Author Archives: teresarice

When do I pay my staff sick pay?

So, the first thing you need to know about sick pay is when you pay it, how much you pay and for how long and this will depend on your Contracts of Employment. We are going to talk here about Statutory Sick Pay, however you may have different sick pay clauses in your Contracts and you are obliged to meet these obligations. 

So, if your contract states that you will pay Statutory Sick Pay then the following applies:

• You pay SSP once your employee has been off work for 4 consecutive days (the first three days are unpaid)

• The current rate of SSP is £95.85 per week (December 2020)

• SSP is payable for a maximum of 28 weeks

Filled Under: Pay Posted on: 2nd November 2020

When should I employ my freelancers?

Many businesses use freelancers, especially when they need specific skills temporarily or perhaps if the business’ needs fluctuate. The important thing to remember about freelancers is that whether they work for you or are self employed it mostly comes down to what other work they have. If you are the only person or business they provide their freelance services to, then you should be employing them. In order to be self employed they MUST have income from more than one source.

Filled Under: Contracts Posted on: 2nd November 2020

How can I find out whether a new staff member has the right to work in the UK?

One of the most important factors here is not discriminating against prospective staff because of their nationality, colour, race, ethnic origins or any other factor, so you should ask ALL new employees for proof of their eligibility to work in the UK.

The list of documents that are acceptable proof is on the Government website Just because a person is not able to produce documents does not mean they are in the UK illegally. You can refer them to the UK Border Agency for further assistance.

Remember it is a criminal offence to employ a person who is not allowed to work in the UK and you could face a civil penalty fine of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker!

Filled Under: Recruiting Posted on: 25th August 2020

Do I still have to pay my staff if they can’t get to work due to bad weather

You do not have to pay your staff if they fail to attend work or if they are late due to bad weather. The fact that their absence is not their fault does not mean that you have to pay them. You only have to pay your staff if they are ready, willing and able for work. However you do need to be sure that there is no provision in their contract of employment regarding this.

This is the letter of the law, however you may wish to consider making provision for your staff if they have problems with public transport or child care. There may be options in adjusting their working hours or allowing them to work from home.

Filled Under: Pay Posted on: 25th August 2020

What can I do about regular staff absences?

Everyone will be ill from time to time, however regular staff absences cause disruption and cost a business money. These are especially disruptive for the small business.

As an employer you have the right to manage staff absences and ensure that employees are aware of the disruption they cause.

You should have a clear policy on how absence will be managed and ensure that everyone is aware of the policy so that it is adopted correctly.

Some of the key points in managing absence are:

  • Develop clear and easy to understand procedures for dealing both short and long term sickness
  • Ensure your reporting, rules and sanctions are made clear to everyone in your business
  • Train your team leaders to conduct return to work interviews in order to establish any underlying reasons for absence
  • Encourage a positive, healthy working atmosphere
  • Ensure you are acting inline with the Access to Medical Reports Act

Filled Under: Performance Posted on: 5th May 2020

Do I have to agree to change employee’s working hours?

All employees have a legal right to ask for a change to their working hours providing they have worked for the company for 26 weeks or more. Each employee may only make 1 application per annum.

When a request is received you should hold a meeting with your employee to discuss the request. Your employee can bring a colleague or trade union representative with them to this meeting.

You do not HAVE TO agree to change an employees working hours, but you are obliged to give the matter serious consideration and if you deny the right to give a clear explanation of why you have not agreed. You also need to make a decision within 3 months of the request being submitted.

The following are valid reasons for denying a request to change working hours:

  • Additional financial cost to the business
  • A negative effect on the businesses ability to serve its customers
  • An inability to rearrange work with other employees
  • Not being able to recruit other staff
  • A negative effect on quality of work or performance
  • Non-availability of work during periods employee wishes to work
  • Organisational restructuring

You should also be aware that not granting the change could result in the loss of the employee

Filled Under: Contracts Posted on: 5th May 2020

What is the current National minimum wage?

The National Minimum wage is updated each year in April. It is also subject to the employee’s age and employment status.

The current National Minimum Wage rates are as follows

Employees aged 16-17 £4.55 per hour
Employees aged 18-20 £6.45 per hour
Employees aged 21-24 £8.20 per hour

If your employee is aged 25 and over then the National Living Wage applies, this is currently £8.72 per hour.

If your employee is an apprentice either under the age of 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship then the National Minimum Wage is £4.15 per hour.

Also an Accommodation Offset can be applied if you provide housing as part of the job, the current rate is £8.20 per day

Filled Under: Pay Posted on: 5th May 2020


Teresa Rice HR Consultancy offers a full range of bespoke outsourced HR Services throughout Dorset and Hampshire. With more than 30 years’ experience in HR we are able to offer bespoke out-sourced solutions to meet all of our clients’ HR needs.

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