Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to remove all chance of ever being taken to an employment tribunal (except to not employ people!) as there will always be those people who make a hobby out of these things. There are, however, a lot of steps you can take to both minimise the risk of receiving an ET1 and maximise the chances of a positive outcome if you do face a claim.
The previous post has been about actions you should take if you find yourself facing a claim but obviously it’s better to put in place some preventative measures.
Here are what we believe are the most effective measures to prevent receiving an employment tribunal claim:
- Contracts and Policies – if you don’t have contract and policies in place, do this immediately! If you do that’s great, but don’t get complacent and rely on contracts and policies that haven’t been reviewed for years. Employment law changes frequently but more importantly, so does your business. Do your contracts and policies really reflect what currently happens in your business? Are there new business practices which aren’t currently covered by what you have in place? Take a look at the documentation you’re using and update it.
- Process – when dealing with any type of staff issue follow a stringent process. ACAS provides an excellent guide to managing disciplinary and grievance issues, and if you follow their recommendations you’re ticking lots of the boxes that help in employment tribunal situations. If you need a more tailored approach for a particular situation then seek help (preferably from us).
- Documentation – as dull as it can seem, document everything when dealing with staff issues. This doesn’t have to be ‘War and Peace’ on every conversation; a quick email to the individual confirming what you’ve spoken about and any agreed actions will suffice. If you’re taking a more formal approach then letters and meeting minutes are needed.
- Communication – clear communication to staff is vital. Make sure they are aware of the rules that you have in place and what is expected of them. In our ideal world you’ll give them a staff handbook and ask them to sign to say that they’ve received it!
We hope this short post has provided you with some useful tips on how to do all you can to avoid Employment Tribunal claims.
If you have a case that you’d like to have a chat through, then give us a call on 0203 319 1649 or email us and we’d be happy to give you some practical advice.