The Benefits Of Online CPD Courses?

CPD otherwise known as, Continuing Professional Development is the term best used to describe learning activities of professionals who engage in to develop and enhance their abilities.

This enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive, and developing skills and knowledge through, interactive, participation-based, or independent learning.

The methodology to conducting structured CPD learning comes in a variety of methods, such as;

  • Conferences
  • Seminars
  • Best Practices Techniques
  • Idea sharing
  • Workshops
  • Events

They are all focused for individuals to improve and have an effective personal development, to build on technical and non-technical skills.

Many structured CPD activities involve professionals taking exams, assessments linked to modules of their career path. These can be useful for measuring a learner’s CPD progress, which can also be tracked with attendance records, test results, and written materials as an example.

There are many benefits to CPD, and they support learners to gain the expertise and understanding required to approach professional situations from various angles, especially those online at the moment due to the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and the social distancing restrictions.

They can also;

  • Reduce financial impacts on either the professional or the company encouraging and providing the training.

A day out of the office can be costly, or time-consuming, energy that could be directed to increase your company profit and maintain client and customer relationships.

Online CPD, requires no conference rooms, travel, or direct interaction.

Do not worry though, the quality of training experienced will not be reduced, and the engagement will be the same as in person, at conferences, seminars, events, and workshops.

A lot of CPD training has now been developed to provide engaging to the viewers and they have access to pre-recorded footage, in high definition, with a lecturer/ trainer speaking directly to the camera with their slides on the screen. This really makes it feel as though you are there in the room.

With the benefit of live webinars, and the use of multiscreen now, this also improves the experience and interactive learning, where questions can be asked, views discussed and even team building exercises.

There is also informal CPD methods, that are unstructured, and are a self-directed learning. This refers to any development activities that are guided by the learners, which are often are done without following a curriculum.

These methods normally consist of:

  • Studying online, reading of offline publications written by industry experts.
  • General reading of articles and case studies.
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Following social media platforms, for specific industries on news feeds.
  • Completing self-motivated articles and essays for development

 

Why Is CPD Training important?

The majority of professional roles have set requirements for CPD ongoing logs, like Solicitors, HR professionals, and Drs as an example.

It is necessary for the individuals to provide proof they are up to date and able to adhere to the assessment’s standards.

CPD, helps also go beyond this, it helps people retain a consistent set of high quality, and up to date skills and knowledge to support their professional career.

This puts learners with the attributes as favourable candidates, and demonstrates their ability to work to impressive standards, which will and does excel their careers.

The 7 main benefits of CPD personally:

  • Closes the knowledge gaps, by refining personal skills and intellect.
  • Skills are kept up to date, and relevant in today’s fast-moving world, with practical qualifications.
  • It also provides the ability to learn quicker as you become acquainted with the process and will become a stronger independent learner with regular learning.
  • Shows dedication to self-improvement and demonstrates ambition, making the learners prospective to other employers and clients.
  • Show cases the learner’s professionalism through their achievements and growth on their CVs and Cover letters.
  • Completing CPD, gives the learner a reduction in uncertainty or worries about change. Providing a future plan of aspirations and ability to readily adapt.
  • While some structured CPD activities can benefit learners with engaging in further research and study, the self-directed CPD requires consciously engage in learning activities to follow their own plan.

The main 7 benefits of CPD for a business:

  • Enhances the companies to positively react and move with the current and forth coming times.
  • Enables strong benchmarks for reviews and appraisals.
  • Strengthens employee retention as the employees feel valued and loyal to their company for supporting them and providing investment in them.
  • Provides a healthy working culture.
  • Heightens a business reputation, among future employees, customers, and clients.
  • Increases efficiency and productivity with highly skilled and motivated employees.
  • Implements a high consistently of high standards throughout a company.

To be able to achieve the business benefits, companies need to always support all employee’s continuous commitment to personal development and allow equal access to learning opportunities.

The most important and crucial point to achieve any of these benefits is to ensure that as a leaner or a supportive employer is to ensure reflection is taken on the CPD learning. This is the ultimate important stage of the CPD progress, as it enables the learner to determine what worked and where their strengths are, and how they can plan and improve future CPD activities.

Self-reflection is the most powerful tool used by many personally and when coaching others to truly open to real growth and orientate their future goals.

The overall benefits for business and the learner are that it refines personal skills, and increases intellect, efficiency and is a key part of investing in people internally and externally within your employees and consumers.

Without investing in personal and employee CPD, moving forward, implementing change and creating loyalty will be near on impossible.

 

 

Do you need help supporting with CPD Training Look no further – Wurkplace is here to help! For more information email info@wurkplace.co.uk or call 0330 400 5490.

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Supporting Your Employees Through Grief and Loss Top 4 Tips for Employers

At some point in life, we will all experience grief and the loss of a loved one – It can be especially difficult now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are unable to attend the funeral due to social distancing measures.

 

Dealing with bereavement can be very devastating and difficult for many different reasons. Patients in a hospital currently, may not be allowed to have visitors due to the risk of infection, this can have a serious effect on their friends & families mental health and can potentially deprive them of saying goodbye.

 

When an employee is experiencing grief and loss, it is extremely important that employers do their utmost to allow employees to get to grips with their loss and eventually move on! When we lose a loved one, there are many stages of grief and additional support at work may actually speed up the grieving process.

 

Research has shown that when employers handle employee bereavement well (with compassion and understanding), the grieving process is aided and staff are much more likely to have a sense of loyalty to their employer. If employers handle bereavement poorly and do not offer appropriate support, it can have a long-term negative impact on the employer-employee relationship.

 

When we lose someone important to us, it can often be very difficult to cope and adjust to life without them. Some people may need more time than others to fully come to terms with their loss, whereas others will want to get back to normal life as soon as possible (often as a distraction).

 

Returning to work can help employees deal with grief and loss by taking their mind off their loved one, however, other employees may need extra time off work to fully come to terms with their loss. ACAS suggests that employers can benefit greatly from taking a compassionate route and providing extra support for staff who are experiencing grief and loss.

 

Top 4 Tips for Employers

 

Identify the Stages of Grief

 

There are traditionally five stages of the grieving process that most people experience – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. It is very important that employers and senior management understand & recognise these stages, then they can act accordingly.

 

During the first stage (denial), employees may go into shock or find the experience very overwhelming, this can trigger them to question if the loss really happened and they may find it hard to believe that their loved one is really gone. Once the initial shock is over, the second stage occurs (anger), staff may feel a strong sense of anger – Perhaps at the loved one for leaving them or at other people for not ‘saving’ or supporting them more.

 

During the third stage (bargaining), employees may start to question the ‘what ifs’ or they may try to do things to bring back their loved one, to try to get life back to normal. After this stage, depression may kick in – Staff may withdraw themselves, feel empty and question life in general. This is natural when coming to terms with the loss of a loved one and realising they’re really gone.

 

The final stage of grief is acceptance, this isn’t to be mistaken for employees being back to normal/over the death. Acceptance means the employee has accepted the fact that they will never see their loved one again and they can start to return back to ‘normality’ & can continue living their life again.

 

Offer Compassion/Bereavement Leave and/or Pay

 

According to the UK government, employees are allowed to take time off work to deal with an emergency but how long the leave lasts and whether or not it is paid leave is at the discretion of the employer (this information is often found in the employee handbook). Allowing employees to stay off work can be very beneficial for the grieving process and it can relieve the perceived pressure to return to work.

 

Navigating through the five stages of grief can be extremely difficult and can often take time – Having time off work can help employees get to grips with their grief and can speed up the process in some cases. Having a boss that is very empathetic and understanding can significantly aid the process and can show employees that they are valued.

 

Additionally, as of the 6th of April 2020, parents/guardians are legally eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay and leave. This allows for two weeks of paid leave for both parents, this time can be taken as two weeks together or two separate weeks.

 

Have Patience with the Return to Work

 

For some, returning to work can act as a good coping mechanism, giving employees a good distraction from their grief – Working can provide structure and normality for those experiencing loss. However, everyone is different and how one person reacts to death, may be completely different from the next.

 

Some employees may be happy to return to work shortly after their loss, although others may take several weeks/months to fully recover. Employers should be patient and try not to rush employees back into work before they’re ready. If employees do return to work preemptively, it can delay and ‘string out’ the grieving process.

 

Employers should take the time to communicate with employees who have experienced the loss of a loved one, this can help them evaluate which stage of grief they are currently in and helps to identify employees who may be struggling mentally with their loss – This helps employers make a fully-informed decision on employees return to work.

 

Expect & Accept Lower Productivity Initially 

 

After suffering the loss of a loved one, employees may be less productive than before, as it often takes a long period of time to fully come to terms with grief. If, as an employer, you recognise the fact that your staff may not be able to do as much work as they previously could, employees may find it much easier to come back to work.

 

In 2020, a research paper investigating ‘work after death’ and the relationship between grief and returning to work found that employees who had recently experienced a death often had a reduced productivity level for some time.

 

This is most likely because the employee’s mind is distracted, making it much harder to focus on the work at hand. Employers that show they understand and support their employees who are experiencing loss, often find their employees recover much quicker!

 

Do you need help supporting your employees through grief and loss? Look no further – Wurkplace is here to help! For more information email info@wurkplace.co.uk or call 0330 400 5490.

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How to Successfully Bring Staff Back to Work After Lockdown

During the pandemic current guidance remains that people who can work from home should do so, however, if you are in a position where you are bringing your staff back to work there a number of points that you must consider. The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) identifies 3 tests that employers must pass before bringing their teams back – these are …

Is it essential?

sufficiently safe?

mutually agreed?

 

The CIPD are clear in their communication that employers should demonstrate that all practical steps have been taken to ensure that employees feel safe to return.

When returning to work you have a duty to protect, as far as reasonably practicable, employee’s health, safety, and welfare.

So, what practical steps can you take?

Is it essential?

  • Take a planned approach and be clear on the business requirement for a return to work – this will underpin your communication and support employees in understanding the reason for the return.
  • Keep up to date with government guidance and demonstrate to your teams that you are fully informed on the guidance and why the business is making the decisions it is making.

 

Sufficiently safe?

  • Undertake a COVID-19 specific risk assessment and ensure that safe systems of work are in place. Importantly, communicate these to your teams and follow up and make sure that they are being adhered to.
  • Adhere to government and HSE guidance on facilitating a return to a COVID-19-secure workplace (not an exhaustive list):
    • Adhere to social distancing rules
    • Stagger working hours (so all staff are not in at same time)
    • Ensure employees are at least 2 metres apart
    • Stagger use of social areas such as canteens and kitchens
    • Tape 2 metre spaces
  • Utilise remote meeting facilities and video-calls should be in place wherever possible to minimise the need for staff to travel.
  • Make sure employees are clear about what procedure they should follow if they begin to feel unwell, both in the workplace and at home.
  • Be clear on how, as a business, you will approach any incidents of infection to protect all employees.

 

Mutually agreed?

  • You should give staff a reasonable period of notice of requiring them to return to work – whilst they should be ready to return, be flexible in your approach.
  • Do you have a procedure to outline how concerns will be dealt with? This will have an impact on your employees’ wellbeing and help alleviate any anxiety they may feel as they know that they will be listened to.
  • Listen to concerns and have a virtual open-door policy.
  • Be aware of who is vulnerable, be aware of additional duties you have. You may be able to continue with furlough leave, SSP, holidays or agree a period of unpaid leave.  Make sure that you are aware as a business of what support is out there for both you and the employee.
  • Communicate the practical measures you are taking to staff on a regular basis to help reassure them that their health, well-being, and safety is your top priority.
  • If you have employees that refuse to return to work, engage in communication and seek to understand the concerns and reasons for not wishing to return.
  • Try to reach an agreement and put steps in place to support the return if you are able.
  • If there isn’t a basis for the refusal you may need to manage through a formal process.

 

As an employer you have a duty to support employee’s mental health during their return to work.

Be conscious of any difficult situation’s employees may have experienced or are experiencing during this period and offer support where you can.

Assess everyone’s circumstance on a case-by-case basis.

You may have employees with childcare challenges or those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and are anxious or have been instructed to shield.  Have open conversations and identify ways that you can support your employees.

 

Here is the legal bit …. if employees have concerns about returning to work, they may have a claim under the Employment Rights Act 1996 for detriment or dismissal.

If a worker raises a concern about a failure to provide a safe working environment this could amount to a protected disclosure under whistleblowing and employees can also contact the HSE with concerns.

Employment, equality, and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way so make sure your decisions are fair.

When your teams return to work a period of re-induction will be important to reacclimatise them to the workplace – especially if they have been furloughed.

Communicate any changes the company has seen, any changes to work duties or tasks or changes to procedures.

If you haven’t already, clearly communicate all that is being done to protect their health, safety, and wellbeing.

 

In summary, when you are bringing your teams back to the workplace ensure that you undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment, consult fully with your employees, ensure that safe systems of work are fully implemented and importantly, communicate fully!

It is important that you stay up to date with the latest Government.

Public Health and HSE guidance, check the sources and ensure that you are clear on your responsibilities as an employer to protect your employees and your business.

Finally, do not underestimate the importance of good solid communication especially in periods of change, which we are continuing to navigate.

 

Does your business need Employment Law help? 

Wurkplace is here to provide personalised solutions! Call 0330 400 5490 or email info@wurkplace.co.uk.

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What Rights do Zero-Hours Contract Workers have During COVID

What is a Zero-hour Contract?

A zero-hour contract is a type of contract between an employer and a worker, where the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours, while the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered.

They are also known as casual contracts.

Zero-hour contracts are usually for ‘piece work’ or ‘on call’ work, e.g., season work, such as Christmas when businesses enter a busier period, especially in the hospitality industry.

Zero-hour Worker

  • Zero-hour workers are entitled to statutory annual leave and the National Minimum Wage in the same way as regular workers.
  • Zero-hour workers have the same employment rights as regular workers, although they may have breaks in their contracts, which affect rights that accrue over time.
  • The worker is not obliged to accept any work offered
  • It will be automatically unfair if someone is dismissed if they have breached a contractual clause stopping them from working for another employer
  • It is unlawful for a worker to suffer a detriment because they work for another employer. (Small Business, Enterprise, and Employment Act 2015)
  • Workers on these contracts may be less likely to feel involved at work and see fewer opportunities to develop and improve their skills than employees as a whole.
  • All workers should be legally entitled to a written copy of their terms and conditions on day one of employment.
  • Have a right to request a more predictable contract for all workers, including those on zero-hours contracts and agency workers contracts after 26 weeks’ service.

The following rights apply to zero-hour workers:

  • Protection from unlawful deductions from their wages.
  • Protection from unfavourable treatment if they work part-time.
  • Statutory minimum amount of paid holiday
  • The right to work no more than 48 hours on average per week.
  • The right to opt out of only working 48 hours on average per week.
  • Statutory minimum length of rest breaks.
  • Protection for any whistleblowing.
  • Protection from unlawful discrimination.

Employers should consider whether a zero-hour contract is the best type of contract for their business needs depending on the nature of the work to be offered and the specific circumstances. Alternatives might include:

  • offering overtime to permanent staff to ensure experienced staff deal with temporary fluctuations in demand
  • recruiting a part time employee or someone on a fixed term contract if regular hours need to be worked to adapt to a change in the business needs
  • offering annualised hours contracts if peaks in demand are known across a year
  • using agency staff can be a quicker and easier way to hire someone if staff are needed temporarily or at short notice

Pros of a Zero-hour Contract- for the worker

  • Flexibility
  • May lead to permanent work
  • Freedom to find extra work elsewhere
  • No consequence if you are unable to except the work offered

Cons of a Zero-hour Contract- for the worker

  • Not guaranteed work
  • No fixed income
  • Impact on social life
  • Regularly turning down work may lead the employer to terminating your contract
  • Permanent position is not guaranteed

Pros of a Zero-hour Contract- for the employer

  • No obligation to provide hours
  • Cheaper alternative to agency fees
  • Flexible workforce
  • Can help with unexpected staff shortages

Cons of a Zero-hour Contract- for the employer

  • The worker is entitled to certain employment rights which may put strain on the business
  • The worker is not obliged to agree to the work which may lead to staff shortages at certain times
  • Could be more beneficial to recruit staff on fixed term contracts
  • The workers interests could be elsewhere if they have various zero-hour contracts with other employers

A zero-hour contract worker that is on PAYE with their employer, in most cases they are eligible for the Employee Furlough Scheme (CJRS).

Employees and workers whose pay varies, if the employee has been employed (or engaged by an employment business) for a full 12 months prior to the claim you can claim for the higher of either:

  • The same month’s earning from the previous year
  • Average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year

If the worker has been employed for less than a year, you can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work.

If the worker only started in February 2020, the employer could use pro-rata for their earnings so far to claim.

Should the employer choose to ‘top up’ salary in addition to the grant (this is not a requirement) – any Employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on any additional top up will not be funded through this scheme.

Nor will any voluntary automatic enrolment contributions above the mandatory minimum contribution.

In some cases, rather than furloughing zero-hour contract workers, the employer may opt to stop offering shifts to these workers.

Workers on zero-hour contracts are entitled to SSP too. To be eligible, the criteria is that:

  • They must have done some work for the company.
  • Been ill for at least four days in a row, including their days off.
  • Have earned more than £120 a week after tax over the past eight weeks from a single employer.

 

But due to coronavirus, the legislation states that those who qualify for SSP, including zero-hour workers, and who self-isolate due to coronavirus, will get sick pay from day one.

This means they will not have to wait the usual four days before benefiting.

If an individual is not eligible to receive sick pay, they could get benefits such as Universal Credit or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

Does your business need Employment Law help? 

Wurkplace is here to provide personalised solutions! Call 0330 400 5490 or email info@wurkplace.co.uk.

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How Will Health and Safety In The Workplace Change in 2021

As we are all definitely aware, the year 2020 was affected by COVID-19 in a way that no one could have seen coming. Health and Safety within the workplace completely transformed and a huge number of hazards and risks were introduced.

As a result of this huge change, businesses had to react quickly, implement many processes and procedures to deal with these hazards.

Unfortunately, as we are all aware, there will still be COVID-19 control measures and restrictions in place at the start of 2021.

There will be many changes to Health and Safety in the workplace in 2021.

There will be a completely different view on the way to approach Health and Safety in the workplace.

If I asked you to summarise Health and Safety in the workplace, it is likely you would think along the lines of undertaking risk assessments, manual handling training and implementing policies.

If you were to think this, you are still completely right, however most people bypass the metal health and wellbeing of their employees when talking about health and safety in the workplace.

The mental health and wellbeing of employees should always be covered, and provisions should be in place to cover this, however during this COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever.

One major change of Health and Safety in the workplace is the mass and important focus on employee’s mental health, as well as their physical health.

Employees mental health may be affected in many ways due to this COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, employees that have been furloughed for a long amount of time, may be feeling as though they are no longer part of the work team, or they may feel distant.

Staff that have to work from home may be feeling lonely for example, especially if they live on their own. A start to mitigating this, is to simply check up on your employees often.

You can update them, check up on how they are doing, remind them that they can speak to their manager about any concerns.

As a business, if you have any shortcomings in Health and Safety, you are vulnerable to prosecution from the HSE. Not only do you need to worry about all your policies, risk assessments, training, checks etc, you now need to ensure your premises and all activities are COVID-19 safe and secure.

A first step towards achieving this

Is to undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment.  Within this risk assessment, you will identify where additional control measures are needed to mitigate the risk and spread of infection.

After implementing all these control measures and achieving a COVID-19 safe business premises, your procedures and processes for maintaining this COVID-19 safe environment, will need to be communicated to all employees.

If an employee’s feels their place of work is not COVID-19 safe and secure, and they feel their safety is at risk, then they may choose to report you to the HSE.

This may cause many complications; therefore, it is very important that you pay lots of attention this.

An increase in monitoring employee’s workload should be undertaken. As the COVID-19 restrictions start to fade out in 2021, it is likely workload will also start to increase as usually work activities can start to begin again.

If this is the case, employees will likely have an increase in workload. An increase in an employee’s workload can have a strain on their mental and physical health, if the workload is unmanageable.

This can cause many unwanted problems for both the employee and employer; therefore, it is important to ensure constant monitoring is undertaking.

A high increase in return to works will be apparent in 2021. A return to work is a form of open communication between the employee retuning to work, and the employer.

As an employer, you may find yourself undertaking these return to works frequently due to employees returning from furlough or isolation from a COVID-19 case.

A return to work is very important for understanding the employee’s current situation, and to see if they are fit and safe to come back to work.

Within this return to work, you may discuss any changes within the business since the employers was last in, any personal circumstances or events that may have impacted the employee’s mental health and the future plans of the employer.

As you discuss these topics, a return to work is not only beneficial to the employer, but it is also beneficial to the employee.

Does your business need help with Risk assessments  or Health & Safety ?

Wurkplace is here to provide personalised solutions! Call 0330 400 5490 or email info@wurkplace.co.uk.

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Top 5 Important Points to Include in your Employment Contract

What is an Employment Contract?

 

A comprehensive employee handbook and/or contract is every employer’s best friend – They ensure that all employees know what is expected of them and reduce the likelihood of future issues or disputes by having written terms of employment & policy details.

 It may not be required by UK law to provide a written employment contract, however, employers must provide their employees with a written statement of employment particulars within the first two months of employment – This includes the principle statement and a wider written statement, both parties should agree and sign these statements before starting work.

 The principal statement should include information such as employer & employee details (name, job title, job location, start & end date), pay details, hours of work, holiday entitlement, how long the contract is for, probation periods, benefits and training information.

 In the wider written statement, employers should include details of the pension entitlement and schemes available, any collective agreements made with employees’ representatives (e.g. union representatives), the right to non-mandatory training available and the disciplinary & grievances policies.

 Additionally, on the first day of work, employees should be informed of their sick pay & other pay information (paternity, maternity, bereavement, etc) and the notice period required.

This information can be included in the principle or can be given via a separate document, but it must be readily available for the employee to access.

 An employment contract can outline both employee and employer rights & obligations – For example, you have the right to be paid the agreed wage for doing your job.

These contracts can be subject to change but usually requires both the employer and employee to agree to these changes (if an employee doesn’t agree initially, they can be offered incentives to accept the changes).

Employees must be informed of any changes to contract within a month of the changes being made.

 Many employers now choose to document all of this information in one place, making it easy for both parties to access this information, this is often referred to as an employee handbook.

Employee handbooks are a quick and easy way to induct new employees and introduce them to the companies values & policies.

 If there is a breach of the contract (the contract is broken) on the employee’s side, they may be subject to disciplinary procedures and may even lead to the termination of employment.

If the employer breaches the contract, employees can raise a grievance against their employers which could then lead to an employment tribunal claim – costing both time and money!

This is why having a well set out employment contract is so important, to avoid such issues.

 

What Are the Top 5 Must Haves to Include in your Employment Contract?

 

1, Relevant Job Information

 It is important to include all the relevant information about the job in question; having the start date (and end date if applicable), job title & description, pay details (e.g. rate of pay and date of payday), hours of work, locations and the team/department included in your employment contract ensures that all new hires can prepare and eases the induction stage.

 This should also include both employee and employer details, this makes it easier for both parties to get into contact with each other if necessary.

 2, Company Policies and Procedures

 Some companies choose to highlight the relevant policies and procedures to new hires using a separate document to the employment contract.

However, this can often lead to new employees losing or forgetting where the HR policy information can be accessed.

Including the important policies and procedures in the employment contract itself ensures that all employees can quickly and easily find details on the company’s policies.

 There are only three policies that are required to be in place by UK law – These are the Health & Safety policy, grievance policy and disciplinary/dismissal policies.

Although there are many other policies you may want to include in your employment contract; for example, sickness & absences, holidays, bullying & harassment, equal opportunities, flexible working, alcohol/drug abuse and redundancies & retirement.

 3, Confidentiality Agreements

 

Having a confidentiality agreement in the employment contract can have many benefits, allowing employers to protect their business trade secrets and other vital information.

This ensures that past, present and future employees do not share or leak any information from the business.

 Having a confidentiality agreement signed in the employment contract increases the protection a business has legally if an employee breaches the agreement – This often deters any information being leaked by employees.

 4, Employment Assessment Details

 Outlining how and when employees are assessed, including when the first assessment will be made, can greatly improve the stress felt by employees. Often having your work performance assessed can cause feelings of anxiety, fear and stress in employees.

 Having all the information about employee assessments and reviews can seriously improve employee-employer relations and increase job satisfaction levels.

Constructive feedback and appraisal can improve employee morale and encourage them to hit and succeed in their employment goals.

For more information on performance management, click here!

 

5, Use of Technology

 Today, the world is more connected than ever – Using technology and the internet is a great asset for businesses, allowing them to make connections which weren’t an option before the age of technology.

 However, this can also cause a problem for employers, employees may abuse the use of technology and the internet – Using social media or playing mobile/PC games while at work can significantly reduce productivity and can often lead to mistakes being made (due to being distracted).

 Having a technology policy or agreement with employees can help to set the boundaries of what is appropriate at work concerning the use of technology; plus, it shows that the company takes these matters seriously which can reduce the likelihood of employees abusing the technology in place at work.

 

Does your business need help with employment contracts or with HR in general? Wurkplace is here to provide personalised solutions! Call 0330 400 5490 or email info@wurkplace.co.uk.

 

 

 

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Virtual Christmas Party Ideas for 2020 (HR Approved)

As the year approaches an end and Christmas nears, many people are wondering if and how they will have a staff Christmas party – 2020 has been the year of COVID-19 but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bit of festive cheer.

 

The world is still adapting to the new normal and with the vaccine rollout imminent, there is still plenty to celebrate this year, even if we can’t celebrate together! We may have to miss out on the festive food and drink face to face but we don’t have to miss out on Christmas cheer and fun.

We all had to get used to working from home and socialising less but fortunately, we live in the age of technology – There are lots of different platforms online that we can use to connect with family, friends and coworkers; with Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Duo and many more!

Last year the idea of a virtual Christmas party would have seemed unthinkable and unnecessary, but that does not mean it will be any less fun. Having an online party has its benefits, there is no need to find a venue to book and figure out when everyone can attend, you just need a group video calling app and a spare hour or two of the day!

These parties are far cheaper to arrange and often more inclusive, making HR happier. Virtual staff parties allow people who live in more remote areas to attend easily as all they need is an internet connection. This ensures everyone at work feels involved and can help create a more friendly and light-hearted work atmosphere.

 

Six Amazing Virtual Christmas Party Ideas

1, The Naughty List (Christmas Never Have I Ever/10 Fingers)

This is a fun little ice-breaker to help everyone settle into the virtual party and help spread a bit of Christmas cheer and laughter. The naughty list is a Christmas version of the game ‘never have I ever’ or ‘10 fingers’, normally these games are played by players who say a statement of something they haven’t done before and the other players must put a finger down or drink if they have.

 For the virtual Christmas edition, players hold up 10 fingers and take turns making a festive statement by starting with ‘You’re on Santa’s naughty list if…’ – Then they need to make a statement; for example, ‘you have regifted a present’, ‘you pretended to like a gift’ or ‘you have peaked at Christmas presents’.

 If someone in the call has done one of the statements, they must put down one finger. This can continue for a certain number of rounds or can be played until there is only one person left with fingers up. Whoever has the most (or only) fingers up is the winner!

2, Group Christmas Music Playlist

 It wouldn’t be a Christmas party without music! Having a virtual party means that everyone can contribute to the music selection if they want to. Group playlists can be made on music streaming apps such as Spotify, meaning everyone can have a chance to listen to their favourite Christmas songs.

Christmas playlists can be played over the call to the group or individually – This means there will be no complaining about the music selection! Everyone attending the party can choose what they want to listen to and it can be played at any volume you’d like.

3, Virtual Christmas Scavenger Hunt

 Virtual scavenger hunts have become increasingly popular for those who partake in online video calls frequently – They can be great fun and competitive at times, making them a great addition to a virtual Christmas party. They are easy and simple to set up, all that’s needed is a list of items (preferably ones related to Christmas) that can be found in everyone’s household.

 For example, players could be asked to find their favourite Christmas decoration or piece of festive clothing – The first person to get back to the virtual party wins first place and gets 3 points, second and third place gets 2 and 1 point. Whoever has the most points at the end of the scavenger hunt wins!

4, Pub Quiz (Christmas Edition)

 Zoom quizzes (or other video calling apps) have become extremely popular during the pandemic, allowing people to stay connected and stay safe. Having a Christmas version of an online pub quiz is a fun and easy way to involve everyone and get people chatting.

 These quizzes can be done in teams (with festive team names) or individually, depending on how many people are attending. The questions can be in categories if you want a longer quiz (e.g. festive songs, films, general knowledge) or can be lumped together if you want to include different games at the party.

 Virtual Christmas quizzes can add a fun competition to your virtual party and they can help coworkers get to know each other and have some well-deserved fun!

 5, Christmas Bingo

 Playing bingo is great for a virtual Christmas party as it encourages everyone to interact and get involved. There are plenty of templates online that can be used or you can make your own up! The bingo card squares could include things like – Ugly Christmas jumpers, has multiple trees up or been carolling. If one of the players has done or got one of these things they can cross them off their card.

There can be prizes or points for the first person to get a line and/or a full house!

6, Virtual Secret Santa

No Christmas party would be complete without a secret Santa – It’s a staple of every annual staff party! Everyone is given a name prior to the party (can be picked out of a hat or done with a random name generator online), they must then buy a gift for the person they received in secret within the budget, usually around £10.

 The gifts could be physical or virtual – whichever works best for you but they must be given or sent to the recipient on the day of or before the virtual Christmas party, ready to open.

 Then, during the party, everyone can open their present and try to figure out who gave it to them. This is a great way to spread much needed Christmas cheer to your coworkers, we all deserve it this year!

 If your business needs help organising a virtual Christmas party or any other COVID-related issues, contact Wurkplace by calling 0330 400 5490 or emailing info@wurkplace.co.uk.

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