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Julie Page HR Ltd – Newsletter January 2014

Firstly, may I wish you all a very Happy New Year, followed by a successful 2014 with a happy, productive workforce smiley face

Clearly the beginning of a New Year is always a good time to implement your own ‘New Year Resolutions’ within your Business to create a more positive workplace environment which in turn will increase productivity and ultimately affect your profitability.   Get it right and it is a ‘win - win’ for all once more.

However, before we look in more detail at potential workplace resolutions I would like to inform you of the imminent changes planned as regards Employment Law which are planned for April this year.

2014 HR advice 

Employment Law changes:

  • Statutory Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay and Adoption Pay will increase from £136.78 to £138.18 from 6 April 2014. Statutory Sick Pay will also increase from £86.70 to £87.55 at this time.
  • From April, the Government intends to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, not just those who are parents or carers. Employees will still need 26 weeks’ continuous service in order to be eligible and there will be a duty on employers to deal with requests reasonably (although they will not have to follow a statutory procedure). Eligible employees will only be able to make one request in any 12-month period. The statutory procedure for considering requests will change when the legislation comes into force and employers will be obliged to consider requests in a reasonable manner and within a reasonable time.  More will follow on this nearer the time but please be mindful of any employees wishing to take advantage of this when these changes occur in April.
  • From April 2014, anyone wishing to bring a claim to an employment tribunal will need to contact Acas first. This is to allow for conciliation of the claim without the intervention of a tribunal. Either party will be free to reject Early Conciliation (EC) but a tribunal will not entertain a claim if Acas has not issued a certificate stating that conciliation was not possible. Acas will have one month to try and effect a conciliation before the case goes to tribunal.
  • The Government has also intimated that in April provisions will take effect which will allow Employment Tribunals to have the capacity to impose a financial penalty of up to £5000 on employers found to have breached an employee’s employment rights.  It is proposed that the penalty would be half of the total award made by the tribunal with a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5000, and that a 50% discount would be applied if the employer paid the penalty within 21 days. This amount would be in addition to any compensation the employer is ordered to pay out!  The Act states that the tribunal would have the discretion to levy a penalty where “the breach (of the employee’s rights) has one or more aggravating features”; for example, where the treatment of the employee was deliberate or malicious, where the employer had repeatedly breached the right in question, or where the employer has a dedicated HR Department. Again, please be mindful of any employee waiting to try and take advantage….

Now back to your New Year Resolutions!

Many people at the beginning of each New Year set out to change aspects of their lifestyle to improve their wellbeing. It therefore makes sense for employers to do the same by adopting a number of ‘New Year commercial resolutions’ which will benefit your employees and ultimately benefit your own business.

Remember, if everything stays the same and is not particularly fulfilling and rewarding, some of your better, more energetic employees will think about pastures new as they, like you, will have made New Year’s resolutions and may be more decisive about it in terms of action…

Therefore think carefully about how you can make your staff feel more valued

  • With a high number of people expected to re-evaluate their career in 2014 it is essential to make your staff feel valued!
  • In 2014 employers are expected to face a high turnover in staff. This is down to the results of a study from the Institute of Leadership and Management who found that 20% of employees plan to quit their job this year. In addition to this, a further 31% are unsure about whether they will stay in their current role. The study showed that of those who planned to quit their job, 16% of them wanted to leave because they did not feel valued.
  • Furthermore, recent research clearly shows that the UK’s leading employers are increasing their graduate vacancies by 8.7% in 2014, compared with the number of graduates hired in 2013, providing more opportunities for university-leavers than at any time since the start of the recession. This high increase in graduate vacancies is the biggest annual rise for four years and takes graduate recruitment to its highest level since 2007.  The greatest growth in graduate vacancies is at public sector employers, accounting & professional services firms, city investment banks, retailers and engineering & industrial companies which together intend to recruit almost 1,200 additional graduates in 2014.
HR Advice Essex 2014
  • Therefore, as we enter a New Year it is a great time to improve the standard of your leadership, concentrate on your culture and values and act professionally and positively to each of your employees so they understand how important and valued they are to YOU as the Business Owner.
  • More often than not, ‘the grass is never greener’, but my advice is to not allow your staff to see this for themselves and venture further afield, unless you want to embark on new recruits and staff changes yourself for your own business gains.

Also plan to motivate your team as soon as possible

  • One very important resolution which should start straight away is the proposal to motivate your staff.
  • After the winter break employees may come back to work feeling a little too relaxed and with an unenthusiastic approach to continue their work. It is therefore important to begin the year by boldly reiterating your company’s ambitions and to focus your team on their individual jobs.
  • The New Year is a great time to meet with your employees and share with them the company’s objectives for the year ahead. That way, everyone starts the year focused and ready to help reach the goals put forward by you, as the business owner. Again, any negative thinking or thinking further afield will be quelled as staff realise your business is focused and you value and understand their contribution in this regard.
HR Consultancy 2014 Essex

Implement Professional HR Leadership

With a number of changes to Employment Law it is vital to seek professional HR leadership in 2014.

Effective leadership in HR will guide you through the introduction of changes in Employment Law and will help you manage them with the correct procedures. By maximising your HR’s contribution, your staff are bound to feel more supported and valued.

Furthermore, strong leadership from HR can help:

Julie Page HR

The implementation of a few New Year resolutions will almost certainly benefit your business. As we enter a New Year it is a great time to remember how a Professional HR Leader can benefit your business. Julie Page HR will not only guide you through the changes in Employment Law in 2014 but will also help develop your business’ strategies and provide support to both you and your staff for business success and staff empowerment.

To find out more about the contents of this Newsletter or ways in which Julie can work with you for your HR and staffing requirements, please contact her on 07776 135350 or through this website for an initial discussion and free consultation.

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