Strategic HR Solutions Limited is headed up by Kyriacos Kyriacou who is an employment law practitioner with over 30 years experience both in the private and public sector. As director, Kyriacos deals with employee relations matters and has a wealth of experience sitting on both sides of the fence.

Kyriacos has experience in dismissing staff and hearing appeals when representing large organisations. He now also practices in representing clients who face dismissal or appeals to dismissals. You could say that he is a sort of gamekeeper and poacher now and can adapt to meet the needs of the client.

You may have seen his advertisements in the Parikiaki this spring offering his services as a consultant on a freelance basis which means you can use his services as and when required and under no obligation.

 

Q. How can you help employers and employees?

I can provide employment law advice to small, medium and large organisations. Employers may need advice on issues such as case management; mergers and acquisition; workforce productivity and efficiencies; as well as employee relations and staff engagement.

For employees it may be advice on problems at work such as bullying, facing disciplinary action, redundancy or discrimination.

 

Q. What’s your advice to an employee who has just been sacked?

There are five reasons why anyone can legally get sacked.

– Redundancy;

– Statutory breach (a bit like you can’t drive without a license drive);

– Capability to do the job;

– Conduct in the job; and

– Some other substantive reason (abused by some employers).

The outcome of a disciplinary hearing can, potentially, affect the rest of your career. Too many people do not take it seriously and think that they don’t have to put that job on their cv. WRONG! Many larger employers use investigation firms who can check anything from your qualifications to your career history so it’s not that easy anymore.

 

Q. What should an employee do if they face a disciplinary?

Contact me immediately!

Disciplinary procedures can result in the worst case scenario of dismissal for someone. So, if you think that you’re about to be disciplined or worse still are currently going through the disciplinary process with your employer then this can be a potentially stressful and confusing time for you. It’s obviously important to prepare for your disciplinary hearing in the best way possible to give yourself the best possible chance of a positive outcome. I can advise you on your chances of success and how to prepare for your case. I will set out what you have to do and say in order to overcome allegations made against you and how best to overturn a wrongful decision at an appeal hearing.

 

Q. But some employers are small and don’t have policies let alone be given the chance to appeal against a dismissal so what happens then?

Yes that’s right not all employers have policies in place. In fact you have to wait one year to have employment rights and usually two years before you have the right to go to an employment tribunal. It is unfair. It is not unusual to hear of people getting sacked shortly before they have accrued their employment rights.

Nevertheless, there are unfair dismissals which the law does class as automatically unfair, regardless of the reasonableness. You can exercise your right to the following no matter how long you have worked for your employer:

– Pregnancy;

– Time off for parental and dependants leave;

– Being a trade union member;

– Discrimination on various grounds such as race, sex, disability; and

– Pay and working hours.

 

Q. So let’s say an employee is facing a disciplinary. How do they prepare?

I have a number of must dos to give you the best chance of success at a disciplinary hearing:

– If you are a member of a trade union use them for advice. In this current climate trade union could sign you up as a member if you need to be represented. A bit like not having roadside cover but when you do break down, they will sign you up and come to your rescue;

– Either way, do research the law and check on the validity of the allegations made against you;

– Check that the employer has followed their own procedure. Many a case a decision to dismiss has been overturned due to due process not being followed – even when it is likely someone is guilty of the allegations made;

– Always take personal notes of what happened around the allegations. Who said what to who and when? Prepare for your documentary evidence;

– Don’t be embarrassed to ask witnesses to prepare statements on your behalf but don’t ask them to lie for you;

– Don’t be embarrassed to access relevant emails, policies or other documents in preparation of your case;

– Have a list of questions prepared beforehand so you are seen to have done your research during the disciplinary hearing;

– Check that the employer has carried out a full and thorough investigation. Don’t be embarrassed to pick holes in an inadequate and rushed investigation. It might just be your saviour;

– Make sure you attend your disciplinary hearing. It won’t go away and may be heard in your absence;

– If you think you are losing at a disciplinary hearing tell them about your good disciplinary record, your years of service to the employer and any provocation in the matter. I have even heard people play the ‘is it because I’m Greek – init’ card. Be very careful about using discrimination – times are changing!

– Finally, if you need a break at the disciplinary hearing, you are entitled to adjourn the meeting as often as you need. This could be to gather your thoughts or take telephone advice.

 

Q. So how can you be contacted?

 

You can call me directly at Strategic HR Solutions Ltd for free initial advice on 07721 642440. You can email me at [email protected].

I have been an HR Director for 22 years in both the public and private sector. The last twenty years have been spent in the National Health Service in various posts. I do major on employee relations and have a wealth of experience sitting on the side of the table in dismissing staff or hearing their appeals. Many employers cannot afford or do not necessarily need a Personnel Department on a full time basis but just need some employment law advice from time to time on an ad hoc basis.

Take a look at my website: http://www.strategichrsolutions.org.uk which sets out what I do in my corporate life.

 

Q. So is this a one off or will you be contributing to the Parikiaki regularly?

I would like to give a quarterly review of employment law updates that may interest both employers and individuals at their place of work. There are currently changes around:

– Employee shared ownership contracts

– Changes to collective redundancy laws

– Compromise agreements and protected conversations

– Changes to parental leave rights which includes flexible working

– Changes to the Equality Act

– New employment tribunal procedures

– The new pensions auto enrolment

– Changes to Criminal Records Bureau Checks

 

Q. Kyriacos, I have to ask, are you telling me you can’t hide a job on your CV which you’ve been sacked from?

Rumours that I can provide false references from Cypriot companies for individuals who allegedly worked in Cyprus, instead of putting a job on their CV that they were sacked from is pure speculation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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