We realise that it is not easy for a company to forge ahead nowadays. We offer you four (4) simple pieces of advice below that could prevent your company from running some possible legal risks related to employment.
- It is crucial that the POH is up-to-date.
It is crucial for all companies to fulfil the Prevention of Occupational Hazards Policy (POH). However, be careful, it is not sufficient just to hire an External Prevention Service and keep the manuals provided to you in a drawer simply collecting dust. The POH must really be implemented. Moreover, it must be kept up-to-date, in addition to being duly documented and filed. It is aimed at avoiding occupational accidents and the disastrous consequences these could imply both for the worker and the employer.
- If you are a company group, do not mix things up.
Company groups are absolutely legitimate and risk-free for labour purposes unless they are considered “pathological”. For this not to arise, one of things that must be avoided is the confusion of the companies belonging to the group due to situations such as workers rendering their services to any of them without this differentiation being duly stipulated and justified in their employment contracts or one of the companies in the group using the assets of another without any justification or payment of consideration.
- Place the importance on the dismissal letter that it so rightly deserves.
A rather common mistake made by companies is providing dismissal letters too soon, which include information that has not been sufficiently thought out and very often do not even include the real reason for the dismissal, even when it is justifiable. This usually results in the almost certain challenge of the dismissal and causes unnecessary difficulties for structuring a good defence in the case of legal proceedings. Legal advice for this situation must be obtained right from the start.
- Recording working hours, not only for the workers “present at the workplace”
There are numerous mechanisms for recording employees’ working hours, from recording them by means of mobile apps to physically recording the hours.
However, what happens in the case of workers that have no physical workplace?
It is important to remember that the compulsory record of working hours is not only applicable to workers who are present at the work centre to “clock-in and clock-out”.
Attention must be paid to the different working methods of our workers and to set up a system so that they can record their working hours from any workplace.
Due to the increasing use of the working from home system, Human Resources Managers have needed to set up their own system for recording working hours whenever there is no physical work centre or, if there is one, the employees work from home.
In these cases, some of the useful and most practical systems could be recording the hours by means of mobile apps or online; however we can always use the traditional record of hours “on paper” to avoid fines being imposed by the Labour and Social Security Inspection Units.
Authors: María Rubio y Raquel Oltra, lawyers at RSM Spain