Employment Law Top Tips: Five Things to Think About in January 2021

As we start the new year many people will be making headway with new year resolutions, including those relating to working life. If you are an employer looking to get the new year off to a good start, here are five things you may wish to think about this January (and beyond):

  1. Stop the ‘slippage’

    If some relatively minor things had started to slide a bit at the end of last year, e.g., timekeeping around lunchbreaks had started to slip, now is a good time to get things back on track. If left to continue such things can become harder to address as time goes on.
    Did you know? If you would like any assistance with reminding employees about workplace rules, such as support with a memo, you can contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are here to help.
  2. Bear in mind processes and procedures
    When it comes to dealing with common workplace issues such as conduct or performance matters, it’s important to bear in mind that it’s usually necessary to follow a fair procedure when handling the situation. To ensure that this is done appropriately it’s helpful for managers to be familiar with the policies that apply in the organisation as well as the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinaries and Grievances to make sure that where applicable, this is complied with.
    Did you know? If an employer unreasonably fails to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinaries and Grievances and a successful employment tribunal claim is brought, for example for unfair dismissal, the tribunal can award an uplift of up to 25% to the compensatory award payable to the employee.
  3. Don’t skimp when it comes to investigations
    Whilst many employers will understandably want to deal with conduct matters as speedily as possible it’s important to bear in mind that the investigation stage is important. Investigations should be full and thorough and conducted with an open mind – remember an investigating manager will need to look out for any evidence that supports the employee as well as that against them. If you have concerns regarding an employee’s conduct, you should contact Kingfisher Professional Services for advice on the facts of your case before acting.
    Did you Know? As part of an investigation, employers will usually need to have an investigation meeting with the employee who is suspected of the wrongdoing.
  4. Housekeeping
    Remember to take notes when dealing with employee matters and to keep good records. These are often important when it comes to handling employee relations issues, such as investigating grievances, and are vital if ever an employer finds themselves facing an employment tribunal claim.
  5. Catch-up on what you may have missed
    For many employers last year may have seemed like a bit of a whirlwind – changing covid- restrictions and guidance, trying to get used to the new normal and managing the usual HR demands, it can be easy to have missed some of what’s been going on in the world of HR / employment law. If you feel in need of catch-up, you may want to start with a few of our past Legal Updates, such as:
    Spotlight on menopause in the workplace
    Proposed new statutory payment rates announced
    Minimum Wage News
    If you have an employment law matter you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are here to help.
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