Keeping Up To Date With Your Staff Training Can Actually Help Protect Your Business Right now, staff training is probably the last thing on your mind. After all, many businesses are operating with minimal staff. In fact, most of those staff are likely working from home or on furlough. However right now, with business being slower due to COVID-19, offers many businesses the perfect opportunity to refresh their staff training. With more time available it makes sense to carry out any training with those office based staff. You can even use e-learning courses to continue to engage and train those staff who are working from home or on furlough. It turns out that staff training doesn't just improve your staff and their output in the workplace. It can actively help to protect your business if you're facing tribunal claims. It has long since been the case that an employer can defend a claim of discrimination due to the actions of one employee to another, if it can rely on section 109(4) the Equality Act . This section provides a defence if the employer can demonstrate that all reasonable steps were taken to prevent the employee from conducting itself in a discriminatory way towards a colleague. A tribunal will consider what steps were taken, whether there is anything else the employer could reasonably have done and how effective those steps are. What Can You Do? The first step should be having robust policies in place such as harassment, equality and diversity and grievances. However, having policies in place is not enough on their own.\u00a0 An employer can\u2019t just pay lip service to the matter by saying the box for policies is ticked.\u00a0 Implementation of the policies must be demonstrated, employers should train all staff on equality and diversity, train managers on dealing with such complaints and spotting them before they become an issue.\u00a0 It will be for you as the employer to prove that you have taken and exhausted the \u2018all reasonable steps\u2019 and this will include ensuring policies and training are kept up to date and that the training was sufficient to potentially prevent discrimination (brief and superficial training will not be enough). A recent case in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (Allay (UK) Ltd v Gehlen) highlighted this. The EAT \u00a0concluded that the employer had not satisfied the defence as the training provided to staff, including the two managers at fault, \u00a0had become \u2018stale and required refreshing\u2019.\u00a0 As such the employer was found to have subjected Mr Gehlen to harassment related to race due to the actions of another employee and were ordered to pay just over \u00a35,000 in compensation.\u00a0This case is therefore a timely reminder that your policies and training should never slip. Protecting Your Business There is much more you can do to help protect your business. However, it can be a minefield to figure out what you actually need to do. Luckily, here at the ELAS Group we can help you protect your business with our complete range of employment law services. Just call 08450 50 40 60 or complete the contact form to find out more.