Managing people within an organisation is no easy feat, and many employers rely on outside professional HR support.
Whether you have no in-house capability or your HR team have too much on their plates, leaning on a qualified HR Consultant can help you to meet your responsibilities, develop great teams, and ultimately drive your organisation forward.
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How we help
Run a large organisation?
While in the past HR was centred around functional aspects, such as policy making and training, with the growing prevalence of social media and technology, the role of HR has evolved. For employers, HR is now more about the bigger picture: How do you establish an employer brand that sets you apart from your competitors, thereby attracting and retaining the best talent? How do you successfully utilise your people to realise greater results and achieve organisational goals?
Unfortunately, in large organisations, HR teams will often become bogged down in reactive HR work, such as dealing with an employee grievance, which can take time away from strategy and planning. If this sounds familiar, our HR Consultants can help you to manage day-to-day HR matters while your team focus on proactive HR work that will help your organisation to grow.
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Run a small to medium-sized organisation?
Managing HR can be the ultimate challenge for employers, especially if you don’t have the time, resource or expertise. Not all organisations have competent support at their disposal; however, going it alone can cause small issues to escalate into bigger problems, which can then be difficult and expensive to resolve. Not only that, but with Employment Tribunal claims rising and the average compensation award for unfair dismissal sitting at £15,007, a claim can have a devastating impact on your bottom line.
With this in mind, ensuring your organisation receives the right HR help is crucial, and enlisting support from an experienced HR Consultant might be the perfect solution.
WorkNest: Your HR team away from home
At WorkNest, we provide personalised, high-quality HR support to thousands of organisations across the UK.
With specialist expertise across a diverse range of sectors, our experienced HR Consultants work closely with employers and internal HR teams, offering a single point of contact for all your HR needs.
As a bespoke alternative to the larger fixed-fee providers, our HR experts take the time to get to know your organisation and how you operate so that they can function as an extension of your team. That way, whenever a situation arises, you can benefit from tailored HR advice from a trusted source.
A complete solution to your people pressures
From day-to-day HR support to help with achieving your long-term strategic goals, our highly-qualified HR Consultants have the skills and expertise to help you create great, high-performing teams.
Our unlimited, fixed-fee HR and Employment Law service includes:
- As much advice, guidance and clarification as you require from a qualified HR and legal professional.
- Bespoke drafting of all contracts, policies and procedures, reinforced by a best-practice Employee Handbook.
- Independent Legal Expenses Insurance to cover your defence costs, plus any settlements or awards, in the event of an Employment Tribunal claim.
- Easy-to-use HR Software designed to streamline HR tasks, including managing holidays, absence and training.
- An expansive online library of expert-created guidance notes and downloadable document templates to save you from scouring the internet when obstacles arise.
Chief Operating Officer,
The Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust
A different kind of HR help
When it comes to HR and Employment Law support, you have a number of options:
- Employ an internal resource. This gives you the benefit of close, hands-on support but comes with a heavy outlay (which, if you’re a small business, you may not be able to justify).
- Use a law firm that charges by the hour whenever an issue arises. This will guarantee a high quality of advice but comes with the anxiety of uncertain costs and the potential for a substantial bill, particularly when dealing with complex cases.
- Outsource your HR management needs to an HR company. This is a great, cost-effective way to ensure help is available whenever you need it; however, the generic advice and one-size-fits-all approach taken by some larger fixed-fee providers can leave you feeling cold.
With WorkNest, you get the best of all worlds: high-quality, commercially-savvy advice, a truly personalised service, and total assurance on cost. That’s why our annual total client retention rate is 97%.
Why not give us a call?
If you would like to discuss our how WorkNest’s fixed-fee HR and Employment Law service can take the hassle out of people management and support the growth of your organisation, call 0345 226 8393 or request a free consultation using the button below.
Quick-fire HR Guides
Am I obliged to allow employees on long-term sick to carry their leave entitlement forward?
Annual leave entitlement in the UK comes from two separate sources: 4 weeks’ “basic” leave provided by EU law and an additional 1.6 weeks’ leave granted under UK law. EU law prohibits carry-over of the four weeks’ leave; however, a number of cases have challenged this in recent years, resulting in the European Court of Justice relenting that workers should be able to carry leave forward if it coincides with a period of sickness or is affected by maternity leave.
In a recent case, employees in Finland argued that rules that these rules should apply to any additional leave granted under national law, such as the additional 1.6 weeks in the UK. However, the Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed that in the absence of any contractual provision, employers are not obligated to permit any more than four weeks’ carry-over of leave.
I’ve been asked for a reference for an ex-employee whom we suspected was stealing. Can I tell the truth?
Employers are not legally obliged to provide a reference, unless there is one set out in some form of agreement. If you do choose to provide one, your duty as an employer is to ensure that it is truthful, accurate and fair.
The difficulty here is that you only “suspect” the employee was stealing. If you have no conclusive evidence to support such an accusation, then it probably would not be fair to include that information in a reference. Instead, it may be safer to simply refuse to provide any reference. Indeed, such a refusal usually tells its own story.
What can I do about an employee who’s always late?
Normally, an informal approach will be the best way to address issues with persistent lateness. Letting the employee know that you have noticed their lateness, are monitoring it and are willing to act is often enough to nip the issue in the bud. If this doesn’t work, you may need to go down the formal route.
Your Employee Handbook should make it clear that persistent lateness without a proper explanation will normally be treated as misconduct and is likely to result in disciplinary action. With any disciplinary action, you must consider the reasons for the lateness (is it related to a medical condition?) as this will determine what action to take.
I have an employee who is constantly calling in sick. Can I dismiss them?
Businesses can’t function without staff, and frequent short-term sickness absence is one of the most common issues employment-related issues employers experience. A robust sickness absence policy with clearly defined trigger points for unacceptable levels of absence is your first line of defence. If these triggers are met, disciplinary action may be necessary and dismissal may be an option. However, it’s important to ensure you have a fair reason to dismiss, which means weighing up the impact their absence is having, the cost to the business, and whether they have been given prior warnings, etc. If an employee’s absence is related to a disability, always seek legal advice before taking action.
How can I manage performance for homeworkers?
With many teams now working remotely, performance management will prove to be a tough challenge for people leaders during COVID-19. Communication is bound to remain as one of the overarching themes and frequent contact should be one of the golden rules for any leader attempting to manage performance in 2020. With the normality of co-located working lost for many organisations, this will be a key component in communicating and measuring objectives and conveying a broader purpose to employees.
How should managers adapt their approach in light of COVID-19?
In these unusual circumstances, with teams dispersed and hardship for many people, managers’ approaches should focus heavily on compassion and communication. As well as the power this can have in respect to individual wellbeing, there are also real business benefits of compassion and communication, including reduced absenteeism and performance issues and increased productivity and motivation.
At a time when economic downturn has taken its toll on countless businesses financially, focusing on people management and individual wellbeing could therefore make all the difference at an organisational level.