These are actual examples of HR Mistakes made by Employers in Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants. Seven HR horror stories that have cost these employers over £40000. In some cases, it severely damaged their reputation.
- A pub manager involved in a St Patrick’s Day beer promotion gave hats out to staff. They told a black employee that the hat he chose made him “look like a pimp”. A remark that cost his company £1200 at an Employment Tribunal.
- A Chef said a waiter broke his nose. He won a constructive unfair dismissal case and was awarded £750.
- A restaurant group paid £10 000 back pay to workers for failing to pay the National Minimum Wage
- A hotel was fined £15 000 for failing to pay the National Minimum Wage to two employees
- A Head Chef was awarded £14 000 compensation after his employers simply told he “there is no job and no money”.
- A restaurant manager told to replace “ugly, fat, old” staff with “young sexy blondes in short skirts” has won his unfair dismissal case. The amount of compensation is undisclosed.
- Three employees without the 2 year service required to claim unfair dismissal are taking a hotel to tribunal for unwanted treatment and harassment with their employer being accused of being influenced by the behaviour on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares rather than Mary Berry!
We’d really like to show you how to avoid something similar happening to you, show you how to avoid HR mistakes made by employers in hotels, pubs and restaurants.
How can you protect yourself as an employer? We’d like to show you 14 simple ways to protect yourself and your business from claims by employees. No cost, no obligation of any kind, just read on!
Why are we doing this? We’re a professional HR Consultancy. First of all, if we help you protect yourself now and as a result you find our help valuable, you might remember us when you have a worrying HR problem that you need advice on.
14 tips for your own self-protection
- Check the status of your workers. What does the law say? Employed or self-employed? If they’re employees, make sure that you have employment contracts in place within the first 8 weeks of their employment. Failure to do this can incur a £ 1400 penalty.
- Apprentices have certain rights. You are expected to have a different approach to their treatment when it comes to discipline, they are learning, but this doesn’t mean that you must put up with poor attitude or performance. Make sure that you have an Apprentice Contract in place that protects you, not just one given to you by the Learning Provider.
- If you employ young workers do you know their rights? Do you know what hours they’re allowed to work, what breaks they’re entitled to and what happens to you the employer if you breach that? Ensure your employment contract reflect young workers’ rights?
- Do you know the hot topics in employment tribunals at the moment? The Flexible Working Regulations and Illegal Deductions from wages. How compliant are your current contracts and policies? Check them now to give yourself peace of mind.
- Write down your standards. Write them in a staff handbook so that your staff know what they are expected to do, what is right and what is wrong. How will you deal with lateness, loss or damage of your property or when staff does not do their work properly and a client complains? Don’t copy someone else’s policies and procedures or just download them off the internet. Make sure that you’ve got your own policies and that they’re tailor-made for your business.
- Unwritten rules/common practice over a period of time can work in the employee’s favour in a tribunal. Develop and complete thorough inductions and get people to sign to say they’ve read and understood what they’ve received.
- Make sure your disciplinary policy and procedure complies with the legal minimum standard otherwise you may inadvertently take action that would increase any compensation awarded to an employee by as much as 25%.
- Implement a social media policy to set out your expectations of your staff in their own time and yours and how they conduct themselves on Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Take care when advertising for staff. Putting “young person” in an advert will make you vulnerable to an age discrimination challenge; use application forms rather than CVs and don’t ask questions about a person’s health until you’ve offered them the job.
- Ensure that you carry out Right to Work in the UK checks, not just on people with names that don’t sound like they are from the UK or on people with different colour skin. There’s a maximum £2000 fine for not carrying out these checks on every single member of staff.
- If you want to restrict the ability of your employees to “moonlight” i.e. work for themselves or have a second job with another employer, you need to construct appropriate clauses in your contract to support this.
- Consider a search policy that you can implement if you believe someone is stealing. A policy that employees have already signed and agreed to when you have occasion to need to use it is very comforting.
- Do you have CCTV in the workplace? Do your staff know? If they don’t you may well be breaching Data Protection legislation. Make sure you have a comprehensive policy in place.
- Do you have a layoff procedure? How would you deal with a flood to your salon that meant you were unable to open for business for a week? A layoff procedure allows you to lay staff off on minimum pay while you get your business going again.
If you’d like to discuss HR mistakes made by employers in hotels, pubs and restaurants or any other HR problem that you may have, call us on 01706 565332 to schedule a confidential, free, 15 minute telephone consultation with me or complete the contact form and I’ll call you back.
Looking forward to speaking to you soon!
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.