Reduce the risk of hiring someone unsuitable and avoid the ‘Pinch’

Can Your Business Avoid Finding Itself in a ‘Pinch’?

There is much publicity (and scrutiny!) now around the Chris Pincher scandal. As you will probably already be aware he was the Deputy Chief Whip who resigned after allegations of misbehaviour at a private members club. The Prime Minister has since apologised for appointing him to a government role after being told about a previous misconduct complaint against him.

As the ‘fallout’ from this situation continues, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk of hiring someone unsuitable in your business, and if conduct issues do arise how should you tackle them?

Below we take a look at 5 things businesses should know.

Reduce the risk of hiring someone unsuitable and avoid the ‘Pinch’

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1. Set-up for success

Ensure you have robust and fair recruitment practices in place and recruiting managers are appropriately trained. This gives your business a better chance of making a ‘good hire.’

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2. Do your homework

Check references, whilst many employers ask for referees, references aren’t always taken up.

Doing due diligence can help you to check that what you are being told is correct, E.G that your new recruit really did work for who they say they did, it may also bring other information to light. If you receive a reference that you consider unsatisfactory, get in touch with Kingfisher for advice on the next steps.

3. ‘Out of bounds’?

There may be occasions where it’s possible that action can be taken against an employee for conduct that takes place outside of work if it relates to the employment relationship.

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4. Consider length of service

Check your employee’s length of service if you have concerns about their conduct, it might just save you time and effort when dealing with the matter.

Employees need two years continuity of service to be able to bring an ordinary unfair dismissal claim, it may therefore be possible to dismiss an employee with short service quickly and without the need to follow the usual procedures if they turn out to be unsuitable for the role. This can be the case even if you haven’t included a probationary period in their contract of employment.

However, before taking any action it’s always important to seek advice on your case to ensure a ‘quick dismissal’ is safe in the circumstances. There are some claims employees can make irrespective of their length of service, such as discrimination or dismissal for an automatically unfair reason such as whistleblowing so it’s important to ensure you aren’t ‘caught out’.

5. Act fairly, reasonably and follow a process

Managing a possible conduct issue involving an employee with two years service or more will usually involve starting with an investigation to establish the facts and if there is sufficient evidence following a full and fair disciplinary process to address the matter.

In outline, a disciplinary process will involve:

    • Inviting the employee, in writing, to attend a disciplinary meeting and advising them of their right to be accompanied (remember to include the evidence with the invitation)
    • Holding the disciplinary meeting

    • Following the meeting, giving the employee a written outcome with a right of appeal

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