Why HR should be part of your New Year’s business resolutions

Are you up to speed with the latest changes in employment law?

The festive period means that many of us have enjoyed a week or two off work. However, some are now looking to go on a post-Christmas diet, join the local gym or give up alcohol. For your business, the best resolutions should include HR.
For small businesses, it can be easy to get swept up in the day-to-day running of the company and not take stock of how far you’ve come and where you want to be. Systems and processes have likely developed in the last year and there have been some changes to holiday pay. This means that a rewrite of the employee handbook might be best done now – before even more progress is made.
With lots of changes to employment law last year, a complete HR audit might even be a good idea. Look at the wording in employee contracts and make sure they’re up-to-date. There were big cases about internet privacysexual harassment and diabetes in the workplace.
If you’re thinking about recruiting new staff, writing an employee handbook might be a great idea to add to the New Year’s to-do list. When employees first join they should read it thoroughly, so make sure the handbook reflects your culture and gives a warm welcome – because you don’t want it to sound like an invitation to work in a prison!
Preventing people problems
No employer anticipates having problems with their staff. However, making sure grievance and disciplinary procedures are clear and meet the ACAS code can save you a headache later on in the year – particularly if you try to discipline an employee and get it wrong.
Last July, tribunal fees were abolished in the UK, meaning that employees can now take their bosses to court for no charge. Not taking advice can cost you further down the line.
Sponsored by
Ian heads up the HR Dept Edinburgh & the Lothians team. The HR Dept specialises in helping SMEs with everything to with employment, through a local and personal service delivering practical and pragmatic advice and support. With nearly 30 years HR experience, Ian has a wealth of experience in helping businesses to ensure success through their people, be legally compliant and handle tricky people issues. As a business owner himself, Ian understands the challenges that come with running and growing a business. He is known for his ability to explain complex concepts simply and to make learning fun and enjoyable.