Have you reviewed your employment policies recently?

Why wait until you hit a problem?  It is always good practice to keep all your policies under review on a rolling basis and to ensure all members of your management committee are aware of the policies you have in place and of any changes that are required.

The ACRE library (accessed via your membership login details) of information sheets offers helpful advice and guidance along with useful templates designed specifically for village halls and community buildings. When reviewing your employment and volunteering policies take a look at information sheet 22, which has guidance for you to follow. It is also worth referring to the Health and Safety legislation information sheet (15) ensuring all your members of staff and volunteers are adequately protected when carrying out their tasks.

Have you ensured changes to the minimum wage have been applied? The hourly National Minimum wage increased as from 1st October 2016.

All members of a management committee have a number of legal responsibilities which they should take into account when considering employment issues. Reviewing your policies also allows the management committee to discuss any changes in legislation, especially around national minimum wage, national living wage, pensions and health and safety which need prompt action.

There is a legal duty for employers to keep detailed records of pay, hours worked, tax, national insurance, statutory sick pay and statutory maternity pay. It is also important to keep details about employees, e.g. next of kin, address, job description, etc.

Every employer of more than five persons must have a written health and safety policy which should be brought to the attention of each employee (particularly new staff). The majority of village halls have fewer than 5 employees, or only use volunteers and are not obliged to have a health and safety policy, however, we would strongly recommended you draw one up.

A health and safety policy is the foundation on which to develop health and safety procedures and practices. The policy announces the level of commitment of those who manage or are responsible for the organisation towards good health and safety standards. The policy can help to clarify procedures and areas of responsibility. If an organisation uses volunteers, they should always be included in the health and safety policy, as a matter of good practice. The HSE have examples of model health and safety policies which can be used as a template.

All village hall employees and workers must be paid the National Minimum Wage. A village hall management committee should be fully aware of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the Working Time Regulations 1998 because they lay down the required obligations (e.g. maintaining workers records) and failure to comply could result in criminal proceedings against the committee. ACRE strongly recommends that village halls obtain a copy of the guidance issued by HSE and ACAS which can be obtained via links included.

There is excellent advice and support available to help you find your way through what can be a very complex area. ACAS also offer a helpline to advise and support.

If you have any further questions relating to any policy matters please get in touch.

If you have forgotten your membership login details, please let us know and we can forward this to you so you can access the full library of information sheets.

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