Support following HR processes
Our team of experts can provide support following HR processes. Call 01202 525333 for a free no obligation quote.
By law, you are required to provide employees with information about disciplinary and grievance procedures. It is important to follow a fair procedure when dealing with disciplinary matters – if you get this process wrong, it can lead to costly unfair dismissal Tribunal proceedings. A clear set of disciplinary rules and a disciplinary procedure should be in place – we can draft a suitable documents for you if you do not have these in place; often they are key evidence in Tribunal proceedings. These documents set out your rules surrounding conduct in the workplace, including what is classed as misconduct and gross misconduct, the procedure that will be followed if the employee breaks the rules, and the potential sanctions they may face. Having this information clearly set out ensures that employees are aware of your expectations of them.
Our employment experts can advise you on disciplinary matters, including the steps that you need to take to dismiss an employee and advise you on any risks of potential claims, while guiding you on how to reduce the risks or place you in the best possible position for a defence.
By law, you are required to have a process where employees can raise concerns at work. It is important to have a clear grievance procedure in place in order that the process is clear for both parties – we can draft a suitable policy for you.
The first step in the process is usually to attempt to deal with the concerns informally. If this does not resolve the issue then the employee will need to raise a formal grievance in writing. This will trigger your grievance procedure and you will be required to follow a full process that includes: investigating their concerns, inviting them to a meeting where they have the right to be accompanied by a colleague or Trade Union representative, hold the meeting, providing them with an outcome and right of appeal.
Our experts are experienced in guiding employers through grievances processes, helping to deal with them correctly and carefully to ensure the risk of them bringing a future Tribunal claim is reduced.
It is very important to deal with performance issues in a different way to misconduct. There is often Tribunal litigation where employers have followed the wrong procedure, which can lead to unfair dismissal claims.
Poor performance (or capability) is one of the five potentially fair reasons for dismissal. It is important to follow a performance procedure, which will include: notifying the employee of the objectives they are expected to achieve and where they have fallen below the standard expected, inviting them to a meeting where they are entitled to be accompanied by a colleague or Trade Union representative, providing them with the outcome in writing and offering the right of appeal.
Our team can provide advice and guidance on how to deal with performance issues, and advise on how to dismiss employees who are underperforming.
Sickness absence is often a tricky process, as these matters need to be handled carefully, being mindful of the employee’s state of health and treating them fairly while balancing the needs of the business. The absences can either be persistent short term absences or longer term absences.
A sickness absence policy is highly recommended to have in place – we can prepare one for you if you do not have one – this ensures that the same procedure is followed in all cases, and the employee knows what to expect.
Employers are often wary of dealing with individuals who have been off sick for a prolonged period, especially where the cause of their sickness is not clear or they are awaiting diagnosis. There is the further consideration of whether the employee may have a disability, which requires very careful handling regarding any reasonable adjustments that may be needed, medical evidence/Occupational Health reports, and reducing the risk of any disability discrimination Tribunal claim.
Before dismissal can be considered, a full and fair process must be followed. Our experts are very experienced in dealing with sickness absences and ensuring the correct procedure is followed, providing clear and pragmatic advice throughout.
We are experienced in assisting with all aspects of a business re-organisation, and the redundancy process. In some situations a re-organisation may not result in a redundancy situation and an employer may not have to make costly redundancy payments. A redundancy process must be fair to ensure that the dismissal itself is fair, otherwise an employee could bring an unfair dismissal claim against you. This covers the whole process starting with the decision on which employees are placed at risk – the decision must be fair and not discriminatory in any way. Redundancies are a last resort, and there may be ways to avoid redundancies which we can assist you with.
While making redundancies can be difficult for a business, and a daunting process, our experts are happy to help you manage redundancies and provide you with clear advice on the best process to follow to achieve your businesses objectives, while reducing the risk of Tribunal claims and placing you in the strongest position to defend any claim.
Settlement agreements are often used in employment processes, as this creates a clean break for you and the employee. A settlement agreement is a legally binding document that will provide you with the peace of mind that an employee will not bring a claim against you.
We are experienced in negotiating and drafting settlement agreements and also identifying situations where a settlement agreement may be appropriate to offer. A requirement of these agreements is for the employee to take legal advice for the agreement to be binding, and it is usual practice for you to contribute towards their legal costs for such advice.
If you need a settlement agreement drafting, or you would like to discuss if a settlement agreement would be appropriate to offer to your employee and need help with negotiating an agreement, we can advise and support you through the process. We always aim to achieve the best possible outcome as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
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