Archive

Author: R.Christou

The problem with people policies pt.2

People policies are a great opportunity to help protect your business and explain your expectations.
 
You’ll save time and money in the long run!

Here are my top three suggestions to help set those expectations.

Out and about policies such as ‘being out and about on our business’ can help clarify what’s expected from your employees when they’re networking or attending a client/customer’s site. What they wear, whether they drink, what they pay for (to name a few) can all create challenge so a few lines in a policy can save much embarrassment (and the odd disciplinary!).

‘Side hustles’ – how do you feel about employees working outside of your organisation (perhaps for themselves or another company)? Is that ok, something you encourage, is it a complete ‘no-no’? Having a policy that requires employees to explain their intentions for work outside of your organisation can mean difficult conversations are avoided and you ensure they’re not working in breach of the Working Time Regulations (along with much more).

Social media – your employees can be your greatest asset, or your biggest risk. Set out what you consider is appropriate and how employees can use social media as a force for good (of course explaining what might happen if they don’t!).

Contact me here if it’s been a while since you’ve given your handbook or people policies the once over! Whether it’s a review or update, we’ve got a solution to fit.

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
Posted On: July 19th, 2023By |

Employment contracts and the ‘3Cs’ – pt.4 | Contemporary

Did you know, fewer than 20% of employees actually read their employment contract before signing? That’s staggeringly low for such an important document, and why our last ‘C’, contemporary, is key to boosting engagement. 

Here are my top tips for creating contracts that are engaging, practical…and actually read:

Stop writing in the third person swapping ‘the Company’ for ‘we/us’ immediately creates a connection with your audience and creates a more personal, interesting and engaging read.

Cut out the jargon – if your reader is having to wade through little understood terminology you’re losing their attention, fast! Employment contracts should be user-friendly and easy to understand throughout.

Intuitive layout – create a ‘start, middle and end’ that corresponds with the employment journey to make it easier to navigate and find relevant detail.

Keep it simple – don’t worry about catering for every eventuality. From a legal perspective that can be unhelpful and means the length of the document will in itself switch off the reader.

Contact me here if you’d like to discuss how we can help you create more contemporary contracts. You can also use our free, self-service health check tool to see whether your employment contracts are fighting fit!

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
Posted On: May 25th, 2023By |

Employment contracts and the ‘3Cs’ – pt.2 | Protecting business interests

What do we mean when talking about ‘commerciality’ in employment contracts? Well, it’s all the stuff that you don’t need to include but can choose to add in order to protect your business interests and what matters most to you. 

There’s loads I could go into but my top tips would be:

Reflect reality – what’s important to your business will change over time. If you don’t think about updating your employment contracts as your business evolves, their value and effectiveness will dilute over time.

Protecting know-how – think about what makes your business unique. Your proposals, pitches, products, pricing…I could go on! They’re all capable of being protected, but you need to call them out in your contracts! Otherwise, they’re often fair game to departing employees.

Post-termination restrictions – “they’re not enforceable!”…if I had a pound for every time I’ve heard that! They’re definitely easy to get wrong, but are enforceable when drafted appropriately. Restrictions that aren’t specific or drafted tightly enough are highly unlikely to be upheld. You need to make sure the terms of the restrictions don’t go further than necessary to protect your legitimate business interests – stating an employee can’t ever work for a key competitor isn’t going to work unfortunately!

Contact me here if you’d like to discuss how we can help you to ensure you’re protecting what matters most to your business. You can also use our free, self-service health check tool to see whether your employment contracts are fighting fit!

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
Posted On: May 24th, 2023By |

Further Brexit announcements

Following the announcement last week that all EU-derived law will remain unless specifically repealed, the government has announced their intention to make changes to the Working Time Regulations and TUPE provisions following Brexit.

Rena Christou, Halborns’ Managing Director, shares her thoughts:

Working Time Regulations

Rolled up holiday pay to be allowed – there are plans to allow holiday pay to be included within hourly pay (particularly relevant for zero-hours or agency workers). This could mark a significant and welcome change for employers.

Merging holiday entitlements – employees’ holiday entitlement is currently split into two parts (4 weeks based on EU law and 1.6 weeks based on UK law). The proposal is to merge the two. My view is this should simplify the admin of managing the two different entitlements, but at the moment we’re unclear how this will be achieved and how it will affect holiday pay calculations.

Recording working time not required – whilst this sounds appealing there will still be the need to maintain “adequate records” for the purposes of National Minimum Wage and holiday pay. How this will change things in practice is unclear.

Changes to TUPE consultation

The plan is to remove the requirement to consult with appointed representatives for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and transfers affecting fewer than 10 employees. My view is this is a welcome change to ensure more appropriately facilitated communication for smaller TUPE transfers.

The announcements lack finer detail – we’ll update you as and when we know more. Contact me here if you’d like to chat about what these changes might mean for your business. 

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
Posted On: May 16th, 2023By |