Vending Operators: How to build a strong defence against employment disputes


There's lots of debate at the moment about the existence of zero hour contracts. However, most vending operators are probably more concerned about their exposure to a minefield of legal changes covering a wide range of issues. It’s tough enough trying to make a profit and stay in business and made harder if you have issues dealing with employment problems with a member of your workforce.
Keeping pace with developments to employment law is now a full-time job. However, the majority of vending operators are unlikely to have an in-house legal or human resources department, or the available funds to cover legal disputes as they arise. So, unless a company has in house legal expertise it can be very expensive to ensure compliance on all issues and can place considerable strain on the resources of a small business.

Unfortunately we are currently witnessing a claims culture where a significant amount of bogus claims are being made against small firms. Such a climate inevitably leads to increased legal fees, compensation awards and tax enquiry fees which can all undermine the financial stability of a business. Against this backdrop, business owners are confronted by new legislation, including employment rights, working time regulations and disability discrimination.
So it has never been more critical for vending operators to manage their risks and seek suitable legal expenses cover to protect them against the potential legal costs they may face. The typical areas of cover are for employment disputes, health and safety, taxation, prosecution defence, property disputes and contracts to name but a few.
As soon as a business owner becomes aware of a potential employment issue they can contact their legal expenses helpline, which provides access to 24-hour legal advice covering everything from help on health and safety and employment issues through to tax information and support. Importantly this means mitigating the potential of being taken to an employment tribunal by the employee. If the situation develops the legal expenses policy will normally pay for legal costs incurred in defence of a claim and provides peace of mind to the business owner.
A recent case involved a firm where an employee made allegations of harassment and bullying against a member of staff. The allegations were unsubstantiated and clearly the employee was trying to seek compensation from the firm without just cause. However, with guidance and support of the legal helpline no formal claim was ever made, as the firm was able to demonstrate there was no case to answer. The firm told its brokers that if they did not have the legal expenses cover they could have incurred substantial legal costs of their own and also may not have been able to follow correct procedures therefore allowing the employee to win compensation.
Understandably many vending operators don't think it will ever happen to them. Others are just too busy keeping the business going and haven't thought about the possibility of legal disputes and how these can affect them. With employment and contractual disputes on the rise, legal expenses cover provides a cost-effective way to protect your business and provide peace of mind.


At CLEAR we have a specialist insurance scheme designed for anyone involved in vending and water coolers. For guidance on vending insurance or legal expenses, speak to our specialist Justin Gould on 01926 466922 or .