10 Things you Need to Know
1. A business is only as good as the people who work for it. Recruitment is the process of securing employment of the right person with the right skills in the right position at the right time.
2. You need to ensure you comply with employment law. Actually, you need to more than just comply – to make the most of your personnel you should follow best practice. You also need to make sure you keep up to date with changes introduced through statute, Regulation and case law.
3. Just as your first impressions of an individual matter, so do their first impressions of your organisation. A well constructed induction can present your business in the best light to new employees and ensure they are "up and running" and adding value to the organisation as soon as possible.
4. You need to ensure policies are clearly communicated to your employees. Areas such as holidays, sickness and absenteeism should be clearly outlined. Without formal personnel policies and procedures, organisations heighten the risk of unwanted disputes, which can be costly both in terms of time and money.
5. You need to ensure compliance with health & safety law. Providing employees, and others working for or visiting you, with a safe environment is an important part of business. Failure to comply leaves you exposed if an accident occurs. Health & Safety Executive prosecutions, hefty fines and personal injury claims can all result.
6. It doesn’t matter how small your business is, the Data Protection Act 1998 will affect you if you are storing information about customers, suppliers or employees. If you break the law, you could face a fine and court costs. The law is the same whether you store information in a filing cabinet or on your computer.
7. A claim for discrimination can be brought against an organisation by a potential emplooyee, an existing employee or a past employee so you need to act to avoid discrimination at all stages of employment. Compensation in cases of discrimination is unlimited. Could your organisation afford a payout of tens of thousands of pounds + the time and cost of fighting a tribunal case?
8. Vicarious liability is the obligation which falls on one person, for example an employer, as a result of the actions or omissions of another, for example an employee. Employers are liable for the actions of their employees “in the course of their employment”. This does not simply mean "while at work" but relates to what the employee was employed to do. Behaviour that would be included in this would be issues such as damage to property, harassment or discrimination. In such cases where a claim is brought it can be made both against the individual and the organisation: if an award is made by a tribunal they may say the amount must be split between the two.
9. The most common reason for an employee to take their employer to an employment tribunal is unfair dismissal. Unfair dismissal occurs when an employer does not have a valid reason to dismiss an employee (valid reasons for dismissal include misconduct, redundancy, inability to satisfactorily do the job or not having the qualifications for the job) OR the employer has not acted reasonably in treating that reason as a sufficient reason for dismissing the employee e.g. failed to follow correct procedures, failed to complete correct documentation.
10. As an owner, director, board member or senior manager there are many calls on your time: finance, marketing and PR, facilities and operations to name but a few. Employment law and “people” issues cannot be forgotten either. They can be simple or complex, either way, liquid hr can give you complete peace of mind: let liquid hr provide the expertise to help your managers manage!