Brought to you by The HR Dept Durham & Darlington


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.



GDPR is coming – is your SME compliant? Read our HR checklist to see what you have to do between now and 25 May. The General Data Protection Regulation becomes law on 25 May 2018 and if you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to make changes to your business to...

read more

HR BLOG: HR myth busting!

HR has more than its fair share of myths and misinformation! Could it be the ever-changing legislation and case law, the conflicting pressures that many SME business owners face or simply the fact that we are in the business of people problems? It’s probably down to a...

read more

HR BLOG: The art of tending your HR garden

To be a good people manager you really need to be a good gardener. The first part of planting a good herbaceous border is selecting strong and healthy plants that are suitable for the soil you are going to grow them in. Not much different to recruitment is it? For...

read more

HR BLOG: Halloween HR horror stories

It’s creeping ever closer to Halloween and you don’t always need pumpkins and ghouls to have a horror show. We’ve gathered some HR nightmares from across The HR Dept to give you a scare: A nightmare from payroll After a new payroll system was implemented at a...

read more

HR BLOG: Watch our HR Toolkit video

The HR Dept offers an easy-to-use web based HR software and personnel management system for you and your employees, designed specifically as a low cost software solution to streamline HR admin for small and medium-sized businesses. How the Toolkit software system...

read more

HR BLOG: Sexual Harassment: Don’t Shake It Off

Popstar Taylor Swift recently won a lawsuit after a radio DJ groped her during a photo opportunity. The court heard that David Mueller, 54, groped Taylor’s bum in 2013 while she was on tour. Swift told Mueller’s boss, and the DJ was fired from his $150k (£116k) job....

read more

HR BLOG: Keeping your best staff

Five tips to help keep your best staff It’s been another turbulent few weeks for the White House staff. The latest communications director lasted merely ten days, Trump’s chief of staff 189 days, his press secretary 182 days, and his national security adviser only 24...

read more

HR BLOG: How can returnships benefit businesses?

How returnships can benefit your business A new word has arrived in the world of HR – ‘returnships’. Although in truth, the idea was first launched in 2008 by the food company Sara Lee. Internships vs returnships – What’s the difference? Internships are students or...

read more

HR BLOG: Working longer can benefit your health

New research suggests people may benefit from working past retirement, especially office workers, teachers or skilled workers. With the government recently saying the state pension age will now rise to 68 between 2037 and 2039, it’s becoming increasingly important to...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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....

read more

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 website. From that point onwards therefore, anybody with an internet connection...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more