At HR Revolution, we’ve heard our fair share of HR myths and misinformation, so we thought we would list below the most common ones and why they are just that…
Employees don’t have a contract unless there is something in writing
A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee whether it is verbal or in writing. Once work has commenced the employment relationship has been forged. A full contract of employment does not need to be given writing to make the agreement legally binding, however it is worth bearing in mind that it is a legal requirement for an employer to provide at least a statement of written particulars to an employee within one month of starting.
You can’t make a pregnant employee redundant
Yes you can. However it must be a fair procedure, you have to be very careful that there is no risk of discrimination in the selection process. Also be mindful that once a pregnant employee goes on maternity leave, they have extra legal protection by having first option on any available positions that they are qualified to do if placed at risk of redundancy. Make sure you take HR advice!!!
No one can take you to tribunal without two years’ service
It is a common misconception among employers that dismissing an employee who does not have two years of service will mean that they are “safe” from an employment tribunal claim. But an employee can and for a range of reasons such as discrimination related to any of the nine protected characteristics, like underpayment of wages of the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage, breach of working-time regulations in terms of holiday pay or a breach of contract.
I can decide if I want someone to be self-employed
No, there are strict rules for deciding the status of people in a business. It is unhelpful that HMRC and employment law rules are different in deciding if someone is an employee, a worker or self-employed as the recent cases of Uber and Pimlico Plumbers can attest!
You don’t have to give part-time employees the same benefits as full-time employees
Part-time employees must suffer no disadvantage, so must have the same benefits as full-time employees. Many benefits can be pro-rated for part-time employees, such as holiday allowance.
Casual and zero-hour employees do not get holiday
All employees and workers accrue statutory holiday from day one. This is 5.6 weeks prorated to hours worked.
I am not able to contact sick employees
Not at all, as an employer you have a ‘duty of care’ to keep in touch with a sick employee when they are signed-off to see how they are. However, this doesn’t entail daily calls and emails as this could lead to a harassment case. Also, regular contact should not just focus on their return to work, but their well-being and if any realistic adjustments could be implemented to help their return.
So there you have it a few HR myths debunked…
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