Contracts of Employment – Advice For Employers

As a vast majority of businesses need employees in order to expand, company directors, sooner or later, have to face the process of recruiting people and familiarize themselves with the employment law. Once the selection of candidates is made and the job is offered, the law comes in the way.

Employment status

There are five categories of employment: self-employed person, worker, employee, director and contractor. As they have different legal, tax and National Insurance Number implications, employers must be aware of the differences and know which category suits their business best. For example, a person can be classified as self-employed for tax purposes but as a worker or an employee for the employment rights benefits.

Contract of employment

A contract of employment is an employee’s acceptance of the terms and conditions offered by an employer, evidence of which is commencement of the work by the employee. The contract is often agreed verbally.

There are three types of contracts: a contract of employment, a contract for the personal performance of work and a contract for services. The person’s employment status depends on which contract has been agreed.

All employers are legally obliged to provide their employees hired for more than one month with a written statement of employment no later than two months of their start date.

The statement sets out what has been agreed between the employer and the employee during the recruitment process, such as job title and description, starting date, place of work, salary, benefits, required hours of work, holiday and sickness entitlement, notice periods, grievance arrangements and disciplinary procedures.

Often employers include in the contracts of employments sections such as confidentiality agreement and non-compete clauses.

It is also a common practice to provide new employees with the company’s Health & Safety policy, Equal Opportunities policy, Data Protection policy and other important company documents together with their employment contracts.

Directors as employees

Usually, an executive director is also the company’s employee through executive service contract. However it is important for a business owner to establish if a director is an employee by analyzing the following key factors:

– if mutuality of obligation exists, for example, an employer’s obligation to provide work or pay during absence from work to the director and the individual’s obligations to perform work required by the employer.

– the degree of employer’s control over the individual.

– the extend to which the director is integrated in the company by adhering to its policies and procedures such as disciplinary and grievance procedures, benefits, sick and holiday pay provision.

– duration of contract.

– exclusivity of the engagement, i.e. permission to work for other companies at the same time.

– method of payment.

– if the equipment and administrative support are provided by the director or employer.

The outcome of the analysis will have impact of the director’s entitlement to his/her employment rights and tax obligations.

Conclusions

Contracts of employment exist to clarify obligations from the employer and employee and should detail benefit and entitlements due to the employee as well as list what is expected from them. It is a legal obligation in the UK for employers to provide employees with a contract of employment within two months of starting work.

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Personal Finance Budget Series: No 20 – What Wealthy People Really Think About Their Money

One of the main characteristics of wealthy people is that they have confidence in their ability to make decisions, in their purpose, and in their personal finance budget. Confidence, self confidence specifically, is a learnable skill, and to become strong in confidence is to understand how to place the mind in the right state. With mind and money aligned, wealthy people are much happier than those who only chase money as an end goal.

Confidence: The Four States of Thought

Autopilot Thinking is when people are over familiar with routine decisions, and can quickly form assumptions about what is expected – like when using credit cards in the store, or driving home along a well known route. This is an external thinking state and can be harmful. Another harmful state is the internal, critical voice, which so often tells people that they are an imposter – that they “can’t do” or “aren’t good enough”

There are two helpful thinking states which balance this – the internal voice is the thinking state where the mind assesses options, while the external helpful state is the engaged state, where the mind is concentrating on solving problems.

The objective in managing money, in assessing the personal finance statement, and especially if financial planning has been ignored and money is a problem, is to move from a harmful state to a helpful state, by working out where all the money goes, balanced against when it all comes in. Reflecting and evaluating alternative choices brings confidence back into the personal finance budget process.

Confidence: Why Negative People are so Destructive

Negative people are destructive because they can suck out the enjoyment of life from all the people around them. These people suffer from afflictive emotions, they become jealous, angry, fearful. They are critical, condescending and demeaning. These people are the opposite of what they seem because they are not at all confident, and project their toxicity as a protection against being touched by the people around them.

In seeking to build confidence as a skill, these people need to be avoided, or managed because they will do everything to precipitate doubt in those around them

Confidence: Strategies to overcome Doubt

The secrets to overcoming doubt, are to become confident in taking action and making decisions with personal finance. By moving away from self consciousness, by deliberately tuning out, focussing on something else, concentrating on financial goal setting, budgeting and forecasting, people can grow confidence because they can see a future to pursue, which takes attention away from self – building confidence.

Another way to overcome doubt is to picture the situation as a movie in the mind. Then make it black and white, then dim the picture before finally moving backwards as if leaving a cinema, so the image gets smaller and distant. Finally, positive thought and positive action both dispel doubts – so doing something active, and surrounding yourself with positive people works too.

Confidence: The difference between a Public victory and a Private victory.

In growing the skill of confidence, it is necessary to experience both private victories and public victories. Private victories are where outcomes are focussed on the personal results of being proactive, thinking about the end game before starting, and then choosing the first steps to take. In matters of personal finance planning, it is important to work with a personal finance spreadsheet, or a family budget worksheet.

Better still to subscribe to a personal finance budget software, preferably online for ease of use. The outcome is to be clear and precise about the budget decisions to be taken. Public victories are where attention turns to the outside world, where it is important to see the win for both sides, to understand first the consequences of spending money, and then to involve the family or those around you in a team effort to curtail wasteful spending.

Personal finance online software allows for this behavioural victory, the growth of confidence in managing money and in forming new personal finance budgets.

How You Can Make Your Internet Business Product Offers Different

Whether you operate in a crowded or a market with less competition, you should strive to offer your internet business products in the most effective way but often there is too much of the same style of selling. By undertaking a little creativity, you can differentiate your offer from the competition and give yourself the vital cutting edge leading to increased profits for you.

It all comes down to having the effect of standing out from the crowd which is especially important if your product is similar to that of other internet marketers. And one of the most effective methods of doing this is to add a simple reason as to why you are asking for the sale. By undertaking this, it provides the buyer with a reason to take action and buy from you. You are putting a proposal in front of the buyer, that is to take a specific action and buy at that very moment and it is supported with a reason.

There are a limitless number of ways to promote a product for sale with a reason to buy and by keeping aware of such methods you will see that some of the most effective marketing campaigns adopt them. It could be the typical popular “buy one get one free” offer. The reason that you are going to take the action and buy is because you are going to get one free. Now, just compare that to the bland inferred sales message of “buy it”. It fails as it does not contain any encouragement whatsoever for the prospect to take the action that you wish and buy.

So what other forms might the reason to buy take? It could be based on time such as a seasonal sale, a celebration of some kind, a looming event or an offer based on a time or quantity limit. Everyone must have at some point in time been faced with an offer of a product but only available at a certain price within a certain time period or that there is a fixed quantity available at the stated price. It creates the effect on the prospect of avoiding missing out so action is taken there and then.

Another form of the reason to buy method can be particular to the business. It could be that there is a pre publication sale, end of product run discount, a damaged box discount, too much stock bought and it needs shifting, even an admission that the packaging has a spelling mistake or the labels have been printed the wrong way round.

Or how about offering a special sale to existing customers only and calling it something like a VIP closed door sale. This will give it the cache to increase its perceived value and perhaps support a higher price level. And a great way to end the year is to announce that you have had the best ever year and to celebrate you are offering some product or service at a great discount only to previous customers.

As illustrated, by using simple yet effective marketing techniques, you can turn the offer to buy into something much more enticing and, most importantly, give the prospect a reason to take action and buy. By adopting this method, you will most likely notice an increase in sales to every offer that you make for your internet business products.

Job Application – Employer Stops Communicating

In this economy, a number of job seekers are experiencing a known affect mostly experienced post the job interview, that of when the employer stops communicating and goes cold. This comes as a surprise to many job seekers, who feel that not only had they made progress with this job application to a great point in the employment process, but that after what they thought was a great job interview they are wondering where the offer letter is?

As a recruiter, I know this situation is increasing. The market is flooded with good candidates, and employers can negotiate some great deals at present from employees they thought that they would never gain access to. But what I also know, is that job applicants could have either predicted this situation occurring earlier in the job application process, or have mitigated the problem.

Employment is a process

The first thing to state, is that employment is a process. Firstly you have job application, which is most successfully approached through a combination of techniques combining direct application to selected employers (push marketing), personal branding (pull marketing), and responding to adverts (reactive job application). The second stage is employment, and with so much regulation around these days that is always run to a process. This process will differ from company to company, and reflect both that companies culture and the country in which they operate. But it will always run to a process.

The process will differ between companies, but generally for corporates expect a more sterile and remote type approach, while for small employers expect a great deal of change and people innovation in what may not be a well developed or regularly used process. When half of all private sector jobs are sourced from what are termed SME employers, this type of under developed and not recently used process can lead to the greatest number of cases where the prospective employer stops communicating.

Where did you find the job?

A key issue in employment time scales is noting where you sourced the job from. Processes which create a distance between job applicant and hiring manager allow for an easy non-communicative exclusion from the employment process. Hence your likely hood of suffering non-communication increases where you sourced the job either via a jobs board or a recruiter (people who are used to dealing with rejecting job applicants regularly). Direct application to the employer or jobs sourced by networking make such a situation without due cause and hence explanation very unlikely. Your employment process

Your understanding of an employers hiring process starts from the moment you decide that you might want to apply for a job there. While corporate employers will mostly have either a section of their corporate website or a dedicated standalone website where potential job applicants can read about the company and their processes, SME employers might not be so generous. In all cases, I would recommend reading governmental websites which guide job seekers about employment and the law, particularly direct.gov.uk

In summary, aside from legislation which outlaws discrimination on many grounds including age, ability and race, there are few pieces of legislation which cover the process of going from job applicant to employee. Those that are regularly used generally cover the accuracy and legality of the job advert, and they are enforced by your local trading standards office. Hence, unless a job adverts suggests an ideal start date, there is no formal time scale over which the employment process can last.

Telephone interview questions

However, this leads to the opportunity for the job seeker. As no legislation exists, one of the questions that every job seeker should hence ask in the employment process, at latest in their initial telephone interview, is:

  • What is your employment process?
  • Please outline the process and time scales that you intend to follow in placing the right candidate in your advertised job
  • Who is involved in the process?

The questions you are looking to note down in these early stages are the time scales, and who is involved: names, titles and functions. Any employment process will involve at minimum three people: the hiring manager; someone from HR, or who handles the employment contract; the hiring managers boss.

Employment team

It is important in any job application that to improve your chances of getting that job, that you known the name and title of the hiring manager at the earliest possible stage. However, in the overall employment process, the names and functions of others involved are as key in the stages after getting the hiring managers approval.

In small firms, the HR process may be handled by a third party outsourcing firm, or the companies legal representatives. If you find yourself engaged with a company who do use their legal representative to draft employment contracts, ask for a copy to be available at the job interview, as these arrangements cans often greatly extend employment time scales.

Secondly, there is always a hiring managers boss around somewhere, who is involved in the decision making process. This is even the case when you are being hired by the owner or managing director, as they will consult other directors or employees, external consultants or their social partners. You may not on occasions get a formal name for this person, but be sure you will meet them.

Employment time scale

The key information that you have now collected should now tell you two things.

Firstly, it should tell you your chances of being hired. Busy people who need to hire extra people to help them out will allow employment time scales to slip, as they are busy focused on doing the work over managing the job. This means that they sometimes also get inventive, and hence rather than employing a new person directly may find it easier to employ a contractor or buy in an automated service to reduce their workload. If you are not sure of the “why” the hiring manager needs this position fulfilled, then your chances of employment will always be weak.

Secondly, you should know the outline time scale of both the defined process and the start date. Now through the employment process, you can handle situations when time scales and dates slip by asking how this fits into the process outlined at your telephone interview, and are the time scales now changed or just slipped? Often in big companies, the individual dates of the process will slip, while the start date of employment will stay solid. This is not a problem, as long as you remain aware of any notice period you need to give an existing employer. If you point this out too late in the process, then you could be rejected simply for someone who is available right now.

Death Valley

The final issue to point out is what every sales person knows as Death Valley, the point after you have made the bid application and the customer is in internal decision making mode. While in the case of employment both employer and job applicant are key joint decision makers, each needs to come independently to their own decision. However, on the side of the job seeker, this period can be tense, nervous and often concluding in the though that “they are employing someone else, aren’t they?” The key sales person strategy to over coming Death Valley is pre-agreed communications points, when both parties agree that they should communicate by a certain date or within a certain number of days. At each point in the employment process, you should check the process and time scales moving forward, but particularly after the job interview. If you don’t, then expect an unhappy emotional experience in Death Valley. If you agree the time scales, then when a non communication period occurs you know that on or around the agreed date you are entitled to pick up the telephone with the simple reason that you were just checking that all was proceeding to the agreed time scale.

Employer non-communication is not always a confirmation of your not getting that job, and its handling can make your job seeking experience a lot easier and quicker. Some simple understanding at the start of the employment process, and knowledge of time scales and who is involved, should enable you to get the job you want.

Good Luck!

Without Trouble Check And Manage Your Personal Finances Without Downloading Software

Some are not aware know that one can manage and check their finances directly online. It’s part of an effort by the computing technology industry to implement a fairly new form of computing in which you don’t have to have any application software on your system.

This idea was encouraged several years ago by Sun Micro System Inc. and it is called thin client computing. Your personal computer acts like a terminal instead of a computer. It interacts with a program that is running on a web server rather than on your machine. With thin client computing, you can use any program service on the internet and not have to buy expensive software.

With Ease Over See Online Finances

Online personal finances services follow the thin client paradigm. Your browser serves as a graphics user interface, accepting, receiving, and displaying data and graphics. The information bits is sent and received to and from web servers, the site where the program that’s managing your session resides and runs. All computation is done on the server side. Your machine just displays and receives input. Therefore, this means that your data is also stored on the server rather than on your machine. For services offering management of personal finances on the web, this can be a dubious proposition. It’s important that you safeguard your identity and download tax documents for later use.

The current premiere example of an online personal finances service is Quicken Online. It uses categories to group your online transactions which you setup. For convenience, one can add more or deleted categories. You can add, delete and edit transactions, which will be either of the expense or the income kind. You can then view charts for a rapid view of your income and expense performance. This is a fee based system that costs you only a few dollars each month.

Mint.com, for another example, is offering an online personal finances service that allows you to track your expenses and income. As of this writing, this service was free. When you join, you are asked to give a user name and a password that you will use to access your accounts. You setup for the capture of your online transactions and these are stored for you on the servers. For convenience sake, each transaction has a category, and Mint.com uses these categories to offer you deals – they’ve got to make money too. For example, if you have a transaction under the telephone category, Mint.com suggests some deals for phone services. These deals are supposed to help you save money. One can even purchase bank checks over the internet at big savings over what a financial institution would charge; about 50%. For many people, this may be irritating, but you can put up with a little irritation for a free service like this, can’t you?

Many other online services for personal finances have appeared since the feasible thin client computing concept was invented. One can even pay bills online. Your personal data is captured, so be aware what safeguards are in place to ward off any prying eyes. It’s great freedom to have an online alternative. What is fantastic, you don’t need to download any programs!

No matter what service you need in for financial management. You can even order checks on line over the internet and have a 50% savings. The process to order checks online is quicker than driving to the local bank and ordering, plus there are more choices.