Social Media

14 Mar
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, HR Policy, Policies and Procedures, policy, Social Media, Video, Vlog   |  No Comments

Companies need to think about what they will and will not allow their staff to do in terms of social media.

Do employees have access to company accounts and if so, what are the rules around the use of that account?

If employees comment on ‘a day at the office’ what might the implications be for your business in terms of reputation to clients, suppliers and exisiting or potential employees.

A clear, well thought through policy is essential to enable apropriate use of social media for your business.

Do You Have Anyone In Reserve?

05 Jul
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Employees, policy, Reservists, Twitter   |  5 Comments

With the announcement today of the scaling back of the British Armed Forces and the increasing reliance on the reservists, commonly known as the Territorial Army (TA), do you know what your exposure and responsibilities are?

If you have a member of the TA working for you, then you are legally obliged to allow them time off for both training and manoeuvres. This time does not have to be paid, but will inevitably cause disruption to your business.

So what are your rights as an employer and how can you mitigate the impact?

Firstly, you only have an obligation to full and part time employees, not to contractors or freelancers.

If there is a mobilisation, i.e. the employee is called into action as a member of the TA, the employer has no choice, they have to let them go. The employer is also required to give them a job back on their return.

An employer is not legally obliged to release TA members for camps and training, although given enough notice, employers are encouraged to release staff as a better trained employee is arguably of greater value to both the TA and their employer. Any time off for these purposes could be taken from annual leave, could be unpaid, or in addition to normal annual leave entitlement. The Company’s documented and communicated policy is essential for clarity.

While on mobilisations, there is no salary cost to the employer, the employee’s ‘salary’ is met by the MOD. Benefits should remain in place such as company contributions to a pension scheme (unless they join the armed forces pension scheme) and healthcare insurance etc.

There are three elements to the mobilisation: Training, Active Service and Post Service Leave. An employee could be absent from work for 3 – 12 months.

On return from mobilisation, the employer is obliged to reinstate the employee into a role which is the same or as close as reasonably practicable to their original job.

So, now you know what your obligations are, what can you do while your employee is away?

Well, you shouldn’t fill their position permanently. Ideally aim to have someone acting up into their role or split their responsibilities among other employees. You could take on a temporary member of staff on a fixed term contract as if you are covering maternity leave. Think about what the business needs, you may bring someone in to do part of the role, you may use it as a training experience for an existing member of staff.

Communicate to others what is happening and ensure the employee and their team understand how the work will be covered in the short term.

What is your experience of reservists in the workplace? How have you dealt with absence during manoeuvres? Have you ever taken the decision not to hire someone because they are a reservist?

World Cup

26 May
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Business, employee rights, HR, Human Resources, policy, world cup   |  No Comments

Love it or hate it, the world cup is coming and as employers, you need to ensure you know what you can and can’t do to protect your business from absent employees.

Get it right now and managing employees during the tournament becomes easy.

You need a clear policy. Decide how you are going to encourage staff to be at work during games, communicate it and stick to it consistently, for all employees, no exceptions.

Don’t just make allowances for England games – not everyone supports England!!

Can your business support flexi-time? If employees take a break to watch a match, can they make up the time at the start or end of the day? This may not work if your employees are customer facing i.e. working in shops or call centres.

If employees book holiday time to watch a match, is this on a first come first served basis? How do you ensure you treat everyone equally.

If you have a TV onsite to enable people to watch the game, what will you do for employees who have no interest in football whatsoever?

The keys to getting this right are:
– Have a plan which protects your business
– Communicate it in advance
– Deal with any issues in advance
– Do not treat people differently
– Ensure consistent decision making
– Deal with any complaints through your company grievance procedures

For further help and advice specific to your business needs, contact us on 01923 504100 or via our website.

How are you preparing your business for swine flu?

29 Apr
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Business, Human Resources, people manaagment, policy, sickness, swine flu   |  No Comments

Do you and your client have a strategy for managing an outbreak of swine flu?

Does your sickness policy encourage people to stay at home and work from there rather than come into the office if they are feeling ill?

Do you pay for the first 3 days of sickness absence before SSP kicks in? If not, you are encouraging people to come to work even when they are not feeling well.

Take a look at your policy now. Make amendments to protect your staff and your business. It is possible to put in place emergency measures on a temporary basis.

Think about your people, think about your business and have a contingency plan…. don’t put it off, the government are preparing and you must prepare your business NOW!