HR ADVICE

Brought to you by The HR Dept Durham & Darlington


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alison Schreiber is an experienced HR professional who provides practical and pragmatic outsourced HR support to SMEs in the Durham and Darlington area.

The HR Dept specialises in Employment Law, contracts of employment, disciplinary and grievance, appraisal, performance management, absence management, dismissal and redundancy, TUPE transfers, employee surveys, training and development, payroll, recruitment, health and safety.

Alison’s areas of expertise also include job evaluation, compensation & benefits, leadership, change management, employee engagement, coaching and diversity.

For more info, visit HR Dept Durham and Darlington or call Alison on 01325 526036 or 07535 853226.

LATEST HR ADVICE BLOG POSTS

HR BLOG: Working from home

Working from home – Keeping your remote employees engaged There are many benefits for both employers and employees in allowing staff to work from home. But it is possible that remote employees may become disconnected from their office-based colleagues. A strong...

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HR BLOG: The Holiday Headache

Is your desk strewn with holiday requests? It’s that time of year when it seems that everyone wants to take time off, with employees facing long school holidays, weddings, family getaways or festivals. But you still have a business to run, so managing who is off and...

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HR BLOG: Are you watching the glass door?

The way we choose what to buy, and who to buy from, has changed. No longer do we trust the marketer’s word; we look instead to what other buyers are saying. Buying from Amazon? Your eyes probably skip the description, landing instead on the reviews. This is where the...

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HR BLOG: Getting through scary interviews

Interviews. The word itself is enough to stress some of us out. They are the Marmite of recruitment – some people love them and others can’t stand them! It’s probably because everyone’s had, at one point, the interview where everything went well. The interview where...

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HR BLOG: Mental health issues and discrimination

Now, none of this is set in stone yet, as of course we’re still due our general election on 8th June. But when the party currently storming the polls makes a big announcement, ignoring it would be akin to burying one’s head in the sand – not a recommended course of...

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HR BLOG: Managing conflict

In the morning, as you walk through the workplace, stop and listen to the conversations going on. It is so easy to switch off and just think about your day, the meetings ahead, and accept what is going on as par for the course. But that attitude, if it masks bad...

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HR BLOG: What the election means for UK businesses

It seems like only yesterday I was blogging about the potential impact of the last general election. Yet here we are, gearing up for the next general election vote to be held this June. Yes Brenda, another one! The post-Brexit political storm continues, with Theresa...

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HR BLOG: Staying alive… But at what cost?

‘Don’t worry, at least you’ve got your health’, say the optimists. And thanks to the brilliant work of the NHS, they are more often than not absolutely right. Your health is your first priority, whether it be mental or physical, it always comes first. Anybody who has...

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HR BLOG: Should we have an extra bank holiday?

As we head towards the Easter weekend, most of us will be really looking forward to the bank holiday bonanza and surfeit of chocolate, Easter biscuits and hot cross buns that goes with it. For those still plugging away at work it means a quicker commute. For those...

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HR BLOG: Let’s talk money

Employ people on the National Minimum or Living Wage? They’re due a pay rise on 1st April. With these statutory rises coming in, employers will need to make relevant adjustments to their payroll to ensure that they’re still paying their staff at least the legal limit....

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HR BLOG: Tribunal decisions to go public

In case you needed another reason to not want your business in a Tribunal.... ...From yesterday (February 9th) all employment tribunal judgments will be accessible online via the Gov.uk website. From that point onwards therefore, anybody with an internet connection...

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HR BLOG: Blind to bias

Subjectivity in recruitment, is it avoidable? The answer is ‘yes’. So that begs the question, why aren’t we avoiding it? Earlier this week we saw the published results of this recent study on diversity in recruitment. The synopsis below certainly makes for concerning...

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HR BLOG: Getting you through the longest night

We’re not blessed by the sun in this country. And at no other time does this sting quite so much as the Winter Solstice. On the 21st December, you’ll have a meagre eight hours of dim daylight to enjoy: your team should be preparing to avoid the Winter blues! That...

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HR BLOG: Prepared for a pay freeze?

It’s December, the shortest month of the year. Not in terms of days, but in terms of bunce in the pocket! That space under the Christmas tree needs filling, and doing so is certain to squeeze the bank accounts of your staff. Many firms pay staff early in December to...

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HR BLOG: How’s my driving?

Ever waited in all day for a delivery to arrive? Watching the clock and spamming the website to check the status of your parcel? It can be stressful. But not half as stressful apparently as it is for the drivers. Some shocking practices were uncovered this week by BBC...

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HR BLOG: A date with new HR data laws

Responsible for the HR administration in your business? You’ve got a lot on your shoulders. Keeping track of data and ensuring its usable is a big challenge. Believe us, it only gets bigger the more your business grows! But forget how you use the data you hold for a...

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HR BLOG: How to handle flexible working requests

Flexible working: everyone has the right to request it (with 26 weeks’ service), and all employees have the right to take their employer to tribunal if they suspect they’ve been discriminated against. It’s a minefield… Though overall tribunal numbers are falling (due...

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HR BLOG: Moving offices?

Whether by choice or necessity, moving location can be an exciting time… and a bit of a nightmare! Whether it’s your first office and you plan on employing your first staff, or you’ve outgrown your current space and need an upgrade, or even if you’re downsizing to a...

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HR BLOG: Life begins at 65!

Wind back five years and employment law looked quite different from now! No National Living Wage, no SPL, and a Default Retirement Age that allowed firms to retire employees at 65 - so long as they’d followed the Statutory Retirement Procedures. This though is no...

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HR BLOG: The mind works in mysterious ways…

..that much has always been true to those tasked with understanding its secrets, including those with an interest in HR. HR is a profession that is closely linked to the study of the mind: as practitioners and scientists alike have tried new ways to motivate staff and...

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HR BLOG: When is a holiday not a holiday

There was a time when if someone was ill on holiday they shrugged their shoulders and said ruefully “Typical, the minute I stop I get ill”. However, that was in a world before the Working Time Regulations. These EU Regulations, which come under health and safety...

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HR BLOG: Is it me or is it hot in here?

Jenni Murray, on Women’s Week first coined the phrase ‘Is it me or is it hot in here?’ to bring the topic of the menopause out of the closet and to the forefront of people’s minds. However, more recently it seems that it has slipped back into the closet. Approximately...

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HR BLOG: Managing your team through the Euros

Roy Hodgson is working out how to accommodate his star players. Joachim Löw is trying to motivate his German World Champions to continued success. And you will have your own challenges managing your team during the Euros. With England, Wales and Northern Ireland in...

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HR BLOG: Handling compassionate Leave

As SMEs owners and managers work so closely with their staff, it's hard not to show compassion when they're faced with a personal problem. However, we do have businesses to run. And absences, whatever the reason, can cause disruption. This is particularly true with...

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HR BLOG: Time to re-write the rulebook!

Some say ‘rules are made to be broken’. We’d disagree, but clearly some of the odd and quirky workplace rules below are just asking for it. In the following cases, the desire for simple solutions to workplace issues has created bizarre rules that ensnare staff and may...

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HR BLOG: Team Building

You’ve got a team; you want them to work better together and improve results. Apart from first calling The HR Dept, you may have gone onto Google and searched for some local team building activities; thinking a day out on the Brecons or tackling one of Britain’s...

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HR BLOG: Paid to travel

SOUNDS great right? Being paid to travel does sound fantastic, but in this instance it’s not quite as it seems (unless you’re a travel blogger!). No, instead we’re talking about a European Court of Justice ruling on travel time. It means that the time travelling to...

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HR BLOG: Five steps to clean your HR

THROW open the doors, slide up the windows and take a deep breath. Spring’s here; refreshing isn’t it? Farewell seasonal affective disorder, goodbye to commuting in the dark… but it’s hello to the spring clean! Usually spring cleans are reserved for the house, where...

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HR BLOG: National Living Wage

SURELY, only those living with their heads in the sand don’t know about the National Living Wage! If that’s you, all the information you need is here. You’d better check it out quickly, the new rules come into force on April 1st and no, that’s not an April Fools’ Day...

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HR BLOG: No Smoking Day

DON'T think you need a Smoking Policy? Think again. For No Smoking Day, our blog dispels the smoke and mirrors around cigarettes in the workplace, and informs you of your responsibilities in keeping a smoke-free working environment. First, some good news: smoking...

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HR BLOG: International Women’s Day

MARCH 8th will see nations across the globe celebrate International Women’s Day. A day devoted to recognising the achievements of women, highlighting gender disparity and aiming to accelerate gender equality. What a great time to blog about the employment issues that...

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HR BLOG: What is included in maternity leave?

UPON having a baby, eligible parents are entitled to paid leave. The first two weeks must be taken by the mother (four weeks if she works in a factory), the remainder may be shared with her partner. This essential period allows them to look after the new arrival, bond...

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HR BLOG: Preventing cupid problems

STATISTICALLY, one in five people marries a co-worker. Perhaps unsurprising given how long colleagues spend in each other’s company. For employers, it’s hard to know which side of the fence to be on when two of your team make their working relationship more personal....

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HR BLOG: New Year’s Revolutions

OVER 63% of New Year’s resolutions weren’t kept last year, with about half of them going out of the window before January had even finished. We Brits sure are great at making resolutions, but sticking to them… not so much! Did you make any of your own resolutions this...

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HR BLOG: National Living Wage

IT'S 2016! We have the Rio Olympics to look forward to. It’s the Chinese Year of the Monkey and, oh, the year that the UK gets a National Living Wage of £7.20. How will small businesses in County Durham cope with this major change? We are about to see a considerable...

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