Catering Scotland

Promoting the Best Candidates is Key to Serving Up Success

 Breaking News
  • Graham and Sibbald Announce Directorship Roles OIOpublisher Chartered surveyors and business valuation experts, Graham and Sibbald have announced the promotion of Kevin Hunter and Scott Graham to director. With more than 12 years’ experience, Kevin (pictured...

Promoting the Best Candidates is Key to Serving Up Success

Promoting the Best Candidates is Key to Serving Up Success
March 31
12:23 2016

Alan Delaney cropChoosing who to promote within your organisation can be a tricky task at the best of times, but in the high pressure environment of the catering sector, the pitfalls are even greater. Picking the right person to take on responsibility in your business is crucial, but it must be done through a robust process.

 Alan Delaney gives the low-down on the legal intricacies of promotions for hotels, pubs and other hospitality operations…

I need to make a promotion; what should I do?

When considering internal candidates for a job – exclusively or alongside others – it’s important to consider a candidate’s skills, and their suitability for additional responsibilities. For internal candidates, your ongoing performance management process should have already identified career aspirations, alongside regular assessments of ability and performance. You may also have set objectives that individuals need to meet in order to be considered for promotion.

However, it is crucial to ensure that any selection process or appointment to a promoted role does not give rise to any unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. It might be important, for example, to consider your duty to make reasonable adjustments when considering a disabled employee for a promoted role.

Should I have a performance management system in place?

Even the smallest employers usually have plans to grow, so it’s worth having a performance appraisal system which is designed to encourage career advancement and identify candidates for promotion.

Such a system should also ensure employees at all levels are contributing to the overall workplace aims. Not only will such a system help you promote the right people, it will help ensure they are properly assessed and supported in their new role.

Should a fresh employment contract be issued?

When making a significant promotion, it’s advisable to issue a fresh contract outlining the duties and responsibilities of the new role. Difficulties can arise where employees have been internally promoted several times (for example, from kitchen assistant, through to chef and head chef or manager), but contracts of employment have not been updated. As well as the changes to job title, duties and pay, there may well be alterations to working hours and bonus or benefits eligibility. Beyond these changes, it is also important to consider any further elements which may need to be introduced into employment contracts as employees are promoted, such as longer notice periods, mobility or flexibility clauses, or post-termination restrictions.

What if the changes are not significant?

Where the majority of terms and conditions will remain the same, a letter setting out the variation to the existing contract could be used, provided it sufficiently details the changes involved and is signed and dated by both parties.

What about a probationary period?

Where there is a concern over the employee stepping up to deliver the new role, a probationary period might be included (alongside any training, mentoring or support provided). This should also make clear, for example, what the consequences of failing to pass this period would be. If it would involve a return to the original role, that role should not be backfilled on a permanent basis.

Alan Delaney is a director in the Employment and Pensions team at Maclay Murray & Spens, and a member of the firm’s Food and Drink team.

For assistance, advice and help with all employment law matters, contact Maclay Murray & Spens on 0330 222 0050, or visit

About Author

Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Only registered users can comment.