New year, new start

By Victoria Mitchell, head of employment law, Farleys.

As we embark on a new year, it is important for businesses to focus on their staffing structures and HR & employment law procedures and practices.

An assessment should be made as to whether your business has the ‘right staff’ in the appropriate positions or departments and whether recruitment, re-structuring or employee exits are required to improve efficiency, achieve growth, or remove ‘problems’ which cause operational difficulties and additional unnecessary costs to your business.Consider the following:

Restructuring.

Analyse your existing staffing structure. Promote and reward key personnel; succession plan; merge roles and departments; recruit apprentices and exit those employees that hold the company back and are not going to benefit its future.

Employee exits.

Evaluate your staff and take action, whether this is termination of employment for poor performance, redundancy, misconduct or ill-health; or expedited by way of protected conversations and settlement agreements.

Recruitment.

New skill sets and fresh faces can bring great benefits to your company, however don’t forget to issue contracts of employment and focus on probationary and notice periods, or even consider fixed-term arrangements.

Contracts of employment.

Review your staff contracts of employment and directors service agreements. Update them or issue new ones that you are confident will protect your business.

Managing absenteeism.

Whether intermittent short-term absenteeism or long-term sickness, this is always a headache for business owners as it impacts on efficiency and causes issues with morale if not managed properly.

Businesses should have appropriately drafted sickness absence policies in place in a staff handbook and conduct specialist training for management.

Training.A simple and cost effective tool to significantly improve employee output and upskill an existing workforce.

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