You’ve heard the great news that one of your employees is going to become a mum/dad but while you were congratulating them and jostling them about the extra responsibilities – rest-less nights and dealing with baby sick, you realise that as their employer you will most likely have extra responsibilities too!
If this is either the first of your employees to adopt/gain a child whilst working for you, or if it has been a while since the last arrival of a child for your company then it is good practice to read up on the current legislation.
We’ve come a long way since the seasonal changes in work patterns of the ‘olden days’ where the difference in hours of light and the drawing in of the coldest and wettest parts of the years reduced man hours dramatically. However, the man hours of many companies are still falling foul of winter mischief where the Human Resources department are not quite doing everything they can to combat this winter chaos.
If it isn’t the snow or heavy rain causing havoc, it’s the winter vomiting bug, winter depression or general heightened levels of colds and flu stealing our employees from work! This also has a further knock on effect increasing employee stress (decreasing their productivity, and lowering their immunity, increasing the chance of them becoming sick as well), as they try to cover the extra work in an environment infested with the beginnings and tail ends of colds and flu.
Unfair treatment of employees returning from maternity leave
Inflexible working hours not allowing for child-minding responsibilities
Unequal pay and bonuses for equal work performance across genders
These age old sex discrimination issues and more are still not being dealt with by HR policies. This is crippling UK businesses in their ability to feed high achieving female employees up the management pipe-line, leading to poor gender diversity in the top management positions.
So you think you have the party planned out; where, who and when… but is that enough? Have you ensured that you are catering for everyone fairly and that health and safety and misconduct issues have been prepared for in advance?
Christmas parties are to celebrate business success for the year and to thank employees for their hard work, aiding employee morale and bringing teams closer together. Therefore, it is important to ensure that everyone is included.
What is the point of change management? You see a way you can improve the company services/products/profits, and you make the change, simple? Or is it?
Change can have negative emotional repercussions, on both employees and customers, no matter how well intended the changes are. This is why it is important for HR policy to be involved with change, and why change needs to be managed carefully.
By law businesses have to watch their step with their policies and processes to ensure they are not discriminating against anyone due to a protected characteristic (treating less favourably, unless there is a legitimate aim with no other reasonable action to reach it); actual or perceived – age, race, religion, belief, disability, sex, gender reassignment or sexual orientation, or pregnancy, maternity, marriage or civil partnership.
Social networking and social media poses both threats to business and opportunities for improvement. Just how much social networking and social media affects your company and whether it has an overall positive or negative impact appears to be entirely in our hands, and how we deal with the possible opportunities and impacts presented?
Just paying an employee for their work is not enough to ensure they continually give 100% commitment. If employees feel under-valued then employee morale will be lowered. Low employee morale causes slower, poorer quality productivity, more absence days and loss of experience, skills and knowledge if employees decide to leave for a job that makes them happier. Most companies know their employees are valuable but many don’t successfully show it.
Staff Appraisals are a great tool for problem solving and gives the perfect opportunity to give constructive feedback & staff praise as deserved/required. Is your HR policy set up to make your staff appraisals effective and if so are you using staff reviews to their full potential?
Companies often know that annual staff appraisals should be done but the actual time and resources to do so often mean they are put on the back burner. The resulting staff review may become a hurried tick box exercise (at the umpteenth request), or never even done. This means that the vital one-on-one employer-employee communication of this exercise – providing positive work incentive, advice for improvement and an opportunity to bring forward any unheard work issues – is lost! There is little doubt that continued appraisal abuse like this will lead to reduced staff morale and productivity.
You may have completed the required right to work checks when you first took on a new employee, and thought that’s where your duty ended for avoiding prosecution for hiring illegal workers. Did you realise that in some cases further checks must to be performed on an ongoing basis? Does your HR policy ensure your company covers the necessaries to avoid heavy fines and, or prosecution?
Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006: You are breaking the law if you employ a person who does not have the right to work in the UK. Under Section 15: An employer not completing the necessary checks can be charged a civil penalty of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker they have hired. Under section 21: An employer knowingly employing an illegal worker can face criminal prosecution leading to the possibility of up to 2 years imprisonment and, or an unlimited fine!