People Solutions North West Ltd has a successful track record of supporting new businesses, especially at the point where they need to employ new staff. This is the most important stage in the growth of a business for several reasons.

Firstly, it is essential to recruit the right people, who are going to be able to perform all the duties and meet with the responsibilities of their job roles. They will also need to be reliable, honest and act in the best interests of the business at all times.

Secondly, there is a whole raft of employment law and regulations that must be complied with. We have supported new businesses in all sectors, at the stage where they need to have legally compliant employment contracts and staff handbooks. We also ensure that these are cost-effective and designed to support the business priorities, rather than trying to fit the business needs into off-the-shelf policies, procedures and contracts.

Thirdly, we help businesses identify future challenges in terms of staff development, to ensure that they are able to meet with the future challenges and changes that will keep the business one step ahead of the competition.

Tribunal Fees Abolished – The Impact on Employers

In a recent Supreme Court Case, UNISON were successful in challenging the Government’s employment tribunal fees (which were introduced in July 2013). Having experienced a 70% reduction in tribunal claims since the introduction of the fees, UNISON won a court ruling to abolish tribunal fees and reimburse those who were charged fees.

How will this affect employers?

For the vast majority of small businesses, this should not have too much of an impact.

Tribunal claims are brought against employers for a variety of different reasons, including, discrimination claims; unfair dismissal claims; and constructive dismissal claims.

If you are a good employer, with positive relations with your staff, you are unlikely to run the risk of facing a tribunal claim.

However, if you have experienced difficulties with employees for any reason, then the risk of being exposed to a tribunal in future will be significantly increased. This is because any disgruntled employee, or ex-employee will be able to register a tribunal claim without any costs.

If you are considering taking action against an employee, such as disciplinary action, dismissal, or changing their job roles, it would be sensible to seek advice to ensure that any actions you take comply with employment law. This would reduce the likelihood of a tribunal claim.

What is the cost of a tribunal?

The costs for successful tribunal claims are substantial and usually run into thousands of pounds. However, even if you successfully defend a tribunal claim; the legal costs of defending the claim (typically several thousands of pounds), plus the time and stress you will face defending a tribunal claim, should be avoided whenever possible.

Where do I find more information?

Contact ACAS for further advice, or contact us for a free initial consultation on any specific concerns you may have.

Our Questions

1 ) When did you realise you wanted to go into business for yourself?

I realised that working for myself would be the best option for me about seven years ago.

2 ) Were you confident you would succeed or were you nervous of failing?

I was reasonably confident of succeeding, as I had a lot of business contacts and the support of two other very experienced professionals

3 ) Did you seek advice from your family or friends? Did anyone close to you suggest it was a bad idea to go into business for yourself or did you receive a lot of support?

This was a decision that I discussed with family, but there was no concerns about setting up my own business

4) What was the biggest obstacle you had to face and overcome in order to start your business?

The biggest obstacle was getting the first customers and securing a regular income for the business

5 ) Do you remember your first customer and can you recall how you felt when you delivered what they were prepared to pay you for?

My first customer was a previous client who need help with a complex employment issue

6 ) What would be the ONE thing you would do differently and where do you see your business in five years time?

I would spend more time with specific networking groups that meet on a regular basis and more support from marketing specialists.

7 ) What would be your advice to any startup or to anyone thinking of going into business for themselves?

Turn your idea into a plan with timescales. Turn your plan into a business plan and get as much help as you can from experienced business and marketing people

We would like to thank David James  for submitting this article for our readers!