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Gloucestershire Business News

Managing the return to work with changes to an employee's role - Margaret Adewale of The HR Dept

By Margaret Adewale, director of The HR Dept Gloucester 

When a business is forced to change, it's possible that roles and responsibilities will also need to change - explains Margaret Adewale, director of The HR Dept Gloucester.

Even if you have the relevant clauses in your employee contracts, you should consult with employees before making the changes. This way you can explain fully the legitimate business reasons, listen to any concerns they may have and demonstrate the support that will be provided.

A recent unfair dismissal case involving a change of duties, which resulted in a £56,000 win for the employee, shows just how important it is to take care when modifying roles for employees.

After a period of sickness absence, the claimant returned to work to find that a restructure required her to take on new public facing duties, something she found stressful and unable to carry out. She was later diagnosed with "public phobia".

The employer felt unable to provide a back-office position and the claimant was eventually dismissed on the grounds of capability due to ill health.

The ruling, which included an award for injury to feelings, noted that reasonable consideration had not been given to the claimant's redeployment.

If you made essential changes to your business during the pandemic, as many business owners have done, these should be factored into a return-to-work plan.

For more information please visit www.hrdept.co.uk/gloucester or give the HR Dept a call on 01452 405280. We will talk you through your options and help you implement a successful plan.

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