Why should employers buy employment dispute insurance?

October 29, 2018

Here are some frequent questions and objections we hear around employment dispute insurance.

“It is unlikely that a dispute will occur, so why should I bother with the expense of insurance?”

Unfortunately things do go wrong! There is so much to consider when it comes to employment law, such as discrimination, dismissal, unequal pay… the list goes on. Businesses have to make a range of decisions everyday such as hiring, firing, compensation and promotions, all of which could potentially result in a claim.

Having an insurance policy in place will provide you with cover where you may be faced with a claim you had no idea was coming.

“Employee’s are unlikely to bring a claim due to the costs involved “

True…once upon a time.  However, those times have changed.  Employees are now far more aware of  their employment rights, those rights have increased and access to legal recourse has become much easier..

Awareness has increased through technology. The definition and rights of an employee has expanded and Employment tribunal fees have been abolished.

“I can just hire a lawyer if something goes wrong.”

Of course you can, but unfortunately this doesn’t come without high costs. Imagine if more than one employee was to bring a claim, the solicitors’ fees can escalate easily and you would never have a complete idea of the costs from the outset.

A small cost now can save a large cost later. Remember there is no cap on discrimination claims.  Why risk it?

“Surely a claim can only be brought if something really serious occurs?”

Afraid not. Employment law is a vast area and there are a wide range of ‘discontents’ for which  an employee can make a claim.

An employee can bring a claim where they have been wrongfully dismissed. For example ‘unfair dismissal’ is where there was not a fair reason for dismissing an employee and the procedure followed in dismissing that employee was also not fair.

Discrimination:  This does not only y occur if someone is being outright discriminatory..

Indirect discrimination is a lot more common and can occur where it seems as though what you are doing is not in anyway discriminatory. For example, this may include not allowing employees to take leave during school holidays. This could  be indirectly discriminatory to women.

“I don’t have any employees all my workers are all self employed” Are they though?    Calling people who work for you ‘self employed’ doesn’t necessarily mean  they are!

The legal definition of an ‘employee’ is becoming increasingly stretched. Some factors that might mean a worker is an employee include whether they are supplied with uniform, equipment, holiday and sick pay and regular wages rather than a lump sum.

“What can I do to avoid an employment dispute?”

You can never guarantee there will not be an employment claim.  However… you can  mitigate the risk of one happening.

Some things to think about to try and avoid a dispute occurring include:

  • Increased training and awareness
  • More sensitivity to sickness, maternity and paternity
  • Use all employment policies consistently and fairly
  • Look out for warning signs from employees
  • Know exactly what is in the employment contract and always consult employees before changing anything
  • Handle disciplinary and grievance correctly and follow the procedures in place
  • Correct any breaches as soon as possible
  • Know where you stand with the legal stuff
  • Don’t hesitate, if you think there may be a problem act!

And if that doesn’t work, employment dispute insurance can protect you.

“So what cover will an insurance policy with Custodian actually provide?”

Our policy will provide cover for any claim brought by past, present or potential employees. Therefore if a past employee you had completely forgotten about wants his day in court, then you have protection.  Or if something were to go wrong in the interviewing process you have protection there too.

The types of claim covered include:

  • Wrongful and constructive dismissal
  • Unfair dismissal
  • Employment related misrepresentation
  • Unequal pay
  • Deduction of wages
  • Discrimination in regards to: sex, pregnancy, disability, age, race, and religion
  • Harassment or employment related humiliation
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Failure to adopt adequate employment of work place policies
  • Victimisation
  • Wrongful depreciation of a career opportunity.

As you can see our insurance policy covers a wide range of issues you may not have even considered. All of these are things that can often occur in the workplace.

 

Get in contact

If you have any questions regarding your policy or anything mentioned in this article then please do not hesitate to get in contact! Email us at info@custodianinsurance.co.uk or  call 0207 648 4343.

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