OUTSOURCED HR SUPPORT

Working with you as an extension of your team, we provide HR support to your business, giving you peace of mind and support in managing all aspects of HR.

Our HR Manager support package provides support to your business in the same way you would expect if you employed an HR Manager.

CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT

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EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK

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DISCIPLINARIES

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EMPLOYEE ABSENCE

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GRIEVANCES

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PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

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REDUNDANCY

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HR INFORMATION SYSTEMS

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COVID-19 SUPPORT

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CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT

What is a contract of employment?

A contract of employment is a legally binding agreement between your business (the employer) and your employees. It is a legal requirement that you provide your employees with a written statement of particulars from their first day of employment.

Ensuring your employees have accurate and up to date contracts of employment will help you meet your legal obligations. Contracts should also be bespoke to meet your business requirements.

I give my employees an employment contract, do I need to review this?

Employment law is constantly changing. We recommend that your employment contracts are reviewed regularly. This ensures they are relevant to your business and legally compliant.

How can Sweet HR help?

As well as reviewing your contracts, we can assist with transitioning your team onto new terms and conditions. We can also support you with any difficulties that may arise as part of this process.

EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK

What is an employee handbook and what is the benefit to my business?

Creating an employee handbook that is more than a list of HR policies can be a challenging task.

An effective handbook should be a resource for your staff to refer to throughout their employment. It will also help your team to understand your business values, aims and goals.

Your employee handbook will be unique to your business and will set out key policies and procedures. These could include:

  • holiday entitlement
  • parental leave
  • sickness and absence
  • disciplinary and grievance
  • health and safety
  • redundancy

Setting these out provides consistency and transparency about how your business will approach several aspects of employment.

Is there more to an Employee Handbook than our HR policies and procedures?

Having policies and procedures in place can protect your business and enhance your contracts of employment. It can also help demonstrate a consistent and transparent approach to managing your team.

Your employee handbook is also an opportunity to set out what you expect from your employment relationship. You can use it to reinforce the culture, values and goals of your business.

Being paperless matters to my business.

Integrating your employee handbook into a HR Information System not only removes the need for paper copies but also offers wider benefits.

With the increase in remote working, having your handbook in a system allows staff to access up to date information quickly and easily.

How can Sweet HR help?

We are experienced in producing employee handbooks for a range of businesses, from under 10 to over 20,000 employees. We have also prepared handbooks for companies operating internationally.

We always take a bespoke approach that fits with the values, aims and goals of your business. We also ensure we follow HR best practice and up to date employment law.

DISCIPLINARIES

How can I avoid poor conduct?

By communicating with your team on how you expect business to be done and what conduct you expect, this will help your business run effectively. When issues arise, minor conduct matters can usually be handled informally. Often addressing your concern with an employee in this way will resolve the problem.

However, there are circumstances where a formal disciplinary process should be followed. This could be due to the nature of the conduct issue or where it may lead to an employee being dismissed.

What is involved in a disciplinary process?

Your business should always aim to follow a fair and consistent disciplinary procedure that follows the Acas Code of Practice: Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.

A disciplinary process will usually involve an investigation, a disciplinary hearing, an outcome and an opportunity to appeal. Employees should be kept informed throughout the process. Records should be kept of the procedure and any communication.

Where the outcome is a formal disciplinary sanction, this is likely to be a warning or in more serious cases dismissal from employment. Consideration should be given to what sanction is reasonable in each particular circumstance.

How can Sweet HR help?

We can help you by setting conduct guidelines and helping you to communicate with your team when it comes to your expectations. If and when there is a need to follow a disciplinary procedure, we can guide and support you through this process.

EMPLOYEE ABSENCE

Why does employee absence matter?

Employee absence can have a significant impact on your business. It can result in lost time and significant cost. It can also impact on team morale and reduction in ability and standards within your business. According to the CIPD health and wellbeing survey 2020, average sickness absence is now 5.8 days per employee.

How can I improve employee absence?

Managing absence effectively involves striking the right balance between being supportive and considering the impact the absence is having on your business. The starting point would usually be to have an open conversation with your employee about their absence to support your employee.

Having attendance and absence policies in place will help your business apply a fair and consistent approach to managing absence. It will also indicate to your team what is expected and how any absence will be managed should you have concerns.

All employers have a duty of care for the physical and mental health and well-being of their team. By being proactive when it comes to focussing on employee health and wellbeing, this can help demonstrate that you care about your team. It can also help to increase employee engagement and commitment to the success of your business.

How can Sweet HR help?

We can help by ensuring your business has effective policies in place to consistently manage absence. We can support the monitoring of absence and help with the process of managing employee absence. If you are interested in taking a more proactive and strategic approach to employee wellbeing and engagement, you can find out more in our Employee Engagement section.

GRIEVANCES

What is conflict in the workplace?

Occasionally difficulties can arise during the employment relationship.

Conflict in the workplace can take several forms. This could be an individual raising a grievance about working practices. There could be a problem between an employee and their manager or a conflict between two colleagues.

Situations such as this can be stressful and time-consuming. They should be resolved so that an employee and the business can move forward.

How should conflicts be handled?

Many issues can be avoided by encouraging open discussions on a day-to-day basis. This will help create trust between you and your employees. It is also more likely that any concerns are highlighted and addressed informally before a conflict becomes a formal grievance.

What if an informal approach hasn’t resolved the conflict?

If an informal approach has not resolved the concerns, a grievance procedure should be followed. This will help to ensure a consistent and fair approach to resolving conflicts at work. This procedure should follow the Acas Code of Practice: Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.

How can Sweet HR help?

Firstly, we can help to create ways to open up the means of communicating with your team. By doing this, this can minimise formal grievances arising in the future. We can also assist by ensuring you have a clear and consistent grievance policy and procedure in place. We can support further by working through the process with you when the need arises.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

What is performance management and why is it important?

Performance management is activities and processes that focus on improving the performance of your team in line with your business values and goals. By being clear with your team about what is expected and what you need them to achieve, this will help keep them focussed, motivated and accountable. It will also help you and your employees identify areas of development and support to help your team achieve the goals and objectives you set.

What is involved in managing performance?

There are no one-size-fits-all approaches with performance management. It often involves informal regular, open and supportive feedback on progress towards goals and objectives. It can also include less frequent and more formal processes, such as annual performance appraisals. Although a formal process can help to ensure a consistent approach, we believe regular discussions about business goals and individual objectives will keep both you and your employee on track to succeed.

How can Sweet HR help?

We can help you determine the most appropriate way to manage your team’s performance and implement activities and processes that support you to do this effectively. In circumstances where you have concerns about an employees’ performance, we can support you through this process.

REDUNDANCY & RESTRUCTURING

What is redundancy and when should I consider it?

Redundancy is a form of dismissal that happens when a business needs to restructure its team. This could be because it no longer requires employees to perform a specific type of work or to conduct it at a particular location.

Making redundancies can be an extremely challenging and upsetting process for both you as a business owner and your team. Your team can bring the greatest value to your business, yet they can also be your biggest business cost. Redundancies may be necessary once all other options have been explored.

A redundancy process should be handled sensitively and demonstrate that you have worked through a fair process. It should also consider how morale and productivity can continue for the team that will remain. Every business should consider having a redundancy procedure in place in the eventuality that it needs to undertake a redundancy process.

What is involved in a redundancy process?

The exact procedure and legal requirements are dependent on the size and scale of those that will be affected by the redundancy process.

As a minimum, a redundancy process involves planning and consultation with your team, selection for redundancy, confirming this in writing and giving an opportunity to appeal. Consideration should also be given to suitable alternative work within your business.

There is a direct cost of contractual or statutory redundancy payments that redundant employees are entitled to after two or more years’ service with your business. There is also an indirect cost often associated with redundancies in time, increased employee turnover and decreased performance as a result of reduced morale and engagement.

How can Sweet HR help?

We can help you by establishing a redundancy procedure and guiding you through the process. Our team can also help with outplacement support. This involves helping your employees to refresh their interview skills and supporting them with re-drafting their CVs. We can also help you to recover and reset team morale following a redundancy process.

HR INFORMATION SUPPORT SYSTEM

What is a HR Information System?

A HR Information System (HRIS) helps to manage your HR administration all in one easily accessible place. It provides a solution for your everyday HR tasks that can also link to your HR and people strategy.

Why would a HR Information System benefit my business?

An HRIS allows you to do the following:

⇒ Have your Employee Handbook and HR policies in one, easily accessible location

⇒ Store your employee data in one place

⇒ Manage holiday requests and keep track of annual leave entitlements

⇒ Manage sickness and other absences

⇒ Manage employee expenses

⇒ Track and record employee time

⇒ And more….

How can Sweet HR help?

We can help you establish whether implementing an HR Information System is right for you and your business. We can also look at what ways it will work best for you to save you time. We can support the implementation of an HRIS and communicate the benefits to your team.

COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORT

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on businesses in various ways. This includes getting to grips with furlough and the job retention scheme. It has also involved adapting to new ways of working, including allowing your team to work from home. There is also the requirement to undertake thorough risk assessments to ensure your business is COVID-secure.

As a business owner, there is a lot to think about and consider.

How can Sweet HR help?

We can support your business to deal with the HR support challenges you are facing as a result of COVID-19. This is a bespoke service supporting you and your team but can include:

⇒ Supporting team members return following a period of furlough.

⇒ Reviewing, updating and adapting your HR policies and procedures to incorporate COVID-19 guidance.

⇒ Supporting the implementation of remote and flexible working.

⇒ Support with devising a COVID-secure risk assessment.

⇒ Advice on redundancy and restructuring.