Employees are essential to driving forward any business, so it’s important that they are properly managed and rewarded. We’ll give you the commercial advice you need on the full range of employment issues, from recruitment and day to day HR queries to disputes and dismissals. We offer all our clients a free annual review of their standard employment contracts and key HR policies, so you’ll be kept up-to-date in this fast-changing area of the law.
It’s essential to issue every employee with a contract of employment and to put in place clear grievance and disciplinary procedures. This will start you off on the right track. Agreed changes to terms of employment should always be recorded in writing, and if you meet with an employee to discuss absence, performance or misconduct you should take a full note of what is said.
The national minimum wage depends on a person’s age. From 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, it is £8.72 per hour for those aged 25+ or £8.20 per hour for those aged 21 to 24. All UK employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ holiday a year, which is 28 days (including bank holidays) for someone who works full-time. If an employee can’t work due to illness they’ll probably be entitled to receive statutory sick pay. Auto-enrolment rules will also require you to set up and contribute to a pension scheme (or check your existing scheme is compliant).
Different employees are motivated by different things. Offering a high salary and bonus scheme will always attract interest, but many people place an equal or higher value on an employer who offers career progression opportunities, supports flexible working and looks after its staff when they fall ill. There are a variety of options when it comes to benefits and what will work in one industry might not in another. Whatever you have planned, we’re here to bounce ideas off and to draft the key clauses you’ll need.
Employees benefit from a wealth of protection under UK and EU law, so you need to take legal advice before issuing any disciplinary sanctions. The right to bring an ordinary unfair dismissal claim only kicks in after 2 years’ service, but discrimination law and many other rights apply from day 1. If you are reasonable and consistent in how you treat your staff then you will strengthen your legal position and should experience fewer problems.