Are your employment contracts up to date with the latest legislation?

We’ve never had a year like it. Rapid organisational changes brought on by lockdown, government furlough schemes and economic instability. In the light of everything else that 2020 has thrown at businesses, you may have missed some of the new employment legislation that came into force this year.

Whatever the size of your business, it’s vital that your HR processes and employment contracts stay up to date with all of the latest legislation. Make sure you haven’t missed any of the following:

National Minimum Wage changes

Ensure that your contracts reflect the latest increases in National Minimum Wage, which increased in April 2020 to £8.72 for workers over 25, £8.20 for those aged 21–24, £6.45 for workers aged 18–20, and £4.55 for those who are 16 and 17.

It’s vital that your organisation has the proper pay records to prove it has complied with minimum wage increases.

Parental bereavement leave and pay

2020 saw the introduction of “Jack’s Law”. Parents who experience the death of a child are now entitled to up to two weeks parental bereavement leave, with a statutory minimum rate of pay. 

This entitlement also applies where parents have experienced a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Make sure that your leave policies cover this new right, and that managers are equipped to administer it properly.

Increases in other statutory payments

Ensure that your contracts and policies include the new higher rates of statutory pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay, which rose to £151.20 per week this year. Statutory sick pay also rose, and is now £95.85 per week.

Also, be aware that statutory sick pay for employees with coronavirus begins on day one of their sickness absence, rather than requiring three ‘waiting days’ before coming into effect. This will also need to be reflected in your sick leave procedures.

Written statements for all workers from day one

A further major change to employment legislation this year means that all workers require a written statement of terms and conditions. Previously this was only required for employees, and not for casual or zero hours workers.

There is also no longer a minimum length of service before receiving a written statement. All workers will require one on their first day of employment.

Employers will also have to include details such as training, probation period, rights to any paid leave such as maternity/paternity etc. and detail any additional bonuses within the employment contract. 

Holiday pay for workers on irregular hours

New legislation in 2020 requires businesses to calculate holiday pay for workers on irregular hours (such as seasonal staff) differently. The reference period for calculating holiday pay changes from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

This will require an adjustment in how HR teams and businesses calculate holiday pay allowances, which will need to be reflected in employment contracts for workers on irregular hours.

Keep your business up to date

Make sure that your business stays up to date with all the latest changes in legislation. If you’d like a free contract review, please get in touch with us

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Three ways to invest in your company culture during a crisis

It’s natural, during times of crisis, to retreat into survival mode. But crises — whether they’re internal or external — are opportunities to continue investing in your company culture, to ensure you’re building the business you want to build, staying on mission and giving your teams the opportunity to thrive.

Here are three ways you can continue to invest in your company culture, even during times of crisis.

Increase perks, don’t cut them

People make organisations. And stressed-out, overwhelmed people aren’t what you need right now. 

Rather than a knee-jerk reaction to cut perks during this time, consider what employee perks will really serve your team and your business. Focus on health and wellness-boosting deliveries or online subscriptions.

Anything you can do right now to boost employee appreciation will reap big rewards. In 2019, staff turnover, sickness and lost productivity resulting from poor mental health cost UK employers £42bn. This reinforces the fact that improved physical and emotional wellbeing programs are worth investing in. 

Recognise and reward staff — and not just for performance

It doesn’t take much to make sure you’re giving recognition to team members for a job well done. And a little recognition and reward can go a long way.

During times of crisis, with shifts in working patterns and environments, it’s natural that some staff will appear to be less productive than usual. So make sure that you’re also recognising and rewarding team members for the quality of their work, their attitude, and even acts of kindness or charity work.

Explore virtual team building

Don’t neglect team building, even if you can’t all get together in person. A quick Google search will take a lot of the legwork out of finding good team building games and apps you can all take part in online – and have great fun doing so.

Make sure you find a balance that works for your company and your people. Nobody needs to have a mandatory daily quiz booked in, but well-timed and organised team building can work wonders for cohesiveness, trust and communication.

We want to make the transition back to work as smooth as possible. Download our free Returning To Work guide here.

How 360 feedback can help you make important cultural changes in your business

If you want your organisation to strive towards constant improvement and help your managers become better leaders, performance review should never be just a one-way street. 360 feedback, as the name suggests, draws on multiple perspectives, including peers, direct reports, teams, senior staff and even clients. This can form a broader and more objective understanding of somebody’s performance, or the success of a particular project.

360 feedback is also an excellent tool to help you make important cultural changes within your business. Here are four reasons why.

A culture of openness leads to more cohesive teams

By its nature, 360 feedback fosters a culture of openness, in which team members at all levels are reminded that their honest opinion is vital to the success of the exercise.

Teams which can communicate honestly without fear of reprisals or awkwardness become more cohesive, and ultimately more productive. 

Everyone’s voice is heard

By drawing in voices from all levels of your company’s hierarchy, 360 feedback can help to ensure that the changes you’re making are actually going to bring about the benefits you hope.

Imagine a new system being brought in by a manager without first consulting with the team who are going to be using the system, finding out their pain points and requirements. Attempting to push through cultural change without understanding voices at all levels can have a similar effect.

Empowered employees are likely to be more loyal

In a recent Hubspot survey, 69% of workers interviewed said that they would work harder if they felt more appreciated. Where employees feel engaged, empowered and appreciated you can expect a boost in quality of work, and also in company loyalty.

Seeking 360 feedback is one step towards empowering employees, giving them buy-in to the culture and mission of your business. In turn this can boost productivity and loyalty, and reduce the costs of employee turnover.

Must be acted upon to see continuous improvement

There’s a catch, however. To achieve all of the above and see the continuous improvement you’re longing for, 360 feedback needs to be paired with action. 

Ensure that you set in place a clear roadmap to weigh and act on the outcomes of your 360 feedback process, and communicate with the whole team why and how you’ve done so.

Do you need a robust and effective 360 feedback process for your business? Speak to one of our team for a free 30 minute consultation.