At Cairns Employment & Workplace Lawyers, we have seen that as businesses grow and staff numbers increase, new legal issues and employment problems such as misconduct, raise their head.
Typical examples of misconduct where our lawyers have assisted are when an employee:
- is seen to willingly behave in a manner that is not consistent with continuing in their job
- causes serious risk to another person or the company, in terms of profits and/ or reputation
Misconduct can have devastating consequences for a company's bottom line and reputation, so as an employer it is essential to make sure that the organisation is safeguarded financially and in a legal sense.
Here are some steps for employers to consider:
Do you know your employees?
As the organisation is growing, recruitment will be a focus. Reference checking is critical, no matter how great a candidate seems at interview. Background checks are recommended for more senior roles and for employees who will be involved in handling money.
While a certain level of trust is required, clear and adequate supervision will certainly help deter undesirable behaviours such as fraud and theft.
Look for the 'red flags'
If you are looking out for them, there are usually signs that things aren't quite right. Sudden changes in behaviour and attitude to work can be indicators that an employee is involved in some wrongdoing that needs to be investigated.
Certain personal or family issues can have an impact on behaviours at work and can cause employees to act out of character, it is important that these situations are closely monitored, but at the same time making sure that they are dealt with sensitively and appropriately in the eyes of the law.
Modern technology allows us greater flexibility to access our company information remotely, this can have significant benefits for productivity but unfortunately also opens the doors for misconduct.
If your company has a situation where staff are accessing confidential information remotely, your IT specialist will need to make sure that there are appropriate measures in place for computer security. They will review areas such as firewalls, equipment, disaster recovery, authentication and back up.
Are company policies clear?
Policies that have been clearly laid out are the framework of a successful relationship between the employer and staff.
Most importantly if a policy regarding misconduct and code of conduct is clearly and comprehensively detailed, employees will understand precisely the consequences if there is a breach.
Specific employment contracts
An employment contract is a legal document that is critical in the relationship between employer and employee. Contracts can contain clauses making sure that certain areas of your business are protected, such as intellectual property, staff and client poaching, restraint of trade, issues of misconduct, underperformance and termination.
To make sure that you as the employer are always on the right side of the law, it is a great idea to talk to an Employment Law expert, if you are unsure at all about any legal issues or misconduct situations and how they are affecting your organisation.
If you need advice on any aspect of Employment Law, call Cairns Employment & Workplace Lawyers today to arrange a no-obligation legal consultation with one of our Cairns based team.
Cairns Employment & Workplace Lawyers are part of the Preston Law Group and have been assisting locals with the Law and legal issues for many years.