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Covid causes sharp increase in tribunal claims

The last twelve months has seen the number of claims increase by almost 30%. That's up from 7% for the previous year. Why, I hear you ask?

You'd think that with the furlough scheme being made available to keep employees' jobs safe, there would not be opportunities for so many businesses to fall foul of employment legislation and presented with a tribunal claim. So, how has this happened and what can you do to avoid it?

  1. Follow procedures - working from home is now well established and there is no reason to postpone HR processes. Continue to follow a fair process and treat employees consistently, in line with company policies.

  2. Maintain high levels of transparency - regular team and/or all company updates were quickly implemented in the first lockdown. They are as important, if not more, as we continue to be a remote workforce. Keeping the levels of transparency high helps to protect the business reputation. It alleviates feelings of stress and anxiety in staff as well as helping them to continue to feel part of the wider business.

  3. Look out for small grumbles before they turn into formal grievances. And nip them in the bud! This can be tricky when people are working from home and you don't have the same opportunity to read their body language or notice small changes in attitude. It's important to carry on having regular one-to-ones with all your staff. It's your opportunity to find out how they really are. Not to ask them how they are getting on with their to-do list! Instead, ask them who they've had contact with in the team, what aspects of work are they finding tricky, how often are they getting outside for a walk, what support can you give to them to meet this month's objectives and - don't be afraid to ask - are they ok?

In a perfect world, there wouldn't be any tribunal claims. But the simple fact is, you can't please all of the people all of the time. The best you can do is to have processes and policies in place. They act as your insurance - as long as you follow them!

For further guidance about a current situation or for a review and update of your existing policies and processes, contact Ambridge HR to speak to an expert.

Phone: 0330 133 3525

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