Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
We are continually asked a number of the same questions and have therefore put together below our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):
All answers given are for advice only and if you are considering taking any action, you should contact a suitably qualified HR professional.
If you are considering the dismissal of an employee you must ensure you follow the ACAS Code of Practice and ensure your companies Policies and Procedures are followed fully and to best practice.
Failure to act reasonably could result in a claim to an Employment Tribunal for Unfair Dismissal with high financial awards, high Employment Tribunal costs and loss of company reputation.
Employers need to remember that HR comes under Civil Law and the balance of probabilities and need to ensure they demonstrate reasonableness at all times.
If you are considering dismissing somebody, please contact us ASAP so that we can support you.
All companies should have a detailed set Policy and Procedure for employee absence so that it is managed correctly. Persistent sickness can cause bad moral amongst the team whilst also result in costly implications for your business.
Companies need to follow a robust fair, best practice and legal Policy and Procedure, with the option of also following the Bradford Index, if needed.
HR Policies and Procedures should be easily obtainable for all members of the team, when needed, and used correctly for the success of the business and employees.
Employers should seek to obtain a system that allows them to record employee absence and the action that was taken. We are partnered with Breathe HR, and IT system that provides this.
If your business is experiencing a high number of sickness, contact us now to discuss how we can help you.
This is a question we get asked continually and especially when a new member starts with the business and team. All full-time employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday per year which includes eight bank holidays. This is for a full-timer, five days a week and will be pro-rata for part-timers.
Some businesses provide additional holidays for the team based on a service or performance criteria.
Holidays are accrued from day one of employment and all employees should be encouraged to take them as and when they want unless there are business constraints.
If you are unsure of how many holidays members of your team are entitled to legally, then please contact us now.
Maternity leave in the workplace needs to be managed correctly, ensuring that up to date Policies and Procedures are followed, as they are changing consistently.
Once an employer is informed of a pregnancy or adoption, they must take the necessary steps for the welfare of the employee and company.
There are a range of options available from Ordinary Maternity Leave, Share Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave to name a few and we would suggest that upon being informed of a pregnancy or adoption that you contact a HR provider immediately.
If we can help, please do not hesitate to contact us.
All members of the team are entitled to make a flexible work request once in a twelve-month period and must follow the companies Flexible Working Policy and Procedures.
Firstly, a letter needs to be written by the employee outlining what they are requesting, whilst also explaining how they believe the change could be managed. Once this is received a meeting is arranged to discuss and the decision given to the employee of the outcome of their request. The outcome may be straight forward or entail changes to their current T&C’s.
If you are considering a Flexible Working request or have a member of the team that has requested on, please contact us now so that we can explain fully the procedure and what is expected from the employee who is requesting flexible working.
Recognised Disabilities are continually changing and what is legally classed as one needs to be fully investigated to check on current law and any recent cases that have taken place.
You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.
What does ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ mean
- ‘substantial’ is more than minor or trivial, eg it takes much longer than it usually would to complete a daily task like getting dressed
- ‘long-term’ means 12 months or more, eg a breathing condition that develops as a result of a lung infection
There are special rules about recurring or fluctuating conditions, eg arthritis.
A progressive condition is one that gets worse over time. People with progressive conditions can be classed as disabled.
However, you automatically meet the disability definition under the Equality Act 2010 from the day you’re diagnosed with HIV infection, cancer or multiple sclerosis.
What isn’t counted as a disability
There’s guidance on conditions that aren’t covered by the disability definition, eg addiction to non–prescribed drugs or alcohol.
If you have reasons / concerns for an employee and their ability to perform a role, you should seek HR advice immediately who will arrange the relevant best practice / law Policies and Procedures to be followed; such as consent to write for advice / suggestions to a medical professional. No employer should make assumptions as it could result in a very costly penalty financially and impact on the reputation of the company.
If you wish to discuss how best to manage this due to a concern you have, do not hesitate to contact us.
All employees Terms and Conditions (T&C’s) of employment can be changed, if it is reasonably needed by the company for its success.
If a business needs to change an employee’s T&C’s it must consult, consult, consult with the affected member(s) of the team to fully explain the need for the change, whilst gaining valued feedback and suggestions from the employee or team.
Changes should never be made without consulting or a sound business case for the change, as failure could result in a claim of constructive dismissal, bad reputation for the company and poor moral within the team.
If you / your business is considering making changes to an individual or teams T&C’s, then please contact us to discuss.
Stealing is classed as an act of Gross Misconduct which can result in instant dismissal from the company. However, companies must ensure that they follow the Correct ACAS Disciplinary and Grievance procedure in any alleged event or the consequences to a company can be drastic.
The procedure consists of a number of set processes starting initially with a thorough investigation into the allegation, which in this instance is theft. Upon completion of this, the correct further action needs to be taken and a decision made by the appropriate manager.
In this instance, if it was proven then the employee would be dismissed immediately for Gross Misconduct, Theft, but the employer needs to be able to demonstrate that the action they have taken is reasonable under Civil Law and the correct process / law has been followed correctly.
Failure to follow the correct process could result in high awards for unfair dismissal, amongst others, if proven.
If you are ever in this situation or one similar, then we suggest you contact a HR professional to fully discuss the process and documentation needed.
When proposing to restructure a department, you need to ensure it is managed correctly, to best practice and the law or failure could result in a demotivated team, poor customer service and a bad reputation for the company.
If you are proposing a restructure, you will firstly need to review the current structure and detail the new structure you are proposing, looking at the current job titles and accountabilities etc and how you propose the new structure to work.
Consultations regarding the Proposals will then need to take place with all affected employees, explaining how it may affect their role moving forward. If Redundancies are to occur, best practice and Employment Law must be followed to ensure no repercussions such as bad moral, reputation of the company or loss of business.
If you are considering a restructure within your business, contact us today to discuss.
All business owners have a duty of care when it comes to members of their teams and should ensure, if informed, that the appropriate action is taken when it comes to bullying or other acts of Misconduct.
In these circumstances the relevant manager should follow the ACAS Code of Practice and fully investigate the allegation of bullying whilst taking the appropriate action.
Your business should also have a Anti Bullying Policy that clearly explains the companies values and the action that will be taken should anybody be found guilt of bullying.
If your company does not have an Anti Bullying Policy or understand the Acas Code of Practice, call us now and we will help you.
Recruiting the hidden cost.
Unfortunately, many business owners do not realise the amount of time they spend finding the right candidate, with the right skills, attitude etc for the role and then end up recruiting the wrong person.
Companies need to ensure that they have a set, user friendly Recruitment Process that works in conjunction with all the other HR Policies and Procedures to ensure suitable candidates are employed.
Job Advertisement – Where are you going to advertise? What will be in the ad? Salary, Location, Job Description, Contract of Employment, Training and Development, Rewards and Benefits, what are they?
What is the selection method? Are they going to do a test to demonstrate competence? Is there an interview process? Who is going to do the interview? What questions are going to be asked? What is the total process and when will the applicant be told of the outcome?
Costs? What are the costs? Lost working hours of managers / recruitment team?
These are just a few of the questions that employers need to ask themselves when recruiting and wish to recruit properly. Contact us today to discuss and allow us to work with you in finding the perfect solution.