Dealing so closely with the general public, the hospitality industry naturally leaves itself open to some health and safety issues, but there are a few things behind the scenes that can pose a risk from a HR standpoint as well.

We’ve taken a look of some of the common HR mistakes that employers face in the hotel and restaurant sector and things you’ll need to be aware of to avoid them.


Lack Of Staff Training

A lack of sufficient training for employees can result in a HR nightmare, so it’s important that any member of staff has received enough training to successfully and safely carry out their job.

Having unqualified or untrained members of staff working in your hotel can pose a substantial risk to your business, and could result in serious consequences.

If an accident happens that involved an employee that hadn’t received the right amount of training, then the blame would go to you as an employer for failure to provide the correct training.

Every person that is employed should receive all necessary training and be fully trained before they start working. The use of online training courses ensure that everyone receives the same training and is the most time efficient and cost effective training option.


Pay and Benefits

With a lot of members of staff on the team, some employers like to pay their workers as little as possible. Luckily for those workers, the National Minimum Wage sets the standard for the amount of money that employers have to pay out.

The National Minimum Wage is different for each age group, with the number raising the older you get. A lot of places like to offer higher than minimum wage contracts to their employees, but there have been a few that have tried to get away with less than minimum in the past.

The following are the current minimum hourly rates for employees:

Failure to pay members of staff the National Minimum Wage is against the law and in breach of the current legislation. With the rates changing frequently, it’s important to stay on top of it and ensure that your workers are receiving a fair amount of pay.


Breaching Basic Working Regulations

In the hospitality industry, you will often find workers that vary in age, from 16 to 65+. Employing people as young as 16 comes with a certain number of rules and guidelines that you need to follow, and knowing the facts will help you to avoid any issues.

Knowing exactly how long people are allowed to work and the amount of breaks they need are essential for compliance.

For example, anyone who is working in a hotel or restaurant and is under the age of 18 is entitled to a 30 minute uninterrupted break if they are working more than 4 and a half hours. There also has to be a minimum of 12 hours between each shift, allowing time for workers to rest.

It’s also important that you oversee any young workers where the sale of alcohol is involved, with 16 and 17 year olds only able to serve alcoholic drinks if you’ve approved the sale.


No Staff Handbook

Having a staff handbook with all of the rules and procedures clearly stated will make sure that all employees are aware of any behaviour that could result in disciplinary actions and the company’s general view on certain things.

Staff handbooks generally tend to cover the company’s policies on dismissals, drug and alcohol use, health and safety, maternity, sickness and absence and data protection, etc. It should cover any question that an employee may have, and contain enough information to protect you in case something goes wrong.


No Search Policy

From taking food to stealing items from guest’s rooms, there is always a chance that an employee could try their luck at getting away with something when working in a hotel.

This is why having an effective search policy in place will help greatly, allowing you to see exactly what each employee is taking with them the end of the every shift. Being able to monitor this will ensure that nothing goes missing, and you can quickly find the culprit if anything happened.

To make sure that you are not left open to any potential lawsuits, you’ll need to include a search policy in the employee’s contract of employment.


Poor Disciplinary Actions

All members of staff should be made aware of disciplinary rules and the procedures that follow, having them written down and accessible to anyone.

These rules must state what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour and the consequences for certain actions. Having them written down will also save you in any disputes over a person’s behaviour, so it’s worth having a set of clear rules that all employees must follow.

It is recommended that you use a warning system, allowing the employees to learn from their mistakes and change their attitude towards the situation before committing to dismissing them. If the employee has committed a serious offence such as taking money or assaulting another member of staff however, then dismissal is the only option.


Incorrect Advertising For Staff

As you’re probably aware, the nature of the hospitality industry means there is generally a high turnover of staff, but a lot can go wrong even in the advertising for new staff.

When advertising for staff, it’s very important that you clearly state the number of hours required to work and the kind of person you are looking for. Including details of salary and benefits is recommended and stating what the job role requires will ensure that you find the right person.

One point that can’t be stressed enough is to avoid the use of discriminative language. You can state the kind of person you are looking for, but including details about gender, race or age is a HR nightmare waiting to happen.


No Social Media Policy

In 2018, it’s important for any business to have a social media policy in place.

With the amount of time spent on various social media platforms at an all-time high, now is the time to set some ground rules when it comes to talking about the company.

All employees should be aware of how they conduct themselves and how it may have an effect on a professional level. Talking about or mentioning the company in a negative manner can have a negative impact on the public perception of the company and should be avoided at all times.

It’s also important that employees are aware that they may face repercussions for sharing content from the workplace or using social media during work time.

If someone is posting on behalf of the company, it’s important that they keep in line with the company’s views and deal with things like customer complaints appropriately.


Summary

If you are experiencing trouble with anything we’ve talked about in this article, please feel free to get in touch today.

Wurkplace provides a high quality HR solution to businesses of all sizes, and can help with everything from employee contracts to managerial advice. Our dedicated HR specialists are here to help and take the risk out of your business.

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