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  • Sally Brandon

HR Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: Jan 18

What are the common frequently asked HR questions in small businesses?

Did you know that HR is one of the most important aspects of a business? It's responsible for everything from recruiting new employees to ensuring that everyone is following company policy. If you're not familiar with all the things HR does, then check out this post. In it, I’ll tell you a few facts about HR that every small business owner should know. So sit back and learn something new!

1. What is HR and what do they do in a company

In its simplest terms HR is responsible for managing the employee lifecycle from recruitment to an employee leaving the company. It covers a wide range of activities including:

✅ Recruitment

✅ Onboarding

✅ Induction

✅ Learning & development

✅ Recognition & reward

✅ Legal compliance

✅ Employee Relations

✅ Off boarding

✅ Administration

✅ People Strategy

✅ People Analytics

2. What are the benefits of having an HR department in your business?

Don’t underestimate the importance of HR in a small business. As a business owner you cannot be an expert in everything and HR is an area that can eat into the time you want to be using to focus on growing your business. An HR expert can help you with:

✅ Time saving

✅ Access to an HR expert when needed

✅ Security that all HR is legally compliant

✅ Recruiting the best talent

✅ Strong onboarding process

✅ Improving employee retention

Do I have to give my employees a contract?

Yes, you must provide your employee a Statement of Terms and Conditions within 8 weeks of them starting work.

Do I have to check an employee's right to work in the UK?

Yes. You must check your potential employees right to work in the uk by seeing in person their UK passport, Birth Certificate or a visa verifying they can work in the uk. If they are working on a spousal or student visa there may be restrictions attached on the types of employment or number of hours they can work.

Can I treat full time and part time employees differently?

No. It is against the law to treat full and part time workers differently.

Part-time workers are protected from being treated less favorably than equivalent full-time workers just because they’re part time. In a few specific circumstances (health benefit) it may be possible to only offer to a full time person due to the cost, however with other benefits and salary they should be offered on a prorata basis depending on the number of hours the employee works.

If I want to dismiss an employee is there a process to follow?

Yes, you must follow your company's disciplinary procedures or redundancy process if you wish to dismiss an employee. Failure to follow the process may result in the employee claiming unfair dismissal and taking the matter to an employment tribunal. Even if the employee has worked for you for under 2 years it is best to follow best practice and follow the procedure.

How much holiday do employees get?

All employees are legally entitled to a minimum of 28 days holiday (including bank holidays) or 5.6 weeks. This amount will be prorated for part time workers. You can however offer more holidays if you wish and many companies do to attract top talent.

Can I tell employees when they should take their holiday?

Yes you can. If it is a reasonable request that is non-discriminatory, an employee cannot normally turn down an employer's instruction to take leave. It is not very common for employers to tell employees when to take leave and a better approach is to encourage employees to spread their holiday throughout the year to ensure they are resting and do not lose their entitlement at the end of the year or take a forced break.

Can an employee be required to take his or her outstanding leave while on garden leave?

Yes you can request an employee take their remaining holiday entitlement during garden leave, so long as they give sufficient notice to book this, and the holiday entitlement doesn’t exceed the notice period. Remember an employee on gardening leave can be asked to return to the office if you need them to. Also, take into account any holiday accrued by the employee during their notice period, as they will continue to accrue holiday during this time.

Do I have to offer sick pay to employees?

It is a legal requirement to offer Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to employees from day four of their sickness absence. As an employer you may want to offer over and above SSP which you can do by setting up a Company Sick Pay Scheme

What HR policies should I have?

There are lots of policies you could have but the most important when starting out are below and you can add to them as you grow:

  • Health & Safety

  • Holiday

  • Absence and Sickness Policy

  • Disciplinary & Grievance Policy

  • Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy

What do I do if I’m struggling with HR issues in my business?

Contact Minerva HR Consulting and lets chat

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