Ten Top Tips to Avoid Employment Tribunal Pitfalls

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In over 16 years none of our clients have ever been successfully taken to an employment tribunal – in this article we take a look at ten simple yet crucial steps you can take to minimise the risk of having to face an Employment Tribunal yourself and, if you do, to reduce the likelihood that you’ll be found in breach of any employment legislation.
  1. Comply with the Acas guidelines on employment practice throughout.
  2. Have clear written procedures for handling disciplinary, performance, capability and grievance issues that are understood by all employees.
  3. Deal with issues as quickly as possible – don’t delay in holding meetings, reaching decisions or confirming outcomes of meetings.
  4. Be consistent in your actions – if you’ve given a warning in the past for a particular offence, it will be difficult to justify why you should terminate the employment of another employer committing the same offence.
  5. Always carry out a thorough investigation of the facts before considering taking any action – involving interviewing witnesses or obtaining a medical report for example.
  6. Always allow the employee ample opportunity to put their version of the story.
  7. In a redundancy situation, make sure there is meaningful consultation with the employee before a final decision to terminate is taken.
  8. Allow the employee to be accompanied by a workplace colleague or an accredited trade union official at disciplinary and grievance hearings – and in some instances where the employee’s whole livelihood may be threatened or they are at risk of deportation, they may have the right to be accompanied by a solicitor.
  9. Accurately document all the facts and gain each party’s agreement to the notes.
  10. Always offer the opportunity to appeal against any decision made.

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