Gender Pay Gap (GPG)

Gender pay gap reporting has been given an extension due to the pandemic for businesses until 5th October 2021.

This applies to any business that has a headcount of 250 people or more. Whilst it is not a requirement to report on the Gender Pay Gap if you have less than 250 employees, it is good practice to do so especially if you are an expanding business.

We can support you with GPG, contact us today to discuss your requirements.

BREXIT – Right to work in the UK for EU Workers

Do your none UK residence have the right to work in the UK from 1st July 2021.

EU workers must act now before the 30th June 2021 to apply for settled or pre-settled status. It is free to do from your smart device. Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status): Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you need assistance in checking that you hold the relevant right to work documentation for all employees on file then get in touch with us and we can audit your employee files and get the right documentation in place to ensure your business is legally compliant with ‘the right to work in the UK’ for all employees, contact us today.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Work life Balance

Have lines been blurred of what a work-life balance is? Are your employees suffering from burn out or mental exhaustion? Feel anxious or isolated? They are not alone, working from home is not for everyone and we need to proactively support our employees to prevent them from feeling like this.

These are some of the ways you can help them:

  • Introduce a working from home policy
  • Agree on check-in points, what does this look like daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly?
  • Do employees book time off for some downtime? Holiday’s when we can?
  • Do you have an employee wellness program?
  • What social events/team events have you got in place? All be it virtual ones for the time being?
  • Do you have an occupational health provider?
  • Can you implement reasonable adjustments to assist employees?
  • Do you have an employee assistance program?
  • Do you know your employees? Do you encourage open and honest communication? A problem shared is a problem halved after all.

We have launched Project 52 committed to improving mental health at work. Contact us today to find out more and how we can help your business be committed to improving mental health at work.

Covid 19 – 1 year on what does your workplace look like?

Risk Assessments:

Did you know that if you have more then 5 Employees you are required to carry out a risk assessment in relation to ‘reasonable measures undertaken to minimise exposure. Things to consider:

  • Social distancing
  • Track and Trace
  • Cleaning Stations

Furlough:

  • The Furlough scheme has been extended until 30th September 2021
  • Employers must contribute 10% towards the Furlough scheme from July 2021
  • Employers must contribute 20% towards the Furlough scheme for August and September 2021

Policies:

Home Working Policy

Do you have one in place? We can help implement a Home Working Policy to protect you and your employees.

What will it cover?

  • Regular touch points with employees
  • Supervisions for junior/less experienced employees
  • Boundaries of working hours to enable a work/life balance in the home
  • DSE
  • Risk Assessments
  • Expenses
  • Insurance

Absence Policy

Does this require an update to reflect new reporting of absence ways? Can you work from home even though you are not well? Is it that if you were travelling to a place of work that you were unfit to travel rather than not fit to work? What considerations do you need to make to your absence policy to be fit for purpose for ‘working from home’ here at 1850 we can tailor your Absence policy to best support your employees whilst absent from work whilst ensuring that productivity of your business is not affected.

Flexible working

Have you received more than the normal amount of flexible working requests since your employees started working from home and the talk of returning to the office has begun?

Don’t be alarmed, this is to be expected. Remember there is a formal process for handling flexible working requests and three responses can be given to the employee’s requesting flexible working; these are Accept, Trial period or decline based on only 8 specific reasons. If you are seeing interest from your colleagues in flexible working and require assistance in managing these requests, get in touch with us and one of our HR Consultants will be happy to support you through this process and provide the relevant documentation.

Contracts of employment

Since Covid-19 began, working from home has become the ‘new normal’. Will your employees be returning to the office or will they remain working from home? If so, we can ensure that your contracts of employment are updated to reflect this and include:

  • Place of work
  • Expenses
  • Benefits analysis of appropriateness

No Jab, No Job – What are your thoughts?

As it currently stands you cannot enforce that employees have the Covid-19 vaccination in order to continue in employment with your business or dismiss an employee if they do not take up the vaccination.

So what can you do?

Educate your employees on the benefits of the vaccine and how it will help to create a ‘new normal way of life’. You can if you wish to; make conditional offers of employment on the proviso that employees have received the vaccination. However, in doing this you need to ensure that, how you store the information in relation to the vaccination received by an employee is compliant with GDPR as this is classed as medical information which falls under special categories.

If you are considering conditional offers of employment based on vaccination receive then contact us where one of our HR consultants who specialise in GDPR can advise, guide and put in place the relevant security measured to protect your employee data along with relevant contracts of employment/ offer letters.

GDPR

What increased GDPR risks has your business been exposed to during the pandemic?

  • Work from home shared work stations with friends/family?
  • Physical storage and disposal of data?

Does your GDPR policy extend to coverage of working from home?

We can provide GDPR policies and procedures tailored to working from home to protect your business from a GDPR breach. We can provide training to your employees and Top Tips of how to avoid a data breach.

Statutory Increases

As of the 1st April 2021 the national minimum wage increases, HR professionals should make sure that workers are being paid at least the national minimum wage that applies to them.

The national living wage (the highest band of the national minimum wage) increases to £8.91 per hour on 1 April 2021.

In addition, the age threshold for the national living wage is amended so that it applies to 23- and 24-year-old workers from 1 April 2021. Previously, the national living wage was available only to those aged 25 and over.

Other national minimum wage rates also increase on 1 April 2021, with hourly rates rising to £8.36 for workers aged 21 and 22, to £6.56 for workers aged 18 to 20 and to £4.62 for workers aged 16 and 17.

Statutory Increases that effect your people effective from 1st April 2021

National Minimum Wage
23 and above£8.91
21 – 22 inclusive£8.36
18 – 20 inclusive£6.56
Under 18 but above compulsory school leaving age£4.62
Apprentices aged under 19£4.30
Apprentices aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship£4.30

Statutory increases that effect your people effective from 4th April 2022

Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, Shared Parental and Parental Bereavement Pay
SMP – Weekly Rate for first 6 weeks90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings
SMP – Weekly rate for remaining weeks£151.97 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) – Weekly rate£151.97  or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, which ever is lower
Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) – Weekly rate for first 6 weeks90% of employee’s average weekly earnings
SAP – Weekly rate for remaining weeks£151.97 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) – Weekly rate£151.97 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP) – Weekly rate£151.97 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower

What can you recover from HMRC as an employer

SMP,SPP, ShPP, SAP or SPBP – proportion of your payments you can recover from HMRC92% if your total class 1 National Insurance (both employee and employer contributions) is above £45,000 for the previous tax year.   103% if your total Class 1 National Insurance for the previous tax year is £45,000 or lower.  

Stress Awareness Month: Taking the Stress out of HR

This April is Stress Awareness Month. Now in its 29th year, the campaign exists to bring awareness to our ‘modern epidemic’ of stress and the harm it can cause. Modern-day stress levels are no secret, and a quarter of people say that work is their biggest source of stress.

Work should be a place to thrive, grow and achieve — when done well, HR is the track on which a high-functioning workplace runs. Read on for our 3 steps to handling stress in the workplace.

Begin with the essentials

Picture the scene. Business is going well. All of your hours are filled with meetings, accounts, sales reviews, team training. Then something comes up, and you don’t have the right HR systems in place to deal with it. Perhaps it’s staff misconduct, an equality issue, the need to hire somebody new. You’re left scrambling to fix it, on top of everything else.

Sounds stressful, right?

Beginning with all the HR essentials in place sets a great foundation. A HR specialist can simplify this process, finding out exactly what your business needs, and is likely to need in the future, and making sure it’s all in place for when you need it.

Make HR work for you — not the other way around

We know that sometimes Human Resources might be caricatured as needless form-filling, the reality is quite the opposite: good HR can put systems in place that free you up to do great work.

Start by diagnosing what is going to bring the biggest benefit. Perhaps implementing a watertight system for onboarding new employees, or a set of compliant policies to take the guesswork out of disputes, redundancies or health and safety. 

Whatever it is for you, a little investment ahead of time will save stress and time in the long-run.

Leave it to the professionals

We get it. You didn’t start your business to become an HR expert. You started it because you have a product, a service or a set of skills you believe in, and you want to do great work.

The good news is that HR experts are only a phone call away. Whether you’re looking for a complete HR service, or help with a specific project or policy, bringing in a skilled HR pro (like us, for example!) frees up a ton of your time, and is an affordable investment.

And with your HR in safe hands, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Ready to take the stress out of your HR?

Why not take 30 minutes to set yourself up for stress-free HR? We’re offering a totally free 30 minute phone consultation. Ask us your HR questions, and see how we could help you.

Improving mental resilience as your staff return to the office

A recent survey found that 25% of people say that work is the biggest stressor in their life. 

The next few months will see teams returning to work following one of the most disruptive periods in most of their lives. It’s natural that those usual ‘workplace stresses’ may be amplified.

So how can you improve mental resilience among your staff as they return to the office post-COVID? 

What is mental resilience?

Resilience refers to the ability to maintain balance, to handle failure and strong emotions, and to ‘bounce back’ from negative experiences. In the workplace, a healthy level of mental resilience will mean staff are able to learn from mistakes, handle conflict well, and not fall apart under strain.

Resilient teams work better together and experience less anxiety, distrust and passive-aggressiveness. And the good news is that resilience techniques can be learned and taught.

Check in and listen

The foundation of helping your employees to become mentally resilient is to create space to check in and listen. Give your staff the chance to process and verbalise how they’re doing (for many, putting their thoughts and feelings into words will be a vital step towards self-understanding).

You aren’t required to be a therapist, but creating intentional spaces in which to hear your team’s concerns and provide encouragement and direction can go a very long way.

Lead from the front

You can’t lead others where you haven’t been. Beginning with your leaders is the only way to achieve meaningful change. Make sure that you and your key leaders are taking on activities to help boost resilience — like checking in honestly, creating a healthy work/life balance, and implementing simple mindfulness techniques.

Equip your leaders

Want a less anxious, more focused and more collaborative team? Then invest in training which will equip your leaders to promote and improve resilience in the workplace. 

A key leader with access to some simple and effective methods for assessing and boosting employees’ mental resilience can save in time and resources in the long run. 

Encourage positive rhythms

The human brain is amazing, but it just isn’t capable of being ‘always on’. 

Help your employees to ‘compartmentalise’ tasks, so they aren’t constantly switching and reacting. This simple organisational tool is proven to reduce mental stress and boost productivity.

Similarly, short periods of rest have been proven to increase mental focus and energy, and prevent burnout in the long run. It may work for your office to introduce regimented breaks, or to help employees think through their ‘focus cycles’, and plan their workday around positive rhythms of focused work and short breaks.

Create a culture of compassion

Compassion — for oneself and others — is foundational to mental resilience. Is your office a place where people are permitted to learn from failure, where encouragement comes easily, and where people are honest with one another?

Creating a culture that embraces compassion is definitely not a quick fix, but it’s worth considering in your discussions around company culture.

Do you want to boost mental resilience in your workplace?

With staff set to return, now is the perfect time to get equipped. We offer the training to help your leaders boost mental resilience, focus and productivity in the office.

Get in touch with us to see how we can help you.