Have You Heard The One About The Englishman, The Irishman & The Employment Tribunal?

We all like a joke and it is probably fair to say that from time to time all of us can be guilty of speaking before we think.

Whilst this isn’t likely to land you in bother most of the time, if someone interprets your comments in a way you didn’t intend, then it could lead to a tricky conversation and in the extreme an employment claim.

The same can be said about simply not following the correct procedures when disciplining and dismissing an employee.

It happens more frequently than you would think where an employee does something and you let it slide – because deep down he is a good guy and has been with you for a while…..they do it again and again and it starts to get on your wick.

Eventually you have to take some action, however if you haven’t followed the correct procedure in the first instance, been consistent and fair, you could find yourself on a sticky wicket in the event that you actually want to get rid of that troublesome employee.

The point I am trying to make is that getting HR wrong could cost your business thousands of pounds.

As well as the direct cost, it is often the intangible costs associated with dealing with an employment claim or going to tribunal that takes its toll; stress, strain on work and personal life, loss of hair, to name but a few!

The Ministry of Justice has released its quarterly report on activity in the Tribunal service and it is worth a look to find out what is happening on the street……

In cold hard facts, the average award for unfair dismissal claims between 2012/13 was £10,127.  The report also shows average awards for the different forms of discrimination claims:

  • Race                                             £8,945
  • Sex                                               £10,552
  • Disability                                       £16,320
  • Religion                                        £6,137
  • Sexual Orientation                        £10,757

The average costs awarded at tribunal for Working Time Directive claims were £3,141.

44,335 claims were received in the last quarter – 10% more than in the same period of 2012. 11,000 of them being for unfair dismissal claims and a further 21,000 claims fell under the Working Time Directive.

Please contact our Employment and Human Resource Management Team for help protecting your business.

By Louise Addison.

 

 

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