Coronavirus HR Support provided by You HR Cosultancy
Is COVID-19 causing you concern around how to manage your workers?
Do you need support to manage the changes being imposed on your business during these uncertain times?
You HR Consultancy Ltd. provides expert HR and Employment Law advice to Small Businesses, Public Sector and Not for Profit organisations across 4 service areas (see opposite).
Our advice can cover all difficult employment and other worker status (contractors, volunteers, self-employed) issues you may need to address.
We have 10+ years’ experience in managing highly complex employment issues, business change, and wellbeing, ensuring business owners / managers maintain control of their plans to manage their people situations.
Our Team are capable of dealing with the distress that such times of crisis present, and our ‘know-how’ is based on reputable and trusted resources so we provide the most up to date advice and support, ensuring You can make the right decisions at the right time.
If you would like any assistance relating to HR (including employment law) please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org we will respond same day to your request and schedule a virtual call with you to discuss your needs further.
Managing Change and Employment Contracts
Handling change with employee’s is not an easy task at the best of times, let alone when your business is in crisis. Change presents levels of uncertainty and anxiousness and this in-turn can lead to the change you need to introduce having an even greater impact on someone’s health and wellbeing.
The key to leading and managing change is to be open and honest in your communications.
Whether you need to consult with your employee’s/other workers about the changes you need to introduce or even if your contracts contain expressed terms, You HR can help you to manage your communications and documented changes you need to put into place.
Our strapline is “it’s all about the people”, so in such difficult times, we will at least give you peace of mind that your change is managed well, under the circumstances, and your business is being well governed in accordance with statutory requirements.
Areas of contractual change we can assist with:
- Consulting with staff to introduce contractual change
- Second employment
- Dismissal and re-engagement
- Managing Redundancies
Assessing Pay Arrangements for Employees
There are many ways that pay can be reviewed during these unprecedented times and we can work with you to determine how any changes to pay can be achieved, through assessing existing employment contract requirements and exploring other areas that may assist your business and your employees.
Pay is a critical area to keep all informed at the earliest opportunity with ongoing developments that may drive your business to adjust, albeit in rapidly changing circumstances.
You HR can provide general advice on pay or deal with specific situations on a case by case basis covering:
- Pay during self-isolation periods
- Ways in which pay can be managed when an employee needs to care for someone classed by the Government as Vulnerable
- Managing Statutory and Occupational Sick Pay Schemes
- Periods of non-pay during business closure (furlough, lay-off)
- Pay reductions and other contractual changes (short-time, redeployment)
- Assessing and providing practical advice to each situation and determining what support applies (i.e. access to government schemes, such as job retention)
- Addressing other pay commitments such as; overtime, commission, bonuses, pay reviews
Sickness Absence Management
Managing absences during such unprecedented times of turmoil will be extremely challenging, whatever the situation and we would always advise that you work within your existing business policy and process for managing absences, including those where someone needs to self-isolate, even thought they may not be sick.
Maintaining a clear audit of any absence will ensure that you can claim back, from the Government, any entitlement you are eligible to receive (from Day 1), it will also ensure you maintain robust records for your business, and most importantly keep a track of your employee’s wellbeing, all as a good practice employer.
You can still apply your policy/process virtually and still undertake; obtaining sick notes, keeping in touch, conducting return to work meetings, assessing someone’s fitness to return. All of which You HR can assist you with whatever absence situation you may have to deal with – it is an area that still needs to be managed well.
We can support you with:
- Advice and guidance on any absence
- Sickness absence management cases (whether using your informal or formal process)
- Occupational Health referrals
- Coaching you through live scenarios of absence to be managed, ensuring your policy and process are compliant
Dealing with Flexible Working Needs
There will inevitably be circumstances where you need to apply flexibility with your employees, whether this is due to changes to your business, or changes to their personal circumstances.
You may have needed to move your employee’s to work from home, are they equipped to do so? Are you ensuring that communication channels are in place and your team(s) remaining united?
Your employee’s may have childcare needs due to schools being shut, or vulnerable members of their household that they need to care for or maintain self-isolation to protect those most at risk.
Whatever your scenario, looking after your employees and being able to apply flexibility in your approach is key, whilst not losing site of maintaining business needs. You HR can review your current policy and process practices, or put arrangements in place where you may not have such mechanisms in practice, and advise you on:
- Home-working – ways to ensure compliance with your employees
- Maintaining Team morale
- Responding to employee applications for flexible working
- Managing cases where flexibility is a concern, including long term change is required (i.e. up to 6 months’ to care for the vulnerable)
Maintaining Employee Wellbeing
Making sure communication channels remain open regularly for your employee’s, all contact details (including next of kin) are kept up to date, your employee’s follow you in adhering to the latest Government advice and they are aware of what your business is doing to protect people’s health to reduce the risk of infection spreading; are all vital steps to maintain when supporting mental and physical wellbeing.
Whilst business leaders need to uphold their duty of care as an employer, they equally need to obtain support themselves, we are often the last ones to recognise our own needs in mental and physical health. As the pandemic takes hold sector by economic sector and creates great difficulties for us all, we must seek the necessary help and support to ensure business survival.Looking after yours and your employees health and wellbeing as a dutiful employer is paramount. You HR can assist you in:
- Providing time to talk confidentially, to talk through whatever your concern and sign-post you in the right direction, using our expert business knowledge, if your need is beyond the realms of HR
- Tackle how you can continue to maintain communication, engagement and morale during changing circumstances
- Be a confidential port of call for your employees to receive support with their concerns
- Provide advice and guidance of specific situations regarding mental and psychical wellbeing
- Surveying to gather intelligence and feedback for you from your employees (this can include undertaking DSE assessments for homeworkers)
- Assisting with cases where reasonable adjustments need to be considered for employees with disabilities or health conditions. We can also assist with cases of ill-health and bereavement
Advise and guide on generally communicating and engaging with your employees
Managing Performance with Remote Working Employees
For some of us, adjusting to working remotely will be a completely new concept and this change alone requires time to adapt to the positive and negative impacts on an employee and their job.
It would be beneficial as part of your proactive continuity planning, that you review key policies and processes to ensure they are fit for purpose and enable you to respond with agility when circumstances arise. Areas to focus on would be; sick leave, annual leave and any other policies/processes you have in place in relation to pay, remote working, mental health and wellbeing, change management, carer support, working parents, redeployment and redundancies.
All of the above will equip you to maintain performance with your employees and adjust with whatever circumstances arise and You HR can assist you with any aspect of performance management, including:
- Maintaining motivation with a remote workforce
- Adjustments and assessing transferable skills to see what jobs / tasks can be completed remotely
- Addressing any concerns regarding performance, or any other areas of conduct/capability
- Adapting your appraisal process and ways to ensure your employees remain focused on business goals
- Ways to maintain employee commitment
- Creating a new learning and development culture for your business
- Advising on critical action planning to sustainably maintain business performance, assessing and managing the impact on your employees
- Compliance with the Working Time Regulations
General Advice and Guidance
You HR can provide expert advice and guidance (including employment law assistance) on any people management need you may have, ensuring your approach is inclusive, collaborative and coordinated, including:
- Dealing with complaints (grievances, bullying & harassment, whistle blowing, employment claims) and other concerns (disciplinaries)
- Support you through any ‘live’ situations with your employees
- Business evaluation of your workforce needs
- Managing workforce reductions
- How best to plan and prepare to return to ‘business as usual’
In need of assistance? We can help...
We understand this is a troubling time for businesses and knowing what help is available to you is crucial. Drop us a message and a member of one of our teams will be in touch with you right away.