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One of the most unfortunate aspects of being an employer is the occasional need to take disciplinary action against an employee. Many shy away from taking this step because the fear the consequences of getting it wrong and being taken to an employment tribunal.

This is why it is a good idea to get up-to-date procedures in place before the need to take any action arises. Employment tribunals expect all employers – large or small to have proper procedures in place. The employer has a statutory duty to treat employees fairly. In the furtherance of this duty, they must ensure that adequate procedures are in place. Tribunals therefore expect employers to have

1. Written disciplinary rules and procedures to deal with employee performance and conduct which must be easily accessible by staff.
2. The rules must state what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in the workplace and what action you will take if these rules are broken
3. The rules should conform to the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.

Failure to adhere to the principles of the ACAS Code will usually result in an increase in any award of compensation against you by up to 25%.

Dealing with employment disputes is costly in terms of time and money. Fighting tribunal claims is even more so.

As a preventative measure Manchester employment law solicitors Ralli Solicitors LLP have developed a new product – Absolute Business Care (ralli.co.uk/abc). Aimed at SMEs, the scheme provides expert advice and guidance as well as claims cover not only for employment law but also a wide range of other commercial claims.

Should you find yourself being accused of unfair dismissal, discrimination or need to take restraining action against a former employee, it is imperative you get immediate legal advice. Ralli Solicitors LLP provide expert legal advice for businesses in various sectors, including manufacturing, engineering, shipping and logistics, legal and financial service and creative design.