Employers will pay the penalty for ignoring new dispute regulations

Employers
have been warned that they will face stiff penalties for unwittingly getting
their employment procedures wrong under imminent dispute resolution legislation.

The
new laws, to be introduced from 1 October, will require employers and employees
to follow statutory dispute resolution procedures, where the employer
contemplates dismissal or certain types of disciplinary action and, where the
employee has a complaint which might lead to a tribunal claim about action
taken by the employer.

To
help employers deal with their new obligations, EEF, the manufacturers
organisation, has produced a new guide, the first to be launched to help
employers.

The
guide explains in practical terms how these new regulations will affect
employers, why they may need to revise their procedures and how to ensure that
they and their employees can comply with their new obligations.

In
addition, it considers how the new rules will apply in practice and how the new
procedures fit with established good practice. Through a series of chapters and
case studies the guide also answers a number of ‘what if?’ questions about how
the law tackles issues that might arise.

In
particular, the guide will help employers avoid unwittingly breaking the law.
While the new regulations have been introduced as part of a package of measures
intended to ensure workplace disputes are resolved through dialogue rather than
litigation – an approach the EEF supports – they have also created a number of
traps for the unwary, even those with well-developed employment practices.

EEF
director of employment and legal affairs Peter Schofield said: "If a
dispute reaches tribunal, employers will face stiff penalties if they have not
strictly followed the new rules on resolving disputes. This guide gives
practical help on how to handle all the typical situations where the new law
applies and alerts employers to potential pitfalls."

By Quentin Reade

 

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