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The Cost of Employee Relations
Alix Passey Brown
Date: 5th October 2015
Whether it’s equality cases or employment tribunals, we can help, says Alix Passey Brown of Twyford HR Ltd. Since the Equality Act 2010 took effect, the issues around gender, sexism and gender reassignment haven’t been nearly as much trouble as the ‘religion or belief’ issue, but where do you draw the line between having a bit of a laugh in the office or workshop and causing someone serious offence?
What happens if a male employee considering gender reassignment wants to use the ladies’ loo? How do you tackle the receptionist with the exposed cleavage? Have Muslim employees got the right to reduce their working hours during Ramadan? We embrace diversity but it can be a challenge for the small employer. The Polish air stewardess who took her ‘Christian Cross’ case to the European Court was one of the most powerful cases recently, but for employers without the resources of BA, where do you go for help? Twyford HR can offer preventive advice and remedial support.
On another matter entirely, since the introduction of fees to take cases to Employment Tribunal, the caseload in this region has dropped by almost 70%. Before we all breathe a sigh of relief, the big danger now is that when someone puts their money down, they are usually hell-bent on taking the case the whole way. What’s more, if an employer loses the case, they don’t just face the bill for the award against them (in the case of unfair dismissal this can be up to £78k) but they also get lumbered with the opposition’s costs. So, although the risk in numeric terms is far less, the risk in fiscal terms if you do suffer a claim against you is huge. At Twyford HR, we specialise in putting protective measures in place to prevent employers acting in a way which exposes them to this risk. And, if things do go wrong, we have specialist mediators and employment relations specialists to draw matters to a satisfactory close.
If you would like to discuss either of these areas in more detail, please contact us today.