This is unfortunately a common question that is asked of me when advising clients, which is not surprising really as they are usually employers contacting me because they have a problem with their staff!
As an employer, it can feel that the relationship is one-sided and that the law favours the employee. It’s true that there has been a raft of employment case law that has been devastating to employers – employees can make additional claims for holiday pay based on overtime, be paid for travelling time throughout their working day and the minimum wage for all hours worked on-call and during sleep-ins. Just when you thought you could avoid employment rights by using staff on a freelance, self-employed basis, the courts determine that those working in the ‘gig economy’ have worker status and therefore have rights to holiday pay and the minimum wage. Claims can be made going back up to 6 years and as from July this year, employees don’t have to pay a fee to issue their claims any more. I’ll stop now before you throw yourselves under the next passing bus!
So what can you do about it?
The first step is to review your workforce model. Is it fit for purpose? Are you treating your staff like workers when they are really employees? Do you need employees or would your business work better with self-employed consultants?
The next step is to review your contracts. Do they accurately define the relationship? Are they up to date with current HR best practice and employment laws?
Review your standard operating procedures. Do you have an employee handbook and other policies and procedures outlining how you do things in your organisation? Are they up to date?
Review your workforce structure. What do you need? Have you got the right people in the right roles? Are people clear on their role and your expectations? Have you got too many people? Are they performing? Do you need to make some changes?
If you’ve gone through each of these steps, you may have a plan of action to make some changes. We can help you fine tune that plan and make it happen. Give me a call to arrange a fixed fee meeting if you want to share your plan with me and set a timetable for implementation for the new year.