Our Most Common HR Questions & Answers

There are several things you must consider when hiring a new employee, however the single most important thing is What do you want them to do?  Ensuring employee’s expectations are set prior to the employee starting is a basic activity that is often left until the induction or even a few weeks into the new employment journey.  Make a list of all the tasks and activities that they will be doing, then consider what the ideal candidate would need to have in terms of skill set to fulfil this role.  Completing a job profile is vital.  We can help you pull this together.  Just don’t bring out the old job description that no one has seen since the last time you recruited for that role.

Previously, you had 8 weeks from the first day of employment to provide your employee with a contract of employment, however we are seeing a move to provide this on day one. To ensure expectations are set early, we would recommend providing a contract of employment to your new employee, prior to starting their new role with your business.

Working our annual leave is one of those age-old questions that HR practitioners are continually asked. Our standard answer is, well that depends! It is easy to work out annual leave for an employee who works full time, it is simply 5.6 weeks per year. 5.6 weeks of the normal working week – normally 28 days. This can include public holidays or if you have given them more in their contract of employment, it can be more. Easy right? The tricky part is when your employee works part time. Again it is easy if they work the same hours each day, each week. For example, 3 days a week. Then you would calculate 5.6 weeks x 3 days a week which would equate to 16.8 days. Remember 0.8 days isn’t 8 hours.

Its 0.8 of the average day, for example if 7 hours was the average number of hours then 0.8 days would mean 5 hours and 36 minutes. If your employee works different hours each day then its best to calculate annual leave in hours. Give us a shout and we can help you work that one out.

Lunch breaks are another area where we are continually asked for clarification. The first thing to do is check out the employee’s contract of employment. It may say more than the statutory minimum. If so, make sure you are applying their contractual entitlement. If you are using statutory guidelines, then it is pretty simple to remember. An employee is entitled to at least a 20-minute break if they work longer than 6 hours. Where you employ a worker, who is above school leaving age and under 18, they are entitled to a 30 minute rest break if they work longer than 4.5 hours.

There is more detail regarding specific professions and time between shifts and rest periods so please reach out if this affects you.

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