Employers: Why injury to feelings claims could affect you and your business
An injury to feelings claim can be made as part of a discrimination claim. It is a claim for compensation for the upset, distress or anxiety that an employee might have suffered as a result of discrimination.
This will help to evidence the reason for dismissal and defend any allegations suggesting otherwise. The process also gives an opportunity to address any potential issues during employment.
Conduct a fair process even if the employee has less than 2 years’ service, this shows that you have considered all avenues fairly, even though it is not legally necessary.
Investigate fully, gather evidence, witness statements or CCTV
Suspend if necessary and for a reasonable amount of time, the employee should receive full pay during this time
Take informal action wherever possible
Follow this by formal action if the issue persists, by holding a disciplinary meeting and have note taker to review the outcome
From the outcome of the disciplinary meeting, draft a first or final written warning or dismissal
Deal with any appeal or grievance promptly and ensure a different person is conducting this stage to the investigation of disciplinary meeting to ensure fairness
An employer should always handle grievances immediately; although this can be done informally. A more formal follow up meeting can be scheduled with the employee where they can have someone accompany them if they wish. Finally, decide on appropriate and fair action and allow the employee to appeal if they are not satisfied.
Rachel heads up our employment law division at Jelf. Rachel has a wealth of experience within employment law and provides commercially focused employment law solutions to clients of various sizes and industries. Rachel has her Masters Degree in Law and has completed her post graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.