Recently, I have had clients come back to me stating that during seminars with employment solicitors they have been told NOT TO USE HR CONSULTANTS.
I was quite taken aback (particularly as I had been hired by that Firm in the past) and sought to understand the reasons why a solicitor might say this.
It is about something called “DISCLOSURE” So, what is that?
disclosure – Legal Definition. n. The release of information about a person or entity. Of a corporation, the filing of documents and statements required by law; in litigation, the release of documents and other information subpoenaed or otherwise sought by the other side. See also discovery.
What does that mean to you and your HR consultant?
Basically, you need to disclose your written notes and correspondence about the employee as part of the Employment Tribunal Process. Here is a list of items that might be required:
• Notes of interviews conducted as part of the investigation process;
• Early drafts of any investigation outcome and disciplinary letters;
• Internal correspondence regarding the strategy for dealing with the troublesome employee;
• Emails between managers referring to the employee;
• Notes of any meetings between managers;
• Correspondence with your HR consultant, including any reference to the objective of dismissing the employee;
• Notes of any telephone calls with the HR consultant.
If your HR consultant is not aware of this or inexperienced this could cause you a heap of issues. Your HR consultant will know:
• What to note down and what not to.
• How to write a good and responsible letter and design a fair and thorough investigation.
• How to be a good witness in the Employment Tribunal, without losing their integrity
It also means that you or your management should not be indiscrete via email or in any form of writing.
HOW YOUR HR CONSULTANT CAN SAVE YOU!
The biggest problem faced by HR is the indiscretion of management in terms of what they say in emails to each other. This is something which CANNOT be saved by your solicitor because invariably the mistake or indiscretion has already occurred months ago before any type of employment process has begun.