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Employment guidance with ACAS

The BBPA and UKHospitality have teamed up with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) to provide all those in the Hospitality sector with guidance on employment, from recruiting onwards.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and UKHospitality have published guidance to assist employers in the sector throughout the employment process. The guidance takes employers from the stage of recruiting a new employee to ending the employment relationship, and has been developed in combination with Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service). Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers, employees and workers on all aspects of good workplace relations and employment law in order to promote business growth. “When things go wrong we help to resolve workplace problems Acas can help at every stage of the employment journey,” says Acas, which offers the following advice.

1. Recruitment - It is important to draft good job descriptions and person specifications, avoiding discriminatory language. Also think about where you advertise the position. We can help you think about how to prepare, structure and run effective interviews, as well as assess evidence and make fair decisions

2. Taking on a new employee - Once somebody starts working for you, you will have to think about their induction. This should cover their terms and conditions, as well as the less formal elements of the culture of the organisation and behaviours expected. This is relevant whether the person is on a permanent contract, an agency worker or on a zero hours contract. It is important to put the main terms and conditions in writing, including: rules on pay, hours of work and holidays. You should check the appropriate rate of pay for your new member of staff, and ensure you are paying people equally and fairly.

Also think about extras, like if there are any in-employment obligations or benefits (eg: mileage expenses or cost of uniforms). The Acas website has template contracts, letters of appointment and other documents which you can download. Managing staff performance fairly and effectively is an important and continuous process. Use appraisals to build trust, engage staff in their work, and improve the performance of the whole organisation.

3. Equal opportunities- At all stages of the employment journey, employers should be mindful of the types of discrimination and the areas which are covered by discrimination law. Acas can help you, and your employees, to stay within the law, and give you advice on what to do if discrimination does take place. We have detailed guidance on each ‘Protected Characteristic’, and equality policy templates to help.

4. Managing absence - Managing sickness absence fairly and effectively is important to ensure your organisation can manage its workload, and your staff are supported appropriately. We can provide advice on managing unauthorised absence, short term illness and long term sickness – and the implications on pay and holidays.

5. Managing discipline -  Many small business owners and line managers find dealing effectively with discipline and grievance one of the most challenging elements of their work. The Acas Code of Practice can help. Acas recommends that dealing with a problem quickly and informally can often resolve it before it gets out of hand. We also provide templates and advice on holding formal disciplinary meetings and dealing with employee grievances.

6. Ending the employment relationship - Acas receives a lot of queries about how, and when, to transfer employees from one employer to another. It can be complicated, but the Acas website provides simple explanations of the process and what you have to do, as well as videos and e-learning.

In other circumstances where the employment relationship has to end, whether due to dismissal, redundancy or retirement, we have a range of support and advice to help you manage these processes lawfully and fairly. We also provide information and rules relating to notice and notice pay. In addition to our advice and guidance services, Acas also provides a statutory dispute resolution service. If somebody wants to take their employer, or ex-employer, to an Employment Tribunal, they have to come to Acas first. We will try to assist in finding an amicable resolution. This service is voluntary, free and confidential. If an employer is concerned that an Employment Tribunal claim is going to be made against them they can also initiate this process by contacting the Acas Early Conciliation Support Team. 

CONTACT DETAILS
For more information visit www.acas.org.uk/contact.

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