An employment complaint that escalates to a tribunal is a situation that companies aim to avoid; the legal and cost implications make them an unwelcome and largely unnecessary outcome if HR is managed correctly. HR skills training is the best way to prevent tribunals.
As many tribunals are linked to unfair dismissal, discrimination and redundancy, the focus should be on ensuring that a grievance does not develop in to a claim by following the appropriate procedures. Hence, HR skills training.
A word of caution: It is an employee’s legal right to make a claim if they feel motivated to do so. The key is having no loopholes and therefore no viable cause for them to walk that path.
An exceptional source of information for human resources professionals is ACAS – the Advisory, Conciliation Arbitration Service. As the leading UK body for employment laws and workplace HR their Code of Practice for Discipline and Grievances provides a solid foundation and starting point for HR training and skills.
Utilising ACAS procedures can significantly impact on a small issue’s probability of resolution before the thought of a tribunal enters anyone’s minds. For example, a chat with an employee about their behaviour could negate more weighty processes and ramifications in the future.
ACAS have stated that many cases which have gone to the tribunal stage could have potentially been resolved informally, in-house if the HR and management had followed best practice. The ACAS code of practice.
Key areas of HR skills training
- Establishing clear lines of communication.
- Managing incidents instead of reacting to them can make a huge difference.
- Improving supervisory skills.
- Managing investigations.
- Improving employee performance appraisals.
If management has not invested in HR skills training it could prove detrimental to the company. Effective training is an imperative tool for avoiding tribunals. Arm your team with the best methods and they’ll demonstrate their worth.
If you or a company you’ve been involved in has ever been in a tribunal situation, you’ll appreciate that they are highly stressful, time consuming and divert attention away from core business operations.
If you have never been involved in a tribunal, please don’t fall in to one through a lack of HR skills training.
Ultimately, the resolution should be achieved at the earliest possible opportunity in a law abiding, moral and ethically correct manner.
If you feel that you need assistance, an experienced HR advisor’s insight and guidance and of course, HR skills training, there are professionals ready to help.
Who to contact
One of the leading HR advisors and training consultants in and around the Thames Valley is Robin Rhodes, who works with Thames Valley Business Advisors. Robin has over 30 years of experience in HR and 20 years overseeing employment tribunals. He can introduce techniques and skills in to a workplace environment and energise an HR department.
Robin Rhodes is particularly interested in working as a HR advisor with SME’s so if you own or manage one, why not contact him or a fellow HR expert?