Furloughed Staff

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During COVID-19: Well done to the Government for helping many companies maintain their workforce by paying 80% of the employees wage. Although we know many in various industries have lost their jobs and companies have gone under due to the pressures of the current economic climate.

The current Furlough scheme is due to come to an end October 2020 and this means companies will have to foot the bill and maintain the wages for their existing employees, hopefully, they will be able to sustain this and we can only stay positive and believe that things will turn around in time.

Flexible Working

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Flexible Working should be done in line with the needs of the business. It depends on the what type of  flexible working is required by the employee and how well that sits with the business. Flexible working can fit well with work/life balance as long as employees and employers are realistic about the expectations from each other.

“Black Lives Matter”

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Off the back of all the injustices that have occurred and over generations, this injustice (George Floyd) has been the one to showcase the ‘Black Lives Matter’ more and bring it into focus internationally as well as nationally.

This should be seen as a positive thing to embrace diversity within the workplace and outside of the workplace. It is more people being educated into seeing we are all ‘one’ but there are differences between individuals. How you deal with the differences is the question. Is it covered up within your organisation or is it addressed positive.

Within Education, it is helpful to showcase positive ‘black’ role models rather than keep showcasing the negativity that tends to surround ‘Black History Week’. It would be helpful to have ‘Black History’ all year round within and as part of the curriculum rather than just a specific month ‘October’ to showcase positive historical pioneers (i.e. Mary Seacole (Nurse & Entrepreneur), Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks (Activist) also how many know about Mary Jackson (she became NASAs first black female mathematician and aerospace engineer); Dorothy Johnson Vaughan was an American mathematician and human computer who worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and NASA, at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia; Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights.

There are current day positive role models (i.e. Lewis Hamilton (Formula One Champion); Baroness Scotland (the first woman and black person ever to hold the post); Naomi Campbell [changed fashion] by breaking down racial barriers in the multi-billion-pound industry; John Boyega (Star Wars fame); David Lammy (MP);  plus countless others. How many more can you research??

COVID-19 & the ‘New Normal’

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COVID-19 has caused a lot of uncertainty and we are living in the ‘new normal’.

Companies have to ensure they are providing support to their employees, especially with their mental health and well being. Employees and also employers may have been affected in different ways through this virus (ie. loss of family/close friends/lockdown) we do not know how long it will take some to recover from the effects of COVID-19 so how they are dealt with by the employer will help to aid with their mental health recovery and their overall well being.

Changes will need to be made to assist in employees returning to work and also employers will need to do Risk Assessments for each employee based on their individual circumstances/health requirements.

Are you ready for GDPR?

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Here’s a snippet:

If you have day-to-day responsibility for data protection it is important that you comply with the requirements of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

This is a Regulation on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) made by European Parliament and Council.

Under the GDPR, you must appoint a DPO (Data Protection Officer) if:

  • you are a public authority (except for courts acting in their judicial capacity);
  • your core activities require large scale, regular and systematic monitoring of individuals (e.g. behaviour tracking); or
  • your core activities consist of large scale processing of special categories of data or data relating to criminal convictions and offences.

The GDPR comes into force from 25 May 2018.

Conscious and Unconscious Bias

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The decisions that we make are often affected by bias. This is called Conscious and Unconscious Bias. It can have an effect on our ethical and professional behaviour towards others.

Bias is defined as any tendency which prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question. Biases can have both positive and negative effects but they tend to be more negative in nature.

Conscious bias refers to the attitudes and beliefs we have about a person or group on a conscious and deliberate level. We are aware of them. However, a lot of biases happen at an unconscious level. Unconscious bias refers to the biases we have of which we are not in conscious control. These biases occur automatically and are triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations based on our background, cultural environment and our experiences.

We may also find there are lots of different attributes we judge people on. Some common examples include age, race, nationality, appearance, disability, religion, sexual orientation and education. Those factors can make us feel more or less favourable towards an individual or group of people.

Employment Development (Updates)

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12 July 2016 – Just in case you missed it …. the employer liability for illegal working was extended.

07 Sept 2016 – The New financial sector whistle blowing rules take effect.

Oct 2016 – Gender pay gap reporting regulations come into force (first reports due 2018).

Oct 2016 – Public sector exit payments regulations enforcement expected (postponed from Apr 2016).

Oct 2016 – Earliest likely implementation date for measures in the Immigration Bill 2015-16.

6 April 2017 – Apprenticeship levy due to take effect.

Sept 2017 – 30 hours’ free childcare becomes available for 3 and 4-year olds in working families.

30 April 2018 – First gender pay gap reports to be published by organisations with 250 or more employees.



Employment Developments (Update)

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June 12 – The FIFA World Cup kicks off in Brazil – related staff issues to consider (e.g. guidance to staff, provision of screens, time off, flexible working, dealing with office banter).

June 30 – The extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees.

Summer – Monitor the use of whistleblowing hotlines to ensure workers have a safe environment in which to report malpractice or misconduct.

Summer – Radical pension changes in the 2014 Budget mean that pension savings in a money purchase scheme will be accessible from age 55, starting in April 2015. Possible impact on retirement rates, staff turnover and requests for flexible working.

Speed Networking

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People4UsConsultancy Speed Networking at the CIPD Learning & Development Conference yesterday. Met some interesting people.

The CIPD Learning & Development Conference workshops were very informative giving up-to-date information on Learning & Development Tools.