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HR and Staff Management

Readers question:  I am one of two company directors in an ltd company. My partner in business has been told by her midwife that she is entitled to 90% of her salary while on maternity leave. For us to pay her, we would need to employ another person to do her job, this would put the business in financial difficulty. Is this the case?

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Remote working has in the recent past gained momentum among employers, more so for the benefits, it gives to a business. Besides reducing office expenses, it allows the employer to engage the right people regardless of where they are. However, these people can easily become demotivated because they work with all the distractions that come with working from home.

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April is the time when many businesses will take stock of the year just gone, whilst planning for the quarters ahead, however, the impact caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may loom heavily over these plans.  Many businesses are attempting to balance outgoings and ensure cashflow remains intact for the next few months, which, for many, could bring a downturn in income.  To mitigate the deepening economic and social impact, the UK Government has introduced a package of support to help both employers and employees through the crisis.

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We made the decision to get our whole team working remotely well ahead of the Government’s advice to take this step. We called a morning meeting on 10th March and had transitioned to remote working by the time everyone left that day.

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Moving people to remote working can be stressful at the best of times. COVID-19 adds an extra dimension. For this reason, it is very important that business owners consider the impact on the mental wellbeing of their team as they adjust to the necessary changes.

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You may be just getting started with your business and need the right skills to help it grow. Or, maybe you have seed funding and need to scale your team quickly? 

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For small businesses running payroll can be a headache and fear of making mistakes means it can be very stressful. Unfortunately, Payroll is difficult, and errors can be expensive. This is why there is a professional body for payroll professionals (CIPP) which has exams which are tough to pass.

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In October of last year, the University of Bristol released a report that revealed some rather sobering statistics. From a sample size of over 3,500 new parents, fewer than 30 per cent of women were still working self-employed or full-time — even three years after childbirth. At the same time, nearly 90 per cent of men of new fathers carried on with business as normal. 

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Which matters more: recruitment or retention? Many employers struggle to answer this easy question. Every organisation is powered by its people, and hiring the right people starts with strong recruitment. Typically, employers believe that finding talented, motivated, experienced, and high-potential applicants to fill open positions is the best way to ensure a prosperous future of growth and innovation. But how much is that talent worth if it walks out the door after a year or two? Retaining existing employees means building institutional knowledge in your workforce and generating more stability.

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Leadership is an amazing experience. It gives you the opportunity to shape and influence an organisation and, perhaps more nobly, to turn a vision and a dream into reality. That said, leadership can be hard, and people often harbour unrealistic expectations about what is involved.

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You’ll be aware that HMRC is bringing in new, stricter rules around using contractors and consultants, known as IR35 effective April 2020.  These new rules are intended to stop contractors, freelancers and consultants being used as “disguised employees” to avoid paying tax and benefits.

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Hiring employees to your business is a sign of growth and expansion and something that should be celebrated. However, it can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t have any experience in hiring staff and employees. You must therefore be prepared to ensure that you have made a good decision and hired the right person.

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A study has shown that many talented professionals are using search engines such as Google to look for work. This means that you can use SEO to attract the best talent available. As a result, you may be able to reduce the time, effort and costs involved in acquiring the top talent.

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Hiring your first employee is a big deal. Not only will you be handing over responsibility for part of your business to someone new, but you will also have to be aware of your duties and obligations as an employer.
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Good communication skills are essential in pretty much every aspect of life, none more so than in the workplace. Today’s workplace can be a tricky area for employees to navigate, as so many generations are now mixed together and each age group has specific ways they prefer to communicate. 

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In a recent study carried out by the Close Brother Asset Finance, it was found that small and medium-size businesses find diversity is good for business. However, they still struggled to achieve a diverse workforce. There are a number of benefits of having diversity in the workplace and SMEs may be missing out on these benefits.

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Your business needs happy, healthy employees who enjoy their work.  They are your greatest business asset while for the individual their greatest asset is their health and mental wellbeing. A person who feels appreciated will ALWAYS do more than expected.

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The majority of schools will close on 20th December so from that Friday the pressure is on! With Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both being on a Wednesday, this holiday season may be proving a bit more complicated to plan than usual.  What time off will you be giving your employees?

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Wired Magazine predicts that coding could become the next main blue-collar job which, if true, means that many small business owners will need increasing number of employees with programming skills in the near future.  The problem affecting all businesses is that, without action, the UK could fall well behind other parts of the world in training for the future.  This will affect our economy overall as well as our individual businesses.

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Companies that are at the forefront of development prioritise the continuing education of their employees because it not only increases their comparative advantage, but it also stresses a continuous system of growth. A company’s trajectory for growth is based on its foundation, which is its people.

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