Upwards for 2019

Upwards for 2019

As MD of CrosseHR I work with a lot of micro businesses, start-ups and SME’s who are starting out or moving on in their journey. I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way and some issues and problems that every one of them go through on their journey which I will share with you over the next few months.

Almost of all the start-ups and small businesses tell me very early on that they do not want systems and processes, that rules and regulations (especially the HR kind) won’t work for their company, their staff are committed, loyal and do not need the stifling formalities they have all gotten away from, so thanks but no thanks I don’t need you and your rules. That is until they do! And that my friends usually happens when the magic number of 10 employees hits 11. Sometimes that shift happens when they move from 5 employees to 6. Strange but true and its very consistent. Something in the dynamics shift when businesses start moving away from hiring friends and family and dip their toes into the general work pool. Either the new employee doesn’t fit in or a nose or two from the existing workforce gets put out of joint, but whatever it is, it’s real and it happens and I get the call. The general issues that crop up which I will blog about over the next few months tend to be around contracts – yes you have to start issuing them even if you relied on a handshake before. You have got to get your holidays right and formalised and lolling around on cushions drinking beer could get you into all sorts of trouble if it gets out of hand.

Jocular, jokey cultures are great until someone gets offended that you never meant to and how the hell do you get someone to work who is determined they will get paid but do nothing for it. Your trusty loyal friend, brother, sister, cousin who you trust with your life might not have the right skill set to move onto the next stage with you and your investors think so too. And things go missing and the accounts are not quite right – they can’t be stealing surely. The staff are asking for appraisals, a system to record holidays, complaining that so and so works from home and is never in, and Jane happily tells you she is having a baby and won’t be in for a year- you are pleased for her you really are and panicking at the same time. Ben showed up for a day and hasn’t been seen since and Mo has been signed off sick and that contract you didn’t issue on time or at all, doesn’t mention a thing about sick pay. Oh and Emily has told Peter to eff off in front of a client and has put in a grievance. The lawyers have quoted you £250 to £500 an hour – that’s right an hour to sort it all out, who can afford that when you are barely affording your lunch to keep this show on the road.

All real issues that affect all real companies and the demon you never thought would enter your realm to your perfect nirvana, has blasted down your door. That HR nonsense you never thought you needed, that company you never wanted to become has suddenly happened, you just want this all to go away and get back to normal.  “Now, where did I leave that number of that HR company or did I delete that pesky newsletter I never read but they still send me…”

Olga

 

Dealing with Inclement Weather

Dealing with Inclement Weather

“Earlier on today a woman rang the BBC and said she had heard there was a hurricane on the way. Well, if you are watching, don’t worry, there isn’t.” Michael Fish, BBC weather presenter.

That infamous quote preceded one of the worst storms to ever hit the British Isles, highlighting just how unpredictable extreme weather can be. As a business owner, you need to be ready to react, to snow, ice, torrential rain, floods or high temperatures.

Whatever the weather throws at you, there are lots of ways you can prepare. As we outline in this article.

Create a Bad Weather Plan

Bad weather is more than a storm in a teacup: it comes with a range of safety hazards, logistical problems and resource challenges. To avoid entering a complete disaster zone, it’s well worth having a bad weather plan.

Start by writing a policy so managers and staff know what to do when bad weather strikes. Whatever your policy (and it will depend on your location and sector), be clear about:

  • What will happen if bad weather occurs while staff are at work:
    • Set out who is responsible for monitoring weather and its impact on your operations
    • The process for communicating any change in working practices to staff
    • An evacuation process if weather is so terrible you need to abandon your premises
    • Where employees should store any equipment so it stays safe in the event of a shutdown or poor weather
    • What to do about important work that cannot be delayed, for example identify whether staff can work from home
  • What staff should do if poor weather rolls in over night:
    • Set out situations when employees should check whether to come into work, for example, when there’s heavy snow
    • Who employees should contact, by what time and by what means
    • How staff should keep abreast of any updates on the situation
    • Whether you expect all or certain staff to work from home (if possible) or to work flexibly, for example by coming in later if snow melts
  • What to do if the weather is not so bad as to halt operations:
    • Restrict travel to important business trips only
    • Advise staff to take public transport which tends to be safer than driving in poor weather
    • Relax your dress code to enable staff to wear warmer or cooler clothing
    • Allow extra breaks to make hot or cold drinks

You should also have a section in your policy that explains what employees should do if bad weather means they can’t come in to work due to a school shutdown. Anyone who’s responsible for a dependent is entitled to a reasonable amount of time off to deal with an emergency involving the individual.

There’s no legal obligation to pay your employee but, if you choose to do so, ensure you apply this approach consistently.

Take Sensible Steps to Keep Your Business Running

There are a number of practical measures you can take to keep your business functioning. Consider investing in extra heating or cooling equipment like portable heaters or fans so you’re ready to keep staff comfortable and maintain productivity in extreme temperatures.

If home working is possible for your employees, you’ll need to ensure you have the right technology and a flexible working policy in place to keep your business open. But if work cannot be completed from another location, you might want to investigate insurance to mitigate any losses arising from an inability to fulfil your contractual obligations.

Be Clear on Employee Pay During Shutdowns

If it isn’t possible for your employees to work from another location, you need to be clear on your pay policy. Delayed or absent employees who can’t make it into work because of bad weather or travel disruption are not automatically entitled to be paid for any missed hours of work.

Asking employees to make up the time, resulting in no reduction in pay, is probably the best option to ensure engagement. This approach will also enable staff to catch up with their workload ensuring better service provision for your customers.

There are instances where your staff will be entitled to their normal pay, specifically if:

  • you decide to close your offices fully or partly or reduce the hours of work for your employees
  • essential staff, like managers, are unable to get to work or the person who provides access to your offices cannot make it in

Don’t Forget Your Health and Safety Obligations

Extreme heat and cold has been more common in recent years. So it’s worth noting that, in certain temperatures, you have a legal duty to prevent staff from working.

Contrary to popular opinion, there’s no legal minimum or maximum temperature that dictates when employees must put down the tools of their job. Instead, you need to provide a level of reasonable comfort. Guidance places this at around 16°C for people doing less labour-intensive work indoors and 13°C for those undertaking physical activity.

What’s classed as reasonable will depend on the environment. For example, bakers would expect a very different temperature from office workers.

Fail to prepare for bad weather and you’re preparing to fail. But by putting a bad weather policy in place, you’ll be in the best position to keep your employees safe and salvage something from the situation by keeping your business running.

Not sure exactly which health and safety laws you need to comply with in your business? Get in touch with Crosse HR on 0330 555 1139 or at hello@crossehr.co.uk and we’ll ensure your plans keep you in the clear.

 

Employee Perks Your Business Can Afford

Employee Perks Your Business Can Afford

Large firms with enormous cash reserves and high turnover can afford to throw money at their employee benefit package. But how can smaller businesses or those on a tight budget compete? We explore ten perks your business can afford.

1. Flexible Working

This is the most desired benefit amongst SME employees. Introduce this perk by allowing employees to choose when they come into the office. To ensure you have staff available at key times, establish core working hours, like 11 am to 3pm. This will enable employees to start and finish late or start and finish early.

Not only will this support parents with schools drop-offs and pick-ups but those with caring responsibilities too. And anyone who wants to leave early on a Friday for a weekend away or go to the gym before work will also benefit. In essence, flexible working helps people balance work with life.

2. Training and Development

Learning and development is often one of the first budgets to be cut when times are tough. But people want their employers to invest in them. And research shows that those companies who spend above the national average of £300 per employee have higher employee satisfaction.

It’s clear that employees also want development as those who don’t receive it are more likely to vote with their feet and leave. Making this a perk you can’t afford to ignore.

3. Time to Volunteer

Corporate social responsibility isn’t just for big employers. SMEs often take time out to support local events or undertake work to aid local charities. To find opportunities take a look at local charities’ websites. Or poll your staff to find out which social enterprises they would like to support.

4. Relax Your Workwear Policy

If your people spend most of their time in each other’s company, you could make every day dress down Friday. Should smart attire be required for meetings make this clear in your communications. Or, if a more relaxed approach works for your sector, your customers could well be fine with the change.

5. Public Transport Loans

Public transport passes are expensive. But you can ease the financial burden for employees with an interest-free loan. Simply pay the money to those who apply then set up monthly deductions from their pay. If a staff member leaves, you can deduct any outstanding amount from their final compensation, making this a cost-effective benefit with little financial risk.

6. Reduced Gym Memberships

Health and wellbeing is increasingly important for society and employers. Providing reduced gym memberships for your staff is a great way to encourage them to take care of their health. This is another cost-effective benefit that you could negotiate with a local gym. Or take a look at this handy buyers guide for done-for-you options.

7. Health Cash Plans

Employees often like the idea of private medical insurance, however this is a pricey benefit that can be difficult to remove if costs get out of hand. Instead, consider introducing a corporate cash plan for your employees.

They start from as little as £5 a month and provide cash back towards everyday health costs like dental, optical and physiotherapy. Some also include an employee assistance programme which can provide counselling and advice helping you to support employees’ mental health too.

8. Create Individual Perks

The most appreciated perks are not always the flashiest. Spend time thinking about your team, then each month choose something special to show one individual that you appreciate their efforts. This could be as simple as taking one of your team out to a new restaurant that they’ve mentioned. Or buying tickets to a game or concert they want to attend.

Spending money on something your people will genuinely enjoy is much smarter than providing blanket benefits that don’t really tick the box for anyone.

9. Duvet Days

Presenteeism is a big problem for businesses. It can happen when employees come in to work because they feel ill, but it also applies to those days when people just don’t want to go to work. If your staff turn up on these days, they’re unlikely to bring their most productive selves to work. Which is where duvet days come in.

They give employees the option to call in first thing and take the day off. Then they can sleep or do whatever else it is that helps them feel rejuvenated, before coming back in the next day feeling refreshed and ready to go.

10. Unlimited Holidays

Nobody ever goes on holiday leaving critical work undone. Well-managed professionals plan their workload, prioritise and deliver everything that needs to be done before they go away.

It’s this simple premise – that the work always gets done- that underpins unlimited holiday policies. By trusting your staff to complete their work to standard and to take as much time off as they need, you’re empowering your people to take control of their work life balance.

Yes, this relies on having individual goals and high quality performance management. But there are lots of companies who are making this work and reaping the rewards. And in cash terms, this costs absolutely nothing.

To shake up your employee benefits offering, decide which of these options will best suit your business. Then do your research and roll out the changes. Or, if that sounds like too much work, get in touch with Crosse HR to manage the introduction of new business benefits at your firm.

 

How to Create a Beautiful Workplace on a Budget

How to Create a Beautiful Workplace on a Budget

Employees’ mental and physical wellbeing has shot to the top of business’ agendas. With a high proportion of employees struggling to juggle life plus caring responsibilities for children and parents, there’s little time for self care. Which is leading to mounting stress levels.

As a result, creating a work environment where employees can perform at their best provides respite and an opportunity to boost productivity. But when budget is a constraint, creating a beautifully beneficial workplace can be a challenge.

We’ve scoured the internet for a range of cost-effective options that will beautify your workplace and boost your bottom line.

What is Beautiful?

What’s right for your business will depend on your company culture. And the people in it.

Before asking your people for their views, set some office design parameters by referring to your business culture. Placing your company identity at the heart of your transformation will help you find ways to express your brand through physical space.

Whether that’s about enabling collaboration between specific teams or providing privacy for confidential conversations. By identifying your specific goals, you can more thoughtfully organise your office.

Once you have an overall direction of travel, canvas your employees for their ideas about what they’d like to update. Seek answers to specific elements like light, colours, materials, ventilation and sound. This will help you design changes that will work for your entire team.

Budget-Stretching Workplace Design

Modern offices that create a sense of wellbeing help employees feel more comfortable and relaxed which boosts creativity and a sense of wellbeing. Here are our tips to help you create a pleasant workplace.

Create Alternative Working Spaces

Consider creating break out areas for collaboration as well as areas where people can work quietly or privately. Concerned that a new meeting room might not be used regularly enough to make the investment worthwhile? Then use them to host yoga or meditation sessions at lunch time. This means you’ll get better use of the space as well as boosting employee wellbeing.

Can’t stretch to building individual work pods or offices? Then think about installing a white noise app for employees to tune in to or providing wireless noise cancelling headphones. This will give employees the option to tune out of office noise and focus.

Go Green

Exposing people to nature has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. And it has resulted in some firms integrating living walls to their workplaces. The good news is, that although this looks great, it doesn’t need to be expensive.

You can buy ready-made sets. Or do it yourself for a few hundred pounds by installing a shelving unit with plenty of green leafy pot plants to divide your office space with a natural barrier.

Harvard University found that air quality impacts productivity and decision making. So improving your office air quality with plants could also boost performance.

Go Clean

It’s amazing just how dirty some work environments can be. Research revealed that the average desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet!

Insisting on something as simple as a clear desk policy will keep your workplace feeling less cluttered helping your people to focus. And investing in a cleaning company to ensure your workplace is spotless can reduce the risk of sickness too.

Lighting

Employees’ performance, energy, focus and motivation is impacted by the amount of light they’re exposed to. Yet many offices have no natural light at all. If you can introduce more daylight to your workplace, then do so. Something as simply as removing items that are blocking windows will help.

If there’s no way to increase natural light, consider introducing blue-enriched light bulbs. They have been shown to boost energy and improve happiness and performance.

Think Beyond Appearance

Although the physical work environment is important, it’s also critical that employees feel safe and comfortable. This goes well beyond four walls to workplace culture.

Some businesses might want to invest in pool tables, ping pong and slides. But if budget is tight, you could find it’s better to spend your money delivering one voice, one culture, one team, one dream.

Why not remove all the processes, behaviours and systems your people hate and replace them with things that will drive engagement? This could include enabling some of the most sought after working practices like flexible or home working.

Improving your workplace to meet everyone’s needs is a challenge. Particularly if you don’t have an enormous budget. But with this tactics to create a beautiful workspace, you’ll be well on your way to delivering design changes that are more than skin deep.

 

Christmas Fails – Stories From the Business News

Christmas Fails – Stories From the Business News

Mince pies, mulled wine and office parties mean it’s easy to become distracted in the build-up to Christmas. We take a look at some of the things that can go wrong and how you can avoid making the same mistakes in your business.   

When Christmas Parties Go Wrong 

The Festive Fail 

Every business has stories of at least one infamous office Christmas party. Most businesses don’t want the details of these events to be published. But employees? Well, they’re not so shy about coming forward. Here are a few quotes from Reddit about festive fiestas gone wrong: 

“I saw a coworker complain about a recent assignment, then say, ‘Don’t tell Bruce I was complaining.’ She was talking to her boss, Bruce.” 

—Redditor 

“Our CEO got drunk and announced that he would be taking the entire company on vacation to Cancun. Ten months later, he did. Yeah, I work for one of ‘those’ startups.” 

—Redditor 

“This year’s Christmas party was $35 a ticket with no meal included, and everyone was required to bring a secret Santa gift worth at least $25. So that’s $60 to spend time with my coworkers… Yeah…I didn’t end up going.” 

—Redditor 

The Lesson 

It’s likely that the first two tales can be traced back to excessive alcohol consumption. Which makes the moral of these stories not to drink too much at your end-of-year party. Of course, everyone wants to have a good time; just make sure there’s plenty of food to line people’s stomachs. And maybe set a reasonable limit of the firm’s contribution to the bar bill. 

The second learn is to ensure that whatever you’re planning for your Christmas do, make sure it’s accessible to the whole team. Many firms contribute a certain amount per head to the cost of a party to ensure everyone can attend regardless of salary.  

Coca-Cola Makes a Political Blunder 

The Festive Fail 

At a time when the whole country grinds to a halt, it’s an opportunity for businesses large and small to wish their customers merry christmas and a happy new year.  

Unfortunately for Coca-Cola, back in 2016 they managed to drop a massive Christmas clanger by wishing consumers in Russia and Crimea festive greetings. Which is fine so far. Except they decided to do it using a red and white map depicting one of the most hotly disputed borders in the world.  

Cue heated arguing, fury on both sides of the border and a sheepish Coca-Cola who were forced to apologise and replace the map with a new version.  

Problem solved? Not really. This simple solution resulted in a new chart that also included Crimea and Kuril Islands – another contested area. After a second deletion and another apology, Coca-Cola decided to call it quits on this campaign. 

The Lesson 

Pick how you celebrate carefully. The old advice – to avoid politics, religion and sex – is probably good guidance to live by. For businesses who send Christmas cards this might mean avoiding religious imagery or humorous cards that could cause offence. 

If your organisation is Christian and all your customers are Christians, then relevant religious imagery will no doubt be fine. But for mixed audiences with different faiths or perspectives, you could be wasting your money. Instead, you could stick to something safer like making a donation instead of sending cards. 

Festive Delivery Fails 

The Festive Fail 

With food such a focal point at Christmas, it’s a major time of year for grocery retailers. Which is why it was such a fail when Ocado (which delivers for Waitrose) didn’t deliver shoppers’ online orders on time. Or at all.  

Some customers claimed they’d placed their orders way back in October to ensure they got what they needed for the festive period. Despite charging up to £9.99 for Christmas delivery slots, Ocado failed to deliver the goods. Leaving customers doing a last-minute dash round their local supermarket.

Another company that’s been called out numerous times for their festive fails is FedEx. Their festive faux pas include missing thousands of Christmas delivery dates and one contractor who ditched 435 parcels.   

And then there’s one of the most widely-shared FedEx horror shows where a FedEx employee throws a computer monitor over a garden wall.  

The Lesson 

Ocado put their failed deliveries down to a lack of drivers. Which highlights the importance of getting your workforce planning right in the run-up to Christmas. Particularly if this time of year can make or break your business results.  

The FedEx debacles also teach small business owners another valuable lesson. Regardless of whether your workers are employees, contractors or temps, effective training and performance monitoring should still apply. 

If you don’t want to be responsible for any festive HR fails this Christmas, get in touch with Crosse HR for expert support. Call on 0330 555 1139 or email us at hello@crossehr.co.uk.

 

Mental Health Leave

Mental Health Leave

Mental health problems are the fourth most common cause of employee sickness absence. With one in six employees suffering from psychological illness, it’s critical for employers to understand the requirements around mental health leave. 

Prepare to find out all about employee’s rights and employer’s responsibilities.  

Is Mental Health Leave Different to Physical Sickness Absence? 

In the UK, there’s no legal difference between a sick day taken for physical or mental ill health.  

Causes of mental health leave range from stress, anxiety and depression to more serious ailments like schizophrenia and manic depression. As with physical conditions, individuals can suffer from short bouts of mental illness or longer-term cases.  

In both instances, ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) state that employers have a duty of care to staff to “take all steps which are reasonably possible to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing.” What’s more, many forms of mental illness are considered to be a disability giving employees entitlements under the Equality Act 2010.  

What Should Your Sick Leave Policy Cover?  

All HR policies should ensure they treat employees consistently and fairly and that includes your sickness absence policy. Whatever support you provide, be it statutory minimums or enhanced leave or sick pay, this should apply equally to individuals suffering from both mental and physical illness. 

As with any physical disability, you are also required to make reasonable adjustments for any mentally disabled employee. Your policies should spell this out by discussing how you will manage support like: 

  • Time off to attend medical appointments including those with a psychologist or counsellor 
  • Mentoring or peer support at work 
  • A phased return to work after a period of absence 
  • Adjusting an employee’s hours  
  • Allowing an employee to work from home 
  • Relieving an employee of certain tasks (after discussion with them) that make their symptoms worse or create additional stress or pressure 

Some organisations include additional leave (paid or unpaid) for individuals experiencing a traumatic life event, such as the death of a close relative. This kind of policy can provide staff with a buffer giving them the opportunity to recover some equilibrium. And it may even prevent them from suffering additional mental health problems in the long run. 

What Can I Do to Prevent Mental Ill Health Amongst Staff? 

Due to the huge number of events and circumstances that impact individuals’ lives, it’s not possible to prevent mental health problems entirely. However, you can create an environment where employees feel comfortable enough to raise any mental health concerns. 

Mental health organisation, Mind, state that one in five employees would not feel comfortable telling their boss if they felt overly stressed at work. And, in an interview with the BBC, Sam Gurney, head of equality and strategy at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) says: 

“When you look at the reality of the situation, mental health isn’t being addressed properly … People can be terrified of saying they have some kind of issue.”  

Data gathered by the TUC shows that the problem goes beyond people taking time off. Just one in four people who have suffered from a mental illness or phobia for one year are in work. 

So, what can you do? One option is to be proactive in training your managers to spot the signs of mental ill health. It’s also important to make it clear that your business considers and treats mental wellbeing in the same way that you deal with physical illness.  

Despite the right to time off work for mental complaints, not everyone is aware of their right to do so. Research from Powwownow found that 43% of respondents were not aware that they could take sick leave for mental health reasons. 

Another option is to work with an experienced HR consultancy and occupational health service provider. This will give you trained professionals to refer employees on to. Another good option is to provide counselling sessions via an employee assistance programme (EAP) or directly with a professional counsellor. 

EAPs are excellent tools for helping prevent stress and manage it. They provide a range of information and advice services, usually covering health, legal and financial matters, which are some of the major causes of stress. By nipping these kinds of issues in the bud, anxiety and depression can sometimes be avoided. 

Organisations perform better when their people are healthy, motivated and focused. Which is why employee mental wellbeing is increasingly on the radar of many organisations.  

Standing by people when they experience poor mental health sends a clear message about your organisation’s values. And it can also help you keep hold of esteemed staff members and ensure the loyalty of others in your workforce.  

To ensure you’ve got the right policies, tools and training to support your employees’ mental wellbeing, contact Crosse HR on 0330 555 1139 or at hello@crossehr.co.uk. 

 

How to Deal With Sexual Harassment

How to Deal With Sexual Harassment

#metoo 

Since the #metoo movement hit the headlines, I’ve seen a big increase in the number of workplace sexual harassment cases. 

In this climate, it can be tempting to focus on protecting those who make allegations. But as we all know, there are always two sides to every story.  

In the eyes of the law, employers are responsible for giving both the person making the complaint and the person being accused a fair hearing.  

In this article, I explore: 

  • what you need to do to protect your business from legal proceedings 
  • how you should deal with people who lodge a sexual harassment claim 
  • and how to treat those who have been accused, falsely or otherwise 

What Counts as Sexual Harassment? 

ACAS defines sexual harassment as unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that violates the dignity of a worker. Or that creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. 

Sexual harassment doesn’t have to be intentionally directed at an individual. Making sexual references, gestures or behaving inappropriately in a sexual way can still count as sexual harassment. Even if there’s no intended victim.  

Critically, the nature of sexual harassment is defined by the person experiencing it. This means something can be considered sexual harassment even if the alleged harasser didn’t intend it to be.

Examples include: 

  • making comments of a sexual nature about an individual’s appearance 
  • asking questions about someone’s sex life 
  • telling offensive jokes  
  • displaying pornographic imagery 
  • sending emails of a sexual nature 
  • making unwanted physical contact 
  • sexual assault 

Legally, all your employees, male and female, at all levels of the company are protected from sexual harassment. Depending on the nature of the incident, they will be covered by employment and/or criminal law.  

As a business owner, you’re responsible for the safety of your people. Which means dealing appropriately with claims of sexual harassment is critical for the security of your business. 

Innocent Until Proven Guilty 

Like many crimes of a sexual nature, harassment often takes place behind closed doors or away from other people. Without witnesses, cases often set one person’s account against the other’s. 

As with any grievance, sexual harassment can only be alleged until a full investigation has taken place. This should align with your grievance policy and procedure which should follow the ACAS Code of Practice 

Investigate Thoroughly and Sensitively 

Although it may feel like there’s a lot of pressure to act in the face of claims of sexual harassment, it’s important that you don’t jump to conclusions.  

Examine 

You will need to conduct an investigation into the alleged sexual harassment. In cases of serious sexual harassment you may need to involve the police. Your investigation can run alongside the police investigation and you can take the police’s findings into account.  

Working Arrangements 

Depending on the type of allegation, you may need to consider working arrangements while the matter is investigated. This could include asking the accused to work from home or putting them on paid leave if paths are likely to cross. 

Anonymity 

Experiencing – and being accused of – sexual harassment is often extremely upsetting, so the case needs to be handled sensitively. It’s extremely important that both the claimant and the accused are supported throughout the process. 

The individual making the claim can choose to remain anonymous. However, it’s really important that the person being accused of sexual harassment understands the claim being made against them. This will allow them to mount a defence.  

Evidence 

The individual making the claim should provide as much proof as possible to support their case. If emails have been sent they should provide copies of them. Or if there are witnesses, they should be asked to provide evidence.  

Outcomes 

If the outcome of the case is that the accused is guilty, you will need to take appropriate disciplinary action in line with your procedures. What constitutes a reasonable or justified action will depend on the details of the case. However, all outcomes should be fair and consistent. 

Failing to deal with sexual harassment claims fairly for both parties can place your business at risk from tribunal or criminal claims.  

What Happens if the Claims Are Groundless? 

When someone is falsely accused of sexual harassment they will likely find the experience traumatic. It’s important that you deal with these individuals fairly as other employees will be watching your approach. If possible, you should integrate them back into the business.

Depending on the circumstances, you may feel that you need to take action against the accuser. This forms part of your duty to ensure your employees work in a safe environment where they are not put at risk. Even from false accusations.

Sexual harassment is one of the most difficult claims to investigate and deal with. As long as you do so legally, promptly and deal sensitively with all parties involved, you will be acting appropriately. Which will safeguard your employees and protect your business. 

Don’t deal with sexual harassment claims alone. Contact Crosse HR for pragmatic support on 0330 555 1139 or at hello@crossehr.co.uk. 

 

Why HR is NOT Just for Big Companies

Why HR is NOT Just for Big Companies

When you employ a small number of people it can be tempting to think you don’t need any HR management. But consider this; the smaller your workforce the bigger the impact each employee has on your business.  Which makes effective human resource management more important for smaller companies than large ones. If that hasn’t convinced you, here are five more reasons why HR should be at the top of your to-do list.

HR Isn’t an Option

You might not have the resources, money or time of a larger organisation, but you still hire, fire, train, manage, pay and reward the people in your business.  Whether you are doing these things for five, 50, a few hundred or several thousand people, having quality HR policies and practises in place make everything work more efficiently. When your background isn’t HR, it’s worth bringing in an expert to quickly develop what you need.

Maximising ROI and Driving Growth

All businesses rely on their people to deliver on promises and drive growth.  Strategic HR determines the best way to meet your corporate objectives through your people.  It will also align your employees in the direction of the business and get everyone pulling in the right direction.  

Regardless of size, all businesses can use HR to identify where and how to save on people-related costs and enhance the bottom line.  In fact, it can be easier for smaller business to do this because they are more agile and responsive and tend to have greater visibility of the entire organisation.

Gaining and Retaining Talent

Ambitious graduates or those with grand career plans don’t always consider working for smaller employers.  But boutique businesses offer a range of benefits that job-seekers are less likely to get with the bigger employers. Enhance your recruitment messaging to show how broader roles and additional responsibility will build a bigger experience base and take top talent away from larger competitors.

Treading the Employment Law

If someone goes off sick, makes a claim for unfair dismissal or discrimination you will need to know your employment law so you can deal with the situation fairly and legally. To make matters worse, employment law is an ever-changing beast and it’s a full-time job to keep up with developments.  This make a well-informed HR specialist, whose job it is to be in the know, worth their weight in gold.  Plus, the fees to outsource your HR are insignificant in comparison to the potential cost of getting employment law wrong.  

Changing Workforce Demographics

With millennials soon predicted to account for 75% of the global workforce and with more people working in later life, it’s really important to meet the wide variation in employee needs.  HR helps you do this by taking a lead role in developing and maintaining a strong, inclusive working culture that’s effective for both your business and employees.   

People are probably the most difficult resource you have to manage and they’re critical in keeping the wheels of your business turning.  As a smaller employer, it may not be worth employing a full-time HR role.  But there is significant value in managing your human resources effectively.  Get the best of both worlds by working with an HR consultant.  You’ll benefit from their in-depth HR knowledge while controlling costs and maintaining your existing headcount.

For help with all your HR needs, get in touch on 0330 555 1139 or at hello@crossehr.co.uk.