Thinking of outsourcing : do your diligence!

This time of year many business owners look to outsourcing certain activities. This can be a great way of reducing the burden or growing the business.

On the other hand the wrong outsourcing partner can cause mayhem and add to the stress levels. Not an ideal solution!

To reduce the risk do some basic diligence:

  1. Do they have appropriate qualifications – this could be a recognised qualification or qualification by doing. In other words do they know what they are talking about?
  2. Are they experienced – have they done the work (or similar work) in the past and can you talk to a previous client about their experience?
  3. Do they comply with the relevant legislation – they need to know what laws apply to their business and be compliant with them. A great example is data protection. You don’t want to have an issue because your outsourcing partner doesn’t understand their responsibilities with your data!
  4. Are they insured for the work they will be doing for you – insurance is a safety net for you and may influence your bargaining position over rates!

The extent of the diligence you do clearly relates to the value of the contract but remember it is your reputation to lose!

If you are going to rely on recommendations from others, always ask yourself why the person is giving the recommendation. For example is it because:

  • they have experienced the service and found it to be satisfactory?
  • they know someone from a networking meeting?
  • they know someone from social media?
  • they are going to receive some form of payment for the introduction?

The rationale for the introduction is important to your decision making process.

If it helps Crimson Crab can carry out diligence on potential outsourcing partners read more…

Our Reputation Advocates have been checked against the membership criteria, so that some of the diligence legwork has been done for you. They also work to our Ethical Trading Policy and Code of Conduct to give added peace of mind. The directory of members is here.

What is personal data?

According to the Data Protection Act personal data means

data which relate to a living individual who can be identified –

(a) from those data, or

(b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,

and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual.

Where the ability to identify an individual depends partly on the data held and partly on other information (not necessarily data), the data held is still “personal data”.

It is also very important to remember that the definition also specifically includes opinions about the individual, or what is intended for them. This could apply to notes made at an interview or a managers assessment of an individual at the end of their probationary period.

If you have concerns about compliance with the Data Protection Act our Data Protection MOT may be just for you. Read more…

Free Southern Entrepreneurs Event – Regulation for Small Business

06 Dec 2016 10:00 – 13:00

Enterprise Centre – PORTSMOUTH

This workshop will give an awareness of the areas of regulation that may apply to a business and how to go about developing compliance controls as a response to the ever increasing number of regulations and need for operational transparency.

Read more and book your place on the Southern Entrepreneurs website…

We are employing someone for the first time what do we need to do?

There are 7 things you need to do when employing staff for the first time.

  1. Decide how much to pay someone – you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage.
  2. Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well.
  3. Check if you need to apply for a DBS check (formerly known as a CRB check) if you work in a field that requires one, eg with vulnerable people or security.
  4. Get employment insurance – you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer.
  5. Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing to your employee. You need to give your employee a written statement of employment if you’re employing someone for more than 1 month.
  6. Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by registering as an employer – you can do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff.
  7. Check if you need to automatically enrol your staff into a workplace pension scheme.

(July 2016 Question 1)

I've just taken on my first employee do I need to give them a contract?

As soon as someone accepts you job offer they have a contract with you. An employment contract doesn’t have to be written down, but it makes sense to record what was agreed. It should set out the employment conditions and the employee’s rights, responsibilities and duties.

Employees and employers must stick to a contract until it ends (e.g. by an employer or employee giving notice or an employee being dismissed) or until the terms are changed (usually by agreement between the employee and employer).
If you have an employment contract in place we can look at it and tell you if it is legally compliant and robust enough to protect your business. >Simply get in touch to find out more…