Frequently asked questions
Importance of Employee Wellbeing?
Employers who invest in their employees wellbeing will see increased resilience, reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity. Employee wellbeing priorities and initatives must be embedded into its culture, from its leadership team through to the management of all of its employees.
Why your employee engagement is so important?
Employers with highly engaged employees have reduced staff turnover, increased productivity and efficiency, which helps retain clients and increase profits. Crucially, engaged employees are happier, both at work and in their home lives. Employers should have the correct mechanisms in place to accurately measure their employee engagement, commit to prioritizing the resolution of issues and implement employee engagement, reward strategies and initiatives.
Why employers should regularly review their company benefits
An employer offering good appliciable benefits will help them to retain and attract top talent, it is therefore vital for employers to regularly review their packages to ensure they are meeting their staff and industry needs, which in turn helps build attractive employer branding and creates a perception of a caring and invested employer.
Why is effective onboarding so important?
Effective employee onboarding plays a critical role in an employee’s engagement, productivity, commitment, and retention.Key aspects of successful onboarding include; ensuring that appropriate planning, resource and processes are in place to facilitate and support new employees effectively, as well as enable them to feel an important part of the company and understand how they add value from the outset.
Employers legal considerations on supporting remote workers
Employers should provide necessary IT and broadband equipment and review employees working hours (flexibility around home schooling) and homeworking policies which outlines expectations on how employees will be supervised, how the employer and their managers will communicate with them, and how their output and performance will be reviewed and monitored. Employers are responsible for an employee’s health, safety and welfare, even when working from home.
Employers need to make sure that homeworkers continue to comply with the organisation’s health and safety policy and conduct risk assessments to review work activities carried out by those employees working from home. Salary and benefits should remain the same during a period of homeworking, although there may be changes to normal travel expenses and allowances if they are no longer required to travel to a designated work space.
Employers need to ensure that if employees are using their own computer they should still process company information in compliance with data protection and GDPR principles and legislation. Employers should remind employees about home security, passwords, sharing confidential information, etc.
When does a redundancy situation apply?
An employer has to follow a fair redundancy process, genuine redundancy definitions include: the employer ceases to carry on the business in which the employee was employed, the employer ceases to carry on that business in the place where the employee was employed, the needs of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind cease or diminish; or the needs of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was employed cease or diminish. To avoid any potential unfair dismissal claims employers should have a redundancy policy in place that sets out the procedure and steps to follow when making staff redundant.
When probation is over what happens?
At the end of probation an employer can either: confirm successful completion of probation, extend probation or terminate employment if things haven’t worked out. Employers need to conduct regular review meetings with the employee throughout their probation to discuss their progress and arrange any additional training or support that the employee may need. Reviews, actions and objections should be clearly documented, measurable and achievable.
What are the legal HR policies that need to be in place?
Currently, you are legally required to have policies on; Health and Safety (in writing; if you have more than five employees), bullying and harassment, discipline/dismissal and grievance, equal opportunities and diversity, maternity/paternity/adoption, pay, redundancy, smoking, drugs and alcohol, whistleblowing/disclosure, working time and time off, data protection act & GDPR.
How to manage poor work performance
Collect all the relevant and definable data and information to fully understand where the employee is under performing. Initially you need to talk to the employee to ascertain if there are any potential reasons.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination means treating a person unfairly purely on the basis of who they are or because they possess the following characteristics; age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. It is imperative for employers to have clearly defined appropriate policies in place, such as, equal opportunities policy, grievance policy and a bullying and harassment policy. These policies should outline how they prevent discrimination and bullying within their recruitment process and during employment, the steps they have in place in dealing with any discrimination or bullying concerns or issues raised, and educating all their employees on their individual roles in preventing discrimination and bullying in the workplace.
What is wrongful dismissal?
Wrongful dismissal is where there has been a contractual breach, for example, failure to give an employee the correct length of contractual or statutory notice or withholding pay which an employee is entitled to. Unlike unfair dismissal, there is no requirement for an employee to have a set period of continuous service to pursue a claim.
What is unfair dismissal?
Unfair dismissal is when an employment contract is terminated without the employer having a demonstratable fair reason to do so, as per the Employment Rights Act. The five fair reasons for dismissal are conduct, capability, redundancy, statutory illegality and SOSR (some other substantial reason). Unfair dismissal is also when an employer did have one of the five fair reasons, but failed to follow the correct procedure. Employers should therefore have a clear defined disciplinary process (in line with ACAS code) confirming the steps in place for dealing with perceived employee misconduct, which includes formal and informal action depending on the severity of the transgression, and outlining what the employee rights are within the process.
Are employment contracts a legal requirement?
An employer must give a written statement that contains certain contractual terms and conditions; such as right to be paid at least the minimum wage for the work undertook, working hours and reasonable and clear instructions for the employee to be able to work. Employment contracts are vital for defining mutual obligations and expectations between an employer and employee that protects both parties.
Can I change an employees employment terms and conditions?
Yes, employers can change terms and conditions of employment; if the employee or a representative of the employee agrees to the change or if there is a “flexibility clause” included in the terms and conditions contract to make changes deemed reasonable.