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Blog Post: The A to Z of HR - E is for Ethical HR

I often talk about ethical HR, but what does that actually mean? It is not about just simply being nice to an employee; it is about doing the “right thing”. It is about running a business so that as well as complying with the appropriate employment legislation, the employer makes fairness and consistency of treatment part of the culture of the business.

For example, it means ensuring that your disciplinary process follows your published procedures and that you follow the laws of natural justice, by telling the employee what the allegations are in writing; allowing them time to consider the evidence you have provided so that they have an opportunity to respond to them; being given the right to be accompanied by a fellow worker or accredited TU representative; and being told the outcome of the hearing in writing with the opportunity to appeal.

Too often I find that employees are invited to meetings, not knowing why or what the possible outcome could be. Any sanction issued as a result of such a meeting is potentially unfair and cannot be counted towards any future disciplinary action. Not only that, but other employees will be concerned by how they see their colleagues being treated and may result in them looking for employment elsewhere. People often have a strong sense of “fairness” and that can mean that if they do not feel that all staff are being treated fairly, they may search for what they consider to be a better employer.

Not only this, but treating employees professionally is very important – however much they wind you up! If you remain calm and civil in the way you treat people, other members of staff will be reassured that they will be treated with respect and fairness. This goes a long way to creating a culture of trust and will encourage employees to be productive whilst they are working. It also helps defend any potential claim of bullying or harassment that might otherwise arise!

If you want to know more or have any questions about how you can implement Ethical HR in your business, please get in touch.
Posted on 17 Nov 2021
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