The good work plan… No this is not something I have thought up or that I am promoting, it’s something the government have actually thought up and it’s coming on the 6th April 2020.
So what’s it about then?
Well from the 6th April 2020 instead of putting issuing contracts on the long finger for two months which a lot of employers do, you will have to issue them on the first day of work at the very latest. As well as your employees, workers will also have to have a written statement too – outlining their terms of engagement. The Good Work Plan is going to affect agency workers, casual workers and zero hours contracts the most, in my opinion.
If that’s not enough, there is more to The Good Work Plan:
- Some staff will be able to request more stable working hours
- The length of time you can claim continuous service is shortening
- Calculating holiday pay is changing
- New rules around hospitality staff keeping their tips
- Recruitment agencies cannot use ‘pay between assignments’ like before
Further information can be found here on this link, but CrosseHR will keep you posted and prepared in any case: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-plan
Employee contract: One of the most popular questions I get asked (about 3 times a week) is do I have to issue a contract of employment?
Well that’s an easy one to answer, that answer is you do have to issue a ‘Statement of Particulars’ within 2 months of someone starting employment with you. That usually takes the form of an employee contract to us lay-folk. It doesn’t have to be in writing but everything is better written down and signed by both parties – trust me. But all that is changing in April 2020 when the Government’s ‘Good Work Plan’ comes into effect and from then on you will have to give all employees a contract on their first day of work.
Surely it’s better for me if I don’t issue one?
The answer is NO it is not better at all. It’s breaking the law for a start and that’s never good is it? At the moment you have 2 months to do it but from next year you don’t so get into good habits now and start issuing them as soon as.
What then should be in an employee contract I hear you ask?
Here is the minimum list, as set out by those wise folks at ACAS
The employee contract can be made up of more than one document (if the employer gives employees different sections of their statement at different times). If this does happen, one of the documents (called the ‘principal statement’) must include at least:
- the business’s name
- the employee’s name, job title or a description of work and start date
- if a previous job counts towards a period of continuous employment, the date the period started
- how much and how often an employee will get paid
- hours of work (and if employees will have to work Sundays, nights or overtime
- holiday entitlement (and if that includes public holidays)
- where an employee will be working and whether they might have to relocate
- if an employee works in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is
As well as the principal statement, a written statement must also contain information about:
- how long a temporary job is expected to last
- the end date of a fixed-term contract
- notice periods
- collective agreements
- who to go to with a grievance
- how to complain about how a grievance is handled
- how to complain about a disciplinary or dismissal decision
The written statement doesn’t need to cover the following (but it must say where the information can be found) – I usually put these in an appendix at the back:
- sick pay and procedures
- disciplinary and dismissal procedures
- grievance procedures
Fear not, we here at CrosseHR can draft contract for you that is easy, suits your business, legally compliant and keeps everyone happy.
Next month it’s time to think about holidays, which coincidentally is the theme of my next blog.
Yippee, you are doing well, it’s time to stop using family and friends and calling in favours and take that very grown up step of hiring your very first staff member.
Firstly, well done, that’s quite an achievement, feel very very proud.
Secondly, you are petrified right, well this blog post will hopefully calm things down. Now down to business.
The job description & person specification
- Think about what you want them to do, and write that down, forget job titles at this stage, just think job content.
- Think about what kind of person in terms of attributes, experience and qualifications (and be reasonable, I’ve come across 2 man bands operating from their front rooms wanting Oxbridge graduates, to do admin)
- Research similar roles and no harm in having a nosey at what your competitors are doing (if it ain’t broke etc), this gives you some pointers to setting a salary
- Once you have an idea of the salaries the competition are paying, you need to figure out if you can afford it, always remember you need to add another 30% plus in on costs to cover Employers NI (12% of total salary), pension (more of which later), their work environment, other benefits etc
- You are now ready to draw up a job description (which describes the role) and a person specification (which describes the attributes at a minimum a person must have to be suitable).
- Decide where you are going to find them, i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, websites, agencies, print media
- Draft an ad for the job
- Its always worth thinking about at this stage where you are actually going to put them, do you need to buy a desk, hire office space even, computers cost how much?
They’ve started to apply. Wow another milestone passed, people are interested and want to work for you, nervous yet?
- Work out in advance of the interview what you want to learn from them
- Do you just want to have a one on one interview and deal with it all in one go
- Do you want a demonstration of their work presentation style
- Do you want someone else’s opinion
- Prepare well in advance, draft questions, give enough time per person (there is nothing worse that candidates bumping into one another in the corridor or reception.
- You’ve decided you’ve found the one!
- You need out of politeness to let the others down gently, you never know when you’ll bump into them again, so be nice.
You found your first staff member
(now the real fun starts)
- You need to offer them the job (provisionally usually), apply for references, make sure you have employers liability insurance (up to 5 million at least). Look at the partnership tab on this website which will help you.
- Give them written particulars which at a minimum should contain salary, pension arrangements, start and finish (where applicable), place of work, date of pay, where they are based, disciplinary and grievance processes, termination and leaving, probation, any benefits, confidentiality etc. If you don’t do this within 28 days of them starting well you have been told!
- Why not think about including a staff handbook (give us a call) and HR policies & procedures (again you know where we are) and you are covered.
- So references, qualifications all check out, terms are agreed and a start date sorted
Before they start
You need to think about a probation period, how you are going to pay them (we can point you to some brilliant payroll providers and accountants), what sort of induction (please have one) process you are going to have.
You are pretty much now ready to welcome your first employee. Good luck and well done, the second time is always easier.
You are on your way. Contact us if you need help with HR support or your first staff member in the future.
Tis the season where some of you will be thinking about hiring additional staff to cope with the Christmas demand with the key word being flexibility. These are the types of contracts you may wish to consider: –
Its exactly that, its exactly the same as a permanent contract along all the benefits and entitlements that come with it, including holiday and benefits, except this contract has a specific end date. This might not be the best fit for an organisation who needs staff for just the Christmas period, but its certainly worth considering.
You have the work, you offer the work to a person and they have the option to either take it or leave it. They get paid for the work they do for you. The obligations stop when they finish work that day/evening. Its usually used to cope with spikes in business such as Christmas. The downside here is the person is under no obligation to accept the work, and with the demand for staff over Christmas, it might leave you in a difficult position, as others will also be offering work.
Much maligned and talked about usually not in a good way, but they have their benefits. Similar is a way to casual contracts with one key difference, the contract is ongoing and does not stop when the person leaves their work or shifts despite them only getting paid for the work they do. Since the brouhaha during the summer concerning zero hours contracts, changes are afoot particularly in relation to exclusivity clauses. As an employer you need to determine how you deal with someone on such a contract who turns work down. Zero hours are really useful in my opinion for the Christmas period, as the employer has the security of knowing they have a ready bank of staff to call on.
These are employed usually through an agency, sometimes directly and are paid hourly. If they come through an agency, they are the responsibility of the agency legally. The agency then charges the employer a fixed hourly fee which includes the temps wages, holiday pay and entitlements together with the agency mark up fee. Temps are only paid by the agency for the hours worked and upon receipt of a signed timesheet. Very common and very useful for peaks in demand with all of the administrative burden placed on the agency.
Self employed – for services
These types of arrangements are very common in the courier industry (think Yodel), where to cope with peaks in demand self employed couriers and van drivers are hired on a self employed basis. The employer has no legal obligation towards them in terms of employment law as they have no employee status. They are usually paid upon receipt of an invoice.
Other options to think about
- Offering overtime to existing permanent members of staff whether full time or part time
- Offer flexitime which allows employees to ‘bank’ extra hours and take the accrued days at a later date.
- Offer time off in lieu over an above hours worked at a later date
You will need to ensure you comply with employment legislation when taking on any staff for any length of time regardless of the status of their employment. Thats why its essential to get a written agreement in place which Crosse HR can help you with.