Monday, 17 December 2007

Tribunal claims increase

Shropshire employers are being warned to make sure they’re fully prepared for potential employment tribunals after a huge increase this year.

John Mehtam, our Employment Law Specialist, said national statistics had shown a massive rise in claims for equal pay and sex discrimination.

“The figures for 2007 also include age discrimination for the first time ever, with almost 1,000 claims since the legislation came into force in October 2006. So it’s important that employers take steps to protect themselves as the trend looks set to continue.”

John said companies should make sure they kept employment terms and conditions up-to-date for all their staff, including changes to salary and working hours.

“You should also have a discipline and grievance procedure in place, and more importantly, make sure your staff know it exists and how it works. Train your managers and supervisors to deal with problems as soon as they arise, always following the right procedures, and keep your staff informed of any changes that could affect their working day.”

John said employers should always be seen to be fair in their dealings with their staff, and if redundancies were necessary, they should help the staff affected to find new jobs.

“And no matter how serious the incident may be, never dismiss staff on the spot – there is always a procedure that must be followed.”

“The national increase in the number of employment tribunals is a warning to companies that they need to be fully prepared for possible claims, and that keeping up-to-date with ever-changing legislation is the only way to run a business.”