Those who should read this include;
Business Owners (small, medium and large), Directors, Finance Directors, Operation Directors, Leaders, Line Managers, Heads of Department, Team Leaders, Supervisors, newly appointed line managers, Trainers, Trustees of Charities, Head Teachers – and anyone Responsible for managing staff.
HR & Diversity Management Limited is an Award-Winning Company. We specialise in Employment Law and Conflict Resolution in particular but we generally provide a complete, well rounded, range of HR solutions to cater for all your HR needs. Whether this is general managerial advice, in-house policy work, leadership development and/or diversity training or more complex grievance or disciplinary investigation work, we can help.
We are also experts in resolving complexities associated with the escalating problems of workplace bullying, cyberbullying and eCRIME. In fact, we have even written a Management Guide for the business owner or manager who is accused of being a Bully. Please contact us for a copy.
As you should know, there is an ‘implied term’ in every employment contract that the employer shall render reasonable support to an employee to ensure that the employee can carry out the duties of his job without harassment and disruption by fellow workers. This was exampled in the Case of Wigan Borough Council v Davies 1979 ICR 411 and quoted with approval by the House of Lords in Waters v Commissioner of Metropolitan Police 2000 ICR 1064, HL.
Simply, an employer has a Duty of Care to provide a safe and stress-free place of work for all employees.
Sometimes, achieving high standards can be a difficult ask. If you have a problematic employee situation and would like to seek expert, FREE, advice, call us today. Our associates specialise in Workplace Investigations and Settlement Agreements. Importantly, we also provide assistance with Workplace Investigations and Settlement Agreements.
It is our view that a business is only as good as the skills and expertise within it. At HR & Diversity Management we know managers struggle with complex issues from time to time. We all do. Complex employees and controversial behaviour can be a distraction but should not prevent a business from moving forward. Don’t struggle. Call us today.
We are specialists in our field of work and we know exactly how to resolve conflict – in both the public and private sectors. Uniquely, we have the skills and the ability to identify solutions quickly which will minimise risk to your business.
We can help you. We offer a highly professional, comprehensive and specialist, range of HR services and, we are an Award-Winning Company. If you are a small to medium (SME) employer with no in-house HR expertise we provide an out-sourced HR service. If you are a larger organisation, (public or private sector), in need of specialist external HR expertise from time to time, we can help you too.
EMPLOYERS SERVICES INCLUDE
Independent Workplace Investigations
This is the most popular employer service that we provide across the UK. We have been carrying out workplace investigations for over 20 years in the public and private sectors and in small, medium and large Corporates. We were one of the first HR Consultancies in the UK that provided external, impartial, Investigation services to UK businesses.
Whatever the size of your company or the nature of your business there are likely to be occasions where business owners and managers are asked, or simply prefer, to call in an independent expert to investigate contentious workplace issues. Where confidential and highly contentious cases need to be investigated urgently, we know exactly what to do.
HR & Diversity Management are published on the subject of Workplace Investigations. See our Blog Page for articles we have written including one for The Institute of Leadership and Management.
We have written management Guides on Workplace Investigations and we have even delivered a number of training programs for line managers and Trade Unions across the NHS and in the Corporate sector. We are highly skilled in this complex area of managing staff.
Nothing surprises us. We have investigated allegations of Witchcraft, Corporate Crime, Whistleblowing, Clinical negligence, Theft, Assault, Fraud and a range of malpractices and duty of care or negligence cases. Of course, we have also investigated numerous cases that have been found to be vexatious (i.e.: lacking in substance).
Our management report and recommendation at the conclusion of the process will enable you to proceed with whatever steps you need to take, in order to manage the situation and get your staff back on side.
Compromise (Investigation) Services
A new Service which no one in the UK is providing today
We recognise that some employers prefer to contain a confidential and contentious situation, so will seek to address matters in-house. This is completely understandable. It may be for a number of reasons;
- Concerns regarding confidentiality
- Concerns regarding commercial sensitivity
- A preference to try to contain a situation
- A desire to keep costs down
- Concerns associated with working with unknown consultants in confidential matters.
This NEW Compromise (Investigation) Service has been designed by us to provide you with a solution.
It is a compromise between a FREE telephone conversation and a full blown and often costly Investigation services.
It is also an opportunity for you to work with your employees and identify a compromise where there is internal conflict or perceived conflict.
Here, we introduce a specialist service which will enable you to manage the investigation process in-house whilst also ensuring your managers and in-house investigators have the tools and expertise required.
At the same time, as a client, you are able to lean on our services just as little or as much as is required. We have designed an Investigation package to include;
- An agreed budget prior to commencement – you are in control of costs.
- A mini risk assessment of the case.
- An overview of the key policies to be relied on in the case
- Referral to Employment Law and Case Law relevant to the case.
- Tools to enable line management to proceed with an internal investigation process.
- Mangagement are left with a Step by Step Guide and template documentation for use in the current case and future cases.
All our work is subject to a mutually agreed Client Agreement.
Without Prejudice & Settlement
Wise Employers place strategy above principle. To be taken to an Employment Tribunal by a disgruntled employee is likely to cost a business £25,000 and upwards in legal costs – regardless of the merit of the case. In fact, employers should budget £50,000 in reality. Then there are hidden costs including reputation and disruption to the business. An Unfair Dismissal claim can cost £74,200 if successful. There is no ceiling in Whistleblowing cases. Discrimination case, where proven, can cost an employer millions.
Two NHS employment tribunal losses resulted in compensation awards of nearly £4.5 million and £1 million, in addition to the above hidden costs.
If a claimant has insurance, they will have good representation. In fact, they have little to lose once they deem the working
relationship to have broken down and have decided that it is unsafe to return to work.
Exactly what is it that the Employer hopes to achieve by not settling?
The Wise employer places strategy before pride and principle. This employer looks to settle – certainly remedy matters quickly. Sensible employers decide early on ‘not to fight’.
If you are offered the opportunity to engage in Without Prejudice Settlement talks, the wise employer takes it.
Messrs Moon Beever puts the case for settling very well here;
Long term absence or repeated bouts of absence can be extremely detrimental to a business whether the company is a small, medium or large Corporate employer. Work Related Stress cases need to be carefully managed. Do you ask your department heads to record absence statistics? Is there an area of the business where absenteeism is an issue? If this rings alarm bells, call us for a FREE consultation.
We will ensure you have sound Absence Management policies that they are kept up to date and, significantly, that your managers of people understand how and when to apply them.
It is becoming increasing popular to offer mediation where there is divide or conflict within a team or at the point when an informal or formal Grievance is raised.
Sometimes mediation works. Sometimes it doesn’t work.
New research suggests that an employee who is embittered is ‘less likely’ to cooperate with mediation as an approach. Placing pressure on the aggrieved employee to engage in mediation will make matters worse. It’s a waste of time and money. This is because the employee believes the world owes them and it is the world that needs to change, not them.
How familiar does this sound to you?
If this is at all familiar, please read our article on Post Traumatic Embitterment Disorder (PTED).
Most of us have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Indeed, employers are aware of their obligation to manage stress in the workplace. Very few of us have heard of the term ‘post-traumatic embitterment disorder (PTED)’, even though the condition is recognised in the US and Europe and many people in the UK will be familiar with its symptoms.
Embittered people are typically good people who have worked hard at something important, such as a job, a relationship or an activity. Then, when something unexpectedly awful happens –for example, they might be disciplined, lose out on an expected promotion, or be made redundant – they feel a profound sense of injustice.
This category of employee is left with
a crippling emotional condition that prevents them from moving on with their lives.
- They are often signed off by their GP with Work Related Stress.
- They lodge grievances but refuse to informal process or mediation.
- They resent management. They become hostile and unmanageable.
Internally, this employee will feel abused, betrayed and violated. Outwardly, they appear aggressive, angry, hateful, hopeless-haters and non-cooperative.
Individuals who fall into this category find it difficult to trust others. They believe that it is the world, not them, that needs to change.
We are the ONLY employment law consultancy in the UK that understands PTED.
We are the first organisation in the UK to write articles on this important subject.
Share it with your Occupational Health team.
Read more about PTED on our Blog page or call us if you would like some advice. Read our Management Guide on recommended actions for the employer dealing with PTED.
For the small company who does not have an in-house HR team or employment expertise, or who wants to keep costs to a minimum, we are able to support you when you need it. You can then refer to HR & Diversity Management as your firms HR Department.
You will receive the benefit of in-house expertise without having to employ full time HR personnel. To the outside world, it would appear that the organisation has an HR department comprising of a team with a broad range of skills and expertise – but without you incurring costs associated with recruiting those skills.
The concept of engaging external HR services, to be called on ‘as and when required’, is increasingly popular. Salary and overhead savings can be substantial.
Simply, we become your HR Department. The first thing we will do is get to understand your business and your company ethos including values and culture. Everything we do for you will be bespoke i.e.: tailored for your business needs. Whether it is delivering services, supporting the team or drawing up your in-house policies and procedures, everything we do for you will be personalised. Our work is designed exclusively around your needs, expectations and objectives.
Importantly, we will help you ensure that all those responsible for line management within the business has access to the support they need, when they need it, in order to manage every aspect of leading a diverse (and sometimes complex) workforce. This would include employment law legal advice and access to current employment legislation as well as on-hand support with seemingly distracting, potentially contentious, workplace issues.
Adhoc HR Projects
Based on an hourly rate (mutually agreed in advance) or a fixed fee in some cases (for HR policy work as an example), we provide a range of services to suit your needs.
Policies and Procedures
Employment law is an ever-changing minefield. We will help ensure your in-house policies are up to date and legally complaint. We will provide a FREE initial mini-audit of your policies. This is usually followed with a comprehensive audit to include the drawing up of replacement and/or additional policies. This service is charged according to the size of your organisation and the man hours required to do the work. This might include Dignity and Diversity policies, Performance Management policies, Absence Management policies, IT policies and other important policy documents, as required.
It is so tempting when recruiting new staff to offer someone a job immediately because you like them at the interview stage – or you need someone to start immediately. The candidate convinces you s/he is the right person for the job. You enthusiastically offer them the job there and then. You have not carried out due diligence checks so after you have shaken hands and the meeting concludes, you tell yourself everything will be okay. A few months later – you are advertising the position once more. Does this sound familiar?
We can support you through the recruitment process as much, or as little, as you wish. We will tailor a recruitment programme around your company’s needs. This includes the advertising, assessment of CV’s and carrying out checks, shortlisting, interviewing and engagement. The engagement process will be thorough and include drawing up the Job Offer letter and Contract. It doesn’t end there. We will put an Induction programme in place too.
We routinely carry out reference checks and other checks and we will put the triggers in place to carry out 6-month probation reviews.
Contracts of Employment & Staff Handbooks
It’s fairly easy to draw up a master Contract of Employment provided you know what you are doing. Downloading copies from the internet is so easy but it’s risky and it’s a common mistake to make. There is a lot of information out there but it can be outdated or even written by Students as part of their studies – so it may contain errors and inadequate or misleading information.
Conversely, we are able to quickly draw up a Contract document that is lawful, up to date and applicable. Once we have updated your Contract of Employment (Terms & Conditions of Employment) and Staff Handbook we will ensure they are kept up to date, so you don’t have to worry. If employment law changes are made (i.e.: to the national minim wage or to a specific piece of employment legislation), we will provide you with an update, or addendum, to attach to your in-house documents.
Capability and Conduct
No one said it would be easy managing staff. It can be challenging and stressful. Separating Capability and Conduct issues is often a daunting, complex and challenging task. Just because the employee in question is highly skilled and long serving, or even a senior member of the team, does not mean they can behave inappropriately. These situations really can be horrible to have to address. Putting emotion to one side and focussing on the facts and risks to the business, takes courage and skill. This is where we can help.
Disciplinary and Grievance
We are an award-winning Conflict Resolution Company and we have full indemnity insurance. If you manage disciplinaries and grievances in-house you will need to be confident and competent and ensure you follow the correct procedure. Your team leaders and line managers should be trained, familiar with employment law and competent in this complex area of managing employees. They also need to be impartial and have a basic understanding of corporate risk. Do not take chances.
With HR & Diversity Management at hand to provide you with a variety of services to suit your needs, there is no need to take risks. From FREE telephone consultation before you embark on the process to an audit of the policies you intend to rely on or a full outsourced service where we will come in and assist you throughout – you have choices and do not need to jeopardise your business. Lean on our experts. Take comfort from the fact that our advisers are specialists in this area of employment law. We will handle the emotional aspect of a case. We will ease your own stress levels as we oversee and/or manage the Disciplinary or Grievance process – leaving you free to focus on your core business objectives. We put your business needs first to ensure your get the best possible outcome in every case – for both the employee and the business.
There simply is no reason to place your business at risk.
Call our FREE Helpline if you are a manager and you would like an initial consultation.
Please do not attempt to dismiss staff without first fully assessing the risks to your business. Ensure you understand which policies to apply and when. It is important to ensure the correct policies and procedures are applied if you want to avoid costly and unnecessary risk to the business.
A dismissed employee who believes they have been wronged will likely submit an appeal and if that fails, they may even trigger the employment tribunal process. The cost of defending your company if an action is brought can do serious, costly, irreparable damage to a business.
As with the handling of Grievance and Disciplinary procedures, consider our FREE telephone consultation before you embark on the process. You have choices. You do not need to jeopardise your business.
Training and Development
We deliver a range of seminars and workshops tailored to suit your needs. Unlike most other employment consultancies, we ascertain at the outset what the core messages are that you wish to get across to your workforce. This generally varies and depends on the recent and current employee issues you are dealing with. This is a truly bespoke service, tailored to your business needs.
Our Half Day Dignity & Diversity
programme is popular. It is a short-sharp-half day programme that is ideal where there are suspected issues within a team. It is also an opportunity to reinforce your policies and procedures and make your expectations clear to those who, let’s say, need a gentle reminder!
This programme is a perfect pre-curser to an informal or formal investigation. If staff are complaining but refuse to follow an open and transparent process, or if anonymous complaints are received, this
is a way to ‘open cans of worms’ and get to the heart of a problem. It is ideal where there is a high turnover of staff or high absence issues. It’s a methodology of quickly getting to the heart of a problem – teasing out ring-leaders and problematic issues while reinforcing your own messages and expectations. Interestingly, this workshop can be rolled out prior to an investigation or in the aftermath of an investigation – to reassure staff of procedures and policies available to them.
IT and eCrime
In an ever-changing world of technology, you need to keep abreast of technology change and risk to your business.
“Threshold Housing Link (Swindon) has worked with Christine Pratt (HR & Diversity Management) on several occasions since 2005 in her capacity as an HR consultant. The charity has always found her to be extremely helpful, reliable, conscientious and professional, and her advice has been invaluable.”
“BI Worldwide has been working with HR & Diversity Management Ltd. since October 2007, as they have rolled out regular a one-day Diversity workshops to all line managers within the company as part of a management development programme. HR & Diversity Management Ltd. were selected for their expertise and knowledge in an important area of management, and also because of their willingness and ability to understand and respond to the culture of our organisation, and thereby ensure the successful transfer of learning from the workshop to everyday management. This is borne out by our internal evaluation interviews held three months after the workshops.
Line managers’ report they feel more confident and assertive managing potentially difficult situations, and now have a greater awareness of appropriate responses and the broader picture of potential actions by them and others. Please contact me if you require further information.”
“The training we received from HR & Diversity Management was excellent. David and Sarah tailored their presentation exactly to our needs and this, coupled with their personable but professional delivery, completely converted a ‘healthily sceptical’ audience (a group of Sales Managers!) to the importance of diversity and employment law in general. ”
“We engaged with HR & Diversity Management Ltd in May 2008 to equip our Bullying and Harassment Advisors with the skills required to carry out their new role within the Service. I was impressed with their commitment to tailor the training session to exactly our needs at the Fire & Rescue Service and the time they invested prior to running the one-day session. The delegates rated the training highly & this was evident in their confidence to carry out their role after acquiring the relevant skills. The Service is now working with HR & Diversity Management Ltd to deliver a one day Managing Behaviour training session for all our employees who have line management responsibility. ”
“Following an employee being referred to HR & Diversity by ACAS, this company engaged the services of Mr. David Pratt to seek to resolve a long running, and complex, discord between two members of staff. At all times Mr. Pratt handled the situation in a constructive manner – maintaining the support of the individuals concerned. Through a short series of meetings, he achieved a result that forms an approach to the future that has been agreed with both parties. We would recommend consideration of HR & Diversity to other companies in need of mediation services.”