With Employment Tribunal claims down significantly since the introduction of fees (somewhere between 45% and 70% depending on the figures you look at) I’ve been asked the question “does that mean we don’t need to worry about the HR stuff anymore?” Of course, if ending up in court is your only concern then maybe your chances are reduced and maybe this may weigh into your decision making. However, tribunals are not the only (and never have been) concern for HR and your business.
As a small point there are other means of law enforcement, HMRC to name just one, however, there remains so much more to HR than employment tribunals and more importantly so much more HR can do to benefit your business. If you get the HR right, the compliance will fall in line relatively easily.
If your business relies on good people doing a good job, the right HR support will enable this. HR is about every part of the employment relationship from ensuring you are an employer of choice, therefore giving you the pick of the candidates. Your people strategy should cover how you keep good people and get the best out of them, ensuring your people are motivated and have the skills and resources to do the job well. Whilst keeping good people is important, HR will also ensure you can legally exit people and roles that no longer work for your business.
Exactly what all this means will depend on your organisation, there is no one right answer for all and that’s where good quality HR support comes in.
We live in a world where tribunals are not the only judges; your employees and your customers are on social media, review websites both from customers and past and present employees (even those going through your recruitment process) all judge your people and the way you treat them. Your people represent your business, whilst you may be working to build one reputation, your online presence may say something different if your people strategy isn’t right.
It’s not only online reviews and social media channels to be concerned about, increasingly we’re seeing the press report not only on a Company’s breach of legislation but they’re also making moral judgements in their reporting. We’ve seen high profile cases recently including Sports Direct treatment of staff and a Dress Code policy applied by an agency to a receptionist working at PwC, demonstrating it’s not just your own people decisions that matter but also those of your suppliers.
And if we forget all the tribunals, compliance, brand image and negative press stuff, getting the people stuff right is about having a productive, profitable business, that’s what HR can do for you!