Knowing the law and getting it right

By Sandra Madigan, Law Content Manager HR, CIPD

Following the introduction of the employment tribunal fee system in July 2013, claims dropped dramatically, by over 70 per cent. The Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the requirement to pay a fee, to lodge a claim and go to hearing, must cease with immediate effect means that the number of claims being made will almost certainly rise as dramatically as they fell. While you can’t avoid being named as a ‘respondent’ to a claim, you can ensure that you have the best possible chance of defending that claim.

Organisations may not lack policies and procedures on how to deal with tricky situations, but it’s what happens in practice that counts. For example, what do you do if a client is putting pressure on you to remove an employee from their account? If you can’t redeploy them, will it be fair if you dismiss them?

If harassment is alleged, is it right to suspend the alleged perpetrator while you investigate? What happens if the two people involved are in a relationship? If you receive an anonymous allegation, how do you go about investigating it?

How does a disciplinary hearing manager evidence a fair hearing and fair dismissal when there is no proof that the employee committed the offence?

If an organisation wants to change employees’ contractual terms must the workforce be consulted collectively or individually? If employees won’t agree to the changes, how is changed achieved without breaching employees’ contracts?

Having well-designed and legally compliant policies and procedures is only a starting point for managing these kinds of issues. If organisations want to treat their employees fairly, , and avoid tribunal claims, they need to understand how to apply those procedures in practice. And this tour places the emphasis very firmly on ‘how to’! It’s also always good to learn about the types of issues that other HR professionals are facing and how they are handling them. That’s one of the reasons that the CIPD’s Law on Tour sessions are perennially popular.

While you’re there, you’ll also find out what the Taylor report is proposing for employment status reform; how to explain your gender pay gap; information about the GDPR 2018; what the tribunals are deciding on cases concerning pay equality between parents taking shared parental leave; and how to handle early conciliation, and settle claims. You’ll take away a comprehensive workbook, documenting the course and including more resources than ever, including checklists, template letters, disciplinary hearing guidance, key pointers on redundancy and much more.

Check out the October dates for this Autumn’s CIPD Law on Tour Workshop coming to a town near you.

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