Policies, policies, policies the answer to tribunal minefield

Dec 21 2004 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best is no longer enough when it comes to navigating a safe path through the employment tribunal minefield, an HR consultancy has warned.

Bamboo Resourcing has urged firms not to bury their heads in the sand over the issue but make sure they have complete and detailed HR policies and procedures in place.

As workers become increasingly aware of the fact they can take grievances to tribunal, so employers need to give extra priority to drawing up water-tight policies and procedures.

Bamboo operations manager Karen Green said: “Employers who cross their fingers and hope for the best are risking problems if a member of staff decides to pursue a claim against unfair treatment.”

She added: “And it isn’t just companies that lose at tribunal who suffer. Even if a company wins, it has to pay the solicitor’s costs, and loses productivity through preparing for and attending the hearing.”

Organisations needed clear policies and procedures on issues such as how to handle disciplinaries, redundancy, maternity leave, sickness and absence.

How employees are expected to behave, their use of the company car, the internet and so on, should also be a policy-making priority.

All policies and procedures needed to be clear and detailed, transparent and easy to follow, she stressed.

By protecting themselves from falling foul of legislation, or aggravating employees, they were also far less likely to be knocked sideways by frivolous claims, she added.