Guide to reducing the risk of employment tribunal claims

Here are some tips on how you can reduce the risk of your business being the subject of an employment tribunal claim:-

  • train your managers to make sure your organisation is following its own policies and procedures
  • make sure your policies and procedures are not contractual (unless you want them to do be)
  • update your employment contracts, staff handbook and employee privacy notice regularly
  • get signed employment contracts on file for all staff – use pay rises or bonus to secure
  • train managers on the risk of using email for sensitive communications in relation to staff issues where claims may arise in the future.  Explain such email communications may later  become disclosable
  • manage out under-performing staff (after giving them support to improve)
  • diarise two years less a month service for employees and review at that point
  • use probation to weed out issues
  • train managers to prevent them  scoring under-performing staff as acceptable on appraisals – avoiding the use of  “met expectations” scores where clearly not the case.  Provide training on ‘having difficult discussions’
  • intervene if office banter is getting out of hand – the risk of claims for discrimination/constructive dismissal
  • have an up to date equal opportunities policy and communicate its importance to the business and your employees via diversity training for all to include mirror recruitment and how to avoid it
  • don’t ignore complaints/issued raised – take action and investigate. If you ignore such issues there will be a greater risk of claims later and a possible increase in the level of any compensation awarded
  • don’t panic when an employee tells you they are pregnant, pregnancy only provides a certain layer of protection and doesn’t prevent you from (sensitively) dealing with issues such as performance and/or even redundancy (if applicable)
  • be consistent in the way employees are treated
  • document, document, document.  keep a paper trail of all disciplinary and grievances issues

If you need advice or have any questions in relation to reviewing and reducing the employment risks in your business please contact David Greenhalgh on 020 3603 2177.

This article/blog is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.