I was at a conference today where the Insurer representative stated that there has been a 150% increase in Employment Claims over the last few years. He also stated as an Employer there is a 40% higher chance of you having Employment Claims that a claim for fire damage. That is a sobering thought for any employer.
It’s easy to see how this can be in today’s economic climate with Redundancies and Unfair Dismissals prevailing. As an Employer you are putting yourself at financial risk if you do not follow Employment procedures when terminating employment. It’s stating the obvious but Employment Claims arise when Employees feel they have not been treated fairly. An employment case can be built on procedural grounds or on substantive grounds. So while an employer may be justified in firing someone because they have been dishonest or have been guilty of gross misconduct if they fail to follow proper employment law procedures they will not succeed in defending a claim at the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
As an Employee you are equally hindering your chances of a successful claim where you fail to follow the Grievance procedure in a case of Constructive Dismissal. In other words it cuts both ways.
Shane Healy, Healy O’Connor Employment Department