Avoiding Workplace Disputes & Tribunals

Workplace Employment disputes grievances & tribunals claims are expensive. They need to be avoided. This training reduces problems & helps evidence the employers adherance to good practice

Employment workplace disputes grievances and tribunals usually arise due to a lack of clarity or understandingof the law employment, policies and procedures or unreasonable behaviour.

Ensuring Managers are properly trained helps significantly

Unreasonable behaviour may be on the part of the employer or employee or sometimes both. Much of employment law is underpinned by the principles of ‘fairness‘ and ‘reasonableness‘ and the question “what is reasonable, practical and proportionate?” is threaded into our training course as profiled below.

Individual employment rights have really increased in recent years years and likely to increase still further; with these increases comes the associated increase in risk that employers will need to deal with an increase in grievance issues and potentially employment tribunal claims. Consequently it is important that all companies, businesses, organisations be they private, public or not for profit take every effort to ensure their managers, systems and procedures are sufficiently well developed to firstly minimise the risk of problems occurring, secondly to diffuse issues, quickly, if they arise and thirdly provide a robust defense if matters escalate to ACAS or a tribunal

Clearly, the best way of minimising the risk of tribunal claims is to have a workforce that is completely engaged, happy and content in their duties and persuaded about real prospects of career development. In the real world however, even with the best will in the world, problems will inevitably arise and the procedures, processes and management skills need to be in place before they do.

A good starting point is to strike the right balance between rights and responsibilities. This is best achieved with clear terms of employment, policies and procedures setting out what each party expects (and is entitled to receive) from the other – whether that be salary and benefits from the employer or performance and conduct to the required standard from the employee.

Periodic training is very important as employment law is constantly changing and new legislation is often misunderstood. In some cases, employers are totally unaware of the existence of the legislation. Ignorance of the law is never a valid defence. Ignorance of an offence is not a defence. Ignorance usually proves very costly in money and damaged reputation!

At the end of the day, to successfully defend an employment tribunal claim, an employer will need to satisfy the court that it acted within the law and being able to evidence regular training helps.

An employer is more likely to satisfy the court if it can show that its management team is fully trained and conversant with the latest legislation. No company, business or organisation can afford to have members of staff cutting corners, riding roughshod over procedural matters or claiming ignorance of the law; it is essential that all Line Managers and HR teams really do understand the implications of the latest legislation.

For Whom

This workshop provides an intensive and essential update on the latest developments in Employment Law and Employment Rights & Responsibilities for HR Professionals, Operational Managers and Union Representatives from all types of business as well as those involved with the explaining, teaching and training of employment rights and responsibilities to others.

Aims and Objectives

This workshop helps to:

  • unravel the jargon
  • Show you at least ten ways to avoid problems at work!
  • provide some insights into how your own management style might need reviewing
  • benchmark best practice and spotlight the worst!
  • signpost good quality sources of help and advice

Content

This fast-paced and intensive one-day workshop is essential for all those who have staff reporting to them or who advise and assist on staffing-related matters; it explores and highlights the key points from the following:

  • Employment Act 2009
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Equal Pay Act 1970 and Equal Value Amendment 1984
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Human Rights Act 2000
  • Access to Medical Records Act 1988
  • Data Protection Act 2000
  • Asylum and Immigration Acts
  • European Employment Directives
  • Statutory Codes of Practicedealing with Employment Issues
  • Links between Employment Law and the Health and Safety legislation

With a specific focus on key topics such as:

  • The contract of employment
  • The staff handbook
  • The difference between written and unwritten terms in employment contract
  • The disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • References
  • Sickness/absence management
  • Information held about staff
  • New rights and responsibilities
  • New emerging issues such as new forms of discrimination, the impact of social media and recent case law authorities on a range of other issues
  • Dispute resolution prior to any tribunal action
  • The latest Government proposals either out for consultation OR passing through Parliament

1. Breaking news from the Government and Case Law

The workshop as a whole brings participants up-to-speed on the latest & prevailing news from the Government and Case Law Authorities. For example:

  • Where does employment law now stand on references?
  • What happens when a ‘discrimination’ in one employment law clashes with another?
  • Why are FACEBOOK and social media generating new workresponsibilities for staff that use the facility at home?
  • When might an employment case – successfully brought byone individual – bring about further recommendations/directions foryour whole workforce from an employment judge?

2. Disciplinary and Grievance Policies/Procedures

Session 2 explores the critical components of any high quality disciplinary and grievance process:

  • Modern definitionsfor disciplinary and grievance
  • The 10 recurring disciplinary and grievance issues in the education and training sector
  • Key learning points from these sector-wide experiences
  • Misuse of the disciplinary process and malicious use of the grievance process
  • Appropriate sanctions and remedies
  • The three golden rules that must be followed in any sector processing disciplinary and grievance issues-the importance of following“due process”
  • Case law authorities
  • ACAS Code of Practice
  • Mediation requirements
  • The future of the compromise agreement
  • Links to unfair dismissal, unlawful dismissal and constructive dismissal
  • Exit interviews
  • The shape of things to come

3. The Staff Handbook

The staff handbook is an integral part of an employee’s terms and conditions of employment. It provides the basis for in-house protocols/procedures and attempts to legislate for most of the situations and issues encountered in the modern workplace. Making the handbook flexible and a living part of the everyday world of work is important. This session looks at:

  • the link between the “employment contract” and the handbook
  • the flexibility clauses in the handbook
  • Do’s and Don’ts with the handbook-avoid the ‘elephant traps’
  • best practice content – A to Z – Absence management to Exit interviews
  • the links to other in-house corporate publications, such as customer care manuals
  • best practiceat induction with the handbook
  • proven techniques to keep the handbook fresh and alive
  • critical steps to securing “buy in” from recipients of the handbook
  • emerging issues – new content for a new world

4. The Equality Act 2010 and ERR

The fourth session revisits and refreshes participants’ knowledge on employment law relating to mutual rights and responsibilities and brings every one up-to-speed on the14 employment law changes and those that that are included within the Equality Act.

  • The National Minimum Wage
  • The maximum weekly working hours with breaks
  • Equal Pay
  • Paid holiday entitlement minimums and changes
  • Protection from discrimination
  • A safe working environment
  • Notice that employment is ending
  • Written Statement of Particulars of Employment
  • Statutory sick pay-recent abolition
  • Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay
  • Maternity, paternity and adoption leave
  • Parental leave and time off for family emergencies
  • Request flexible working arrangements
  • Protection from unfair dismissal
  • New rights and responsibilities around disciplinary and grievance
  • Proposed changes of status and protection for agency workers
  • Verification for employment, Asylum/Immigration and the Points system
  • Redundancy pay
  • Right to stand for elected public office and be allocated time off for these duties if elected

5. Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement

  • Contract Compliance – Employment Policies
  • Discretion in using a form of positive discrimination at recruitment/selection stage
  • Increased scrutiny on equality policies and equal pay regimes