Q: How do I get employees to opt out of working a 48 hour week?
You can ask employees to opt out for a certain period or indefinitely. It must be voluntary and in writing. Refer to gov.uk guidance on how to opt out.
Q: How do I communicate data protection to an employee?
You can no longer ask for the employee’s consent to process their personal data in the employment contract. Instead you need to provide your employee with a privacy notice to outline what personal data you will collect and why, and what the employee’s rights are. The ICO provide information.
Q: Do I need to vary an employment contract if the employee is now working from home and no longer working from the workplace?
Yes – ACAS outlines the approach you should take.
Q: Can I offer an occupational pension scheme to employees on fixed term contracts?
If an employee meets the eligibility criteria for pension auto-enrolment then they should be enrolled irrespective of their contract type. The Pensions Regulator provides further information.
Q: If the employee works 9 – 5 pm, 5 days a week with an hour for lunch which is unpaid – are they on a 35 or 40 hour week contract?
35 hours as you only count hours that the employee works for you and that you pay for.
Q: Do you have to give reasons why an employee is unsuitable for a role if you wish to terminate their employment during a probationary period?
It is always best practice to manage the performance of an employee in probation and have an audit trail of meetings, support/training provided and performance against set objectives to justify any non-confirmation of appointment. If you have no evidence then it makes it much more difficult for you to defend any potential unfair dismissal claims made on the basis of discrimination, whistleblowing or health and safety grounds.
Q: How can I clarify the employment status of our self-employed cleaner?
Use the HMRC employment status calculator to get a view on whether you, as an employer, are liable for tax.
I have provided some information on employment status in various blogs.