Hr Network Volume 16 Issue 5

Page 1

Inspiring People Development




NoJAB, NoJOB! EDITOR AT LARGE: Love Your Employees

the engagement collection

the engagement collection crafted with passion, created for love



COVER STORY Some employers have already introduced “No Jab, No Job” policies. But is such a move discriminatory for those who do not want or cannot have the vaccine? And what position should HR take? Andy Moore takes a closer look.



8 News 14 Employment Law Update


20 Stats

Top 5 Leadership Traits

22 Feature Two


Unfair Dismissal Case Summaries

Preview of ‘Strategic Workforce Planning & Leading Out of Lockdown’ Conference 2021

26 The Bookshop

Latest bestsellers to be published

28 Feature Three

Preview of Hr NETWORK Awards 2021 – Celebrating Together Again!

34 Editor-At-large



Reward & Benefits – Love Your Employees


Active Management – Hybrid Working

42 Insights

38 5

Dementia Awareness, Applicant Tracking Systems, Agile Leadership and Conflict Resolution

46 Event Planner

Event Updates for 2021



Founder and Publisher:

HR & EL Training Manager, Law At Work

Lee Turner

Employment Law Update: Unfair Dismissal Case Summaries p. 14

Senior Associate Editor: Andy Moore


Former senior HR professional and freelance business journalist

Editor At Large: Rewards & Benefits p. 34

Deputy-Editor: Teresa Flannigan


Founder and MD of Neo PR

EXTRA: Active Management: Hybrid Working p. 38

Editor-At-large: Neil Archibald


Editor’s Assistant/Admin:

Age Scotland

Insight: Dementia Awareness for Employers p. 42

Marion Robertson



Donna Turner

Client Relationship Manager, Jobtrain

Insight: Applicant Tracking Systems p. 43

Design: Media Avenue Ltd


Founder of Fractal Systems

Insight: Agile Leadership p. 44

Hr NETWORK now available on: LinkedIn:


HR Business Partner, Navigator Employment Law


Insight: Conflict Resolution p. 45

Media Avenue Limited 18 Young Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JB 0131 625 3267


The views expressed in Hr NETWORK (SCOTLAND) are those of invited contributors and not necessarily those of Media Avenue Ltd. Media Avenue Ltd does not endorse any goods or services advertised, or any claims or representations made in any advertisement in Hr NETWORK (SCOTLAND) magazine and accepts no liability to any person for loss or damage suffered as a consequence of their responding to, or placing reliance upon any claim or representation made in any advertisement appearing in Hr NETWORK (SCOTLAND) magazine. Readers should make appropriate enquiries and satisfy themselves before responding to any such advertisement or placing reliance upon any such claim or representation. By so responding or placing reliance readers accept that they do so at their own risk. © Media Avenue Ltd. 2020



May 2021


he month of May always provides a lot of activity for the Hr NETWORK Team. Not only are we putting the final touches to the forthcoming ONLINE Hr NETWORK Conference & Exhibition 2021 taking place on Thursday 13th May, we are working through nominations received thus far, for the Hr NETWORK Awards 2021, with the Monday 31st May deadline approaching fast. Since returning from the Easter break, life is beginning to return to some sort of ‘new’ normal, which was evident with the schools returning to the full curriculum (no more home-schooling) and non-essential retailers opening up their doors once again. If we are over the worst of the global pandemic and can return to whatever this new normal looks like, I will certainly not look back on the past 14 months with a hint of any pleasure, however I am comforted in the notion that what didn’t put us out of business, has certainly made us much, much stronger.

Hr NETWORK ‘ONLINE’ Conference & Exhibition 2021 We are extremely excited about the forthcoming ONLINE Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning’ & ‘Leading Out Of Lockdown’ Conference & Exhibition which will take place on Thursday 13th May 2021. Hosting the conference this year feels better than being unable to host the conference at all and we are really excited about the level of interest in our first ONLINE ONLY event with delegates, not just from here in the UK but from across the world. With the flexibility of being able to stream the Conference ‘LIVE’ from a fully equipped and professional studio on the day and provide further access ‘ON-DEMAND’ for up to a month after the event has taken place, we have been able to attract delegates from around the globe including Europe, Australia, Canada, USA, the UAE and the Gambia. We have a number of Keynote speakers attending the studio from where the Conference will be broadcast ‘LIVE’ and some joining us remotely. It’s building up to be a great chance for us all to come together again and I want to encourage as many people as possible to book a place at the online Conference as soon as possible. Your support is very much appreciated! We have reduced the delegate fee to almost a third of the ‘In person’ cost, which I can assure you will not only offer us some much-needed support, however it will help us bring everyone together in large numbers once again. Full details for all our Keynote speakers and ON DEMAND Breakout video session speakers are available on Page 22.


Hr NETWORK Awards Nominations 2021 Nominations for this year Awards are now well and truly OPEN and will close on Monday 31st May 2021. All nominators who submitted nominations in 2020 will have the opportunity to review and refine submitted nominations in time for the end of May deadline in 2021. This Issue In this online edition of the magazine, Andy Moore examines the divisive topic of ‘no jab, no job! Andy asks how far can employers go to ensuring that their new staff when starting in the organisation, cause any risk to existing employees, who have already been vaccinated. Editor At Large Neil Archibald takes a closer look at Reward & Benefits in a post COVID world. 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 our events this year – whether they are online or in-person!

Lee Turner Publisher

Contributors: Neil Archibald, Sandra Brown, Ashley Carr, Alica Melvin, Jay Rahman and Ruth Gladwell. Hr NETWORK also available on: LinkedIn: Twitter: YouTube: hrnetworkscotland


More women than ever thriving in previously male dominated industries Women now take up 26% of STEM employees, specifically Mathematics and Physical Science Sectors, a remarkable shift that can help inspire women looking at non-traditional career paths. Plus, with women in the UK 38% more likely to go to university than men; female students are starting to take on more traditionally male subjects such as engineering and computer science.

The gender pay gap has also decreased; in 2020, women were paid an average of 6.5% less than men, compared to 12.1% for full-time workers in 2015. Tackling stereotypes will encourage women to enter more male-dominated subjects and industries later in life. The essential tips for tackling these stereotypes are:

Women are moving in and paving the way for traditionally male-dominated industries, with the representation of women rising across the UK workforce increasing along with a rise in female entrepreneurs over the last few years. This International Women’s Day Fresh Student Living has undergone research to discover what areas women are thriving in and paving the way for women in future.

Get to them early – A lack of skills and confidence are a reason for opting out of typically ‘male subjects’; by changing this perception early and offering hands-on learning, young girls can start to feel confident in their abilities. Bust the Stereotypes – Dispel any myths and misconceptions that dissuade young girls from studying ‘male’ subjects in school. Female role models – Young girls can be put off STEM and IT careers due to so few role models. Mentorship is a vital role in setting females on a path to confidence and success.

Women in the UK are now beginning to gain confidence in their academic abilities, allowing them to pursue high education ambitions. The number of students studying law has been steadily increasing for years, with more than double the number of female law students than men who have accepted a place to study law in 2019-2020.

Full time workers at Living Wage firms could earn £1,150 more in the next year New research has found that after five years, the National Living Wage (NLW) has significantly boosted income for the low paid, but a large gap remains between the government’s minimum wage for over 23s and a real Living Wage based on the cost of living. New analysis by the Living Wage Foundation assessing the number of workers on the NLW each year and their working hours has found earners across the UK have collectively received £10bn less than they would have earned on the real Living Wage.

Over the five years since the introduction of the National Living Wage, research by Living Wage Foundation finds that a full-time worker in Scotland on the legal minimum rate has lost out on £8,400, compared to a worker earning the real Living Wage. Minimum wage legislation has delivered significant pay boosts to low earners. However, despite its name, the National Living Wage continues to fall short of what it costs to live, driving the cumulative £10bn gap to the real Living Wage. The real Living Wage, the only UK wage rate independently calculated based on


the cost of living, stands at £9.50 across Scotland. A full-time worker over the age of 23 and earning the real Living Wage will receive £1,150 more over the coming year compared to a worker earning the minimum wage (NLW). The real Living Wage is voluntarily paid by over 1900 leading Scottish employers that choose to go beyond the government minimum and provide workers with a wage that meets everyday needs. Over 300 Scottish employers have signed up for Living Wage accreditation since the first lockdown in March 2020.


Employers must do more to support those living with gynaecological health conditions

How does the largest employer in Scotland manage its recruitment?

Used by organisations across the UK and beyond, the Jobtrain applicant tracking system manages the entire recruitment and onboarding process.

Employers must do more to support colleagues who experience menstruation and gynaecological health conditions by implementing supportive workplace practices and policies, according to a recently published academic research paper.

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.

The paper, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, proposes a new concept – ‘blood work’ – to explain the relationship between menstruation (and associated gynaecological health conditions) and employment for women and trans/nonbinary people.

Based in the heart of Glasgow, we support our clients with a highly experienced and locally based team.

Those who experience menstruation face additional work or labour in the management of their own bodies through the menstrual cycle, often having to navigate unsupportive workplaces.

"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."

A key recommendation of the paper is for employers and policymakers to treat workplace menstruation and gynaecological health conditions as a public health concern. Professor Kate Sang, Director of the Centre for Research on Employment, Work and the Professions at Edinburgh Business School and the paper’s lead author, said: “Although menstruation is not an illness, it shares many facets of ill-health. However, despite the increased presence of women in the workplace over the last two centuries, the menstrual cycle remains neglected in explorations of public health, and entirely remiss in occupational health literature, despite being a problematic source of gendered inequalities at work.”

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Awards nominations process closing SOON! Nominations for this year’s Hr NETWORK National Awards 2021 in partnership with Roffey Park Institute will close on Monday 31st May. This is your chance to RECOGNISE, ACKOWLEDGE and REWARD your Scottish HR heroes in 2021. Over the past 14 months, we have seen the incredible and heroic contribution that HR and people professionals have made as they try to manage the effects of an ever changing pandemic, on a scale never seen before.

With 18 awards categories, which are FREE to enter, the awards will determine the top performing HR people, teams, projects and organisations in the Scottish people development and management industry. The ‘Nominations Intention’ scheme captures early interest from those intending to nominate and provides support and on-going updates on all the categories during the nominations process.

The winners will be announced at the annual Hr NETWORK Awards Gala Dinner taking place at the hugely impressive Glasgow Hilton on Thursday 25th November 2021.

Digital workplaces prove key to unlocking engagement with the frontline workforce Frontline workers aren’t being given the digital tools they need to succeed, leading to disengagement and reduced productivity, according to an international survey of frontline workers published recently by digital workplace innovator, YOOBIC. A smarter and more connected approach, using mobile devices and enterprise-grade apps, could be the key to achieving operational excellence, refocusing frontline employees on core revenue-driving activities, and attracting and retaining young workers. Mobile and desk-less workers now make up 80% of the global workforce, totalling over 2.7 billion people, but the majority of digital workplace solutions still focus on supporting desk-bound

employees. Original research of 1,000 frontline workers in YOOBIC’s latest ‘Frontline Employee Workplace Survey 2021’ report showed that fewer than six in 10 (59%) frontline workers currently use mobile devices as part of their jobs. Almost three quarters (73%) of frontline employees are still using paper forms, despite 71% saying that easier access to digital tools would improve their employee experience and make them more productive. The failure to empower workers with suitable digital tech takes a direct toll on mobile teams’ morale and productivity, the survey shows. More than a third (34%) of frontline employees now say they feel disconnected from their HQ, and over three quarters (76%) say their sense of


engagement would be significantly improved by relatively modest connectivity measures, such as mobile access to corporate communications messages. A lack of appropriate digital tools directly impacts employees’ career growth, with 40% of frontline employees saying they receive training no more than once per year, even though seven out of 10 employees would welcome access to ‘always on’, on-demand training via mobile, app-based learning solutions. This limited training contributes to a sense of stagnation that’s especially frustrating for younger workers, with over a third of Millennials — who now make up three quarters of the frontline workforce — saying they feel unfulfilled in their roles.


Amey launches Mates in Mind partnership to support employee wellbeing Leading public service provider, Amey, has partnered with mental health charity, Mates in Mind, to promote positive mental wellbeing across the business. Mates in Mind, established to tackle the challenges of mental ill-health specifically within the construction sector, will help Amey drive positive change for both its employees and the industry. The partnership will enable Amey to roll out a comprehensive, bespoke mental health and wellbeing

programme that will include all employee mental health awareness training, as well as people manager training, to provide vital guidance and support when it comes to managing mental health within the workplace.

training will provide a better understanding of mental health issues and how to address them, everyone at Amey will feel supported in better managing their own wellbeing and that of others across the business.”

Taking proactive steps to address mental health in the workplace has never been more important as everyone continues to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic. Taking steps towards building a thriving workplace and a positive mental health culture that supports all employee’s mental wellbeing is essential.

James Rudoni, Managing Director of Mates in Mind, said: “We are delighted to welcome Amey as the latest major employer to join Mates in Mind and create a mentally healthy workplace that will ensure vital advice, guidance and support is there to help individuals take control of their mental wellbeing.”

Emma Shakespeare, Amey’s Group Wellbeing Manager, said: “By implementing a comprehensive programme, we are encouraging a positive mental health culture that supports every employee’s mental wellbeing. We hope that as the

All of Amey’s wellbeing initiatives are supported by a large network of Wellbeing Ambassadors and Mental Health First Aiders from the business that receive ongoing training, development and support to enable them to have the confidence and skills to deal effectively with whatever situations they are faced with.

Financial wellbeing solutions. Helping you support your people. We understand how life can throw a curveball and it can quickly feel as if your finances are getting out of control. At Johnston Carmichael, we are here to help your employees get back on track and gain peace of mind. Find out more on our website: 11


UK workforce sees 113% increase in stress-related leave over the past 2 years

In light of this concerning revelation, e-days polled UK employees and found that an additional 58% of the UK workforce is feeling exhausted rather than excited as the summer approaches. Additionally, when asked to choose between an additional day off every year, or £200 cash from their employer, almost two-thirds (62%) of the UK workforce opted for ‘me time’ over money. This response suggests an increasingly stressed workforce, and further reinforces the importance of suitable workplace wellbeing support. So, whilst usual financial incentives may not be a viable option at the moment, businesses should be tracking leave and absence among employees to encourage wellbeing and workplace satisfaction over the coming summer months.

Data from absence management platform e-days, reveals that, when comparing pre-pandemic levels in March 2019 to March 2021, the number of stress sickness days recorded has increased by 113%.

Steve Arnold, founder of e-days, commented, “With the majority of the UK workforce feeling exhausted and needing time out as we approach what is hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s vital that employers recognise the importance of a well-supported workforce. No business can afford to ignore the doubling of stress-related leave in such a short period of time - this affects us all. However, financial incentive is not the be-all-and-end-all of workplace benefits: the key to a motivated workforce is an employer that understands just how much absence matters.”

Additionally, the average number of people taking stressrelated leave has increased by 74% when comparing Q1 2021 to Q1 2019. The number of people taking stress-related leave in 2020 and 2021 has remained the same, but the increase in days taken demonstrates that stress is taking longer to recover from and must be taken more seriously by employers. This news comes at the end of National Stress Awareness Month when the country came together to raise awareness of the modern stress epidemic.

Women@Dior is an invitation-only programme. All participants are selected with the support of our partner schools and networks based on three criteria: talent, ambition, and generosity. They are all young women full of promise and potential, united in the notion that their professional success is related to the sorority. With the support of UNESCO, the Women@Dior: Women Leadership and Sustainability Education Programme welcomes 500 Mentees and 300 Mentors each year from over 25 different countries such as France, China, Nigeria, Kenya, Costa Rica, Brazil, Iran and Bangladesh, just to name a few.

Prestigious mentoring programme led by Dior supports female students at NEOMA Business School Women@Dior was born in 2017 and is a unique international mentoring and educational programme to learn what is not taught: self-confidence and to dare for your career destiny. Since its creation, it has coached and helped blossom thousands of young women all over the world.

This year, seven female students from NEOMA were chosen over hundreds to be guided by their Dior Mentors as they take their first steps in their careers, whilst building their professional experience. “This programme, which supports young women by boosting their self-confidence and focuses on several thematic such as gender equality and sustainability, will allow me to develop soft skills such as autonomy, creativity and team-working,” says Cecilia Conti, International Master in Luxury Management student. Inclusion has been a fundamental value of Christian Dior Couture from the very beginning. The most inclusive companies are the ones that last, thriving on the diversity of this world and its talents, both individually and culturally.



Outplacement plays major role in helping businesses and employees navigate the pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic has had a structural impact on the world of work. As businesses adapt to the post-pandemic economy, many are looking to make efficiencies and ensure that the skills of their employees are used as effectively as possible. This has already led to a rise in unemployment, which is set to continue once the furlough scheme ends. New data from talent and career management experts, Right Management, finds that outplacement programmes (services that help a terminated employee with the transition to a new job) are playing a significant part in helping organisations and employees transition and recalibrate.

candidates found a position with the same or a higher salary, offering workers real opportunity to continue their career despite having to leave a company. The data also shows how employees need to be agile to find a new position, with 48% of candidates changing job roles as they transitioned through outplacement in 2020. Candidates who are going through outplacement programmes need skills relevant to a new set of roles, as workers transitioning between jobs are increasingly changing the sectors they work in, with nearly half (49%) of outplacement candidates moving to a different industry. This is the highest proportion of people changing industries in the last eight years. The workers that most utilised outplacement programmes in 2020 came from functions including IT (21%), sales (12%) and finance (9%).

The data, from over 300,000 outplacements, shows that 79% of employees that used outplacement in 2020 moved to a new role with the same or higher position and 57% of









Employment Law Update By Lorna Gemmell, HR & EL Training Manager, Law At Work This time last year we had managed to host several sessions in our usual programme of Employment Law updates before lockdown struck and we were prevented from completing sessions in many of our usual locations. It is hard to believe that a year down the line we are still restricted to webinar format. All of our clients have been impacted in one way or another as a result of the pandemic and we have been continually amazed by the resilience displayed by managers, HR and staff during such challenging times. We are pleased to play a part in guiding our clients through the wide range of new and difficult employee relations issues that have arisen, not least the continuously changing furlough scheme! Now that we are emerging from lockdown, our clients are focussing on important issues such as addressing employee reservations about a return to work and the introduction of vaccination and testing policies. Like many employers, you may be considering a possible long-term move to hybrid working

Unfair dismissal Case Summaries Kubilus v Kent Food Ltd The Claimant, a delivery driver, was required in terms of his employer’s handbook to treat clients courteously and to take reasonable steps to safeguard his own health and safety and that of others as a result of his actions at work. The drivers’ handbook also stated that


customer instructions regarding PPE must be followed. One of the main clients at the depot where the Claimant worked was Tate. Tate required visitors to wear face masks at its site. Despite being asked by two Tate employees the Claimant refused to wear a facemask while in the cab of his vehicle, arguing that his cab was his own private area and wearing a face mask in that environment was not a legal requirement. Tate


The Claimant had been employed by the Respondent for 20 years and had an unblemished disciplinary record. Following a search of his home,



You may recall that we discussed the Employment Tribunal decision in the case involving a schoolteacher who was dismissed following concerns that he had downloaded indecent images of children, at our September update. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has now ruled that the Claimant was unfairly dismissed.




The Tribunal said that, although some employers may have chosen to impose a warning, the employer was entitled to treat the Claimant’s behaviour as a sufficient reason for dismissal. The Claimant’s insistence that he hadn’t done anything wrong was also relevant as it provided the employer with no comfort that he would not behave in the same way in the future.

The EAT allowed his appeal and held that the dismissal was unfair. It was held that the employer had given no notice that reputational damage was a potential ground of dismissal when the Claimant was invited to the disciplinary hearing. Further, the school was not entitled to dismiss on the basis that misconduct was a possibility and was required to be satisfied that there was substantial evidence in support of the misconduct, which was lacking in this case. This case serves as an important reminder to employers to be clear and consistent about the specific grounds of a disciplinary action and why they believe that those grounds may warrant dismissal. Reputational damage is quite separate to misconduct and would fall under “some other substantial reason” as the potentially fair reason for dismissal. Employers should also be satisfied that they have a genuine belief that the alleged misconduct happened and that that belief was based on reasonable grounds. Employers should not dismiss an employee based on a mere possibility.


reported the incident to the employer and disciplinary proceedings were initiated to consider the allegation that, in refusing to comply with the customer’s instruction, the Claimant had breached the terms of the handbooks and caused problems with its relationship with its customer. The conclusion of the disciplinary process was summary dismissal. The Tribunal found that the dismissal was fair.

The Claimant raised a claim for unfair dismissal arguing that the school did not mention the risk of reputational damage as being grounds for dismissal prior to the disciplinary hearing. He also argued that the school did not have evidence to decide whether he was guilty of downloading the images or not and that it was not open to them to dismiss him based on just a possibility that he had. His unfair dismissal claim was rejected by the Tribunal and he appealed to the EAT.


The school suspended the Claimant and contacted the Crown to seek evidence to help them decide whether it was appropriate for them to continue to employ him to work with children. The evidence from the Crown was too heavily redacted to assist the school in their investigation. Regardless, they proceeded with the disciplinary process and dismissed the Claimant on the grounds of misconduct. In giving their reasons for dismissal, the school stated that as the computer was in the teacher’s possession, they couldn’t exclude the possibility that he was responsible for the images. The school said that that presented an unacceptable risk in the context of him continuing to work with children. The school also suggested that there was a high risk of reputational damage if they failed to act.


which he shared with his son, the Claimant’s computers were seized by the police. It was discovered that indecent images of children had been downloaded. Although the Claimant was charged for the offence, the Procurator Fiscal decided not to prosecute as there was insufficient evidence to show that he was responsible for downloading the images.





Are vaccinations a passport back to the office? By Andy Moore

Some employers have already introduced “No Jab, No Job” policies. But is such a move discriminatory for those who do not want or cannot have the vaccine? And what position should HR take? Andy Moore takes a closer look.




ome brand them a breach of anti-discrimination laws. Others consider them a right of passage or a passport back to the office. But whatever your viewpoint, the so-called “No Jab, No Job” employment contracts have caused quite a stir in the press amongst HR, employees and unions. In stark terms, the proposed mandate boils down to refusing job applicants or dismissing existing employees if they do not (or cannot) have the COVID vaccine.

Elaine believes that while the vaccine will play a big part in mitigating COVID risks, it is not the panacea to reducing risk among employees. Clearly, specific sectors face higher risks such as healthcare and industries where staff have close contact with vulnerable and many people; and those in large and mobile workforces.

The UK Government is considering making the COVID vaccine compulsory for employees across all UK care homes. Care home operator, Care UK, has already introduced a jab-compulsory recruitment policy, while Barchester Healthcare announced in January that it would not hire staff who refused a vaccination, requiring all staff to do so by 23 April.

She envisages there may be future situations when employees may not want to work with those who are not vaccinated or those who have regular interactions with clients and other third parties. Managing risk for HR is about fostering early, open and thorough Employee Relations, especially as employers start to think about opening workplaces to staff again on a part-time basis.

So what stance should HR take? Elaine McIIroy, a partner at Brodies Solicitors in Glasgow, says: “Most employers are unlikely to mandate such requirements – yet many are encouraging staff to have the vaccine. If employers can attract a high-level uptake then this could be the best way to go about it. Some of the reasons I’ve heard from those not wanting the jab might be from pregnant women, those trying to conceive or those with health issues or certain beliefs.” She adds that HR and employers should roll COVID risks into their health and safety risk assessments. These must be continually updated and based on the inherent risks to both the workforce, those they encounter and how effective the vaccine is.

“For those who do not wish to have the jab and/or wish to work from home full time, HR should look at options such as redeploying staff in different teams or roles,” Elaine explains. “Employers can examine alternatives such as homeworking. The underlying question HR must ask is why vaccines must be compulsory in the first place?” Again, HR can assist employers in taking all reasonable steps to protect staff – for example through regular COVID tests, allied with or without people having the jab. After all, not all vaccine types are 100% effective, so there remains marginal risk.



No Jab, No Job

Testing could offer an added layer of protection for staff who may want some reassurance that they do not have the virus, both for their peer’s sake but also for family and friends.

• Undertake broader health and safety risk assessments

“The legal risk of compulsory vaccines is different between new and existing employees. For existing staff with two years’ service there is an added legal risk if employers want to dismiss staff if they refuse to have the jab,” Elaine adds. “New employees may not have the same protection from unfair dismissal – yet they do have protection under anti-discrimination laws.”

• The vaccine will play a big part in mitigating COVID risks, but is not the only solution • There may be future situations where employees may not want to work with those who are not vaccinated

Employers would have to justify that the requirement to have the vaccine was reasonable and it took all reasonable steps to look at alternative options such as redeployment or working from home instead of dismissal.

• Conduct early, open and thorough Employee Relations • Consider options to redeploy staff in different teams and roles

Anti-discrimination laws such as those that protect gender, age, race and disability may also apply to employees who may wish to challenge compulsory jabs.

• Not all jab types are 100% effective; testing could offer an added layer of protection

But what are the legal considerations for employers if they fail to ensure their staff are sufficiently protected against COVID? “There could be legal claims if people contract the virus at work if employers fail to introduce adequate health and safety measures,” Brodies’ Elaine McIIroy continues. “There could be a chance that some insurers require evidence that staff and those they come into contact with have adequate protection against COVID.”

• The legal risk of compulsory vaccines is different between new and existing employees • Discrimination laws such as those that protect gender, age, race and disability may apply

Out of a Randstad survey of over 27,000 workers, the majority believed their work environments needed to be much safer than they are now, and an increase in vaccination roll-out is seen by many as essential.

• There could be risks around legal claims if people contract the virus at work if employers fail to introduce adequate health and safety measures

72% of workers said they will not feel safe in the workplace until others around them are vaccinated, and 63% prefer to work from home until the vaccine is widely distributed. Victoria Short, CEO of Randstad UK said: “It’s encouraging to hear that so many are rooting to physically get back to the workplace. It does not come as a surprise that the majority will not feel comfortable in a communal environment until they have been vaccinated.”

There may be future situations when employees may not want to work with those who are not vaccinated or those who have regular interactions with clients and other third parties

Elaine McIIroy



Leadership in Lockdown: Top 5 Leadership traits UK workers value Study Reveals Top 5 Leadership Traits UK Workers Value – and 5 that cause most Harm A NEW study conducted by training specialist Hub Events has revealed the most important characteristics that UK workers look for in leaders… and the most concerning

Highlights • Honesty revealed a trait most valued by UK workers • Being Unapproachable named as the worst trait leaders can possess • Shockingly, 45% workers has left a job because of bad leadership • 70% of ‘bad leaders’ held director-level positions. • Return to office is chance to re-examine the value of great leadership says training expert 2020 undoubtedly had a significant impact on work culture in the UK. As the national focus shifted rapidly to fight the pandemic, new measures

and ways of working came in to force quite literally overnight. In circumstances such as these, strong leadership can be invaluable. But what are the traits that people look for in their leaders? And what kind of impact can they have on employees? In a survey of 1,000 UK workers, the study identified honesty (44%) as the most valuable characteristic leaders can bring to their team. Good communication (38%) came in as the second most important, while approachability (32%) came in a close third. Shockingly, the study also found that 45% of the UK workforce has left a job due to bad management, with 70% of poor leaders occupying a directorlevel position. Diving into the results further, it’s not difficult to see why. Unapproachability (38%) topped the list as the worst trait a manager or person in leadership can have. Poor communication (35%) came in second, whilst aggressive behaviour (33%) came in at a very close third on the list.

Top 5 BEST Leadership Qualities: 1. Honesty – 44% 2. Good Communication – 38% 3. Approachability – 32% 4. Decision Making – 29% 5. Positive Attitude – 25%

Top 5 WORST Leadership Qualities 1. Unapproachable – 38% 2. Bad Communication – 35% 3. Aggressive Behaviour – 33% 4. Poor Listening Skills – 32% 5. Discrimination – 32%

Why Leadership Traits are Important Now More Than Ever Reflecting on the findings, Hub Events Co-Founder Christine Macdonald suggests: “While these traits would undoubtedly have been something to champion and be aware of respectively before the pandemic, it’s crucial now more than ever, that those in leadership take stock of the impact that their decisions, actions and behaviours can have on those they lead.” Losing good employees because of poor leadership is a significant problem for businesses today. Organisations can lose potentially thousands from losing skilled staff members, and it can lead to the development of a poor workplace environment, which can have a significant impact not only on the performance but also on the health and wellbeing of staff.


International Enterprising Impactful Leading Strathclyde The final word in business education

Our Masters programmes are consistently ranked among the best in the UK – and around the world. Our department of Work, Employment and Organisation is Scotland’s leading centre for research, knowledge exchange and professional education in human resource management and employment studies. As HRM experts, we understand the importance of providing high quality education that fits around your career: We offer: • A part time MSc/PGDip Human Resource Management programme which is completed in two years with classes from 1–7pm once a week. • CIPD* approved postgraduate qualifications leading to Associate Membership. • Constructive external engagement with policy makers and practitioners. Make Strathclyde your destination.

* CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. SBS are proud to be offering programmes in conjunction with CIPD (previously IPD and IPM) for almost 70 years.



Getting Toget Again





he Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning’ and ‘Leading Out of Lockdown’ Conference & Exhibition 2021 will take place ONLINE in a full studio broadcast on Thursday 13th May 2021.

As well as the Conference offering 6 ‘Live’ Keynote sessions online on the day, the Conference & Exhibition offers 6 ‘ON-DEMAND’ Breakout video speaker sessions - available on the Conference ‘Catch-up’ platform for up to 28 days after the Conference Day.


STRATEGIC WORKFORCE PLANNING More, now than ever in the wake of COVID, the strategic workforce planning process sets out critically important information on a wide range of key people development areas such as talent attraction and recruiting the best talent, area’s of productivity, attrition and other risk factor’s and creates a environment where people can thrive in line with the business’ success.

Y 13TH MAY 2021

LEADING OUT OF LOCKDOWN With the unprecedented challenges and the economic catastrophe brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Conference will also feature incredible examples of how HR and business professionals have dealt with these challenges and pivoted their people practice to ensure that new working practices support the people strategy in UK businesses across all sectors. Speakers from a range of award-winning organisations who have created and implemented a sustainable strategic workforce plan and are reaping significant organisational benefits, that despite the obvious pressures on the economy, that have led to increased productivity, enhanced job satisfaction and gained a clear competitive advantage in their marketplace, will provide valuable insight into implementing a successful strategic workforce plan in a post-COVID world.



KEYNOTE SPEAKERS & BREAKOUT VIDEO SESSION SPEAKERS Atholl Duncan Author of Leaders In Lockdown Leading Out of Lockdown

The Keynote will be part case-study, and part “how-to” guide, to help companies on their own purpose journey. It tells the story of Virgin Money combination of our story, but for each piece also show how we did it, the pitfalls to look out for and some really practical advice.

The last year has seen the greatest challenge to business leadership in our generation. In this session, company Chair and executive coach, Atholl Duncan, shares insights from global business leaders into how they coped with the crisis and how they believe the world will change because of what we’ve all been through. During the crisis, he captured the unique first-hand accounts of 28 global business leaders as they hunkered down in their homes and battled to save their businesses. He believes that business and society now stand at a crossroads. COVID proved the way we were living and working is not fit for the future. This keynote session moves from the world-view of the pandemic to the practical challenge for each individual – how can you now help to build a world fit for our children rather than one we’ve been destroying? How will you help to build back better in the shadows of COVID?

Dr Arlene Egan Roffey Park Institute Leading out of lockdown: Growing back to Work As the effects of Covid began to take hold, many people in our client organisations expressed the following concern, “will our business still be relevant after the pandemic”? One year later, we have seen seismic shifts in how people now engage with core aspects of their lives including; retail, entertainment, communication, wellness and work. To match the refined and still evolving expectations of staff and customers, leaders across organisations need to rethink: 1. How it relates to and understands its customers

Susan DeFazio Be Future Ready Today Control Today, Confident Future: How strategic workforce planning allows you to do both

2. How it treats and develops staff 3. How leadership should operate within and across the organisation Unlike re-emergence following the financial crisis, HR, OD and L&D functions will be at the forefront of implementing and influencing strategic change as restrictions ease and the world opens up in its new form. Through this keynote, insights will be shared, and critical questions posed on how to shift mindsets in these three areas.

As we live through unprecedented times, it can sometimes feel overwhelming with a lot riding on the decisions we make today and how they will impact the future. How do we successfully connect strategic decisions with operational execution? In this keynote, Susan will share how Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) can help us deal with inevitable twists, turns, and bumps in the road we all face. We will take a look at what SWP is, and isn’t, and how it is at the heart of creating organisational effectiveness for controlling today and feeling confident about the future.

David Sole OBE School for CEO’s Creating a culture of inclusive leadership

Francis Lake Virgin Money UK plc Embedding a purpose-led approach into your organisation We know that purpose-led companies generally out-perform competitors over the long-term. In this Keynote session Francis will explore: • The business case for being purpose-led • How Virgin Money shaped and introduced its purpose of Making you Happier About Money • The approach to embedding this purpose into everything the company does • And bringing it up to date, showing how this informed tough decisions during 2020

The tragic and untimely deaths of George Floyd in the US and Sarah Everard in London has brought inclusion into sharp focus once more, beyond simply being an issue that organisations should get to grips with. David Sole’s keynote session will focus on this challenge – as a white, middle-aged man, he sees himself as both part of the problem and solution at the same time. How can women feel more included, valued and supported in the workplace? How do you start conversations about race and ethnicity and really understand the issue of white privilege? How can you be what you can’t see? In his Keynote session, David will explore these issues in depth and will propose strategies to help the ‘male, pale and stale’ get to grips with inclusion so that there is no longer an indifference to the subject, but instead a momentum for real change.




Zara Janjua

• Six ‘LIVE STREAM’ Keynote Speakers • Six Breakout Speakers (Pre-recorded) • Full Studio Broadcast & Animations

Following twenty dismissals and two redundancies, Zara Janjua launched her own business as a freelance multi-hyphen. In just 18 months she secured contracts with Fortune 500 companies, Forbes-listed entrepreneurs and collected a stream of prestigious awards and accolades. As a Scottish-Pakistani, she found strength from ‘not fitting in’ during her childhood in Anniesland, Glasgow. In her early career she faced misogyny, sexism and racism in the media. She now operates on a 50:50 model, dedicating half her time to philanthropic projects, supporting women and underrepresented minority groups. From filming a documentary in Nepal about marginalised and disabled women to performing in an award-winning video for Solace Women’s Aid about domestic violence in lockdown. In her hugely anticipated Keynote speech, Zara will describe how she is now attempting to address the gender imbalance in comedy writing, aligning her work with her values. She reveals how to make mindful business work and why failing is her biggest achievement of all.

• Delegate Profile Information • Interactive Networking Area • Live Chat • Online Exhibitor Area and Video Meeting Access • Social Media Wall

ONLINE Delegate Cost: £55+VAT each • Group Bookings Discount Available (6+ Delegates) • Payments can be made using Credit/Debit Card or BAC’s Transfer Full terms & conditions for booking are available on request and the booking form is available at the link:

In addition to SIX ‘LIVE’ Keynote sessions, the conference will also include 6 ‘ON-DEMAND’ pre-recorded breakout speaker sessions, which are available for up to 28 days after the Conference.

For further information on sponsor and exhibitor options or to book your delegate place, please contact the Conference Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:


Steve Heapy CEO, Jet2 & Jet2 Holidays


Kirsty Ritchie & Louise Scott Co-founders, Mind & Mission


Major General Tim Hyams OBE Army Officer, British Army Simon Lyle Managing Director, Randstad RiseSmart Christian Arno CEO & Founder Pawprint Ruth Gladwell HRBP, Navigator Employment Law 25


BETWEEN the LINES The Truth About Modern Slavery

Call Me Red Hannah Jackson

By Emily Kenway

In this uplifting and inspirational memoir, Hannah shares how she broke the stereotypes of her ‘townie’ beginnings, took risks and faced up to the challenges of being a young woman in a male-dominated industry, and followed her heart to become the Red Shepherdess. But behind the beautiful landscape, talented sheepdogs and eye-catching red hair was a steep learning curve. The physically and mentally demanding conditions she faced as she chased her dreams to build her own Cumbrian farm taught Hannah the values the holds true, including community, leadership, patience and resilience. In Call Me Red, Hannah gives a unique insight into farming life and reveals a mindset and determination that proves no matter your background, with hard graft (and a loyal sheepdog) you can make your dreams a reality.

In 2019, over 10,000 possible victims of slavery were found in the UK. From men working in Sports Direct warehouses for barely any pay, to teenaged Vietnamese girls trafficked into small town nail bars, we’re told that modern slavery is all around us, operating in plain sight. But is this really slavery, and is it even a new phenomenon? The Truth About Modern Slavery reveals how modern slavery has been created as a political tool by those in power. It shows how anti-slavery action acts as a moral cloak, hiding the harms of the ‘hostile environment’ towards migrants, legitimising big brands’ exploitation of the poorest workers and oppressing sex workers.

American Dirt

One of the Family

By Jeanine Cummins An extraordinary story of the lengths a mother will go to to save her son, AMERICAN DIRT has sold over a million copies worldwide. It’s time to read what you’ve been missing. Lydia Perez owns a bookshop in Acapulco, Mexico, and is married to a fearless journalist. Luca, their eight-year-old son, completes the picture. But it only takes a bullet to rip them apart. In a city in the grip of a drug cartel, friends become enemies overnight, and Lydia has no choice but to flee with Luca at her side.

By Nicky Campbell The brave and moving memoir by Long Lost Family presenter and Radio 5 breakfast show host Nicky Campbell reveals how the simple unconditional love of Maxwell, his Labrador, turned his life around and helped him come to terms with his difficult journey as an adopted child. Raw, honest and courageous in One of the Family, Nicky opens up about how being adopted has made him always feel like an outsider; the guilt he has carried towards his Mum and Dad for needing to trace his birth mother, and the crushing disappointment he felt when he finally met her.


WAKE UP By Piers Morgan In 2020, the world faced its biggest crisis in a generation: a global pandemic. In the UK, it exposed deep divisions within society and laid bare a toxic culture war that had been raging beneath the surface. From the outset, Piers Morgan urged the nation to come to its senses, once and for all, and held the Government to often ferocious account over its handling of the crisis. Wake Up is Piers’ rallying cry for a united future in which we reconsider what really matters in life. It is a plea for the return of true liberalism, where freedom of speech is king. Most of all, it is a powerful account of how the world finally started to wake up, and why it mustn’t go back to sleep again.


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toget By Teresa Flannigan





again! With the prospect of Coronavirus restrictions lifting, hope is increasing for the Scottish HR profession to be able to come together again in their numbers, at the annual Gala Dinner in Glasgow in November. Nomination’s for this years Hr NETWORK National Awards 2021 in partnership with Roffey Park Institute are still open and this is your chance to RECOGNISE, ACKOWLEDGE and REWARD your Scottish HR heroes and turn them into HR Champions.

are in extremely high demand and organisations wishing to host a table of 10, are strongly advised to secure their table as soon as possible. The winners will be announced at the annual Hr NETWORK Awards Gala Dinner taking place at the hugely impressive Glasgow Hilton on Thursday 25th November 2021.

Over the past 14 months, HR and people professionals have made such a huge contribution as they try to manage the effects of an ever changing pandemic, on a scale never seen before.

The awards categories are judged in two sections, People categories and Project categories.

With 18 awards categories, which are FREE to enter, this is your chance to RECOGNISE, ACKOWLEDGE and REWARD your champions with the awards determining the top performing HR people, teams, projects and organisations in the Scottish people development and management industry.

People These categories focus on individuals (except for the HR Team category). Judges are looking for exceptional individuals who MUST demonstrate that they are at the top in their respective role.

The ‘Nominations Intention’ scheme captures early interest from those intending to nominate and provides support and ongoing updates on all the categories during the nominations process, running from 1st March to 31st May 2021.

Projects These categories focus on projects/specific initiatives that have had a measurable impact in the organisation.

With the prospect of every adult being vaccinated against coronavirus by the Autumn, table sales for this year’s awards



Award categories and typical nomination summary: Learning & Development Award of the Year

HR Graduate of the Year Sponsored by:

Sponsored by:

Typical Nominees: Nominations will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or can be Trainers /Training Managers. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or Senior Manager who has responsibility for training/organisation development within the organisation. For further information visit: http://www.hrnetworkjobs. com/learning-and-development-award-of-the-year/

HR Specialist of the Year SOR AVAILABLE TO SPON

Typical Nominees: Nominees in this category provide leadership and expert advice on discreet areas of HR. The types of role are likely to be middle to senior level HR practitioners that may be, for example, responsible for Equality and Diversity, Health and Safety, Wellbeing, Resourcing, Reward, HR Systems. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or Senior Managers who has responsibility for HR within the organisation. For further information visit:

HR Project of the Year SOR AVAILABLE TO SPON

Typical Nominees: Nominations in this category will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or be individuals or teams who have successfully delivered a significant people focused project with a sustained high level of excellence throughout the projects lifetime. Nominees will be nominated by the Chief Executive or Senior Manager responsible for commissioning the project. For further information visit:

Typical Nominees: Nominees will typically be early career graduates who graduated in a CIPD (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development) recognised HRM qualification, on or after the 1st September 2017. Nominees in this category will be nominated by their lecturers or course tutors rather than their employers. For further information visit:

Corporate Responsibility Award of the Year SOR AVAILABLE TO SPON

Typical Nominees: The nomination will normally be the whole organisation. The goal of Corporate Responsibility is to embrace responsibility for a company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees and communities within which they operate or have an impact. The Corporate Responsibility Award recognises those organisations and their associated partners who have implemented a highly successful and impactful CR campaign to date. The award also recognises the effective communication surrounding the CR approach and what employee engagement benefits have been realised by the organisation through its CR policy. Judges will be looking for organisations to match the rhetoric with real world practice that makes a positive impact. The Judges would expect to see evidence of commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals or Scotland’s Fair Work agenda or as an accredited Living Wage Employer. For further information visit:



Attraction and Resourcing Award of the Year

Employee Engagement Award of the Year



Typical Nominees: Nominations will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or senior managers, in-house resourcing/recruitment specialists or teams responsible for key talent attraction and recruitment initiatives. Such individuals may be part of the HR/OD function or may be part of an in-house recruitment function. Nominees will be nominated by the Head of HR, Executive Director or CEO.

Typical Nominees: Nominations will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or can typically be senior managers/specialists or teams responsible for the overall planning and implementation of key employee engagement and development initiatives and strategies. Such individuals may not necessarily be members of the HR/OD function. For further information visit: employee-engagement-award-of-the-year/

For further information visit:

HR Assistant/HR Officer of the Year

HR Business Partner of the Year



Typical Nominees: Nominees will be entry-level HR practitioners whose role generally involves providing administrative support within the HR function. They may work in a general administration support function within HR or within a specific HR discipline such as recruitment, learning and development or reward, for example. Nominees at this level may also include HR practitioners who provide advice and guidance to staff and managers within the organisation. Nominees will be nominated by Head of HR or Manager responsible for HR within the organisation

Typical Nominees: Nominees will be senior HR professionals within an organisation who work in partnership with the business to provide specialist strategic, support and influence that enable key clients to effectively deliver their people plans. Provide a service that delivers best practice and commercially focused HR solutions that support the business area in conjunction with specialist HR functions, bringing people management expertise to business decisions and strategies and secures and/or delivers HR interventions and programmes to achieve business needs. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or Senior Managers who has responsibility for HR within the organisation.

For further information visit:

For further information visit:



Organisational Development Award of the Year

Health & Wellbeing Award of the Year

Sponsored by:

Typical Nominees: Nominations may either be on behalf of the whole organisation or may be hired by organisations to undertake this specialist work such as Consultant/Manager/ Specialist etc. Nominees in this category can be senior HR leaders or client organisations with regular contact with the individual who have supported the implementation of a programme to improve the organisation’s effectiveness and viability through the introduction of a revised organisational culture allowing the organisation to adapt to new technologies, competition, regulation or other commercial demands. For further information visit:

HR Manager/Advisor of the Year Sponsored by:

Typical Nominees: Nominees in this category run or assist in running the people management functions that support the business. HR Manager/Advisor nominees must demonstrate leadership and direction to enable them to deliver a comprehensive HR service, be that through the HR Team or the Company as a whole. The role may be concerned with the provision of advice, guidance and support to managers in employee relations, discipline, grievance and absence management. Project management may also likely be a feature of the role and may include advice, support and guidance in organisational redesign, redundancy and restructuring programmes. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or Senior Manager who has responsibility for HR within the organisation. For further information visit:


Typical Nominees: Nominations will be for the whole organisation. This award will take in to consideration the positive culture and health and wellbeing practices being encouraged in the workplace by one of Scotland’s many positive organisations. The category acknowledge will reward organisations that can demonstrate their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their people through the application of a range of health and wellbeing programmes, which meet the needs of all staff. For further information visit: new-health-and-wellbeing-of-the-year-award/

HR Team of the Year Sponsored by:

Typical Nominees: Nominees in this category may be an established HR Team, or alternatively may have come together to form a team to complete a specific project. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or senior Managers who has responsibility for HR within the organisation. Please note that when nominating in this category, a nomination in one of the other categories is also required. For further information visit:

Diversity & Inclusion Award of the Year SOR AVAILABLE TO SPON

Typical Nominees: Nominations will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or will typically be senior managers or specialists responsible for the overall planning and implementation of a key diversity & inclusion strategy. Such individuals may not necessarily be members of the HR/OD function. Nominees will be nominated by the Chief Executive or Executive Director. For further information visit: diversity-and-inclusion-of-the-year/



Best Employer/Workplace of the Year SOR AVAILABLE TO SPON

Typical Nominees: Nominations will be for the whole organisation. This award will take in to consideration the positive culture and health and wellbeing practices being encouraged in the workplace by one of Scotland’s many positive organisations. Judges will be looking for empirical evidence such as external accreditations, for example, Living Wage, IIP, BITC, Healthy Working Lives and the like, but also by experiencing the culture and ‘feel’ of the organisation through a site visit. For further information visit:

Chief Executive of the Year SOR AVAILABLE TO SPON

Typical Nominees: Nominees will be Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director, General Manager or someone similar who has overall control of the business and to which the HR Director or Head of HR directly reports. Nominees will be nominated by the Chairman of the Board or an Executive Board Member. For further information visit:

HR Director of the Year Sponsored by:

Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR or Lifetime Achievement Award of the Year The Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR or The Lifetime Achievement Award is Scottish HR’s most prestigious award specifically given by the Judges to an individual who has an established history of distinguished service to the HR profession either as a practitioner, academic or someone who has successfully transcended different areas of the HR profession. The individual will have made a lasting contribution to HR practice and has demonstrated excellent leadership qualities and provided inspiration to others in the sector. The Award may be presented to an individual in recognition of their contribution to a new innovation, new knowledge, or ways to improve professional practice. Importantly, the contributions should be above and beyond the everyday and have had a long lasting impact in the HR sector. Please note that nominations for this award are not requested, as the recipient of this award, will be determined by the Judging Panel.

Nominations To see the full criteria and to make your nomination, please log on to: – and select the Awards Nominations Form

If you have any enquiries in relation to nominations, sponsorship or becoming a table host at the Gala Dinner at the Glasgow Hilton on Thursday 25th November 2021, please contact: Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:

Typical Nominees: Nominees will be the most senior HR professional within the organisation operating at or near Board level. They will be responsible for design and execution of an integrated HR strategy or plan. Roles at this level may typically be entitled Head of HR of Head of Human Capital or similar. Nominees will be nominated by their Chief Executive or Chairman of the Board. For further information visit:






rewards re wards By Neil Archibald

Reward. An area of expertise often taken for granted but a specialism within the people management field with its various strands from managing the traditional compensation components through to the design of flexible benefits packages.




ne aspect though that might not immediately come to mind as a pillar of this particular team’s activities is that of influencing employee wellbeing which is often seen as something that just happens as a result of other things. However, research carried out earlier this year by an Edinburgh-based company reports that 90% of employers surveyed have a dedicated person looking after wellbeing.

Organisations can provide an array of seemingly great benefits but without a wellbeing aspect attached to or underpinning them, they don’t mean anything

Struthers is very clear about the size of an employer not being a barrier to the provision of a wide range of benefits. He said: “With advances in technology and products falling in price due to a wider variety of providers, employers are able to access a wider range of employee benefits (EBs) than ever before.”

Love Your Employees (LYE), billed as the UK’s 1st employee benefit and wellbeing marketplace, was set up at the end of 2020 by two schoolfriends who have worked together for the last 14 years. Elliott Smith, an ex-professional footballer and Neil Struthers developed and brought to market the online platform providing access to a suite of tools and products to help employers and their staff gain the maximum benefit from their employment contract and to see what other, relevant offerings are available.

Choice and price can help define what staff have in terms of EBs but an important aspect often forgotten is that employers need to be in control of what they offer to



staff although Smith is of the opinion that this is often not the case. He comments: “Employers don’t know what they don’t know. Unless they regularly query the products making up their EB portfolio, they don’t know if the costs involved can be put to better use elsewhere or indeed whether what is provided is hitting the mark with their staff.” He cites the reasons for this being anything from the demographics of a workforce changing and with it what they value as part of their benefits portfolio to the fact that growing swathes of the workforce want instant rewards such as shopping or holiday vouchers rather than life assurance protection, for example.

To help employers reach this holy grail, LYE are launching a new online initiative which puts employers and employees in touch with third-party providers who can supply tailored workshops and guidance. Smith explains: “We have created a service called Inform to make it easier for employers to provide access to workplace education for their employees. Through this platform, our partners will deliver a programme of workshops on a whole range of topics from financial education to mental health support.” While the Scottishbased entrepreneurs kick about some innovative ideas and solutions for UK-wide employers to take advantage of, the powers that be involved in bigger games are also on the ball with their reward ideas and strategies.

It’s in this area that the research carried out by LYE is used to maximum effect to not only influence their product and service offerings to the marketplace but which also affects employers in terms of them needing to be constantly aware of the need to review their EB offering given prevailing and future demands. For example, the research undertaken threw up the fact that nearly 60% of employers had seen an increase in mental health issues due to COVID and nearly 50% of respondents said that maintaining good employee wellbeing and identifying and supporting mental health issues was vital.

Shakheel Gooroochurn, currently leading on reward for beIN Media Group, the broadcaster of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, sees employee wellbeing as always having been part of a successful Shakheel reward strategy affecting the Gooroochurn approach adopted and the benefits offered. He is strongly of the opinion that this type of ‘employee value proposition’, as he calls it, is even more vital in the current climate. He said: “Refocusing communications referring to the wellbeing elements of benefit programmes has become crucial in times of declining physical, mental and financial wellbeing which we have seen across the globe of late.”

Struthers explains in relation to the outcome of LYE’s research: “Organisations can provide an array of seemingly great benefits but without a wellbeing aspect attached to or underpinning them, they don’t mean anything.” It is perhaps not clear to the casual observer or untrained eye that employee wellbeing stretches from physical to mental and from financial and career to social wellbeing. This is where the dissection of what is on offer in terms of rewarding staff and how it can or should affect wellbeing across the various aspects mentioned, is interesting.

Such activities can range from reminding people that virtual consultations are available as part of private medical cover, pointing them in the direction of the EAP provider to help with mental health issues or reinforcing issues around career wellbeing such as identifying training available or working on how employee engagement scores can be improved.

Financial wellbeing, for example, is an area where employers have had to align their EB offerings to what their employees demand or indeed to what is legislatively driven. For example, pension regulations have changed dramatically over recent years to allow more flexibility for workers and auto-enrolment has meant a lot more people are now in pension schemes who weren’t previously. Reflecting on what this means in a practical sense in the workplace, Smith said: “There is more need now than ever for increased financial education ranging from how to manage and access pension entitlements to providing generalist financial advice involving everything from mortgage to debt advice. This requirement is only going to grow with evolving and changing demands from workforces who want more than a salary slip from their paymaster while there is also talk at government level that this may become a legal requirement for employers to provide in the future.”

Struthers sounds the final whistle by suggesting that for all the work that may go into making the rewards on offer slicker and more applicable to the employee base, it’s important to ensure the work done is not seen as a gimmick in the context of aiding and abetting the wellbeing agenda. He concluded: “Wellbeing as an outcome is the result of lots of tangible processes and supporting staff are these tangible processes. In order to achieve effective employee wellbeing, an awareness of how you are going to get there is vital.” The penalties for not following such sound advice could be far-reaching and intangible.




Hybrid working is not a tick box exercise By Ashley Carr 38



ffices are starting to re-open their doors – and business leaders need to start planning. Business owners and managers need to accept that employee management just got a whole lot tougher – and active management is going to be essential to create a productive, well balanced and committed workforce wherever and however they choose to work.

Active management will be vital to achieving successful hybrid working, not only for employees but also with clients and suppliers – and it’s important to start the conversation now. Business owners and managers across the UK have accepted that the working world has changed. But any company simply ticking the ‘hybrid working’ policy box is in for a shock. Post COVID-19, the work environment is going to be far more complex than many managers have yet to acknowledge, for one very simple reason: employees’ expectations are worlds apart.



Remainers vs. Returners

Post COVID-19, the work environment is going to be far more complex than many managers have yet to acknowledge, for one very simple reason: employees’ expectations are worlds apart.

The world is opening up and ‘back to the office’ is in the diary – albeit in a different, socially distanced and increasingly hybrid model. But have companies really got any idea of the challenges ahead? This is not a simple situation, where flexi-time is a given and the traditional ‘office’ can be reinvented as a hot-desking ‘touchdown’ space visited by employees once or twice a fortnight – while spending the rest of the time working from home. That may work for a handful of individuals – but employees are increasingly split into multiple tribes with very different needs. As we begin to emerge from 14 months of isolation, companies need to recognise the growing number of ‘returners’, individuals desperate to leave the kitchen table behind, throw off the onesie and interact with colleagues, preferably every day. These people actively want the work/ home delineation provided by a commute, meetings and the daily coffee run.

Managers will need to work with employees and highlight the importance of face-to face-interactions – not only for them, but for their colleagues and the wider business.

At the other end of the scale, there are a large number of ‘remainers’ who would happily never endure a physical meeting ever again and are perfectly content at home, with zero commute and no need to dress up. These two tribes may be at the extremes, so how will companies plan to manage many very different expectations of working life – and also ensure individuals work together effectively for the business?

Maintaining strong relationships An essential part of this process will be the way the physical space – the touch down location – is framed to the hybrid workforce. The emphasis must be on coming together to build relationships and share knowledge. It certainly should be not the place where individuals have to catch up on HR tasks or get a laptop refreshed – that will set the wrong tone.

All for one

This is about showing employees how to get the best from a hybrid-working model – as individuals, teams and the wider business, by highlighting the importance of shared experiences and ideas, of building relationships.

While the past year has proved the value and possibility of remote working models, it has also reinforced the importance of face-two-face contact. Social interaction – the shared tea breaks and water cooler moments – helps to build a company culture. Individuals gain knowledge and confidence simply from listening in to other people’s activity – from phone calls to meetings. Being together in a shared physical space will remain a vital part of a successful business, albeit less frequently than in the past.

This thinking also needs to be embedded in relationships with clients and suppliers. No one wants to go back to the time consuming and exhausting face to face meetings that used to dominate client interactions – the four hour drives for a one hour meeting, before hitting the road again. And if companies successfully embrace a hybrid working model that achieves a great balance between remote and face to face interaction, that shouldn’t happen: regular updates will continue via video call, with an annual or biannual face to face meeting dedicated to essential relationship building.

The challenge for business owners and managers will be to actively manage employees to achieve some synchronicity in the way different tribes come together. Companies will need to create frameworks that help employees find the right rhythm – to be in the same space, at the same time, at the right frequency. This is not about setting rules and dictating how, when and where employees interact. The past year has changed employee perceptions too much to make that approach viable or successful: setting rules runs the risk of eradicating the flexibility, which their employees desire.

Listen to your workforce Offices are opening their doors soon – and business leaders need to start planning. That means not assuming a one size fits all hybrid model will suit all employees or laying down a set of rules that completely undermine



the concept of flexible working. They need to work with employees to both understand their perception of hybrid working – and explain the upside of face to face interactions with colleagues. They need to highlight to clients and suppliers the value of hybrid working – before companies stumble by default back into unhealthy, unproductive working models. Essentially, business owners and managers need to accept that employee management just got a whole lot tougher – and active management is going to be essential to create a productive, well balanced and committed workforce wherever and however they choose to work.



Are you providing ESSENTIAL TRAINING for an inclusive future?


n a rapidly ageing society which will see dementia rates double over the next 30 years, understanding the challenges faced by people living with dementia will become a requirement in all walks of life. Here, Sandra Brown from Age Scotland urges employers to increase dementia awareness across their organisations to ensure they are as inclusive as possible in their people practices.

appropriate support to offer, goals can be accomplished and fulfilment achieved, despite the challenges of dementia. Greater dementia awareness in workplaces can also lead to innovations in processes, practices and physical spaces, transforming the experience of customers and clients living with dementia and ensuring their contact with your organisation is a positive experience. Giving staff the opportunity to be more dementia aware enables them to develop the communication skills they need to build trust and confidence in conversations and interactions with clients. Depending on their role this can be face-to-face, on the phone or online. It can mainly be about speaking, or it can involve producing written resources or creating dementia-inclusive spaces or events.

Parents, partners, neighbours, friends, colleagues and employees will be among the 200,000 people predicted to be living with dementia in Scotland by 2050 and it is everyone’s responsibility to make the world a more positive and dementia-inclusive place. Organisations of all kinds are taking this responsibility increasingly seriously and are beginning to invest in dementia awareness training for staff. Benefits for employees can be felt at home, in the community and in the workplace. Colleagues caring for family members with dementia can gain skills and knowledge to support them in this vital role.

Dementia is becoming a bigger part of all our lives and the onus is on organisations to be as inclusive as possible. Systems, products, physical spaces and customer services need to be accessible, approachable and stress-free for clients and employees affected by dementia. This ultimately improves customer and employee satisfaction, contributes to meeting obligations under equalities and human rights legislation and builds a positive reputation for your business for inclusive service and practices.

The reduction in stress this brings and the greater understanding on the part of employers gained through training can often mean less time off for carers and a more positive working experience.

Dementia presents considerable challenges but learning how we can support people affected by it to live and work as they want to is a hopeful topic.

As people begin to retire later, there are also benefits for working people living with dementia and their employers. If signs and symptoms are recognised and colleagues know the

Visit to find out more about how Age Scotland is helping organisations to be dementia-inclusive.



SAVING time, money, and puppies


t’s not an easy time for HR and Recruitment. With a complex storm of furloughs, downsizing, apps and ZOOM calls, the pandemic has resulted in a complete reworking of the UK’s recruitment funnel. Here, Alica Melvin, Client Engagement Manager at Jobtrain describes some of the solutions they have been able to provide for Scottish care provider Cornerstone. With so many people expected to look for new roles post lockdown, many organisations are anticipating huge increases in the volume of applications they currently manage.

For such a busy recruitment team, automation and efficiency is key to dealing with these volumes and making sure that the application process is as streamlined as possible.

Nobody knows this better than the recruitment team at one of Scotland’s leading care providers, Cornerstone. Working with an outdated, in-house built recruitment system, Cornerstone found that many applicants would register interest with them, and then give up applying halfway through. When we consulted with Kerri Bellingham a recruitment coordinator at Cornerstone, she was able to provide us with a good account of how they wanted to improve the candidate journey.

Handling the volume is challenging, but the frustration is heightened when your chosen talent slips through your fingers! A 2018 Glass-door study found that 35% of applicants believed a company’s culture to be one of the most important factors in accepting an offer. 1 in 10 candidates pull out of the process mid-offer, and if an ATS can’t keep a candidate supported and excited about your company, what’s the point in investing in job board postings or online ads?

“One of the biggest challenges was the clunkiness of our system for both candidates and colleagues” said Kerri. “Our platform wasn’t mobile and tablet friendly, which proved to be a barrier for many potential candidates, and it would take our admin colleagues 11 clicks just to reject one candidate. We were looking for a system that would improve our candidate journey and make applying simple and straightforward with the added bonus of a reduction on time spent navigating and administering the recruitment process for our colleagues.”

With Cornerstone, the solution was in Green Room Onboarding; Jobtrain’s portal which the applicant is granted access to once they’ve accepted an offer. You can provide them with video content, information about your organisation, share LinkedIn profiles of people in the team, and essentially build a rapport and a bond with your new colleague before they walk through the door on day one. Cornerstone loved this feature so much that they’re looking to create a Green Room for each of their 200 plus teams to give new colleagues a real sense of belonging and welcome to Cornerstone.

Kerri is a busy lady. Not only is she working as part of a small, dedicated recruitment team that’s been inundated with applications in the past year, but she also fosters dogs. Our chat was regularly coloured by the curious snout of a gorgeous puppy, eager to hear more about how Jobtrain and Cornerstone were going to work together.

When the vaccines are in all our arms and the storm has cleared, it might be time to revisit your current technologies to ask that all-important question; does it save time, money, and puppies?



AMPLIFYING agile leadership to the C-SUITE


ne continuing problem many of today’s business leaders face is that they rarely adopt Agile at the leadership level. Here Jay Rahman, founder of Fractal Systems believes it’s not that they are resistant to the idea of creating an Agile organisation but all too often they don’t see how it applies to them or feel that they are exempt.

structured team collaboration at the top level, is that it successfully enables leaders to overcome organisation-wide problems or impediments in a matter of hours, as opposed to weeks or months. By becoming team players, they magnify each other’s resources, support each other and the entire top team begins to grow together. They become force-multipliers, because when they eliminate impediments, they fix problems that affect many teams. An Agile team at the top rapidly resolving organisational problems and working collaboratively operates to make the entire business a fast and flexible learning organisation. Which also means that they can better manage risks along the way, they can amplify things that are working, and they can dampen the problems that are affecting the wider organisation.

For those that do recognise a need to change they tend to perceive Agile leadership as a set of tools that is limited to personal changes to their style of management, instead of grasping the real value of transforming loose groups of directors and executive managers into dynamic, collaborative teams.

Collaboration doesn’t just happen by getting a team of directors and executive managers in the same room at the same time. That’s why you need to carefully structure the collaboration, and ensure that it is deliberate, intentional and purposeful. In this way, they understand that they are coming together to manage risk. And when put it in these terms, senior leaders not only understand the critical contribution they each have to make, they also understand the value of being involved in those events.

When bringing agility to business leaders they need to focus on the value of incrementally applying Agile principles and practices as a collaborative team at the most senior level of the organisation. Not just as a siloed individual (or a group of individuals) issuing one-way commands downwards to a project team (or to groups of project teams) elsewhere in the business. At the very top level of an organisation, an open environment is required where senior leaders work as a team and are able to raise problems and any potential business vulnerabilities with their peers, based on high levels of trust in each other and commitment to the same shared goals.

Gone are the days when large firms beat smaller firms. Now, success goes to the faster firms. Fast, collaborative top teams create speed, embody pragmatic risk management and lead from the front. These leadership teams go first and inspire action from the delivery teams that see them collaborate every day for the good of their clients, their people and their firm.

The real value, in our experience, of shifting the leadership culture in this way, and gradually, pragmatically promoting



AVOIDING the potholes of CONFLICT as you build your new ROADMAP


s we gradually get back to the office after a year of lockdown measures, are people managers prepared to manage the challenges that may emerge. Here, Ruth Gladwell, HR Business Partner at Navigator Employment Law and an ILM accredited Professional Workplace Mediator offers some insight in how to lead with empathy when dealing with the return of employees to the office environment after lockdown.

Some may look to optimise their social and emotional intelligence and engage with empathy. With a higher awareness of mindfulness than ever before, consider how you can increase your understanding of team members’ perspectives. Be prepared to ask questions to find out more, be curious and ask the “who, what, why, where and how” questions that, carefully tempered with “help me understand”, provides you with insight into a team members’ perspective, ultimately helping you to get a broader picture of their position, build quality relationships and make better decisions.

Employees have a newly established regime and routine of working for their new employer, whether they have joined the organisation remotely in the last year or whether moving back into working in the office and are looking to their leaders to create the new model of in-person working.

Some conflict may not be obvious to spot. It may be that a relationship difficulty has been identified between team members and they’ve determined the way to close it down is to isolate themselves and minimise their communication as they work remotely. This is unlikely to have been noticed by anyone else. However, it will be increasing the stress between them as they won’t be collaborating, optimising each other’s resources and they’ll be spending unnecessary time working around the other.

There are a number of organisations sharing their plans – Heineken has a smart, agile, flexible model. Some entirely oppose remote working – Goldman Sachs who has stated boldly that in-person office working is what operates best for them! Then you have what is touted by some as a radical offering from PWC, masquerading as a digital start up in Silicon Valley, with a ‘start and leave when you like’ model.

Anxiety from dealing with what may be now an entrenched situation will be building. Realising the increased chance of encountering their problematic colleague in person, is not going to be easy on Slack or Teams. It is at this point when sharing your knowledge on EQ will come in particularly useful and role modelling empathy in your regular one to ones will start to inform trust between you and your team members, enabling conversations on areas of conflict which can be brought to the surface so they can be addressed.

Whatever model your organisation is operating, it is likely when everyone moved into crisis mode and concentrated on surviving the pandemic, conflict may have been parked. However it may be starting to reveal itself again. This may stem from new team members meeting in-person with established team members, with actual or perceived inequalities during the pandemic, topped off with the general heightened workload and domestic stress that everyone will be already coping with.

Leading with empathy helps you to understand what’s important to the other person and guides you in how you may be coaching the other person in times of conflict with other team members.

People leaders will need to consider how they will look to orientate their teams, but employers must be aware of the signs of conflict and have a plan to address any issues.



Welcome to our Events Planner Page. With a route-map out of COVID restrictions recently announced by the Scottish and Westminster Governments, we are excited at the prospect of starting to plan on getting people back to our events. 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 Conference & Exhibition 2021 ONLINE The ONLINE Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning’ & ‘Leading Out of Lockdown’ Conference & Exhibition 2021 will take place ONLINE on Thursday 13th May 2021. Details relating to the speaker programme, including the keynote presentations will be announced on our website very soon! If you would like further information on exhibiting or sponsoring at the Conference, please contact the Conference Planning Team Tel: 0131 625 3267 or Email:

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 Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:

If you have an event you would like us to promote or review, please contact the events planning team – email:






in partnership with

Gala Dinner, Glasgow Hilton, Thursday 25th November 2021 For further details contact the Awards Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:

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. +44 (0)1293 854042