A lot of employment law is founded on the concept of what is ‘reasonable’. It is worth remembering this as it is a good starting point for considering how you respond to situations in the workplace. However you may feel (and we all know that situations in the workplace can cause extreme reactions) it is usually helpful to take a bit of time and consider whether your reaction is reasonable, and can be seen to be reasonable.
As an employer, as well as following appropriate procedures such as the ACAS code and any internal policies and considering the law, you also need to look to the bigger picture. You need to think about how your decisions (and any sanctions you impose on an employee) might be viewed by an outsider – for instance, a Tribunal Judge. Even if you believe there is no danger of a claim, there is always the question of reputation and how your actions will be perceived in the larger community in which your business operates. And checking whether your reactions and decisions are reasonable will also help ensure that you are making the right decisions for the business.
As an employee, you also need to consider the correct processes and the law and to think about your personal reputation in and outside of the business. Making sure that any decisions you take can be seen to be reasonable will help both should you need to make a claim, and to ensure that any decisions you make are right for you.
*This information is believed to be correct as of the date published. It is not a substitute for legal advice and no liability attaches to its use. Specific and personal legal advice should be taken on any individual matter.