Looking to Recruit? Here's the Basics

> 28 February 2019

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Creation of jobs. It is the promise that we all want to hear for our economy.

It is happening now. We are seeing the need for small to medium sized businesses to ramp up and increase their workforce to meet the increased demand for services.

But where to start, legally?

While a short blog isn’t intended to give you all the answers, there are some points that must be considered in the recruitment stage of building your business.

Employment Contracts:

Getting the terms of employment right are essential, but it goes beyond the commencement date, pay rate and working hours. Examples of clauses that should be included in these contracts are:

  • Clauses to protect your trade secrets, intellectual property
  • Confidentiality clauses
  • Permissible restraint clauses
  • Expectations about safe workplaces and other work standards
  • The need to follow policy and procedure, and the incorporation of those polices and procedures in the employment contract.

Policies and Procedures:

It is always advisable to ensure new employees understand the expectations of their employer, so it is important to get your policies and procedures set up well. It is not enough for them to sit in a cupboard. They must be explained to the employee and accepted as understood by the employee. This can change the outcome when it comes to many workplace disputes, particularly in relation to health and safety, stress claims, bullying, harassment or discrimination grievances or other workplace disputes.

Training, Safety and Wellbeing Inductions:

As a natural progression from the policies and procedures, there will be a requirement for various industries to have very specific safety inductions either in house or by an external provider. Once again, facilitation of these training programs and guidance as to safety and wellbeing will not only assist your workers do their job, but also potentially protect you from liability down the track.

Probation Requirements:

In some cases, after starting a new employee, realities set in, and the capabilities of an employee can be determined, or an employee may see the true nature of the role that perhaps they misunderstood at the recruitment stage.

It is important to be clear as to probation periods; when they are to cease, if they can be extended, and the process that comes next if the employee successfully completes that stage. Leaving things like this undone or unclear can breed a culture of employers and employees not being on the same page, and can lead to unwelcome outcomes.

For more information about these and the other steps that need to be taken, contact Elspeth Ledwy, wIRklaw team leader and Senior Associate, Kelly Legal.

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