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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Getting the Most from Your Staff Appraisals

Your personnel might be your most valuable resource. It’s largely thanks to their hard work and skill that your organisation is able to continue running. This is why it’s so important to pull out all the stops when it comes to motivating and training your employees.

An eager and talented workforce is an enviable thing and it could help to set you apart from rival organisations. In many cases, a carrot and stick approach is required to ensure personnel are performing optimally. This is where staff appraisals come in handy. These analyses can provide you with a great chance to see the areas in which your employees are performing well and those which require improvement. You can then issue any reprimands or rewards as appropriate.


However, as important as these exercises are, their implementation is often delayed. It’s one thing to intend to conduct thorough and valuable appraisals and another thing to actually make this desire a reality. After all, in the pressure of the working day, it’s easy to get waylaid and distracted, meaning appraisals fall to the bottom of your to-do list.

Also, if you’re not careful, the assessments can become a tick-box exercise, which is no good to anyone. Honest and insightful analysis is required in order to achieve positive results.

Time to rethink?

If you feel as though the appraisal system in your firm needs a revamp, now could be the perfect time to set about this task. After all, there are lots of reasons why it pays to get this right. For instance, by clarifying key objectives with employees, you can help ensure everyone is aiming for the same goals. Also, personal development plans are a great way of encouraging people to improve.

Meanwhile, by recognising any advances workers have made, you can reward them and this provides instant motivation. On the flipside, you will find it easier to identify and correct any problems.

Also, feedback from your personnel can be used to improve your business and ensure it’s running exactly as it should.

Some help

It’s important that your appraisal system is fair and clear, otherwise workers won’t respond to it. Here at Simply-Docs we offer a range of staff appraisal form templates that could help you fine tune your analyses.

These staff appraisal template documents are part of our Employment Document Folder and they are easy to use. Being able to refer to the templates could help ensure you avoid many of the pitfalls of improvised appraisals.

Your bottom line

Ultimately, this could boost your bottom line. After all, by having an effective system of rewards and checks in place, and by communicating properly with your personnel, you stand to bolster productivity and efficiency.

It really is worth putting some effort into this aspect of employee management. You may be surprised by how quickly you start to see results.

See for yourself

If you’re interested in these templates and think they could benefit your organisation, just take a look around our website. You might also benefit from other templates in our range of legal documents.

Templates that Make Starting a New Business Easier

Starting a new business can be exhilarating. You’ll get to be your own boss and, providing your idea’s good and you have the necessary skills and dedication, you stand to make potentially large sums of money. Then there’s all the career satisfaction you can get from heading up your own company.

However, there are so many issues to consider when you launch an enterprise and, particularly if you have limited or no prior experience in such tasks, you could easily find you get lost. At the same time, you might not have access to mentors to help you or be able to afford costly bespoke legal and business advice.

A helping hand

The good news is, you don’t have to shell out a fortune in order to benefit from expert guidance. Here at Simply-Docs it’s our mission to provide the full spectrum of business documents and, with these templates at your disposal, you should find it much easier to navigate your way through the initial phases of establishing your business.

The best thing is, our documents can continue giving you a helping hand in the long-term. By subscribing to our documents each year, you can ensure you always have access to up-to-date, accurate templates.

Plus points

One of the major plus points of our business document templates is the fact they’re so affordable. For hardly any money at all, you can access the information you need. This may be especially important during the launch period of your company. After all, money may be in short supply as you’re getting your firm off the ground.

Also, once you’ve subscribed to the folders, you can access them 24/7. The business world never sleeps and you’ll no doubt find yourself working late into the night and early in the morning from time to time. Luckily, you won’t have to wait for regular office hours to access the expertise you need. Our documents will be ready and waiting at all times.

You might also be pleased to note that our portfolios are constantly updated. After all, it’s no good using a template that looks and sounds great if it’s no longer relevant. In fact, this could get you into trouble.

Different areas

We provide business document templates in a number of areas, namely: business, corporate, employment, health and safety and property.

If you need guidance on any of these topics, or indeed on all of them, just take a look around our website. You might be pleasantly surprised by how little our services cost and how comprehensive they are.

Maximising your chance of success

OK, so you’ll have to spend a little money to benefit from our expertise, but this should prove to be a shrewd investment. After all, our templates may prevent you from making potentially damaging mistakes and thereby help to secure your long-term success.

It’s certainly well worth taking a look at the options available to you. With our help, launching your enterprise should be that bit smoother and less stressful.

Getting to Grips with Employment Contracts

If your firm is going through a period of expansion, you should be commended. After all, business conditions remain tough and so it’s no mean feat to achieve and maintain success.

Taking on new personnel can be exciting. Your enterprise might be entering a new phase and many opportunities no doubt lie ahead. However, there are certain pitfalls to avoid. For example, it’s really important that you get to grips with employment contracts. These documents play a vital role in establishing the rights and responsibilities of both workers and employers and, if they aren’t drawn up correctly, all sorts of issues can arise further down the line.

You’re not alone

One thing’s for sure; you’re not alone in taking on additional members of staff. According to a Small Business Index produced by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), confidence among small companies is rising. The index reached 15.9 points during the second quarter of 2013. This was 9.6 points higher than the previous three-month period and it was the second highest reading since the index began in 2010. Financial service firms reported the highest confidence levels and small manufacturers were also among those noting they have high hopes for coming months.

Meanwhile, more firms expected their turnover to increase during the third quarter and a larger number of businesses planned to increase staffing levels over the three-month period.

Here to help

Here at Simply-Docs we know that periods of expansion can be thrilling and daunting in equal measure and we go out of our way to make the process of taking on new personnel that bit easier. Our Employment Documents Folder contains a complete range of contracts, policies, forms and letter templates to help you recruit and manage staff with greater confidence.

A team of lawyers and HR professionals

You might not have the resources to use an in-house team of lawyers and HR professionals, but the good news is, you don’t need to. Our contract templates have been drafted by a team of experts from these fields and they address the specific needs of the jobs and staff seniority that are implied by their titles.

A full year

By subscribing to our Employment Documents Folder, you can ensure you have access to all the documents it contains, including employment contracts, for a full year. Whenever you need to draw on the relevant expertise, you can do so quickly and easily.


Having access to these legal documents can make the process of recruitment much more efficient. Given that you may want to move quickly to take advantage of market conditions, this could be welcome news.

Also, by using our templates you can provide yourself with a confidence boost. Knowing that your documents are up-to-date, accurate and authoritative can be a big relief. There is plenty to stress about when you’re heading up a company, so it’s important to make your life easier wherever you can.

For more information about our documents, just take a look around our website or get in touch with our friendly and helpful team.

Why it Never Pays to Skimp on Health and Safety

There’s no doubting that conditions are tough for UK businesses right now. Costs are high, credit is hard to access and, in many sectors, demand remains subdued.

However, this is not a reason to skimp on safety. There may be certain areas that your firm can cut back on, but protecting the well-being of your personnel isn’t one of them. Lapses in risk management can lead to devastating consequences and it’s not worth taking the chance.

The human cost

It’s impossible to put a price tag on the human suffering than can result from safety lapses. People can suffer painful and lasting physical damage and their lives may even be placed at risk. As well as those directly involved in workplace accidents, victims’ families may also pay a hefty price.

In addition, if a preventable accident was to occur within your organisation, you’d have to live with the guilt.

Legal action

Then there is the potential for legal action to consider. If you don’t live up to your responsibilities as an employer and someone is hurt as a result, you might face a court case or even criminal prosecution. Also, the individuals involved may decide to make a personal injury claim against you.

All of a sudden any savings you made by avoiding safety measures may pale into insignificance. In the worst case scenarios, your organisation could face financial ruin.


It’s also important to consider your organisation’s reputation. If it emerges that you neglected your safety duties, your image is bound to suffer, and this could have long-term consequences in terms of your customer base.

Make your life easier

If you’re determined to avoid these problems and maintain rigorous health and safety policies, we can help. Here at Simply-Docs we know how important it is to uphold high standards and our Health and Safety Documents Folder could help you to achieve this.

It contains a wide range of professionally drafted and simple to edit health and safety documents that facilitate the management of this issue. The templates include risk assessment forms, health and safety statements and much more.

More details

For a small fee, you can subscribe to this folder and, for the period of a year, you will be able to download any of our health and safety templates at any time. This unlimited download access includes form updates and additions, meaning you will always be fully up-to-date.


Having these forms at your disposal can help you to achieve structure in terms of your health and safety procedures. A lot of risk management is simple common sense, but it helps to know exactly where you should be focusing your attention. Especially when you have lots of other issues on your mind, it’s easy to overlook crucial safety points.

However, with the aid of our document templates, you should be able to stay on track.

If you’d like more information about our services, just take a look around the rest of our website or get in touch with our friendly and helpful team by phone or email.

Why Job Application Forms Are the Best Option For Recruiting New Personnel

Recruiting new staff is an integral part of running a small business. Indeed, you cannot hope to operate a competitive business if you do not have the right personnel in key positions to help make good things happen.

Like most other employers in the UK, you may well see employment application forms as being an integral part of the recruitment process. The key strength of job application forms is that they don’t just furnish you with pertinent information about prospective employees; they enable you to view it in a truly uniform format. This means that you can compare and contrast candidates’ credentials completely impartially (this is nowhere near as easy to do when looking through CVs and cover letters).

Of course, this is not the only benefit. Indeed, relying on application forms to recruit new staff also affords employers one other key advantage – peace of mind.

The fact that employment application forms require applicants to sign a declaration that confirms all of the information they have provided is true is often very reassuring to potential employers. A signed declaration means that you have a document which can serve as evidence of the claims made by an employee or potential employee.

Any background checks via references can be very useful in this day and age, as the increasingly competitive nature of the job hunting market as well as the relative scarcity of jobs in some sectors is encouraging more and more applicants to be “flexible” with the details of their credentials and work history.

So, now that you know why application forms are the best option for recruiting new staff, you simply need to make sure you have some suitably comprehensive variants of your own to hand when you next need to fill a vacancy.

Fortunately this is very easy to achieve when you come to us here at Simply-Docs, as we have a wide array of employment application form templates available for you to download from the Employment Document Folder here on our website. These high-quality templates have been designed by expert legal teams and HR professionals so you can be sure they will capture all of the pertinent information which you, as an employer, need to garner from prospective employees. In addition, all of our application form templates are compliant with current employment legislation so you can rest assured that this element of the recruitment processes will adhere fully to the Equality Act 2010.

To find out more and view samples of our high-quality document templates and legal forms, simply take a few moments to browse our pages.

Why Your Fledgling Small Business Needs To Provide Comprehensive Employment Contracts

Running a small business isn’t for the faint hearted. Starting a fledgling enterprise from nothing and then developing it into a fully functional company that is profitable and competitive takes a huge amount of effort.

Of course, there are a lot of legal issues to consider when undertaking a task of this kind, so it is important to make yourself fully aware of any and all legal aspects which may affect the way your company operates.

Although there are a great deal of issues that will need your attention (company formation, insurance and health & safety, to name but a few), arguably the most important legal aspects of all are those which pertain to your employees. After all, if you aren’t able to recruit and retain personnel, your business prospects could be hindered.

As an employer, you are legally obliged to provide all of your employees with a “written statement of employment particulars” within two months of their start date. This statement can be included in an employment contract.

But how do you go about this exactly?

Well you could take the path which many people looking for a solution take these days and use an online search engine to find a website which will let you download employment contract templates for free. However, you need to be very careful when going down this route as many of these offerings will not cover particular aspects which you, as an employer, need to include in your contracts.

With this in mind you may well find it more beneficial to come to us here at Simply-Docs. Whilst our contracts, templates and other documents are not free to download, they are guaranteed to be fully compliant with the latest legislation and they should be comprehensive enough to meet your needs. In essence, this means that you will be able to provide your employees with legal contracts that will specify their exact duties and responsibilities. This is important as, unlike a generic contract, it will ensure each and every person working for you is 100 percent aware of what is expected of them.

All of our contracts and templates have been drafted by legal professionals who are experts in their fields so you can be sure that any documents you download from us will fully address the particular needs of the roles they represent, as well as reinforce the staff seniorities which are implicit in the titles of the contracts.

As well as our comprehensive employment contracts and templates, you may also find our Staff Handbook Policies to be an invaluable addition to your business as they can provide your company with employment policies and documents which will help to ensure your contracted staff members comply fully with your firm’s employment regulations and codes of conduct.

To find out more and view samples of our high-quality offerings in greater detail, simply take a few moments to browse our web pages.

Benefits Of Using Document Templates

Like many other business owners, you may well have heard about the advantages of using downloadable document templates. Indeed, you may well have heard how templates of this kind enable users to create professional documents that have a unified and cohesive appearance. You may even know that templates used for these purposes can help business organisations of all sizes to exude a more corporate image.

However, these advantages are just the tip of the iceberg. The fact is that downloadable templates are able to provide business owners operating in all industries with a whole host of invaluable benefits.

The following are two of the most significant.


More Efficient Use of Time
Of course, staple documents like business correspondence, agreements and contracts are likely to be very important to your business. However, it is a fact that writing, editing and printing individual variants of these forms takes time. In addition, document creation – especially in small businesses – is often delegated to employees who would otherwise be carrying out their primary duties. This is hardly ideal as it forces workers to take time away from tasks which are likely to be more vital to your firm’s immediate business needs than proofreading forms! Templates can be invaluable in this respect as using ready-made documents saves a lot of time and hassle.


Simplified Document Creation
An important benefit of template services is that they provide your business with a comprehensive framework which gives you access to any files you may need, thereby simplifying the task of generating documents considerably. Indeed, making use of these kinds of template services enables you to effortlessly personalise any kind of document to suit your needs. Naturally this can be incredibly beneficial if your operation requires you to generate large numbers of documents.

Using a document template service gives you access to hundreds of ready-made documents which you can easily amend and alter to suit your needs.

So now that you know all about the chief benefits of using templates, you simply need to find a provider that offers a truly wide array of templates to download for ultra-competitive prices.

Fortunately for you, you’ve already found us!

Simply-Docs has an outstanding portfolio of legal and business document templates which is divided into five separate document folders – Business, Corporate, Employment, Health & Safety and Property – each of which contains a wide selection of templates for business contracts, agreements, forms, policies, statements and letters.

Subscribing to our service provides you with unlimited access to download any and all templates available from one or more folders for one whole year. For the price of a single document, you can download hundreds of templates, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Moreover, we always ensure our professionally drafted templates are kept updated so you can be sure your chosen documents will be in line with the latest legislation.

Taking advantage of our simple to use and very affordable template service will provide you with benefits which will help you grow your business.

Setting Up Your Own Business Empire

If you are thinking of setting up your own private limited company then you are to be congratulated. The responsibility of turning a profit from your own endeavours is a tough ask, so taking on the task shows that you are the type of person who certainly isn’t afraid of a challenge!

But why set up as a limited company? Why not go for the apparently more simple option of operating as a sole trader?

Sole Trader

While operating as a sole trader is generally easier (in terms of administration) and cheaper than setting up a private limited company, it does have a significant downside when it comes to the issue of personal financial liability. If your business fails as a sole trader, you are personally liable for its debts. The worst case scenario of this kind of liability is that you may well become personally bankrupt if your business becomes burdened with sizeable debts.

Limited Company

Unlike operating as a sole trader, setting up a limited company affords you limited protection against business debts. This is because a limited company is regarded as being a separate legal entity.

So, whilst operating as a sole trader might appear to be a simpler option at the beginning, it is clear to see that setting up a limited company is still your best bet in the long term.

But once you decide that setting up a limited company is the right thing to do, how should you actually go about doing it?

Setting Up your Limited Company

The first thing you need to do when setting up a limited company is to register its name with Companies House. This is a relatively simple task which requires you to do nothing more than furnish officials with some specific information and sign and date a number of important documents. If you are looking to form a brand new limited company (rather than purchase a pre-existing name) then you will need to send a Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association and a completed IN01 form to Companies House. A Memorandum of Association details the limited company’s name, registered office and nature of business, and must be signed by the director(s) in front of a witness. The Articles of Association sets out the rules for the running and regulation of the company.

These documents are readily available for download from our Corporate Documents Folder here on the Simpy-Docs website. In fact, we have a wide array of document templates, guidance notes, and other supporting legal forms which can be invaluable when starting up a limited company, so you may well find it very beneficial to have a good look round our pages and folders before you set up your own business empire!

How Companies Can Deal With “Sickies”

It is fair to say that most employees have pulled a “sickie” at one point or another during their working lives. These contrived excuses are occupational folklore as they generally involve wannabee absentees putting in Oscar worthy performances down the phone while they relay convoluted stories of malady and woe with some nicely timed coughs here and there.

But why is this? Why do some people feel the need to give work a miss when others are diligently working away?

Well, there are a number of reasons.

In general, people who feel inclined to call in sick when they are not really unwell are either bored at work, depressed, or have more pressing things to deal with such as personal issues or family matters. In addition, some Machiavellian absentees also take time off if they feel they have been working too hard.

Whilst some of these reasons may seem valid in certain circumstances, the truth is that unnecessary workplace absenteeism can have a very detrimental effect on employers. After all, it is employers who have to foot the bill of getting in a temp or paying other employees extra money to cover absent workers.

Of course, it’s not just in the coffers where unnecessary absences can have a negative effect. They can also cause staff morale to suffer too, as reliable employees will soon get fed up with having to pull up the slack of those who individuals who are sitting in their pyjamas watching telly at home while they slave away in the office.

So what is the answer? How can companies deal with this potentially debilitating problem? Well, the solution is actually very simple – have up-to-date working practices.

As established earlier, most employees go missing for a day or two because they feel the need to have a break from the monotony of work. Therefore, the answer lies in nipping this monotony in the bud. The best way for companies to do this is to adopt more flexible working patterns, such as flexi-hours and working from home for part of the week. Working in this way provides employees with some much needed variety and therefore makes it easier for them to remain engaged in their work. This in turn helps to keep them motivated and, in the long term, reduces the likelihood of them feeling the need to take a few unsolicited days off.

Of course, companies that adopt this approach will need to amend their staff handbooks as well individual workers’ employment contracts. Fortunately, all of the document templates needed to do this are available in our Employment Document Folder here on the Simply-Docs website. In fact, we have everything from full and part-time contract templates to staff handbook policy templates available for immediate download, so any company that is looking to upgrade its working practices can rest assured they will be able to do so in double-quick time when they come to us.

Employment contracts in the spotlight

Taking on new members of staff can be exciting. Perhaps you’re just starting out with your company, or maybe you’re going through a period of expansion.

However, before you get carried away, it’s important to think through all the implications associated with employing new people. There are a series of legal issues to deal with and if you don’t get to grips with these from the outset, you could run into serious problems further down the line.


For example, once you’ve chosen the individual or individuals you want to welcome into your firm, you’ll need to complete employment contracts. These documents will define your relationship with the new workers and it will detail your respective rights and responsibilities.

To make your life easier, it could help to take advantage of our document templates here at Simply-Docs. We offer a range of legal contracts and should have exactly what you’re after.

The facts

Employment contracts are agreements that set out an individual’s employment conditions, rights, responsibilities and duties. These are referred to as the ‘terms’ of the contract. Both employers and employees must stick to these contracts until they end; if either the worker or company gives notice or if the employee is dismissed. A contract can also end if the terms are changed, usually by agreement between the worker and employer.

Employers must also make clear to workers which parts of their contracts are legally binding.

In addition, it’s important to bear in mind that as soon as someone accepts a job offer, they have a form of contract with their employer.

Collective agreements

In some cases, employers make an agreement with employees’ representatives such as trade unions or staff associations. This is called a collective agreement and its terms may include matters such as how negotiations will be organised, who will represent workers and which employees are covered.

Check out our templates

The matters covered are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to employment law. As you can see, the issues are many and varied and so trying to handle all of this without assistance could be very time consuming and difficult. Also, you may be at serious risk of making mistakes that could come back to bite you later on.

By coming to us to use our legal forms, you could make your life much easier and potentially protect your organisation from legal difficulties. Our Employment Contracts Folder contains a wide selection of up-to-date employment contracts that can be applied to your needs immediately or with simple editing.

All of our employment contracts have been drafted by legal specialists to address the specific needs of jobs and staff seniority implied by the titles of the contracts.

How much?

You might be surprised to learn how inexpensive our employment contracts are. For only £35 plus VAT, you can access the entire Employment Document Folder for an entire year. To find out more about our employment contract templates, just take a look around the rest of our website.