Its mid-January so it may be the case that you have already broken all of the usual new year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate and going to the gym three times a week, so how about changing your focus to resolutions for your HR strategy for 2016. With some key legislation being introduced this year and trends from 2015, that are potential causes for concern being identified, it’s important that these resolutions are not so easily broken….
Resolution Number 1 – Action on Gender Pay Gaps
It has been announced that organisations with more than 250 employees will be required to run gender pay gap audits and publish the results. Although an exact roll out date hasn’t been confirmed it’s likely to be in the first half of 2016. Research shows that the pay gap between men and women working full time is nearly 10%, an alarming figure in 2016! Many people agree that government action can’t come soon enough and will welcome the new compulsory reporting. A successful audit is likely to require the involvement of the finance team and the board with the help of a legal advisor. If this affects your organisation it is advisable to act sooner rather than later!
Resolution Number 2 – Action on In-Work Poverty
It is predicted that the number of people affected by in-work poverty is likely to increase this year following reforms to universal credit. In work poverty relates to people that, although working, are struggling to pay their rent, bills, buy food etc. The impact of increasing rates of in-work poverty is undoubtedly likely to decrease productivity levels resulting in the need of the employer to take action. An important part of the plan will be an HR Strategy that brings the issue to managers’ attention and ensures they facilitate discussions that allows employees the time to express their concerns. If you are concerned this may be an issue for your business contact us to see how can help you to help your employees!
Resolution Number 3 – Action to Evade Threats to Cyber Security
The potential damage that threats to cyber security could inflict should not be underestimated and protecting the business from them should be a key objective for all. As increasing amounts of information is stored in cyber space and as incidents of hacking increase it has never been so important to reduce exposure to potential threats. HR strategy has a key role in this by ensuring Internet, Social Media and Communication policies are watertight and that employees are aware of their content. It is also advisable to set out expectations of what is required of employees, for example letting them know what firewalls and encryption are in place and providing clear instructions on how to use them. If you feel your documentation is in need of an update contact us today!
Resolution Number 4 – Planning for the Introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW)
With April fast approaching, the NLW is nearly upon us so it’s important to make sure you are ready! When introduced it will increase the minimum hourly rate payable to employees aged 25 and over to £7.20 and it looks to increase to £9.00 per hour by 2020. With more than half of employers expected to see their pay bills rise its important determine how the NLW will affect your organisation. From an HR perspective, examining the NLW’s impact on pay scales within the business will be key, for as everyone at the lower wage end is pushed up its important that pay rates of all within the organisation are considered to ensure the drive to grow and develop is maintained. If your business could benefit from examining its pay scales let us help you ensure they make business sense!
Resolution Number 5 – Preventative Action on Stress-Related Absence Levels
Research shows that the rates of stress-related absence increased in 2015 for the sixth year running. Common themes behind the causes of stress include inadequate training for managers, increasing workloads and access to technology 24 hours a day. The cost of stress absence to a business can be enormous and so it’s important to have an HR strategy that fights to combat it. Ensuring there is regular communication between employees and their line managers through set processes such as monthly 1-2-1s is key to identifying causes for concern early. Furthermore it’s important that employees have access to information that can point them in the direction of help if are beginning to feel stressed or anxious. As always prevention is better than cure. For assistance with ensuring your preventative strategy is comprehensive get in touch!
Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.