3 AMELORE PRODUCTS for 2016

HR and Coaching services for public sector organisations

Product 1 – Discounted pre-paid HR support

Annual up front purchase – flexible use within a 12 month period

Can be used to investigate grievances, disciplinary situations, draft policies & procedures, run performance management training, develop or attend assessment centres, reward and incentive reviews, gender & equality support etc

Current rate             £POA per day (senior consultant)

0-5 days                   15% discount

5-10 days                 20% discount

10-20 days               25% discount

20 days plus            quotation on request

Product 2 – Executive Coaching

Executive coaching support for senior and ambitious individuals

Current rate £POA a day or pro rata

6 month package    £POA

8 month package    £POA

1 year                        £POA

This includes unlimited sessions and support as the individual needs it and seems to encourage people to use us more and develop a supportive relationship. Travel and agreed expenses not included and invoiced monthly. We charge up front for coaching services. 

Product 3 – Due Diligence Review (Forensic HR)

One off or Annual Review of all HR/People issues – confidential board level report and recommendations

Our team have all worked in an accountancy/legal auditing/due diligence environment and our process has been developed from that position of expertise.

Ensures full legal compliance and spots problems early.

Fixed price depending on size of organisation, areas to be reviewed & number of Amelore staff required.

How to avoid Tribunal Claims for your company.

tribunalTribunal claims have dropped significantly since the introduction of fees. Despite this many organisations (including legal firms) still sell HR services linked to Tribunal insurance, which introduces a risk adverse much slower pace and lengthy process for resolving disputes. Failure to follow advice or a long winded process

In the most expensive pay-outs for 2015, it is easy to see both a public sector bias and also a theme regarding the types of claims. For instance, due to the Equality Act, any situation where your approach to staff with additional protection may deemed to be unfair might leave your business exposed.

Ensuring you are treating all your staff fairly and even handedly will be important. Likewise getting good pragmatic advice as early as possible if you have any concerns. Ask whoever you are going to work with if they have ever lost a Tribunal? We haven’t in 25+years across a variety of sectors and we are very proud of that fact.

Personnel Today have done a great summary to round up the six-figure employment tribunal awards that employers were ordered to pay in 2015, with a total compensation amounting to £2.5 million.

Expensive employment tribunal awards: six-figure sums in 2015 

  1. Large award for caste discrimination claimant

In Tirkey v Chandok and another, a claimant who brought a groundbreaking caste discrimination case was awarded a total of £266,537.

  1. Employees dismissed after raising commission concerns

In Gilmore and others v Vodafone Ltd, five salespeople who were dismissed after complaining about how their commission worked were awarded £264,349. 

  1. Mismanagement of sick leave was disability discrimination

In Turner v DHL Services Ltd and another, the claimant was awarded £257,127 over his employer’s lack of support when he went off sick as a result of work-related stress.

  1. Redundancy of mother of disabled child

In J v H Ltd, the employer was required to pay out £251,460 to the mother of a disabled child over the way in which her redundancy was handled.

  1. Dismissal of employee with acute anxiety

In Marcelin v Hewlett Packard Ltd, a claimant who was disciplined for, among other things, his refusal to consent to the release of a medical report was awarded £239,913 for disability discrimination. 

  1. Large award for senior NHS whistleblower

In Sardari and another v South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and another, the employment tribunal found that a senior NHS manager who raised concerns about an alleged biased recruitment process was subjected to a detriment for making a protected disclosure. She was awarded £228,778.

  1. Deceased London Underground worker in large payout

In O’Sullivan v London Underground Ltd, a deceased London Underground worker was awarded £223,869 for disability discrimination. In the event of a successful claimant’s death, the tribunal award goes to the claimant’s estate.

  1. Disability discrimination against ME sufferer

In A v S, an employee with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) was able to show that the way in which a move to a new role and her subsequent absences were handled was discriminatory. Her compensation totalled £192,656. 

  1. Financial officer dismissed after accounting disclosure

In Nishioka v C&S Shops Ltd, a financial officer who was suspended and summarily dismissed after raising accounting concerns was awarded £184,741 in a tribunal. 

  1. Employer admits constructive dismissal

In Asare-Brown v Mortgage 27 Ltd, an employer that admitted that it constructively dismissed a web designer after non-payment of wages was required to pay £130,702.

Median employment tribunal awards 2014/15

Sex discrimination: £13,500

Disability discrimination: £8,646

Race discrimination: £8,025

Age discrimination: £7,500

Unfair dismissal: £6,955

Sexual orientation discrimination: £6,000

Religious discrimination: £1,080

THE REAL COST OF GETTING IT WRONG

Generally the cost of getting it wrong is much bigger than the actual claim. Management time, morale and reputation, retention and if it gets in the press it can affect sales.

At Amelore we have a tailored our services to help business grow quickly and feel confident about making the right decisions. We have never lost a Tribunal (as a company) or in the history of Ruth Cornish our founder who has worked in a variety of sectors including the City and the Public Sector.

Call us on 01453 548070 if you’d like to discuss your needs.

 

Taking people costs out of your business

January is the perfect time to start thinking about how you’ll reduce costs and achieve growth in the year ahead.

In difficult trading conditions, companies often jump straight in and make redundancies when a prudent review with an experienced eye would reveal significant savings and avoid such drastic action.

In our latest blog, we look at where savings can be made. If you’re interested in a review of your organisation’s people costs and growth potential, get in touch.

 

Here are some typical areas where costs can be shaved.

Administration – if you still have manual systems requiring data entry you are costing yourself money.  It is worth investing in a good self service system that links directly to payroll. Likewise administrators will always ensure they have enough work. Consider outsourcing administration to a third party or removing it all together.

Appraisals – So many businesses still have clunky manual appraisal systems eating up time, money and morale – rarely are they the performance driver some HR professionals would claim they should be.  There are much more cost effective alternatives. Make sure you know about them!

Employee Benefits – It’s always important to review the cost of employee benefits annually and look at alternatives. If your business has grown since you first chose a provider, you may have more bargaining power for a better deal.  Consider removing benefits and replacing them. Ask your staff what they would appreciate from you.

Terms and conditions – If you have made your benefits contractual, re-negotiate contracts with staff to give yourself flexibility again. Take the opportunity to look at the  hours your staff work, how much holiday they are entitled to and the terms of your sickness absence policy and procedure compared to reality (i.e. many companies have contracts saying they only pay SSP yet they regularly pay staff in full when they are off sick).

TUPE staff – Since the change in TUPE regulations in January 2014, it is now possible for employers not to have to honour so called static terms negotiated by collective bargaining. This is particularly relevant if you have taken staff from a public sector environment.

Equally if the economic trading environment you are operating in requires you to harmonise terms and conditions to avoid making redundancies you should do this.  Take care to ensure it is not seen as directly connected to the TUPE transfer.

Salaries – Make sure you are fully informed about the market rate for key roles in your organisation.  It’s absolutely fine to pay over the odds or a premium for someone that will be key to your business but do this too often and you will become uncompetitive.  Remember that recruitment agencies have a vested interest in pushing up salaries so make sure you are independently informed.

Recruitment – If you are fast growing, recruitment can become a big part of your people costs.  Are you paying out recruitment fees to a variety of agencies or have you negotiated a good rate with a few.  Would an in-house resourcing specialist be better for you.  Advertising directly via Indeed and Linkedin can provide good results. So can using university careers services for graduate level positions.

Overtime – If overtime is habitual it makes sense to incorporate into the individual’s salary and remove the entitlement. Take care to go for an average figure to ensure you make some savings.

Bonus – Bonus payments can be a great incentive when things are going well and targets are met.  However if you don’t have the results don’t pay them to avoid your staff feeling upset.  Make sure you have communicated with them about this and consider an alternative to soften the blow.

Review Flexible working – This can be a great way to hire and retain talented staff that want to work in a flexible way, often part-time or remotely.

However if your business has too many people working part-time and you are having to double up on costs to ensure the smooth running, you can review this and restructure.

Part time staff and holidays – Make sure that part time staff have pro rata and not full time holiday entitlements.

Managing poor performance – Let’s throw in a nice controversial one.  It is never ever cost effective to try and manage poor performance.  Especially at senior levels. It is actually much kinder to agree a settlement and move on.  Clearly in unionised environments or in large organisations there will be long winded policies to manage capability.  Our advice is to cut through this and reach an agreement.

Employees v freelance staff/outsourcing – The living wage is coming in as is auto enrolment making staff more expensive. Employers are increasingly use freelancers or outsourcing specific functions or tasks. Often things can be done quicker and more effective with freelancer or outsourced staff working along side in-house staff.  Consider whether this option is a route you should be considering.

Risk adverse HR advice – This will without doubt be the most expensive people cost in your business.  If you feel you are getting this, get a second opinion and compare and contrast.

Amelore can provide a complete review of your HR, people and employee admin costs. Contact us…….

2016: What is in store for employers?

The National Living Wage

A happy new year for the low paid and not so for business… April 2016 sees the Government’s new National Living Wage enshrined in law. Anyone working and aged 25 or over and not in the first year of an apprenticeship, legally, will be entitled to at least £7.20 per hour. The Government is committed to increasing this annually, so by 2020 it will rise to more than £9 per hour.

If you’re an employer, you’ll need to make sure you’re paying your staff correctly from 1st April 2016, as the National Living Wage will be enforced as strongly as the current National Minimum Wage.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

In 2016 it is likely that we will see new requirements for organisations to report on differences in gender pay. Whilst no organisation intentionally sets out to pay women less than men, the Office for National Statistics reports that top-level gender pay gap is 54.9 per cent. Whilst shadow women and equalities minister Kate Green said the gender pay gap in the UK was nearly 20% more than the European average. Really quite shocking!

In a March 2014 study by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the gender pay gap for all staff in the UK in 2013 was 19.7 per cent, as measured by hourly earnings for all employees.

The gender pay gap varies for different age groups and in 2013, and was lowest for those in the youngest age groups. It then increases up to the 40 to 49 year old age group, before falling in the older age bands.

The gender pay gap across high and low earners also varies. In 2013 the gap was lowest for those in the 10th percentile of earnings. However for those earning the most it has not decreased by as much as the other groups. According to the Guardian (9 November 2015) among Britain’s top earners, the pay divide between men and women is nearly 55%, according to the TUC. The top 2% of male earners bring in more than £117,352 a year, while women get £75,745.

There is much to do to close the gender pay gap and this likely new reporting requirement will require organisations to keep detailed records and invest in or develop strong systems to report on this whilst avoiding an additional administrative burden.

Commission and holiday pay

An answer in the long running saga on whether commission should be included in holiday pay came a step closer recently when the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) heard an appeal in the case Lock v British Gas Trading.

The judgment is expected early in 2016 so watch this space…