Employment Tribunals are on the up

This week some worrying statistics hit the headlines. The number of Employment Tribunals rose between 2015 and 2016 by 21,726 and this number is expected to rise even further when the 2017 figures are announced.

Whilst we are still far from the compensation culture of the USA, an increasing number of Employment Tribunals should be a concern for any company employing people. Today’s article will focus on some steps your business can take to prevent the figure rising even further.

Do all of your employees have contracts?

It is a legal requirement to provide your employees with a written statement of terms within two months of their start date.  These terms should include (as a minimum) information on pay, holiday entitlement and working hours.  Failure to give an employee a statement of work within the required timeframe could mean they submit a claim to the employment tribunal where the employee can be awarded up to 4 weeks’ pay.  We suggest that employers get into a good habit of preparing and sending out a new employee’s statement of work within their first week to avoid claims by employees.

Are your managers able to handle grievances well?

A common issue discussed in employment tribunals is general grievances that could have been handled by management.  If the issue can be resolved and negotiated so that both parties are satisfied with the outcome then this would be preferable rather than trying to resolve it at an employment tribunal. If your managers require training in order to deal with grievances effectively then this cost will pale in comparison with the cost of an employment tribunal defence.

Is there someone you can speak to if you aren’t sure what to do?

The worst thing you can do in the event of an issue with an employee is to try and muddle through yourself without seeking specialist advice. If you act incorrectly, an employee might be able to bring a claim at an employment tribunal. For example, claims for unfair dismissal can arise easily if you give the incorrect notice or follow other dismissal procedures incorrectly.  It is useful to join industry specialist HR providers who will be able to guide you in more complex situations.

Whether the tribunal is judged in favour of the employee or the employer, the damage to the employer’s reputation has already been done and as such a tribunal is best avoided where possible. Whilst not an exhaustive list, the steps above should help avoid some common scenarios where tribunals arise.  Agencies who use TBOS can call us on 0845 881 1112 to discuss any grievances or dismissals which being considered so that we can ensure that the correct process is followed.