Disciplinary, Dismissal and Grievance Procedures

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Today is a good day for employers

Today is a good news day for employers and those working in HR! The Coalition Government has introduced three significant legislative changes all of which take effect today and should make your life easier: 1. Settlement discussions The new legislation...

Top tips for handling rogue employees

The Rise of Employee Fraud The last decade has seen increased reliance on information technology and growth in complex and sophisticated financial products and markets.  These factors, coupled with the continuing pressure on businesses to cut costs...

Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") says post-employment victimisation is not unlawful

In a judgment handed down on 5 March 2013, the EAT held in the case of Rowstock Ltd v Jessemey that the Equality Act 2010 (“EqA”) does not provide protection against post-employment victimisation. The judgment surprised many practitioners who had...

Past criminal offences - forgiven but not forgotten?

Dear Auntie We have recently undertaken Disclosure and Barring Service checks (previously Criminal Records Bureau checks) against all members of staff working on a project for one of our biggest clients, SuperClient.  They recently added a new...

Status update on Facebook: Smith v Trafford Housing and other tales we like

In this news update we look at a recent case regarding Facebook posts which raises a number of questions: where is the line between freedom of expression and conduct in keeping with employment obligations?  Does it make a difference if views are...

Top Tips for Handling Dismissal-Dodgers

Picture the scene: an employee is invited to a disciplinary meeting but the very next day you receive a note from his GP signing him off for a month with stress. Sounds familiar? Another common predicament is that of the elusive companion or the trade union...

Seldon v Clarkson Wright and Jakes - Law Society Gazette Article

This article first appeared in the Law Society Gazette    Since the introduction of age discrimination legislation in 2006, firms and LLPs have been scared their formerly uncontentious retirement provisions will become an unwelcome source of...

A-typical Grievances

Dear Auntie I am the HR director of a small business currently facing a very tricky situation. Three members of staff have approached me on a no-names basis to say that the Chief Executive is aggressive and employs bullying tactics to keep the team in...

Suspension of Employees during Disciplinary Proceedings - Approach with Caution!

We have seen an increasing trend for employers suspending employees during disciplinary proceedings almost as a matter of course. However, this is a risky approach which can trigger a number of claims, and so it is an area to be approached with caution....

Bat phones and brokers

Background In the recent case of QBE Management Services (UK) Ltd v Dykmore & Others [2012] EWHC 80 (QB) the High Court granted springboard relief to an employer after it emerged that, prior to resigning, a group of employees had hatched a calculated...

Progressive medical conditions

The Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”) prohibits discrimination in employment in respect of a number of ‘protected characteristics’ including disability. Before an employee can complain that they have suffered discrimination because of...

Withholding information in dismissal procedures

Dear Auntie I have read a case recently in which the Court decided that only the information known by the person dismissing the employee is relevant to whether the reason for dismissal was fair or not. Does that mean that we can withhold relevant...

Settling disputes - a new era?

Question: Dear Auntie, I have been reading around some changes that I understand are due to be made to the Employment Tribunal system.  There is some talk, for example, about claims having to be sent to ACAS before they are submitted to the Tribunal...

GISDA Cyf v Barratt 2010: When is a dismissal effective?

The decision in the case of GISDA Cyf v Barratt marks a further step towards furthering employee protection over achieving certainty for employers. Why should we care? As we know, assessing the exact date on which a dismissal is effective is important -...

When can an 'Off the Record' chat prejudice your position?

 Employers often want an “off the record” chat with employees to see if they can persuade an employee to leave quickly and amicably under a compromise agreement. Such chats are seen as being more friendly than going through a formal process...

Auntie advises on disciplinary procedures, overlapping grievances and problems with contractual policies

Dear Auntie I am an HR Manager for a medium size company and I have just come back from holiday to a stack of disciplinary matters. Can you help me with a couple of matters which are causing me a real headache:- 1. A male employee has complained...

Employment Tribunals: Are they struggling to cope?

Those of us that regularly use the Employment Tribunal system will be well aware of the more frustrating aspects of its service. From spending hours sitting in airless waiting rooms to having hearings postponed on the day even though your witnesses have...

Dismissing quickly with little or no process

Dear Aunty,   Our CEO wants to dismiss one of our managers as he has had enough of his incompetence.  He does not want to go through any process - he says that it will take too long and there is no point as we will end up paying him something...

Witness Statements: key considerations and how to get started

Key considerations The difference between good and bad witness statements can be the difference between winning and losing a case. The preparation for witness statements should start right at the outset of a case as availability and choice of witnesses...

Top Tips for Team Moves - The Poacher's Perspective

The recent case of Tullett Prebon plc v BGC Brokers LP has highlighted once again the dangers of getting a team move wrong. Both BGC and the team looking to move to BGC came under heavy criticism from the court which held that they had shown a blatant...

Top Tips for Dealing with Employment Tribunal Disclosure

These top tips follow on from the guidance in this month’s Aunty Advice which details the nature of an employer’s obligation to disclose relevant documents as part of the employment tribunal litigation process. Top tips for dealing with...

Auntie Advises on Employment Tribunal Disclosure Obligations

Dear Auntie, We have just returned from a Case Management Discussion and the Employment Tribunal has ordered that disclosure be carried out over the next month.  We have a number of internal documents about the litigation which we would rather not...

Disciplinary hearings - a trial for all involved?

Can your lawyer attend your disciplinary hearing? The Court of Appeal recently handed down its decision regarding whether a teacher accused of gross misconduct should have been entitled to legal representation at the disciplinary hearing under Article 6 of...

Dismissing an employee on long term sick leave

Dear Auntie At my organisation there is a member of staff (Tim) who has been off work with a bad back for 3 months. My MD wants to dismiss him but, as HR manager, I am worried about doing this. Please could you give me some guidance as to the issues...

Top tips on preparing to defend an employment tribunal claim

According to Tribunal Services' statistics for 2008/2009, claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract, redundancy pay and failure to inform and consult in redundancy were all up on the previous years’ figures.  In total, 151,000 claims...