We understand the challenges facing business owners and that dealing with Employment Law and Health and Safety issues can be complicated and time consuming. Read our round-up of helpful business tips specifically for smaller businesses and start-ups, to make life easier for you.
1. Contracts of Employment
Organise contracts of employment and an employee handbook. It is a legal requirement to have a statement of main terms and conditions of employment (from day one of employment from 6th April 2020), and is a very useful document on which to rely upon later down the line if drafted correctly. Give thought to any specific rules, policies and procedures that you wish to have implemented in the business. You should ensure your handbook is regularly reviewed and updated and is relevant to your business requirements.
2. Health and Safety
It’s a legal requirement to have valid employer’s liability insurance, and to make sure that the work place is hazard free. This can be done via risk assessments and completion of a health and safety audit. Not only can this avoid accidents, but also help you avoid being sued or fined should you not have insurance in place or the environment is dangerous.
3. Keeping Records
Not only is there a legal requirement to keep records of sickness and accidents for many years, but it is also very useful should any claims come out of the woodwork several years later. The better the records, generally, the better the defence of any claim. Be mindful of your responsibilities when dealing with sensitive personal data.
4. Probationary Periods
Take these seriously. Have regular meetings with new starters to see how they are progressing and how they can improve. If you don’t make them aware of any issues, they cannot improve in those areas. Document these meetings through minutes. Should there be a lack of improvement, and they aren’t suitable, these minutes will be useful should a decision be made to dismiss the employee.
5. Be aware of changes in the law
You should be aware of your current legal responsibilities as an employer -there are minimum rights on pay, holiday entitlement, rest breaks, other statutory leave for example.
Employment law is a relatively fast paced area of the law which changes frequently so it is worth keeping abreast of. Sign up to HR newsletters (sign up to ours at the bottom of this page for monthly updates) and seek advice at the earliest opportunity in order to avoid any costly and time consuming litigation brought by an existing or former employee.
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For helpful business tips and advice with Health and Safety or HR issues including assistance in drafting contracts of employment or advice on dealing with an employee issue, get in touch today.
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