• kerriscrook

Ten Steps to strengthen your HR and get your business ready for 2021.

Updated: Jan 11

2020 has been such an unusual year and next year is also looking rather uncertain with the concerns regarding Coronavirus and Brexit set to continue. It's important that your HR provision is as strong as possible to support your business throughout 2021.

Here are 10 steps that you can take now to strengthen your HR and get your business ready for 2021.

1. Workforce Structure

Review your workforce structure to ensure that it meets your current needs and your future needs as far as possible. This includes the number of employees that you have, their skills, their salary, and their contract. Implement solutions to address any concerns.

2. Job Descriptions

Review your employees’ job descriptions to be confident that they accurately reflect your employees’ responsibilities. Do your employment contracts contain a relevant flexibility clause or variation term allowing you to change your employee's job if required? If you are unsure then you should obtain the employee’s written consent before amending their duties.

3. Employment Contracts

Check that your employment contracts contain the correct information and provide the right level of flexibility to enable you to make the changes that you require. From 6 April 2020 all workers should be provided with a written statement of employment from their first day with your Company. It is important to consult with employees before changing their contract. Any changes made should be confirmed in writing within one month of the change.

4. Employee Handbook / Policies

Your policies should be reviewed at least every 6 months or when legal changes are introduced. Employment law changes are typically introduced in April and October. This April saw the introduction of the Right to Parental Bereavement Leave and changes to agency workers (Swedish derogation). You are legally allowed to change your employment policies without obtaining your employees’ consent as long as they are non-contractual.

5. Communication

Communicate with your employees to maintain motivation and engagement. Employees want to receive up-to-date information on your business plans as much as this is possible, and they also want you to show an understanding of their personal concerns. Include employees working from home, on furlough, and on long-term sick and maternity leave.

6. Sickness

Ensure that you are receiving fit notes to cover any sickness and that you are communicating with employees on a regular basis. Seek to obtain a medical report for any employees who have been on long-term sick leave for longer than 4 weeks.

If any of your employees have persistent short-term absence, aim to understand the cause, identify any work-related factors, ensure that you conduct return to work interviews and be clear about the improvement that is required. You should be prepared to consider taking action in line with your formal procedure if there is insufficient improvement.

7. Annual Leave

Keep track of the amount of leave that your employees have taken to help ensure that they are not all trying to take leave at the same time. You can require employees to take holiday on specific dates as long as you provide the required notice.

8. Performance Reviews

Ensure your employees understand what is expected from them, and that they have the necessary skills, resources and support to achieve this. Manage any under performers accordingly. Also conduct regular reviews of any employees who are on probation.

9. Salary Reviews

Conduct a review of your salary structure. Consider freezing the salaries of any employees who are being overpaid. You should maintain transparency, apply good business reasons, and make sure that you do not discriminate.

10. Employees’ Records

Check that your records are held securely, are accurate and that you are only keeping the information that you need.

If you would like any support with any of these areas then I would be delighted to help you.

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