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HR News Round-Up March 2018

Posted On: 20/03/2018

Here at P3 People Management, we’ve had a great month. We’ve held an informative GDPR event, researched what’s new in HR but mainly tried to keep warm. The effects of the weather have certainly put policies and procedures under scrutiny - let’s look at how issues can affect the workplace and how to survive.

To pay or not to pay?

The Beast from the East caused thousands of schools to shut, offices to close early and caused chaos on the roads. The question on many lips is ‘should an employee pay staff who have been unable to get to work?’. Even though you may be within your rights not to pay, as the contract is not being fulfilled, it is wise to consider the bigger picture.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf says that the Scottish Government will look at what powers they can use to stop workers losing out when snow and storms hit [1]. In areas of red weather warnings, public transport was suspended and people were advised not to drive, effectively paralysing all travel. During this time, Yousaf received numerous messages from employees who were threatened with a loss of pay for not making it into work. His response was: “That’s just simply not an acceptable situation when the Government and police and other agencies joined together to give very crisp, very clear advice. It’s not for our own good, it’s for the safety of the public.”

It is essential to have an Adverse Weather Policy in place to provide employees with a transparent understanding of what the rules are during periods of bad weather.

Having a bad day

Following new research, the most stressed workers have been revealed [2]. The 2018 UK Workplace Stress Report, carried out by Perkbox, announced that the most stressed workers are men aged between 25 and 35 working in a finance organisation with over 250 employees and live in Cardiff. The top five most stressful sectors are finance, local and national Government, healthcare, education and hospitality.

Creating an inspirational workplace culture can go a long way to make employees feel nurtured, appreciated and motivated.

National Apprenticeship Week

During the week 5th – 9th March, employers and apprentices from England came together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships and encourage others to choose this as a pathway to a great career.

There is currently a skills shortage in the UK engineering sector and apprenticeships are critical to close the gap [3]. The annual demand for people with core engineering skills is 124,000, with an additional 79,000 workers needed for roles using engineering knowledge and other related skills. The shortfall currently stands at 56,000.

Engineering UK’s 2017 Brand Monitor surveyed 11 to 14 years olds – 58% knew very little about apprenticeships. The research also showed that the understanding is very low among parents.

Mark Titterington, Chief Executive of Engineering UK, commented: “Together with government, we need to ensure that apprenticeships that are offered are of a consistent high quality and that they are open and attractive to a diverse range of young people, particularly girls.

“The focus on what can make apprenticeships work, including looking at the impact of the levy, quality of current provision, and perceptions of young people, will be one of the topics that will be part of our new, extended research agenda.”

Background checks

The Oxfam scandal shocked many with stories of harassment, sexual exploitation and bullying. These reports have put other non-profit sector organisations into the spotlight [4].

The damage to the brand may be irreversible but could this have been avoided through better background checks and tighter recruitment practices?

Gathering meaningful references is crucial when recruiting, but this final task in the process can be open to human error and fraud. A recent study by Xref discovered that in the UK, 36% of jobseekers have admitted exaggerating their experience, 29% admitted to lying and nearly a third of candidates take advantage of the flawed reference checking procedure.

Oxfam should now take the lead and make positive changes to the charity sector by tightening up outdated recruitment methods.

If you have any HR questions regarding any of these issues, please get in touch, it’s snow problem! Sorry, we couldn’t resist.

BBC 05/03/2018 [1]

HR News 07/03/2018 [2]

The Engineer 05/03/2018 [3]

Personnel Today. 05/03/2018 [4]

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