HR Consultancy & Outsourcing

HR Outsourcing is the process of sub-contracting human resource functions to an external supplier. It is popular amongst businesses who are seeking to relieve themselves of the administrative burden that is quite often related in having an in house HR function, as well as to reduce operating costs.
There are many options available when considering outsourcing your HR requirements and depending on the size of your business, and whether you have any internal HR resource you are likely to end up cherry-picking what you feel you want to keep internal in your business.
Typically businesses look to outsource the following:

 
  • HR Administration
  • HR Documentation and Procedures
  • Recruitment Management
  • Advice and Guidance
  • Redundancy Process Management
  • Training and Development
 

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What is Employee Relations?

This involves the work concerned with maintaining employer-employee relationships that contribute to satisfactory productivity, motivation and morale. Essentially Employee Relations is concerned with preventing and resolving problems with individuals which arise out of or affect work situations.

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Employment Law

Employment Law advice and guidance is based on the ACAS Code of Practice. Information is up to date and is aimed at helping to reduce the complexities of unexpected employment law problems.
Claims made against a business due to disciplinary and grievance issues, unfair dismissal, discrimination or constructive dismissal can lead to time consuming and expensive tribunals. Should a tribunal decide against your business, then the financial penalties can be high…

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Employment Policies and Procedures

Businesses, both large and small should have employment policies in place to explain how they will deal with issues when they arise and to show that they operate in a fair and consistent way towards all employees.
Induction is a good way of making policies known to new employees, but they also need to be systematically reinforced in a variety of contexts.
Employment policies can become out of date, either because employment law has moved on or because the policy no longer meets the needs of the business.
There is no right or wrong way to maintaining policies. It is what is right for your business, but keeping it simple is easier to maintain.
The most important thing is that employees are aware of the policies and know where they can find an up-to-date copy. It is good practice to ask employees to sign to confirm that they have read and understood the policies.

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Contracts of Employment

A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee and is the basis of the employment relationship.
Employment contracts do not need to be in writing to be legally valid, but it is better that they are.
A contract starts as soon as an offer of employment is accepted. Starting work proves that the employee accepts the terms and conditions offered by the employer.
Most employees are legally entitled to a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within two calendar months of starting work.
An existing contract of employment can be varied only with the agreement of both parties. It is best practice to put a contract in writing – it saves a lot of potential misunderstanding further down the line.

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Employee Handbooks

Employee Handbooks are designed, both to introduce you to the company and to be of continuing use during employment.
They set out the terms and conditions of employment, guidance on the high standards of conduct that are expected of your employees and some of the main benefits which may be available.
The HR Link can design an employee handbook with up to date legal information, tailored to business needs.

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Disciplinary & Grievance

There should be a clear and transparent framework for dealing with difficulties which may arise as part of the working relationship from either the employers or employee’s perspective.
These procedures are necessary to ensure that everyone is treated in the same way in similar circumstances, to deal with issues fairly and reasonably and to ensure that employers are compliant with current legislation and follow the relevant ACAS Code of Practice.

Disciplinary procedures are needed to:

 
  • let employees know what is expected of them in terms of standards of performance or conduct (and the likely consequences of continued failure to meet these standards)
  • identify obstacles to individuals achieving the required standards (for example training needs, lack of clarity of job requirements, additional support needed) and to enable employers to take appropriate action
  • enable employers and employees to agree suitable goals and timescales for improvement in an individual's performance or conduct
  • try to resolve matters without recourse to an employment tribunal
  • demonstrate to an employment tribunal that an appropriate process has been followed should an employee complain about the way they have been dismissed.
 

Grievance procedures are needed to:

 
  • provide individuals with a course of action if they have a complaint (which they are unable to resolve through regular communication with their line manager)
  • provide points of contact and timescales to resolve issues of concern try to resolve matters without recourse to an employment tribunal.
 

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Redundancy and Restructuring

Redundancy and Restructuring is commonplace in today’s business world and it is important to manage redundancy and restructuring in a positive way, to ensure a strong recovery for the business.
The threat of redundancies in any business can cause serious disruption, damaging morale and productivity and put a strain on working relations. Good communication between management and employees is essential to ease the pain and minimise operational disruption. Proper consultation and planning at such a time can help keep employees engaged and prepare the way forward for recovery.
When managing redundancies, it is essential for businesses to ensure they comply with the law to avoid tribunal claims later for unfair dismissal. When a business is proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant over a period of 90 days or less, they are obliged by law to consult both unions and individual employees and draw up a formal redundancy procedure. Employers also need to check whether any employees are legally entitled to redundancy payments.
Following any redundancy process, it is important to help the remaining employees to keep focused and motivated. The management style, following any change programme should be more about coaching and empowering employees to take responsibility. It is vital that the new structure is sustainable.

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TUPE Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006

TUPE is one of the most complex areas of employment law and it is important for any business to ensure that they deal with TUPE cases correctly and consistently. It is recommended to seek HR support or legal advice prior to commencing TUPE. The HR Link will work with a Solicitor on complex TUPE cases to ensure the most up to date employment law and process is followed.
The regulations' main aims are to ensure that, in connection with the transfer, employment is protected.

This means:

 
  • employees are not dismissed
  • employees' most important terms and conditions of employment remain the same or comparable
  • affected employees are informed and consulted through representatives
 

These obligations of protection are placed on the transferring companies both before, during and after the transfer. The obligations are relieved if there is an "economic, technical or organisational" reason for the cessation of employment, or alteration to employees terms and conditions.

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Recruitment & Selection

Recruitment policies and procedures are driven by a desire to find the right person for the job. They are designed to identify people who not only have the right mix of skills and experience but who also aspire to the business values. It is the people that make the business what it is, so it is important to take great care in team and individual selection.
The HR Link will partner with clients who want an active involvement in selecting their people, and it is our objective to enable the client to appoint the best person for the job. We can help manage your internal recruitment & selection process, arrange for recruitment adverts, attend and conduct interviews and select suitable candidates. The relevant offer letters and contracts of employment can also be drafted. This can be followed up with designing an induction programme to ensure the new employee is engaged with the business and settles in quickly. All the above can be a bespoke service to meet your business needs.

CIPD SVB Solutions Dawn Breslin First Class Training