Our employment section contains a comprehensive list of business advice articles to help you choose and manage the right staff for your small and medium enterprise. Read on to ensure you create a productive and positive working environment.

Paternity – Leave & Pay

NEW – From April 2009, the standard rate of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) and Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) in the UK increased from £117.18 per week to £123.06 per week. Rights to paternity leave and pay have been introduced which are available to employees whose children were born on or after 6 April 2003. This article reproduced under Crown Copyright © 2003-2009 »

Maternity Leave and Statutory Maternity Pay

NEW – From April 2011, the standard rate of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) and Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) in the UK increased from £124.88 per week to £128.73 per week. There have been a number of changes to Maternity Leave & Maternity Pay since 6th April 2003 with the addition of rights to paid adoption and paternity leave, and the right for parents of young children to apply to work flexibly. These rights, together with existing rights to parental leave and time off for dependants, provide parents with more opportunities than ever before to balance work and family life, whilst being compatible with, and beneficial to, business efficiency. Maternity Leave & Statutory Maternity Pay business advice Crown Copyright © 2003-2011 »

Health & Safety, An Introduction to

Introduction It’s your business – but we can help you look after it! Getting hurt at work or becoming ill through work is not a pleasant subject to think about. The reality is that 250 people a year lose their lives at work in Britain. In addition, around 156,000 non-fatal injuries are reported each year, and an estimated 2.3 million suffer from ill health caused or made worse by work. The mistake is to believe that these things happen in highly unusual or exceptional circumstances that never occur in your workplace. This is not the case. Some basic thinking and acting beforehand could usually have prevented these things from happening. Implementing health and safety measures doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming or complicated, in fact, safer and more efficient wo... »

IIP – A Standard for Success

What is Investors in People? In 1990 some of Britain’s leading business, personnel, professional and employee organisations got together. The aim was to create a national standard for good practice in the training and development of people to meet business goals. What was produced was a framework that companies of all shapes and sizes could use to accelerate their business growth. That framework is known today as the Investors in People Standard. Why become an Investor in People? The obvious advantages are those that affect your bottom line, but there are a number of benefits to becoming an Investor in People: Increased productivity Improved motivation Reductions in employee turnover and ‘lost time’ Improved results such as sales figures Better employee relations More eff... »

IIP – Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost? The main cost of achieving the Standard is in the staff time – in seeing how you measure up to the Standard, in working out what changes you need to make and in putting those changes into practice. You’ll have a clear picture of your potential costs once you have identified what changes, if any, your organisation needs to make. How long does it take? It depends very much on what kind of changes, if any, you need to make and how quickly you can put them into practice. You may be able to tie these activities into priorities that you have. Can you do it yourself? Everything is written in clear English so that you can check yourself how your organisation measures up against the Standard. If you decide you do want advice or support, you can contact your local ... »

IIP (Construction, Education, Finance, Retail Sectors)

Everyone agrees that people are an organisation’s greatest asset, and we all know that for an organisation to succeed everyone has to perform well. It doesn’t matter what size or type of organisation you are, the Investors in People Standard is there to help you improve the way you work. What is Investors in People? The Investors in People Standard is a business improvement tool designed to advance an organisation’s performance through its people. Developed in 1990 by a partnership of leading businesses and national organisations, the Standard helps organisations to improve performance and realise objectives through the management and development of their people. Since it was developed the Standard has been reviewed every three years to ensure that it remains relevant, ac... »

Handling Grievance & Discipline Procedures

Introduction Problems with employees may arise from time to time in even the best-run businesses. Occasionally you may need to take disciplinary action against employees or deal with their grievances but it’s better to look at ways of preventing problems arising in the first place. If problems do arise, deal with them rather than let them fester into resignations and/or tribunal claims. Disciplinary and grievance procedures should be an aid to good management. Have clear written procedures and policies that are known and understood by all workers. Also, make sure you distinguish between discipline on conduct grounds and your procedure to improve performance – though this may eventually require disciplinary action if performance does not improve. This guide is designed to show w... »

Disciplinary, Dismissal & Grievance Procedures

Guidance for employers Foreword From 1st October the Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004 come into force. They lay down disciplinary, dismissal and grievance procedures that provide a framework for discussing problems at work. This guide explains the procedures. It is primarily intended for managers in small firms. Separate guidance will be available for employees from This document gives general guidance only. It has no legal force and cannot cover every point and situation. If you would like advice on your particular situation, please see below for Acas contact details. It is important to note that the Regulations aim to set a minimum standard and are not intended to replace existing best practice and the new procedures shoul... »

FlexWork – New Ways of Working in Remote Regions

FlexWork is an exciting new initiative by experts in flexible working, supported by the European Commission. It aims to help European businesses in regenerating, rural and remote areas to compete with other companies through flexible working. Flexible working is the ability to work with customers, suppliers and employees, regardless of distance and time barriers. It promotes the effective use and management of the latest computer and telecommunications products. FlexWork offers; Seminars & Conference Presentations Handbook of Flexible Working Guides to Flexible Working Management Briefings »

Flexible Working, New Duty to Consider Requests from Employees for

From 6 April 2003 requests by working parents of young or disabled children to work flexibly must be considered seriously by their employers. This Factsheet provides some basic details of the legal obligations employers will have under the duty. These rights apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although Northern Ireland has its own separate legislation, the rights apply in the same way as in the rest of the United Kingdom. Parents of children aged under six or of disabled children aged under eighteen will have the right to apply for flexible working providing they have the qualifying length of service. Employers will have a statutory duty to consider their applications seriously. This right enables mothers and fathers to request to work flexibly. It does not provide an a... »

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