As lockdown has now lifted, many businesses are largely open but faced with an uncertain and challenging winter. In the early stages of lockdown, Law At Work provided many organisations with employment advice as part of the Jersey Business HR surgery scheme.
During this time, we discovered some common issues among employers. Many small business owners found their employment documents have become outdated due to new legislation or have not been resilient enough to withstand unexpected changes and challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important for employers to have strong employment documents, like contracts of employment and employee handbooks, not only to ensure that staff know what is expected of them but to also protect the business owner.
The HR surgery also showed us there is a significant demand for small businesses to obtain urgent human resources and health & safety advice, especially during periods of change. Employers need accurate and practical advice that extends beyond just the bare minimum of explaining what their legal obligations are. Having access to comprehensive advice helps employers protect their business and avoid or mitigate the risks that often affect small businesses, such as business interruption and financial issues. Small businesses are exposed to risks all the time and so may require advice frequently. However, this type of advice is usually outside the scope of small business owners, as the upfront costs can be significantly above their budget.
With so much uncertainty for employers in this period, many small business owners are not sure what the future holds. A second wave of the virus, partial or even complete lockdowns are possibilities that would drastically affect small businesses, as they did earlier this year. If employers have to face unexpected changes again, they may still be unprepared as their documents and resources are still unreliable.
In addition, many small business owners are concerned about the large costs associated with a tribunal case if they get their HR processes wrong. It is the case that even if the employer wins at a Tribunal that they will be unable to recover their costs.
After talking to a number of small business owners, Law At Work is introducing three new packages for small businesses that we believe will help meet the needs of the small business owner at an affordable price. We also understand the cash flow pressures of running a small business, and have also introduced payment options that reflect this.
|Employment Advice & Documents||Insurance to Protect Against Employment Claims|
|All employers are required by law to provide basic contractual information to their employees, and for small businesses, this typically comprises contracts of employment. Our approach in this package is to take your current contract and build it into a number of sector-specific clauses, to provide a broader range of protection for business owners if matters go wrong.||Getting early advice can be the key to ensuring employment issues do not escalate or result in undue risks to your business. Combining documents and advice will give your business the best approach to managing potential risks.
|Law At Work’s advice is designed to prevent and manage issues within your business to avoid and minimise the risk of a claim being made against you. However, in the even that you are taken to the tribunal, it’s crucial that you have adequate cover.
|This service includes:
1. A meeting with an HR business manager to talk through the protections your business may require in your new contracts of employment.
2. A draft suite of documents. This suite would include a new Statement of Employment Terms (contract), the essential employment protection clauses identified, and numerous policies. Policies would include Disciplinary, Grievance, Capability, Parental Leave, and other necessary policies we identify with you.
3. Guidance and written template letters to introduce, consult, and implement the new documents.
|This service includes:
1. All elements of Package 1.
2. 12 months of access to our team of HR and H&S specialists. This access would allow you to seek advice, request letters for staff, and request scripts to use if you need to have difficult conversations with employees.
Depending on your need, this package is available at different levels which we can vary upon request.
|This service includes:
1. Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) which provides business owners with protection against claims made by employees that the Employment & Discrimination Tribunal may award. It also covers all advocacy costs of any Tribunal defence, providing Law at Work advice is taken and followed.
2. A substantial discount on the regular cost of EPLI on the basis of being a Law At Work client.
Questions we regularly receive about these packages include;
Q: Can I customise or change what documents I receive through these packages?
A: As these packages are discounted, the types of documents are fixed. Although, and most importantly, each will be personalised to your industry and internal practices.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of hours of advice I can buy?
A: No, there is no limit. In addition, if you use all the hours you have purchased you are able to purchase additional hours at a discounted rate.
Q: What if I don’t need employment documents, but still need advice?
A: If our current packages do not suit your needs, please contact Law At Work and we will create a bespoke package for your business.
Q: Is there anything I can’t ask for advice on with this package?
A: There are some very specialist services which are not available, and details of these will be provided with any formal quotation. For most needs, the package will be sufficient for many businesses.
Q: Can I get EPLI insurance cover through you without signing up for one of the other packages?
A: The discounted rates are only available if the advice package is included.
Q: How long will it take to get a quote for EPLI?
A: Just a few days. You will need to co
We hope that these packages will offer small business owners the opportunity to access quality employment advice while taking into account the budget limitations many small businesses face.
If you’re interested in finding out more or are considering using our services, please contact us to discuss them further. Alternatively, if you think your business needs do not exactly fit into one of our packages, please email email@example.com, and we can create a bespoke proposal to meet your exact requirements.