Employment law governs the relationship between you, the business, and your employees. It covers a wide range of employer’s responsibilities and employee’s rights including, but not restricted to:
- The contract of employment
- Disciplinary and grievance procedures
- Pay and pensions
- Equality and Discrimination
- Bullying and harassment
- Dismissal and redundancy
- Working hours
- Parental leave
- Employment Tribunal Claims
Get it right, and both employer and employee can ensure a harmonious working relationship. Get it wrong and the consequences for both the business and the individual can be catastrophic.
Employment legislation is increasingly complex and notorious for its ever-changing nature. For most SMEs, in house HR and employment advice is simply not feasible, and the burden of employment legislation falls upon business owners.
This can become a distraction, diverting focus from what is ultimately the main priority – the business itself.
However, underestimating the importance of compliance is often the root cause of timely and costly disputes which, with hindsight, are avoidable.
Following the abolition of Employment Tribunal fees in July 2017, the risks to employers being on the receiving end of a tribunal claim escalated significantly, increasing the pressure of compliance.
So, what should employers be doing to protect themselves?
Firstly, conduct a risk assessment by reviewing your procedures and policies. Do your current practices afford you protection if you did find yourself in the unfortunate position of being a respondent to a claim?
Secondly, look back at historic disputes – if the tribunal fees had not been in place was there a chance that a claim may have been brought? More importantly, are you confident that you could have successfully defended the claim?
Post July 2017, a claimant may be less inclined to settle at the early conciliation stage with a “nothing to lose” attitude encouraging them to issue a claim.
Thirdly, conduct a thorough audit to highlight any inadequacies and allow rectification to avoid later disputes.
Finally, ensure you have access to advice and guidance as and when needed. As a business owner, the reassurance that you are legally compliant would undoubtedly alleviate the stress and worry arising from any sudden predicament you find yourself in.
Our team of experts at Fairmont Legal is made up of solicitors and CIPD qualified HR Professionals who have many years of experience in the fields of HR and Employment Law, having advised individuals, small business owners and a range of businesses including multi-national blue chip companies
To find out more and for a free no obligation consultation, contact Fairmont Legal on 01204 866597 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can make help protect you and your business.