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The risks of ‘off the shelf’ policies

As employers, we walk a fine line with Fair Work Laws, Discrimination Laws and Work Health & Safety Laws, as well as trying to run a profitable and happy workplace.

I was recently questioned at a breakfast forum how it was possible that an employer could be found guilty of unfair dismissal and ordered to pay damages, when the employee was dismissed after an investigation finding that the employee was intimidating and harassing other employees?

For this reason, it is not possible to find simple answers over the Internet without analysing the detail of each circumstance.

The first way of protecting yourself is to get your policies and employment agreements in order from the beginning and to communicate these with your staff. Your policies set the parameters of what is fair, reasonable and acceptable in your workplace. If you buy these policies ‘off the shelf’ without having them custom fit, there are likely to be ‘gaps’ which expose you to claims. Once you have policies you must follow them. Policies not followed are sometimes worse than no policies at all.

The final protection is to get advice from someone qualified to deal with the matter. Tell the WHOLE story to your adviser – warts and all – this will get you the best possible advice. The advice can only be relied on if you give all the information.

For further information contact the Workplace Law Team