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HR Consultancy: Articles, News and Views

Hello - and welcome to my occasional posts about matters relating to human resources, people management and business.

Coronavirus: sickness planning for employers

There are a lot of headlines about Coronavirus at the moment - ranging from 'what a fuss about nothing' to 'OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!' I've been asked a couple of times already by clients if I have any advice I can offer. Well, I'm not hugely better informed than anyone else - but I'm happy to summarise what I do know, with particular regards to sick pay....Read on

IR35: News and Changes

Well. If you work with associates or contractors (or are one) this is one of those big topics that's on everyone's lips at the moment. There's a lot of uncertainty around it, and more than enough scare stories. The changes have the potential to be quite big, and this is something you should be taking seriously now. Here are the top line changes you need to know about....Read on

Good Work Plan & Employment Law Update April 2020

After much discussion about the changing nature of the UK labour market in the last 10 years, the Government commissioned Matthew Taylor to take a long, detailed look into matters - particularly with regards to the growth of new forms of working, such as the use of zero hours contracts and agency workers hired by umbrella companies. The result of his report is the Government's Good Work Plan, which is going to create a raft of new rights for employees and regulations for employers to be aware of....Read on

Handling the menopause in the workplace

Women eh? No sooner have we finished getting up the duff than we start needing time off to look after our kids. And then, to add insult to injury, we start to fall apart after our childbearing years and are now asking for even more allowances. Tsk!...Read on

Can you sack a vegan?

There has been a predictable furore over the recent tribunal decision that, for the first time, veganism is to be considered a protected philosophical belief. Vegans are a popular target for scorn from people who really should know better. Some of the responses have been wearyingly predictable and boil down to a simple misunderstanding that the ruling means it's not possible to sack a vegan. So hold my coat while I break this down....Read on

Inevitable Christmas Party Blog

Anyone that's met me outside of work will know that I am a bit of a party animal. In fact, I've overstepped the boundary between letting your hair down and taking it just a bit too far with alcohol, so when I speak to employers it is from a point of view that takes in both angles....Read on

Mental Health Awareness Day 2019

We've all been guilty at some point of doubting someone offering 'feeling down' or 'stressed' as a reason for failing to live up to what we expected of them. If you're an employer with tight deadlines, you might find it easier to understand a broken limb than a broken heart. But the truth is that mental illness is real, debilitating and something that almost everyone will have to contend with in one way or another....Read on

Tough Mudder

Eek! What have I agreed to? Tough Mudder? Well let me give you a little back story first....Read on

Taking holidays as a business owner

2019 has been a super busy year so far for me, so I've decided to follow my own advice and take a little break. ...Read on

My struggles with stress and post-natal depression #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and I'll be doing a lot of thinking and talking about mental health issues. Mostly, these kind of pieces recite a bunch of facts from someone like ACAS. How umpteen million days are lost at work each year due to mental illness, and how many billions are lost to the economy as a result. Those sort of things are true, but don't really talk directly about mental health. And actually they're also sort of boring. Instead, I'm going to tell you about my own problems....Read on

April 2019 employment law updates

April is almost upon us, and that means one thing: easter eggs! More importantly however, changes to both the national minimum wage and national living wage come into effect following the annual review by the Low Pay Commission. There are also a couple of employment law updates to bear in mind....Read on

Changing for growth: and the power of learning

Organisations change. They have to. Markets change. The economy changes. And, over time, the people change. If your business stays afloat long enough, eventually the entire founding personnel can be gone. And yet companies that change are the companies that grow. A huge company like Peugeot began making sewing machines in France, and yet 112 years later make millions of cars a year in sites around the world. So how do companies manage change and - in the best cases - plan for change?...Read on

Let's Talk About National Sickie Day

Most days seem to be a National Day of Something — and today is no exception: it's National Sickie Day. According to most sources, the first Monday in February is the most common day for Britons to call in sick - as many as 350,000 of us. Other figures bandied around claim that the cost to the economy in lost productivity is £34,000,000 today alone....Read on

#BlueMonday is Bollocks

Every year, this tired old tosh is peddled out. Ostensibly, this is the most depressing day of the year. It's based on some marketing initiative by Sky Travel from a few years back and that's really as seriously as it deserves to be taken. So why does it come around every year and resonate with people? More importantly, why does it make me angry?...Read on

Yorkshire businesswoman wins Diana Award Mentor of the Year

A Yorkshire businesswoman has won the Diana Award Mentor of the Year at the 2018 SME National Awards in London. Tracy Carpenter, owner of Leeds-based Mint HR, received the award at the prestigious ceremony at Wembley Stadium earlier this month for her work mentoring young people at schools in West Yorkshire....Read on

Drink and be merry - within reason

Yes, another alcohol related blog from me but it's timely, in the run up to Christmas. Preparations are underway for parties and before you know it, the festivities will be in full flow. Now is the time to give it some thought. I am a bit of a party animal so I know all too well how easy it is to overstep the boundary between letting your hair down and taking it just a bit too far. I therefore feel knowledgeable enough to give employers a few top tips. ...Read on

The HR agency monthly retainer model is broken

Monthly retainers are the dirty secret of agency work. I don't think they always work in the interests of clients and, ultimately, not even for the agencies themselves. And yet they are still the way most agency services are delivered - and I'm not just talking about HR agencies here either. It's probably a little contentious to go against the ingrained wisdom on this, but I thought I'd share my reasoning with you. It's a very personal view, and I'm not discounting the model entirely, but it is the way I feel about my own business after many years working for agencies....Read on

Free HR and H&S Advice!

Own a business in West Yorkshire? Join me and the lovely Helen from Buzz Safety for free advice and consultation on HR and Health and Safety....Read on

What does HR do?

A couple of minutes into a chat with a potential new client, he asked me a question that floored me for a second: "what is it that HR does?" Having worked in the field for twenty years now, it was a bit of a reality check to hear this question. I've always sort of assumed that everyone knows what HR people do, but like any profession it's sometimes hard to look at what you do from the outside. So I'd like to take a few moments to answer that very question....Read on

Are big companies really better at looking after their people?

As an HR professional, I've overseen countless numbers of disciplinaries and dismissals acting on behalf of companies to get the right result for their business. But life sometimes throws you curveballs in the world of HR, and in my caseload is an interesting case where I am sat on the other side of the desk representing an employee in an appeal process....Read on

#StandUpToBullying: My Five Words

As an HR consultant, I'm no stranger to the problem of workplace bullying. As I'm currently working with a company delivering bullying and harassment training, the timing of this year's Stand Up to Bullying is especially pertinent....Read on

Bank holidays and part time entitlement

It's that time of year when Bank Holidays are aplenty and, weather permitting, it's time to fire up the barbecues or join the traffic jams heading for the coast....Read on

Mental health in the workplace - what can employers do?

Mental health is a subject which has affected me personally and one which is all over the news at the minute. With 1 in 4 of us being affected by mental health issues, it's never been so important to get to grips with mental health in the workplace....Read on

Is sickness giving you a headache?

Did you know that on average each employee of a small business takes 4 days sickness each year? Whilst it may not seem like much - you know what kind of impact that has - loss of productivity and profit to name just a few. Mint HR are running a workshop as part of Leeds Business Week to help companies tackle this....Read on

Sacking a President

It's 9 o'clock and you're sat with your feet up watching the latest thrilling instalment of The Walking Dead. You're just dunking a biscuit into your tea when your phone begins to buzz. You pick it up. Notification after notification from the company Twitter account. You scroll through with an increasing sense of horror as you realise your MD has logged in and started tweeting......Read on

Sickness - 5 tips any employer needs to read

Sickness is something I seem to be dealing with a lot at the minute. Unless you're extremely lucky you will at some point have to deal with sickness. Even if it's not an issue, the following tips will help you manage sickness and stop it escalating....Read on

3 reasons why recruitment sucks

This may be a controversial blog - especially as there is so much help out there for recruitment but I'm going to say what I think anyway. Whilst I do believe you need to do all you can to find the right person when hiring, it's not clear cut. Just as Leeds United found out when they hired Brian Clough – you may think you've found the right person but until they're behind a desk - there's just no way to be certain....Read on

Show your employees the love

Cheesy I know - but I'm in a loved up mood and I'm here to tell you how you can spread this good feeling throughout the workplace. I've posted a fair bit lately about the harsh side of managing employees - today we need to focus on the nice stuff....Read on

Blue Monday

I felt it was worth commenting on Blue Monday as no doubt others will be and I wanted to consider it with a fresh pair of eyes. In summary - it's a load of rubbish!...Read on

The key to keeping your employees happy

I work with lots of SMEs and one of the questions I regularly get asked is, "How do I keep my teams on side?" I answer this in my usual practical HR fashion but Mint HR grows, it got me thinking about how I would put my own advice into practice...Read on

An SME without HR is like tonic without gin

I know you don't normally associate HR with an alcoholic drink but SMEs need such an accompaniment. Did you know that gin has many health benefits (as long as drunk in moderation) and HR can have that same impact. "How?" I hear you cry....Read on