Ideas to improve your HR practices by the end of the 2017…

As we quickly roll into quarter three, the final quarter of 2017 is hot on its heels and I’m sure most business owners will be focusing on a couple of things. If you still have some big goals that you haven’t quite smashed, now’s the time to pull your socks up and make that final push. There should also be plenty of time for reflection though, so you can work out your wins, your losses, and what you need to do differently next year.

Make sure that you don’t neglect your people practices and how they’ve performed over the course of the past 12 months. It’s true that many HR changes can’t be achieved overnight, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take action. In fact, there are certain things that you can do over the following months dddthat will help you to make positive and tangible changes.

Are you ready to take on the challenge? This is what we suggest:

Assess how compliant you are with recent legislative changes

There have been several changes to employment law this year, and many business owners would like to say that they know they’re fully compliant. When it comes down to it though, are you absolutely positive that you’re doing everything you should be?

We understand that the day-to-day complexities of running your 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 future problems.

Start planning for 2018

Always make sure that you’re looking a little further ahead. What key challenges will you face next year? What opportunities could you harness to help you to meet your wider strategic goals? Heading into the new year with a plan will put your mind at ease, and ensure that you don’t find yourself faced with any nasty surprises.

Take advantage of an HR audit

As a business grows, there’ll be a wider range of HR tasks and responsibilities that need to be taken care of. Keeping on top everything can be a massive job, and savvy leaders realise that they can’t do everything themselves.

It’s very likely that your business could take many benefits away from an end-of-year HR audit. Having an experienced HR professional come into your company and assess what’s working, and what needs to be improved, 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.

You have a few choices right now. You can carry on doing what you’re doing, and seeing the same results. Or you can recognise that there’s room for improvement, and do something about it.

Take the right route…  Contact us today for your free no obligation HR Audit +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk, HR Revolution can help…

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

 

5 mistakes employers are making with Employee Handbooks..

A recent survey has stated that over 90% of companies have created an employee handbook to share with their employees; that is positive, but in reality are these handbooks HR compliant?  Just listing policies and sharing some mission statements, will not cut it!!!

So based on the statistics, you’ve probably made a token attempt at creating an employee handbook for your business – but are you missing the mark? Here, we uncover the mistakes that too many businesses are making, and explain how you can turn things around.

Taking a cookie-cutter approach

Of course there are certain things that all employee handbooks should include, but this certainly doesn’t mean that you should just download a free template from Google, fill in the blanks, and hope for the best. Your business is unique. Its culture and practices make it individual, and your handbook needs to reflect this. After all, first impressions count, so you need to make sure that you’re giving your employees a quality document that reflects what you’re really all about.

Don’t be scared to showcase your business’s personality and create something that demonstrates what it’s like to work for your company. Your new employees should feel inspired, motivated, and ready to face their new challenges.

Neglecting to seek out a professional opinion

You wouldn’t finalise your end-of-year accounts without speaking to an accountant, so why should your employment documentation be any different? HR Revolution can advise you on anything that you might have missed, unearth any points that could potentially get you into hot water, and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that everything’s in order.

Speaking in legal lingo

Your HR practices need to be created in accordance with relevant legislation. Staying on the right side of the law will save you a whole load of time and hassle. Before stuffing your handbook with jargon though, take a step back and think about how you can make the important information as easy as possible to digest. A better understanding of what’s expected will ultimately lead to higher rates of compliance.

Consider your audience, and keep things as straightforward as possible. At the end of the day, your handbook should be there to help people – not overwhelm them.

 

Letting the document gather dust

The world of business changes and adapts every single day. New legislation is rolled out, light is cast on exciting and innovative ways to get the most out of a workforce, and advances in technology present new challenges. What works right now isn’t necessarily going to be fit for purpose in the near future.

Before signing off your document as completed, set a date for review. Keeping on top of changes can be a manageable job only if you make sure that you don’t let the grass grow under your feet. Shockingly, 2.8% of employers don’t know when they last carried out any reviews or changes – don’t fall into this camp!

Forgetting to make sure that every employee has their copy

Creating a document to be proud of is only the first part of the story. It isn’t going to make any difference unless you ensure that all employees get their copy, and that they’re given time to digest the information. These days, this is easier than ever before. Many companies decide to distribute their handbooks via email or an intranet system.

And finally, be sure to lead by example. When’s the last time that you familiarised yourself with the content? Do you have a copy on your desk? Are you confident that you could answer questions about the points that are covered? If not, consider this your wake-up call!

Ready to seek out some advice that you know you can trust? Whether you’re starting from scratch with your handbook and you’re not sure where to begin, or you’ve done the work yourself and just want a second opinion, HR Revolution can help. Contact us for a no-obligation chat about working together.

HR Revolution’s employee handbooks will help you to set core business policies and expectations and help portray your business culture, values, branding and vision, setting the tone for your business and employees, whilst maintaining HR compliance and best practice for all.

If you would like to discuss any HR issues, please give HR Revolution a call we’d love to help, call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Why you need HR…

Lets face it, in an ideal world, we’d never have to worry about firefighting people issues within a business. We’d have perfectly crafted policies, highly skilled line managers and engaged employees who are passionate about helping business operations reach their full potential.

I did say in an ideal world, however, things have a tendency not to work out that way. Pretty much every business owner would have experienced some tricky HR issues during their career, and most would probably agree that they can sometimes come out of the blue.

Let us help you identify any potential people issues in your business, until the end of August we are conducting obligation free Audit’s worth £750 free of charge, email info@hrrevolution.co.uk and enter FREEAUDIT in the subject line to book.

In the meantime, if you’ve found yourself with a complex and confusing people issue that you’ve had to deal with, you need to be focused on finding the solution.

Here, we explain in 3 steps how you can take control.

  1. Use the law as your first port of call

Employment legislation exists for a reason. It’s there to protect workers and ensure that standards are upheld. It can be confusing to navigate at times, but it’s imperative to recognise that ultimately, it can help you. If you’re handling an HR problem and you’re not sure what to do, the first thing that you should consider is your legal responsibilities.

An example, an employee came and told you that they feel that they need a pay rise. As long as you’re paying your employees the minimum wage, you aren’t obliged to reconsider your benefits package.  Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you should just brush the comments under the table. Exemplary employers move past compliance, and consider the bigger picture and the future of their business.

  1. Bring in the specialists

Sometimes, knowing the law isn’t enough to cut it. If you’re dealing with a particularly sensitive or complex issue, you might need a little extra help. It’s vital that HR concerns are dealt with in a timely manner, and that you get it right first time, so working with an experienced professional could give you that extra peace of mind that you really need.

HR Revolution deal with people issues every day, so we have the knowledge and expertise to cut straight to the heart of any situation to deliver the very best solution.

  1. Stop repeating the same mistakes

You’ve handled your HR issue, and come out the other side breathing a sigh of relief.   Back to business as usual… actually it’s a great time to take a step back and assess your current position and opportunities.

What lessons have you learned?  How can you prevent the same thing from happening again?

In many cases, if you decide to work with an HR consultant, you will be left with a detailed action plan so you can raise your game and become a better employer.

Ultimately though, never forget it comes down to you. Are you serious about nurturing your employees in the best way possible?  Issues are sometimes inevitable, and come hand in hand with running a business. What really matters is the ability to handle the situation in a way which best serves your employees and your business.

Get in touch with HR Revolution and let us conduct an obilgation free HR Audit, where will carry out a full review your current HR, including HR documentation, employee files and processes. We will provide a detailed report to summarise the areas that need attention, especially anything critical required to keep your business compliant with the most up to date employment laws and practices.

Please give HR Revolution a call on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

 

6 office tasks UK workers waste over 400m days a year on

Research commissioned by Red Letter Days for Business found that workers are wasting time on mundane office tasks, including replying to emails, attending pointless meetings or completing admin.

The research identified six key areas where UK employees are wasting their time:

  1. Too many meetings that go on for too long (46%)
  2. Too much admin (38%)
  3. Too many emails (29%)
  4. People management i.e. misbehaving colleagues (25%)
  5. Technology being slow (24%)
  6. A micromanaging boss (21%)

Employees spend an average of 1.2 hours every single working day in meetings, totalling six hours every week, whilst 22% say their time is eaten up by admin tasks, such as filling out timesheets.

Overflowing inboxes also prevent employees from getting things done, with 45% of workers saying they have to respond to emails out of their contracted working hours to keep up. 26% said that they have trouble finding documents due to their email volume.

It seems our modern office environment has created bad habits. Technology, such as emails, should be speeding up processes not slowing them down. Something is going very wrong here. Businesses’ need to work together to retrain on areas like email etiquette in the workplace and to encourage better collaboration and efficiencies.

The research also found 42% of employees have seen no response from their employer to the Government’s ‘Fixing the Foundations’ plan, launched in 2015 to improve productivity levels in the workplace.

Employees were also asked about what could be put in place to help improve their output. The top five responses included:

  1. Flexible working (22%)
  2. Better technology (19%)
  3. A happy workplace (17%)
  4. Increased job satisfaction (15%)
  5. Better recognition from senior management (14%)

The fact that flexible working is at number one is very interesting, most jobs now require us to be flexible with our time; in fact 44% of employees polled confirmed they did overtime because they have a flexible role and work to complete a job, rather than work specific hours. Yet, with 57% of employees confirming they only work from the office, it seems businesses need to catch up with the flexible working idea.

If you would like to discuss any HR issues, please give HR Revolution a call we’d love to help, call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

A version of this article first appeared in HR Grapevine.

Your new improved bespoke HR Outsourcing website has landed

At HR Revolution we have streamlined our website, so all our great HR solutions are in one place. So whether you’re looking to outsource your HR support or download a contract of employment, it’s all just one click away.

With more small businesses outsourcing their HR function, you need to know you are making the right choice.  As your outsourced HR Partner we work alongside you to tailor a bespoke HR solution, ensuring your employees are properly contracted, fully committed, highly engaged and your business thoroughly protected.

HR Revolution are real people, providing real solutions for businesses with real drive. Performance focused HR that builds your business with you.

Take a look and see how we can help you revolutionise the way in which you use HR…

Flexible HR solutions to suit any business… come and have a browse…

Contact HR Revolution for practical HR support and advice +203 538 5311 or email: customerservices@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

 

How will the political parties manifestos effect employment and HR?

Today, Thursday 8th June is the General Election 2017, where the people of the UK will head to the polls and elect a new government.

So what is each political party pledging around employment, talent and pensions? and which of the major parties’ policies will affect HR?

All the main parties have focused on employment matters and worker rights as fertile ground for winning votes – perhaps more than ever before.

Here’s our detailed round-up of who’s pledging what:

The Conservative party will:

  • Introduce a national retraining scheme. Under it the costs of training will be met by the government, with companies able to use the apprenticeship levy to support wage costs during the training period
  • Continue the campaign for fairer corporate governance. The party has stated that there will be new rules for takeovers and executive pay, with proposals around annual shareholder votes on pay packages and a requirement to publish pay ratios
  • Reduce the ‘triple lock’ on pensions to a ‘double lock’, with the state pension to rise by the higher of average earnings or inflation
  • Not increase VAT, but scrap a 2015 election pledge not to raise income tax or National Insurance
  • Make universities that are charging maximum tuition fees sponsor academies or help found free schools
  • Retain all workers’ rights currently guaranteed by EU law
  • Put worker representation on listed company boards
  • Introduce a statutory right to a year’s unpaid leave to care for a relative, and statutory leave for parents whose child has died.

The Labour party will:

  • Ban zero-hours contracts and unpaid internships
  • Raise the minimum wage to £10 by 2020 and scrap the public sector pay cap
  • Abolish university tuition fees
  • Offer an immediate guarantee about the status of EU nationals in the UK
  • Stop all planned increases to the state pension age after 66
  • Give all workers equal rights from day one, whether they’re part time or full time, temporary or permanent
  • Repeal the Trade Union Act and roll out sectoral collective bargaining
  • Guarantee trade unions a right to access workplaces
  • Abolish employment tribunal fees
  • Double paid paternity leave to four weeks and increase paternity pay
  • Strengthen protections against unfair redundancy for women
  • Create a million “good jobs” and rebalance the regions through setting up a National Investment Bank (which will leverage enough private finance to invest £250 billion in infrastructure over 10 years), a network of regional development banks, and a national transformation fund
  • Add four new public holidays per year.

The Liberal Democrats will:

  • Initiate a second EU referendum, with an option to remain in the EU
  • Expand Shared Parental Leave with an additional ‘use it or lose it’ month to encourage fathers to take time off with young children
  • Unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU nationals in the UK
  • Strengthen worker participation in decision-making, including staff representation on remuneration committees and the right for employees of a listed company to be represented on the board
  • Introduce a ‘good employer’ kitemark covering areas such as paying a living wage, avoiding unpaid internships, and using name-blind recruitment
  • Introduce a right for those on zero-hours contracts to request a fixed contract. The party would also consult on rights to request more regular working patterns
  • Aim to double the number of businesses hiring apprentices.

The Green Party will:

  • Phase in a four-day working week with a maximum of 35 hours
  • Scrap age-related wage bands and raise the national minimum wage to living wage levels for all
  • Take steps towards the introduction of a universal basic income
  • Introduce a ban on exploitative zero-hours contracts
  • Reduce the gap between the highest and lowest paid
  • Ensure a minimum 40% of all members of public company and public sector boards are women
  • Abolish the cap on National Insurance contributions so the wealthiest pay more
  • Provide free early education and childcare for all children, with formal education starting at age seven
  • Initiate a referendum on the detail of whatever deal is negotiated for Britain’s departure from the EU, with the option to reject the deal and remain in the EU
  • Immediately guarantee the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK and urgently seek reciprocal arrangements for UK citizens living in the EU.

UKIP will:

  • Declare 23 June Independence Day, and make it a bank holiday
  • Introduce a flexible state pension window, so people can opt to retire earlier for a lower state pension or work longer for a slightly higher pension, as is the case at the moment
  • Bring forward legislation requiring employers to advertise jobs to British citizens before they offer them overseas.

The SNP will:

  • Devolve to allow Scotland to have its own policies after Brexit
  • Guarantee a living wage to all adults aged 18 and over
  • Lobby for the scrapping of the Skills Immigration Charge – a charge for employers of £1,000 per non-EEA worker per year
  • Call for the full reinstatement of the Post-Study Work Visa scheme, which allows foreign students to stay in the UK after graduation
  • Increase free childcare to 30 hours a week by 2020
  • Ensure companies engaging in blacklisting or ‘exploitative’ zero-hours contracts are barred from publicly-procured contracts
  • Incentivise oil and gas businesses to invest in renewables to protect jobs in the energy sector.

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

A version of this article first appeared in HR Magazine

Key Employment law changes to look out for in April 2017

April is a busy time for HR Revolution and business owners alike. Not only are we required to tie up any loose ends from the previous financial year… We also need to make sure that we’re fully prepared for legislative changes that could impact on our and our client’s businesses.

This is a time when new rules come into force, so there’s no space right now for burying your head in the sand. You need to be prepared, and you need to take action.

Here’s what you need to know:

National wage is set to increase

On 1st April, the national minimum wage will increase from £6.95 to £7.05  For workers aged 25 and over, the national living wage rate will increase from £7.20 to £7.50.

As the rate varies according to age group, now is a great time to make sure that you’re compliant, and that payroll processes are in order.

Statutory redundancy pay will rise

New rules around redundancy pay will be rolled out from 6th April. If you have to make employees redundant, then you must pay those with two years’ service a sum based on their length of service, weekly pay, and age.

The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount, and this will rise from £479 to £489.

Statutory maternity pay will rise

Statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay will rise from £139.58 to £140.98 on 2nd April.

Statutory sick pay will rise

The rate of statutory sick pay is also increasing from £88.45 to £89.35. This increase is expected to occur on 6 April 2017.

To be entitled to these statutory payments, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit.

The lower earnings limit is increasing from £112 to £113 in April 2017.  This is the first rise since the rates were frozen in April 2015.

Gender pay gap reporting comes into force

If you employ 250 or more employees, then this applies to you. You will be required to report on your gender pay gap, including any bonuses that you might use to reward your staff.

You’ll have a period of 12 months to publish this information on your own website, and upload the details to a government website. As such, you need to make sure that you have mechanisms in place to collect the necessary facts and figures.

Immigration skills charge will be introduced

Do you sponsor skilled workers under tier 2 of the immigration points-based system? If so, you will be required to pay a sponsorship levy of £1,000 per year for each certificate of sponsorship – or £364 if you’re a smaller business or charity.

There are certain exemptions that apply, so if your business hires skilled immigrants, it pays to seek out tailored advice.

Depending on the size of your business and other factors that may be at play, there are further changes that you need to be aware of. April is a fantastic time to carry out an audit of your policies and procedures, to make sure that you’re fulfilling your legal responsibilities.

With that in mind, pick up the phone and get in touch +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk. We can arrange to have a discussion around the changes that you may need to implement in coming weeks, so you can move into the new financial year with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that everything is under control.

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

 

 

Should you let your employees work from home?

Did you know according to recent research, more than half of employees feel trapped by the rigid structure of their workplace. A whopping 74% said that they wanted more freedom and flexibility, so it’s no real surprise that homeworking is a trend that’s here to stay and that many forward thinking employers are taking it into consideration.

Homeworking provisions vary between businesses, but the main principle is that you let your employees carry out their tasks from the comfort of their own space. Being anything from once or twice a week, to maybe a more permanent solution.

It’s an approach that’s likely to be welcomed by those with caring responsibilities, and let’s be honest here… Probably everyone else, too. After all, no one enjoys doing the daily commute, or being stuck in the confines an office all day long.

As a business owner though, you’re likely to have a few concerns. Could it really work? Will it provide your employees with the temptation to find something else to do? Or is actually a wonderful way to give your employees what they really desire, utilise the benefits of modern technology, and strengthen your reputation as a desirable employer who people want to work for?

There’s no denying there is a lot to consider, if you’re to get it right.

You need to think about how you’ll make sure that team members are in communication, and they all understand their responsibilities and how they fit into the bigger picture. In some cases, you’ll also have to look at how you can ensure that everyone has the equipment they need.

Also homeworking won’t be right for everyone. Some of your employees will crave face-to-face contact, and will be able to imagine nothing worse than just staring at the same four walls all day, with only their dog for conversation.

But it’s 2017 now, and you need to move with the times. Fail to give your employees what they really crave, and they WILL start to look elsewhere… regardless of how much they might enjoy their work.

The concept of a job for life is over, and you have to work hard to win loyalty.

If you’re not looking at ways to bring more flexibility into your business, then you’re seriously missing a trick and we know it can be a difficult shift to manage, but get it right, and it could work some real magic with your employees.

If you need any advice with planning your approach, get in touch with HR Revolution today and see how we can help +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

Outsourced HRHR Documents | Talent Solutions

HR Revolution HR Documents

Visit HR Revolution’s document shop, for all your HR document needs 

Employers’ bizarre excuses for failing to pay minimum wage

I find this unbelievable in 2017!  Please make sure you are not an employer to be accused of this and keep on top of Employment law in your workplace.

One boss failed to pay the minimum wage to a worker because “she only makes the teas” and that is just one of a string of bizarre excuses by employers.

Another argued their case for not paying the legal minimum, saying that a member of staff “wasn’t a good worker”, while one said employees should “prove their worth”.

These excuses, heard by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), were published as part of a government awareness campaign.

It is encouraging people to check their wages and warning employers of fines.

Business Minister Margot James said: “There are no excuses for underpaying staff what they are legally entitled to”.

“This campaign will raise awareness among the lowest paid in society about what they must legally receive and I would encourage anyone who thinks they may be paid less to contact Acas as soon as possible.”

All workers must be paid at least £7.20 an hour if they are aged 25 and over, in order to comply with the National Living Wage.

The National Minimum Wage means that:

  • Workers aged 21 to 24 should receive a legal minimum of £6.95 an hour
  • Staff aged 18 to 20 should get at least £5.55 an hour
  • Pay should be at least £4 an hour for the under-18s
  • Apprentices should receive a minimum of £3.40 an hour

Among the cases investigated by HMRC was a boss who thought it was acceptable to pay foreign staff below the statutory rate.

I also heard from one employer who said: “She doesn’t deserve the national minimum wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.”

Another said: “My accountant and I speak a different language – he doesn’t understand me and that’s why he doesn’t pay my workers the correct wages.”

Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, said: “Too often, companies are skimming their profits out of the pockets of their workforce. It is a continuing reminder that, for too many working people, work in this country just does not pay.

“While it is good to see the rogues being held to account in some way, the fines can only ever be a rap on the knuckles.”

Stewart Gee, of the conciliation service Acas, said: “We welcome this new government awareness campaign, as there are no good excuses for not paying staff what they are legally entitled to.

“Employers are breaking the law if they do not pay the national minimum wage and businesses face a maximum fine of £20,000 per worker for not paying the national living wage. Failure to pay the national living wage could also result in a company director being banned for up to 15 years.”

If this article has highlighted any issues, please do get in touch HR Revolution would love to help, call us now +44 203 538 5311 or email@ info@hrrevolution.co.uk

Outsourced HRHR Documents | Talent Solutions

HR Revolution HR Documents

Visit HR Revolution’s document shop, for all your HR document needs 

A version of this article first appeared on http://www.bbc.co.uk

MPs say lax laws on sexist dress codes are ‘failing female employees’

Today’s press is awash with the news regarding the lax laws on sexist dress codes.  As an employer you need to be aware of this, I don’t think this topic is going away anytime soon – read on…
Campaigners say too many employers are “stuck in the past” and are forcing women to wear inappropriate shoes and uniforms at work.

Dress codes which discriminate against women are still widespread in UK workplaces, a group of MPs has warned – with a report claiming current laws to prevent discrimination are not “fully effective”.

The Women and Equalities Committee’s investigation follows a petition calling for “outdated and sexist” dress codes to be changed so women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work.

More than 152,000 people supported the campaign after Nicola Thorp, 27, lost her job as a receptionist because she refused to wear high heels.

The parliamentary committee’s report uncovered further examples of discrimination – hearing evidence from female employees who have been told to dye their hair blonde, wear revealing clothes, and use more make-up.

Ms Thorp said: “This may have started over a pair of high heels but what it has revealed about discrimination in the UK workplace is vital, as demonstrated by the hundreds of women who came forward.

“The current system favours the employer and is failing employees. It is crucial that the law is amended so that gender neutral dress codes become the norm.”

In its report, the Petitions Committee and Women and Equalities Committee said: “We call on the Government to review this area of the law and to ask Parliament to change it, if necessary, to make it more effective.”

It also concluded that more needs to be done to help educate employees so they understand how to make formal complaints and make the costly tribunal process easier.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Far too many employers are still stuck in the past when it comes to dress codes.

“It is unacceptable that in 2017 bosses are still forcing women to wear painful, inappropriate shoes and uniforms.

“But with employment tribunals costing up to £1,200 – even if you’re on the minimum wage – many women can’t afford to challenge sexist policies.

“If ministers are serious about enforcing equality legislation then they should scrap tribunal fees immediately.”

The report comes as new research from the Chartered Management Institute shows four out of five managers have witnessed some form of gender discrimination or bias in the last 12 months, such as women struggling to make themselves heard and getting paid less than a male colleague.

Outsourced HRHR Documents | Talent Solutions

HR Revolution HR Documents

Visit HR Revolution’s document shop, for all your HR document needs 

This article appeared on Skynews.com