect to:

  • disciplinary action and termination of employment;
  • preventing harassment and discrimination; and
  • handling employee complaints

How easy is it for employees to bring an employment tribunal claim?

The Supreme Court in 2007 deemed tribunal fees unlawful and were scrapped. The removal of the fee, which previously cost employees £1,200 to make a claim, has a significant increase in the number of employment related disputes coming before tribunals. 

With no cost to the claimant, employees can cost your business significant resource in having to defend an action made against you. Even if you decide to represent yourself the time it takes to prepare and partake in such proceedings can be incredibly costly to the business.

Continuous HR training for your managers

Training should be offered to managers concerning employment related disputes to ensure they have the necessary skills and awareness. More often than not, managers need refresher courses to ensure they adhere to the HR policies and procedures you’ve put in place.

ACAS provides a valuable resource of information and capacity to provide training courses to your mangers. The website offers a wide selection of training tools and provides specific advice through the different stages of an employment related dispute.

Employment practices liability insurance

EPL insurance offers the company and their directors, officers, employees, protection from claims arising from a wide range of employment related disputes. The business insurance will provide a legal defence for allegations made.

Timely access to a team of employment solicitors means your business can focus on what’s important. With not only the costs to defend the action, but the cost of any damages awarded by the tribunal, you know the insurer will fight your battles for you.

At a time when redundancies are on the rise from Covid-19, having the appropriate insurance protection in place can assist with managing future costs.