New disciplinary procedures likely to benefit senior executives

Senior
executives are most likely to benefit from new statutory disciplinary
and grievance procedures that come into force on 1
October,
according to London
law firm Howard Kennedy.

The
new procedures set out minimum requirements that both employers and employees
must follow
.
They
are designed to make them both resolve their differences without using an employment tribunal.

Andrea
Nicholls, head of employment at Howard Kennedy, said new powers to penalise an
employer or employee by increasing or decreasing the compensation awards if
they do not follow procedure could lead to a "back
door"
increase of unfair dismissal compensation
of
up to £82,500 for dismissed senior executives.

“Most
senior executives are dealt with outside any normal disciplinary process,” she
said. “Under the new procedures
, this will entitle
them to claim that they have been automatically unfairly dismissed
, with the consequent power for the tribunal to increase the
compensation awards." 

Under
the new provisions, employment tribunals will have the power to increase an
award in favour of an employee by up to 50 per cent if the employer has failed
to comply with the disciplinary procedures. 

Similarly,
if an employee does not exercise t
heir right to an
internal appeal against a disciplinary decision, the tribunal has the power to
reduce the amount payable to the employee by up to 50 per cent.

For
more on the new dispute resolution legislation
,
visit www.personneltoday.com/goto/23991

Michael Millar

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