Many of us, in time-honoured fashion, will be thinking about how we can be healthier and fitter in 2019 after the excesses of the festive season, and some of us may be taking part in Veganuary to help us kick start this new healthy way of life.
Of those who try it, many will declare it not for them come February, but with veganism estimated to have had a 360% rise in the UK during the past decade, we have to consider whether many more people will become vegans in the future and this adds weight to the question of whether veganism should have a protected status in the workplace.
We often have clients who contact us about making employees redundant and our first question is always “is it really a redundancy?”
For many employers, redundancy can seem to be an easy option to deal with all manner of situations. A key part of our job is to make sure that this would be a fair redundancy and that redundancy is really what’s needed.
There’s nothing like a possible redundancy process to make people pay attention to their length of service. For the first time since they signed their employment contract many years previously, employees will be dusting off their employment documentation and double-checking the severance payment calculations their employer has calculated for them. This is often particularly the case when the company redundancy payment on offer is more generous than the statutory sum.
It is at this stage that we often find the continuous service debate raises its head.
Redundancies are often part of the natural cycle of a business and we regularly help organisations with practical support and legal guidance during this difficult time. However, a difficult time can be made all the more tricky by a few common pitfalls that can catch out even the most diligent employer.
We would probably all agree that having regular ‘check ups’ is essential for ensuring smooth running of any machine, organism or an organisation. We go to see our doctor to check our state of health, we take our car for a regular MOT and we definitely ensure that our business finances receive a thorough annual audit but more often than not – we stop there.
Each business is made up of a number of function that all play vital roles in ensuring a smooth operation. Finance just happens to be the one that receives biggest scrutiny for operational efficiency and accuracy and the statutory requirements mean that this area can’t be ignored. But what about everything else? And what about HR in particular? Your business changes frequently and employment law changes frequently so how do you make sure that your HR function keeps up-to-date?
When I ask people managers what part of their role they enjoy the least, it is really common to hear them refer to performance management and more specifically dealing with any under-performance that needs to be addressed.
There is just something about needing to ‘point something out’ or ‘tell someone that they are not doing great’ that makes us uncomfortable. We all naturally want to be liked and have a well-functioning team where everyone is happy and so just the prospect of something getting in the way of this makes us want to avoid it at all cost.
The media has been filled with articles on sexual harassment scandals that have brought internal complaints policies and procedures to the attention of many HR professionals and business owners. The news stories have highlighted that having functioning and thorough internal complaints investigation procedures is very important in ensuring a healthy and harassment/discrimination free workplace.
Wouldn’t you just love to have a team of well-behaved fantastic performers who make your life a joy each day you are at work?
This could be called a ‘manager’s dream’ but the reality is often quite the opposite. You are busy with work, have targets to hit and objectives to achieve and then there is your team. Some are doing their job and doing it well, others might even be exceeding your expectations and then there are those that just always create issues or do not perform to the level that you’d like them to.