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An Employment Tribunal is most employers’ worst nightmare.

Updated: 18 hours ago

The five steps to avoiding an employment tribunal claim
Employment Tribunal

The fear of Employment Tribunal (‘ET’) claims is always at the back of every employer’s mind. Although it’s impossible to mitigate the risk of ET claims totally, there are some practical steps that all employers can take to reduce this risk - and to protect themselves if they do find themselves in an Employment Tribunal.

With Employment Tribunals comes stress, expense, business disruption, and uncertainty.

If you follow these 5 steps, they will help you to mitigate the risk of being taken to an Employment Tribunal, and (if you are) will help you to defend a claim successfully.

"I do not like war. It is costly and the outcome is uncertain" – Queen Elizabeth I

1. The Contract of Employment

A thoroughly well-drafted Contract of Employment is central to any employment relationship, as this sets out the legal obligations and rights of the parties (the employer and the employee). When written to a high standard, this document removes any uncertainty or ambiguity in the relationship and instead creates certainty. It expressly covers the key areas of the employment relationship that often give rise to disputes, such as working hours, salary, holiday entitlement, or sick pay).

Whilst it might be tempting to grab a generic Contract of Employment from the internet and use that, this should be avoided. Contract terms should be carefully considered to ensure they fit the business and the role and duties of each employee.

Once signed, remember that a Contract of Employment is legally binding on the parties - so it’s really important to get this right the first time. If you do find yourself in an Employment Tribunal, this is a key document any Tribunal will refer to in the event of a claim. Make sure your Contract of Employment covers all bases as it will help to protect you.

It’s best practice to review and update your Contracts of Employment - particularly if an employee’s role changes, or in response to changes to employment law. A tribunal will look take note of an employer that is demonstrating best practices - and is complying with changes to employment law. If your Contract of Employment is well-drafted and presented, it will create an impression of a professional, compliant, and reasonable employer (as opposed to the opposite).

2. Workplace Policies & Procedures

3. Actively manage the employment relationship

4. Get expert help

5. Document everything

Do you need some expert help with an employee issue that could result in an Employment Tribunal claim? Book a free initial consultation with us today.

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