Lockdown continues to be a major obstacle for all of us in terms of running our day to day businesses. Without doubt, there has been so many challenges that business owners, and the teams within those businesses, have faced and continue to battle… all with the hope of a return to normal as quickly as possible.

However, during this time when many businesses are facing a slow down and standstill, employers can use this to their advantage to eliminate those nagging, pending HR items that have not quite made the top of the agenda before!

Here are a few things I would recommend to consider:

1.  Reviewing Contracts & Handbooks

Whilst Employment law does not generally change in a ground breaking way all the time (furlough aside!), it is really important to make sure your Contracts of Employment and Employee Handbook are reflective of actual practice, and also protective of your rights as an employer.

Are the rules in the documents what you follow & expect from your team? 

Have you covered your business needs by giving proper thought to confidentiality, restrictive covenants or IP clauses? 

Are your policies realistic and practical to police?

The game of bluffing rarely works, especially because Employment tribunals increasingly look behind the paperwork and dig out the actual practice – which frankly makes total sense!

2.  Holiday leave 

With vacations interrupted, have records been maintained to know who is owed what holiday leave?

Have bookings been cancelled & reflected? 

Employers can, and will be expected, to carry forward 2020 holiday leave for 2 years, so it is vital to have proper records in place – no more EXCEL!

A cloud-based solution is great idea to capture your info – and we have the perfect one in mind!

3.  Personal Development plans 

Whilst some businesses require formal & frequent training, every businesses should focus to development and training of teams. And now is the absolute best time!

Whether it is marketing, social media skills, or even advanced use of platforms such as Teams – this will ensure your team is equipped to fly especially once the economic recovery begins!

Just as important is continuing formal performance appraisal processes, which is vital right now, to help check-in on how your employees are doing, the impact they have had and whether this has been of detriment to themselves, and ultimately their performance.

Remember the aim is not to single out or isolate your staff for not performing – but instead to understand and figure out how to support each other through the challenging pandemic period. But it also gives an opportunity to create a roadmap for the future, giving your team a sense of purpose to work towards.

The aim is to see the light beyond the dark tunnel that we seem destined to continue to travel within for the immediate future…. 

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