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How Can You Better Support Mums In Your Workplace?

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, a ton of people will be showing their appreciation for the women in their lives with flowers, chocolates, and cards. As an employer though, the gift that you can give working mums goes a little bit deeper… Really, it’s your duty to make sure that they’re treated equally in the workplace, and that a woman’s decision to start a family doesn’t have to mean game over for their career.

 

It’s 2017, so you might think that we’re past the stage where these kinds of things are still burning issues. The statistics speak for themselves though. According to the World Economic Forum, it could take another 170 years to eliminate the gender pay gap. And of course, the fact that women are more likely to take on childcare responsibilities can play a big role in how they’re able to pursue opportunities.

 

Ensure you’re embracing legislation

Legislation exists to ensure that employers are fulfilling their legal responsibilities, and there have been several developments in recent years designed to support working mums. For example, shared parental leave is something that all workplaces should be carefully considering. Employment law can seem complicated and overwhelming, but remember that it exists to ensure that you’re a fair and equal employer. Use it to your advantage, and in a way that supports your staff.

Look for solutions and opportunities instead of problems

If you run a small business and an employee announces that they’ll be taking maternity leave soon, you might feel slightly panicked. Regardless of how much you want to support your staff, the reality of having to navigate through the changes can be overwhelming. Instead of just looking at the potential problems though, examine the opportunities that exist. Is there another member of staff who can step up and cover the role? Could this be an indicator that it’s time for you to start to look towards more flexible working practices? How can this situation be turned on its head to make your workplace

Speak to your staff

You already speak to your staff all the time, so this might seem a little bit obvious. But are you actually having meaningful, honest, and open conversations about your role as an employer, and how you can support your workforce as they navigate their way through key life stages? Rather than just assuming that you know what your working mothers want and need, ask them. It may be the case that small changes to your policies and practices could make a big difference to your workforce. If you know that you need to make changes to give various segments of your employees a better chance to thrive and succeed, then there’s no time like the present. If issues are bubbling away under the surface, or you suspect that problems could arise if you don’t take action, get in touch today. We can arrange to have a no-obligation discussion about your options, and how we might be able to work together.

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Ten Ridiculous (But Completely Real) Excuses For Not Paying Minimum Wage

Sometimes, you read something online, and you can’t possibly believe that it’s true.

Sure, it might make for a funny or thought-provoking story, but you don’t actually think for one minute that it really happened.

It’s there to prove a point, or start a conversation, or even just provide a little bit of light-hearted entertainment.

If you’ve already seen the list of the worst excuses that employers have made for not paying minimum wage, then you’d be forgiven for thinking that SURELY, these aren’t things that real employers have said.

No one could possibly be that shortsighted, or irresponsible. But the fact of the matter is that these are real excuses, collected by government-funded research, that bosses gave for breaking the law by paying their staff below the legislated amount.

If you haven’t heard about them yet?

Here they are:

1. “She doesn’t deserve the national minimum wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.”

 

  1. “The national minimum wage doesn’t apply to my business.”

 

  1. “My employee is still learning so they aren’t entitled to the national minimum wage.”

 

  1. “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.”

 

  1. “I thought it was okay to pay foreign workers below the national minimum wage as they aren’t British and therefore don’t have the right to be paid it.”

 

  1. “It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.”

 

  1. “The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the national minimum wage.”

 

  1. “I’ve got an agreement with my workers that I won’t pay them the national minimum wage; they understand and they even signed a contract to this effect.”

 

  1. “My workers like to think of themselves as being self employed and the national minimum wage doesn’t apply to people who work for themselves.”

 

  1. “My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they’re actually serving someone.”

 

We could provide commentary on WHY all of these excuses are completely and utterly unacceptable… But some things just speak for themselves.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what your accounting arrangements are, whether or not your workers are performing at the desired level, or anything else that you think might be relevant to this conversation.

The fact remains that if you aren’t paying minimum wage, you’re breaking the law. And the consequences for your business could be dire.

From 1 April 2017, the national living wage rate for employees aged 25 years and over increases to £7.50 per hour. For the national minimum wage, the rate for 21- to 24-year-olds will increase to £7.05 per hour. If you’re not compliant? Then something needs to change, and it needs to change fast! We understand that dealing with complex employment law can be complicated, and that’s why we’re here to help.

If you’re unsure about where you stand and what you need to do to keep your business on the straight and narrow, give us a call today.

Should You Let Your Staff Work From Home?

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

Homeworking provisions vary between businesses, but the overarching principle is that you let your staff carry out their tasks from the comfort of their own space. They might do this once or twice a week, or it might be 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 commute, or being stuck in 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 staff with the temptation to sit twiddling their thumbs all day? Or is actually a wonderful way to give your staff what they really desire, utilise the benefits of modern technology, and strengthen your reputation as a desirable employer who everyone wants to work for?

There’s no denying that there’s 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.

And homeworking isn’t right for everyone. Some of your staff 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 can’t afford to stay stuck in the past. 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. It can be a difficult shift to manage, but get it right, and it could work some real magic.

Need help with planning your approach? Get in touch today for a free no-obligation consultation.

Four Ways That A Good HR Consultant Could Save You A Ton Of Cash

Think that you can’t afford an HR consultant?

 

Know that you could do with a helping hand with some issues that are bubbling away under the surface, but wondering whether you can really spare the budget?

 

Considering whether you’d be better off just hoping for the best and carrying on as you are?

 

We get you! We know that it can be scary to make that leap and bring in some HR help. The reality here though is that we can often actually SAVE you a big chunk of money. And that’s a no-brainer investment to make in your business. Let’s have a look at just a few of the ways in which we could slash your costs…

 

We can keep you out of tribunals

 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because you’re a fair employer who tries to do your best by all your employees, that you’re not at risk of having to face a tribunal. This isn’t necessary true though. Employment law is complicated, and if you miss something, you could find yourself with a potentially very costly situation on your hands. We can make sure that your people practices are on the right side of the law.

 

We can skyrocket the performance of your workforce

 

Imagine if you could double the output of your workforce overnight. Realistically, that’s probably not going to happen. But a good HR consultant can dive deep into your business, pinpoint the exact issues that are at play, and create a step-by-step plan to fix them.

 

This can absolutely skyrocket your productivity and make sure that your staff are firing on all cylinders. You might think that a big marketing budget, or some fancy social media tactics are what are going to give you the edge. But the real breakthrough happens when you look INSIDE your business, rather than outside.

 

We can educate your managers

 

We don’t just come into your business, work some temporary magic, and then leave. We can give your managers the skills to ensure that they’re playing an active role in driving your business forward. This means less of a learning curve, less mistakes, and more strides forward.

 

Your staff are the most important investment that you can make, so it makes sense to nurture that investment. If you know that your managers have room for improvement, then stop blaming, take responsibility, and talk to someone who can help you to get things moving in the right direction.

 

We can provide a flexible, pick-and-mix service

 

Maybe you’re not quite at the stage where you need full-time, permanent HR help. That’s exactly why we can assist you. We don’t tie you into ridiculously long contracts that you don’t need, and we can create a package that’s perfect for your needs.

 

No ongoing retainers that don’t serve you. No off-the-shelf guidance. Just what you really need to move forward and solve your problems, right now. Our aim is to make you a better employer, not tie you up with unnecessary bureaucracy.

 

The best HR consultancy services can save you money, and can also seriously add to your bottom line. Want to talk about how we can move forward together? Get in touch today and arrange your no-obligation consultation.

Three Ways To Save Money On HR

If you’re an ambitious and savvy leader, then you’ll already know that spending money on your HR function is absolutely essential. Your people have the power to drive your business forward and make sure that you’re bringing your big vision to life, and when you get things right, your HR spending is an investment, rather than a cost, and can deliver a return many times over.

 

It’s important to be realistic here though, and recognise that there’s a balance that you have to strike. If times are tough and you’re concerned about your budget, then there are things that you can do right away to ensure that your costs aren’t going to spiral out of control. Let’s take a look at some practical considerations that you can action today…

 

Get your admin in order

 

We hate to perpetuate the myth that HR is all about admin and box-ticking, but it’s definitely true that one of your responsibilities as an employer is to ensure that your paperwork is in order. If you let things slide in this area, then it’s going to cost you. It’ll take you longer to find important documents, for sure, but it goes deeper than this.

 

If you happen to face an employment tribunal, then you’re going to be in a much better position if you can prove that you’ve created and collated all the right documentation during the employee’s time with you. Many business owners, if they’re being completely honest about things, could make instant improvements in this area.

 

Utilise the power of technology

 

You might be amazed to hear that there are plenty of business leaders who are still carrying out most of their HR tasks manually. Maybe you’re one of them. It’s true that in the early days, it can seem easier to do things yourself, and wait a while before you invest in solid systems and infrastructure.

 

Many businesses get to the point though when they’re wasting a ton of time and money by doing things the old fashioned way. It may be time for you to admit that things have to change, and that technology could make your life a lot easier. If, for example, you have to manually intervene to ensure your staff get paid on time each month, then can you imagine how much simpler your role would be if you knew that all of this was taken care of automatically?

 

Audit your practices and procedures to pinpoint problems before they arise

 

There are a ton of costly HR mistakes that could be easily avoided by just ensuring that you’re regularly reviewing the way that you do things, and calling in a little professional help. Legislation, for example, can change often, and you may find it hard to keep up. The truth here is that you could be breaking the law without even realising it.

 

If you’re concerned that you’ve let things slide, get in touch today. Investing in some advice is likely to be more affordable than you think, and it can definitely be kinder on your finances than the alternative. We can have an open and honest discussion about where you are right now, and what you need to focus on to get the most out of your HR budget.

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