How to manage gender reassignment in the workplace – Part 3

In yesterday’s blog we discussed disclosing gender identities, so in this blog we cover how to support your employees and what changes you can make in the workplace.

Managing changeover of an employee’s personal details:

Terminology – You should ask the employee how they wish to be addressed. If the employee is in agreement inform their colleagues and ensure they use the correct terminology.

Documentation – Employer and employee should agree what details need to be changed i.e personal records, access passes etc. A discussion of what will happen to previous records relating to gender should take place to ensure confidentiality is maintained.

Appearance and dress code – A gender neutral dress code could be applied or if not appropriate the employee should be able to follow the dress code in a way which best fits their gender identity.

Toilet, changing and shower facilities –  An employee should never be segregated and told to use particular facilities but be allowed to use those they feel best match their identity following gender reassignment.

Irvine, California, USA. 15th Feb, 2015. The University of California at Irvine campus has designated nearly two dozen public bathrooms as gender neutral using signage with ''Inclusive Restroom, '' written out in white letters below a white triangle featu

Dealing with a sensitive gender identity matter – Issues such as names and/or gender not matching their passport/ID need to be handled sensitively whilst still ensuring the company is compliant in its checks.  Having a third party a business can turn to, to handle these issues can be reassuring for both employer and employee.

Company health insurance scheme – To ensure trans employees are treated fairly, it is recommended for an employer to include treatments and procedures for gender reassignment in its scheme.

Absence from work because of gender reassignment – It is discriminatory to treat an employee, who is absent from work to undergo gender reassignment, less favourably. Depending on an employer’s policy for managing absence, they may wish to record absences due to gender reassignment, but shouldn’t include them in ‘absence triggers’. It may be worth considering if you offer limited special leave (at your discretion) which maybe paid or unpaid

Performance – It is recommended to make allowances for the trans employee’s job performance during transition and a short period afterwards, as surgery is likely to have temporary side effects.  An employee may ask to move to another role or change some duties which may cause difficulties whilst they transition or they may request a phased return to work, wherever possible this should be considered and catered for.

Trans and mental health – A person questioning their gender may experience mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. An employer can support the employee, by providing a welcoming and safe environment at work.

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Support an employee with a family member transitioning – It is a type of direct discrimination to treat an employee less favourably than another because of the gender reassignment of someone they are associated with. The impact on an employee with a family member who is transitioning can be considerable; therefore you should treat them with sensitivity and provide them with support such as time off.

Develop trans inclusive policies  – Trans inclusive policies will need to be rolled out. Matters covered should include:

  • Transitioning at work including leave and pay
  • Dress code
  • Toilet, changing and shower facilities
  • Employee’s personal records and how these will be dealt with
  • If possible how an employee can transition to another role/department
  • How an employee should report any gender reassignment discrimination
  • Unacceptable behaviour towards employees inclusive of those of non-binary identities
  • Maternity/paternity/adoption/shared parental leave

These processes are always best supported by HR and it may be advisable to outsource your projects where possible. HR Revolution can carry out any project to ensure the process is performed unbiasedly.

If you need further information or guidance, give HR Revolution a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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How to manage gender reassignment in the workplace – Part 1

The Equality Act 2010 says that you must not be discriminated against because you are transsexual – that is, your gender identity differs from the gender assigned to you at birth.  In the Equality Act it is known as gender reassignment. All transsexual people share the common characteristic of gender reassignment.

Employers, managers and colleagues should be aware that no two gender reassignment situations or two ‘trans’ identities are likely to be exactly the same.  If an employee feels they have been discriminated against, they will be able to bring a claim to an Employment tribunal.

We have put together a three part blog that highlight where you need to be more vigilant when it comes to gender reassignment discrimination in the workplace.

Recruitment

Job advert/job description – These documents can be difficult to write at the best of times; try to ensure they are clear on exactly what is needed for the post.

Advertising – You should consider more than one type of media or advertising platform to avoid ending up with too narrow an audience.

Personal information – Make sure any information you request is relevant to the recruitment process.

Interview – When you meet an applicant, do not assume someone’s gender by their appearance.

References – When contacting a previous employer for a reference always ensure you have the employees consent and be careful to use the correct name and title.

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Equality monitoring form – You do not have to track how many job applications you receive from different groups of people, or the characteristics of the people working for you. However, if you do collect personal information (e.g. ethnicity, gender, faith, sexuality) about job applicants or an employee, you must protect their data. You must not discriminate against a candidate based on their personal information.

Pay, terms and conditions of employment

It is important to ensure there are no terms and conditions or contractual benefits that disadvantage or exclude someone based on their gender or gender reassignment.

Promotion

In promotion opportunities, discrimination can be:

  • Turning down applications from anyone because they are proposing to reassign their gender
  • Discourage an employee from applying because they have or are reassigning their gender
  • Not promoting an employee who is the best person for the job based on gender reassignment.

As an employer you have a duty to assess someone’s promotion based on their ability and performance. It is advisable to have a well-structured process for promotions and link these to performance reviews where possible to eliminate the risk of discrimination.

Training

An employer should ensure training opportunities are equally accessible for employees who propose to go through, are going through or have gone through gender reassignment. You should also ensure that you do not withhold training due to those reasons as it could be discriminatory.

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Dismissal

It is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee because of their gender reassignment, perceived gender reassignment or association with someone else’s gender reassignment.

Redundancy

An employee must not be at a disadvantage or discriminated against in a redundancy process because of their gender reassignment, perceived gender reassignment or association with someone else’s gender reassignment.

When going through redundancy consultations any employees absent because of gender reassignment should still be consulted with.

These processes are always best supported by HR and it may be advisable to outsource your projects including redundancy where possible. HR Revolution can carry out any project to ensure the process is performed unbiasedly.

Look out for Part 2 of the blog tomorrow.

If you need further information or guidance, give HR Revolution a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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Cyber security – What is it and what does it mean?

Cyber security is the protection of computers, networks, programs and data from unintended or unauthorised access, change, theft or destruction. It is a company’s responsibility to protect and keep secure data such as;

  • Personal information – names, addresses, NI numbers, ethnicity, bank details
  • Customer information – financial data, business data

A breach is cyber security can greatly affect you and your business so it is important to understand what the potential risks are and where they come from to be able to guard against them.  Let’s go through some key points to be aware of:

Firstly you need to understand the main things that are at direct risk in the event of a security breach: your money, your information/data and your reputation.

So you know what’s at risk,  now you need to know who could pose a risk?

  • Negligent employees
  • Disgruntled employees that may have malicious intent
  • Business competitors for economic advantage
  • Criminals for financial gain

cyber security

A breach in your Cyber Security can be carried out in many different ways including:

  • Theft/unauthorised access
  • Remote attack / hacking
  • Attacks on third party systems i.e. company bank account
  • Accessing information from employees

Ok so now you know what is it at risk, who might want to carry out a cyber threat/attack and how they might do it, but do you know what the fundamental impact is on your business? The bottom line, a Cyber attack can result in:

  • Financial loss from theft
  • Financial loss from disruption to trading
  • Loss of business from bad publicity/damage to reputation
  • Costs for cleaning up effected systems
  • Costs of fines if personal data is lost
  • Damage to companies you work closely with

All of the above can truly be the undoing of a business.

There are many different types on Cyber Security attackers: 

Opportunists – Usually attack for personal gain, reputation or financial gain. They only target organisations when an easy opportunity presents itself.

Cyber Criminals – Steal information e.g. credit card or bank details for financial gain.

Hackers – Usually attack for financial gain and the breaking of a secure site. Hackers access information or deface websites for political or ideological ends.

Insiders  Usually disgruntled or dishonest employees who destroy or steal information to cause embarrassment. They may damage or steal equipment to disrupt the business. Employees may mistakenly send confidential information to the wrong recipient.

And they have many ways in which they will carry out an attack: 

Social media exploitation  – Is the act of using sites, such as Facebook, Twitter etc. to attack a computer system

Hacking – A type of remote attack to gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer, mainly via personal IT equipment

Phishing – Fake emails and/or web links.

Malware – Software with a hidden function to capture data. This software can also encrypt workstations and demand ransom money.

Denial of Service – A type of attack that is designed to bring a network to its knees by flooding it with useless traffic, preventing legitimate users from accessing information or services.

Insider threat – Is a malicious attack perpetrated on a network or computer system by a person/employee with authorized system access.

scammer fakeOne of the  most common attacks is fake emails, and we have all had them, but if you are unsure if an email is real or not follow these tips: 

  • Do I recognise the senders email address?
  • Do I know this person?
  • Is this their usual email address?

Note: Be aware, spammers attempt to send email using your legitimate friends, colleagues or family email addresses. They may have obtained these email addresses from contact lists using malware installed on their computers

Emails should always have meaningful subject lines. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this email subject look unusual?
  • Are there spelling mistakes?
  • Is there excessive punctuation?

Out of the ordinary or poorly written subject lines may hint to a fraudulent or spam email.

Lastly be wary of links in emails, they can be easily disguised and may take you to malicious websites.

We hope you enjoyed our tips and advise on Cyber Security and what to look out for, check in tomorrow for the next blog in this series: “Cyber security – what are the responsibilities”

Get in touch and let HR Revolution run through a GDPR audit to see where and how quickly changes can be implemented.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU), and will apply from 25 May 2018, changing the way businesses manage personal data.

GDPR’s main concepts and principles are much the same as the current Data Protection Act, so most of your approach to compliance will remain valid under the GDPR and can be a great point to start from. However, the GDPR does come with some new elements which you will need to change and incorporate into your current processes and practice. Here we highlight the key areas you need to be aware of and act upon:

Awareness:  This may seem simple but you must make key people aware that the law is changing to the GDPR.

Information you holdIt will be necessary to document all the personal data you hold including where it came from and who you share it with.

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Communicating privacy information: Review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place for making any necessary changes.

Individuals’ rights: Check your procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have.

Subject access requests: Update procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales

Lawful basis for processing: Identify the lawful basis for processing activity, document it and update your privacy notice to explain it.

Consent: Review how you seek, record and manage consent. Refresh existing consents if they don’t meet GDPR standards.

Children: Put systems in place to verify individuals’ ages and to obtain parental or guardian consent.

Data breaches: Put procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.

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Data Protection by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessments: Familiarise yourself with the ICO’s code of practice on Privacy Impact Assessments and the latest guidance from the Article 29 Working Party. Work out how to implement these.

Data Protection Officers: Designate someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance. You should consider whether you are required to formally designate a Data Protection Officer.

International: If your company operates in more than one EU member state, you must determine your lead data protection supervisory authority.

Although the new law doesn’t come into effect until May 2018 it’s a good idea to start protecting your data as best you can now.

Cyber security is a huge part of GDPR and this week our blogs will help you to understand what you need to know.

Look out for our blog tomorrow “Cyber Security, what is it?”

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Get in touch and let HR Revolution run through a GDPR audit to see where and how quickly changes can be implemented.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit: www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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4 reasons why small businesses should invest in HR…

When starting up a business, spending money on HR initiatives and policies can easily slip to the bottom of the to-do list. The general focus is to drive immediate returns, and so it can take time to see a real return on investment of HR. As a result, HR is being thrown in the mix with ‘business admin’ and is reduced to a mere box-ticking exercise.

In place of an effective HR strategy, small business owners frequently try to encourage friendly and informal relationships, working under the implied promise of trust and  casual compliance with ‘this is the way that we do things around here’.

Many of the start-ups that began life this way, in a burst of enthusiasm, optimism and sheer hard graft, do not make it past their fifth birthday. Unfortunately, relying on their inherently goal-orientated and collaborative start-up culture to support people management requirements is not an effective plan for growth and longevity.

Small businesses need to strike the balance between managing ground-breaking innovation and challenging the status quo, with ensuring that they have streamlined processes in place that pave the way for long lasting growth. HR is not there to squash these cultural ideals, it’s there to form the foundations on which a successful business can grow and thrive.

So why should small businesses invest their time and money in HR from the beginning and ensure they get a return on their investment? Here are four reasons why small businesses should invest in HR.

1. HR adds value

Small businesses see little, if any, distinction between the strategic and transactional elements of HR. As a result, it is systematically undervalued and under resourced. And yet there is plenty of evidence to show that strategic HR delivers real dividends – especially among disruptive companies that are challenging the status quo. Netflix is a good example of fresh thinking about people management and how centralising and prioritising the employee experience can deliver exceptional results. This innovative culture has been a key factor in the company’s success.

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2. Small businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable

With their relaxed attitude to people management, small businesses are leaving themselves exposed to claims that they may struggle to defend in an Employment Tribunal. By investing in HR and developing policies and best practice they will have a fundamental framework to fall back on.

Employee handbooks are essential in today’s workplace as they help set out core Company expectations in terms of general conduct and integral UK policies and employment legislation, take a look at HR Revolution’s employee handbook template designed to cover everything your business requires to remain compliant.

3. It will come back to haunt you if you don’t

The value of HR is often downplayed in the early stages of a business and this can come back bite them, just look at Uber. And they are not alone. There has been no shortage of news stories revealing issues within larger businesses that could have been avoided if even the most basic of HR procedure was in place. Unfortunately, these companies thought about it too late and it rebounded back on them ten fold because by this time they are no longer a small start-up.

4. Managing HR admin is a misuse of individuals’ skillsets

As a small business, you probably don’t have a dedicated HR person – this is typically because at this early stage, survival is the biggest business priority. As a result, the management of HR administration such as approving holidays, managing sickness, and approving expenses, is landing in the laps of busy senior employees by default.

According to recent research, CEOs of small businesses are spending, on average, eight hours a week on all HR-related tasks. That’s more than office or operations managers who spend seven hours a week and might more realistically be expected to spend time on administrative activity. To put that into perspective, the median average cost of CEO time spent on HR equates to £18,700 each year and is an absolute misuse of individuals’ skillsets.

This is where HR Revolution can help you save valuable time and money by automating your all consuming HR tasks…  with breatheHR, an online HR information system starting from as little as £9 per month.

It has been shown that dedicated HR software saves small businesses, on average, four hours a week on HR admin with the use of software that can assist you with your day-to-day tasks.  Take a look at breatheHR below and manage your people, not paper!!

HR Revolution HRIS Licence - Header

Summary

It’s no longer acceptable for small businesses to allow HR due process to fall by the wayside, prioritising new business over their people management. In the current business economy, where 40% of businesses fail within the first five years, enthusiastic entrepreneurs need to change their tact. Whilst your investments may not bring about immediate returns, your return on investment will be clear when your trained, supported and rewarded employees grow with you.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit http://www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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A version of this blog first appeared on breathehr.com

HR Revolution’s guide to organising work Christmas parties…

The Christmas period is a challenging time for many companies and business owners alike.  Profits are at the forefront of their minds to ensure sales continue right up to the end of the year and their products and services are the ones consumers want to spend their hard earned cash on.

If you’re caught up with the complexities of planning your approach to maximising sales and profits, you might not have yet thought about whether you’ll organise a Christmas party for your employees.

On paper, it’s a great idea. Everyone enjoys a chance to unwind, and you reward your employees for all their hard work that they’ve put in over the past year.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Generally speaking, Christmas parties get a lot of bad press. You’re probably familiar with horror stories involving workers who have taken full advantage of the free bar, and then went on to well and truly disgrace their employers. The truth of the matter here though is that these incidents are few and far between.

Yes, of course things can go wrong. But if you do some thorough planning in advance, you can avoid problems and give your employees the motivational celebration that they deserve.

Download our FREE guide, where we will go through the bases you need to cover so you can round off 2017 on a high note for you and your employees.

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Why not give us a call, or visit our website: HR Revolution, we are ready to answer any Christmas related questions you may have +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution, expert CIPD HR professionals, supporting your employees and business.

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3 difficult questions you need to ask yourself before 2018

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I’m sure by this stage in the year you have asked yourself the important questions about how your business measured up during the past year.  You’ll know how much you increased your turnover and how many new employees you recruited and what your goals are moving forward.

Planning sessions can be hugely useful, but it can be easy to miss the less obvious measures of what you are and are not achieving.  If you are serious about making 2018 a success, you really need to delve a little deeper and consider the questions that probably haven’t even crossed your mind.

So have you really thought or asked yourself the following questions:

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What HR mistakes have you made over the past year?

Running a business is a steep learning curve, so whether you are completely new to entrepreneurship or been in business for years, the world is constantly changing and adapting and you need to make sure that you are keeping up.  What worked in the past won’t necessarily bring about desirable results right now.

So have you make any mistakes in HR during 2017?  Think about operational issues, as well as the bigger strategic picture.  Are your employees on-board with organisational goals?  Does everyone understand and embrace their role in achieving growth?  Only when you get really honest with yourself, can you start to work out how you won’t fall into the same trap.

Are your managers really capable?

It is safe to say that your managers are, in many respects, the backbone of your business.  They deal with the day-to-day issues, they handle unexpected events, they make sure your policies are implemented and adhered to and they keep things ticking over when you can’t be there.  So its vitally important that they can perform to the best of their ability.

It is important to note here that identifying problems when it comes to capability isn’t about pointing the finger.  You need to avoid knee-jerk reactions and carefully consider where there is room for improvement, and create a plan that will help you get to where you want to be.  This may involve training, coaching, mentoring etc.

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What do you need to do to grow as a leader?

It’s easy to overlook your own personal development when  you’re trying to grow a team, but it is crucially important.  How can you be expected to get the most out of everyone else, if you aren’t constantly improving and growing yourself?  This should be a consideration throughout the year, but it is easy to drop the ball and now is a good time to look back and reflect.

Remember, asking questions can be a huge source of growth in your business, but you need to be really honest with yourself when working out the answers! Jot down your thoughts, then scrap them and work on being really truthful… It’s not necessarily easy, but the powerful tactics rarely are!

HR Revolution are here to help you get answers and get organised for 2018, get in touch today +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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