Inspiring People Development
NOVEMBER 2020 | VOLUME 16 ISSUE 2 A MEDIA AVENUE PUBLICATION | www.hrnetworkjobs.com
One should be left behind
Edit At L or ar EAT ge: IN IT U G P
FEATURE: Recognising Employee Suicidal Behaviour
the engagement collection
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COVER STORY No one should be left behind! Social inclusion throughout Scotland is taking shape as the Scottish Government and key intermediaries work hard to ensure there are marginalised groups in education, training and employment. Andy Moore takes a closer lookâ€Ś.
8 News 20 Stats
22 Employment Law Update
Remedies for Unfair Dismissal
24 Feature Two
Recognising Employee Suicidal Behaviour
28 The Bookshop
Latest bestsellers to be published
30 Feature Three
A Guide To Turn Line Managers Into Recruitment Assets
34 My LinkedIn
Nicola Saltman Senior Consultant Mercer Marsh Benefits
Eating It Up
Global Mobility, Career Change, Leadership, Employee Communication
46 Event Planner
Event Updates for 2021
Founder and Publisher:
Law At Work Employment Law Update: Remedies for Unfair Dismissal p. 22
Lee Turner email@example.com
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Former senior HR professional and freelance business journalist
Editor At Large: Eating It Up p. 36
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Account Director, Sterling Lexicon
Insight: Global mobility through a pandemic p. 40
Editor-At-large: Neil Archibald firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Director, Jaluch Training & HR
Marion Robertson email@example.com
Insight: Emerging HR trends for 2021 p. 41
Donna Turner firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior HR professional and founder of Chrystal HR & Coaching
Insight: Career Pivot - It’s time for a change! p. 42
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Insight: Redefining your leadership style in a crisis p. 43
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Insight: Employee Communication – Rules, tiers and tears p. 44
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or the first time in 14 years, my ‘Welcome’ to the November issue of Hr NETWORK magazine sadly does not feature a preview of the annual Hr NETWORK Awards Gala Dinner, which normally takes place in mid-November. COVID-19 may have prevented us from hosting the biggest annual gathering of HR professionals in Scotland in 2020, however it will not dampen our spirit and our endeavour to re-instate this hugely popular signature event for the HR profession, when we are able to do so without restrictions.
Instead of trying to create an online version of our gala dinner, which attracts around 800 HR and people professionals to the Glasgow Hilton
each November, we aim to get everyone back together again at the annual gala dinner in November 2021.
HR & business community and we want to thank everyone for their tremendous support so far.
Hr NETWORK Conference & Exhibition 2021 Despite the huge impact on our events activity in 2020, we are delighted to announce our
This Issue In this online edition of the magazine, Andy Moore takes a closer look at work being done by the Scottish Government on Social Inclusion and discovers that no one should be left behind.
Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning’ Conference & Exhibition, which will take place in Edinburgh on Thursday 13th May 2021. We are delighted that all of our ‘booked’ delegates from this year have agreed to transfer their bookings to next years event and we look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to join us in May 2021. Hr NETWORK Awards Nominations 2021 All nominations received this year will be carried forward to the 2021 nominations’ process, which runs from 1st March to 31st May 2021 and ALL nominators from this year will have the opportunity to review and refine submitted nominations in time for the end of May deadline in 2021. Hr MARKET As I reported in the previous issue, we have managed to adapt the business to a new way of working and in doing so, we are more committed than ever to continuing to support the HR profession and keeping everyone updated on all the industry developments, news and activities. Following the hugely exciting launch in August of Hr MARKET, our fantastic new platform bringing together a world of business and networking opportunities, promoting and encouraging rich content through wonderful examples of best practice and with well over one hundred new advertisers, we are overwhelmed with the response we have had from the
Editor At Large Neil Archibald looks at the history of the staff canteen and discovers that employees have have come to enjoy something more comparable with a fine dining restaurant experience. The regular sections of the magazine include: Stats, the Bookshop and Insights. I hope you enjoy your online copy of Hr NETWORK Magazine and look forward to welcoming you at the 2021 events, when the lockdown as been lifted and we can all try to get back to our ‘new’ normal. Stay safe!
Lee Turner Publisher
Contributors: Neil Archibald, Sandy Begbie CBE, Kirsty Beattie, Stuart Jackson, Tracey Chrystal, Suzanne Lamont, Ruth Gladwell. Hr NETWORK also available on: LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/hrnetwork1 Twitter: www.twitter.com/HrNETWORKNews YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ hrnetworkscotland
Charity launches free domestic abuse advice line for businesses A new advice line for businesses supporting employees experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse has been launched by crisis support charity Hestia. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime with 10 per cent of victims reporting abuse at work (TUC, 2014).
in the workplace and have worked with over 70 organisations from the Metropolitan Police to Balfour Beatty.
The ‘Everyone’s Business’ Advice Line will be a point of contact for businesses, supporting them on how to approach disclosures of domestic abuse by their employees, particularly in light of COVID-19. They will also receive advice so that they can signpost staff to specialist domestic abuse services.
Businesses play a significant role in supporting those who experience domestic abuse. Yet whilst 86 per cent employers agree they have a duty of care to support employees experiencing domestic abuse (Westmarland, 2017) – fewer than one in three victims disclose the abuse at work, citing ‘shame’ and ‘privacy’ (TUC, 2014).
Hestia says lockdown has shown that home is not always safe for everyone, and with more people working remotely due to COVID-19, cases of domestic abuse are rising. The charity saw a 47 per cent increase in victims reaching out for information and support on its free domestic abuse app, Bright Sky.
It’s also expensive, costing employers upwards of £14 billion every year, when measuring based on reduced employee productivity and lost output due to time off work (Oliver et al., 2019). Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of Everyone’s Business Advice Line at Hestia said: “Lockdown has meant victims have been away from their place of work, in isolation with their abusers, often with no way to seek support. Now, as more people return to their place of work, employers have a unique role to play in breaking the silence around domestic abuse.”
While over 2.4 million people are affected by domestic abuse every year, it can be difficult for employers to recognise the signs and support those experiencing domestic abuse in their organisation. Hestia launched the Everyone’s Business programme to increase awareness and support
Bupa extends instant access to earned wages to 5,500 dental colleagues Thousands of Bupa Dental Care staff have been given real-time access to their earned wages thanks to Wagestream. This follows nearly 11,000 employees in Bupa’s care services division gained access to the benefit in February, meaning once colleagues have completed shifts, they no longer have to wait until payday to access funds.
All 6,500 staff in Bupa’s dental division will also have the option to use Safestream — a micro-savings tool that collects regular, small sums straight from pay packets. Both services will be delivered alongside a range of financial education tools provided by Wagestream in conjunction with The Money Advice Service. This also includes webinars to give staff advice on how to manage their money and an online resource hub that identifies information and entitlements that are relevant to them. Jo Foster, People Director at Bupa Dental Care, said: “Giving our dental teams access to their pay when they
need it is a great way for us to give something back to much-valued employees who go above and beyond every day.” A key advantage for employers is that the facility doesn’t impact the cash flow of businesses — so wages are paid by the employer as normal at the end of the month. For those firms who offer shift work, another immediate benefit is that it becomes easier to fill rotas, because income streaming restores the direct connection between work and pay. In fact, Wagestream data shows that workers enrolled in the service choose to work 22% more hours on average.
COVID-19 is a bigger flashpoint for abuse of shopworkers than shoplifting
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Retail trade union Usdaw has found through a survey of over 2,000 shop workers that enforcing social distancing measures and the wearing of face coverings are now the biggest triggers for abuse of shopworkers. In past years similar surveys have consistently found that theft from shops and age identification have been the major flashpoints.
Our expertise and technology empowers a wide variety of organisations across Scotland, including: NHS Scotland, Glasgow Airport, Aberdeen Airport, Quarriers, Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership and Teleperformance.
In response to continued growing assaults, threats and abuse against shop workers and the doubling of incidents during the coronavirus emergency, Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis launched a parliamentary petition calling on the Government to legislate to protect shop workers, which now has over 60,000 signatures.
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Last year shopworkers told Usdaw that the highest ranking flashpoints were shoplifting (30%) and age restricted sales (29%), which had consistently been the case for many years of surveying.
"Jobtrain have, throughout the entire programme, shown a clear focus on delivery. With the customer at the heart and with a very positive "Can do Attitude", Jobtrain have been flexible to meet the size, complexity and scale of NHS Scotland."
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Yet another Usdaw survey shows that some people have responded to an appalling national pandemic, which has severely impacted everyone’s lives, by abusing shopworkers. At a time when we should all be working together to get through this crisis, it is a disgrace that staff working to keep food on the shelves and the shop safe for customers, are being abused.
Contact us today. Jobtrain.co.uk/Scotland
Global hiring experiences mixed recovery as demand patterns impacted by COVID-19 variations in weather resulting in some industry stakeholders cautiously increasing their hiring in anticipation of increased business. The outlook for Q4 and beyond in the travel and tourism sector largely depends on whether tourists shed their apprehensions and start to travel again.”
COVID-19 has impacted hiring across all industries globally according to the latest findings by GlobalData. While trends were positive for most of Q1 2020, the severe impacts of COVID-19 in Q2 have resulted in job posting declines. While Q3 brought some respite with a resurgence in hiring, the trends are not consistent across sectors. Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst, at GlobalData says: “The pandemic has impacted global jobs in a highly uneven way across different sectors. The travel and tourism sector has been worst hit
while retail and pharma remained relatively resilient. Automotive was also amongst the severely affected sectors.” Animesh Kumar, Director of Travel and Tourism Consulting, says: “The slight increase witnessed in jobs in Q3 2020 can be attributed to the fact that the negative impact of COVID-19 has improved in several markets resulting in a small growth in tourism activity as restrictions have been relaxed. Moreover, it could also be attributed to planning and preparations for Q4. In most markets, the November to February period is a peak season due to holidays, festivals and
Younger employees say they would change employers for better benefits In today’s war for talent, offering an enticing benefits package is the best way for companies to attract young employees, so much so that they would even consider changing employers for better benefits. This finding is revealed in The Benefits & Engagement Report: A European employer’s guide to the employee experience of the 2020s – a study commissioned by award-winning benefits technology provider, Benify, and conducted by global public opinion and data company, YouGov. The study explores what benefits are most important for different employee groups, how benefits are related to employee engagement, and what effect HR tech platforms have on benefits appreciation and the overall employee experience.
Declining sales in 2019, combined with high inventories, left the automotive industry highly cautious and it was one of the earliest to react. Hiring increased for some time in January but then remained flat till the end of February 2020. Job postings declined over the next four months before showing signs of recovery in Q3 2020. Remote working, online shopping and measured spending is expected to impact private vehicle sales for the foreseeable future. On the positive side, electric vehicles sales are likely to grow. Social distancing is also expected to drive vehicle demand with more people looking to secure personal rather public modes of transport.
Younger employees are easier to attract with a more attractive benefits offer than older employees. In fact, nine out of ten employees aged under 30 say they would consider changing employers to receive better employee benefits. This finding relates to women and men across Europe and in all industries. More companies understand the need to offer employees benefits that not only support them at work but in their personal lives. “Employers are looking for ways to support all aspects of their employees’ lives. For example, there has been an increase in recent years in “softer” benefits related to the company you work for, such as on-site childcare or heavily discounted products if you’re working for a retailer”, says Katie Goodwin, Head of Client Relations International, Benify. The survey was conducted in April 2020 by YouGov, on behalf of Benify, in the form of an anonymous online survey with approximately 5,000 participants aged 18 and older in the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden.
Aon research shows that over 40% of employees don’t feel they have job security
for their organisations, the programmes do not result in creating resilient workforces. According to Aon, just 30% of employee respondents are resilient based on three core indicators – the employees’ sense of security, sense of belonging and ability to reach their potential. Resilience in a work environment means people can better adapt to adverse situations, manage stress and retain motivation, enabling organisations to better manage change.
A new report from Aon, examined the views of employers and employees across five major countries in Europe, finding that just 30% of employees are resilient while also showing that resilience can triple when employers adopt a well-rounded programme of support. Employees with poor resilience have 55% lower engagement at work and are 42% less likely to want to stay with their employer. In the UK, 29% of employees are resilient, and those with poor resilience have 59% lower engagement and are 43% less likely to want to stay with their employer.
The research showed, however, that 42% of all employee respondents don’t feel secure at work, 52% don’t feel a sense of belonging and 55% don’t feel they can reach their potential. In the UK specifically, 43% of employees don’t feel secure, 52% don’t feel a sense of belonging and 56% don’t feel they can reach their potential. European employers who do more for the health and wellbeing of their staff were more likely to take greater, and quicker actions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their workforce during the early weeks of COVID-19. While most employers did something, those with pre-existing broad approaches to wellbeing did far more. At the most basic level, 34% of organisations with no health and wellbeing programme encouraged their staff to work from home, compared to 48% of organisations with some health and wellbeing initiatives, and 63% for organisations with a broad programme.
The report’s data was collected during March 2020 amidst the backdrop of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, from survey participants in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. Aon’s report, The Rising Resilient, finds that despite health and wellbeing initiatives being well established with employers, with 80% agreeing that they are beneficial
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HR professionals indicate that working from home may be the new norm Almost 90% of HR professionals say they have allowed employees to work from home during the pandemic, and 77% say they intend to continue allowing employees to do so when there is no longer the risk of infection. These findings are revealed in Benify’s latest study, where more than 900 HR professionals were surveyed about how COVID-19 has impacted the work of HR. Before COVID-19, 74% of survey respondents said their employees had the opportunity to work from home before the pandemic, but only when necessary and only after receiving their manager’s approval. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the vast majority (89%) of survey participants say they have allowed employees to work from home.
On whether remote working will become the new norm, 77% of participants say they intend to allow employees to continue working from home if they want to; however, only 10% plan to allow their employees the unrestricted possibility to work from home. The current working conditions have seen HR professionals prioritizing company culture and togetherness at a time when many employees are working away from the office and the risks of loneliness, isolation or mental illness increase. On these risks and how HR can prevent them, Katie Goodwin, Head of Client Relations International, Benify says: “We’ve seen businesses doing a lot to keep camaraderie going, maintain team spirit, and a sense
of working together. People have been really creative, sending care packages home, sending favourite things to employees who are having a tough time, showing we’re all in this together, we’re all thinking of you, and looking out for you. We’ve seen some really nice ways employers are trying to connect while we’re all very isolated.”
UK’s first cyber incident helpline for SME community to aid Scottish organisations in recovery from attacks In the face of rising incidences of cyber attacks on businesses and charities, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) in partnership with Scottish Government and Police Scotland has launched the UK’s first cyber incident response helpline for the SME community to help victims of cybercrime understand what support is immediately available to them and help them recover. Since Covid-19 restrictions came into force in March, many organisations have dealt with a sudden increased dependence on technology to support both remote working and a rapid shift
to take their businesses online, placing unexpected demands on their cyber defences. This has resulted in a corresponding rise in cyber incidences for businesses, either through deliberate targeting by cyber criminals or accidental events with unintended consequences. The free helpline will help organisations confirm they have been the victim of an attack and, if so, provide expert guidance to get them back to secure operations. Organisations who are concerned about their security in general can also get in touch to confirm they have the right processes in place.
Jude McCorry, SBRC CEO, added: “Now more than ever, businesses need to ensure the security of their operations. Through webinars and other outreach programmes, we have worked hard to help organisations understand the importance of cyber security. This helpline is the next step towards ensuring businesses get the help they need, to recover from cyber incidents with limited impact on their operations and customers. With our cadre of security experts and expertise across a range of industries, the SBRC is uniquely placed to help Scottish businesses understand, contain, and recover from cyber attacks.”
Scottish recruitment specialists win NHS framework place An Edinburgh-based international medical recruitment specialist has won a coveted place on a UK-wide NHS recruitment framework. Head Medical, which has been placing international medical professionals for more than a decade, has secured its own spot on the Health Trust Europe (HTE) Framework for Permanent Recruitment Solutions for International Healthcare Workers.
The Right Talent Strategy and Solutions for the ‘New Normal’
As a result, the group will have the opportunity to place healthcare workers, including Nurses, Doctors and AHPs from across the globe to NHS bodies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Delivering happy and productive employees – everywhere you do business.
The specialist fought off competition thanks to its commitment to quality of service and compliance – for which it achieved the maximum possible score during the tender process. Jim Godsal, Managing Director of Head Medical, said: “We’re proud to have been accepted onto this nationwide framework. It is testament to the hard work and expertise of our team, all of whom, have an exceptional knowledge of international recruitment in the medical field. “We have worked tirelessly over the years to build a solid reputation based on our combined expertise, high standards of client service and our unique offering across the relocation process. It’s wonderful to see our commitment to quality and compliance recognised by Health Trust Europe. “Over the years we have placed hundreds of candidates with the NHS, and we look forward to building on that foundation going forward.” Head Medical has a team of more than 20 experienced specialist recruiters working with clients across the globe to place hospital doctor, nurse and GP candidates into a range of permanent and contract roles, from training and consultant positions to clinical director and GP partner.
The need to get the right people into the right roles at the right time hasn’t changed, but precisely how organisations achieve that goal certainly has. The new workforce landscape is challenging, but you don’t need to navigate it alone. The experienced Sterling Lexicon team can help you re-think your overall approach to meet the complex demands of the here and now, whilst positioning your company to be ready for the competitive requirements of what’s next. Let us help you with: • Flexible, compliant assignment policy design and implementation • ROI measurement • Candidate assessment and selection • Complete origin and destination services • Expense management/overall spend • Repatriation or localisation support
Its unique service includes assistance from a dedicated registration team to help with medical registrations and visa applications, ensuring the smoothest possible relocation process.
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Social inclusion champion Sandy Begbie appointed Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise Sandy Begbie CBE has been appointed Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), the representative body for the financial services industry in Scotland.
Officer and Lead Executive for China and Hong Kong for Standard Life. He also held similar positions with Aegon, Scottish Power and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Sandy was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in August 2018 for services to business and social inclusion. Philip Grant, Chair of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said: “An innovative and progressive financial services sector is vital for Scotland’s economy and SFE plays a central role in the development of the value of the sector. This has never been more important as we turn our attention to securing a long-term and sustainable recovery that can support the society in which we wish to live.
With a successful track record in financial services globally from a human resource and transformation perspective, Sandy also brings a range of experience from third sector roles and working with government. Most recently, Sandy developed the Young Person Guarantee implementation plan for the Scottish Government in response to rising youth unemployment as a result of the coronavirus crisis. This followed his involvement in designing a similar scheme for young people called the Edinburgh Guarantee.
“I am delighted that Sandy will be leading the SFE team as CEO. He is taking over from Graeme with the organisation on a strong footing, having experienced a 25% increase in membership over the last five years and delivered an ambitious strategy to strengthen Scottish financial services.”
Until August, Sandy was Chief Transformation Officer at Tesco Bank where he led the strategic change programme for the previous 18 months. Prior to this he was responsible for the Global People, Organisation and Culture Integration at Standard Life Aberdeen. Before the merger with Aberdeen Asset Management, Sandy was Chief People
64% of Brits are more inclusive on tattoos in the workplace Survey results can reveal that 78% of people would prefer employees working in a medical profession to not have a tattoo, compared to 22% who don’t have a preference. Unsurprisingly, respondents also cited preferring workers within the legal and governmental sectors to not have a tattoo/refrain from having it on show. 75% still prefer MPs to not have
Sandy Begbie said: “I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with SFE members and building on the good work Graeme and the Board have done. Given the current environment, it’s important that SFE has the right voice and influence to respond to the world we find ourselves in.”
a tattoo, whilst a lawyer ranked thereafter with 68%. This is supported by data, which shows that these occupations still have certain rules on tattooed workers. Interestingly, the public would rather see a police officer (34%) and military official (19%) with a tattoo compared to an estate agent (37%) and flight attendant (36%). Comparably, 66% of survey respondents had no preference whether a police officer had a tattoo. In comparison, the public have less of an issue with footballers, hairdressers, athletes, and chef sporting tattoos, with just 7% caring about footballers with a tattoo. Savoy Stewart found that those working in customer-facing professions such as teachers, bankers, retail, and hospitality
workers are likely to leave a negative impression on people. However, it must be noted that although results do depend on the visibility of tattoos/and if the tattoo is offensive, it appears that on average 64% of respondents have no preference, assuming a positive attitude towards changing behaviours in the workplace. Lee Chambers MSc MBPsS, an Environmental Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant has commented: “Tattoos have become an increasingly interesting talking point within the workplace, as attitudes in some sectors has softened, and the prevalence of tattoos has risen. There has been long standing resistance to tattoos that are visible in certain industries, more so the ones are seen as professional.”
Dyslexia remains misunderstood and businesses must do more to become inclusive workplaces The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has published new guidance, ‘DMA Talent: Dyslexia Employer Guide’, created using insights from neurodiversity consultants, brands/employers, and dyslexic employees working across the creative, data and marketing industries.
they can do to support a diverse workforce,” said: Kate Burnett, General Manager, DMA Talent and Co-author, ‘DMA Talent: Dyslexia Employer Guide’. “Our Dyslexia Employer Guide is the latest instalment in our neurodiversity guidance series, offering organisations free advice on how to create a positive, supportive, and flexible workplace culture that permeates all levels of the business.” The guide provides comprehensive guidance and recommendations on reasonable adjustments that employers can make to recruitment processes, the workplace environment, support networks, and most importantly, how to treat employees as individuals.
Dyslexia is a neurodevelopmental condition, which mainly affects the development of literacy and language related skills. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, but symptoms will likely range significantly between each person. Using expert insights from neurodiversity consultants and feedback from dyslexic professionals, this new guide will help employers to understand dyslexia and what they can do to make their workplace more inclusive.
In addition, it features case studies offering advice for dyslexic people written by dyslexic professionals, from junior marketing executives all the way to managing director level, on useful coping mechanisms they apply on potentially problematic areas and how their skillsets have helped them to thrive in the creative industries.
“Although awareness has increased in recent years, dyslexia remains misunderstood and businesses must do more to become inclusive workplaces. Our new employer guide addresses this by helping employers to understand what
There is limited knowledge and best practice available on how to make the workplace environment more ‘dyslexia friendly’, especially guidance created in partnership with dyslexic professionals.
SOCIAL INCLUSION: No one should be left behind! S
ocial inclusion throughout Scotland is taking shape as the Scottish Government and key intermediaries work hard to ensure there are marginalised groups in education, training and employment. Andy Moore takes a closer lookâ€Ś.
One for all and all for one. What better way to summarise the many initiatives in Scotland that are striving to achieve social inclusion across workplaces and training and education institutions. Together, their aim is to ensure no one is left behind – from those in poverty to people of all working age, gender, race and disability – and they all have opportunities. The Scottish Government intends to make Scotland a place where people are healthier, happier and treated with respect and where opportunities and wealth are spread more equally. It aims to tackle child poverty by addressing the underlying causes of deprivation and improving the circumstances in which children grow up. This has been supported by several initiatives such as the National Improvement Framework, the Fairer Scotland Action Plan and many more which tackle poverty, reduce inequality and build a fairer and more inclusive Scotland. The Fairer Scotland Duty also considers how to reduce inequalities caused by socio-economic disadvantage.
So how is social inclusion shaping up in Scotland? It is perhaps more important than ever during the pandemic. One eminent Scottish people professional with solid insight is Sandy Begbie CBE, who says: “For Scottish HR, social inclusion policies must be a top priority.” Scotland is little different than other parts of the UK – but does have its own social inclusion challenges. Some regions are very rural. This means there is a broad demographic of people who do not have the same access to digital technology, transport and jobs compared with urban areas.” With some 800,000 people deemed as Digitally Excluded – those with no or poor access to tech connectivity – digital poverty remains a growing issue in Scotland. In August this year, a new £5 million fund was created to help colleges and universities in Scotland tackle digital exclusion among disadvantaged students. The funding, announced by the Scottish Funding Council, will pay for
digital devices so students can learn remotely as they prepare for the new term after lockdown. Karen Watt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, believes the investment will help students facing hardship with the costs of taking part in online learning. She says: “This digital fund will support disadvantaged learners across Scotland to study online with computers they might otherwise have been unable to buy themselves – vital help when money is tight and access to digital learning is more important than ever.”
poverty in Scotland. At the heart of this is how employers approach job creation and wealth.” The Young Person Guarantee Implementation Plan, which Sandy is currently spearheading, proposes that no one’s life should be determined by the postcode they are born into. The implementation plan is part of the Scottish Government’s “Youth Guarantee”, unveiled in September, which aims to ensure young people do not carry the “economic scars” of coronavirus into adulthood. The £60 million initiative will be backed by additional money for apprenticeships. Under the proposals, everyone aged between 16 and 24 in Scotland will be guaranteed “an opportunity at university or college, an apprenticeship programme, or employment including work experience, or participating in a formal volunteering programme.”
HR must make a concerted effort to attract talent from traditionally social-excluded areas and think differently. One development at present is that more people are working remotely, meaning that more roles can be fulfilled from home and, in some cases, to other parts of the UK.
But how important is it for HR to introduce social inclusion policies? “Very,” Sandy stresses. “Recruitment practices are historically unconsciously biased. Once people are in work they should be eligible to the same opportunities as everyone else. Life events, whether this is having a family, being a carer or during illness, should not define what your aspirations are.”
“The HR profession needs to be the conscience of their organisations to drive forward social strategies. And this includes having much more inclusive agendas for the many social mobility issues we have in Scotland,” adds Sandy Begbie. “The recent Joseph Rowntree publication highlighted the lack of progress on addressing child
Scotland is little different than other parts of the UK – but does have its own social inclusion challenges. Some regions are very rural. This means there is a broad demographic of people who do not have the same access to digital technology, transport and jobs compared with urban areas.
Role model mentoring also plays an important part in social inclusion, which starts with employers engaging in school – and HR must drive this agenda. Organisations such as Career Ready, MCR Pathway and many others are successfully delivering mentoring in secondary schools, and this approach can apply throughout someone’s entire career and provide significant benefits for groups such as ethic minorities who can be mentored by colleagues in senior positions. Sandy Begbie concluded: “I have set out recommendations around four areas and all of them have been accepted by the government and the other parties,” he enthuses. “We are now into implementation stage. It is not just to help individuals during COVID–19, but create a fundamentally different employment landscape for young people in Scotland. Social inclusion has a long way to go – but there are many initiatives working hard to get there. No one should Sandy Begbie CBE be left behind.”
Social Inclusion: No one should be left behind • Those in poverty and everyone of working age, gender, race and disability must have opportunities in education, training and employment • For Scottish HR, social inclusion must be a top priority • 800,000 people are Digitally Excluded in Scotland • A new £5 million fund aims to help colleges and universities in Scotland tackle digital exclusion • HR needs to be the conscience of their organisations to drive forward social strategies • No one’s life should be determined by the postcode they are born into
COVID-proof professions: The top industries hiring right now Ian Wright from Small Business Prices comments “Finding a new role is challenging enough in the best of times, let alone in this postlockdown, recession phase we currently are finding ourselves in. We hope that our research sheds light on the hard stats – how many roles are available (supply) and the number of people who are finding themselves unemployed (demand) in industries across the UK.”
It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has had a monumental effect on the UK economy and job market. Many Brits have unfortunately found themselves looking for new roles after being furloughed and later made redundant. Having to unexpectedly look for a new career can certainly be a stressful and worrying time in normal circumstances, let alone post-lockdown. New research by Small Business Prices compares the latest unemployment data to the number of jobs available in the UK– revealing the easiest and the hardest sectors to find a new role.
The top 10 sectors for seeking a new role By comparing the number of people currently unemployed within each sector, with the number of jobs currently advertised, and those searching Google for jobs, these are the top 10 industries where there is the most opportunity: The information sector takes the number one spot, with over 45,000 people currently unemployed
compared to over 100,000 jobs currently available. Search volume (the number of people in the UK searching Google for jobs in this sector) is also comparatively low with just 70 searches. This means that for each person searching Google, there are approximately 1,436 jobs available. At the other end of the scale, the Agriculture industry is currently the sector with the least amount of job opportunity, with 28,544 people currently unemployed in the UK compared to just 418 jobs currently on the market. Retail, Manufacturing, and Art are also named as some of the industries that currently have the least opportunities for job seekers.
The best and worst industries for each level Experience, of course, has a part to play when seeking a new opportunity, as not all of the jobs currently available will necessarily apply to you. We’ve explored the best and worst sectors for entry, mid-level, and managerial positions:
For entry-level roles, the healthcare industry is currently seeking a batch of new recruits! If you’re looking to get into the property sector however, this may be a little tricky as it ranks in the bottom position for the amount of opportunity currently available.
Mid-level roles In comparison to entry-level roles, there are fewer opportunities all-round, with professional services currently advertising 5,122 roles. Energy and Administration industries have just a little over 1,000 jobs available each.
Manager roles With the highest number of job opportunities across all levels of experience, managerial roles in the professional services, health, and information sectors top the list as having the most jobs available. At the other end of the scale, finance, construction, and retail are all areas with the least amount of jobs available.
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BULLYING & HARASSMENT
DISCIPLINE & GRIEVANCE
EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE
Remedies for Unfair Dismissal By Kirstie Beattie, Law At Work
In last monthâ€™s edition of LAWmail, we questioned whether there would be a rise in applications for interim relief as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only a few days later, in Morales v Premier Fruits (Covent Garden) Ltd an employment tribunal granted interim relief to an employee claiming unfair dismissal on grounds that he used a trade union to lodge a grievance about a reduction in wages and an alleged lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This may mark the beginning of an upward trend 22
This month we have decided to stick with the theme of unfair dismissal remedies and are looking specifically at reinstatement and re-engagement. It often comes as a surprise to employers that in the event an unfair dismissal claim is upheld,
EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE
Re-engagement orders can extend not only to the employer themselves but to their successors and associated employers. The employer will typically be expected to make up all the employee’s lost salary and benefits for the period between dismissal and the date of reinstatement/re-engagement. Therefore, these remedies are potentially far-reaching.
Often by the time a case reaches tribunal, the relationship between the parties has soured to the point that the claimant has no appetite
For further information, please visit: www.lawatwork.co.uk
Firstly, the tribunal can only order reinstatement or re-engagement where the employee expresses a wish for them to do so. A tribunal cannot order reinstatement or re-engagement and also make a basic or compensatory award.
In conclusion, unlike interim relief, it seems improbable that the number of cases involving awards of reinstatement and re-engagement will significantly increase. However, any employer defending an unfair dismissal claim should take note of the possibility, no matter how remote they think it may be.
Like interim relief, reinstatement and re-engagement are rare and are awarded in fewer than 1% of cases. This is largely due to the factors, which must be considered when deciding whether to grant such an order.
Finally, where the employee’s conduct contributed towards the decision to dismiss (known as “contributory fault”), this will usually sway the judge towards an outcome other than reinstatement or re-engagement. Where the judge nevertheless determines that such an award is appropriate, s/he can order that the employee is re-engaged on terms, which are “just”, meaning potentially less favourable than those enjoyed previously.
TERMS & CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
the judge can order them to take the employee back, either on exactly the same terms they enjoyed previously (reinstatement) or on such other comparable terms as the tribunal sees fit (re-engagement).
This was the case in Kelly v PGA European Tour in August 2020, whereby the EAT upheld an employer’s appeal that its concerns about an employee’s capability and integrity could undermine trust and confidence, making re-engagement impracticable. In that case, the EAT accepted that the employer had a genuine and rational basis for believing that trust and confidence had been impaired and the employment tribunal should not have interfered with that.
Secondly, the tribunal will consider how practicable it is for an employee to be reinstated or re-engaged. An employer facing such a situation will likely argue that neither remedy is practicable due to the breakdown in trust and confidence.
MATERNITY & PARENTAL RIGHTS
to go back to work for their former employer, hence reinstatement and re-engagement are rarely sought and financial compensation is usually preferred.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Like interim relief, reinstatement and re-engagement are rare and are awarded in fewer than 1% of cases.
GNISING employee suicidal behaviour
The ongoing COVID pandemic has only exacerbated feelings of isolation felt by many, as employees suffer disconnection and loneliness from months working from home in solitude.
uicide is often the final and most heart-breaking act in the battle against treatable mental illness. The latest figures from the Samaritans sadly show there are 6,507 suicides in the UK a year with the highest rates among men aged 45-49.
Many of us are experiencing extremely stressful and challenging times and coupled with financial insecurity, feelings of loneliness from working in isolation at home, and disconnection from our colleagues, friends and family - it creates the perfect storm. For some, this period of heightened anxiety may trigger profound feelings of despair and perhaps even lead to thoughts of suicide.” Ian continues “distressingly, on average everyday 12 men and 4 women will complete suicide in the UK and the impact on families is heart-breaking. The latest figures from the Samaritans sadly show there are 6,507 suicides in the UK a year with the highest rate among men aged 45-49.” Unchecked mental health also impacts the wider economy, analysis by Deloitte, finds that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year. This is a rise of 16 per cent since 2016 - an extra £6 billion a year. While the Centre of Mental Health has found a staggering 70 million workdays are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK.
A recent report from the Office of National Statistics states that 69 per cent of adults in the UK feel somewhat or very worried about the effect Covid-19 is having on their life. With worries about the future (63 per cent) and feeling stressed or anxious (56 per cent) the most common issues affecting wellbeing. As a second national lockdown is imminent, and social distancing rules continue, mental health and suicide prevention non-profit We are Hummingbird has announced a new series of virtual and socially distanced in– person training sessions designed to help businesses identify employees suffering at this time of uncertainty.
A recent report from the Office of National Statistics states that 69 per cent of adults in the UK feel somewhat or very worried about the effect Covid-19 is having on their life. With worries about the future (63 per cent) and feeling stressed or anxious (56 per cent) the most common issues affecting wellbeing.
Deloitte research also found that for every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions they get £5 back in reduced absence, presenteeism and staff turnover. Showing you really can’t afford not to invest in training and education.
Ian’s mental health first aid and suicide prevention and intervention training aims to remove the clinical jargon and help to educate as many people as possible in mental health first aid. “It is now a recommendation to have a mental health first aider in every workplace. Employers need to treat mental health in the same way as physical health” explains Ian.
Having experienced first hand the challenges posed by mental illness in today’s fast-paced, results-driven work environment, Ian Hurst, co-founder of We are Hummingbird is an advocate of watching out for our colleagues, co-workers and teammates.
Ian’s previous training clients have included Deliveroo, The Royal Navy, Great Western Railway, DPD, Novatech, and Axa Insurance just to name a few. Here are Ian’s five essential behaviours to watch out for in others:
He says “Now more than ever, there is a need to be able to identify the signs of when someone is experiencing poor mental health and take what are often simple steps to assist them.
1. Changes in personality and/or appearance over a prolonged period of time – a person experiencing poor mental health may become less concerned about their personal appearance and often exhibit a change in attitude or behaviour
“Sudden calmness or even euphoria are the most misunderstood element of suicide behaviour”, explains Ian. He adds “often we hear shock and surprise from loved ones who have lost someone to suicide, saying “we thought they had got better, they seemed more themselves lately.” However, this is often the final element of what is known as the suicide continuum.”
2. Expressing verbal or non verbal signs of not continuing with life, around 95% of people planning their suicide will give off signs that they have or are considering ending their life. It is up to us to recognise the warning sign and allow them full permission to speak
“We all feel a sense of relief when someone we care about suddenly “feels better”, we assume that all is well and good, however, often this can be due to the individual being at peace with their decision. We must stop looking for a “fix”, and accept that change and recovery is an ongoing process and not something that happens overnight.”
3. Changes in life circumstances such as job loss, break up of relationship or bereavement these life events whilst often not the driving force alone of suicide, can be an impetus to act for individuals with suicidal thoughts
If you believe someone you know is in immediate danger of suicide do not leave the person alone. People who receive support from friends and family are less likely to act on their suicidal plans.
4. Getting things in order such as suddenly paying back money, going out of their way to see old friends, giving away personal possessions and cleaning up their home are possible signs that a person is making preparations and likely has a suicide plan 5. Suddenly calmness after a period of poor mental health such as depression, a sharp change of outlook or elation is a sign that the person has made a decision to end their life
BETWEEN the LINES RAGE
By Bob Woodward
The No 1 international bestselling author of Fear: Trump in the White House, Woodward has uncovered the precise moment the president was warned that the Covid-19 epidemic would be the biggest national
What Mummy Makes By Rebecca Wilson Wean your baby and feed your family at the same time by cooking just one meal in under 30 minutes that everyone will enjoy! Say goodbye to cooking multiple meals every day and the faff of making special little spoonfuls
for your baby, plainer dishes for fussy older siblings, and something different again for the grown-ups. With this ingenious new way to introduce solid food to your baby, you’ll cook a single meal and eat it together as a family where baby will learn how to eat from watching you.
Normal People By Sally Rooney
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up
More Than A Woman By Caitlin Moran
A decade ago, Caitlin Moran thought she had it all figured out. Her instant bestseller How to Be a Woman was a game-changing take on feminism, the patriarchy, and the general ‘hoo-ha’ of becoming a woman. Back then, she firmly believed ‘the difficult bit’ was over, and her forties
security threat to his presidency. In dramatic detail, Woodward takes readers into the Oval Office as Trump’s head pops up when he is told in January 2020 that the pandemic could reach the scale of the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 675,000 Americans.
a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins. Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can’t.
were going to be a doddle. If only she had known: when middle age arrives, a whole new bunch of tough questions need answering. Why isn’t there such a thing as a ‘Mum Bod’? How did sex get boring? What are men really thinking? Where did all that stuff in the kitchen drawers come from? Can feminists have Botox? Why has wine turned against you?
Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day: My Autobiography
without its share of tragedy. It was a time of plenty and of want. When the storm clouds of the Second By Captain Tom Moore World War threatened, he raised his hand and, like You’ve seen him on the television walking the length many of his generation, joined up to fight. His war of his garden. A frail elderly man, doing his bit at would take him from a country he had never left a time of crisis. But he wasn’t always like this. Where to a place which would steal his heart, India, and the did he come from? Where was he made? From Far East, to which he would return many years later a childhood in the foothills of the Yorkshire Dales, to view the sight he had missed first time around: Tom Moore grew up in a loving family, which wasn’t the distant peak of Everest.
A GUIDE TO TURN YOUR LINE MANAGERS INTO YOUR BEST RECRUITMENT ASSETS
Managers wear many hats in today’s world: they are expected to be financially aware; responsible for purchasing decisions; have specialist knowledge; lead and develop people – the list goes on. 30
n recent years, ATS provider to NHS Scotland, Jobtrain, has witnessed an increasing trend towards devolving the responsibility for recruitment away from HR, and into a collaborative partnership with line managers.
Chris Keeling, founder and CEO of Jobtrain says: “It is understandable why this change may face resistance. Line managers (or Hiring Managers as they are often Chris Keeling referred to) already feel they have too much to do, so why burden them with yet more responsibility?” The very fact that we refer to them as Hiring Managers can perhaps show a lack of understanding of the priorities they face.
it may be the cost that recruitment is incurring or the time to hire is simply too long and the departmental goals suffer as a result • Produce clear Key Performance Indicators based on the planned change and use the ATS’ reporting features to share actionable insights on how the planned process will work i.e. Cost savings, Time requirements
2. Educate managers on the entire hiring process With the average time to fill a position taking 42 days according to the SHRM Human Report Capital, it’s important to provide a detailed process flow of your current recruitment process – and if you have the data try to show how long each element is taking. How long to get a role approved so recruitment can start working? How long before candidates are sourced and a shortlist presented? How long does arranging interviews take? How are candidates assessed –and could that be better/quicker? And how long does it take to make an offer and get it accepted?
Fundamentally, a good line manager is appointed because of their operational capability; because of their technical know-how or perhaps because of their ability to instil and manage effective processes? What they are never appointed for is their ability to hire staff! So why do we insist on calling them hiring managers? Jobtrain’s guide provides a roadmap for Talent Acquisition, Recruitment and HR Leaders to collaboratively turn line managers into recruiters!
By way of example, Jobtrain found that the use of an ATS to produce ‘bottleneck reports’ can be valuable in highlighting delays in the process, allowing the HR/ recruitment team and hiring managers to focus on improving these in partnership.
1. Gain the buy-in and back-up of the Leadership Team According to McKinsey, 70% of all organisational change projects fail, and one reason for this is people don’t get enough buy-in from the right colleagues for their initiatives and ideas. Enhancing the role of any group of staff in a business is a complex challenge. We all know the first step to implementing any change project is to secure buy-in and commitment from the senior leadership team. If you want to improve the capability – and the ownership – of recruitment by those who are actually charged with managing the individuals when they join, then it is best to start with the following:
3. Help managers deliver a consistent candidate experience
• Plan the initiative and presentation for your leadership team. Position it as a strategic project and include the expected results and benefits such as savings on agency fees, administration cost and advertising spend
An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) mindset is essential from the very beginning of a recruitment project. HR Daily Advisor (2016) defined EVP as: “The reason why an employee would want to work there as opposed to finding employment elsewhere”. Your EVP should be a reason why employees stay but also a reason why they should join your organisation.
• Identify the problem that needs to be solved otherwise a proposal for a change initiative won’t receive the attention it needs. Such a problem may be the quality of staff (high churn rates, or low quality scores?);
3. Lack of respect
• Offer to critique and help line managers to get their ‘set-up’ right – is their screen at a height that means they can talk eye-to-eye with a candidate and not with the applicant staring up their nose or at a ceiling light? Is the background suitable, or have they set the camera with their back to the toilet doors!
In each case, the line manager is key to ensuring a positive experience for employees it is therefore essential that you:
• Video interviews are as significant and valuable as a face-to-face interview, so ensure Managers treat them as such.
• Ensure they understand, promote, and communicate the organisation’s values throughout the recruitment process.
5. Technology’s critical role
According to research published by Kununu, the top 3 reasons why employees leave their jobs are: 1. Lack of trust or autonomy 2. Lack of recognition
A great deal of time and money is invested in selecting and implementing recruitment technology but it’s only as good as those using it. Too often Managers are hesitant to use the ATS fully, so it’s important to understand why.
• Understand the EVP’s importance to the organisation and to prospective hires. Show Managers how critical they are to shaping the workplace experience. EVP is an abstract concept to most people outside resourcing. Make it real and encourage Line Managers to develop the environment you are striving for. Once you have something they can be proud of building, then they will certainly be proud of sharing it with potential new team members.
1. Were the managers involved as stakeholders in the ATS selection process and were their needs listened to? 2. Does it fit their requirements? 3. Is it intuitive and tailored to the tasks they need to complete?
4. Video’s new role in hiring Adverts
4. Does the ATS include an easy to use mobile version? If managers can do that on their mobile device, just think how beneficial that is to a central recruitment function, which often must field countless calls from managers who simply want an update on their role?
Studies show that video job adverts achieve 20x more shares than text-based adverts, yet fewer than 1% of fortune 500 companies use them. The opportunity for competitive advantage is clear – involve line managers in promoting their job opportunities through a video introduction. A twominute video will be 10x more effective than HR/ Recruiter produced videos. However, it isn’t just promoting the job opportunity – it is about encouraging line managers to promote their own function – to trumpet their achievements – to introduce their work colleagues. We should all be proud of our achievements at work – and if line managers are not proud, then that is a different challenge you face!
A great deal of time and money is invested in selecting and implementing recruitment technology but it’s only as good as those using it.
‘The future of work’ is a very hot topic now and this is perhaps best encapsulated in the world of recruitment when looking at how we now interview. “I think we can all surmise that Video interviews are here to stay. Not just because of COVID, but because they are effective, efficient, convenient, and convey much more information than traditional phone interviews” says Chris Keeling.
6. Access to clear help and support One of the most common challenges with embracing technology is understanding (and remembering) how to use it. Some Managers hire regularly and understand technology. Others will require more help.
So to facilitate managers grasping video interviews and ensuring they are done with the same care and consistency as face-toface interviews, there are a couple of steps you can take:
• Make sure there’s a clear help option within the ATS (searchable help, a chatbot or virtual assistant). It doesn’t really matter how much training you provide away from the system, there is simply no substitute for
• Produce simple guides on preparing and conducting video interviews for Managers.
hands-on practice. So in addition to any broad training on the launch of such technology, try to ensure the managers and users have easy access to short video guides. In addition – don’t leave line managers out of any support that is being delivered by the ATS provider. The line managers are key users and chief beneficiaries, so give them access to telephone support if you require them to interact more with the system.
Blending training on issues such as cultural sensitivity, or gender bias, with a system that provides meaningful metrics to line managers is an approach to joined up thinking that can help achieve meaningful and lasting change.
9. Consider creating a charter for success Some organisations develop end-to-end hiring guides for line managers and include the process, timelines, roles and responsibilities.
7. Feedback – giving and receiving
• Consider implementing KPIs for expected time targets for approval, advertising, sifting, shortlisting, interview feedback, offers and onboarding – and include why these are important for hiring success.
According to the Human Capital Institute, 94% of job seekers want interview feedback. Job seekers are four times more likely to consider a company for a future opportunity when they receive constructive feedback.
Rather than simply imposing these – perhaps look at how such targets are agreed with each functional head? If they are involved in the goal setting then there is far more likelihood of those goals being reached. In addition – they are more likely to welcome input from the HR/resourcing function when you are seeking to improve their performance by offering help/advice or training in key areas.
“Feedback can be hard to come by from busy managers”, said Keeling. “Feedback is a reasonable expectation of candidates and improves the recruitment team’s understanding of how to identify the best applicants. That way you can deliver better candidates in the future”: • Ensure the ATS facilitates the collection of reasons for rejection to make this easier. When interview feedback is collated, does the recruitment platform make it simple for Managers to capture notes?
• Wherever possible, try to schedule a meeting to review interview feedback. This builds on the collaborative approach and will continue the shared learning. Quantitative and qualitive feedback is priceless and really helps everyone with the learning and understanding.
• Decrease time to settle and perform by 30%
Get onboarding right and the results are powerful. According to Brandon Hall Group effective Onboarding can: • Improve new hire retention by 82% • Increase productivity from day one by 70%
8. Training and confidence around compliance
Encourage managers to connect with their new hires and create a sense of belonging, early. Cezanne HR’s onboarding study found that 30% of new hires continue to look for new roles after accepting an offer, and 10% accept offers elsewhere before starting.
Racially diverse companies outperform industry norms by 35% (Forbes Careers). Organisations with a very strong ‘compliance’ culture will naturally place a focus on measuring areas of diversity and gender balance. But even in those organisations where it is normal to follow strict guidelines, it is not to say that this achieves a change in behaviour or attitude. But having accurate data and allowing managers to see how they perform against given measures or standards can help shed light on trends and can help individual managers reflect on their own process and decisions. In that sense we would look to a couple of areas:
The best candidates will receive other job offers. It sounds obvious but explain this to managers when it comes to ‘courting’ new starters into their team. Use ‘Green Room’ technology in the ATS: this is often presented as a dedicated portal for new hires with video and image content to show the new team members what to expect in their new workplace; an ability to connect with the team, and an area for FAQs ahead of their first day. Encourage the addition of personalised video greetings from the line managers for that personal touch and connection with new hires.
• Use diversity reporting in your ATS to measure the diversity of applicants as this may help uncover any elements of unwanted and unintended bias.
Chris Keeling concludes: “To achieve successful partnerships with managers, co-creation and collaboration is key throughout the recruitment process. Do this and everyone will feel invested in the final plan, processes, and ultimately see successful outcomes.”
• If required, a good ATS will also facilitate anonymous shortlisting to reduce unconscious bias during the shortlisting stage and reveal candidate identities only when ready for interview.
Nicola Saltman Senior Consultant
Current: Mercer Marsh Benefits Education: Queen Anne High School Connections: 500+ Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
An experienced senior employee benefits specialist, I work with HR and reward professionals to design and implement employee benefit programmes. These support businesses to attract, retain and motivate staff at all levels. A well-planned employee benefit programme can help employers manage the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of their employees. I take pride in the service delivery and long standing client relationships that I have built up over 20 years working in the corporate market.
Queen Anne High School
Recommendation: “Nicola is an outstanding individual who can command respect at any level. She has a wealth of knowledge and insight within our industry and is greatly respected. I worked with Nicola whilst she worked as a Regional Account Manager and found her to be accessible, approachable and always willing to go that extra mile for her clients. She is an asset to her colleagues, peers and stakeholders alike.”
Experience: Senior Consultant Mercer Marsh Benefits October 2019 – present
Mel Hume Assistant Vice President Group CEO office, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)
Consultant Mercer July 2018 – October 2019 Employee Benefits Consultant Mattioli Woods August 2014 – June 2018 Corporate Benefits Director Origen Financial Services Jan 2013 – June 2014 Regional Account Manager Aegon Scottish Equitable June 2006 – January 2012
THURSDAY 13TH MAY 2021
Eating IT UP
By Neil Archibald
How many of us are guilty of scoffing a rushed sandwich or grabbing something to eat on the run during the working day, when there might be a canteen, cafeteria or snack-bar on hand to congregate in for nourishment, rest and the chance to catch up with colleagues?
hatever title is attributed to the place where workers can top up their sustenance levels, which is a legal requirement for employers to provide, the concept has been around for a long time.
Marie commented: “In order to ensure we are meeting customer demand, we do everything from offering tasters of new menus to blind taste testing of coffee beans. All our solutions are customer-centric and we recognise that to be successful, we must have meaningful engagement.” In practice, this means taking into account different requirements such as healthy eating, a wide range of food allergies and intolerances for some employees as well as catering for the diverse needs of those who are vegetarian and vegan, when offering catering options and dealing with any associated eating and catering requirements.
The BBC comedy, Dinner Ladies, portrays the works canteen as a place where not just food and drink are dished up but also romance, tittle tattle and the adventures of the somewhat hapless lady from Personnel.
Sodexo’s approach, for example, ranges from recognising issues linked to religious festivals by incorporating associated dietary requirements for those choosing to fast as well as ensuring choices on offer recognise the need to sustain a healthy and balanced diet.
In reality, nowadays this workplace space is often of a bespoke nature being well designed, welcoming and relaxing but with constant consultation needed with all stakeholders to ensure its continued success. An approach echoed by Marie Arthur, an Account Director with Sodexo, a provider of outsourced facilities management services working with some of Scotland’s major companies, who believes working closely with clients reaps dividends for all involved when providing catering services for staff.
Many employers that offer food options to their employees develop a link with wellbeing initiatives such as healthy eating campaigns, which Marie works with her clients on. She said: “We recently introduced a concept called Mindful across 12 sites for a client, which encompasses all aspects of health and wellbeing. While this includes healthy food options, it’s also about promoting home-based healthy eating and wellbeing choices – something which has been intrinsic to our strategy during the current pandemic.”
She said: “We adopt a partnership model approach working across clients’ facilities and procurement teams as well as relationships with HR and communications functions also being key.” Such cross functional working appears to be essential to the successful provision of catering facilities, so taking into account employee requirements, is vital. Sodexo achieves this by conducting biannual surveys covering all aspects of their services and tailoring their offerings accordingly.
Linking what staff eat with employee wellbeing, research from Public Health, Scotland shows that a proactive healthy eating workforce has higher levels of productivity, relaxation, concentration and focus. Attention to issues
Linking what staff eat with employee wellbeing, research from Public Health, Scotland shows that a proactive healthy eating workforce has higher levels of productivity, relaxation, concentration and focus.
A company with a slightly alternative approach to feeding its workforce offers the majority of staff the same fare as that enjoyed by customers who visit the organisation’s manufacturing bases.
of this kind can also see companies recognised for their efforts such as receiving, for example, a Healthy Working Lives Award conferred by Public Health, Scotland. Providing in-house catering facilities is also catching on with a growing number of small and medium sized enterprises opting to provide this feature for workers. This is where a pragmatic approach in respect to the funding and running of such services must be adopted which, according to the Client Liaison Manager of an Edinburgh-based company offering onsite catering services, demands a certain level of expertise.
Johnstons of Elgin, a textile manufacturer for top luxury brands, offers coffee-style shop facilities which staff are encouraged to take advantage of at the firm’s twin sites in Elgin and Hawick. The employer of 900 offers a range of food and drink freshly prepared at its manufacturing premises and unlike many other onsite catering facilities, the company directly employs staff working in this area of the business.
On condition of anonymity, he said: “A lot of our contracts are now with smaller businesses with between 50 and 100 staff who tend to be provided with a coffee bar style service offering a limited range of products. This has proved successful but which has meant we have had to be creative in terms of ensuring what we are offering is commercially viable.”
Simon Cotton, the organisation’s Chief Executive said: “Staff are able to take advantage of a range of food on offer whilst at work and which is made available at a subsided rate. Given the location of our sites, this saves staff time in not having to go off-site for food meaning they can take full advantage of their breaks from work.”
This is an important point to note as many employers subsidise staff eateries, so taking their eye off the ball in terms of what staff want to line their stomachs with can be an expensive lesson. Something to take account of in this respect is to ensure the environmental impact of what is available in staff restaurants and how staff perceive this.
Other, more complex issues for organisations to be aware of looking to feed their staff on company premises need looked into and carefully assessed such as that espoused by the HMRC website for employers that decrees meals taken in a canteen enjoy a total tax exemption but with certain conditions needing to be met first.
Marie comments: “Particularly on sites where staff are entitled to food as part of their contract, the trend for responsible consumption is important to take account of and has acted as enablers for us to deliver to customer requirements.”
All very much food for thought for those outfits keen to ensure the nourishment of their workers is high on the welfare menu but also needing to be aware that anything being dished up needs to be carefully prepared in advance.
INSIGHT: GLOBAL MOBILITY
GLOBAL MOBILITY through the PANDEMIC
he COVID-19 global crisis has shined a spotlight on just how mission-critical the mobility function is to business success. Here, Sterling Lexicon’s Stuart Jackson offers some key insights to ensuring that organisations continue to support their globally mobile employees. With many new assignments temporarily on hold and economic pressures mounting, global mobility teams have been at the forefront of supporting their organisation’s globally mobile employees, accidental assignees and finding new ways to do the proverbial “more with less” in this incredibly challenging environment. Getting the right people into the right roles has always been a business imperative, and it’s what global mobility professionals do best. A pandemic hasn’t changed either of those facts. What has changed is the way we’re thinking about and defining mobility. Here are some of the ways we’ve seen mobility professionals building on and enhancing their relevance to the organisation.
Identifying where existing assignees are and managing assignments
are contracted. This potentially creates immigration, personal and corporate tax risks. Global mobility professionals have been busy working cross-departmentally not only to establish who is where but also to develop policies and processes to minimise risk to the individual and to the organisation. Communication with business managers and employees has been a key component of executing a robust strategy around cross-border remote working.
Planning for the Future Whilst the pandemic has slowed the pace of international assignments, business hasn’t come to a complete standstill. Mobility professionals are continually fielding questions from the business about when they can get employees back into locations or start new assignments (sometimes virtually!). There’s a lot of scenario planning going on. Sterling Lexicon has been supporting organisations in anticipating costs for new assignments so that they can make effective return on investment decisions for strategic assignments in a period of economic slowdown.
Supporting the business in being Brexit ready As if a global pandemic weren’t enough, mobility has to contend with the end of freedom of movement for UK and European citizens as the end of the transition period approaches. In addition to being tax experts, mobility professionals are supporting the business and managing expectations around post-Brexit visa requirements and business travel.
As the virus initially spread across the globe individuals and organisations reacted in differing ways. Some assignees stayed put, some turned up where they weren’t expected and some organisations chartered flights to evacuate. Global mobility had the unenviable challenge of establishing where everyone was and what the compliance issues might be. Some assignments were terminated prematurely, whilst others were put on hold. Sterling Lexicon supported organisations with terminating leases for empty apartments and packing shipments for assignees that had already returned home.
Identifying and managing compliance for accidental assignees Remote working has become the norm for many but not everyone is working from the country to which they
INSIGHT: FUTURE OF HR
Emerging HR TRENDS for 2021
t is widely acknowledged that COVID-19 will leave a lasting impact on the future of work for many years, perhaps even decades to come. Here, Helen Jamieson from Jaluch Training and HR considers the emerging HR trends that we can expect from a COVID ravaged working landscape in 2021.
another unexpected surprise when you think you have identified who is moving up your succession pipeline.
A re-imagining of HR roles
on a massive mergers, acquisitions spree and that all creates very complex HR environments when you bring together different terms and conditions, cultures, benefits.
Companies might also find that the traits they have identified as right for the future are no longer the traits they need to succeed and be sustainable. Perhaps the whole succession planning will need to be reconsidered.
Redundancy or Tupe? Whilst we were expecting a huge surge in redundancy support request we are instead finding an equal number of TUPE support requests. We appear to have embarked
New HR roles will need to be created to meet cultural changes, some of which have been accelerated by coronavirus. For example Home Working Specialists, Young Employee Induction Specialists, Tech Confidence Trainers. There will also be a rise in demand for more of the HR roles we have already started seeing appear such as Mental Wellbeing Experts, Project Managers and Change Drivers.
Dealing with a data breach backlash We haven’t yet had the data breach backlash resulting from all this remote working and friends and family walking in and out of confidential discussions and laptops with confidential files being left open for all to see. When the Information commissioner starts to get its own team back to work the issue of data breaches may start to become a really big issue.
A lot of succession plans will have been messed up this year. Starting with reducing or removing a graduate intake, you remove from your succession pipeline a whole raft of potentials for the senior jobs in a few years’ time. Companies who have handled things badly either in terms of cash or treatment of staff will have droves of employees leave them for companies that have handled things well – compounding profit problems with people problems.
Germany is extending Furlough for another year. Will we see further furlough? The challenge is how do you bring back into the workplace staff who have been furloughed for just 6 months, let alone the 18 months? Confidence will be down, skills will be diminishing, relationships with colleagues lost or reducing, skills no longer a good fit with the roles that need doing. I haven’t yet seen a company with a plan for all of this but the numbers are too great to just try to slide them back into the organisation like we do with maternity leaves, without a plan.
Plus we have lots of people wanting to change careers. Lockdown got a lot of people thinking and this is bringing
INSIGHT: CAREER PIVOT
It’s time for a CHANGE
uring 2020, the HR sector has faced unprecedented challenges with very long hours, endless ‘Teams’ and ‘Zoom’ calls, rolling-in, then rolling-out the Government’s furlough scheme, salary reductions and regrettably many redundancies with many more to follow. Here, Tracey Chrystal, HR Director, Chrystal HR and Chrystal Coaching with over 20 years senior HR management experience describes her own experience of the pandemic and the point where she decided on her own career pivot.
Employees across the sectors have made moves for career changes, reduced hours and raised early retirement questions – we have seen the biggest change in mindset in the world of work in a generation, with millions of workers anxious, if not, a little bit intrigued with the prospect of working remotely and no longer wasting time travelling to offices. I was one of the lucky one’s, I saw the light, reduced my hours and have reignited my own business, even in the face of adversity, before it is too late. Being in the moment can be both productive and insightful however like many professionals, HR life may not be the same again after 2020. They say that variety is the spice of life and following my career pivot experience, I am now able to support employers in a new world and happily delivering a personalised bespoke service, covering the full employee life cycle – which is pretty much everything that you could imagine when you are employing others in your business.
So, the furlough veil has finally been lifted and what we are left with are unrecognisable organisational structures and to top it all off, no one is sure what will happen with the economy in the next few weeks, let alone the next few months.
Engaging with leaders through executive coaching and supporting them to achieve the results that are important to them and the long-term success of their organisation is exceedingly rewarding and when you’re passionate about helping people create positive change, and able to help them find new ways to do more of it, for me there is no greater sense of achievement.
From conversations I have had with HR colleagues recently, many have discovered they have simply reached a state of burnout whilst furlough envy has crept in, with no sight of time off, gardening, decorating, keeping fit, Netflix or wine – anytime soon!
Today, reward for me is gained not only carrying out my paid work for small and medium sized businesses but also in supporting two large charity organisations in Glasgow with a free professional service – believing this is a great way of giving something back.
In the early phase of the pandemic, the effort by HR colleagues trying to manage resources with ever-changing restrictions, was time consuming with the onset of regular business reviews and the drive to protect jobs becoming more precarious during the summer months.
For more information please visit: www.chrystalhr.com or find us on Hr MARKET: https://market.hrnetworkjobs.com/
Just when we thought the dust had settled and the merry-go-round had stopped, where you could safely reach for your toothbrush before your mobile phone began to ring and your laptop inbox began to ping – wait a minute – not so fast! If there is one certainty about this pandemic, it is here to stay for the long term and with no obvious sign of giving up its grip on the economy, our health and wellbeing or our civil liberties for that matter, with greater restrictions being announced as I write this article, we all must think carefully about what is important. And then it hits you – what on earth are we doing? Life is too short …and the strange thing is, it’s not just HR professionals who have been affected. We’re all affected!
INSIGHT: LEADERSHIP ASSESSMENT & DEVELOPMENT
REDEFINING your leadership style in a CRISIS
ho could have imagined the realtime leadership test and on-the-job development that leaders have had over recent months as a result of COVID-19? Here, Suzanne Lamont, managing partner of Hanya Talent and Organisational Health looks at leadership during the ‘COVID Crisis’ and how leaders can redefine their leadership style when leading during a crisis.
However, no matter what employees feel about their leaders, they should feel their leaders are inspiring – if our leaders don’t inspire us, why would we follow them? So, what inspiring leadership have we seen? Can a new generation of leaders just ‘stand up and stand out’? Can they sense the time is right for a new type of leadership – more humane, humble, open? Can they see this crisis as ushering in an ‘era of creative destruction’ that allows for new learning and even reinvention? Many of the leaders I have spoken to lately have learned a great lesson from leading through this current crisis. One such leader I spoke to recently said: “This will be the case study of the future and while we are in it, we need to make the most of it.”
Take a pathogen that creates global biological warfare leading to a humanitarian and economic crisis, overlay this onto digital transformation, leading to re-structuring, demands for new ways of working, increased cyber-risks and we seem to have ‘The Hunger Games’ leadership style.
Another said: “It could just be that COVID was the best thing to happen to this business. It has freed me up from decisions I thought I’d never be free from.” The real question for many leaders is – can you lead in a way that is effective in a new paradigm?
I have been fascinated with identifying executive potential and developing it for many years, since making it the focus of my Masters dissertation research.
We have found leaders of all levels of experience – when encouraged, and we have encouraged them – are talking about a redefinition of leadership. Some are seeing that the role of the leader has shifted – to connect, to guide, to care, to share.
It’s no wonder that OD and HR professionals choose to work with great leaders. Leaders are a fascinating group of people but even the most hardy and battle-worn leaders across the sectors still need to assess and develop their leadership style in an ever-changing environment.
Encouragingly, they ‘get’ that engagement has now flipped and now realise that ‘they work for us – we don’t work for them’.
The impact that COVID-19 has had on the economy and businesses the world over, requires leaders to adjust to meet the new needs of their people, teams and organisation and having an adaptable leadership style may well determine the survival, for those most willing to update their leadership approach.
We are not out of this crisis yet. Leaders continue to face huge challenges and massive opportunities. There will be winners and losers in the economy – but there will be some wonderful stories of growth and pivoting.
Furthermore, employees and teams are looking to their leaders for compassion and understanding and to lead in a way never seen before, during a time of great uncertainty and concern about the future.
We are an economy where our SME’s significantly outnumber our plc’s – but our plc’s are the source of far greater private sector employment. The public sector is under hug cost pressures and has never been more important.
Now, some would say their leaders are infuriating and perplexing. Some would even say their leaders are terrifying. However, leaders can create great feelings of unity and togetherness amongst their ranks, especially when it’s clear they are working hard to alter their own style.
So, the question for all leaders is, will you assess, develop and redefine your leadership style to meet this new world, which incidentally hasn’t finished changing? Every leader and every leadership team matters. Survival – evolution of the species – suggests they need to.
INSIGHT: EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION
RULES, TIERS and TEARS
f our environments are not already surrounded by regulatory bodies and legislation, we are all now experiencing waves of new external social rules to abide by. There’s no step change, we’re just expected to hear it, implement it and get on with it. Here, Ruth Gladwell, HR Business partner at Navigator Employment Law emphasises the importance for employers to maintain positive communication with employees.
the business has external compliance as a regular agenda item. Others are regularly issuing a weekly communication to the wider staff group, publishing a FAQ bulletin and referencing it during weekly 1-2-1’s with their team members.
We get it, it’s an emergency and we need to be agile but for some of us the rules seem never ending and we find ourselves continually receiving, translating, understanding and implementing new rules, including a new evolving nomenclature of the rules, we have now moved into Tiers. The rules are not just for the workplace, they are for our households too and can be overwhelming.
Let’s remember that a safe environment is not just about cleanliness and sanitisation, it includes listening to the team’s group and individual challenges, supporting their employees in dealing with what is going to be a continued round of not working in the office and explaining to tearful children, and work colleagues on how they can’t invite everyone to put their hands in the Halloween sweetie tub at the same time!
Just how do you support your employees in their comprehension of the latest set of Government rules surrounding the pandemic that controls every facet of our lives? Keeping my ear to the ground and hearing how organisations are dealing with this led to me think that those that actively address the external rules with their staff do receive a worthwhile return on this investment.
You may feel that because pandemic rules are broadcasted and blasted across the media that you want to avoid ‘over communication’ and ‘noise’ on the subject but actually, it is the employers who are seen to be actively listening to their staff and understanding their staffs challenges during the rule changes who are positively highlighted in the external communications those employees have with others.
Ways to do this are varied. Some are holding Remote Management Development meetings specifically for people managers or in the setting for a wider management team where
The good news stories are out there, and these do ultimately impact everyone’s overall wellbeing, productivity and, let us not forget, reputation.
Where there is a wider resource, perhaps in Marketing or Design, then there has been the opportunity taken to ensure communications take on a positive engagement and proactive approach; they consider what individuals can do. They then highlight opportunities of how to add diversity into Remote Working locations. For example, letting the team know about which café offers the slickest table reservation application, the best cake choice or which ‘Work from Bar’ has the fastest and most reliable Wi-Fi. Although do ensure a quality check of suggestions goes past your internal compliance holder.
INSIGHT: WORK-LIFE BALANCE
ENGAGE, CONNECT AND PREPARE YOUR PEOPLE FOR THE NEW WORLD OF WORK In unpredictable, complex and evolving markets, your workforce is key. Whether it’s upskilling your people to align with new objectives, supporting individuals through organisational transformation or developing a new leadership pipeline that’s prepared for anything, our talent strategies are here to help. BUSINESS AND TALENT ALIGNED www.rightmanagement.co.uk © 2020 ManpowerGroup. All rights reserved.
Welcome to our Events Planner Page. In the interests of the health and safety of our guests and delegates, Hr NETWORK has decided to postpone any remaining events in 2020. However we are delighted to announce new dates for events taking place from May 2021 and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back! Here are some of the forthcoming events being held in 2021 by Hr NETWORK in partnership with a wide range of partners and supporters.
Forthcoming events: Hr NETWORK Leaders Dinner 2021 Hr NETWORK will host the annual Leaders Dinner in Edinburgh at the Grosvenor Hotel on Wednesday 12th May 2021. Details regarding the after dinner speaker will be announced in due course however if you would like to attend the Leaders Dinner, please contact the Conference Planning Team – details below. If you would like details about sponsoring the Leaders Dinner or hosting a Table of 10, please contact the contact the Conference Planning Team on: 0131 625 3267 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hr NETWORK Conference & Exhibition 2021 The Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning Conference & Exhibition 2021 will take place at the Grosvenor Hotel in Edinburgh’s West End on Thursday 13th May 2021. Details relating to the speaker programme, including the keynote presentations, will be announced in due course. If you would like further information on exhibiting or sponsoring at the Conference, please contact the Conference Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or Email: email@example.com
Hr NETWORK Awards Gala Dinner 2021 The Hr NETWORK National Awards & Gala Dinner 2021 in partnership with Roffey Park Institute will take place at the hugely impressive Hilton Glasgow on Thursday 25th November 2021. If you would like further information on sponsorship or hosting a table of 10 at the Gala Dinner, please contact the Awards Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have an event you would like us to promote or review, please contact the events planning team – email: email@example.com
Connecting Exceptional People Search’s 30 years in recruitment means that we’ve got the experience to make a difference. Employers in Scotland trust us to add value at every stage of the hiring process, and to provide high calibre talent for specialist roles across multiple, diverse sectors. Our expert consultants understand the complexities of their specialist markets, and identify the key business requirements when attracting essential talent. We work closely with our clients to ensure a long-term, transparent and successful relationship. Search knows what exceptional looks like, and we’re here for all your hiring needs. Get in touch to find out more. We have teams of experts across a range of industry sectors who would love to help.
Prime your Future. Design your Change. Transform your People. Roffey Park Institute primes organisations to build skills for everyone, everywhere. We provide distance, digital, blended and face-to-face programmes, coaching, diagnostics and research services around the world to develop individuals, teams and organisations. Our work is driven by our core principles of breaking down barriers within organisations, making workplaces the best they can be. Delivering high impact learning in leadership development, management development, change and resilience, organisational learning, organisational development, and HR, we offer open programmes and conduct international research both for our clients and to fulfill our charitable purpose. We help your people understand, create and perform better, together. Connect with us and start your journey.
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