24 Jun, 2021

Taking Care of Your Employees

Una Burgess, Head of HR, gives her top 15 tips for looking after your team.

Our Irish Farm Report found that 22% of farmers employ people on their farm. A key issue, however, is that 20% say that the right people are hard to find.

In short, good people are hard to find and even harder to keep! So when you do find the right help for your farm it is important to keep them. Una Burgess, Head of HR, gives her top 15 tips for looking after your team:

  1. Treat your employees as you would like to be treated. Lead by example but remember your employees will rarely work as hard or as long as you; they don’t own your farm, you do.

  2. Make sure your employees receive a contract of employment when you hire them.

  3. Don’t use net pay agreements. Agree a gross (before tax) rate of pay per hour.

  4. Remember to make sure you are compliant with applicable pay rates. Irelands National Minimum Wage is now €10.20 (before tax) per hour.

  5. Be aware of benefit in kind. If you are giving your employee the use of a vehicle or other non- cash incentive, it may be subject to benefit in kind (a tax charge on the deemed value of the benefit).

  6. Make sure you pay fairly and on time, every time.

  7. Give your employees a payslip each time they are paid.

  8. Keep a record of hours worked and give your employees the appropriate rest breaks.

  9. Honour all agreements on overtime, profit share or bonuses etc.

  10. Reward extra effort. You can give your employees a tax free voucher of up to €500 once per year.

  11. Give clear direction on what tasks you require your employees to complete and provide appropriate training.

  12. Give clear, straight forward and honest feedback.

  13. Be flexible, we all need to go to a doctor/ dentist/parent teacher meeting etc. sometimes at short notice.

  14. Always be mindful of your employees’ health and safety and promote the importance of safety in your workplace.

  15. Think win-win, if you look after your employees, they will look after your business.

Managing people can be challenging. Having a clear consistent approach to people management is vital. Be a good manager and you will retain your best people.