I don’t understand employment legislation but I know I have obligations
- One pending retirement, one overdue disciplinary, and an out of date contract and employee handbook in an established entrepreneurial business: world leaders in their field of sound and cinematic equipment but slightly out of date with the legal side of employing people.
- Employment law is dense and frustrating, and the business owner unsurprisingly wasn’t interested in reading up all about it and trying to work out how it applies to them.
- A short review of the retirement situation as the ‘end of default retirement age’ was looming. A retirement letter was quickly drafted and sent clarifying the position of both the company and the individual.
- Disciplinary process. A disciplinary investigation rather than jumping straight to a written warning to keep on the right side of the ACAS code. Best practice was clearly signposted for future actions.
- A full contract and handbook update. Out of date policies meant company liability for up to two years’ full sick pay for any employee who sustained an accident outside work. Finding the balance between being a caring employer and not inadvertently exposing the Company to onerous risks and responsibilities is where we add value to the decision making process.
- Management team briefed on how to tackle issues before they become problems and when to refer it to HR. ‘HR basics for managers’ training session looking at principles of good management, an introduction to the legislation, and some case studies on dealing with tricky people.
- A full staff meeting. Employees should understand the commercial decisions that support the HR policies and have the opportunity to ask questions about how they are personally affected.
- Annual reviews. Pay reviews will be decided based on pre-agreed performance criteria Company-wide, rather than who asks the loudest.
- New Starter inductions. Comprehensive with offer letters, up to date contracts and an employee handbook so that they are aware of company policy from the outset and can be monitored against it.