FRIDAY HR FAQS – First Aid at work – What do I need to do?

First aid at work is a very important element of ensuring compliance with your duty of care as an employer in regards to Health & Safety. While of course we hope it is never needed, you must consider the risks your employees may be exposed to while carrying out their duties to prevent any accidents, and if they do occur, are well prepared and able to deal with them.

As an employer, you are legally required to take care of your employees should they become ill or have an accident while at work. Having trained first aiders could make the difference in preventing minor incidents becoming major ones. The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, state that employers should provide adequate and appropriate equipment and enough trained first aiders to help injured or ill employees.

The rules and regulations surrounding first aid at work can be confusing and perhaps a little vague, so we have put together the basics to help you understand what is needed, to meet you obligations as an employer.

Firstly you must assess the first aid needs based on the nature of your business and provide adequate equipment and appropriate training. So, start off by considering what are the potential health and safety risks within the business, in order to decide what needs to be put in place. For example, the number of employees, the nature of the work carried out, the layout of the office/site environment, whether any employees have any existing medical conditions or disabilities that need special consideration?, whether employees travel for work?, out of hours working/shift work, whether you have a high number of visitors to the site?

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Also consider practicalities, for example, if you decide to have one first aider, would all shifts be covered? and what happens if the appointed person is off sick or on holiday?

Businesses which are considered small low risk environments, may decide they only need to have a first aid box and someone responsible for stocking this, recording accidents and calling the emergency services if necessary.  Whereas larger or higher risk environments such as a factory or construction site, where there are greater health and safety risks, at least one fully trained first aider would be required. All first aid arrangements put in place must be communicated to employees.

We would recommend keeping a record of this risk assessment, to prove you have duly considered all risks and made a judgement on the provision for first aid within the workplace.

Once you have a risk assessment completed, you can decide how many first aiders are needed. As mentioned, there is no right or wrong answer by law, but it needs to be ‘adequate and appropriate’, but what does that mean?! This can be open to interpretation, but we would recommend as a guide that for low risk companies with 5 to 50 employees, you have at least one person formally trained in first aid, holding an Emergency First Aid at Work certificate, then another first aider per 50 additional employees. Under 5 employees, you should at least have an appointed person to take responsibility of first aid at work, they may not be first aid trained, but they will be responsible for ensuring the first aid box is fully stocked and calling the emergency services if required if an accident occurs.

First aid training is readily available from a variety of providers and locations, if you would like to have a discussion on how to implement it in your business, get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or 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.

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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.

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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: talent@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.

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FRIDAY HR FAQS – Employee or Contractor?

The rules around distinguishing between an employee and an independent contractor may be subtle, but getting it wrong and breaching IR35 rule can result in serious tax and legal consequences for your business!

We thought we’d try and clear this blurred line and clarify the differences!

The three main differences are:

1. Control

Employees generally have limited control over their work, their hours these are set in place at the commencement of employment and the relationship is ongoing. They are restricted from working for another company, customer or generating their own work. Contractors on the other hand cannot be treated with the same level of control, dictating their own working hours, working on multiple projects for multiple businesses simultaneously. A business has no obligation to provide the contractor with work and employment rights do not apply to the relationship.

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2. Pay

Employees are generally paid a regular set amount, agreed on the commencement of their employment in return for working the set agreed hours. The employer will also deduct tax and national insurance contributions from their wages, whereas contractors will need to invoice for their services at an agreed rate per day/week month or fixed price basis. They are not paid via PAYE therefore are responsible for looking after their own tax and NI contributions.

3. Benefits

Whilst contractors do have certain protections, for example for their health and safety whilst on business premises and, in some instances, protection against discrimination, they are not entitled to any employee benefits such as paid holidays, sick pay, company pension or medical insurance.

This can be a grey area, which many employers struggle with, so hopefully the above has given you some starting points to think about!

There is a third status known as a ‘worker’, sitting somewhere between an employee and contractor. This category of the workforce have some, but not all employment rights, as an employee would but more than a contractor. The classification depends on the level of flexibility of the working relationship … but we’ll leave that for another day!

If you need any HR help, advice or tips, get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or 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.

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Our new website has launched…

We are excited to announce our new and improved website has been launched…

We’ve listened to our clients and customers and made some key changes.

We our proud that we take an innovative approach to HR, cutting through the industry jargon to help make a real difference to any business, by providing excellent HR consultancy and HR support.

We know HR can be a scary prospect for businesses both big and small and there is a lot to take in.  However we ask questions that other HR consultancies don’t, because we want to make a positive impact on your business and understand your people, by providing excellent HR and Talent services in the form of employee documentation, support, management and advice regarding employment queries and processes.

Come and take a look:

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might be interested in then please give us a call on: +44 203 538 5311 or 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.

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World Mental Health Day 10th Oct 2018

Today is World Mental Health Day, aimed at raising awareness and educating people on a subject that has been too stigmatised for too long.  It’s an opportunity for us all to reflect on our own mental health and wellbeing and those around us. Unfortunately, mental ill health isn’t something that affects people for just one day a year, for some it really is something that affects them long term.

When we talk about Mental Health, what do we mean? Well in short it’s our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing – fundamentally the part of us that affects how we think, feel and act in certain situations. It determines how we handle stress, the choices we make and more importantly how we relate to others.

Mental illness can range from feeling a little down to debilitating anxiety and less commonly the severe conditions bi-polar or schizophrenia, but even feeling down can affect us and the people around us.  Most people will feel some level of stress or anxiety as our daily life throws different pressures and expectations at us, so never assume someone is always happy and never struggles with mental ill health as this will rarely be true.

The statistics show that 1 in 4 will experience mental ill health at some point in their lives and it is now a real issue that needs to be addressed and not swept under the carpet. Luckily awareness is on the increase and some big charities and household names are at the forefront of ensuring that we are all able to talk about our issues openly and promoting positive mental health.

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There are steps we can all put in place from employers and business owner to colleagues and peers to promote positive mental wellbeing in the workplace.  Below are just a few things that should be in place and we would encourage all employers and their employees to get involved, not just to help promote positive mental health in the workplace, but support those already suffering with mental ill health.

Employers

1. Take time to understand the impact to your business.

2. Ensure your managers are informed and aware, include training if necessary, but most importantly ensure they are open to having conversations with their employees.

3. Openly show that you are committed to positive mental health.

4. Deal with the issues that could be causing your workforce stress and anxiety.

5. Reduce negativity, tell people it’s ok to talk and reinforce that they won’t be punished as a result.

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Managers

1. Ensure you know how to handle a potentially difficult conversation effectively and don’t be afraid to ask for help if not.

2. Promote a positive work-life balance in your teams, and yourself too!

3. Don’t think you’re the expert because you’re a manager, really understand mental health and the issues associated with it.

4. Build a good relationship with your team – this is probably the most important; your employees need to feel like they can come to you.

Employees

1. What causes you anxiety? Do you really know what your stress triggers are? Think about it, and how you manage it in the workplace, or at home.

2. Look after your wellbeing, do things that you know make you feel positive and happy.

3. Take notice of your peers and support them.

4. Lastly but most importantly talk! Don’t keep things to yourself, if you are struggling let your manager know and then you can work together.

FACT: Stress is the major cause of long-term absence in manual and non-manual workers.

Let’s work together to change this and stop people suffering in silence.

If you need any help or advice on how to approach Mental Health in your workplace, get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or 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.

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FRIDAY HR FAQS – What are the implications of AI in talent management?

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) within the HR sector and its ability to transform the way we interact with candidates and employees is a topic of interest for many businesses.

Recent surveys have revealed the buzz around AI and it’s potential to change HR practices. An IBM survey revealed that almost half of employers believe AI would transform their talent acquisition capabilities as well as transform their payroll and benefits administration.

Businesses are using AI technologies to reduce costs and save time when it comes to their HR – and talent management is an area that AI promises innovation for.

Recruitment is traditionally a labour and time intensive process and can cost your business thousands in recruitment fees and HR salaries when you total all of the time invested in the process.

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AI presents a way to streamline a business’s approach to talent management and to bolster their understanding of talent pools and existing teams, helping businesses to find their next employee and nurture them once they’re onboard.

We’ve explored some of the talent management areas that AI is impacting upon, as well as the potential downsides that the AI trend could have upon candidates and employers alike.

1. Automate candidate screening

AI can be used to reduce the time businesses spend finding the right employee by automating the process and providing more rigorous selection methods that filter out unsuitable CVs before a shortlist reaches the hiring manager.

2. Candidate assessment

AI software is changing the candidate assessment stage by combining techniques such as digital video and overlapping this with predicative analysis, thereby allowing the hiring manager to gain a data-driven understanding of the candidate’s suitability.

3. Skills matching

An applicant’s skill-sets, personality traits, and salary preferences can all be determined by an AI enhanced application system. Similarly, AI is also reinventing the traditional personality test and can produce a ‘score’ which candidates can publicise on their CV so that hiring managers can quickly assess their suitability.

4. Reduce human error

Human error is an inevitability of traditional talent management approaches and one that AI is supposedly able to eradicate completely, whilst also speeding up the process of collecting and compiling candidate and employee data.

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5. Employee onboarding

Ensuring your new hire is regularly contacted throughout the onboarding process can now be overseen by a bot, meaning that tasks such as document collating through to answering employee questions can all be relived of HR teams and carried out by AI powered virtual assistants.

6. Customise training

Once your new team member is onboard it’s vital that they remain engaged. Businesses are using AI to provide the right training for employees by creating a needs-based learning experience using learning data.

7. Entrenching biases

There are concerns that AI designed to enhance talent management could instead serve to perpetuate established biases within hiring and promotions – a very real concern when you consider that AI is a software which will inevitably be infiltrated by the biases of those who set it up.

8. Lack of humanisation

A lack of human interaction throughout the people management process due to the rise of automation is a concern for many within the HR sector. Nothing can compare to a human touch when it comes to talent management, and so while the transactional elements of the process can be enhanced by AI, businesses will need to work hard not to overlook the importance of human interaction – and hopefully in time come to realise it’s ever growing importance.

If you need any HR advice or guidance, please get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or 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.

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The UKs 10 most irritating office habits

In a recent UK survey, employees were asked to list what the most irritating habits of their co-workers were, while some of the findings might surprise you, are there any of them that you are guilty of?

In reverse order…

10. Wearing the same clothes – what does this say to your bosses? could you be giving the impression that you don’t care about your appearance?

9. Cooking smelly foods – be mindful of what you bring in to the office to microwave, fish and eggs not being the best choice for lunch!

8. Smelling of cigarettes – if you do smoke – why not pop a mint in after having a cigarette break.

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7. Talking loudly on the phone – you could take calls in a meeting room or corridor, or lower your voice if you need to stay at your desk.

6. Staying in the toilet too long – don’t be seen a time waster, only go to the loo when you really need too!

5. Interrupting when people are speaking – implement the ’10 second rule’, listen and wait before you speak.

4. Messy desks – keep your work area clutter-free – get a desk organiser, filing tray…anything that helps you get organised.

3. Not washing up – don’t expect somebody else to do it for you,  it should go without saying that you do your own washing up.

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2. Ignoring emails – this is unprofessional, if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of emails you receive, allocate a particular time each day to deal with your inbox instead of dipping in and out and not actually achieving anything.

1. Offensive body odour – top of the list and this is a difficult one to deal with, as you might not notice it yourself, but wearing clean clothes and showering daily will help.

Can you think of any other annoying habits that weren’t listed, we’d love to hear them, why not comment below?

If you need any HR advice or guidance, please get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or 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.

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Probation reviews – how to make them work for you…

The first day, the first week, perhaps even the first month! These are generally key milestones for you as a new employee. Hopefully, by the first month you’ve mastered the tea/coffee round, you’ve found your place within the team and you’ve fallen into the pattern of the day-to-day routine; you may even have even forgotten that you’re still a newbie… until you’re reminded of the, often, dreaded probation review.

‘Is it a test?’, ‘Have I been doing my job as well as they’d like?’, ‘This is a waste of time!’, ‘What is the point of this?’  the questions are endless and I presume the feelings are mixed.

An employers approach to the probation review varies from company to company. Some have a very structured approach and almost treat it as a ‘test’, whereas others have a 5 minute chat over coffee to ‘check in’. However, either approach can bring about negative feelings for the employee if not managed properly, so employers beware!

The probation review is often viewed as a tool only for the employer.

  1. To check the employees true skills and understanding of the role and job.
  2. A check to ensure the company have hired correctly and effectively an employer’s safety net, as you will.

However it can also be a powerful tool for you the employee, here’s how:

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Review

The review provides you with a chance to check the work you have done so far against what you were employed to do. You can do this by looking at your job description. This will highlight areas that you may not have covered yet, which is something you can discuss with your employer to ensure you are covering the full responsibilities of your role.

Assess

Use the review as an opportunity to assess whether the job has met YOUR expectations. Think about what you have liked so far and what you have disliked. Reflect on your initial perception of the job before starting and how the reality matches up. Do you have any concerns?

This is very useful for your well being, if you feel any negativity towards the role this is a great time to put this to bed. It could be resolved with a change in your working environment, a change or clarification of a complicated process or simply some reassurance that ‘’you are doing a great job, keep it up!’’

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Discuss

Employers use reviews as a way to assess your performance. You can use this as a way to show off and reaffirm what you have learnt to date. Don’t be scared to ask questions about things you aren’t sure of or may need extra training on. To experience the full benefits of a review it is important to be completely open with areas you are struggling with. This allows your employer to support you and ultimately strengthens your relationship.

Also use this as an opportunity to show your employer your aspirations! A helpful tip: go in there with a project, perhaps there is something you have noticed that could be developed or implemented or something you would like to learn, big or small, that will not only aid in your development but add value to the business.

Ask

Ask for feedback for your own progression and improvement. This will give you a good understanding of how you’re doing. It also gives you an idea on what you need to work on in the coming months leading up to your first quarterly or annual appraisal and the willingness to improve will always be noted by an employer.

Take ownership of your probation review, don’t treat it as an examination or a quick conversation by the photocopier. Treat it as an adult discussion, where both parties can benefit and support each other; a discussion that will pave the way to a healthy and strong employment relationship.

If you need any advice or guidance, please get in touch with us to find out more:+44 203 538 5311 or 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.

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FRIDAY HR FAQS – Can an employee be dismissed during their notice period for gross misconduct?

If an employee is dismissed or resigns they’ll most likely stay at work for their notice period, as agreed or outlined in their contract of employment. For some employees this can be a difficult time, as they can loose motivation or feel awkward working in an environment after they have been dismissed.

If an employee were to do anything which is classed as gross misconduct, contrary to some beliefs an employer CAN terminate an employee, even during their notice period as long as the proper process is followed. Giving notice that you are ending the employment relationship does not change the employer’s right to independently end the relationship first if it is appropriate.

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Is it worth it?

In practice, dismissing an employee on their notice period is very rare and is usually not worth the expense and possibility of legal action. Employers cannot make any deductions to pay in respect of time already worked due to an employee leaving before their notice period is up, unless this is specifically allowed by the employment contract.

If you dismiss someone without following the proper disciplinary process you could be subject to an unfair dismissal claim. If this was they case, a tribunal could drag on for months.

With this in mind if you are considering dismissing an employee for gross misconduct whilst they are on their notice period, it would be important to consider the individual situation and the cost and time implications to the business of each case and therefore in these instances we would always recommend seeking professional HR advice.

If you would like HR guidance on any issues you may have in your business get in touch: +44 203 538 5311 or 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.

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HR disaster? HR Revolution can help

You might not be surprised to hear that at HR Revolution high percentage of the enquiries we receive are from businesses who are experiencing what they consider to be ‘a bit of a disaster’, to say the least.

Sometimes, it’s that productivity levels have slumped to the extent that they can’t fulfill their agreements with customers and clients and occasionally, it’s because they’re facing a tribunal.

But often it is relations with employees that have spiraled out of control and they’re not quite sure what to do for the best.

Most businesses recognise that they can’t fix these problems on their own, and they then draft in expert help, this being a sensible course of action.  As good as HR consultant’s are at helping you to sort your people issues, we don’t have a magic wand.

Of course we can help you to create a plan that’s going to give you the best chances of navigating your way out of a tricky situation and make sure that you’re acting on the right side of the law, and your next steps minimise the potential of any long-lasting damage to your business.

But prevention is always better than cure.

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Consider this…

Right now, are there any issues that are bubbling away beneath the surface of your business?  Do you worry that you’re only one mismanaged situation away from landing yourself in hot water?

In so many businesses, the answer here is a very firm YES… Regardless of whether or not you’re willing to admit it.

If so, then don’t wait until the proverbial hits the wall before you do something about it.

Fixing issues before they spiral out of control is going to save you a whole load of time, money, and hassle in the longer term.

Don’t put your business at unnecessary risk.

That’s where HR Revolution can help, we have different HR solutions to help businesses whatever the budget, give us a call today and we can arrange to carry out a no-obligation review get in touch: +44 203 538 5311 or 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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