Employment tribunals - Taking the right steps

Peter Done: Managing Director and Founder

October 25 2016

Employment tribunals are one of those things that employers think will never happen to them. But the statistics tell us otherwise. It’s true that the introduction of fees for claimants has led to a drop in some of the more spurious cases and that can only be a good thing. But despite this, in the 2014 to 2015 period more than 61,000 cases were brought, often involving multiple claims. Some estimates suggest the annual cost to UK businesses of employment tribunal could be more than £1 billion. And that doesn’t factor in the disruption to business continuity that tribunals can cause alongside the management time and hassle that being involved in a tribunal takes up. There can be many reasons for an employee taking his or her employer to an employment tribunal, ranging from disputes over wages, issues over working time, unfair dismissal, discrimination and equal pay claims to name but a few. It’s an absolute minefield for an employer to negotiate correctly. And sometimes, even when you think an employee has behaved in way that anyone sensible would consider unacceptable, such as stealing from the company, you may still find yourself at tribunal if proper procedure hasn’t been followed. We’ve seen it time and time again when companies approach us for help, often when they are on the verge of a tribunal, and often when the employee has behaved in a way that is clearly beyond the pale. But their problem is that they haven’t followed the right steps along the way. So, for employers, that’s the key thing – following proper procedures and processes, ensuring you’ve done so and having evidence that you’ve done so. You need to get a paper trail in place, to go through every step properly and to communicate what you’re doing and why. It’s your own back and the integrity of your organisation that you’re protecting. But how can you be sure you’re taking the right steps? That’s where we come in; that’s why more than 35,000 business across the UK use Peninsula’s services. We support you and we make sure you know what you need to be doing to avoid falling foul of the complex quagmire of employment law legislation. Of course, it’s far better to avoid being taken to tribunal at all and at Peninsula we believe that prevention is better than cure. That’s why we encourage members to come to us at the earliest opportunity with any employment law issue, however big or small; to communicate with us regularly and to implement our advice, with our advisors at the end of the line or email for you, 365 days a year. By catching issues early on, we can, more often than not, prevent it escalating to tribunal. But should that not be the case, if our members have taken our advice they have the added peace of mind that if they are taken to tribunal, all fees and any costs will be covered by our insurance. A win-win for commercially minded business owners who want to focus on what they do best - running their business. If you’ve got an issue, however small, that you think might benefit from our advice, then call the Peninsula advice line on 0808 198 7931 for help. We’re here for you 24/7. Our goal is to give you the best advice alongside peace of mind, knowing that you’re dealing with your employment law issues in the best way possible, with the added security of our insurance protecting your back.

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