1) As a busy doctors surgery, us doctors don’t have time to manage staff. How do we ensure our practice managers have all the skills and experience needed to manage the staff on our behalf?
We would recommend creating and implementing solid policies and procedures so all staff and management know what is expected of them. This should also ensure you are compliant with all relevant employment legislation. We would then ensure management are trained on the best way to implement these policies and procedures with a view to resulting in fair and consistent management.
2) We have a real problem with recruiting and retaining the right calibre of care staff. What are we doing wrong?
We recommend you consider your recruitment practices. The questions to ask yourself include:
- Is the advert attracting the right people?
- Are you advertising in the right place?
- Are the applicants fully aware of what the role entails, for example their expected regular tasks, shift pattern etc?
- What were the reasons for leaving people have given recently in their exit interviews?
- We would also consider their induction. Was the training effective?
- Were they provided with a mentor?
- Was their probationary period actively managed?
All of these are important areas to consider when looking at improving your recruitment and induction process.
3) We often find a high level of sickness absence during the winter bug season. Can we limit staff holiday during this period? We are cautious about using zero hour staff due to recent bad press.
Under the Working Time Directive legislation, employees are entitled to the statutory minimum time off, including bank holidays, regardless of how busy businesses are. In practice, we know this is not always easy to follow. We would recommend reviewing your current contract and handbook policies to put systems in place to allow you to have more control over when holiday can be taken. True zero hour contracts can be very beneficial to both businesses and the employees themselves. Consideration needs to be given to the risks if they are not true zero hour contracts. We would consider each contract on a case by case basis to evaluate the possible risks.