We've supported a lot of businesses who have gotten themselves into a pickle with contracts. Often they've downloaded a template contract online, thinking they're robust and then got into a pickle when it comes to things like dealing with poor-performing employees or when employees want to leave the business. In this episode of entrepreneurs' stories, we'll walk through how we supported a start-up client to make sure they had robust contracts in place.
A brilliant entrepreneurial business, our client had gone from creating an innovative idea to almost overnight hiring 10 new staff. They found some great people and to save time downloaded a contract of employment template online and used it whenever they employed people. They sorted themselves out with an accountant to help with payroll but felt like the HR bit was done as the contracts were sorted and they had no complaints about the document.
One employee found another job and wanted to hand in their notice. Looking at the contract of employment it seemed like actually as they were in their probationary period they didn't have to give any notice, as that's how the contract was written, so they were planning on leaving the business quickly leaving the Founders in a tough spot and in need of someone to cover the role. The Founders reviewed the contracts again and it did seem like this person could just walk and didn't have to give any notice, but they had no idea what to do next.
A friend of the Founders recommended Tap HR. They'd met one of our consultants at a networking event and knew that the free consultation process offered by Tap HR might be a way for the Founders to solve the problem. After booking a free consultation, we offered to review the contract for free. In reviewing the contract there were multiple things that needed changing, there was a reference to policies that didn't exist, the wording used was confusing and at best contradictory at times plus there were elements that actually didn't comply with UK employment law. Initially, we provided some free advice on the parts of the contract that weren't quite right but suggested that really they needed to scrap that template and start again so they didn't run into any further issues. On the individual who was leaving, from a statutory point of view they only needed to provide the business with one week's notice, so although the contract said no notice was required, one week legally would have been sufficient but clearly going forwards the business needed to have templates with things like notice provisions that worked for all parties.
After mulling things over and using the free advice the client opted to get the contracts rewritten, within only a couple of hours our Consultants produced a bespoke and fit-for-purpose contract with clear clauses to make sure they didn't get in a pickle again. This client now regularly uses Tap HR and we're proud to be their preferred HR Partner.
What can you take from this story?
Whilst getting HR involved in your business early on might just seem like another thing to do, it's really important to call in the experts to make sure you get things right first time. HR isn't about making things more complicated, at Tap HR we're all about uplifting and supporting businesses to be the best that they can be. With this story, the business spent time and money fixing a problem which if dealt with correctly in the first place would have saved them time, money and a bunch of stress.
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All information within the post is provided for guidance only; always seek your own legal advice.
The information with this post was correct at the time of publishing, March 2023 but may be subject to change.