Don’t end up paying more when staff resign

A client of mine was just opening up her salon for the day when one of her employees came up to her and said she had been offered another job. My client was distracted by a customer who had come in early for a treatment, so when the employee offered to work her notice she just said don’t worry just finish off today if you want.

Two weeks later my client received a call from ACAS ( the government body that deals with employment disputes) saying that the ex-employee had been in touch asking them to mediate in a dispute, as she was about to make a claim for two weeks money from my client for non-payment of holidays and statutory notice.

The employee had accrued three weeks holiday but had only taken 2 weeks off and she had offered to work her notice. The problem is the employee was correct and my client had to pay up. Had my client said “Don’t worry you’ve got some holiday left just take that instead of working your notice” she may have saved herself a week’s money if the employee had agreed to take the holiday, even better she could have insisted that her member of staff take holiday if she had the right clauses in her employment contracts.

So two lesson here

1)      Make sure you have a clause in your contract that states that an employee may be required to use up any untaken holiday during their notice period.

2)      Never say “Don’t bother to come in” to an employee unless you like throwing money away!

Good news?

It’s common in blogs like these to concentrate on the problems employees cause you but this week I wanted to talk about two good experiences my salon clients have had in employing staff. On both occasions the salon wanted to hire someone for about 16 hours a week because both owners had found themselves spending all their time rushing about giving their clients an excellent service, but only found time to do the marketing and administration late at night. Ideally they wanted to hire someone full time but couldn’t afford the wages that would entail.

After a fairly disappointing recruitment campaign we approached a local college to see if they had any recently qualified students we could take on. It turned out that not only did they have the people we needed but if we took them on on an apprenticeship we could also receive a grant to help with the wage costs. All we had to agree to was that they were paid at least £2.60 an hour, and that they attended college 6 hours a week.

One student has now started and the other vacancy is being filled at the moment. Of course there is no guarantee that the new staff will turn out alright but then that’s true however you recruit them. My experience of helping my clients take on these apprentices has been so good I’m interviewing a couple of young people to be an apprentice for me this week. So we have three young people being employed. It may not be much but it makes for a good positive story to start the week.