As soon as your group recruits someone as a paid member of staff, they become employers and take on all the responsibilities that this entails. This means that your committee members or Directors will also be responsible for the management of those staff, and to be responsible employers they need to be aware of relevant employment legislation and the rights of employees.
Acting as responsible employers means that your committee or board should put in place policies for the effective management of staff.
Treating people as individuals is central to this and having policies (based on legal requirements and considering individual diversity) will help you to make informed and considered decisions based on the employees performance and conduct, irrespective of their age, gender, physical or mental ability, religious belief or sexual orientation.
When a person starts work they are entitled to certain rights. These include:
a nationally agreed minimum wage (this varies according to the age of the employee)
working time rights including breaks, holidays and holiday pay, and a limit on the working week
health and safety protection
the right to join a union
protection from unfair discrimination
a written contract of employment
Managing employees is all about treating those employees as individuals and valuing their input to your organisation.
Your committee members or Directors will need to give due consideration to all legal requirements relating to employment and to agree your group’s policies on:
discipline and grievance
maternity and paternity leave
health and safety
retirement and redundancy
You may also want to consider agreeing policies relating to:
staff use of email, internet, social networking, drugs and alcohol
time off in lieu
This list is not exhaustive and not all of these will necessarily seem relevant to your group at the moment, but thinking about them now will make drawing up your policies easier and will help pre-empt any conflict or disputes.
Make use of experts such as ACAS or speak to staff at your local Third Sector Interface organisation.