Day-to-Day Employment Advice

In addition to having a Contract of Employment with each Employee, it is usual practice to have a Company Handbook providing guidance and explanation of various issues that are not necessarily detailed in the Contract. The Handbook should be referred to in the Contract, and the Employee should sign to confirm they have read it and are familiar with its content (a copy is usually provided to each Employee when they start their Employment).

Topics such as Grievance Procedures, Company Policies, Disciplinary Procedures etc can sometimes be very detailed so having a company handbook can be a very useful tool in a workplace so that everyone is clear on what to do and if/when something is not adhered to or if someone has a problem.

From an Employee’s point of view,  if they are not happy about something in the work place, they may wish to raise a grievance. The Company Handbook needs to detail how and when the Employee should raise a grievance and who they need to raise it with. If such a matter arises, the Company Handbook should detail how that Grievance will be dealt with by the Employer and what the Employee can do if they are not happy at the end of the Grievance Procedure.

Similarly, if an Employee is for example, in breach of a Company Policy and disciplinary action is required, the Company Handbook should detail the disciplinary procedure and also the effect of verbal warnings, written warnings, and gross misconduct leading to dismissal etc.

If any of these issues arise in the workplace, it would be a lot better for both parties to resolve the matter as quickly as possible with a fair and understood outcome. This will hopefully prevent claims being submitted to the Employment Tribunal and also possible uplifts in compensation being claimed, if you have failed to adhere to the terms of the ACAS Code of Practice 2009.

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