Agree to disapply the 48 hour limit on weekly working time
Notify your employee of changes to their employment terms
Evaluate an employee's performance
Prepare your business in case of an emergency
Carry out a risk assessment when returning to work during COVID-19
Ensure the health and safety of employees in the workplace
Write a reference about an employee
Settle potential disputes with employees
Inform staff about how you collect, use, retain and share their data
Set out available flexible working arrangements
Allow employees to work from home temporarily or regularly
Ensure health and safety is followed whilst employees are WFH
Manage sickness absence
Set out your business' approach toward COVID-19 vaccines
Communicate your data protection practices to consultants
Set out your approach to employee holidays
Communicate health and safety procedures and other provisions for lone workers
Communicate your rules and processes for staff expenses claims
Set out your workplace policies in one consolidated document
Manage employees FAQs
Employers face numerous issues on a day-to-day basis when dealing with employees. Employers also have to make sure they comply and follow any employment laws. Make sure you use the correct documents to record key decisions and company policies. If you need to make a change to an employment contract use a Change to employment terms letter. If you need a worker to work more than 48 hours a week consider asking them to agree using a Working time directive opt-out letter. Displaying a Grievance procedure and Disciplinary procedure is a good way to show employees you are a transparent and open employer.
Sometimes it's necessary to make changes to an employee's employment contract. This could be, for example, because of a change of job title, longer agreed working hours or increased holiday. When making changes, it's important to obtain agreement from any employee affected. Although it's possible to achieve this agreement in advance, by allowing for minor or reasonable changes in the original contract, you should still send out a Change to employment terms letter. This letter will either inform relevant employees that you're changing certain terms (if agreed in the original contract), or else it will be your way of gaining their agreement. It's important to note that you can't unilaterally change an employee's employment contract without prior consent.
Not every situation can be contained in the written contract of employment. Some terms will be implied (ie assumed) into the employment contract to make it work. For example, the employment contract doesn't need to say that the employee will not steal from the employer as this is usually assumed and obvious. For further information, read Implied terms of employment contracts.
The basic rule is that workers must not work more than 48 hours a week when averaged over 17 weeks. This includes on-call time, work done at home and working lunches. If staff work longer or close to the 48-hour limit, it's possible to ask them to opt-out of this working time limit by signing a Working time directive opt-out letter. Employees cannot be pressured into signing an opt-out agreement and must be allowed to withdraw consent if they change their minds. For further information, read How to opt-out staff from the 48 hour week.
Managing staff sickness and absence is one of the most challenging tasks that employers face. If a qualifying employee has been off work for four or more days in a row, employers must pay statutory sick pay at a rate set by the government for up to 28 weeks' qualifying absence. Employers can also offer enhanced sick pay. Employers often set out in an employment contract or sickness policy the period of time that employees will receive enhanced pay, how many absences in a year will trigger a meeting with a superior to discuss sick leave and what time an employee must tell a superior they are taking the day off sick. Create a Sickness policy to incorporate into your business to let employees know what your policy is. For further information, read Sick pay.
Full-time employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days of holiday a year (this can be inclusive or exclusive of bank holidays). The employer's holiday policy should be set out in an employee's Employment contract. For further information, read Employee holidays and understand what you should do to comply with the law.
More businesses are heavily investing in IT and communications equipment to help run and support their business. It's important to create a Communications and equipment policy which will clearly outline to your staff the rules and procedures regarding the access and usage of the IT equipment. For further information, read Employee use of IT.
Employers and businesses must be aware of the relevant laws on intellectual property, data protection and privacy in the workplace. The general rule is that employees who create any intellectual property during the course of their employment will be owned by the employer. For further information, read Employees and intellectual property, Data protection and employees and Protecting confidential information.