Simple steps to void conflict and law suits
Employee lawsuits are time-consuming, costly and lead to all sorts of unexpected problems – So, here are some tips to reducing your chance of being caught up in one.
1. Well drafted employments contracts. Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, there is a statutory requirement on employers to draft Particulars of Employment within two months from the start of the employment. Failure to comply can lead to a penalty payment from 2 to 4 weeks pay ordered by the employment tribunal. Setting up a well drafted employment contract provides the framework for the employment relationship and avoids misunderstandings and future problems. Any family who is a client of an Agency belonging to the Association of Nanny Agencies is provided with a generic contract of employment together with disciplinary and grievance procedures, and an induction checklist once the Nanny has been placed with the Family.
2. Review your disciplinary and grievance procedures to ensure they are compatible with the new laws. These are essential as they set up a framework for any grievance, so that employer and employee know exactly where they stand in the event of becoming caught up in one.
3. Perhaps consider whether more relaxed, informal attitudes to dealing with problems of work is more effective – families are employers, so have to abide by the rules and laws, and yet are not corporations or businesses either. Informality and an easy approach to employing your nanny can lead to an early resolution and avoid the escalation of, any potential problem.
4. Consider having mediation within your employment and grievance procedures. Having an independent mediator could give the employee a feeling that their problem is being considered objectively, especially because Family employers are the same people against whom the Nanny may hold a grievance!
5. Try to deal with problems at an early stage to avoid them escalating. Many problems within the work / family setting can be nipped in the bud if grasped and grappled with early, before they become large problems. And remember that your children could become caught up in the crossfire of a bad atmosphere, so this should be avoided at all costs.
6. If resolution has failed, consider using ACAS, a government conciliation service who conciliate about 1000 cases per year with 90% success rate for resolution of the claims.
7. Finally, if all else fails get expert advice from an experienced Employment Solicitor. They too will seek a resolution of the claim at an early stage, saving costs and time.