HR spotlight – our smaller business top tips for painlessly building an employment law compliant HR system for your business. Building in compliance with employment law isn’t as onerous as you might think. Follow our top tips and you’ll be up and running in a couple of hours.
As you may imagine at myhrdept we spend a lot of time talking to employers of all shapes and sizes, from schools to software firms, pubs to publishing houses. Irrespective of the type of employer, the employment law needs are similar – an ‘HR framework’ need only have a couple of core elements – your HR policy file and your contracts of employment. As HR policies are generally pretty standard we can give you our first top tip:
TOP TIP 1: Don’t waste your time researching HR policies on the internet.We’ve spent days and weeks perfecting our HR policies for small businesses and you can download the complete lot in under a minute. You can access our 2015 HR policy pack (there’s 20 policies and accompanying forms) by clicking here, or better still buy an annual subscription for £499 which includes unlimited access to all of our documents for a whole year via our unique document generator to help you build bespoke documents AND 2 hours of HR consultant time – ideal for dealing with that one issue out of the blue.
TOP TIP 2: Let your employees know that you have HR policies and where they are, and require them to sign to say they have seen and read the key ones. Signed copies of the acknowledgement should be placed on employee personnel files.
It’s also important to have in place effective contracts of employment. To do so is a legal requirement and there are financial penalties for not having these – up to 8 weeks pay per employee. But it isn’t just about having a ‘legal’ contract – your contracts can and should support your business objectives, and to do so will inevitably require some careful drafting. The contract should define the level of flexibility you actually need (today and if possible in the future). It should also provide due diligence defense protection against the potentially costly attention of UK legislative enforcers – the UK Border Agency, Equality & Human Rights Commission, HMRC and the Information Commissioner. Just as importantly it should enforce your key standards and rules with respect to how you conduct and how you expect your employees to conduct your business.
TOP TIP 3: Commission a bespoke employment contract that reflects your business. myHRdept charges from £250 to write contracts for you.
If you prefer, you can use our document generator to build your own as part of your annual subscription (full guidance included, but do allow an hour at least and remember to save your work regularly. If you’re going to be issuing more than a couple of employment contracts we would advise you commission a bespoke document which you can then re-use as you wish.) Whilst there are free contract templates available from government websites etc. these tend to be very general and won’t necessarily afford employers the flexibility or protection they need.
KEEP YOUR HR FRAMEWORK ALIVE
TOP TIP 4: To be able to defend yourself against liability claims you need to remind employees from time to time (and keep evidence you have done so) of the importance of abiding by HR policies. You can do this by sending extracts from our newsletters, or sending existing employees a copy of the more important policies from time to time, asking them to read it and discuss the key points with you. Keep a signed acceptance sheet on their personnel file. New employees should receive copies of the most important (from an employment law point of view) policies at induction, and should sign an induction form.
What are the most important policies?
- Equality Statement
- Alcohol and Drugs
- Anti-Bribery and Hospitality
- Attendance at Work and Absence Management
- Data Protection and Confidentiality
- Dignity at Work
- Email and Internet
- Social Media
Almost all HR issues can be managed by reference to one or more elements of the HR System.
Keeping your HR system up to date
It’s important that your HR system is kept up to date with changes in legislation and changes to your business – replace HR policies once a year and ensure all employees are aware of new policies and changes to old ones.
AUTOMATE, AUTOMATE, AUTOMATE
For all but the smallest employers an automated system nearly always makes sense. Use our cloud based absence and holiday software to banish paper requests and holiday spreadsheets to the bin and modernise the look and feel of your employment support systems. We have 13 years experience of providing HR and business support services to smaller employers using our state of the art software and our expert consultants and back office support. There aren’t many suppliers who can offer software and HR/employment support and advisory services to replace expensive lawyers and build good people practices into businesses.
Free one month trial of services. Try out our services for a month, absolutely free. If you’re not completely happy there is nothing to pay. Free trial includes:
- HR consultation session – needs analysis and recommendations, review of ‘live’ cases (disciplinary/grievance/absence/performance etc.)
- Holiday and absence software
- Review existing employment contracts/handbook
- Review existing HR policies
- 2 free HR policies & policy implementation advice
To take up this offer please contact 01628 820515 or email us.
Terms: 1 free trial per customer. Pre-contract required (you may cancel at any time prior to the end of your trial.) Consultation time limited. Applies to Premium Plus packages (normal price from £110/month) + absence & holiday software only.
If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR why not contact myhrdept.co.uk. With full service Premium Plus packages for medium sized companies typically from only a few hundred per month (and from only £110 per month for smaller companies and start-ups) and fixed price HR support options available for one-off issues, we believe we offer the best combination of quality and price available in the UK. Call us on 01628 820515 to discuss your requirements or email us here and we’ll call you back.