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Employment Law - Growing Your Workforce

Author: Joan Finch, J Finch & Associates Published: 18th March 2015 09:53

 

Group of office workers

 

For many businesses the financial year is coming to an end, and you may be looking at the year ahead and considering growing your workforce or employing your first member of staff.  Obviously, depending on the nature of your business, people can be a fundamental part of your business and the key to that success is recruiting the right people, but also setting out your expectations and expected behaviours of them going forward.  Clearly defined contracts of employment, engaging handbooks and supporting policies can provide clear guidance for employees to understand, respect and adhere to when performing their role and representing their employers. 

In addition, having good supportive employment materials compliant with current legislation, which are applied in a fair and consistent way, can reduce the risk of litigation to a business as there are no massive grey areas which can cause confusion, inconsistent treatment of employees or workplace disputes.  A lack of Employment Law material can cause such issues, especially when you are looking to deal with shortfalls in employee's performance or behaviours.  Detailed below is a summary of consideration for when looking to grow your workforce.

Terms of Engagement

As in any terms of engagement whether it is, for example, a business contract, you want a clearly defined contract in which both parties sign and agree to the terms within.  Contracts of employment are not different and contrary to belief they do not have to be overly wordy and complicated; yet they do need to cover some statutory minimums, for example:

  • Names of the parties
  • Commencement of employment
  • Remuneration and payment methods
  • Hours of work, holiday, including bank holiday and holiday pay
  • Notice periods
  • Incapacity for work, including pay

So they do not need to be War and Peace, but you may wish to include some additional clauses which are fundamental to your business, for example Social Media, Restrictive covenants and outside interests.  There are many more you can add but these will be dependent on your business requirements.

Employee Handbook

What value would a handbook bring to your business?  Well it is engaging for an employee, a source of information, it looks professional and it shows you value your business as you could include background, aims and vision informing the employee of where the business has come from, but also where you want to be.  Furthermore you can add additional details to support the contract of employment and expectations on behaviour, for example timekeeping, attendance, training, equipment and summary of policies.  Again, the list is endless, but the importance is that it is aligned to the company requirements and culture.

Policies

It is important that a business has policies, for example to support how it operates on a day to day basis and Health & Safety.  Equally, it is important to have policies for it's' staff and how matters will be dealt with for example, discipline, grievance, maternity and flexible working.  Again, this is a very small selection I have mentioned, but having the relevant policies for your business, and applying them fairly and consistently has a part to play in continuing to grow your business.

If you are you are looking to expand your team or recruit for the first time and want to ensure you have employment materials which are fit for purpose, are compliant and work within the culture of your business, here at J Finch & Associates, we can provide you with practical advice and the tools to support your business and the ongoing employer-employee relationship. 

Article by Joan Finch of J Finch & Associates Ltd

Thanks to Joan our AboutMyArea/EN9 editorial contributor for this informative article on Growing Your Workforce. Check out Employment Law section in the Business Zone to read more of her articles.

Joan is an award winning, highly experienced, commercial, self-motivated HR professional who has operated within the sectors of Retail, Hospitality and Catering, specialising in Employees Relations. Joan is now the proud owner and creator of J Finch & Associates Ltd.  Joan's career spans over 10 years, and has broad experience within Human Resources, with initially being a HR generalist covering all aspect of HR from Recruitment, learning and development, training, Employee Relations, redundancy, restructures and TUPE. Since 2008 she has specialised in Employee Relations applying a commercial and practical approach to all ER related issues.

For more information on Human Resources, Employee Relationship and Employment Law issues you may like to take a look at J Finch & Associates website: http://www.jfinch.co.uk/ or call 0330 2230158.

When contacting J Finch & Associates please let them know you found their details on AboutMyArea website!

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