When running a business, you’re bound to face a range of HR challenges.
From handling employees who refuse to work their notice periods, to calculating holiday pay and verifying the right to work, there’s a myriad of scenarios to navigate.
This article delves deeper into these real-life issues, providing not only a comprehensive understanding but also offering practical solutions.
1. Addressing the Issue of Employees Refusing to Work Their Notice Period
An employee refusing to work their notice period can create significant disruption in your operations. Aside from treating people right and they should return the favour, the key to managing this situation lies in your initial employment contract. Ensure it details the obligations and potential consequences should an employee fail to adhere to the notice period.
In case of refusals, first, communicate with the employee to understand their reasons and see if a resolution is possible. Should this fail, as this will technically be a breach of contract, you may consider withholding the final paycheck until the end of the employee notice period or exploring a legal route. However, always consult with your HR partner or legal advisor to determine the best approach.
Solution: Clearly defined employment contracts and open communication are crucial to prevent or mitigate such situations.
Make sure that these are well documented and revisit them regularly to ensure they accurately reflect both the employer’s and employee’s expectations.
It is important for employers to remain aware of any changes in the law as missing any can cause costly mistakes.
2. Holiday Pay Calculations
Holiday pay calculations can be complicated, particularly with variations in work hours and irregular shift patterns. It’s important to note that workers have the right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid holiday/annual leave.
For those working an irregular number of hours, a week’s pay is usually calculated as an average over the 52 weeks prior to the holiday. This includes overtime and commission if they’re a regular part of the employee’s earnings.
Solution: Keeping track of employee hours and earnings becomes much more straightforward with the use of HR software. In addition to simplifying payroll, HR software can also automate holiday pay calculations.
This results in time savings for people, who would otherwise spend more time manually calculating these values. With HR software, businesses can streamline their operations and focus on other critical areas for their ongoing success. Business growth through increased efficiency.
3. Calculating Entitlements for Non-Traditional Work Patterns
Non-traditional work patterns, like 4-day weeks or irregular shifts, can make calculating holiday entitlements tricky. However, regardless of work pattern, full-time workers in the UK are entitled to a minimum of 28 days’ holiday.
For a 4-day work week, the employee’s leave would be 22.4 days (4 days x 5.6 weeks). For those with irregular hours, calculate leave based on average weekly hours worked in the preceding 52 weeks.
Solution: Using a good HR system can simplify this process. Ensure that all employee contracts are up-to-date, detailing their work patterns and associated entitlements.
Using the system, ensure your follow-up checks are done at the right time, with regular reviews to make sure employees don’t accidentally miss out on their entitlements.
Consider setting up alerts for when leave entitlement is due. This can help you and your employees stay informed and compliant with the law.
4. Performing Right to Work Checks
Employers have a legal obligation to prevent illegal working in the UK by conducting right to work checks. This includes checking and copying original, acceptable documents before employing someone, and conducting follow-up checks if the employee has a time-limited permission to work.
Failure to comply can result in substantial fines, not to mention reputational risk, so it’s essential that these checks are carried out correctly and records kept up-to-date.
Solution: Invest in proper training for HR staff on performing right to work checks and consider utilising digital platforms designed for document verification and storage.
This can help streamline the process, reduce room for human error and ensure that all documents are securely stored in one place.
Additionally, establish procedures in place to regularly review employee records and make sure follow-up checks are done at the right time.
Our Closing Thoughts…
Navigating the complex world of HR can be daunting. Yet, with an understanding of the basics, a commitment to clear communication, and the right systems and support, you can confidently handle these challenges.
As always, it’s crucial to stay informed about HR law and consult with professionals when in doubt.
Remember, Petaurum HR is here to assist you. We’re dedicated to helping you overcome your HR hurdles, so your business can thrive.