“How much holiday are my workers entitled to? Can my employee take parental leave? This person is off sick a lot, what can I do about it? How do I recruit the best people?”
Employers are expected to be knowledgeable in all areas of their business but having a HR Consultant to guide them through the employment law field is a real weight off their shoulders.
Our Spotlight falls on Fran House of Virtual HR Services based in Calne, Wiltshire.
Virtual HR Services have been established since 2007. Fran is one of the two Directors of the Company who provide HR support to SME’s and medium sized companies with little or no HR support of their own, including companies who are about to take on staff but are not sure where to start.
Coming from a HR career established in IT, manufacturing, blue chip, social housing and retail but also diversifying with the company into education and agriculture, Virtual HR Services can draw from wide range of experience.
Fran is an active member of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development); this keeps her up to date with the ever changing employment law and and provides ongoing training for her. Fran has access to a wide network of HR professionals and this encompasses a wide range of activities such as training, career development, organisational planning, compensation and benefits to name a few.
The HR support that Virtual HR Services provide is operational day to day HR. This can include things like absence management, performance management, recruitment, inductions, probation period supervision, discipline & grievance cases, company policies and procedures, employee handbooks, contracts of employment and offer letters – and all the tools and documentation that goes with all these items. For example, when an person is hired, there are things that need to be checked and signed – an offer letter needs to go out, a contract needs to go out within 8 weeks of their start date. The new employee needs to prove that they have the right to work in the UK by providing evidence such as a passport, birth certificate or visa. The employee needs to be made aware of their rights regarding the Working Time Directive. References should be checked. When they start with the company, they need to be made aware of company policies and procedures as part of their induction. Virtual HR Services will provide all of the forms and templates required for these processes or they could carry out the checks and references on the clients’ behalf.
Virtual HR Services are always up to date with employment legislation changes and make their clients aware and make changes to their procedures and policies as necessary.
Some recent changes in legislation include – in April 2011, the Default Retirement Age of 65 was abolished. So all employers have had to decide whether or not they want to enforce a retirement age or not – and what that age should be. There may be job positions that have a critical need (e.g. health & safety) where you cannot continue working. All employers will have to be very careful about age discrimination and how to go about this. Fran says that she enjoys the challenges of these scenarios, “we look at each case individually and make recommendations accordingly”.
On 1st October 2011, The Equal Treatments for Agency Workers has come into effect. This is due to give agency workers the same basic employment conditions after 12 weeks service in one job as if they had be employed directly.
With these types of cases, Virtual HR would talk to our clients and then propose new procedures to follow as guided by the legislation.
Fran says that they have recently enhanced their HR knowledge in the area of pre-schools and kindergartens and would welcome queries from this type of company in the future.
Virtual HR Services offer a full range of Human Resource services including:
Contracts of Employment
Company Polices & Procedures
Probation Period Assessments
Discipline & Grievance Cases
Employee Database Assistance
Service Level Agreement Contracts for self employed contractors.
Virtual HR Services can be contacted as follows:
Mobile number is 07919 200 476
Link with Fran on Linkedin at http://uk.linkedin.com/in/franceshouse
Fran is on Facebook and has a closed group for Virtual HR Services, please contact Fran if you would like to be added to this group.