HR in hospitality: are you covered?

In a sector built entirely on its people, an effective HR function is crucial to the success of businesses in the hospitality sector.

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The growth of the ‘gig’ economy with ever more flexible working pattern requirements and a diverse, rapidly changing workforce, the task of effective people management, while remaining legally compliant, can become challenging. With this in mind, Buzzacott’s HR Consultancy Director Doug Farrow dissects the common areas of concern facing employers in the hospitality sector.

Right to Work in the UK checking 
Employers can often be found failing to carry out right to work checks properly or even employing someone without the right to work in the UK (an illegal worker). Employers have a duty to prevent illegal working and should ensure all of their workers have the right to work in the UK. The Home Office makes on the spot checks to ensure that the correct documentation exists for each employee, including UK Nationals. If this is not the case, an employer may face robust sanctions which include:

  • a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker, or for whom the correct records do not exist
  • a criminal conviction carrying a prison sentence of up to five years and an unlimited fine
  • closure of the business and an application for a court compliance order
  • disqualification as a director
  • not being able to sponsor migrants and
  • seizure of earnings made as a result of illegal working.

HR record keeping 
Disorganised and messy record keeping can result in your organisation failing to comply with obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. This can cause serious issues. Non-compliance can result in significant administrative fines of up to £20million or 4% of the undertaking’s worldwide annual turnover. Therefore, it is essential HR records are well organised, can be easily retrieved and are in an appropriate system compliant with data protection legislation. Having records reviewed by our HR Consultancy team mitigates the risks associated with GDPR and can help provide a clear process for future best practice.

Employee rights i.e. contracts and other legalities
Under The Employment Rights Act 1996, an employer must provide a written statement of employment particulars within two months of the start of employment. Moreover, both the employer and employee should also sign all contractual documentation. However, it’s often found that this does not take place. A contract gives both the employee and the employer rights and obligations. Having a signed record of the agreement to the contractual terms not only limits potential misunderstandings about employment requirements but also helps avoid employment tribunal claims. Furthermore, having these clear HR policies and procedures in place is essential in assisting with the management of HR processes and ensuring legal compliance.

At Buzzacott HR Consultancy, we consider an HR Audit to be a cost-effective way to ensure that you are delivering legally compliant and effective HR procedures and solutions. Ideal for those with little or no internal HR expertise as well as those with established HR teams who are simply too busy dealing with the job at hand we believe conducting an HR audit for businesses in the hospitality sector can be particularly useful.  

What is an HR audit?
An HR Audit is an independent and comprehensive review of an organisation’s HR function, assessing both legal compliance and best practice to identify potential risks to your organisation, as well as recommending ways to enhance and improve your current practices. The audit evaluates the whole spectrum of HR activities, with a primary focus on the following key areas:

  • HR strategy
  • Recruitment and resourcing
  • Training and development
  • Employee relations
  • Policies and procedures
  • Personnel files

What will the results look like?
We aim to give you peace of mind about what the risks to your organisation might be (such as outdated contracts or policies) and how we can help you achieve best practice (helping to standardise processes and align HR goals with strategic business goals). We will present to you our findings detailing our conclusions and recommendations including areas for improvement. Our recommendations will guide you through a clear roadmap of actions and a manageable timeframe in which to achieve them.

For further guidance and advice tailored to your situation, please contact Buzzacott’s HR Consultancy team on +44 (0)20 7556 1453 or alternatively, please complete the form below.

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