employment law advice

Employment Law – Frequently Asked Questions:

Stop, take a breath. To dismiss an employee Facts and Procedure must both be right. Have you got the facts? Have you carried out a proper Investigation (preferably an independent one) to get those facts? If the facts point to the need for a Disciplinary Hearing then follow your own procedure and the ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance. Invite them to a Meeting. Listen to what the employee has to say at a Hearing. Was there provocation? Is there any mitigation? If you decide that, on the balance of probabilities, you are right to dismiss give a right of Appeal at a separate Hearing. It’s complicated and you need to get it right. We can help to guide you through Investigations, Disciplinary Hearings or Appeal Meetings. Contact us here….

To improve an employees performance, find out what the real problem is. What could be causing poor performance? Are there any problems at work like Bullying, Harassment, Victimisation, Stress or Discrimination? Or are there problems at Home having an effect?

Find out what’s really going on. Meet the employee, get the facts and act on them. Map out an agreed timescale for measurable improvement. Give support and training where necessary. Monitor progress and reset the timetable where necessary. It’s complicated and you need to get it right. We can help to guide you through the correct procedure. Contact us here….

To deal with an employee’s sick leave, first what kind of sickness is it? – long term or persistent intermittent absence? If long term then you need the facts about what’s wrong and how long its likely to be before they can return to work. Get a Report from the employee’s G.P. to start with. Then you may need a further Report from an Occupational Health specialist or refer to the Government’s Fit for Work scheme. And is the absence a legally defined ‘disability’? If so, legally you have to consider what ‘reasonable adjustments’ you can make in the workplace to get them back to work. It’s complicated and you need to get it right. We can help to guide you through the requirements and the correct procedure. Contact us here….

Getting your employment contracts up to date is easy. Just contact us. We’ll look at what you are currently using and tell you what’s needed to modernise them. And some of that modernisation will benefit you as an Employer. Are you using a Staff  Handbook to publicise where you stand on things like Overtime, Reporting Sickness Absence, Bullying, Harassment, etc, etc.? Employment law is fast moving so if you haven’t updated things for a while you’re probably using the wrong process and procedure. That can be a very expensive mistake. It’s complicated and you need to get it right. We can help to update your employment documentation. Contact us here….

If you need to change your employees’ contracts you need to take great care! Just imposing a cut in hours or pay will risk an employee walking out and suing you for Constructive Unfair Dismissal. You have to consult with your employees. You have to explain the reasons why you need to do this. You have to listen to their concerns and try to accommodate the problems it may cause. In other words, you have to get their agreement to the changes you want to make. So, the majority agree but a minority don’t. Now what? There is a procedure you can use to force through the changes with a minority. But you need to know how to do it properly. It’s complicated and you need to get it right. We can help you with the letters to and meetings with, your employees. Contact us here….

A settlement agreement is used where you want to end someone’s employment almost immediately (without necessarily going through all the warnings or performance management procedures). When it’s signed in the proper form you can be sure the employee can’t then bring a claim for Unfair Dismissal against you. You have to invite the employee to consider leaving on agreed terms. You can’t force or pressure them to accept a deal. It usually involves a pay-off of some description. And you have to pay money in lieu of notice, accrued holiday pay and the employee’s fixed legal costs on top. So it’s not cheap but it is an effective way of removing a problem quickly. It’s complicated and you need to get it right. We can help you with the process and producing the Settlement Agreement. Contact us here….

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