Not having that awkward chat early on can lead to big problems down the line – particularly when it comes to issues with someone’s performance or behaviour. If you haven’t made your expectations clear, it can damage a claim defence in an employment tribunal case, so don’t beat about the bush and always tackle issues sooner rather than later.
1. Not following disciplinary procedures
Failing to follow your own procedures is a recipe for trouble, perhaps leading to an employment tribunal case – and the same goes for not keeping them updated and not communicating them properly. If you’re going down the disciplinary route, you’ll need to follow the Acas Code, which sets out disciplinary good practice. Tribunals can increase any award by 25% if an employer has failed to follow the code, so it pays to do things by the book.
2. Avoiding difficult conversations
Many high-profile employment tribunal cases could easily have been avoided if employers had followed some key dos and don’ts. Here are our top five reasons why employers end up in hot water.
3. Challenging behaviour: Ignoring bullying and harassment
These claims can be some of the most costly an employer can face, with payouts in the millions hitting the headlines on a regular basis. It’s never worth tolerating a climate where things like bullying, sexist banter or racist remarks are allowed to go unchallenged – so be sure to call out unacceptable behaviour wherever you find it.
4. Cocking up the consultation
Consulting staff about redundancies isn’t just a considerate thing to do. It’s the law, and getting it wrong can land you with a costly claim. So if you’re making staff redundant, always make sure you follow the correct procedure and don’t just go through the motions.
5. Legal lapses which may lead to an employment tribunal case
Discrimination legislation kicks in right from the recruitment stage – so straight away, you’re breaking the law if you rule someone out on the grounds of a protected characteristic like age, gender or race. Building equality and inclusion into your recruitment process won’t just keep you out of the tribunal – it’ll help you get the very best people for your organisation too.
Learn how to avoid costly tribunal claims with workplace skills, equality and diversity training from Skill Boosters.
Video preview: Informal disciplinary conversations