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Changes to legislation. What do you need to do?
In the last issue I spoke about all the changes happening in the Employment Law space. This issue will look at a couple in more detail – and specifically what you need to do to ensure your business is compliant.
2019 What changes are coming?
As I am sure most of you are aware there are some changes coming to employment legislation this year and I wanted to make you aware of what we know so far and how this may affect you.
Changes to "keeping in touch" hours
Hopefully you are all aware of the “keeping in touch” hours that your team can work when they are off on parental leave. These are hours when your team member can be paid to come in to work – often used for meetings, company briefings or training sessions – without it affecting their status of being on parental leave.
Could a duvet day be the answer?
I had a restaurant manager many years ago who granted us all a duvet day each year to use on a day when we felt we needed it. It was supposed to be used on those days when you really can’t be bothered dragging yourself out of bed and going to be hospitable to customers.
How useful is a medical certificate?
Have you ever looked at a medical certificate and thought “that really isn’t giving me the information I am needing”? Did you know you are able to ask for more information from the doctor who has written the certificate?
Performance Improvement Plans (PIP)
Have you got a staff member who just isn’t performing to the standard you would like? Have you thought about putting them on a Performance Improvement Plan to see if that helps them meet your expectations?
Probation periods vs 90 day trials - what are the differences?
You have probably heard the proposed changes to employment legislation in the media, particularly in relation to 90 day trial periods for employers with more than 20 staff. This has led to discussion around “probation periods” and whether they can be used as an alternative
Creating new leaders
Have you got a newly promoted team leader, supervisor or manager or have you got your eye on one of your team for promotion next year? Studies show that a high number of new leaders fail and the cost to your business can be high.
Changes regarding proof of sickness
A new change to the Holidays Act, coming into effect on the 31stJanuary 2018, means that employees will be able to obtain proof of sickness from a wide range of health professionals, not just doctors.
I have had a few conversations with clients this month about excessive sick leave and team members who seem to be unable to make it into work the day after payday or on a Monday morning. If this sounds like a familiar story then I recommend dealing with it as soon as a pattern starts to emerge rather than waiting to see if it gets better.
If you have company vehicles that your staff drive then it is important to have a vehicle policy to safeguard against potential issues. In the past few months I have had three separate clients having issues with staff speeding, drink driving and driving erratically causing an accident.
90 day trial periods
There have been a couple of decisions handed down from the Employment Authority recently that may affect the way that you can use 90 day trial periods.
The first is in relation to paying out notice periods under a 90 day trial clause. The advice is to use a “garden leave” clause instead and pay out under that so the employee is effectively still employed but not required to work during their notice period.
Bringing the best talent
Many of my clients are taking on new staff at the moment and growing their teams. This is a positive sign for their businesses and a good time to remind you all of following a good process when recruiting. One of the most important things is to prepare, know the preferred skill set of the person you are looking for and have a good position description ready to help you shortlist.
Keeping the team tight
I often have discussions with business managers and owners about their "family" culture and their concern about keeping that going as they grow in staff numbers and company size. This is always going to be a challenge but there are a couple of things you can introduce to help you maintain the company ethos.
Managing Poor Performance
Managing poor performance is a challenge for any business but if not done right (or at all) it can cause major headaches. You are best to approach a situation when first identified rather than leaving it, hoping it will get better by itself – or go away entirely!
The nights are getting longer and the wild weather last week was a reminder that winter is on its way. Along with it comes all the usual sniffles and coughs. How do you avoid excessive sick leave in your business and do you have a culture that encourages wellness in your team?
There were a number of changes to parental leave entitlements last year and judging by a number of conversations I have been having, many of them slipped under the radar.
The countdown is on!
There are only 12 more Mondays until Christmas and now is a great time to start thinking of what you are doing over the summer break with your staff. Are you planning on taking on extra staff to cope with the summer business or are you shutting down to give you and your team a well earned break? JbHR can give you advice on what you need to do to ensure you are covered for Christmas.
Gearing up for a great 2017
Happy New Year – hope you had a good festive season and are back refreshed and ready for 2017.
Have you surveyed your staff recently to see how engaged they are in your business? We can run a survey for you, providing not only the results but also a report with suggestions on how to improve the poorer rating areas. Now is also a great time to get a health check of your HR systems and ensure that you are set up for success.
Do you do Performance Reviews for your entire team in the same month or do you spread them out across the year on staff member's anniversary dates? Whichever option works for you I can help you schedule and prepare for them.
90 day trial period
Many small businesses are using 90 day trial periods and used properly, they can be a great tool. There has been a recent court case that has led to some clarification around required wording in agreements.