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Conference warns of minefield facing dealers

Lack of knowledge of the latest legal changes could leave dealers facing an employment tribunal and paying compensation that equates to months of profit.

Several measures have been taken recently by the government to address the work-life balance, which will be discussed on November 13 at the AM Financial Challenges in Motor Retail conference.

Kate Russell, managing director of Russell Personnel, will tell delegates at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, about changes made to give parents and adopters of children more flexibility at work.

Another important issue is hours worked. Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, employees working more than 48 hours per week on average must be asked by their employer to either opt out or work no more than 48 hours. The employee has the right to refuse to opt out.

Russell said: “The main problem for employers, especially in smaller organisations, is that they often don’t know what they can and can’t do and they tend to ask for advice too late. Quite often the advice is only sought after they’ve taken a fatally flawed step from a legal point of view and then they’re into dam-age limitation.”

Good employers, which adhere to the law, demonstrate best practice and manage robustly can draw better performance from their staff and will gain respect and loyalty in return.

“It’s worth remembering that most employees want to do a good job most of the time and it annoys them to see the few mucking about and tacking advantage of an employer. If they see others getting away with blue murder, some might be tempted to join in. Many more leave, because they resent carrying passengers and can’t see the employer doing anything about it,” added Russell.

AM Financial Challenges in Motor Retail conference is on November 13 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

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