YBC Academy : What Do You Look For When Employing a HR Consultant

What do you look for when employing a HR consultant?
You will by now realise when you have reached the stage when you take someone on you immediately become enmeshed in the employment regulation maze. It doesn’t matter if they are part time or even a contractor. Contracts, handbooks, employee status covid, discrimination, maternity the list is almost endless and government regulations change continually. When confronted with this you just want to lie down in a corner with a damp cloth over your head and hope it all goes away. Regrettably it won’t and, if you want to grow your business, you will need help in this area to avoid mistakes, becoming stressed and unwittingly becoming involved in tribunal situations

You need someone who is competent, knowledgeable and able to respond quickly and accurately to your concerns. You also need someone who is up to date with all the latest twists and turns in government regulations and the impact cases have on the interpretation of the regulations.

Given the job I do running an HR Business, I am, on a regular basis, asked for advice about employment issues when with friends, family and generally out and about outside of work. My business only supports employers so, at times, it’s refreshing and interesting to support friends on the other side of the fence. But, in doing that, I am frequently appalled at the behaviours of the HR staff and business owners they are dealing with. Don’t they ever bother to find out what their legal obligations are? Is it laziness or belligerence?

Staff should not have to fight for their basic employment rights, they should be given them from day one. I accept that some situations are complicated and what the actual rights are is not always clear cut, but, for the most part, it is usually pretty clear what rights people have.

Why should I have to give advice to a group of people this week, that they have rights in the UK to holiday pay? They said that no one in their business (a restaurant) has ever had an employment contract, sick pay or holiday pay. And I won’t even mention the word ‘pensions’. And when the business was sold to a new owner last year none of them were given continuous service, despite many having several years’ service. They were just given a P45 and told that tomorrow they would be working for the new owner.

Their staff have families to raise and rent to pay so I am appalled their employer has no interest in providing even the most basic employment rights. I only wish that such ignorance of the law or refusal to comply with the law was treated as seriously as other legal infringements. It reflects badly on all business owners and I’m sick and tired of being tarnished by the ‘all bosses are bad or greedy’ brush. And the reality of course for the business concerned is that if the staff choose to take legal action, the compensation would be enormous given the multiple breaches against multiple individuals so would probably be sufficient to push the business into bankruptcy. No one wins.

So it’s better for you and your business to be aware of your responsibilities and comply with them. It’s not only better for you and your business it also does wonders for staff morale and helps you retain the staff you want to keep. You probably already have enough stress in other areas of your business so don’t make things more difficult. Ignorance is no defence . Employing a competent HR consultant makes good business sense and will provide pragmatic cost effective solutions.

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