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Off the record?
At present having an “off the record” conversation with an employee can potentially be used against an employer. This is unless it is part of a “without prejudice” discussion being held as part of an existing dispute which they are trying to settle. This means that too often employers get it wrong and say things that will compromise their position – and potentially cost them a lot more than they had bargained for!

However, next year the Government is starting a consultation about introducing the idea of “protected conversations” to allow employers to have open and frank discussions with their employees about issues such as poor performance or retirement without the fear of being taken to tribunal. In my view this is not going to be easy. Establishing what can be said and when you can say it, is likely to be open to interpretation and more confusion.

In the meantime if you have an employee performance issue, seek advice before being tempted to have that frank conversation to make sure that you are not putting your business at risk; doing so may save you a lot of time and money. If you need support or assistance to resolve the situation contact Cherington HR.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016

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