Avoiding Employee Tribunals Via HR Skills Training

Human Resources Training

The last thing small business owners want is a notice informing them of a complaint that rises to the level of an employee tribunal. Tribunals are expensive and can lead to all sorts of legal quagmires companies want to avoid at all costs. As an HR adviser and expert on employee tribunals, I have come to understand that being proactive by way of HR skills training is the best way to avoid tribunals altogether.

Employee tribunals are often the result of complaints having to do with unfair dismissal, discrimination, and redundancy. Management must understand that nothing can be done to prevent an employee from making a claim if he or she truly wants to do so. Employees have that legal right. The goal of being proactive is to address issues as soon as these arise so as to eliminate all motivation for filing a claim.

ACAS Code of Practice

Employers have a full range of resources for the kinds of HR skills training that can reduce employee complaints. An excellent source of material is the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), the UK's most recognised advisory service for workplace relations and employment law.

The ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance is an excellent document that lays out the details of resolving disciplinary and grievance issues in the workplace. This is a good place to begin HR skills training. HR employers who understand the Code of Practice and know how to implement it internally are best equipped to resolve minor issues before these become complaint-worthy problems.

As the ACAS points out, many of the disciplinary and grievance issues that eventually end up in employee tribunals could have been resolved informally had the right actions been taken. For example, a private word with the affected employee is often all it takes to resolve a performance issue.

Key Areas of HR Skills Training

As an HR adviser, I have developed a few key areas of HR skills training that can be highly beneficial for avoiding employee tribunals. First among them is teaching HR employees how to properly manage discipline and grievance issues rather than merely reacting to them after the fact. Management is proactive, and thereby designed to avoid problems.

Other key areas of training include:

  • Conducting investigations
  • Improving supervisory skills
  • Improving employee performance appraisals
  • Establishing proper channels of communication.

HR staff properly trained in resolving performance and grievance disputes become key team members in helping companies avoid employee tribunals. HR skills training is something your company should implement if you have not already done so. Effective training is invaluable for resolving employment issues.

If your company has already faced one or more employee tribunals, you know what a nightmare they can be. If you do not have any experience in this area, it is best to keep it that way. Through effective HR training, your company can learn to resolve employment issues in the earliest stages so as to avoid future employee tribunals.

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Author: Robin Rhodes