Boom in use of agency workers is set to continue

Recently published research by the Resolution Foundation shows a boom in the use of agency workers by businesses looking to fill their skills gap, and the findings suggest that it’s a pattern that’s set to continue. Almost half (43%) of respondents said that they’d increased their reliance on agency staff during the past five years, ...

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pregnant employees

Research reveals outdated views on pregnancy from employers

By now, we are all very aware that it’s against the law to decide not to appoint a woman to a role because she’s pregnant, or has plans to start a family. So it might come as a surprise to discover the findings from a recent survey by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)....

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Employment law changes you need to be aware of for April 2018

There are always key developments in the world of employment law that you need to be aware of to ensure that your business is prepared. The clock’s ticking when it comes to ensuring your compliance, and we’re keen to make sure that you’ve got the knowledge, understanding and support that you need to smoothly guide ...

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working parents

Are you failing to support parents in your workplace?

The 2018 Modern Families Index, published by charity Working Families and childcare provider Bright Horizons has revealed that working parents are being pushed to ‘breaking point’ in the workplace, with many feeling pressurised to work more than their contracted hours. Because of the impact that their employment has on their home life, 10% had refused ...

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Thousands of workers could be applying for your jobs with fake degree certificates

An investigation by BBC Radio 4’s File on Four show has found that thousands of people in the UK had bought fake degree certificates from a so-called ‘diploma mill’ operating out of Pakistan. The universities named on the certificates don’t exist, and worryingly, it’s thought that around 3,000 bonus qualifications could be being used – ...

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Office romance

How to handle blossoming romances in your workplace

Dating apps might often be considered as the modern way to find a romantic partner, but plenty of people still find love at work. According to a study by Approved Index, 65% of office workers have been involved in at least one workplace relationship during the course of their career. And of course, it’s hardly ...

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Three key employment law changes you need to be prepared for this year

A new year brings new challenges when you’re running a business, and there are always key developments in the world of employment law that you need to be aware of, so you can ensure that your organisation is fulfilling its legal requirements. Not surprisingly, 2018 is set to be no different.

Though Brexit has offered ...

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Expense claims

Top tips to combat fraudulent expense claims from your employees

Businesses could be losing £100 million a year because of false and exaggerated expense claims, a recent survey by software company webexpenses has found. More than 4 in 10 respondents admitted that they had fiddled their expenses, with travel being an area in which many employees felt they could elaborate the truth. Almost 50% of ...

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Gig economy

How to ethically tap into the gig economy

Rarely does a month go by without the likes of Uber and Deliveroo hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The companies, which use labour on a self-employed basis, have repeatedly been accused of using loopholes in employment law to leave their team members worse off.

The Work and Pensions Committee and the Business ...

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Five struggles that new line managers face

So, a management position becomes available in your company and you make the decision to promote an existing member of staff. They’re eager, they’re passionate, and they’re full of potential. They’re also human beings though, and however excited they might be to step up and demonstrate what they can achieve, there are a few bumps ...

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January challenges

Three tricky challenges that business owners experience in January

As we hurdle into the New Year, the HR headaches that are typically associated with the Christmas period have become a distant memory. Hopefully, we won’t have to contend with snowy weather conditions or bad behaviour at the festive party for at least another eleven months.

Whilst many business owners are looking forward to a ...

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employment tribunal

Employment tribunal claims soar since fee abolishment

There has been a two-thirds increase in the number of employment tribunal claims from July to September 2017 compared with the previous quarter, since fees were abolished, according to new Government data.

The Government’s statistics show that single claims rose by 66% – the highest in four years. More significantly, claims for unlawful deductions from ...

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What small business owners need to know about GDPR

Despite the fact that Britain is set to leave the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation will come into force here in the UK on 25th May 2018. It’s been almost two years since the proposals were approved, but research from Blake Morgan LLP suggests that 23% of companies are still unaware of ...

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Staff handbooks

Why your company needs a staff handbook

The importance of a clear, concise staff handbook in any business, small or large, cannot be underestimated.

Handbooks should be designed to answer employees’ questions on their employer’s procedures and to avoid time-consuming case-by-case practice design. For example, if an employer has a redundancy policy in its handbook, it will not be under pressure to ...

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Christmas in the workplace

FAQs about Christmas in the workplace

Every year at around this time, we receive a ton of questions about workplace issues at Christmas. From parties to time off and everything in between, it can quickly turn into a minefield if you’re not suitably prepared. Is your business really ready for the festive period? Here, we’re going to outline some of the ...

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Digital skills

Warning: A lack of digital skills could be killing your business

We spend hours and hours each day scrolling through Facebook.
We arrange our personal and professional lives through social media.
We can hardly remember a time when answers weren’t right at our fingertips due to the magic of Google.

So, it may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that when it comes ...

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Parental Bereavement Bill

Parental Bereavement Leave Bill – What employers need to know

The Parental Bereavement (Pay & Leave) Bill was published on 13th October, and is expected to come into force in 2020. Introduced by Kevin Hollinrake MP, it will give employed parents with a minimum of 26 weeks of continuous service a day-one right to two weeks of paid parental bereavement leave if they lose ...

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The impact of GDPR on you and your HR practices

Business owners should have by now pencilled in May 25th 2018 as the date when the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force. But what does GDPR mean for your HR practices?

The simple answer is that it means a lot. Any company, big or small, will have to comply with new ...

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Sexual harassment

Are you taking sexual harassment claims seriously?

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has once again shone a light on the very serious issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. Though we’ve come a long way in recent years in terms of creating legislation to protect individuals against inappropriate behaviour and gender related discrimination, it’s crystal clear that there’s still a great deal of ...

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Can workplace satisfaction be successfully measured with emojis?

Sports Direct recently introduced a staff surveying system to its Derbyshire warehouse operation, asking its 3,500 employees to press a touchpad with either a happy or sad emoji face, to indicate their satisfaction with working conditions.

It’s a similar system to the one that you often see in public service stations, and it might seem ...

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The truth about ‘I don’t have time for HR’

If there’s one thing that we hear time and time again from business owners, it’s that they just don’t have enough hours in the day to take care of their HR processes and procedures. There are a million and one things on their list to take care of, and it can be all too easy ...

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HR challenges

Three key HR challenges for the fourth quarter

We’re quickly approaching the end of the calendar year, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to rest on your laurels and accept that the writing is already on the wall for 2017.

There are still wins to be made, goals to be hit and of course, challenges to overcome. Before getting stuck into the ...

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The Ryanair holiday disaster – a warning for business owners

Ryanair hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, and it’s fair to say that the debacle has had a serious impact on the public’s perception of the budget airline brand. Thousands of journeys were cancelled, leaving passengers disappointed and angry, due to the company messing up the planning of its pilots’ annual leave....

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Executives fighting

If Marketing and HR had a fist fight…

Which function would be the winner?
Who’d take the crown as the business owners’ can’t-live-without tool?
And perhaps more interestingly, could one exist without the other?

When business owners are looking to increase their bottom line, or attract more of the best customers and clients, then they often look for outside solutions. They look towards ...

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Artificial Intelligence

Could Artificial Intelligence replace your workforce?

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise, and it’s safe to say that it’s ruffled a fair few feathers. Many have speculated that its increasing popularity and sophistication will replace human workers, and many employees are concerned. In fact, recent research from Bersin by Deloitte found that 33% of workers expect their ...

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How to get your staff back on track after summer holidays

The summer months aren’t best known for being the most productive of seasons in the workplace. With many staff members heading off on holiday, or dreaming of more exotic locations than your offices, output can often take a bit of a slide in the wrong direction. It’s not long though until we hit the final ...

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HMRC names and shames National Minimum Wage offenders

HMRC has just published its latest list of employers who are failing to pay their staff the National Minimum Wage, and a whopping £1.9 million is due to be handed out in compensation for workers who didn’t receive what they were really owed.

It might come as a surprise to learn that household name Argos ...

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pawternity leave

Could pawternity leave be the next big thing?

According to the RSPCA, around a half of UK households own a pet. Though there’s no legal right for employers to give their staff time off to look after an ill animal, or to help a new puppy settle in at their new home, ‘pawternity’ leave is something that’s being discussed more and more.

Though ...

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Female executives

Companies with women executives perform better – so why has representation stagnated?

The results of the recent Pipeline’s Women Count survey have been published, and they raise some pretty interesting and important questions about female leadership, and the progress we’re making towards ensuring that women are given the opportunity to thrive in senior roles.

It was found that FTSE 350 companies with no women on the leadership ...

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What does the Taylor Review mean for employers

Has the Taylor Review failed workers in the gig economy?

The Taylor Review was hotly anticipated, and the findings were finally published recently. Commission by the Prime Minister back in October, the intention of the report was to take a look at how employment practices need to change in order to keep up with modern business models. It intended to address, amongst other things, employment ...

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Brexit Update – Repeal Bill confirms no immediate changes to workers’ rights

The Repeal Bill, otherwise known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was published earlier this month, and the 66-page document confirmed that EU-derived legislation including the Working Time Directive, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and TUPE will continue to apply once the UK leaves the EU.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, ...

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Be prepared

What every business owner needs to know for the third quarter

We’re just past the middle of the year, and now’s a great time to take a step back from the day-to-day running of your business and consider the bigger picture. It’s easy to get caught up with the issues going on right now on your shop floor, but good business owners know that regular strategic ...

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annual leave requests

What if you refuse annual leave, and the employee takes time off anyway?

You don’t need us to tell you that the summer period is peak season for staff members wanting to take some time out of the office. The kids are off school, people are thinking about a few weeks in the sun, and the annual leave requests start to come rolling in.

All business owners know ...

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Tribunal fees are set to be scrapped, how could this effect the small business owner

Employment tribunal fees look set to be scrapped after a landmark court decision this week.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the fees, introduced in July 2013, are unlawful, and thousands of people who paid to take their employers to tribunals will need to be refunded.

Since the introduction of the fees, there has been ...

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Should You Send Your Staff Home If It’s Too Hot?

According to the forecasters, we should soon be in the middle of a heat wave and there’s no telling how long it’s likely to last. In fact, you often can’t even rely on the weathermen to give you an accurate outlook, so it’s just a case of enjoying it while you can, or if you’re ...

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summer holiday requests

School’s out for Summer

It’s that time of year again. All across the country, teachers are breathing a sigh of relief and getting ready to wind down for the summer holidays, whilst parents are forced to consider how they’ll balance childcare responsibilities with their working lives.

The bottom line here is clear. When the kids are off school, either ...

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summer dress code

Should you have a summer dress code for your employees?

There are some pretty weighty issues kicking around in the world of employment at the moment. We’re still in the dark about what will happen as a result of Brexit. No one really knows just yet how the new government will be assembled. But the temperatures have been hitting some pretty lofty heights recently, so ...

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Drinks after work

A quick drink after work, or a serious problem for your business?

Many of us are no strangers to a little tipple after work. A glass of wine with colleagues to put the world to rights, an informal brainstorming session over a few beers or some all-important bonding and team building away from the constraints and routine of being tied to a desk.

But as a leader, ...

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Bored at work

Three Reasons Why HR Is Boring

Let’s be honest here… HR has something of a reputation for being a little bit boring. It’s a burden that we’ve carried for years, and it’s one that refuses to budge in a lot of circles.
But is there any substance behind it? Are we actually just a group of thundering bores who can bring ...

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working mum

How can you better support mums in your workplace?

As an employer it’s your duty to make sure that men and women are treated equally in the workplace, and that a woman’s decision to start a family doesn’t have to mean game over for their career.

It’s 2017, so you might think that we’re past the stage where these kinds of things are still ...

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Facebook friends with staff

Should you be Facebook friends with your employees?

There are a ton of challenges that come hand-in-hand with employing a team of staff….

Ensuring that productivity is high and that you’re getting a good return on your staffing investment.
Keeping up to date with performance reviews.
Staying on the right side of employment legislation.
And the tricky question of whether you should accept ...

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Could you make use of Freelancer talent

Could your business make better use of freelancers?

Thursday 8th June marks National Freelancers Day, and independent professionals up and down the country will celebrate the fact that they boldly work for themselves. It’s estimated that there are around 2 million freelancers operating in the UK and they’ve had their fair share of press recently.
With the gig economy being a key ...

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employment contract

Could zero hours contracts be scrapped following the election?

Employment legislation is hot news right now, as the main political parties release their manifestos, hit the campaign trail, and aim to make sure that voters know exactly how their lives can be improved if they make the right choice at the polling station come June 8th.
People care about how they’re treated ...

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Discover what the election could mean when it comes to how much you pay your staff

What will happen to the national living wage post-election? Right now, nothing is set in stone, but it’s a bargaining chip that the key parties are using to sway more support over to their side.
Theresa May has pledged to increase the rate to around £8.75 per hour by 2020, and the Labour Party have ...

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How to manage politics in the workplace

With the government having announced an election for 8th June, politics is something that is being discussed up and down the country. As a leader of a workforce, there are many potential problems that this could create. It can be a sensitive subject, fraught with emotion and strong opinions, so it makes sense to ...

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The Gig Economy… An opportunity for your business, or something to avoid?

These past few weeks, you might have noticed that the gig economy is something that’s being discussed more and more in the media. Essentially, it’s all about a labour market that’s characterised by lots of freelance work and short-term contracts, rather than permanent roles.
Some might say that it’s a win-win for employers and workers ...

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disaster looming

Is your next business disaster looming on the horizon?

You might not be surprised to hear that a high percentage of the enquiries that we get are from business owners who are experiencing what they consider to be ‘a bit of a disaster’, to say the least.

Sometimes, it’s that productivity levels have slumped to the extent that they can’t fulfill their agreements with ...

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Recruitment on Facebook & Linkedin

Will Facebook’s new jobs feature make LinkedIn obsolete?

For the past couple of years, LinkedIn has well and truly had a monopoly when it comes to being the social network of choice for recruiters and small business owners on the lookout for top new talent. With the new changes recently announced from Facebook though, the more ‘professional network’ might have a fight on ...

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Key employment law changes for April 2017

April is a fairly busy time for HR professionals and business owners alike. Not only are you required to tie up any loose ends from the previous financial year… You also need to make sure that you’re fully prepared for legislative changes that could impact your business. This is a time when new rules come ...

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Don't download people policies

Why you should never download your people policies online

If you’re like most employers, then the very first time that you realised that you were going to need some people policies to make sure that you’re compliant with the law and doing everything you can to drive performance and engagement, you probably carried out a quick Google search to grab what you needed.

It ...

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Is work-life balance ever really achievable for business owners?

When you dip into an article from an HR consultant about work-life balance, you probably have a few preconceptions about what we’re going to say to you.

You might imagine that we’re going tell you that time off is vital, and that no one can fire on all cylinders without getting some well-deserved time away ...

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What to do when an employee unexpectedly resigns

So things are ticking along nicely in your business…
Your staff are engaged, productive and they’re smashing their goals. Sales are on the rise and you’re feeling pretty pleased with the fact that you’ve managed to grow and nurture such an awesome team of employees.
But suddenly, there’s a spanner in the works……

Completely out ...

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How much bereavement leave should you give to your staff?

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently announced that the company would double its standard bereavement leave allowance, giving employees a total of 20 days off work to grieve for immediate family members.

Sandberg herself has spoken publicly about the death of her husband back in 2015, and in a statement issued via the social media network, ...

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Save on HR Support

Four ways that a good HR consultant could save you a ton of cash

Think that you can’t afford an HR consultant?
Know that you could do with a helping hand with some issues that are bubbling away under the surface, but wondering whether you can really spare the budget?
Considering whether you’d be better off just hoping for the best and carrying on as you are?

We get ...

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working from home

Could you let your staff work from home? It might be time to try something new

According to recent research by ILM, more than half of workers feel trapped by the rigid structure of their workplace. A whopping 74% said that they wanted more freedom and flexibility, so it’s not really surprising that homeworking is a trend that a ton of savvy employers are considering.
Homeworking provisions vary between businesses, but ...

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mental health

You survived Blue Monday… but is mental health an issue in your business?

So, if you’re reading this you made it through the most depressing time of the year. Seems like ages ago now, but ‘Blue Monday’ is the time when the new year feeling is over, we’re back into monotonous routine and there feels like there’s not a great deal to look forward to. It’s also bang ...

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One small little girl (boy) working on computer.

Avoid expensive mistakes when writing your job ads

Picture the scene……..
Your business is growing and it’s time to bring in an extra pair of hands to manage all the various different tasks that are clogging up your desk. Excellent! It’s a sign of growth and it could mark the start of an exciting new chapter for your business.

But you sit down ...

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Five strategies for being a better business owner

If you run your own business, then it goes without saying that you’ll want to be a better business owner. It might not sound as exciting as the tangible measures like bringing in more cash, or increasing your profits, or slashing unnecessary costs, but make no mistake…

ALL of these things can be a direct ...

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What you need to know if you’re recruiting in 2017

Brexit might have created uncertainty for business owners, but the latest research shows that 2017 could be a wonderful year for jobseekers. According to research by Manpower, the UK has returned to business as usual and the net employment outlook has risen to 7%.

So, if you’re planning to recruit to grow your business, what ...

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Staff retention

Why you should worry about your staff’s new year resolutions

This time of year presents a fantastic opportunity to ensure that your staff are fully onboard with your big strategic goals. By now, you’ve no doubt considered what you need to do to tap into the general feeling of renewed motivation. But are there things going on beneath the surface that you need to consider? ...

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Key Employment Law Changes for 2017

There are a few things that you can guarantee in life. Death, taxes and employment law changes. As we make our way into a new year, it’s essential that as a business owner you know exactly what’s coming and how to prepare for it.

Do you think that you can just hope for the best ...

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sickness at work

The problem with presenteeism

According to recent research from Canada Life Group Insurance, ‘presenteeism’ is still a very real issue for UK employers. In fact, 9 out of 10 staff said that they have gone into work whilst feeling ill. Though some might say that their dedication to the job is admirable, it’s something that can cause serious problems ...

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Woman with her fingers in her ears

Three truths that you don’t want to hear about working with an HR consultant

If you’re thinking about working with an HR consultant in your business, then you probably want to find out more about what the working relationship is really going to look like. You’ve seen the websites, the adverts and the promotional materials, and you might be feeling pretty optimistic about the whole thing.

But what’s the ...

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Secrets to overcoming the January productivity slump

Over the festive period, spirits are often high in the workplace. Everyone’s working towards shared goals, pulling together to make big things happen, and looking forward to the opportunity to take a little time out with friends and loved ones.

By the time that the New Year comes though, the general mood and feel has ...

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Expensive HR mistakes that too many small business owners are making

Would you call yourself a ‘reluctant leader’? It’s a title that many small business owners, if they’re being completely honest, might identify with.

You started your company because you had an exciting product or service to share and you believed in the impact that it could have on the world. As you grow though, there ...

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How to avoid workplace Christmas party nightmares

It’s fair to say that the workplace Christmas party gets its fair share of bad press. From punch-ups and offensively drunk staff, through to extra-marital activities and unwanted advances, we’ve all heard the horror stories. Depending on just how cautious you like to be, you might think that you’d be better off cancelling the whole ...

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Help! all my staff want time off over Christmas!

So, we’re quickly approaching the festive season and everything’s going well in your business. You’ve got robust plans in place so you’re in the best possible position for maximising your profits, and you’re feeling pretty organised and in control. All of a sudden though, you’ve got a big issue on your hands. Your staff want ...

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tattoos in the workplace

Would you have a problem with a tattooed employee?

It’s fair to say that body art and the workplace are two things that haven’t traditionally gone hand in hand. In recent years though, things have started to shift.

Back in 2014, Starbucks famously lifted its tattoo ban for its staff in a move that was applauded and welcomed with open (and perhaps intricately adorned) ...

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Three ways to save money on HR

If you’re an ambitious and savvy business owner, then you’ll already know that spending money on your HR function is absolutely essential. Your people have the power to drive your business forward and make sure that you’re bringing your big vision to life and when you get things right, your HR spending is an investment, ...

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Waiting for interview

Are you nervous about recruiting? Follow this advice….

When your business gets to the stage where you need to start bringing in extra help, it can be a really exciting time. You’re growing, you’re increasing your bottom line and it’s time to recruit your first employee so you can continue to make big things happen and make progress against your overall vision.

The ...

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How to welcome new staff into existing teams

Recruiting a new member of staff for your growing business can be a really exciting time, but it’s something that you should definitely consider carefully before you rush into taking action. One of the key challenges that you’re going to face is ensuring that your new recruit is welcomed into your existing team without any ...

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Stop lying to your employees

Corporate jargon is something that plenty of us use each and every day without giving it too much thought. Maybe you encourage a lot of ‘blue-sky thinking’. Perhaps you suggest to your team that you ‘take things offline’ when you’d rather have a more private conversation about an important issue.

Or, a little disturbingly, you ...

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How to use your greatest asset to maximise profits in the final quarter

At this time of the year, savvy business owners are starting to really knuckle down on the tactics that they’ll use to make the most of the opportunity that’s presented in the final quarter. Perhaps you’re rolling out special offers in your shops to entice festive spending, or maybe you have an exciting new line ...

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It’s time to admit that you’re only human

When many of us think about companies that have made big HR mistakes, we’re quick to jump to the assumption that it’s all the fault of greedy bosses who are more interested in lining their own pockets than doing the right thing by their loyal employees.

Mistakes with administrative processes that result in employees receiving ...

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Key employment law changes to watch out for this Autumn

As a business owner, it can often feel like there’s constantly a new piece of legislation on the horizon that you need to make sure that you’re compliant with.

There’s no denying that it can sometimes be tricky and confusing, but the first step is to ensure that you know exactly what’s coming. This means ...

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Should employers be worried about Pokémon Go?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the latest digital trend to be sweeping the world. Pokémon Go involves using your mobile device to locate and capture virtual creatures and it’s currently being used by more than 100 million users.

Some have praised the app ...

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Are you stamping out sexual harassment?

A recent report from the TUC, in association with the Everyday Sexism Project, found that 52% of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. The statistics are shocking and they demonstrate that whilst we may have come a long way in recent years, there are still serious problems that are deeply engrained into workplace ...

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Are you scared to hire following Brexit?

Has the news around Brexit left you feeling fearful for the future? If so, you are not alone. A report from CIPD and Adecco has found that the number of employers planning to hire new recruits over the next three months has nosedived from 40% to 36%, with the fall being ‘significantly higher’ in the ...

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Four strategies for reducing absenteeism

According to research by PwC, the annual cost of sickness absence has rocketed to £29 billion for UK organisations. Simply put, your staff are calling in sick and it’s having a severe impact on your bottom line. If you want to mitigate the impact, it’s time to think about how you can nip the problem ...

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Healthy workplace culture

Should employers ban cake culture?

Most of us are pretty familiar with so-called ‘cake culture’ in the workplace. Whether it’s to celebrate a birthday, a promotion, a retirement, or just the end of another week, there’s no shortage of baked goods to enjoy with a nice cup of tea in the office. It’s a tradition that plenty of us enjoy, ...

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How much

How much should you pay for HR services?

Are you at the stage in your business where you know you could use a little HR help, but you’re feeling unsure about the cost implications? You’re not alone.

It’s an issue that many business owners have to tackle and it can feel like an absolute minefield when you’re trying to hunt down all the ...

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How to handle hate in the workplace

We’re currently living through some very uncertain times here in the UK and you’ve no doubt seen the news stories unfolding in recent weeks detailing terrible acts of racism and xenophobia on our streets since the country voted to leave the EU.

There’s no denying that there’s a level of fear amongst minority communities, and ...

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BREXIT – what do employers need to know?

Several weeks have passed now since the majority of UK voters chose to opt out of the European Union, but it’s still very much the topic of ongoing conversation. With 52% of voters backing the Leave campaign, it’s clear that big changes are ahead and we’re moving into completely unchartered territory.

Regardless of what you ...

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negative staff

Dealing with a Debbie Downer in the workplace

If you’re the skeptical type, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a whole host of reasons right now to feel negative. The future of the country is up in the air, the summer so far has been a bit of a washout and the papers are full of tales of unrest and uncertainty.

In ...

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Nightshift workers

Top tips to share with nightshift workers

According to research carried out by TUC, the number of people regularly working through the night has rocketed to over 3 million since the start of the recession. Interesting, more and more females than ever before are becoming night workers.

Regardless of the industry that you operate in, it’s quite likely that there will come ...

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Are you riding the silver wave? Why not harness the skills of the older generation

New data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed that over 10 million over-50s are now in employment. The potential reasons could include the fact that the state pension age has increased and we’re also living longer than we were just a couple of decades ago. The fact of the matter is that we ...

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Why don’t your employees trust you?

Trust is a funny old issue. It’s hard to describe and it’s arguably not very measurable. Those who are skeptical of the HR profession might say that it’s exactly the type of thing that we’re known for dealing with. In other words, all fluff and no substance!

Jokes aside though, if there’s a lack of ...

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Dress code

Is It Legal To Force Women To Wear High Heels?

Dress codes are often used in the workplace and there are many reasons why an employer may have one, for example workers may be asked to wear a uniform to communicate a corporate image and ensure that customers can easily identify them. Often an employer will introduce a dress code for health and safety reasons, ...

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ramadan muslims

What business owners need to know about Ramadan

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan started on Monday 6th June and will draw to a close on Tuesday 5th July. The annual period sees prayer, fasting every day from sunrise to sunset and contributing to charity.

As 22% of the global population identifies as Muslim and all able-bodied followers of the faith ...

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Euro 2016 – A guide for employers

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no escaping from football at the minute. We’re currently slap bang in the middle of Euro 2016 and as a business owner, it’s likely that you’ll have to handle some issues that go a little deeper than arguing with your partner over the remote control.

Between now ...

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Wrk Experience

What you really need to know about offering work experience

The idea of giving local young people the opportunity to get a taste of the world of employment can be an appealing one, for many reasons. Offering work experience roles can strengthen your reputation, give you an immense amount of satisfaction and ensure that you’re playing your part in creating a skilled workforce for the ...

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What to do when your fellow director isn’t pulling their weight

Back when you first started your business you probably imagined that your fellow director was going to be a trusted partner, an indispensible asset, the Jay Z to your Beyoncé.

The honeymoon period rarely lasts long though. When you’re working together so closely, it’s inevitable that there are going to be times when you have ...

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Are you wasting time with vague job adverts?

According to Citizens Advice, it’s time for employers and recruiters alike to pull their socks up and start creating job adverts that effectively communicate key information about vacant roles.

It was claimed that nine out of ten job ads on internet recruitment portals failed to meet requirements outlined by the Advertising Standards Agency and failed ...

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Why is your customer service slipping?

If your customer service isn’t up to scratch, your profits are seriously going to suffer. Most business owners would probably be quick to say that it isn’t a problem in their operations, but can you honestly say that you couldn’t make some improvements? Working on upping your game in this area is the type of ...

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Summer at work

Is your workplace ready for the summer?

The days are getting longer and the temperature is finally on the rise. Chat is the office has turned to bikini diets and discount airlines. The pavements are packed full with joggers and cyclists. There’s no denying that summer is very firmly on the horizon. But is your business ready?

As always, a little preparation ...

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stop bad HR habits

Bad HR habits that could end your business

We all know that bad habits in our personal lives can lead to serious problems. From trying to adopt a healthier diet through to kicking cigarettes, most of us have experienced a time when we recognised that changes had to be made.

But have you ever stopped to think about the HR habits that could ...

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Employee handbook mistakes

Five mistakes that business owners make with employee handbooks

According to a recent study by XpertHR, 92% of companies have created employee handbooks to share with their staff. But the finished document is about so much more than just listing your policies and sharing some mission statements that you’ve cobbled together over a cup of tea with your managers.

Based on the statistics, you’ve ...

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Money down the toilet

Three reasons why you’re wasting money on your recruitment processes

If your business is growing and you’ve got more customers and clients coming through your doors, then you might be thinking about recruiting more staff during 2016. Of course, this can often be great news and a real indicator that you’re heading in the right direction.

But whether you’re completely new to the world of ...

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Four strategies for reducing absenteeism

According to research by PwC, the annual cost of sickness absence has rocketed to £29 billion for UK organisations. Simply put, your staff are calling in sick and it’s having a severe impact on your bottom line. If you want to mitigate the impact, it’s time to think about how you can nip the problem ...

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How to get yourself out of an HR pickle

In an ideal world, we’d never have to worry about firefighting people issues within our businesses. We’d have perfectly crafted policies, highly skilled line managers and an engaged workforce with individuals who are passionate about helping our operations to reach their full potential.

Of course though, things don’t always quite work out this way. Pretty ...

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Employees communicating with each other

Five questions to ask your employees this week

If you speak to most employers, they’ll probably tell you that they have a pretty good grasp on what’s going on in their workplace. There’s small talk over sandwiches in the canteen and important discussions in the meeting rooms. You probably feel like you have your finger on the pulse and know exactly what’s going ...

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Your guide to minimising conflict in a family business

Being part of a family business can seem like a dream come true for many people. The opportunity to work alongside your nearest and dearest to pursue your goals and create financial independence is something that can have huge appeal, so it’s no surprise that Harvard Business School has reported that family firms account for ...

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Are you prepared for the National Living Wage?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll no doubt be more than aware that the new regulations regarding National Living Wage will soon be rolled out from 1st April 2016. Workers in the UK aged over 25 earning the current minimum wage of £6.70 per hour will be entitled to a 50p increase....

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How to avoid costly legal action against your business

When you’re an HR consultant, you often find yourself having in-depth conversations about how business owners can avoid legal action. Of course, we offer services that go way beyond this. We can help you to boost your profits, create a happier and more productive workforce and achieve your big strategic goals.

Still though, steering clear ...

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Do homeworkers have pointless lives?

An article published by the Financial Times recently suggested that those who work from home miss out on the important feeling that their lives and work have purpose. Unsurprisingly, the piece has caused a stir amongst the self-employed and business owners alike.

If you keep up to date with management trends and the latest strategies ...

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Five critical actions for managing an employee grievance

If a member of your staff brought up a grievance, would you know how to handle it? Regardless of how good your people practices may be and how capable your line managers are, you might find yourself in a situation whereby you need to follow a formal grievance procedure.

This procedure should be included in ...

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Human Resources, HR

Get it right first time – recruiting HR staff

So your business has been moving in the right direction for quite some time and you’ve realised that your people really are your greatest asset. You know that effective HR practices and procedures can be the cornerstone of strategic growth, and you feel like you no longer have the time or energy to manage everything ...

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Make sure you’re ready for National Living Wage

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, you’ll no doubt be more than aware that the new regulations regarding National Living Wage will soon be rolled out. From 1st April 2016, workers in the UK aged over 25 earning the current minimum wage of £6.70 per hour will be ...

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How to handle office romances

With many of us spending more and more time at the office, it’s no surprise that many working relationships blossom into something a little more intimate. In fact, research carried out by CareerBuilder.com found that 38% of workers have dated a colleague at some point in their working lives.

Those individuals are in pretty good ...

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snooping on employees

Should you snoop on your employees?

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that employers can justify reading their workers’ online private messages.

An engineer in Romania asked the judges to rule that his employer had breached his right to confidential correspondence, but it was ultimately decided that the individual had broken the terms of his employment by sending ...

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Employee health and wellbing

How to improve health and wellbeing amongst your employees

At this time of year, many of us are keen to get back on the right track after plenty of indulgence. The wine bottles have been drained and plenty of fruit and vegetables are back on the shopping list.

You’ve probably already considered your own health and fitness, but have you thought about your employees? ...

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Staff retention

Staff retention has never been more important

With the concept of a ‘job for life’ rapidly declining, many business owners are finding it increasingly tough to keep hold of their best people.

Even though the economic climate may be tough, talented employees always have other options, and if you aren’t doing all you can to keep them motivated and engaged, you’re running ...

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HR policies - bad weather

Weathering the winter storms

At this time of the year, the weather is the topic of conversation in workplaces all over the country.
When will the cold snap end?
Are we wrapping up warm enough for the journey into work?

As a business owner though, your concerns may be a little more pressing. You might already know from experience ...

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Team performance

Rocket your team’s performance in 2016

So when you take a look back at how your business performed in 2015, are you satisfied with what was achieved? A little reflection is always useful, but now’s the time to start thinking about the future. You no doubt have big plans for the next 12 months. You’ve got targets to meet and goals ...

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Top considerations

Top considerations for business owners in January

Now that the dust has settled on the new year, it’s time for many bosses to get back to business and start creating their 2016 success story. You’ve hopefully been able to spend some time relaxing over the festive period, so you’re ready to face your new challenges with excitement.

Whether you were planning to ...

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Make HR support your secret weapon

Growing a business without HR expertise is challenging at best, and a constant uphill struggle at worst. If you’ve ever had to tackle a people issue on your own, you’ll know just how stressful it can be.

Between trying to manage your legal obligations, and meeting your operational requirements, firefighting can become part of your ...

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You have less than 4 months to prepare for mandatory National Living Wage

The UK government has announced that from April 2016, a mandatory national living wage for employees over the age of 25 will be introduced. For over 25’s the minimum wage currently stands at £6.70 but will be increased by 50p per hour from April to £7.20.

Conservative First Secretary of State George Osborne said, ‘Britain ...

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How to create a successful relationship with your HR Consultant

As your business grows, you might decide that the time is right to start working with an HR consultant. It’s certainly true that having a people professional on your side can bring huge benefits, and it could be exactly what you need to create steady and manageable growth.

Before setting the wheels in motion, it ...

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Four tips for managing sickness absence

It’s inevitable that from time to time, your members of staff will get sick. It’s to be expected, and it’s something that you can’t really avoid as you grow your business and your workforce.

As an employer though, you need to be sure that you’re managing your sickness policies and procedures in the right way. ...

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Expert tips for maximising your profits this Christmas

Have you started to think about how you’ll maximise your profits this festive season? Savvy business owners are starting to pull together their plans to ensure that they’ve built some strong foundations for success. Of course though, some expert guidance can really make all the difference, and that’s what we’re here to provide.

Perhaps you’re ...

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Does Your No Smoking Policy Cover E-Cigarettes?

E-Cigarettes at work – allowed or not allowed?

As more and more people turn to e-cigarettes to curb their nicotine addiction, now is the time to review your company’s no smoking policy.

Points for action:

  • The decision is a timely reminder to all employers that if they have not already done so, they should decide whether to allow employees to smoke e-cigarettes, personal ...
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The big lie of mediocrity

Getting the best from your people through good HR practices

Getting the best from your people through good HR practices

Think that HR support is just about making sure that you don’t break the law, and having all the right paperwork in order?

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that. It’s an approach that many business owners take, even in huge organisations that have the ...

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Do you fully understand shared parental leave?

The challenges of shared parental leave

New rights to allow parents to share leave following the birth or adoption of their child have now become law as of 1st December 2014.

The new rules mean that couples with babies due, or children matched or placed for adoption, after 5 April 2015 will enable, after an initial two weeks, up to ...

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Apprenticeship salaries to rise by 20%

If you’re hiring apprentices now, at the current minimum wage of £2.73 per hours, be aware that the coalition Government have announced that this rate will rise in October 2015 by a whopping 20% pushing apprenticeship salaries to a minimum £3.30 per hour. This increase is the largest ever seen for apprentices and is 50p ...

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How HR Support Can Save You From Financial Ruin

Top Tips: How HR support can save you from financial ruin

Having some HR support isn’t about being ‘pink and fluffy’, robust HR practices are critical not only for developing your business but for protecting you from financial risk.  Take note of the following common small business pitfalls and build in some structured processes and you could be protecting yourself against some of the biggest HR ...

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Specialist HR advice

Love it or hate it, Social Media is here to stay

Many employers that allow employees to have access to social media see it fraught with danger and choose to prohibit or tightly control access.  Others see it as an opportunity to use their employees to promote their brand and actively encourage them to become online advocates.

Whatever camp you fall into, if you don’t have ...

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What does the EAT ruling on overtime and holiday pay mean to employers?

Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) rules that overtime should be taken into account when calculating holiday pay – what does it mean for businesses in practice?

The EAT ruled that people obliged to work overtime should have overtime pay and other bonuses and allowances included in their holiday pay.  This ruling could lead to pay-outs worth ...

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