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.

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... »

Recruiting and employing disabled staff

Introduction to Recruiting and employing disabled staff Disabled people have abilities, skills and experience that your business can benefit from. If you make a few adjustments in your policies and at your premises, and add flexibility to work arrangements, you could potentially open up jobs to many more recruits – often at little or no cost. A disabled person is someone with a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse affect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This covers a wide range of impairments of varying type and severity, from the obvious – such as severe mobility restrictions requiring wheelchair use – to less obvious ‘invisible’ impairments like diabetes. The aim of this business guide is to he... »

Employed or self-employed?

IR56 – Employed or self-employed? A guide to employment status for tax and National Insurance Contributions Introduction This general guide to employment status for tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) will help in deciding whether you are an employee or self-employed. Although it is aimed at workers, it will also be useful for those who engage workers. Your employment status will affect how much tax and NICs you pay and how it will be collected. The type of National Insurance (NI) that you pay will affect some types of benefits, for example, whether you can receive Statutory Sick Pay when you are unable to work through ill health. The person you work for needs to decide your correct employment status. It is their responsibility and it is important that they get this right... »

Disability Discrimination Act – Access To Goods And Services

Making Access to Goods and Services Easier for Disabled Customers: A Practical Guide for Small Businesses and Other Service Providers Foreword by the Federation of Small Businesses “As the main organisation representing small businesses, we welcome this practical guide on making access to goods and services easier for disabled customers. Among our 160,000 members – covering all types of businesses – we know that there is an appreciation of the needs of disabled customers and a willingness to do what is practically achievable to improve both premises and service provision for all customers. This guide has been written specifically with small businesses and other small service providers in mind, and we are certain that you will find in it plenty of practical suggestions for... »

Childcare Vouchers

Childcare Vouchers – on the ascendant Designed to help working parents, childcare voucher schemes have seen a sharp rise in their profile in the benefits arena since vouchers became tax free in April 2005. Childcare vouchers are an alternate means of paying for childcare. Vouchers are provided by employers to staff and are a simple tangible way in which employers can assist employees with their childcare costs. Employers of choice have become aware of the importance of adopting family friendly policies to attract and retain staff in what is now a highly competitive job market. Staff loss through soaring childcare costs has become a major issue for industry. Losing a key member of staff can, however, impact more heavily on a smaller organisation. Recognising the difficulties being fac... »

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