The vast majority of employment disputes are resolved well before they get to an employment tribunal, so we’ve compiled some tips on how to avoid getting to the stage where an employee makes a claim to an employment tribunal:
How to avoid getting into an employment dispute
Employment disputes often have their roots in some form of miscommunication. So having good written records and following a fair process are really important:
- Make sure you have a properly constructed employment contract with the key terms carefully described
- Make sure you follow the procedures in your employee handbook relating to dismissal, redundancy and performance review
- Make sure you follow a fair process when considering how to deal with difficult employee situations
- Be sure not to unintentionally discriminate or single someone out when groups of employees are concerned
- Consider mediation (we can help with this, or there is a free service through ACAS) as a route to resolving the problem
- Use the company’s grievance process to try to deal with problems at an early stage informally
What is a compromise agreement and when should I use one?
Many disputes can be resolved informally, and early intervention is particularly helpful. In larger businesses, this is often done by HR departments, but we can help provide informal advice at any point in the process to small business owners on an ad-hoc basis.
For issues where termination of the employment is likely, settlement agreements (or compromise agreements as they used to be known) can be useful if you are able to agree a mutually acceptable set of terms with the employee. This services as a legally binding agreement which prevents the employee from later bringing a claim to an employment tribunal. This is particularly helpful if the employer wants to avoid a protracted process such as a performance review process or a full redundancy process when dealing with a particular situation.
How can we help?
Our specialist employment solicitors can assist at any stage of the process and help small business owners resolve these issues as efficiently as possible. Our accountants are also pretty good at the numbers, so we can help you weigh up the possibilities and make sure the solution makes the most financial sense too.