Top 10 management myths

Richard
Smith, HR expert from Croner Consulting, outlines those old wives’ tales of the
office that could lead to expensive tribunal claims

1.
Myth:
There is no contract of employment if there’s nothing in writing

Croner
says:
Even a verbal contract is a binding agreement

2.
Myth:
Employees paid a monthly salary are entitled to one month’s notice of
the termination of their employment.

Croner
says:
The minimum legal notice period is one week per year of service to a
maximum of 12 weeks, irrespective of how frequently someone is paid, but could
be longer for more senior staff

3.
Myth:
Employees with less than one year’s service can be dismissed for any
reason

Croner
says:
There are now more than 20 grounds where an unfair dismissal
complaint can come from an employee with under one year’s service

4.
Myth:
Making someone redundant is easier than dealing with the real issues
relating to performance

Croner
says:
This risks an unfair dismissal finding, especially if the worker is
replaced shortly afterwards. Employers must show reasonable justification for a
redundancy

5.
Myth:
You can sack someone on the spot for gross misconduct without
following any form of procedure

Croner
says:
This is highly risky, leaving the employer open to an unfair
dismissal claim. Workers should be given an opportunity to explain themselves
at a properly conducted meeting before decisions are made

6.
Myth:
Casual, agency and temporary workers never have employment status

Croner
says:
Such workers may be classed as employees, especially if under the
control of the ‘employer’ and working as part of their organisation, and therefore
gain employment rights

7.
Myth:
If an employee resigns without serving their necessary notice, the
employer is entitled not to pay them outstanding wages or holiday pay

Croner
says:
The employee may be due outstanding wages or holidays and to withhold
such sums would require a written term allowing for this, signed by the employee

8.
Myth:
Employees must always be given bank holidays off or receive
additional pay for working them

Croner
says:
Bank holidays are a matter entirely of contract. There is no right to
them, or for extra pay, unless otherwise agreed

9.
Myth:
Holidays do not accrue if the employee is on long-term sickness
absence.

Croner
says:
Case law has now shown that, even if the contract says otherwise,
workers continue to be entitled to accrue and take holidays, even if sick,
under the Working Time Regulations.

10.
Myth:
An employer does not have to give the right of appeal if there is no
one higher to hear the appeal

Croner
says:
Even in such a case, allowing a review is sensible and allows any
misunderstandings to be cleared up. Failure to offer any appeal will render
most dismissals unfair

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