Being a business leader is all about negotiation. You have to negotiate contracts with suppliers, cajole your customers into buying products and keep your staff happy with adequate pay. But while business leaders are often the negotiating type, the people that work for them rarely are.
The reasons for this are many. One of the reasons, however, is that people who don’t have an entrepreneurial spirit have spent their entire lives in non-negotiable situations. When they were wronged in school by their teachers, they couldn’t say anything in their defense without fear of getting an even worse punishment. And when they were at home, they weren’t able to give their parents their side of the story. In other words, they learned the lesson that “might is right.” The concept of a mutually beneficial outcome is something that is fundamentally alien to them.
This has led to an increasingly litigious environment for businesses. They’re under constant threat of legal action from their disgruntled employees which can hamper their profits.
The key here is to make sure that your business isn’t providing any legal grounds for a lawsuit under the Equality Act passed by the government in 2010. Here are some of the major reasons why your employees might sue you.
Failing To Follow Your Own Policies
Every business should have a policy guidebook that sets out the process of firing an employee. But companies get into trouble when they fail to follow their own policy book. Employees have won cases against companies on these grounds by citing unfair treatment, especially if they are from a minority group and can claim discrimination. The bottom line? If you’ve got a disciplinary policy, follow it to the letter.
Failing To Train For Safety
Some workplaces are a lot more hazardous than others. But all workplaces need to show that they’re taking action to keep their employees safe. This means that your company needs to identify risks and provide workers with training to mitigate those risks. For instance, if your employees do a lot of liquid handling, then they need training that helps them to handle liquids properly. Set up a training schedule and make sure that all employees receive some sort of safety training within their first few hours of work. This helps to protect you against legal cases which argue that you did not take adequate precautions in the event of a worker injury.
Failing To Give A Reason For Firing
Employers think that they’re allowed to fire, just because they’re the boss. But not giving a reason for laying somebody off can land you in all sorts of legal trouble. If you don’t cite a reason for the dismissal, the ex-employee will make one up – and if they don’t, you can bet that their solicitor will.
For this reason, it’s worth being very clear about the exact causes of the termination.
Firing For Bad Performance, Even When Reviews Are Good
If you want to fire somebody for bad performance, you’ll need a poor performance paper trail to back up your case. If you don’t have one, then you could be accused of firing for no reason.