water bottle heatwave

Feeling hot? How to keep staff happy in a heatwave

As the weather heats up again this week, experts predict UK summers will continue to get hotter, keeping staff happy, healthy and motivated will be ever-more important…

The latest research suggests that the next three years could be ‘anomalously warm’ [BBC News: Next few years ‘may be exceptionally warm’ 14/08/2018].

The years up to 2022 could see extreme temperatures according to the research, which appeared in the journal Nature Communications [Nature Communications: A novel probabilistic forecast system predicting anomalously warm 2018-2022 reinforcing the long-term global warming trend 14/08/2018].

With the trend expected to see some of the hottest-ever summers in the UK, it is important that employers consider how they will ensure their staff remain comfortable and happy during hot weather.

This is especially key in a country where air coolers and conditioners are not the norm.

As many modern buildings are made from glass, it is unsurprising that offices can start to feel like greenhouses. Of course, manufacturing and warehouse buildings have similar issues. So much so that the TUC (Trades Union Congress) is calling for a change in the law to ensure that no indoor workplace temperature is higher than 30°C (27°C for strenuous work) and that employers bring in cooling measures when the temperature hits 24°C.

At present, no legislation exists – instead government guidance [GOV.UK: Workplace temperatures] says that indoor workplaces must be a ‘reasonable’ temperature, with a suggested minimum of 16°C (13°C for physical work) but no maximum temperature suggested.

It makes perfect business sense to ensure your staff are not too hot. After all, it is hard to be productive in a stuffy, hot building.

And you are more likely to see absenteeism during a heatwave – watch out for a rise in sick days on Mondays and Friday. It’s understandable that it’s hard to feel motivated when the sun is shining, the office is boiling and a day in the garden or a trip to the coast is more inviting than a sweaty, long commute and hours stuck in the office.

So what can HR departments to do help? Here’s a few ideas:

Flexible hours

If your business allows for flexibility, let staff come in and leave earlier or later to avoid the hottest parts of the day and the rush hour. You’ll see a difference on Fridays if staff know they can set off early for a weekend trip, barbecue or pub garden!

Relax the dress code

Keeping cool is the priority, but you need to set the boundaries – and remember it needs to be a fair and non-discriminatory dress code. Spend some time compiling a straightforward and easy-to-follow dress policy to keep things simple. For instance, shorts are allowed but not swim/gym wear or hot pants or denim – but of course it depends on the workplace. Sandals are on the list but not flip flops (due to health and safety concerns). In more formal settings, look at where the rules can be relaxed a little to make everyone more comfortable – do people really need to wear ties?

Hydration is key

Your staff need to stay hydrated. Ensure your water coolers are full and refilled regularly. Make sure your staff have water bottles with them and that they are keeping them filled.

Cool treats

If the mercury is really rising, consider a cool treat for your staff. Maybe provide a cool box filled with ice creams and lollies. Perfect on a really hot Friday afternoon when everyone is starting to wilt.

Aircon matters

Air conditioning – if you have it – should be well maintained so that it can cope with extreme temperatures. And if you are lucky enough to have it, windows need to be kept shut, so the air con can work as efficiently as possible.

For buildings without the benefit of air con, circulate the air by opening windows – and bring in some oscillating fans to help.

Turn it off

Finally – it may seem silly, but turn off the lights! Keep the heat down by turning off non-essential electrical items – that includes lights, unused computers, photocopiers and so on.

If you would like to discuss the subject of trust or flexible working further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 769 282 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Embracce Workplace Cultire

Don’t treat ’em mean – the importance of workplace culture

Workplace culture is the most important driver for staff, according to recent research…

We often write about the importance of looking after staff and investing in creating the right kind of workplace culture, and a recent survey conducted by Speakap has confirmed just how vital this is.

How important is workplace culture?

According to the survey [Speakap: Research Study – The Culture Factor: Improving Employee Loyalty and Relationships], 42% of employees would rather have a 60-hour working week, than work for a company that doesn’t value its workplace culture.

The study asked 1,000 employees from the UK and the US how important workplace culture can be when it comes to attracting and retaining staff – a massive 58% said they would move to a rival company if the workplace culture was more attractive.

And the most important part of that workplace culture, according to those employees? Respect and fairness, trust and integrity, and teamwork.

How can HR departments help?

And this is where HR departments come in… does your workplace culture need reviewing? How often do you do this? Do managers think that offering the odd free lunch or team night out is enough? Clearly, this survey shows that this is not what people are looking for.

While the social aspect may be attractive, especially if you have a young workforce, for older employees with other commitments outside of work, it is the way they are treated during the working day that will be most important.

When you are in a workplace for seven hours or more each day, being able to benefit from open and honest communication with more senior staff is far more rewarding than a couple of free drinks on a Friday afternoon. And, in the long term, knowing that your company is committed to helping you to learn new skills and invest in training you is far more valuable than an annual big party, which costs the staff member money in childcare and a hangover the next day on the school run!

Five ways to assess your workplace culture

  1. Take a look at your onboarding process: make sure your process is up to date and engaging, and helps the new member of the team learn everything they need to know to get up and running in a speedy and efficient manner.
  2. Are your senior staff open with employees? Times have changed and leadership needs to be open to change too.
  3. Take a look at reward schemes – it doesn’t all need to be about bonuses – especially if they mean your staff pay more tax. Think of more personal ways to say thank you.
  4. Encourage teamwork – work with staff to help teams work better with each other – to be supportive, co-operative and to communicate better.
  5. Ask your staff! Feedback from employees about how they feel about work, the company, their everyday challenges, will give you a great picture of your workplace culture – a lot of negative feedback will tell you there are some changes to be made!

Stop Press

As you may be aware, on Tuesday 16 July, MP Helen Whatley used the 10-Minute Rule to bring her innovative Flexible Working Bill into parliament. The bill was given approval to go to a second reading today on Wednesday 17 July – this development is a triumph for the organisations behind the campaign, who have been working tirelessly for the past 5 years to bring this to fruition [The House – Helen Whately: Employers should make all jobs flexible by default 15/07/2019].

Mother Pukka, Pregnant then Screwed, Fatherhood Institute and Fawcett Society joined forces to create the Flex For All campaign, calling on government to demand flexible working, meaning that all job roles must be advertised as flexible from day one of employment.

Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka commented: ‘We have been campaigning over 5 years for effective flexible working and today it seems the tide is turning. It feels like the Government is listening, businesses are listening and that the people are being listened to! Finally flexible working is being seen as something for people – all people – and not just ‘mummies who want to see more of their babies’. Crucially, this is now being seen as something that is not just good for employees but ultimately it’s proven to be very good for business too. Flexible working is simply for people wanting to live and often those with responsibilities beyond their control. Those people who want to get off the 9-5 hamster wheel, those who want to work the odd day from home, those living with disabilities, those with medical conditions, those with caring responsibilities – the list goes on. Today is a huge moment for the #FlexAppeal #FlexForAll campaign. Today is the first day we have been heard.’ 

You might also be interested in reading our other blogs related to this subject matter:

Is Flexible Working Your Friend?
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Being the Best – Starting at the Top
Is Yours a People Company?

If you would like to discuss the subject of trust or flexible working further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 769 282 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

adult-brainstorming-businesswoman
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Chalk it up to experience

Focusing on employee experience is vital if you want to improve recruitment and retain your team. We look at some simple ways to help you make your employee experience better…

How often have you looked at how you can improve your customer’s experience? Whether it is updating the online buying process or improving sales aftercare, it is probably something you do as a matter of course.

And yet while you are busy ensuring that your customers have the best experience – acknowledging that they live in the 21st century and can make the most of all that technology can offer them – many companies are just not doing the same for their staff!

Of course, it is easier for the big names, such as Google, to offer flexible working, staff incentives, team building days out, social opportunities and so on, but there are things that smaller companies can focus on too.

Making sure that your employees get the best possible experience ensures that you will be able to recruit the best people – and retain them on your payroll too. Not only that, but if they are getting the best experience from work, this will be passed on to your customers, with staff being more focused, more efficient and more likely to be enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand.

After all, in so many sectors – retail, sales, media, hospitality and so on – your staff are your best asset. Surely it makes sense to take care of them, including their health and safety etc – the same way you would ensure your lorries were well maintained if you were a transport company, or your servers were looked after if you were an IT company.

Research also shows that a positive employee experience results in better productivity. [IBM Smarter Workforce Institute: The Employee Experience Index, September 2016].

Keep up to date

First, take a look at the tools you expect your staff to use. In a world where virtually every home has a laptop, smartphones, tablets and even smart TVs, coming to work and having to use an out-of-date operating system, or slow laptop can be frustrating and can really impact on their productivity.

Allowing your staff access to social media – in the right environment and with guidance – shows that you respect their work ethic and besides, so much work contact goes on around social media now – LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and so on are useful business tools now, not just time-wasting fripperies. However, it is important to recognise that in some workplaces and certain situations, this would not be appropriate.

You should also be open to your employees’ thoughts and opinions. Organise regular group meetings to bounce ideas around, or where they feel enabled to bring up any issues without fear of retribution. Or perhaps use technology – Microsoft Teams or Yammer maybe – to have group discussions. Particularly appropriate if you have staff who work at home, or from other remote locations.

Stay flexible

Ensuring the satisfaction of employees who don’t come into the office or who work from a less central location is key. Allowing them to book holidays using cloud software, or to update documents and project paperwork held in a central location will enable them to feel more engaged.

Talk to us if you would like to learn more about HR cloud software.

Offering flexible working will also help to retain staff, especially those who may have family commitments. Allowing the opportunity to work at home, or to stagger hours to enable them to drop the kids at school, or look in on an elderly relative can make their lives a lot easier, resulting in less stress for them, and allowing them to concentrate on work during their allocated hours. They are also far more likely to stay loyal to a company that acknowledges that they have a life outside of the office.

Thanks for everything

Recognising your employee contributions is also vital. And it needn’t cost the earth. Just a compliment about someone’s work can be enough – maybe some lovely fancy biscuits by the kettle to say thanks to the team for a job well done? If you can afford a lunch out for the team – great – but grand gestures are not always necessary. If someone has done something to really raise your productivity or made a major sale, a bonus or pay rise may be in order, but it’s amazing how just an acknowledgment of a great idea or creative effort can really boost someone’s mood. As can a chance to advance their career. Offering your staff opportunities to improve themselves and advance within your company will ensure they don’t move on elsewhere.

Not all positions lend themselves to promotion, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t offer training to help people broaden their skillsets. And in order to help them keep up in an ever-changing world, ensure there are opportunities to gain skills in the latest technological advances – social media skills for the marketing team perhaps, as well as training in any new software that you bring on board.

Employee experience

The user experience for your employees should be as good as the user experience for your customers. Think about the processes within your company. How easy is it for new staff to find out how everything works, how they can apply for holidays, or overtime? If a member of staff needs to take maternity leave, how easy is it for them to access the necessary information?

And how easy is the day-to-day experience at work? Is there car parking? If not, how does your company help them to find or pay for a space? Is the commute to your office a nightmare? Could you stagger office hours to make this easier?

These little things can make a big difference to your staff and allow them a better work/life balance – which ultimately is what many of us are looking for.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 769 282 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

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Administrator in Aylesbury

Full or Part-time Administrator  

based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire 

Are you an experienced administrator? 

Are you looking for a new challenge? 

Yes? Then please read on … 

About us 

Embrace HR is a consultancy supporting SMEs largely in the Home Counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire; and Northampton and the South East. Our clients’ businesses do not need a full time HR presence but, nevertheless, need HR support. Based in a business park in Aylesbury, our growing team require another pair of hands. 

You will provide a general office administrator service based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. As an HR consultancy, your experience working in an HR environment or understanding HR processes is an advantage.  You will be confident to work on your own at times and manage your time effectively. 

What skills, knowledge, experience are needed? 

  • Your time management, planning and organisational skills help you  prioritise the many tasks our clients require in a timely manner 
  • You are comfortable and confident on the phone or face-to-face with clients or suppliers such as payroll and pensions providers
  • Experienced in roles that require HR administration is a bonus, but strong administration skills are preferred.  You may have worked as an administrator in finance, HR, or for a senior manager where you had exposure to some HR processes
  • You know the importance and security for client-sensitive personal and confidential information  
  • An experienced MS Office user, your Word skills are  at an intermediate level to draft, format or amend documents. Office365 experience is an advantage
  • In order to produce, review and proof-read documents, you have a  good command of English, including grammar and spelling
  • Although you will work with other team members, you will also work on your own from time to time and will be confident to work on your own initiative
  • You will liaise with our associates who work remotely, yours is the friendly voice on the  end of the phone 
  • The company uses software and apps to manage HR processes, share documents and keep records such as timesheets and task management. You enjoy using technology with the ability to  quickly learn different software packages
  • Attention to detail is important, not only in producing word-processed documents, but when carrying out tasks requiring you to follow processes and procedures 
  • This general admin role will include  various task such as managing stationery and printing, all within budget, as well as support some of the financial functions like recording expenses and raising invoices on occasion. 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY ON THE TOTALJOBS WEBSITE

Who are you? 

A happy person with a responsible attitude to work, trustworthy, reliable and punctual. You are a people person and comfortably speak with anyone at any level in a business. You are not afraid to tackle jobs that are mundane or complex, or that require creativity, and will follow through tasks to completion. You easily prioritise the important from urgent. Your telephone manner is professional, confident but friendly. You enjoy working with people but when faced with a difficult situation, you remain firm. You understand the need for confidentiality at all times to safeguard our clients, their families and employees. 

What are the benefits? 

  • A friendly office environment in Aylesbury
  • Modern and clean offices
  • Free parking 
  • Walking distance from shops and gym 
  • Statutory holiday includes bank holidays
  • No weekend work

How do I find out more? 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY ON THE TOTALJOBS WEBSITE

We will contact you or send a job description and  application form if you wish to apply. 

 What we offer

  • Salary £18.5K-£20K per annum (pro rata for part-time)
  • 5-day working week, part-time hours are negotiable
  • Part of a friendly team so you are not a number and can see how you contribute
  • Statutory holiday entitlement
  • Local business – give up the commute
  • Modern office in a business park in Aylesbury
  • Parking available
  • Close to shops and gym in Midshires Business Park
  • Equal Opportunities Employer.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY ON THE TOTALJOBS WEBSITE

OR if you’d like to talk to us first, contact us through our website

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for your interest in our company.

Satisfactory references and proof of eligibility to work in the UK are a pre-requisite

This post operates a non-smoking environment at all times

Embrace HR Limited is not a recruitment agency.

Visit our website for more information https://embracehr.co.uk/jobs/

No agencies please 

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HR Advisor in Aylesbury

HR Advisor (generalist)

Quote Ref: HRAMar2019

Embrace HR Limited is an HR Consultancy, that was founded in 2009. We provide HR services and support to a growing number of small and medium sized companies operating in a variety of sectors. This is a busy, fast-paced environment.

We are based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Our client base is mostly in the south east, but we have clients in many other parts of the country including Northampton, Gloucestershire, Kent and Essex.

We are expanding and looking to employing a hands-on HR Adviser to be based at our Head Office in Aylesbury, working in a small, friendly team.

Are you looking to change jobs?

Are you looking for a role that will stretch you?

Why not talk to us about our HR Adviser job in Aylesbury.

CLICK HERE TO LET US KNOW YOUR INTEREST – Quote HRADV2019

The job of HR Advisor

  • The working pattern is Monday to Friday 9:00 to 17:30. Part time hours may be negotiated
  • This is a generalist role, where you will build relationships with our clients to support their organisations
  • Coordinate and delegate tasks to other Team Members to provide a seamless service to our clients for their HR support
  • Liaise with our associates and suppliers and manage tasks as necessary
  • Manage a number of client relationships at any one time, ensuring that HR support is responsive and timely
  • Provide expertise to support key HR projects for our clients as well as Embrace HR’s internal requirements
  • Identify the key HR issues and advise the best course of action for each individual client which may be performance management, capability procedure, disciplinary, grievances
  • HR experience in a working environment is essential
  • Experience of employee relations such as performance management, grievances, disciplinaries, maternity leave and pay, and other family friendly policies, as well as other HR processes
  • Awareness of compliance to enable working with contracts of employment and policies and procedures
  • Data analysis
  • Co-ordinating recruitment campaigns in association with other team members
  • Attending meetings including networking locally which may include occasional early morning meetings.

CLICK HERE TO LET US KNOW YOUR INTEREST – Quote HRADV2019

About You

  • You are CIPD qualified to Level 5 or equivalent
  • You can evidence working with and advising managers on day to day HR matters
  • You have strong communication skills – face to face, by phone and video conferencing
  • You are tech savvy and embrace change
  • You have a positive attitude conducive to working with a small, professional, work-orientated team
  • You have a positive demeanour
  • You have a sense of humour in a busy environment!

 What we offer

  • Salary £25,000-£30,000 per annum (pro rata for part-time)
  • Statutory holiday entitlement
  • 5-day working week, part-time hours are negotiable
  • Part of a small team so you are not a number and can see how you contribute
  • Local business – give up the commute
  • Modern office in a business park in Aylesbury
  • Parking available
  • Equal Opportunities Employer.

CLICK HERCLICK HERE TO LET US KNOW YOUR INTEREST – Quote HRADV2019

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for your interest in our company.

Satisfactory references and proof of eligibility to work in the UK are a pre-requisite

This post operates a non-smoking environment at all times

Embrace HR Limited is not a recruitment agency.

Visit our website for more information https://embracehr.co.uk/jobs/

No agencies please 

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Support Worker West Sussex

Support Worker – Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16

  • Haywards Heath RH16
  • Pay : £13 – £16 per hour
  • Let us know your preference
    • Term Time: Mon 3.30 pm to 9 pm; Wed & Thu 9 pm to 9 am
    • School holidays: Wed & Thu 7:30 pm to 7:30 am
    • Additional hours may be available in school holidays
  • Full drivers licence

Apply now… click to apply on TotalJobs

ABOUT THE ROLE

We are looking for female* Support Workers who are non-smokers to join our team to care for a 13 year old girl with complex physical and learning needs in her family home in permanent roles.  A full, clean UK driver’s licence is essential.

H enjoys the company of happy, lively people with outgoing personalities. She has a fantastic sense of humour, loves being out in the community and playing with her siblings and joins in all activities connected with family life.

H is non-verbal with sensory impairments. She is fed via a gastrostomy and uses a combination of facial expressions, symbols and some eye pointing to communicate and is exploring eye gaze.

*Exemption is claimed under the Equality Act 2010

ABOUT YOU

H’s support workers must have a positive outlook, and be willing to train and learn about H’s particular needs.

You will be punctual, respectful of working in a family home and environment and have experience working with a child with complex needs.  Personal care is required, administration of medication, carrying out therapy plans and accurate record keeping.

A high level of care is required by our team of support workers during the day and especially at night as H frequently wakes and has an unpredictable sleep pattern.  She uses CPAP to support her respiration at night and needs attention for gastrostomy and fluid intake.

Support workers may be asked to accompany H and her family on holidays both within the outside the UK.

Apply now… click to apply on TotalJobs

WORKING HOURS

  • Term Time:
    • Monday 3.30 pm to 9 pm
    • Wednesday and Thursday 9 pm to 9 am
  • School holidays:
    • Wednesday and Thursday 7:30 pm to 7:30 am
  • Additional hours may be available in school holidays

PAY RATES PER HOUR

  • Day shifts £13-£15 per hour
  • Waking Night shifts £14- £16 per hour

Apply now… click to apply on TotalJobs

WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?

For an informal chat please contact us by following this link and quote Ref: CM May 2019/LC/02

Satisfactory references and proof of eligibility to work in the UK will be required.  The position requires a disclosure request from the DBS.  A conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being employed.

Ref: CM May 2019/LC/02


Embrace HR Limited is not a recruitment agency, we recruit directly for our clients. No agencies please.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

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Support Worker Hemel Hempstead

Bank Support Worker – Hemel Hempstead, HP3 area

  • Hemel Hempstead, HP3 area
  • Pay : £12 to £14 per hour
  • Bank Support Worker to provide cover mainly, weekends, before and after college and during college holidays
  • Full clean UK driving licence

Apply now….click to apply on TotalJobs

Have you worked in a support role with young adults with special needs?

or

Are you interested in working in a support role with a young adult with special needs but perhaps lack experience in this area?

Are you flexible with your working hours?

Would you like to work, mainly with another support worker, in a friendly and caring team?

ABOUT THE ROLE

We are looking to recruit a bank support worker to complete our care team, to work with a 19 year old man who lives with his family and has Cerebral Palsy and associated complex care needs.

You will support the family to care for him by undertaking a range of duties, usually working closely with another member of the team to provide the highest standards of care.

Our client will require help with all activities of daily living and also to enable him to access learning, social and leisure activities.

The role will involve working within the family home and providing assistance in all aspects of personal care including washing, dressing, toileting and feeding.  You will also be assisting with implementing therapeutic and leisure activities in the home and wider community.

ABOUT YOU

Experience of working with young people with complex needs is useful but not essential as full training and support will be provided. Most important is your aptitude and desire to work with a young man with complex needs.

You will be confident about working in a family home and sensitive to the needs and wishes of the young man and his family

You will be able to establish a good rapport with the young man and to engage him in activities appropriate to his age and functional abilities with a positive outlook and sense of humour.

You will be a motivated and enthusiastic individual who is patient and tolerant.  A good communicator who is honest, reliable, punctual and trustworthy and able to work as part of a team.

You will be able and willing to update existing skills or learn new ones.

WORKING HOURS

Cover is required mainly for weekends, before and after college and during college holidays

PAY RATES PER HOUR

£12 per hour – Monday to Friday (day hours)

£14 per hour – weekends and bank holidays (day hours)

Apply now….click to apply on TotalJobs

WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?

For an informal chat please contact us by following this link and quote Ref: CM May 2019/LC/01.

Satisfactory references and proof of eligibility to work in the UK will be required.  The position requires a disclosure request from the DBS.  A conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being employed.

Ref: CM May 2019/LC/01


Embrace HR Limited is not a recruitment agency, we recruit directly for our clients. No agencies please.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Embrace HR Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness week: Workplace stress

How would you feel if your employees were putting their own mental health at risk in their bid to succeed at work? We look at how you can be aware of how workplace pressures can affect your staff and how you can help…

As May 13-19 is Mental Health Awareness Week, make this the time to take a look at the mental wellbeing of your staff.

How often do your staff work outside of their set hours? Is there a culture of ‘presenteeism’ in your workplace – where anyone who leaves the office at five, or works part-time, or has time off sick, is looked down on, or considered a slacker?

According to the CIPD, presenteeism has quadrupled since 2010 [CIPD: Presenteeism hits record high in UK organisations as stress at work rises 02/05/2018] and according to Personnel Today the trend is rising for employees to go into work when feeling mentally unwell [Personnel Today: Mental health presenteeism on the rise 10/10/2018], and yet more staff are taking time off sick.

What has come to light in research from wellbeing charity CABA, is that as many as three-quarters of HR professionals believe that making a good impression at work is having a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of employees.

Technology has a part to play in this – thanks to smartphones we are all available 24-7, at the end of the phone or contactable via email. And businesses can be guilty of expecting staff to check emails or take calls over weekends and evenings when they are not officially contracted to work.

Take a walk through your workplace after the official end of the day. How many staff are still in the office? If there are more than you expected, ask yourself why – ask them why! Being realistic, there will always be someone who has a deadline or a major project coming up who is likely to put in more hours, but this should not be the norm.

Encouraging this culture puts stress on your employees. They end up working late, maybe drinking to wind down after the day, or not having time to spend with family, exercise, or enjoy a hobby.

Having well-rested staff is only going to benefit your organisation. A well-rested team with a good work/life balance will perform better, be more focused and less likely to make careless mistakes. They are also less likely to suffer from physical or mental illness.

Think about how you can help your staff enjoy good mental wellbeing. Conduct a survey to find out how much they feel they must stay behind after working hours, discover how much work is actually done during that time, and why people feel they need to work past their normal hours.

Ensure that senior managers and line managers are on board and understand the issues, as they will have a great impact on preventing these unhealthy working practices.

Establish guidelines around contacting staff outside of working hours and when they are on annual leave.

Finally, work out whether there is a culture of presenteeism or if there are too few staff to deal with the workload. HR can be the champion of promoting a healthy work/life balance. Have some fun with it – maybe if working overtime through the week is an issue, think about introducing an early home time on a Friday afternoon, or as some companies do, turning Friday afternoon into a social downtime.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 769 282 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Embrace HR changes April 2019

All change! Employment law alterations in April 2019

It’s vital that HR professionals keep up to date with changes in the law – here’s a rundown of the most recent updates…

Itemised pay statements

The right to receive an itemised pay statement has been extended to workers, rather than just employees from 6 April 2019.

If you have staff whose pay varies depending on the hours worked, the pay statement will have to include the total number of hours worked as well.

There are two ways to show this: it can be included either as an aggregate figure or as separate figures for different types of work.

Increase to National Minimum Wages

Both the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage have risen as of 1 April 2019. Hourly rates are now as follows:

 

Under 18

18-20

21-24

25 and over

National Minimum Wage

£4.35

£6.15

£7.70

National Living Wage

£8.21

Apprentices now receive £3.90 an hour and a daily accommodation offset of £7.55.

Statutory sick and family pay

The rate for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay has also increased. From 7 April 2019, it has upped to £148.68 a week.

Statutory sick pay has increased to £94.25.

Remember to update any of your policies or documents that mention these rates.

Statutory redundancy pay calculations

There are also new limits on statutory redundancy pay. Members of staff who have been employed for two years and are made redundant must be paid based on their weekly pay, length of service and age. The maximum weekly pay is now £525.

Employment tribunal award limits

Likewise, the limits on tribunal awards and other amounts payable under employment legislation has increased. The maximum amount of a week’s pay for calculating the basic award for unfair dismissal is now £525, and the maximum amount for unfair dismissal has upped to £86,444.

Pension contributions

The minimum amount for auto enrolment has increased since 6 April – to 8% of an employee’s qualifying earnings, with at least 3% coming from employers, with employees making up the difference.

It is also important to note that employers must complete re-enrolment every three years. The date for this will depend on your original staging date.

If you would like to discuss any of the above points further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 769 282 or contact us here.

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Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also with SMEs based in London.