Top 10 HR Questions Asked!

Below are some genuine HR queries we have been asked by our clients and members.  If you have an HR question, please contact us today at enquiries@perfecthr.co.uk or call 03337 721 029

Please note that many answers to these questions involve putting the right policies in place.  You can browse our downloadable policies here.

Q: -I have an employee that is working in another business. Can I stop it and how?

A: -Yes, you can stop it, but you must have the right policies in place.

Do you have a policy called “other employment”? This gives you the right to expect your employees to tell you before taking on another job.  If you don’t want them to take that job, if the policy has the right wording – it’s all about the wording in every policy – you can automatically stop them from having a second job.

If your employee already has a second job, you can bring in a new policy, but you cannot automatically stop them from doing the second job unless its detrimental to your business. What you can do is look at their performance. If their performance is slack you can stop them doing the second job through correct procedures, meetings and letters etc.

We can give you further help by email at enquiries@perfecthr.co.uk. You can purchase a downloadable ‘Other Employment’ policies here to edit and adopt, or call us on 03337 721029.

Q: -I have an employee who is off sick regularly or long-term. How do I stop this as it’s costing the company fortunes in agency fees with temporary staff?

A: -First you have to determine the problem. Is the employee really sick? Are they off with children? Are they caring for a member of the family? Or do they have a disability?

Absenteeism has become a real issue for many businesses. You do need some sort of system in place to check whether there is a pattern to these sick days.  If there is a pattern – like every other Friday, the day after payday, three days in the half term – the days off are probably not due to sickness.

If you’ve got the right Sickness Policy in place you can take action.  You must have a policy that allows you to obtain the medical evidence before you move forward, and if you haven’t got that, you must get in writing approval from your employee to request their medical evidence. 

If you need help and assistance on this issue please call email us at enquiries@perfecthr.co.uk. You can purchase a downloadable Sickness Policy and Absenteeism Policy to edit and adopt here.

Q: -I have a bad employee who is causing trouble in the workplace. Am I allowed to sack that employee?

A: -Yes, you can dismiss your employee but be careful – it depends on:

  • how long it has been going on;
  • how much trouble they are causing;
  • whether one of your employees is willing to put an official grievance in writing;
  • how long the employee has worked for you.

The first thing you must do is hold proper consultation meetings with your staff and investigate. Remember this must be done in writing. Then you must bring the disruptive employee in for a disciplinary meeting. 

You can give the disruptive employee a first written warning, a first and final written warning or even a dismissal.  But this depends on your investigation and must be done in writing. 

Please review your Grievance Policy to make sure it’s up-to-date and written correctly.

Perfect HR can provide help and assistance on this issue, please email us at enquiries@perfechr.co.uk. You can purchase a downloadable Grievance Policy here to edit and adopt.

Q: -Do I have to pay for sick days when someone’s ill?

A: -Well, it depends on how many hours your employee works for you each week and for how many days the employee is off sick.  This should all be included in your Sickness Policy.  Plus is it your policy for employees to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or occupational sick pay?

If your employees receive Statutory Sick Pay, this is paid for a maximum of 28 weeks. Remember for the first three working days off sick your employee does not get paid. You start paying SSP on the fourth qualifying day (days an employee usually works on) after they told you they were sick.  

A company cannot reclaim SSP – the cost is on the business. Of course, this is just a quick summary – there is so much more you should have in a Sickness Policy to help your business run smoother.

Our team of HR experts can assist you further with this issue, please email us at enquiries@perfecthr.co.uk . You can purchase a downloadable Sickness Policy here to edit and adopt.

Q: -What can I do if an employee is always late and doesn’t listen. How can I stop this from happening?

A: -Do you have a Lateness Policy? A Lateness Policy can help put an end to this if it has the correct wording i.e. your policy may be to deduct money from the salary of an employee or to take disciplinary action against an employee who is always late.

Please remember to invite the employee into a meeting first in writing, making sure the letter is a transparent and explains why the employee is coming to the meeting. You can then give the employee a warning letter and if it keeps happening you can go down the route of deducting money from their salary and then a disciplinary action with a dismissal.

Be careful you get the correct letters, meeting, procedures correct otherwise you will leave yourself open to a tribunal.

Email our team of HR experts at enquiries@perfecthr.co.uk  for further assistance. You can purchase a downloadable Lateness Policy here to edit and adopt.

Q: -When do I have to give an employee a contract?

A: -Best business practice is to give your new employee a contract on or before their first day. As an employer you must give your employee a contract within eight weeks of starting with your company (or you must prove in writing that you are getting this done for them). This is changing in April 2020 where all employees must receive an Employments Contract on or before their first working day.  

There are many types of contracts available for all types of employees such as Full Time, Part Time, Directors Contracts, Casual Workers, Apprentice, Short Term, Zero Hour and many more.

Also, best practice is you have a 2-4 page contract (called a Statement of Main Terms and Conditions of Employment) together with a staff handbook which incorporates all your policies and procedures, This can be viewed as your rules of engagement! 

As a business owner it’s your duty to keep it all up-to-date (which can be a big challenge).

Perfect HR can help. Call us for further assistance on this issue on 03337 721 029 You can purchase a downloadable Contract and Staff Handbook here to edit and adopt.

Q: -I have an employee who is always on the internet. How can I stop an employee being on the internet without permission, looking for goods on Amazon, booking holidays, going on Facebook etc?

A: -Do you have an Internet and Email Policy? If not, then your employees can go on the internet without recrimination! You must have policies for everything – these are your rules of engagement.  The good news is it’s a very simple policy to bring into operation at any time, if you don’t have one.

If you have an up-to-date policy that states you can take further action when an employee is using the internet for personal reasons in work time, this should stop it immediately. The policy should explain what you require from your staff. Make sure your staff sign to say they have read, understood and agreed with the policy with their name and date.

Perfect HR can give further assistance on this issue – just email us at enquiries@perfecthr.co.uk . You can purchase a downloadable Internet and Email Policy here to edit and adopt, or call us on 03337 721 029 for further assistance.

Q: -What are the legal requirements for an employee, if I want to change their job description?

A: -You must hold consultation meetings in writing with your employee. If the employee has been given a new job description and they know what is required in the new job role, you can then after some time change the job role if the employee is in agreement. But you must give the employee a new contract (a Statement of Main Terms and Conditions of Employment).

If the employee is not in agreement, but due to your business circumstances you have no alternative but to change their job role, then your staff member will have to take that new role or leave your company. Of course, this isn’t a simple matter.

Some example issues that can crop up are:

  • You would like your employee to drive in their new role, but the employee does not have a driving licence.
  • You require an employee to deal with IT in some way, but your employee does not know how to use your IT systems.
  • You require an employee to work with someone who they cannot work with.

There are many reasons to be careful. Perfect HR can help guide you. Email us for further assistance enquiries@perfecthr.co.uk. You can purchase a downloadable Employment Contract and Staff Handbook here to edit and adopt.

Q: -Am I allowed to make an employee redundant and if so, how can I do that?

A: -Firstly, you must be aware that you cannot make an employee redundant. You can only make the position redundant.

If you don’t require a role anymore, you must go through the redundancy procedure in accordance with your Redundancy Policy. You have to have everything in writing and ensure there is a paper trail. And you must consult with your staff member. There are many steps you must go through prior to making a role redundant.

Perfect HR are here to help on 03337 721 029. You can purchase a downloadable Redundancy Policy here to edit and adopt.

Q: -Do I have the right to search someone who I believe is stealing?

A: –Yes, of course you do.  However please make sure you have the correct Right to Search Policy in place, which allows you to search their personal belongings such as bags, car, lockers etc.

Also make sure you have the right to dismiss on the grounds of gross misconduct if someone is caught stealing or with stolen property.  

You should suspend the employee first in writing on full pay while you investigate. You will have to go through the correct procedure with letters and meetings etc. Please don’t get this wrong as it could lead to an employee tribunal.

Perfect HR can help. Email us for further assistance on this issue at enquiries@perfecthr.co.uk . You can also purchase a downloadable Right to Search Policy and Staff Handbook here to edit and adopt.

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