Charities risk tribunal claims by failing to keep up to date with employment law

Voluntary organisations are risking costly tribunals by failing to keep on top of changes to key employment legislation, according to new study.

Research by the charity Church Urban Fund found 60% of the 200 faith-based projects surveyed had no access to any professional in-house human resources services. There was evidence that the charities rely on informal methods, including family and friends and online resources, to keep up to date with employment regulations.

More than 60% of projects had not changed their HR policies following the introduction of new employment law, including working time, disability and age discrimination legislation.

In response to the problem, the Church Urban Fund has developed ‘Just Employment’, a free HR resource to help with recruitment and employment challenges in the third sector.

Liz Geddes, HR adviser to the Dioceses of Chester, Liverpool and Manchester, said: “There are numerous risks that an employer must face, and it appears that voluntary groups are extremely vulnerable to HR issues. This sector can least afford to be sued, however lack-of funds, staff and time prevent them from safeguarding themselves.”

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