The amount of employment tribunals could be reduced if organisations spent more time educating line managers.
That is according to recruiters Crone Corkill and law firm Boyes Turner, after jointly running a 'mock tribunal', attended by over 100 HR professionals. The tribunal dealt with a case claiming unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, age discrimination and disability discrimination and highlighted how organisations can leave themselves open to lawsuits.
In the fictitious case, the line manager made a number of mistakes, including not keeping any appraisal notes, and referring to mature workers as "wrinklies".
"While organisations often invest time and money in ensuring that their HR professionals are up to speed with employment law issues, it is often the actions of line managers which lead to tribunals in the first place," said Tracy Durrant, managing director of Crone Corkill.
Barry Stanton, partner at Boyes Turner, added that HR departments often tick all the boxes in terms of policies and procedures, but it is the line manager who has more contact with the employee on a day-to-day basis. "If they are not aware of when they are crossing the legal boundaries, then organisations could find themselves in deep water," he warned.