This article is a free resource from the TechMeetups Guru Program where Richard Cummings is participating as our HR Guru to assist founders of startups and business leaders though practical workshops and mentoring.
Warning: If you don’t know these employment law basics you could end up on your own
However small or large your organisation might be, knowing and acting according to the employment law in your country. This is vital to avoid any misunderstandings and potential legal problems between you and those you work with.
Richard helps you understand your obligations with advice on what to do when your new employees have arrived. Use this as a checklist to ensure you’re aware of and have implemented the procedures that every UK employer is expected to adhere to, as well as best practices that Richard has seen work during his time as an employment consultant.
Job descriptions – Having the JD works both ways, the employee knows what is required and you lay out your expectations. The description is a starting point to achieving the overall goals and aims of the job role and measure the success of the employee. The JD is not just about the job, but also about the person, career history to date, skills, qualifications and the soft skills of the employee.
Employee Rights – The rights your employees have are vast, and while much of this is in the contract, the details aren’t necessarily in there, so make sure you do your research. Tribunals have had a 35% increase in discrimination cases. 2010 saw the first man win a sex discrimination case.
Health and Safety – Before you even allow an employee to sit in your office, you need to know your duties as an employer and their duties as an employee. Again some of this is covered in the contract but not everything. For instance, there is a limit to how many people you can have working in a certain square footage. You have to provide the right number of toilets depending on how large your employee base is.
Payroll – Payroll is directly linked to the contract. You also need to ensure the employee is on the correct Tax code. If they have more than one job, they need to opted out of the working time regulations.
Appraisals – Even if you speak to employees every day and tell them what’s good and what’s not, studies have shown that formalised process increase retention and help grow employees, thus growing the Company.
Financial and Non-Financial Rewards – You run your company because you have drive, passion, believe in yourself, your employees want to enjoy their job and can pay the bills. If you fail to provide this, they’ll go somewhere else. You can motivate them and keep the business successful by providing a mixture of financial and non-financial rewards.
Financial rewards: Healthcare, pension, bonus, share in the company, parking, childcare vouchers, cycle to work scheme, profit-related pay, performance-related pay, above average holidays.
Non-Financial: Recognition, responsibility, job rotation, empowerment, team working, job creation.
Manage Absences – Dealing with sickness absence is relatively straight forward. Set an internal trigger. If you’re late three times you have an investigation. If your absence hits 7%, if you have three single days off. You can set these as long as they are measurable and reasonable. A lot of employers don’t think absence is a problem, but consider this: you have 10 employees, 9 of them are never late, rarely sick and don’t cause any major issues. 1 of them is always late, frequently sick and it’s become a real pain for their colleagues. If you don’t address the 1, it won’t be long before the other 9 become like that as well.
Disciplinary to Dismissal – There are three areas of disciplinary: Absence, performance & conduct (including gross misconduct).
Absence – already discussed, lateness and sickness absence.
Performance – woefully bad salesman, terribly slow secretary.
Conduct – Failing to attend, poor attitude. Gross misconduct – fighting, stealing.
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