Discipline & grievance

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to employee terminations

None of like to have tough conversations with our employees about their poor performance, and we enjoy terminating their contract even less. Whilst it might be hard, the latest decision from the EAT in Rawlinson v Brightside makes clear the importance of telling it how it is, as much for your sake as for the employee. No matter how difficult the conversation might be, it could save you lengthy legal action in the long run.

The background

We’d like it if HR wasn’t complicated, but, unfortunately, the opposite is usually the case. In this situation, there should have been a straightforward non-completion of the probationary period, however Brightside made things a bit trickier. There had been concerns surrounding Mr Rawlinson, the new Group Legal Counsel, and his performance since early in his tenure, although nothing was raised with him. Behind the scenes, however, red flags had been popping up and mistakes had been identified within four months. Subsequently, it was decided that Mr Rawlinson’s employment would be terminated.  Whilst discussions of alternative arrangements for legal advice began, Mr Rawlinson remained none-the-wiser.

A month later, the Company informed Mr Rawlinson that it had reviewed their approach to managing legal services and concluded that the current arrangements were not working. Instead, they would be making greater use of external legal expertise and would no longer require Mr Rawlinson. He was given his contractual three months’ notice, with the Company expecting him to stay on and help with the transition to new arrangements.

But it wasn’t going to be that simple. Instead, Mr Rawlinson felt that if legal services were being outsources then it was a TUPE transfer and, at the very least, he should have been informed of the name of the firm to which the services were being outsourced. After realising that things didn’t quite add up Mr Rawlinson resigned and claimed constructive dismissal. Upon submitting a subject access request, it will come as no surprise that Mr Rawlinson soon came to realise that the real termination was because of his poor performance.

The case

Whilst Mr Rawlinson’s claims regarding non-compliance with TUPE information and consultation obligations were dismissed, as TUPE did not apply, there is a more pressing issue at hand. Mr Rawlinson’s claim for constructive wrongful dismissal was based on breach of the implied contractual duty of mutual trust. In fact, his argument was not that the implied term gave him a right to a fair procedure and to be told the real reason for his dismissal. Instead, he argued that there is an employer’s duty to be honest and not to mislead their employees.

The EAT found that in all but the most unusual cases the implied term means an employer must not deliberately mislead, even if their intensions are honourable. It does not constitute a broader obligation to volunteer information, but where a reason for termination is given, it must be done openly and honestly. The EAT did acknowledge that there may be particular cases in which the operation of the implied term would permit an element of deceit, but this did not apply here.

What this means

The case does not mean that there are more obligations on employers to inform employees either collectively or individually. Instead, the lesson is to not be afraid of being honest about employee performance, even if this is difficult. As more companies move towards a model of continual feedback rather than the traditional annual appraisal process, giving messages about ways to improve performance should be easier and news of under-performance should not come as a surprise. With the implementation of GDPR just a few months away, employers are under increasing pressure to be more transparent with their employees. This case demonstrates that if you choose not to be transparent, it is better to say nothing than to mislead.

If you’re affected by any of these issues, you can get expert advice from Alison here.

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Does long-term sick leave mean termination of employment is unfair?

The UK Court of Appeal has considered if an employer was discriminating against its employee who had been on long term sick leave for more than 12 months by terminating her employment.

The background

In the case O’Brien v. Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, a teacher employed by the Respondent school was assaulted by a pupil in March 2011. Consequently, the teacher suffered serious stress and was on sick leave for over a year.

The teacher attempted to return to work in December 2011, but she was unsuccessful. Following this she had not returned to work, and in January 2013 the school terminated her employment.

The teacher lodged an internal appeal, which was heard in April 2013. The teacher produced a ‘fit for work’ note, as well as additional medical evidence, at this hearing. However, the panel upheld the dismissal on the grounds that the medical evidence was inconsistent, the prognosis was not good, and her return was uncertain. As a result, the teacher claimed against the school for disability discrimination.

The outcome

The UK Court of Appeal considered it unreasonable that the school had disregard the teacher’s  medical evidence at the internal appeal hearing. Because the school already had endured the teacher’s absence for 15 months, it was considered unreasonable for the school not to wait a few months longer, so that the school could obtain and assess its own medical evidence.

The court felt that the school should consider and provide evidence of the impact of the teacher’s prolonged absence (which it had not done to this point). Therefore, the court felt, the school’s dismissal of the teacher constituted disability discrimination. The court did acknowledge that this was a borderline ruling due to length of absence, and the nature of evidence of when the teacher would be fit to return to work.

What can we learn from this?

Although employers are not expected to wait forever for an employee to recover from illness, there are a number of steps they should take to prevent any action being considered as unfair.

  • Written records of any disruption caused to the business of the employers arising from the employee’s absence should be documented.
  • Employers should assess any medical evidence produced by the sick employee carefully, including any new evidence which may be available during the dismissal process (including any internal appeal hearing).
  • Additionally, employers should consider the nature of the illness, the likely length of continuing absence, and the need of the employers to have done the work which the employee was engaged to do.

For more expert employment advice, you can contact Alison here.

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Lecturer made redundant amid role confusion wins £55,000

A former college lecturer has won £55,000 after being told by her employer that it no longer needed somebody to fill the role she was originally hired for. Miss Anderson worked for Shillington College from August 2011 until her dismissal in November 2016, the Central London Employment Tribunal heard.

The background

Shillington College, a graphic design college, has campuses in Australia, the UK and the US. The college employed Anderson initially as a lecturer at its Sydney campus before moving her to Melbourne in 2012. A year later Mr Shillington, the college’s founder and chief executive, approached Anderson and offered her the position of head of teaching in London. Anderson accepted, and was granted a Tier 2 visa. She agreed a salary of £50,000, along with a relocation package, with her new line manager Ms McHugh.

But towards the end of 2013, Shillington and McHugh informed Anderson that she would not be working as head of teaching, and would take the positon of senior lecturer. Anderson was disappointed with this decision, but agreed to the change.

In July 2015, Shillington emailed Anderson about her failure to meet deadlines and alleged decisions to discuss confidential matters with her colleagues, as well as her “poor decision-making.” Shillington also alleged that this was not the first time he had had to reprimand Anderson, and that he was “considering the college’s position” with regards to her role and placing her “on notice” following three warnings.

Later that month Shillington warned Anderson that he believed she had now reached the first stage of the college’s disciplinary procedure. He told Anderson that she could appeal this decision, but she did not.

In early September 2016, after being told that her role would be changing to focus on part-time teaching, Anderson became unhappy with the lack of progress she felt she was making in her career. In October 2016 Anderson raised grievance with McHugh, but this was rejected. Anderson received a letter ten days later notifying her that, because the college no longer required a head of teaching, she was at risk of redundancy.

On 10 November, Anderson raised a complaint about her possible redundancy. On 15 November she was informed that McHugh would hear her grievance outcome appeal, but this was rejected. Anderson was dismissed later that month.

The case

 The Central London Employment Tribunal allowed the claim for unfair dismissal, and the judge claimed that college could not “hide behind its own lack of paperwork or inconsistency” to blur events. Additionally, the tribunal agreed that Anderson had not in fact been fulfilling the role of head of teaching, and was instead working as a senior lecturer.

The tribunal also found that the college had failed Anderson’s inability to meet deadlines, which the tribunal determined was because of a combination of a heady workload and a large amount of students arriving at the college at once. It also stated that this had been exacerbated by both of Anderson’s being hospitalised at the time.

Judge Norris criticised the college particularly for it’s failure to follow disciplinary procedures, which did not make for a “professional or compliant way to go about HR administration”.

What’s next?

 The tribunal’s decision reinforces the need for employers to be able to clearly explain, by reference to contemporaneous documents, how and why an alleged redundancy situation arose, and to follow a full and proper procedure that demonstrates genuine efforts to avoid dismissal.

The ruling emphasises that tribunals do not take an employer’s assertion of a redundancy situation at face value, and will examine the relevant circumstances leading to the dismissal in detail if necessary.

For more HR expertise and advice you can contact Alison here.

 

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Can an employee be too sick to take holiday?

Most of us have been there. You’re getting excited for your upcoming holiday, getting last minute details sorted and then suddenly a cough or cold comes on. Most of us power through and end up having a good time, but what happens if it’s worse and you come back to work feeling anything but refreshed? Should you be entitled to reschedule your holiday – or even claim sick pay?

The European Court of Justice has said in a recent case that a worker who falls ill or becomes incapacitated before a period of pre-arranged statutory holiday should have the right to reschedule their holiday to a later date. As well as this, the court also suggested that the same should apply to workers who become sick whilst on holiday – not just before. Although a contentious suggestion, the ECJ later confirmed this in Asociacion Nacional de Grandes Empresas de Distribucion v Federacion de Asociaciones Sindicales & Ors.

It’s important to note here that the ECJ ruling only applies to four weeks’ holiday, and not the full 5.6 weeks’ statutory holiday or any contractual amount in addition to this. On top of this, there could be argument about whether the UK’s own Working Time Regulations already provides this.

Employees are becoming more aware of their rights than ever, and holiday rights come high up on the list. The ECJ’s decisions mean employers can expect to receive claims from employees that they should be paid sick pay and allowed to re-schedule their holiday. But this can put employers in a difficult position. With the risk of false claims out there, how can you prove your suspicions that an employee didn’t spend their whole holiday holed up in the hotel room? How sick do you have to be before a day in bed counts as sick leave rather than annual leave?

Our advice

Employers have to adopt a clear and consistent approach to avoid any arguments of unfairness or discrimination. The employer is going to have a tricky decision to make – do you follow the ECJ decisions (and the UK decisions following them) and allow employees with legitimate claims to reschedule their leave, or do you adopt a riskier approach and try to stick to the letter of the Working Time Regulations?

Employers are also going to need to be robust in many of these situations – whilst you may choose to allow employers to reschedule their holidays you need to protect yourself from abuse or manipulation. The best way to go forward is with clear, concise policies and expected standards of behaviour – such as asking staff to report and notify sickness in the usual way (even when they’re on holiday), having return-to-work meetings and not being shy to ask necessary question or request medical evidence.

You should also be keeping up-to-date records of sickness absence to review closely, which can help to identify patterns of ‘holiday sickness’. A judicious checking of the employee’s social media posts may another option, and questions should be asked if posting about a big night out and is struck down with ‘stomach flu’. As well as this, you should make clear contracts and disciplinary policies, and the serious consequences for any dishonesty.

The important thing to remember is to be clear, concise and consistent in your approach, with support from your contract of employment and holiday, sickness, equal opportunities, disciplinary, social media and data protection policies.

For more information, you can contact Alison here. For help with your documentation, click here.

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Watch your mouth – how employers can be discriminatory without realising it

Discrimination can come in many forms, but can be much subtler than you realise. When it comes to off-the-cuff comments, employers need to be careful of how things come across to other parties. This was the case with a recent claim made by a 59-year-old employee who was told she’d be more suited to a ‘traditional’ office. So where did the employer go wrong?

The background 

In February 2015 Ms Gomes (G) began working as an administration assistant for Henworth, which traded as Winkworth Estate Agents. G had been working for another agent in the Winkworth franchise since 2009, and had been transferred to Henworth from there.

A year later, in February 2016, G had a performance review with the company’s lettings director, who informed her that she needed to be more careful with her work. The meeting upset G, and she subsequently spoke to her line manager who spoke to Graham Gold, one of the directors.

Shortly after this G met with Gold, who told her that he felt she had not been paying attention to new methods of working, and had become preoccupied with an old piece of software that was now rarely used by the company.

A month later, in March 2016, Gold called G in for another meeting and told her: “This marriage isn’t working.” G claimed that, when asked about this comment, Gold said that G had typed and sent an erroneous letter to a solicitor, including referring to the deceased in question as ‘Mrs’ rather than ‘Mr’. Gold stated that, subsequent to this, a note would be placed on her performance record.

Additionally, Gold then told G she would be “better suited to a traditional estate agency” which G interpreted as Gold alluding to her being too old for that particular office. When G asked Gold what he meant by his comment, he suggested she “sleep on it and decide what you want to do,” which G interpreted as Gold recommending she consider leaving the company. According to G, at the time of the meeting she was planning to stay with the business until retiring at 65.

Not long after the meeting, G took sick leave for work-related stress and filed a grievance against Gold. The outcome of this grievance concluded that G should have more training opportunities, as well as stating that the original meeting with Gold had been carried out in an unsatisfactory manner. Gomes was not pleased with this outcome, however, and not only appealed but also tendered her resignation.

The tribunal allowed G’s claim for age discrimination, stating that the original comment ‘better suited to a traditional estate agency’ was unlikely to have been said to a younger employee, and was therefore a direct reference to her age. As well as this, the tribunal also allowed G’s claims for age-related harassment and constructive unfair dismissal.

The person put in charge of handling G’s grievance was also called into question, as they had compromised the meeting’s impartiality by allowing Gold to be present – despite Gold being the subject of the complaint.

In conclusion

This case is a harsh reminder that employers need to be careful with what they say to, or about, their employees. An age discrimination claim can arise from comments that allude to an employee’s age, even if it is not directly referred to – so think before you speak.

If you would like to discuss this within your organisation, please contact Alison.

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Tribunal awards – calculating a week’s pay

In a recent case the Employment Appeals Tribunal ruled that a week’s pay should include employer pension contributions, rather than just basic pay, for calculation of compensation for claims under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Let’s take a look at the facts.

Ms Drossou (D), who worked for the University of Sunderland, was dismissed on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown in working relations, of which the University claimed D to be the main cause. Subsequently, D brought a claim of unfair dismissal that was eventually upheld by the Tribunal.

As a result, the EAT ordered compensation from the University, calculating a week’s pay by including the employer pension contributions. On the normal grounds that payments are not paid to the employee but into the pension fund, this decision went against the longstanding practice of excluding employer pension contributions from the calculations of a week’s pay.

The Tribunal felt that this deviation from standard practice was necessary, and said that the law under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (‘the ERA’) does not state that the amount payable by the employer has to be payable to the employee (i.e. it could be payable to a third party such as a pension provider). Additionally, the EAT stated that “remuneration” in the context of the ERA means a reward in return for services, and employer pension contributions are no less a reward for service than basic pay. The University was not satisfied with the ruling, but when it appealed to the EAT the Tribunal’s decision was upheld.

So, what does this mean for employers?

For the time being (at least until we see whether this decision is appealed) employers need to increase their calculations in accordance with the potential value of claims. Employers facing unfair dismissal claims need to be careful. If the claimant’s base salary is below £80,541 – the current statutory cap for unfair dismissal compensation – the calculation of a week’s pay becomes highly relevant. Where the employee earns less than the statutory cap on a week’s pay (currently £489), the basic award will also be increased – as well as all other awards based on the ERA definition such as the eight-weeks’ pay for a flexible working rules breach.

But, more importantly, the decision may impact protective awards. If employers fail to inform and consult under TUPE or, in a redundancy process, under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, then they could face large increases in the total compensation payable. The final amount will depend on the number of affected employees, the generosity of the pension provision and the size of protective award made up to the 13-week maximum. But if each employee has a 10% employer pension contribution and they all get an award of 13 weeks, then the total payable increases considerably.

For more information on this please contact Alison.

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President of the Employment Tribunals announces increase in the Vento Bands

Employers have been hit with a timely reminder that they need to make sure they’re taking all possible steps to prevent workplace discrimination. After a recent consultation, the President of the Employment Tribunals has announced that, in the event that they suffer from workplace discrimination, employees can now receive higher compensation for ‘injury to feelings.’

So, what’s it all about?

Compensation for ‘injury to feelings’ is split into four categories – known as Vento Bands – and these vary depending on the discrimination’s severity. From 11 September 2017, the increased Vento bands will be:

  • £800 to £8,400 for less serious cases;
  • £8,400 to £25,200 for serious cases; and
  • £25,200 to £42,000 for the most serious cases.

As well as this, the Employment Tribunal can award over £42,000 in exceptional cases, but it’s still unclear as to how it defines this. Most important, however, is that compensation under this category could be unlimited.

Stick and stones may break your bones, but, in this case, words can definitely hurt. Employers need to stay up to date with their equal opportunities and anti-bullying and harassment policies – as well as implementing regular diversity training – if they’re going to avoid costly discrimination cases.

For more information or help with any Employment Tribunal matters please contact Alison.

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Was the suspension of a teacher a neutral act and, if not, did it amount to a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence?

The High Court case of Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth, available here, is clear on this matter.  In August 2017 they set out that suspension is not a neutral act and an improper suspension can amount to a breach of the above implied term. They also said that a breach could amount to a ‘repudiatory breach’, i.e. be sufficient in itself to destroy the employment relationship and entitle the employee to bring a claim.

The background

Mrs Agoreyo (who was the employee) worked as a primary school teacher for the London Borough of Lambeth.  A number of her pupils had significant behavioural issues and she had made numerous requests to the school for additional support.  However, before all the measures could be put in place Mrs Agoreyo was suspended. This followed three incidents where she had to use a degree of force to get two of these pupils to behave. The allegations suggested that the degree of force used went beyond those considered reasonable under the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

The suspension letter said:

  • the employee was suspended on normal pay;
  • suspension was a precautionary act pending a full investigation into allegations, during which the employee would be given full opportunity to provide her account of events; and
  • the suspension was a “neutral action and not a disciplinary action” and was to “allow the investigation to be conducted fairly”.

However, what sets this case apart, was that, before the decision to suspend, the employee was not asked for her comments on the allegations. Similarly, her employer failed to suggest that it had considered other alternatives to suspension.

Mrs Agoreyo resigned and brought a claim against the employer in the County Court for breach of contract. She argued that suspension was not reasonable or necessary.

Whilst the initial County Court hearing felt that London Borough of Lambeth was bound to suspend Mrs Agoreyo, after receiving reports of the allegations against her, and had “reasonable and proper cause” (to protect the children), Mrs Agoreyo appealed to the High Court.

The High Court disagreed. They felt that the employer was not bound to suspend Mrs Agoreyo and did not feel that it was obvious that there were no other alternatives. Furthermore, the employer had clearly stated in its suspension letter that its purpose was not to protect children but to ensure a fair investigation.

The High Court found that:

  • there was no evidence of any attempt to understand the employee’s version of events prior to the decision to suspend;
  • there was no evidence of any consideration of alternatives to suspension; and
  • the letter of suspension did not explain why an investigation could not be conducted fairly without the need for suspension

As a result they concluded that, given the potential stigma associated with suspension and the potential impact on future career prospects, suspension was not a neutral act, at least in the context of a qualified professional in a vocation, such as a teacher.

The suspension amounted to a breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence.

Employers must remember that even (in cases where the conduct is extremely serious, suspension must never be a knee-jerk reaction and the employer must carefully and pro-actively consider what the true purpose of a suspension would be and whether there might be any alternative.

Our advice is always to contact a qualified professional to help support and guide through disciplinary investigations and matters. You can contact Alison here.

 

 

 

 

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The Supreme Court has ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful

The government suffered a heavy defeat on 26th July after the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful and the government will now have to repay up to £32m to claimants, relating to claims dating back to April 2013.

Brought forward by the Unison union Lord Reed, the judgment said that the fees were unlawful because of their effects on access to justice. Introduced in 2013 and costing between £390 and £1200, the fees have been said to prevent access to justice for workers unable to fund their case.

“The making of the Fees Order was not a lawful exercise of those powers, because the prescribed fees interfere unjustifiably with the right of access to justice under both the common law and EU law, frustrate the operation of Parliamentary legislation granting employment rights, and discriminate unlawfully against women and other protected groups.”

While the fees were brought in by the government to reduce the number of malicious and weak cases, after 3 years there had been a 79% reduction in cases brought forward.

Discrimination cases cost more for claimants because of the complexity and time hearings took. The Supreme Court found this was indirectly discriminatory because a higher proportion of women would bring discrimination cases.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has said: “This is absolutely a tremendous victory, it’s probably the biggest victory of employment rights in this country.”

So what now?

In order to deal with this massive backlog of repayment and claims the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals have issued Case Management Orders.

The Order states that all cases and applications arising from the Unison case, or applications for reimbursement of fees, shall be made in accordance with administrative arrangements to be announced by the Ministry of Justice and HMCTS shortly… We wait to see what happens next!

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Was it discriminatory to dismiss a Christian for saying homosexuality is a sin?

Employees are protected from discrimination on the grounds of their sexuality and/or personal beliefs. But what happens when the two come into conflict? A recent employment tribunal was faced with the Mbuyi v Newpark Childcare (Shepherds Bush) Ltd (2015) case, which considered if it was discriminatory for an employer to dismiss a Christian employee for telling a colleague that homosexuality is a sin. A Christian nursery assistant, M, was dismissed for openly expressing beliefs against homosexuality when discussing the issue with a lesbian colleague.

But, crucially, M did not initiate this conversation and the expressing of her beliefs was not unwarranted. Rather, M’s lesbian colleague, LP, approached her and asked if M’s church would be accepting of LP and her civil partner. According to M, she admitted making comments like “God is not okay with what you do”, but went on to say: “if God is against [you] God is against me as well because we are all sinners.”

During the disciplinary hearing M claimed that she was not, in fact, homophobic but replied to LP in the way that she did because she cared for her and believed that “Jesus says come to me as you are.” Although M’s comments upset LP she did not commence with any formal complaints against M. But that wasn’t the end of it. Instead, it was M’s employer that invited M to a disciplinary hearing, and M was ultimately dismissed based on her own account of the conversation. No further investigation was done. In the dismissal letter the employer explained that the they felt M’s behavior towards LP was wholly inappropriate and concluded, without evidence, that M had deliberately targeted LP for harassment – referring to earlier comments made by M which had not been considered during M’s hearing.

The employment tribunal finally decided that M had been directly discriminated against on the grounds of her Christian belief. The tribunal similarly noted that LP had not been disciplined, despite being the one who initiated the conversation around religious belief – a conversation in contravention of the employer’s policies. The tribunal also upheld M’s indirect discrimination claim – the employer had placed M, and others sharing similar beliefs, at a disadvantage by their requirement to refrain from expressing adverse views of homosexuality.

Although providing services in a non-discriminatory way is absolutely essential, a total ban on discussing such matters was not a proportionate means of achieving that aim.

You can find a full transcript of the case here.

The tribunal’s approach in this case reminds us of an earlier High Court decision which also explored the tension between two employees with conflicting views. That case, Smith v Trafford Housing Trust (2012), concerned gay marriage. The High Court commented that whilst occasional differences of opinion amongst staff was a necessary price to be paid for diversity and freedom of speech within the workplace. But, importantly, this does not mean an employer can never discipline an employee for an inappropriate display of their beliefs. But the employer should always tread carefully – you shouldn’t be seen to be prioritizing one protected characteristic over another.

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Can too many Tinder tales at work cause trouble?

Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day makes an appearance for another year. Dating and love in the modern world has changed dramatically over the past decade and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with what’s appropriate for the workplace. Hearing about employees online dating experiences might make for funny morning coffee conversations but where should the line be drawn, legally, for discussion of Tinder tales in the workplace.

It’s true that online dating is much more accepted but hearing about it constantly at work could lead to something a bit more sinister.

An interesting article we came across talks about a self-confessed Tinder addict amongst their subscribers.

“Her colleagues are often privy to her sexting exploits (text messaging someone in the hope of having a sexual encounter with them later) and the net results. Most of them find her tales entertaining but our subscriber has noticed that there are one or two employees who are clearly unimpressed, although they’ve never actually objected.”

The question of whether or not there is a problem here can be considered with the Equality Act 2010. It states that an employee can be considered to be unlawfully harassing another if they engage in any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or create an intimidating or offensive environment.

In this circumstance, if one of the employees is offended by, or could potentially issue a tribunal claim over, what they consider offensive behaviour by the subscriber it could be considered as sexual harassment. It doesn’t matter if the subscriber didn’t mean any harm by the conversations, all that matters is the perception by the other employee.

So too many Tinder tales can cause trouble not just for employees but also the employer. To make sure employers aren’t held responsible they can follow a few steps:

  • Ensure there is a clear work policy that states what is considered inappropriate behaviour at work.
  • Carry out regular training on dignity at work for all employees, making sure to include information about their personal legal obligations.
  • If there are any minor incidents that could be considered offensive, have a quiet meeting with the employee to ensure they are aware that others may think of it as sexual harassment.

Employers can be held responsible for employees that offend others in a sexual nature. It is important to ensure that everyone in the workplace is aware of what can be considered offended by others. Encourage staff to keep their Tinder tales to themselves while in the office and leave Valentine’s Day stories at the door.

For guidance on this or related HR matters, please contact Alison.

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