The employment law field is a complex one. What’s more, it’s in a constant state of flux. Every year thousands of UK companies like yours run the risk of being in breach of employment legislation.
In the main this comes down to a lack of awareness of the legal obligations they face. The upshot is often compensation and legal costs sufficient to close the business down.
Workers know their rights: While you may be struggling to keep abreast of what your obligations are you can be sure that your staff will be boning up on their rights. Worst still, they will think they know what their rights are, but are often mistaken or mis-informed. That can be the worst of both world’s if you do not know what is fact and what is fiction/opinion.
It’s not hard to see what a time-consuming drain for a small business like yours, dealing with employment issues.
Your small business is at its most vulnerable when dealing with employment disputes. Unless that is you’ve taken appropriate steps to protect yourself.
The disciplinary procedure will clearly set out what the different stages of the process are and the activities/offences that may lead to disciplinary action, but you will need advice and support to ensure that the policy is applied and followed consistently and effectively.
You will also need independent parties to carry out the necessary investigations and/or disciplinary hearings that may be necessary, including appeal procedures.
Investigations – Conducting the disciplinary procedure
No matter how well a workplace is run, problems will arise. You may need to run an investigation to make sure such problems are dealt with in a fair and consistent fashion.
A well-conducted investigation lets you, the employer, give full consideration to the cause of concern and then act upon it with an informed decision.
Key Points to consider:
- An investigation is a fact-finding exercise to collect all the relevant information related to the problem in hand.
- You’ll need to give an investigator clear guidance on what needs to be investigated and how you want them to report their findings.
- If at all possible, the investigator should have no involvement with the issue under scrutiny.
- The investigator’s role is to gather and document what the issues of the matter are. That done they’ll consider what evidence is available an relevant and how best it can be collected.
Go Legal HR have extensive experience in carrying out and supporting full and fair investigations to enable appropriate and justifiable action to be taken. This will ensure that the application of the disciplinary process is fair and consistent at all times.
Let’s not pretend: conflict happens in every workplace. While it’s never great it’s possible to manage it well. But left to fester the fall-out can be expensive and damaging.
Our role in this situation is to advise you on ways to manage that conflict so you can dispense it and channel it into a positive outcome.
Support similar to the management of disciplinary issues is often required.
You’ve got a conflict situation and you can’t resolve it without the intervention of a third party. Yet again Go Legal HR can come to your rescue with a professional mediation service.
What is a mediator? A mediator is someone who works with those in conflict, as a third party facilitating communication with those in conflict.
The mediation support often brings about a fast and confident solution. With the conflict resolved everyone can focus once more on the job in hand.
It often happens that, where a mediator is not used, conflict situations end up at the employment tribunal. Something best avoided.
Harassment & Bullying
Bullying and harassment is defined as unwanted behaviour that makes someone feel:
It’s often insidious and may not be apparent to others or to you. Bullying can be an isolated incident or something persistent. It’s not only a face-to-face thing but can happen on the phone or via written communications.
Why this concerns you as an employer
If you leave bullying and harassment incidents unchecked then an unhappy and unproductive workplace will result. One where you’ll have:
- Low morale and poor employee relations
- Loss of respect towards supervisors or managers
- Poor performance = lost productivity
- Persistent absence
- Possible tribunals and other court cases