Ever been stung by a rogue bee?
It’s almost Christmas again, the time of year when we stop to reflect on the success (or otherwise) of the business over the last 12 months. Our hope for you is that everything has gone according to your business plan and that you remembered your metaphoric sun hat and cream and emerged from the summer months unscathed, or, were you that unfortunate organisation to be stung by a rogue bee?
Whilst every employer has a duty of care to the employee, protecting the business is equally as important as looking after your staff who are protected under employment law rights ensuring that they are treated fairly. However, have you considered lately how safe your business is from a rogue, mischievous and disruptive employee with a bee in their bonnet who may be ill advised or misguided into thinking they have a claim against you, when in reality they don’t. Unfortunately once an employee has decided to have their day in court, the employer is left in a no win situation and potentially faces expensive legal fees, reputational damage, personal stress for management and directors, time consuming meetings and discussions and, at worst a two or three day court hearing.
The $64,000 question is; how can you achieve protection for, you as a business owner and the business in general. The answer is by ensuring you have robust and up to date policies in place. For example, do you have a full grievance procedure? Are employees aware of Whistleblowing policies? Do you conduct regular one to ones, back to work interviews, appraisals and ensure managers are properly trained in accordance with ACAS Codes of Practice, particularly on issues relating equal opportunities.
However and regrettably if that rogue bee is going to sting you, then you’re going to get stung! The good news however, as illustrated in a recent tribunal case Liddington v 2gether NHS Trust, is that when it comes to a claim in an employment tribunal a judge does have redress to impose an order of costs upon the employee who brings a malicious, vexatious or capricious claim, even if they have brought the case by themselves without the help of a lawyer, which hopefully may make an employee think twice before bringing a claim against you.
For any advice on how to get factor 50 protection ready for the New Year, give Howarths a call and one of our specialist and legally qualified team will be happy to discuss.
Telephone 01274 864999 and speak to Andrea or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org