Byline: By Colin Sadler
No matter what size of business you run, if you employ staff, it is likely that at some stage you will have to let one or more of them go ( whether through dismissal or redundancy.
Employee dismissal procedures have always been complex, but in October 2004 the situation became even more complicated with the introduction of new legislation.
The procedures introduced by The Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004 are intended to improve resolution of disputes in the workplace, which in turn would reduce the number of tribunal claims and the cost to the public and the parties involved.
However, employers and lawyers have raised concerns that the procedures are more complex than originally envisaged. It legally obliges employers, of all types and sizes, to have a minimum standard of grievance procedure in place.
Failure to follow the updated procedures can make a dismissal automatically unfair, even if the employee has been at fault.
With so many new procedures to implement, compliance will be a particular challenge for small businesses ( both in terms of time and expense.
However, failure to comply can be costly, and the risks associated with unfair dismissal claims have increased dramatically. In recent years, employment related litigation has become increasingly complex, costly and frequent. …