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Treat Yourself to Some HR Tricks This Halloween!

Haunted by HR issues? Having a devil of a time managing an employee? Here’s some ‘spooktacular’ HR tips that can help to take you from HR fright to HR delight this Halloween.

  1. Can I bring my mummy?

Many employers are aware that an employee has the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary meeting / disciplinary appeal meeting by a colleague or a trade union representative, but sometimes employees ask to be accompanied by a family member or friend instead. Can an employee bring their mummy?

An employee won’t usually have a right to be accompanied by a different category of companion and it will usually come down to whether an employer agrees to allow a friend/family member to attend. That said, there are a few things to be alert to. It’s important for employers to check that they haven’t given the right to be accompanied by additional categories of person in their employment contracts or through custom and practice. It’s also important to bear in mind that there are some situations where allowing an alternative accompanying person could be required, such as where it would be as a reasonable adjustment for a disabled employee. If an employee in your organisation asks to be accompanied by someone other than a trade union representative or a colleague, you should contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd for advice on your situation.

  1. My employee has vanished into the ether…

There can be occasions when an employee vanishes – they don’t attend/log on for work and don’t contact their manager in relation to their absence. What now? As tempting as it may be to release the hell hounds to track them down, the next step is far simpler (if not more mundane!), try to contact them 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’ (absent without leave) 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.

  1. My employee has turned into a zombie…

Did you once have an employee who performed well but who now seems to be mindlessly trudging through the workday achieving little? Were you hoping it would only last a short spell, but things haven’t improved? If this sounds familiar and the employee has two years’ service or more, the first step is to meet with them informally to try to address the matter. In brief, this will usually involve explaining your concerns to them regarding their performance, finding out if there is a good reason for it and if there is not, agreeing performance targets and a reasonable time for improvement. The employee needs to be made aware that if the targets are not met the poor performance will be formally addressed under your performance management procedure.  If your zombie has under two years’ service, the dark arts of employment law may make it possible to dismiss the employee without following the usual performance management process, but there are a number of claims even short serving employees can bring so it is always important to seek advice on the facts of your case from Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd before dismissing any employee.

  1. ‘Fangtastic’ job!

When it comes to motivation and reward it can be easy to overlook the simple things, especially when it’s busy or times are difficult. If an employee has really sunk their teeth into a task or worked some magic for a customer, you may be surprised how far an acknowledgement of this or a simple thank you can go when it comes to giving a quick motivation boost.

If you have an employment law matter you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd for advice on the facts of your case.




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