Human Resources (HR), or Personnel as it used to be called, is often seen as a transactional function, in place to do what is required to navigate red tape in the increasingly litigious world business operates in.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is now even clearer why human resources is important for your business. HR leads an organisation through challenges and change, putting people at the heart of this and achieving positive outcomes for the business.
People issues are rarely straightforward. Thus, it’s our role at FD People to help businesses work through increasingly complex employment challenges. As we embark on a new era of work, it couldn’t be a better time to engage with a strong, adaptable HR business partner to help you navigate unchartered waters.
The pandemic has brought a huge wave of change in employment, none of which is easy to manage.
We get great pleasure from helping clients through whatever people challenges they face.
Head of HR
Why should you outsource your HR to FD people?
At FD People, we recognise choosing to outsource your HR either for the first time or from another provider is a big decision for your business. So we have outlined a few reasons why we are confident our team of expert HR professionals can achieve great outcomes for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
As a well-established HR consultancy, we have been asked so many questions over the years. We could fill a book just with the questions, never mind the answers!
Below are a few of the most popular questions we are often asked:
Yes, you can dismiss an employee before completion of their probationary period. But there are some risks that you need to be aware of.
- An employee who has less than 2 years of service cannot raise an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal. However, they can raise a claim for discrimination. This particular claim does not require what is known as ‘qualifying service’.
- Where you feel an employee is not working out during their probationary period, perhaps due to their conduct or performance, and you are considering dismissal, you need to consider whether there are any reasons that could give rise to a claim for discrimination. For example, if an employee has been absent for a considerable amount of time during their probationary period, but the absence is due to a disability, there is a potential claim for disability discrimination.
- No dismissal is risk free because there is little to no deterrent to an employee raising a claim. Particularly given it does not cost. Where you feel an employee is not going to work out, but there is a potential discrimination risk, the important thing to do is to make the situation as low risk as possible. Have open discussions with the employee throughout their probationary period. Furthermore, you should ensure that you are focusing on objective areas for improvement, such as their performance or conduct. Additionally, you should document all discussions you have had with the employee. This will come in handy should you need to refer to them in the future.
If you are concerned about an employee in their probationary period, and want to assess the risks and the best approach to handling this, FD People are here to help. Please contact email@example.com.
There is a statutory right to Time Off for Care of Dependents. This means that employees have the right to take reasonable time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependent.
A dependent is classified as anyone who depends on the employee for care, which might be a spouse, partner, child, grandchild or parent but could extend further than this if they depend on the employee for care.
The entitlement is not to provide care for the dependent, rather it is to make arrangements for the provision of care.
It is also an entitlement to reasonable and unpaid time off. What is considered reasonable will depend on the circumstances.
If you need further help navigating Time Off for Care of Dependents, please get in touch with FD People at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every employee needs to be issued with a contract of employment on day one of starting their role – this is a statutory requirement.
The law recently changed in relation to when employers are required to issue a contract of employment. It used to be the case that you could wait up to 8 weeks from when the employee started to issue a contract, but now it is essential to issue a contract on or before the employee’s first day.
A contract of employment, also known as a written statement of particulars of employment, sets out basic terms and conditions of employment such as when an employee’s continuous service started, what they are paid, how many hours they are expected to work, what holidays they will receive and what their notice requirements are.
If you would like help preparing or reviewing a contract of employment template, contact email@example.com.
The best approach to handling policies and procedures is to house them all in an employee handbook which covers contractual, non-contractual and statutory policies and procedures.
However, if you don’t want to have an employee handbook but do want to ensure you have the minimum requirements in place, below are the top 5 policies and procedures we would recommend putting in place:
- Absence Policy – this is a contractual policy which sets out the requirements for absence reporting, handling long term sickness and your approach to payments during sickness.
- Disciplinary Policy – this will be a non-contractual policy which will include how the organisation will handle a disciplinary situation, the level of warnings that may be issued, and a non-exhaustive list of what the organisation considers to be gross misconduct and approaches to a range of scenarios that can arise in a disciplinary situation.
- Grievance Policy – this is also a non-contractual policy which lays out how an employee can approach dealing with a grievance at both an informal and formal level, including who they should speak to at each stage.
- Equal Opportunities – this sets out how the organisation approaches equality and diversity in all stages of the employment life cycle in line with the Equality Act 2010.
- Data Protection Policy & Privacy Notice – the data employers hold about employees is highly confidential, and in compliance with GDPR, we recommend you have a data protection policy and privacy notice in relation to both employees and a separate policy for job applicants.
We can help prepare either an employee handbook with a more comprehensive suite of HR policies and procedures, or provide you with the above top 5 policies and procedures. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
There are a number of important steps an employer needs to take when an employee advises they are pregnant:
- Once you have congratulated the employee, write to them to confirm that they have advised you they are pregnant and advise that a pregnancy risk assessment will be conducted and to ask them to provide their MATB1 form on receipt.
- Conduct a pregnancy risk assessment to assess the risks of their role to their pregnancy. It is important to continue to risk assess throughout the employee’s pregnancy.
- Have a discussion with the employee about their plans for time off to get an idea of what they are thinking. Let them know what they are entitled to verbally – this doesn’t need to be straight away and can be further on during their pregnancy.
- Once the employee has a MATB1, firm up with the employee when they think they will start their maternity leave. Then write to them to confirm their entitlements to maternity leave and pay, and note the dates the employee has stated they will start their maternity leave (this of course may change if their baby comes early or if the employee wants to work on longer).
- Before the employee goes off on maternity leave, agree on how they would like to keep in touch with the organisation. The employee can choose to use up to 10 Keeping In Touch (KIT) days during their maternity leave without affecting their Statutory Maternity Pay. But they may prefer to keep in touch by receiving a regular newsletter to their personal email address or dropping into the workplace with their new baby.
If you need help dealing with a pregnant employee, please contact email@example.com. We will be happy to help with template letters, forms and guidance.
Marine Products Scotland is one of the UK’s leading producers of luxury Scottish salmon.
Despite that people have always been at the heart of Marine’s ethos with 150 staff employed at the Glasgow site, the company did not have a dedicated HR function.
The Managing Director felt they didn’t need a full-time resource. However, identified a need for the following HR support.
Read our case study to find out how we helped.