Hints and Tips

8 ways to increase productivity in a small business

As a small business owner you wear many hats: salesperson, accountant, marketer, administrator, designer, networker, HR person to name but a few. It can be exhilarating, but equally exhausting at times, so anything you can do to lighten the load should be welcomed. It’s particularly difficult during the holiday season when you are either at the peak of your business or you have staff on holiday so working smarter harder will improve productivity and give you more time to spend on driving the business forward. So a few tips to help you:

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Employment Tribunals

One year ago the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that tribunal fees were unlawful and needed to be abolished so what’s changed:


Case numbers have risen…

Perhaps unsurprisingly latest figures revealed of single claims received in the first quarter of 2018 increased to 9,252, up 118 per cent compared with the year before. The removal of the financial barrier that had prevented so many from making a claim was no longer there and the public no longer had anything to lose. However, to put it into perspective claims have not reached the same levels as seen in 2013 before charges were introduced.

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Worker or self-employed? That is the question!

The discussion concerning the status of workers and self-employed has been headline news in recent months. A recent Supreme Court decision in the high-profile and long-running case of Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v Smith has only reinforced these discussions having found that Mr Smith was in fact a worker and not self-employed for the purposes of employment status. Continue reading “Worker or self-employed? That is the question!”

CIPD: 20 years

It’s always nice to receive any recognition and when this certificate landed on my desk, I felt very proud to have been involved with the CIPD for 20 years. It also made me reflect on my time in HR – from the time I took my first step into the world of HR at a major pharmaceutical company to today – running my own business. I would never have thought 20 years ago I would be a business owner – if you are passionate and dedicated enough – have the stamina and confidence and the backing of some great people its amazing what can be achieved so I would say to anyone – if you feel you can do it – take that step and go for it!

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Notice: When Does it Take Effect From?

It sounds a simple question but following a long-awaited landmark decision in the appeal of “Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood” notice of termination takes effect neither when the termination letter is posted by the employer, nor when it is put through the employee’s front door – but when the employee actually reads it.

The case was brought by Haywood, who was dismissed by reason of redundancy. Under her employment contract she was entitled to a minimum 12-week notice period, but it did not specify how that notice should be communicated.

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Probationary periods – are you maximising the opportunity?

Recruiting the right person is never easy and no matter how robust the recruitment process, it is all too easy to employ someone who underperforms or simply doesn’t fit the ‘culture’. Having a probationary period gives you the opportunity to assess suitability for a role from both perspectives.

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Mental Health: Taking care of your staff

Mental Health week is from 14 – 20th May and there is no better time than to think about what you can be doing as an employer to assist your employees in the management and alleviation of mental health issues in the work place.

Did you realise that:

  • More than one in 5 (21 %) agreed that they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how work place stress had affected them;
  • 14% agreed they had resigned and 42% had considered resigning when asked how work place stress had affected them;
  • 30% of staff disagreed with the statement “I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed”
  • 56% of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but don’t feel they have the right training or guidance

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Are you ready for GDPR?

With less than a month to go, there’s still time to get everything in order. If you haven’t done so already, start with a data audit. Think also about what you need to communicate to your employees and what training may be relevant.

We offer a package to support you with this process, it’s not too late so do get in touch.

Winners of the Wiltshire Business Awards ‘Learning and Development Employer of the Year 2018’

In conjunction with Bespoke Training Services, we were delighted to be co-sponsoring this year’s Learning & Development category and the main focus, as co-judges, was to look for employers who really placed value on developing their teams.

The size of the business and their team wasn’t a factor but the demonstration of how they really value the development was paramount. Although the category is open to Apprenticeships and Graduate schemes as well as management development, we looked for innovation and real commitment to learning and how that could be demonstrated on a day to day basis, rather than a box ticking exercise.

Our Winner…

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