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HR News Room – August 2022

Can you handle the heat? What’s required from employers in the summer months

Most of us love the British summer time, when the sun is shining and temperatures rise – albeit a little unpredictably most of the time!

But when you’re working through particularly warm weather, it’s important that you as an employer know what’s expected of you when it comes to keeping your people comfortable, and importantly, safe, in the heat.

You’ll undoubtedly have heard people saying in the past “It’s illegal to work in this temperature”. It gets thrown around every year. The truth is, there’s no legal temperature limit for the workplace.
Regulations simply state that it must be ‘reasonable’.

What ‘reasonable’ means will depend on the environment and type of work your people are doing. If it’s sitting at a desk in an office, reasonable may be a higher temperature than someone doing heavy lifting in a windowless room.

If you offer hybrid working, perhaps this could be a solution to avoiding a stuffy office. But in cases where you don’t, perhaps a flexible approach to hours could work better, or additional breaks to help your people cool off and refocus?

Consider relaxing your dress code for when the weather gets hot. Obviously, this will depend on the kinds of roles your people are in, but people can stay well-presented in cooler clothes. Just ensure that any safety wear isn’t forgotten about in a bid to stay cool.

When it comes to holiday requests, you may find yourself in a position where people are asking for the same days off. You do not have to approve requests for time off so a first-come, first-served basis may be best. And if people have holiday request denied but take the time off anyway, don’t jump to conclusions. Carry out a thorough investigation before taking action.

Need any advice on dealing with issues as the weather hots up? Just give us a call!

Real pay continues to fall despite a drop in unemployment

Times are tough, there’s no doubting that right now. But it’s disappointing to see that real pay has fallen by 2.2% when inflation is taken into account.

And while the number of employed people rose by 0.2% from February to April, it’s still below pre-pandemic levels.

Just 1 in 20 employees have been offered a pay rise to help with the increased cost of living.

If you’re good at maths, you’ll know that’s a mere 4%. And while a quarter of employees have taken the bull by the horns and requested a pay increase, only 26% of those who asked were granted the rise.

If you’re not in a position to offer pay rises right now, consider other options, like subsidies on childcare and other every day expenses.

A new study has found that the cost of living crisis is having a bigger impact on workers from an ethnic minority background than it is on white counterparts. 34% of racially diverse professionals said their salary wasn’t enough to cover essential costs each month, compared to 27% from white backgrounds.

Want to dismiss an employee? Here’s what you need to consider

It’s likely that at some point you’ve thought long and hard about firing an employee.

Whether they’re underperforming, they’re displaying bad behaviour, or you’ve received complaints about them from others, you’ve probably wondered how quickly you can get them out of your business.

Unfortunately, unless there are exceptional circumstances, it’s not as easy as just dismissing an employee. There is a process that you need to follow to get rid of someone without acting unfairly, with discrimination, and without ending up in an employment tribunal.

And whether it’s your first time doing it, or your tenth, the process never gets easier.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a total nightmare either. Do things the right way and you stay on the right side of employment law while hopefully setting a good example to the rest of your team.

Another great side effect of following the right process is that you might even get to a point where dismissal is off the table and you decide with your employee how things can change for the better.

Unless you have an HR professional on hand to guide you through the process at each step of the way, it can be tricky to know what to do next. But with a little forward planning – and the right information – you can make the disciplinary/dismissal process simple and straightforward for everyone.

I’ve written a new guide that tells you everything you need to know, and what you need to do to

make sure you stay on the right side of employment law. It also contains a handy checklist of the

dos and don’ts of dismissing an employee.

Would you like me to email you a copy?

Just email info@hausofhr.com today!

Q&A

Should I advertise a salary in a job advert?

Absolutely! Including a salary can increase application rates, and it can also ensure you attract more of the right kind of applicants for your role.

How often should I update my contracts of employment?

You should review your contracts annually, and update them at least once every two years.

Employment law is continually changing and adapting, so it’s important your contracts accurately reflect the law.

There’s a conflict between two employees, should I get involved?

Yes. Even a small conflict has the potential to be extremely disruptive to the entire business. Sit your employees down and ask them to each explain the issue in their own words, without interruption. Agree the problem and work together to try and find a solution that works for everyone.

Let’s talk on the phone

Here are two questions for you:

  • Do you currently have a HR consultant?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with them?
  • If the answer isn’t “I’m so delighted I could print 1,000 flyers to spread the word about them”, let’s jump on a video call

This pandemic is teaching businesses just how important it is to get proactive, responsive HR support. That’s what I do. And we’re now taking on new clients again.

Set up a FREE 30 minute discovery

call at: https://calendly.com/rachelhr

CHO Corner

Our CHO is on the scrounge again!

Haus of HR is celebrating again! This time we’ve been named as a finalist in the Northants Life Awards 2022 for B2B Business of the Year.

But our Chief Happiness Officer needs your help to make sure he can plan a winner’s party! So he needs your vote to make this happen.

Just submit your vote here and make Haus of HR a winner!