HR's 10 most expensive mistakes !

Most of the time, being an HR professional is enjoyable, however making the wrong call or allowing damaging behaviour to go unchecked, can prove very expensive.  The average cost awarded at a tribunal is now approx £12,000 and the British Chamber of Commerce has put the average cost of an employer defending themselves at approx £8,500.  However, the good news is that alot of these things are preventable. The proper procedures in place and the ability to 'nip trouble in the bud' can be invaluable.  People Management have come up with the most common costly mistakes:

Avoiding difficult performance conversations - Speaks for its self really, if there is an issue, it needs to be addressed in a timely manner.
Making assumptions about maternity - A lot of companies stop talking to employees when they become pregnant for fear of saying the wrong thing.  Regular conversation makes sure that no assumptions are made, which is one of the biggest issues regarding maternity.
Not calling out harassment - If you know something is going on in the work place but you choose to ignore it rather than address it, causes bigger problems !
Car-crash consultations - Not having meaningful consultations with processes such as redundancy and TUPE can lead to ongoing problems and possible claims.
Brushing off 'banter' - It can seem a bit harsh to stop work place chatter, however, if banter becomes inappropriate, it needs to be addressed quickly before it becomes the 'norm'.  Sometimes people can appear to be getting on well but then they drop in some sort of claim, i.e.. sexual discrimination
Getting the Investigations wrong - Investigations should be factual, never make assumptions when gathering information - evidence should be factual only.
Not minding your language - Think before you speak, you need to be mindful of how the individual is and adapt your style accordingly.  Texts and emails can also convey different meanings to different people.
Missing out on advice - If your computer stopped working you would contact your I.T. person, if you have an issue with people, make sure you seek the right advice, i.e.. HR, medical, legal etc.
'Dodgy' disciplinaries - Getting the disciplinary process wrong crops up alot in unfair dismissal claims.  The ACAS guide of practice should always be followed and this will be taken into account when decisions are being made.
Failing to renew contracts - Contracts should always be kept up to date and issued within 8 weeks of an employee joining your company.  Make sure you put confidentiality clauses in your contracts to protect your business.  If an employee makes a successful application for unfair dismissal, if there will be a mandatory award of approx one month's salary if there was not a contract in place within 2 months.

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