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HR News Room – July 2023

What is mediation and why is it effective at resolving conflict?

We often hear from business owners at their wit’s end because two (or more) employees are locked in conflict over something or other. Often, the real reason for the conflict is something minor, but things escalate at such a pace that a resolution doesn’t feel likely.

In cases like this – and many others – we recommend mediation as an effective way of finding a solution. But what is mediation, and can it really help you to smooth things over so that everyone is happy again?

Mediation is the process of resolving conflict between two or more individuals through a neutral third party. This person facilitates communication and negotiation between each party with the aim of reaching a solution that keeps everyone happy.

In the UK, mediation is often used in employment disputes to avoid litigation and reach a mutually acceptable solution. Mediation can be effective at resolving conflicts for several reasons.

First, it allows the parties to discuss their concerns and interests in a non-confrontational environment. This can help to build understanding and trust between them without feeling like sides are being taken and any blame is being placed.

Second, the mediator is trained to facilitate communication and encourage productive dialogue. This can help the parties to identify common ground and find mutually acceptable solutions.

Third, the parties involved are in control of the outcome of the mediation and can work together to find a solution that meets their needs and interests, rather than relying on a judge or arbitrator to decide for them. This leaves them feeling that they have better control and autonomy over the situation. Additionally, mediation is often quicker, less expensive, and less stressful than going to court or engaging in other formal dispute resolution processes. It can also help to preserve relationships between the parties, which can be particularly important in employment disputes where ongoing relationships are often necessary.

Under UK employment law, mediation is voluntary and cannot be forced on either party. However, it is often encouraged by employers, trade unions, and the courts as a way to resolve disputes quickly and efficiently.

It’s something our team have a lot of experience with. We’d love to help you resolve conflict amongst your team if it becomes necessary – get in touch.


Cat working at a desk

Pets in the Workplace

Our very own Chief Happiness Officer is responsible for boosting our wellbeing but there’s growing evidence that having a furry friend in the workplace really can be a big boost for employee wellbeing and productivity! Even BBC Northampton Radio interviewed us about it on Bring Your Dog to Work Day!

Good Business Charter commitments

Good Business Charter accredited

We’re now Good Business Charter accredited, which recognises organisations for their responsible business practices and behaviours.
Find out more about the 10 components we are now committed too!

HR Rocks on Stony Radio!

Our Founder, Rachel Collar really is a Rockstar! Check out her radio show ‘HR Rocks’ on Stony Radio on the first Friday of every month from 11.00am until12.00pm. But this month she is rocking the waves on
Friday 14th July.

Samaritans’ ‘Talk to Us’ campaign to raise awareness of mental health

We all know of The Samaritans – a charity organisation focused on mental health. But did you know that on 24th July it’s launching its annual campaign called “Talk to Us”?

The event aims to encourage people to reach out and seek help if they’re struggling with their mental health.It’s a great opportunity for you to raise awareness andsupport your staff with their mental health, too.

Mental health is a critical issue in the workplace, and it is essential to create an environment where your employees feel comfortable discussing any challenges they may be facing. According to a study conducted by the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 6 employees in the UK experience common menta lhealth problems, such as anxiety and depression.

Unfortunately, many people who are struggling with their mental health don’t feel safe enough to seek help. That’s why awareness events like the “Talk to Us” campaign can be effective in creating support opportunities and making people feel comfortable speaking up.

There are lots of simple ways you can look after the health and wellbeing of your staff. One of the most effective methods is to promote an open and supportive culture where employees feel comfortable discussing their concerns with managers or even colleagues.

Try sending an email to your team highlighting the importance of mental health and signposting the relevant resources. It is simple but can be a great first step.

Other ideas include offering flexible working arrangements, providing access to confidential counselling services, and promoting physical activity and healthy eating habits to your team. Your approach doesn’t have to be ground-breaking, just supportive and positive.
Mental health is a vital aspect of our overall wellbeing, so it’s essential to create a supportive environment in your workplace. By promoting the “Talk to Us” campaign and implementing measures to support mental health, you have the ability to make a significant difference to your employees’ lives.

And, of course, if you need any advice or support, get in touch!

HR Q&A’s

An employee has brought in a sick note signed by a pharmacist. Is this okay?

Since 1 July 2022, four additional types of healthcare professionals can legally certify and issue a fit note as evidence of an employee’s sickness:

  • nurses,
  • occupational therapists,
  • pharmacists
  • physiotherapists

provided they work in a general practice or hospital setting.

How should we prepare for the issues the hot weather can cause in the workplace?

Our top tips are….

  1. Keep everyone cool!
  2. Remember more vulnerable workers
  3. Prepare for transport disruption
  4. Be ready for holiday requests
  5. Look out for unauthorised time off
  6. Check on your homeworkers
  7. Factor in time off for dependents

Can an employee retract their resignation?

Employees can resign at any time by giving proper notice under their contract of employment. Once a resignation has been given it cannot be withdrawn other than with the employer’s express permission, or where it was given in the heat of the moment and then speedily retracted.

Let’s chat

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. You know just how important it is to get proactive, responsive HR support. That’s what we do. And we’re now taking on new clients again.

Set up a FREE 30 minute discovery call ….

CHO Corner

We won Gold!

We’ve been partying hard in the Haus of HR celebrating our Gold Award for Towcester Business of the Year at the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards.

We also made it to the finals for Best New Business of the Year!

But, to top off the day, my fur mummy even got to meet one of her F1 idols – Eddie Jordan and spotted Morgan Freeman having lunch!

How jealous am I?!?!

Download below the latest copy of our HR News Room to read, so grab a coffee and sit back and relax – enjoy!

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