As it’s bonfire night we thought we’d take the opportunity to look at some top tips for tackling common HR issues to help things go with a bang in your organisation this Autumn!
Four Top Tips
1. Managing holidays
With not long to go until the end of the year managers may find themselves dealing with holiday related issues such as employees having a high amount of untaken holiday left towards the end of the organisation’s holiday year.
If this situation arises, managers should make sure employees are aware of the amount of holiday they have left to take and encourage them to submit holiday requests as a matter of priority. Remember, in some situations, such as where a woman is absent on maternity leave, employees can have a right to carry over holiday from one holiday year to the next, if you would like further information regarding holidays, please contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd.
2. Tackling ‘AWOL’ employees
Sometimes employees go ‘AWOL’ – absent without leave, they don’t attend/log on for work and don’t make contact in relation to their absence. It can leave managers unsure of how best to start dealing with the issue. The good news is that the first step is a simple one – try to contact the employee and see if you can find out what’s going on and keep records of the attempts.
If contact is made and there is no good reason for the absence/failure to follow the company absence reporting procedure it may be appropriate to take action, such as disciplinary action in relation to this, but it’s always important to seek advice on the facts of the particular case to ensure that taking further steps would be appropriate in the circumstances.
If no contact is made with the employee, it’s important to act fairly and reasonably in managing the matter, for employees who have two years’ service or more that will usually involve following an ‘AWOL’ process, the first step of which will be to write to the employee. Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd can provide you with advice on the facts of your case and assist you with letters as part of the process.
3. Dealing with sickness absence
As we move towards winter employers may see an increase in sickness absences so it’s important to be prepared. If your organisation has not already done so, you may wish to remind employees of your sickness absence reporting procedure as this can assist in reducing disruption to the organisation. It’s also helpful for managers to bear in mind that:
- Employees can self-certify for sickness absence of seven days or less, for longer absences employees should provide appropriate evidence, such as a fit-note.
- Carrying out return to work interviews can help to identify whether there are any on-going or underlying medical issues or whether there are patterns of absences. Such monitoring will help to identify what steps, if any, need to be taken in relation to a particular employee.
If you would like advice regarding employee absences in your organisation, including those involving coronavirus, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are happy to help.
4. Managing new starters
If your organisation is one of the many which is planning to take on new employees, it’s helpful to put in place a thorough induction process if you haven’t already done so. This can be really beneficial for the organisation – it can help employees to settle into the new role faster as well as reducing the likelihood of issues arising by ensuring that they are aware of your workplace rules and procedures.
Sometimes new starters turn out to be unsuitable, this could be for a variety of reasons such as there being conduct issues or poor performance. If one of your new starters aren’t working out and you wish to exit them from the organisation it may be possible to do so more quickly and easily than would be the case for longer serving employees. This is because employees need two years’ service to bring an ordinary unfair dismissal claim. As there are a number of significant employment tribunal claims that employees can bring from day one of their employment such as discrimination, it’s important to contact Kingfisher Professional Services for advice on the facts of the particular case before taking any action, irrespective of an employee’s length of service.
If you have an employment law matter you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact us as we are happy to help.