Employment Contracts And Policies And Procedures
What do they say?
It is important to ensure your employment contracts are drafted to allow you to get the most from your employee and to offer you the greatest protection;
- A mobility clause may allow you to reasonably alter an employee’s place of work
- Stating the number of hours per week an employee is to work rather than stating their start and finish times may ensure greater flexibility of working hours;
- Restrictive covenants for senior employees and sales staff may help protect your business;
- Ensuring that disciplinary and grievance or other procedures are non-contractual so they can be updated and amended;
- Ability to make a lawful deduction from an employee’s wages.
You may also want to ensure your policies and procedures are up to date, these could include;
- Alcohol and Drugs;
- Parental Leave;
- Shared Parental Leave
- Sickness Management;
- Social Media;
Now you have the policies, it is important to make sure you follow them…
- Policies and procedures must be followed fairly;
- They also must be done consistently; it is important that all employees are treated the same and receive the same sanctions for the same conduct;
- This would mean that action taken is objectively justifiable;
- You will need to ensure that you have not discriminated against individual employees in following certain processes and;
- The process followed is a reasonable one; would a reasonable employer have reached a similar decision?
- In order to assist you in ensuring your procedures are fair it is important to consider the ACAS code of practice
What should you bear in mind…
In order to ensure that you are making the time count:
- Avoid turning an informal meeting into a formal meeting;
- Matters should be dealt with promptly;
- Suspending an employee should be for a reasonable time only;
- Ensure sufficient time between the notice of meeting and the meeting date;
- Inform the employee of the reasons for dismissal within 14 days;
- Allow 5 working days for the employee to appeal the outcome of a process.
Notes and minutes
Why is documenting the process so important?
- It is important that there is a paper trail that supports the allegations made against the employee;
- A note taker should be present in formal meetings with the employee;
- Copies of the minutes should be made available to the employee shortly after the meeting;
- Witness statements should be taken and other investigatory evidence should be provided to the employee before any meeting to discuss them;
- This is good preparation should the matter proceed to an Employment Tribunal, as it helps demonstrate the process you followed.
Appropriate chairs of meetings
Who should the meeting chairs be?
The initial meeting – Manager;
An appeal meeting – a Senior Manager who has not been involved in the previous investigations
What should you put in writing?
- Inform the employee of the allegations against them and the action that could be taken at the end of the process, if the allegations are upheld;
- Provide the employee with all supporting evidence against them, prior to the meeting;
- Include the date, time and venue of each meeting;
- Inform the employee of their right to be accompanied.
Need some advice?
Talk to Tollers! We are HeRe for you.
Tollers’ Employment Law Team are here to help should you have any queries regarding this article, do not hesitate to contact us on 01604 258558.