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Telephone: 0131 662 6988
Fax:0131 667 8175

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Cramond Village
Telephone: 0131 336 1619

Free EnquiryWorkplace Claims: How Legal Training Can Help Your Business

Employer’s general duties towards their employees are set out within the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974. These requirements are put in place to ensure the welfare and safety of employees in the workplace and cover a variety of regulations. An important part of an employer’s duty of care is to provide an employee with the necessary training to be able to carry out their job safely. However, many employers are selecting members of their workforce for further training, specifically training in legal matters. In addition, to ensure that the scales are balanced many employers are choosing to undertake legal training themselves in the pursuit of achieving a more effective and productive team.

Prevention is better than cure

While many employers and employees have a passing knowledge of their rights, it is only when a situation arises – such as an accident in the workplace or the possibility of redundancy – that the holes in their knowledge are highlighted. Offering your staff legal training and choosing to undertake it yourself embraces the notion that ‘prevention is better than cure’.

Many disputes that occur in the workplace are the result of a lack of knowledge of the responsibilities of either the employer or the employee. While it is fairly obvious that an employer has certain responsibilities towards his employees, it is less understood that an employee has certain responsibilities towards his employer, such as ensuring that they carry out work with safe regard for their work colleagues. Because both parties are expected to meet the minimum legal requirements of their responsibilities, many businesses are finding that training both employers and employees in legal matters is an effective way of heading unnecessary situations ‘off at the pass’.

A new level of teamwork

By ensuring that both employers and employees are fully aware of their legal responsibilities, many businesses are discovering a new level of teamwork between both parties. Rather than waiting for a confrontation to occur, legally trained staff are able to advise one another of any impending situations that could be avoided. Not only does this have a significant legal effect on the machinations of any business, but it also cultivates an atmosphere of trust and co-operation. Employees are aware that, through their legally trained co-worker, they have a voice within the company that paints a picture from their point of view. In addition, many disputes can be settled informally between employees before even reaching the ears of the employer.

From the employer’s point of view, a workforce can also offer support by highlighting problems before they become serious legal issues. In addition, having legal training themselves, they can ensure that any delicate procedures they have to carry out, such as redundancy, are done by the book. Not only does this certify that they will be free from litigation as the result of unfair dismissal, but it also ensures that they operate with their employees’ best interests at heart.

Far from creating an atmosphere of vigilance and suspicion, many employers are finding that undertaking legal training – and encouraging members of their workforce to do the same – can result in a more trusting and harmonious environment.

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"Faced with a complex industrial dispute involving three parties, Callander Golf Club called on the expertise of The Work Ethic to help resolve the situation. Sound legal advice backed by high-level negotiating skills led to an out-of-court settlement to the satisfaction of the Firm’s clients."

J Morrison, Callander Golf Club

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