Using an Employment Law Specialist Can Save Your Company Money

I found this article relating to Employment Law which I thought may be of interest. So here it is for you

Employment tribunals can offer an excellent means of pitching one’s wits against the great and the good of the legal world.

Legal points are batted to and fro in a way that is notably less high falutin than at a criminal court and often the spoils go not to the party that is in the right but rather to the one which can demonstrate that the other hasn’t followed correct practice in the conduct of a dispute between employer and employee.

For the employer in particular the process can sometimes be a veritable minefield.  The employer is usually expected to be familiar with the procedures in every detail, whilst employees are often able to plead ignorance with some success.  Whilst it would be something of an overstatement to suggest that the process is loaded in favour of the complainant, there are definitely liberties that can be taken by the employee from which the employer is effectively debarred.

This writer has a great deal of experience of industrial tribunals and of the ways in which they work.  Despite having no legal qualifications at all or even training of any kind, I have successfully supported a number of complainants in their disputes with former employers.

Two cases in particular spring to mind as examples of how an employer can come to grief through not following established practices.

The first claimant was a Dundonian with a very broad local dialect.  He had been summarily dismissed from his employment at Heathrow as a luggage porter after a customer had complained that he had sworn at her.  The customer, a native of Brazil, was unsurprisingly not able to attend the hearing, but she sent a letter along in the employer’s support which was allowed by the Chair of the tribunal.

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It was obvioud from the letter that English was not her first language.  In actual fact her mother tongue was Portuguese.  I produced witnesses, including a colleague of the complainant who hailed from Glasgow and who confirmed that even he sometimes had difficulty understanding his Dundonian accent.  Then I put the complainant himself onto the stand and after just a few minutes the point had been made emphatically.  The potential for the man from Dundee to have been misheard or misunderstood by the Portuguese-speaking lady was considerable.  The company should have given him the benefit of the doubt and consequently the complaint was upheld.

In another case a warehouseman had been dismissed from his job for gross misconduct after hurling a spanner at a colleague’s head.  He openly admitted to the transgression but he hadn’t been given the chance to consider the charge against him nor to present his case before being dismissed.  The employer had felt it to have been an open and shut case and hadn’t thought there was a need to hear what he had to say.  This admission cost the company around five thousand pounds as the employment tribunals upheld his claim against his employer, with a mere thirty percent contributory fault awarded against the spanner thrower.

Whilst it is certainly true that some employers can be cavalier about the rights of their employees, many others are quite simply untrained in the finer points of employment law and make genuine mistakes when meaning to act in good faith.  Mistakes which, if seized upon can cost them not only financially but in terms too of valuable time spent as well as reputation.

It can be helpful therefore for a small to medium enterprise to take on the services of a specialist in the field of human resources, HR outsourcing, redundancy and employment law.  Assistance of this kind has the advantage of being available as and when needed without requiring a permanent presence within the organisation and on its payroll.

Mark Richards is a professional writer working for The Middle Man, a web-based business marketing agency.  He also publishes A Blog About SEO.
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