How to improve your HR practices by the end of the year…

Ok business owners it’s now the final quarter of 2018! if you still have some goals that you haven’t quite achieved, now’s the time to do it and make that final push.  It’s also time to look back and see over the year and work out your wins, losses and what needs to be done differently in 2019!!

When you are reflecting on the year make sure that you don’t forget to factor in your people practices and how they have performed over the last 12 months.  Of course we know that most HR challenges can’t just be achieved overnight, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t act now to make positive and noticeable changes.

We outline/suggest a few ways in which you can take control and start making changes before 31 December.

Make a plan for 2019

You may be looking at what is needed to be done around the Christmas period, maybe recruiting temporary employees or tying up any loose ends an that is great.  But what about the bigger picture, will you be facing any challenges it the coming months?, are there any opportunities you can look at to help you meet your wider strategic goals?

Planning or having a plan will help to put your mind at ease that you have thought about things and hopefully not be faced with any nasty surprises.

HR Solutions

How compliant are your legislative changes?

I’m sure you would like to say that you are fully compliant, but when it comes down to it are you absolutely positive that you’re doing everything you should be?

We understand that the day-to-day complexities of running a business can sometimes get in the way, but if you haven’t done everything that’s required of you, you could be leaving yourself very vulnerable to problems in the future.

Do you need an HR audit?

Keeping on top of everything people orientated as your business grows can be a daunting process, but it need not be and as an early Christmas present why don’t you benefit from an having an experienced HR professional come in and assess what is working and what needs to be improved.

By having an end-of-year HR audit HR Revolution can help, let us carry out a HR healthcheck on your company and assess what’s working and what needs to be improved, this could be just what you need to make sure that you end the year on a high note and put practical steps in place to raise your game.

If you like to book an HR audit or need any HR advice please do get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or email: or visit 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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Why outsource your HR and recruitment processes?

Why indeed and it’s one of the key questions at HR Revolution we are often asked about.

“How can outsourcing our key ‘people’ processes really help the business?”  “Surely this should be an area we keep in-house?”

As many of you know trying to find just the right person to fit into your team is no easy task, not only must they be able to perform the duties to the best possible standard, they also have to fit in with the many different personalities already in the office and of course be the right fit for your employer brand.

Our answer is simple…

Outsource your key issue areas within HR and Talent Management and it will save you time, money and stress AND will help you drive efficiencies and better your business in so many ways:

  1. Your cost per hire will be trimmed.
  2. Your knowledge base, resources, insight and know how will increase.
  3. You will inject knowledge that you don’t currently possess in your business for niche HR and Talent Management areas.
  4. Ultimately, using a consultant that knows your market inside out saves you money, as you don’t have to pay them to learn about your business and will have the right contacts.
  5. Good corporate recruitment is about taking a long-term approach and creating an attractive employer brand and great candidate experience.

Good recruiting is not only about knowing your industry and the ‘movers and shakers’ within it. Good recruiting is really about understanding your business and the champions it needs to keep it growing.


So how do you choose?

Think about what your business really needs when choosing a partner to work with on HR and Recruitment.  Ask yourself what you want to achieve and if the providers you are speaking to really can fit your mould and offer you a tailored solution that will work with your business model.  Do they have access to the right contacts, in the right business communities? What are the added benefits of using their services?

Outsourcing is always a viable method of recruiting and retaining employees, as long as it’s a solution you really need, a solution you are prepared to commit to and something that you will be able to give time for delivery.  However, these solutions aren’t always able to make an immediate impact, any solution worth its weight in gold will take time to set up and roll out, but once set up you will reap the benefits commercially as an employer of choice for potential employees.

You must make sure you really want the solution and don’t base the decision solely on cost as it may not be the deal-maker that you need, much more importantly is the need to understand what you need from your HR strategy and long term goals.  Getting testimonials will help to support you in your decisions and speaking to the clients of a potential providers also helps.

Outsourcing can really help, if you are ready for it… by going through the process of evaluating your needs you can better define how this will work.

Be aware the answer may not be outsourcing at all, you may simply need one-off assistance in niche areas of our business that in-time will grow into an outsourced solution.

If you would like to have a discussion on how HR Revolution can help you achieve your goals and what differentiates us from the outsourced HR competition, get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or email: or visit 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 you need to know – Childcare Voucher scheme

As of 4th October 2018, the employer led childcare voucher scheme will no longer be available to new applicants.

The government has replaced it with a tax free online voucher scheme which will be the only childcare funding option available to new joiners from the October deadline.  Read on for everything you need to know regarding the new scheme and how to prepare for it.

Childcare vouchers are a government approved, tax efficient way of paying for childcare.  If you are currently in the scheme you can exchange up to £243 a month of your gross salary for childcare vouchers. As this is part of your gross salary you are exchanging for vouchers, it is tax free and exempt from National Insurance, which means savings of up to £933 per parent a year, and if both parents claim, they can save up to £1866.

The new scheme is open to all eligible parents and requires them to pay into an online HMRC website account and for every 80p an eligible employees pays in, the government will contribute 20p, up to £2,000 a year, per child.  The scheme was introduced to ensure working parents receive a guaranteed amount of childcare support, as opposed to the current employer led scheme which was a non-compulsory initiative and not offered by all employers.

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Employees eligible for tax free childcare must:

  • Have one or more child under the age of 12 when the new scheme started in April 2018. The maximum age to claim for childcare is 12.
  • Be earning a minimum of £115 per week and both parents need to be working.
  • Work a minimum of 16 hours a week.
  • Parents must earn less than £100,000 a year.

If you are an employer currently running the old voucher scheme you will continue to provide this and can offer to any employee as long as the application is processed and confirmed before the October 4th deadline.

After this deadline no employee can join the old scheme.

If an employee wishes to switch to the new tax-free childcare scheme, they will no longer be entitled to receive any additional vouchers from their employers.

If you would like some HR guidance on childcare vouchers and how to support your employees ahead of October’s deadline get in touch today: +44 203 538 5311 or email: or visit  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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Holidays over – our back to work survival guide!

Why is it that when children go back to school in September they get a few half days to ‘ease them back in’? Ok we may be slightly exaggerating, but the point is; they get a nice steady transition period to help them adjust to the harsh reality of going back to school. However, workers are faced with the reality of returning to work with no settling in phase!!! So if your going back to work with an error 404: ‘User not found’ message, fear not, this back to work survival guide will help you get through it.

Be an early bird

If your first day back in the office falls on a Monday, we feel for you. As if Mondays aren’t bad enough, it’s a workers’ worst nightmare, however, getting up early, eating a proper breakfast then heading off to work early to beat the rush is a good way to set you up for having a productive day.

Also, being in work early before your co-workers descend on you with queries that have been building up whilst you’re away, gives you the chance to get into work mode. It also means you get the peace and quiet you need to remember your computer password that has completely slipped your mind!

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Tackle your emails head on

Inevitably, when you return from holiday, even if its just one day, you’ll return to email Armageddon (why is it that everyone has questions for you when you’re not there?). First you should scan through and delete anything that is non critical, then, when you’re down to a manageable number, read and respond in chronological order. You’ll need some method to the madness or it just will never end! Top tip: when someone responds to your reply, DON’T immediately respond to them. Get through the rest of your remaining unread emails before you start engaging in conversation.

Catch up on the goss

Returning to a busy office with lots to do and lots to catch up on after spending your days relaxing on the beach without a care in the world, can leave you feeling exposed. You’ve been ‘out of the loop’ and when it comes to the world of office goings on you’ll have missed a ton of gossip and activity.

Schedule a tea break with your colleagues to catch up on all the news you’ve missed whilst you’ve been away.

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It’s only natural to return to work after a holiday and feel a bit like workplace deadwood. You’ll be reminiscing about what you were doing this time last week and you’ll be easily distracted and when you’ve got a mountain of things to tackle at work, it’s sometimes really hard to get back into the swing of things and you’ll be struggling to get motivated!

When this happens, regroup and remind yourself of what you’re trying to achieve at work. Giving your work some meaning will give you the boost to get stuck back in. You might be working towards a bonus, promotion or working hard to save for something special. Reassess your goals and see where you are with them, plan your next steps and crack on and succeed.

Don’t let your holiday spirit be put out

We all get a boost from taking time off of work to relax and recharge, so don’t let returning to the office instantly crush your enthusiasm, I’m sure most people in the office will want to hear you gush over what you got up to, it’s their duty, so revel in it. Show off your holiday pictures, pass round the holiday sweets and keep your holiday spirit alive just a little bit longer!

If you need advice or guidance with any HR issue get in contact with us: +44 203 538 5311 or email: or visit 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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Job descriptions – why getting them right is so important

We all know what job descriptions are, but how much importance do we actually give them? Writing a good job description should be a really important part of your business, as they provide a road map for potential employees, explaining what the job they are applying for involves.

Here we list a few reasons why job descriptions are indispensable for employers and employees alike:

They set-out expectations

How can you expect someone to do their job if you don’t explain their responsibilities to them properly? Providing applicants with solid job descriptions ensure they understand exactly what will be expected of them if they are selected. Clarity in a job description puts potential employees on the same page as you, and aligns them with your company’s vision and goals and assists you in finding the best person possible for the role.

They empower communication

A well written job description should fully communicate the essential requirements of your vacancy to any applicants. Among other things, they should include a job summary and all the requirements which need to be fulfilled by applicants, such as relevant qualifications and experience. This will avoid any mistaken interpretations being made on what the job role involves.

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They facilitate recruitment and training

Job descriptions need to set out all the important aspects of a particular position, so an employer can easily refer to them when recruiting or training existing employees. All-encompassing job descriptions can improve a company’s ability to manage its people and their respective roles, as well as help them develop both professionally and personally.

They provide structure

Good job descriptions establish structure and discipline within the workforce. In reality, it isn’t that difficult to create them, especially if you involve the employees you already have to help you develop them. As long as they promote the company’s values and re-enforce the company’s culture, job descriptions will help you attract the right people and manage the roles of all your employees effectively.

A well written job description opens the door for a successful hiring process, if you need help or advice get in contact with HR Revolution: +44 203 538 5311 or email: or visit 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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Ideas for a greener office environment

With all the news recently about reducing plastic waste and the UK Government now proposing a ban on certain single-use plastic, I’m sure many businesses are very aware how important it is to look for ways to reduce their own carbon footprint and encouraging schemes for employees to live greener lives. Research also shows that more than a third of young professionals value working for a caring and responsible employer over earning a higher salary!

So below we list a few ideas that would be helpful to introduce into organisations large and small to get the eco-warrier ball rolling:

An Environmental policy

This is a great way to present to anyone interested in your business the initiatives and targets which your organisation is committed to. It’s also great to be transparent, which will resonate well with customers and contribute to your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy.

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A Cycle to work scheme

Cycling is great exercise and one of the greenest ways to travel to the office and there is now Government funding for any business looking to encourage it, Cyclescheme gives your employees the chance to buy a bike tax-free.

Car share schemes

These schemes are a great way to reduce the number of single use vehicles clogging up your carpark. They will also help reduce the number of vehicles on roads and lower your employees’ carbon footprint.

Green computers

Yes they really do exist and can make a big impact on your organisation’s carbon footprint. When old machines need replacing make sure to check out the ethical and environmental records of different manufacturers.

Green certifications 

These provide businesses with a great opportunity to focus on a goal and then work together to achieve it. Having a green accreditation is great for publicity too and can be featured on your website and letterheads.

The ISO’s (International Organization for Standardization) 14000 family of standards provides practical tools for companies and organisations of all kinds looking to manage their environmental responsibilities.

Printing guidelines/recycled paper

Despite our best intentions to avoid printing documents needlessly, it can’t always be avoided, however, it makes sense to impose some level of guidelines for which documents are printed, to avoid waste of both ink and paper.

Where possible, how about printing on both sides of the paper? We know for important documents and contracts this isn’t possible, however, there’s little reason to avoid this when printing in-house.

Did you know it takes a staggering amount of energy to produce paper but recycled paper is produced with 28-70% less energy and you’ll also be supporting the UK economy as recycled paper is often made on our shores.

For more helpful advice and check our green credentials give HR Revolution a call: +44 203 538 5311 or email: or visit 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.

HR Blogger


How to deal with stress

These days we all lead busy lives, with longer working hours, time spent commuting and seeing our friends and family we are often being pulled in different directions and this can leave us feeling time poor and not able to do the things that help us relax and switch-off.

Stress is a well-known side effect of modern life. Infiltration of the internet and smart phones in everything we do means we are expected to appear available and engaged at all times, leading to burn out and little time left to ourselves.

Pressure from work can, in some cases, help to increase productivity and allow us to reach our deadlines faster by pushing us that little bit further when we may not feel like it. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t sustainable and that overall, stress can cause long term problems such as anxiety and/or depression.

Bupa have found that up to 44% of adults feel stressed, demonstrating the scale of the impact that our busy lives our having upon our well-being.

Engaging in simple and effective activities that help us reconnect our minds with our bodies helps us take a step away from the factors causing us to reach peak stress levels, and avoids us reaching breaking point.

In support of April’s Stress Awareness Month, we have put together a list of ideas to help you reduce your stress levels, have a read and decompress!

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A few minutes a day can have a profound effect upon reducing anxiety. Research has shown that practicing mediation daily can help to realign our neural pathways, thereby making us more resilient to dealing with stress.

It’s also easy to do. Sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor and focus on your breathing, recite a soothing mantra in your head (something that calms you) and let go of any negative thoughts that interfere with your focus.

Why not try: Mediation apps, there are plenty available and can help anyone who may not have tried the technique before and unsure of how to clear their minds. Give one a go and see if it can work for you.

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2.Connect with your body

Stress in the mind leads to stress in the body. Office jobs that involve eight hours plus sat at a desk cannot only leave our minds frazzled but our bodies tense, causing our muscles to tighten and ache.

Small amounts of exercise at regular intervals can give us a break from concentration and help us reconnect with our bodies.

Why not try: Going for a stroll at lunchtime or doing 20 minutes of yoga before work. If you find it difficult to fit exercise into your day, simply getting up and walking around the office every 30 minutes or so will help you reconnect with your body and take your mind away from work stresses.

3.Become more present

Smart phones and social media allow us to connect to a variety of different spaces whilst only being physically present in one. This means we can take on the pressures and expectations of spaces and places that we wouldn’t have necessarily dealt with had we not been connected to our phones.

Why not try: To make a conscious effort to reconnect with the present moment in times of stress. If you feel like there are too many expectations, too many people to please, or there is too much to take in, breathe deeply and focus on an object in the present only. This will help you to gain perspective and hopefully leave you feeling more connected to the positives that are immediately around you.

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4.Be grateful for the positives 

Happiness breeds happiness! If you often find yourself in stressful situations, then take time to note down things that you are grateful for and cast your mind back to these when you are feeling stressed.

Why not try: Keeping a journal of gratitude, by your bed or in your desk draw, trying to visualise these feelings can take you away from any negative thoughts and help you to relax.

5.Listen to music

Research has shown that listening to soothing music can reduce your heart rate, leading to lower levels of stress and anxiety. Similarly, listening to music that reminds you of happy times and positive emotions is also a great way to reduce stress levels.

Why not try: To get into a routine of listening to music during times when you are most happy, for example, at dinner with friends and family or on a lazy Sunday morning. Keep a playlist of these songs and play them just before (or after) a stressful situation, such as on the way to a meeting or on the way home from a difficult day. Your mind will associate the music with happiness and help you reach a place of relaxation instead.

If you need any further help or guidance about how to deal with stress, give HR Revolution a call: +44 203 538 5311 or email: or visit  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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‘Beast from the East’; snow disruption – your questions answered…

As I sit in the office this afternoon watching a few flurries of snow outside the window, waiting in anticipation for the Beast from the East to hit and listening to the radio with claims of weather colder than the arctic circle – winter has most definitely arrived in the UK!

A bit of snow is normally great fun, but for employers it is a headache; are you legally obliged to pay employees who fail to make it to work because of adverse weather conditions? What steps can employers take if they suspect an employee is using the weather conditions as an excuse not to turn up to work? What are the implications for employers if schools close, if the office has to close, or for the employees who actually do make it in?

It never hurts to plan from a business perspective and indeed having extreme weather and disruption policies in place can never be a bad thing, here a few things to consider:

Do you have to pay employees who are unable to get into work due to snow and difficult transport conditions?

Employees are obliged to attend the office unless they are on holiday, sick or on maternity leave etc; the responsibility is on employees to come into work. Technically, this applies even in extreme weather conditions. Therefore, if the office is open and employees cannot make it into work because they are ‘snowed in’, depending on the contract, you are entitled to treat their absence as unauthorised and are under no obligation to pay them.  If an employee’s normal mode of transport is out of action due to severe weather disruption, there are a number of other issues which an employer would need to consider before withholding pay.

First, you should encourage employees to explore alternative means of transport. However, employees should not feel pressured to risk their safety to get into the office so it may be sensible to consider whether employees could usefully work from home until the weather situation has improved. If this is not a viable option, then the alternatives available are for you to advise employees that:

  • any time off work in these circumstances will be unpaid (ideally, you will have a contractual provision to support this); or
  • they will be paid but will be expected to make up the time at a later date; or
  • they can request to take the time off as paid annual leave or as unpaid time off for dependant’s leave (e.g. if schools close – see below).

Employees have statutory protection against an unauthorised deduction being made from their wages without their consent.  They could therefore challenge your decision to withhold their pay.  However, it is arguable that there was no entitlement to pay as no work was done.

Can you require an employee who cannot get into the office to take a day’s holiday?

This is not likely to be an option for most employers, unless the employee’s employment contract contains an express right for the employer to require when an employee can take their holiday.  Without this provision employers cannot force employees to take a day’s holiday without their consent.

School closures

To avoid the office becoming a temporary crèche, there are statutory rules which allow parents to take time off when there is an ‘unexpected disruption to childcare’ and parents are protected from suffering a disadvantage for doing so. If the school closure was announced first thing in the morning and alternative childcare arrangements cannot be made, this could constitute as an emergency situation and employees would be entitled to statutory protection for taking the day off. Strictly, the day would be unpaid but not all employers will take this approach. It is also important for employers to adopt a consistent approach to the policy adopted for employees without children.

Working from home

If it is safe to travel, employees should come into work as usual. If employees are concerned that the conditions are not safe or if they are dependent on public transport systems that are badly affected, many employers take the view that employees should remain at home and do what work they can from there. This is becoming more feasible as many employees can now access their work email and office applications remotely via a laptop, PC or mobile phone.

However, even though they are at home, employees need to be clear that they must still work as they would in the office not just watch TV and do odd jobs! A home working policy could be helpful, making it clear that working from home is a privilege, not a right and that the employer will, if necessary, monitor output.

What if an employee could have made it into work but chooses not to?

If you believe that an employee is using the weather conditions as an excuse for absence (or lateness), particularly if they live locally (or are spotted shopping), this could be a disciplinary matter. However, it is doubtful that most employers would want to devote time and resources to investigating the circumstances of each individual worker who is suspected of taking a ‘snow’ day. In a blatant or persistent case you may, of course, choose to investigate the matter in the usual way and take any necessary action in line with the company’s disciplinary policy.

What if you are forced to close the office due to the severe weather conditions?

If you decide to temporarily close your business premises at short notice because of unforeseen circumstances, such as heavy snowfall, and there is no work available for your employees as a result, you cannot usually withhold pay. If you do, employees could bring unauthorised deduction from wages claims to recover the pay owed. The only exception to this is if you have an ‘unpaid lay-off’ clause in your contracts of employment, or the employees expressly consent to being laid off without pay. There are, however, complicated rules surrounding lay-off clauses, including rules about statutory guarantee payments, and you should always take professional advice before proceeding.

What about the employees who actually make it into work? Should they get a day off in lieu as compensation?

In some situations it can lead to resentment among employees who have battled into work in difficult conditions; especially once they are in the office and laden with the work of their absent colleagues. Ideally, the employees’ efforts should not go unnoticed but a day off in lieu or other financial rewards are unlikely. Employers should, however, carefully observe weather warnings and let employees leave when appropriate to avoid any treacherous travel conditions on the way home, otherwise they may spend it digging their employees’ cars out of the snow in the office car park!

It is worthwhile for employers to consider introducing an ‘adverse weather policy’ so employees know what is expected of them when severe weather strikes. This will also help avoid confusion and conflict when the extreme weather arrives. Alternatively, you could amend your normal absence policy to cover such instances. The policy should contain guidance about workplace closures, disruptions to public transport, working from home and remote IT access, whether employees will be paid if they fail to attend work, disciplinary sanctions for ‘snow’ days and whom employees should contact once they know they will be unable to make it in. As the occurrence of severe weather is on the rise a clear adverse weather policy could be a worthwhile investment.

If you need help or advice on anything we have covered above or need help with crafting disruption policies, then get in touch on +44 203 538 5311 or email: or visit  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have. No ‘snow’ days for us!!

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



Why should you worry about your employee’s New Year resolutions?

This time of year presents a fantastic opportunity to ensure that your employees 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. However, are there things going on beneath the surface that you need to consider? Or any potential threats that could harm your business as we kick off the new year?

A real concern that business owners have is losing their top talent, people often reassess their goals in January, and if your business isn’t staying ahead of the game, then you may well find that your best employees are looking for new roles. You might think that this isn’t happening, but the reality is that it can be hard to gauge what’s going on beneath the surface.

So what can you do about it?

Well you can’t physically tie your employees to their desks; even the best businesses lose valued employees from time to time, and though it’s costly to replace them, it’s something that you’ll no doubt have to deal with from time to time.

So now is a great time to do an audit, and establish the current climate in your workforce, and how you would cope if any of your employees did decide to move on to pastures new. It’s always sensible to have a succession plan in place, so you don’t find yourself with an operational disaster on your hands.

Also consider what you can do to improve retention rates. It’s easy to jump to the assumption that it always comes down to cash, and that keeping your best people involves regular pay rises and bonuses. This is not always the case though, retention levels are impacted by a wide variety of factors, and you may need to take a closer look at how you can get creative without blowing your budget.

If you need some help with ensuring that your business is fighting fit for 2018 then get in touch, HR Revolution can carry out an HR audit on your business to make sure you are set up for success.

Give us a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: or visit  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.