Don’t DIY when it comes to HR or Safety

Don’t DIY when it comes to HR or Safety

After what has been a very unusual year for businesses, what has become clear to us is that there are lots of businesses out there that have taken a DIY approach to their HR or Health & Safety within their business – some of which have fallen foul to this during the pandemic. Staff are by far your biggest asset and cost and taking a DIY approach to key elements like contract, policies, risk assessments can turn this asset into your biggest liability. Not something that businesses need...

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Marketing and sales for a successful 2021

Marketing and sales for a successful 2021

It’s been a challenging year with the word unprecedented now firmly fixed in our vocabulary. In terms of business survival, what we have seen is those who have dug deep are coming out of the other side. Whether it’s businesses adapting to the new environment or those stepping up, what we do know is marketing and sales this year has been very different. The customer of 2020 is different to the one we knew in 2019 and will be different again in 2021, so how do we prepare? In this session...

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Recruitment - How to get the right talent in your business in 2021

Recruitment - How to get the right talent in your business in 2021

With the end of the year fast approaching, we’re busy planning for 2021. Part of this is ensuring we have the right talent in place for what will be another, not so ordinary, year. As businesses restructure from the aftermath of COVID-19, it may seem the market is full of ready-made candidates for those recruiting. Whilst there are opportunities to quickly grow the team, how can you be sure you have the right people to fit a business fit for 2021. In this session of Ask the Expert, we asked...

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Can homeworking mask absence problems?

Can homeworking mask absence problems?

When you are based from a business premises and an employee is ill then you can either physically see this or they are forced to take sickness days which can be easily tracked. When an employee is homeworking then does this reduce the likelihood, they will report their illness and does this mean they are more easily able to work at a reduced capacity? How can you ensure you are kept informed? Homeworking Policy A good homeworking policy will set out clearly the process you want your teams to follow...

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Keeping a team spirit and providing equipment for those working from home

Keeping a team spirit and providing equipment for those working from home

As we start a second lockdown and once again look at managing a remote team, we look at two FAQ's relating to employees working from home. We start with maintaining team spirit.  How can I keep the ‘team spirit’ when the team works from home? Perhaps your business has never had homeworkers until 2020, when we have all had to find new ways of working. There are challenges to managing home workers, not just in terms of performance but in terms of maintaining that culture and...

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Welcome to Amber, our new Operations Manager

Welcome to Amber, our new Operations Manager

We are delighted to welcome to latest member to our Quest family, Amber Mercer. Amber joins us as our Operations Manager to help strengthen the team and continue to focus on how we can add more value to our clients through challenging times. Amber has had a career in the travel industry prior to joining us here at Quest and brings an absolute wealth of Management and Service experience to help us continue to grow the team here. We may not be able to get her to exotic destinations as part of her...

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National Lockdown - What this means for my business

National Lockdown - What this means for my business

I am sure you were all glued to the PM statement yesterday evening which announced the start of a National lockdown commencing 5th November. In this update I look at what this really means for your business: Extension of Furlough The new Job Support Scheme will be put on hold and the furlough scheme will be extended for the lockdown period of November. If you had already issued the new JSS Agreements then these will just be placed on hold until needed. For November only you will be able to claim...

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FAQ's on Homeworking during COVID-19

FAQ's on Homeworking during COVID-19

We've bundled our latest Frequently Asked Questions on Homeworking from our clients. Here we help you understand some of the issues around performance from employees still working from home. Can I insist that a homeworking employee attend the workplace on a regular basis? This is a question often being asked where employees were previously working from the business premises but are now working from home. The simple answer is yes of course you can. Most employees that were office based will...

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Fridays Food for Thought - Homeworkers and their mental wellbeing

Fridays Food for Thought - Homeworkers and their mental wellbeing

With Mental Health Awareness Day upon us tomorrow, I wanted to refect on some of the topics of discussion at Quest HQ over the last couple of weeks as we champion the challenge of taking care of homeworkers. It was great to be joined by Paula Dixon of Hazon Consulting on our Ask the Expert session where we focussed on some great tips and techniques for business leaders to engage and care for their homeworkers. As a Business Psychologist, Paula shared some great insights on Mindset, concentration,...

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Homeworking - helping employees maintain a healthy mindset whilst working from home

Homeworking - helping employees maintain a healthy mindset whilst working from home

An area of concern in our Fast Forward calls, was the wellbeing of employees as they adapt to working from home. In the last week, the government has advised that, where we can, homeworking should continue for office workers. This could be for a minimum of six months, for some this will be a year of working away from their colleagues and their usual working environment. How does this effect the mindset of employees when this arrangement becomes more long term? In the second of our Ask the Expert...

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Homeworking - how to put steps in place to make this a permanent arrangement?

Homeworking - how to put steps in place to make this a permanent arrangement?

As many businesses implemented Home Working as a temporary measure to follow the Government guidelines of home working where this is possible, the arrangements made will have been with a view to this being short term. There are a few considerations to make before making this a permanent arrangements. Home Working Policy Ensure you have a clear policy that outlines homeworking where this may be fully home working or where this is a more flexible arrangement. A policy will outline considerations...

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Homeworking - what employers must do legally, logistically and financially

Homeworking - what employers must do legally, logistically and financially

September is a key time for employees returning to the workplace from lockdown, furlough and the effects of COVID-19. Or is it? Has the last six months created more opportunities to work from home and is this the new norm for many? In this week’s Ask the Expert we focused on homeworking and the implications on directors and teams. As well as Quest's MD and HR Director, Sarah Birkenshaw, answering questions on fair and safe homeworking, we spoke to experts Paul Coates, Director...

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Fridays Food for Thought - Investing in Safety Training

Fridays Food for Thought - Investing in Safety Training

Fridays Food for Thought... A different week for me working with our H&S Director Aidan Green on our Health & Safety Training Programme. We are really proud to be an IOSH Training centre and we have the Managing Safely course available both in zoom format and classroom based - a great time for businesses to have their Managers understanding safety in the workplace more closely. Another big area of work for us is working with the trades who want to secure more business by having safety...

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Update your safety accreditations with our essential training for CHAS and Safecontractor

Update your safety accreditations with our essential training for CHAS and Safecontractor

Calling all trades ... top up your safety accreditiations with our training bundle. Join us in September at The Quest Training Academy in Morley or log onto Zoom the next day. Courses delivered by our Director of Health & Safety and resident expert, Aidan Green. Safety Accreditations – Essential training needed for CHAS / Safecontractor   Whether you currently hold safety accreditations and need to update or are applying for them for the first time, our F2F or Zoom...

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IOSH Managing Safely training course with Quest

IOSH Managing Safely training course with Quest

Starting in September, the first of our IOSH Managing Safely courses. Delivered by our Director of Health & Safety and resident expert, Aidan Green for managers, regardless of industry, that have any element of Health & Safety responsibilities as part of their role. This market leading health and safety course is presented over 3 days on zoom to ensure furloughed employees can participate and learn with enhanced skills. IOSH Managing Safely  Managing Safely covers: -...

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Training to manage the health and safety risks of returning to work post COVID-19

Training to manage the health and safety risks of returning to work post COVID-19

As more people return to the workplace, we are helping businesses prepare to manage a safe working environment. Following the easing up of lockdown, whether it's risk of transferring COVID-19 or general workplace and handling equipment safely, these courses are a must to keep your business up to date with accreditations and legislation.  We are running two courses starting in September to keep business compliant with competent people trained in health and safety: Safety...

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Internal Communications - the direct link between to more business post COVID-19

Internal Communications - the direct link between to more business post COVID-19

As we adapt to the ever increasing changes in lockdown, the need to keep employees in the loop has never been greater. Helping our clients Fast Forward, the next Ask the Expert will look at ways to keep teams fully engaged as we restructure and grow. Join us at 8.30-9am, Tuesday 18th August over coffee for a quick fire round of questions to equip you with everything you need to know about internal communications and the benefits to employees and customers. Internal Communications – the direct...

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Fridays Food for Thought - Communicating with your teams

Fridays Food for Thought - Communicating with your teams

This week I have spent a lot of time with business owners who are either planning to bring staff back from furlough or are having to face the reality of making more permanent cuts as the furlough scheme starts to gradually reduce in the coming weeks. What was really apparent is that how businesses have communicated with their staff throughout the whole pandemic massively varies and this has provided different challenges for each. Where there has been a lack of information given to try and protect...

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More of your redundancy questions answered

More of your redundancy questions answered

We answer more of your questions on redundancies here. From the cost of redundancy, selection and process these all need serious considerations leading to legal implications. As always, do get in touch with the team if you have any concerns regarding restructuring on 0844 8797286. What happens if I can’t afford to pay the redundancy? This is a very real problem for some businesses who have realised they have no choice but to make staff cuts but the cost of the redundancy payments...

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How to make homeworking easier for you and your team

How to make homeworking easier for you and your team

Having home working as a flexible option can deliver great options for both employer and employee but do ensure you have planned carefully on how to implement this and so to arrange a free consultation with one of our HR experts on Home Working please contact us on 0844 8797286. Here is a round up of questions we get asked around homeworking.  I want to keep home working in place for some / all my team - what steps do I have to take to make this a permanent arrangement? As many businesses...

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Fridays Food for Thought - Helping your employees affected by redundancy

Fridays Food for Thought - Helping your employees affected by redundancy

Redundancies are a hot topic at the moment but we brought a new perspective for Employers to consider how they can help those employees affected by redundancy to ensure they leave their business as brand advocates rather than disgruntled employees. A huge thank you to Anna Masheter who shared some inspiring ideas to the business owners that joined our call on how outplacement support can achieve this. Yet more confirmation of why Anna is our L&D partner! Offering even basic support...

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Friday's Food for Thought - Redundancies and planning the positives

Friday's Food for Thought - Redundancies and planning the positives

Happy Yorkshire Day from a business proud to be Yorkshire based!! I normally do a weekly post to reflect on the week at Quest and this week being no different but with a great deal of pride on how my team are currently helping local Yorkshire based businesses fast forward to the other side of this pandemic. Redundancies are a hot topic at the moment and may be necessary for business owners to do but there is a very different persepctive we have on how this can be a positive for both the business...

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COVID-19 and Health & Safety in the workplace

COVID-19 and Health & Safety in the workplace

A round-up of our COVID-19 Health & Safety FAQ's from the week. We start with risk assessments and how to make your workplace COVID-19 secure.  Does every company need to complete a COVID-19 Risk Assessment? We often get asked this question and the simple answer is yes, as completing a risk assessment is part of managing the health and safety of your business and controlling the risks in your workplace. As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable...

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COVID-19, Health & Safety and protecting your team

COVID-19, Health & Safety and protecting your team

A round up of the FAQ's around protecting staff as they return to work after lockdown. We start with safeguarding pregnant women and homeworkers.  How can I protect pregnant workers as they return to work? During the outbreak of COVID-19, pregnant workers have been advised to follow stringent social distancing to reduce the risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There is a long-standing requirement for employers to put in place measures to ensure workplace safety where a significant...

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Redundancies - how to avoid the pitfalls and plan the positives

Redundancies - how to avoid the pitfalls and plan the positives

Helping our clients Fast Forward and following our last Ask the Expert on restructuring, this time we have two experts to help us plan for 2021.  Once again, join us at 8.30-9am, Tuesday 4th August over coffee for a quick fire round of questions to equip you with everything you need to know about redundancies. Redundancies - how to avoid the pitfalls and plan the positives Nick Wilson, Partner at Andrew Jackson Solicitors and Anna Masheter, Managing Director of Beyond Learning will look at...

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How long does a member of staff have to shield for?

How long does a member of staff have to shield for?

A round-up of our FAQ's including shielding and furlough, posting daily to keep our clients and network up to date. If you have a question on furlough or need any other HR advice, please get in touch on 0844 879 7286. How long does a member of staff have to shield for? There are potentially two different scenarios that may have been presented to you as an employer relating to shielding, one is where the employee has received a letter from the GP or Specialist advising they are considered...

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I don't feel like I am getting the same productivity from staff working at home, how can I address this?

I don't feel like I am getting the same productivity from staff working at home, how can I address this?

I don't feel like I am getting the same productivity from staff working at home, how can I address this? Many businesses have, for the safety of their workers, allowed home working where this has been possible. As the guidance remains to continue home working where this is possible then I am certain this has been for a much longer period that business owners initial anticipated and so challenges are presented when managing a remote workforce that may not have been considered. 1. Communication Although...

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Fridays Food for Thought - Restructuring to build stronger teams

Fridays Food for Thought - Restructuring to build stronger teams

I am grateful for the talented businesses we partner with and this week really showcased the fact our partners share the same passion for their work as we do with the fantastic Charly Melia from Integrated Recruitment joining us on our Ask the Expert Session all around restructuring to build stronger team. This has been a topical issue for businesses who are looking at how they can be more agile and make the most of the talent they have. Restructuring is not always about redundancy and the gaps...

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A staff member wants to travel to see family abroad. What are the quarantine options?

A staff member wants to travel to see family abroad. What are the quarantine options?

A staff member wants to travel to see family abroad. What are the quarantine options? So you have a member of staff who wants to travel to see family but need to quarantine for 2 weeks when they get there and 2 weeks when they get back but don't want to use all their holidays. What can you do? It has been difficult for many people being separated from their family during the lockdown period, where employee have family outside the UK this may still be problematic for them to see them. As the...

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Building a stronger team - how to restructure and plan for success post COVID-19

Building a stronger team - how to restructure and plan for success post COVID-19

Over the last few weeks we have spoken to clients about Fast Forward, our commitment to help businesses plan for January 2021. As part of Fast Forward, we collated a list of topics for our Ask the Expert sessions. ATE's to help owners and directors over the next six months as we look ahead to the this pinnacle time. We start with an area at the top of people's minds, restructuring the business.  Building a stronger team - how to restructure and plan...

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Difficulties with furlough?

Difficulties with furlough?

A round-up of our FAQ's on furlough which we have been posting daily to keep our clients and network up to date. If you have a question on furlough or need any other HR advice, please get in touch on 0844 879 7286. I have employees on furlough who are ignoring my calls and not responding to emails so I can discuss their return to work - what do I do? It may feel like your employees have lost sight in the purpose of furlough, to avoid redundancy and secure their jobs, and are perhaps treating...

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NHS Test and Trace - What that means for employers

NHS Test and Trace - What that means for employers

With effect from 28th May the new NHS test and trace scheme took effect, meaning that contact tracers will actively contact people that are reported to have come in close contact with a person that has tested positive for Covid-19 - they will then be advised to self isolate for 14 days. Is this done on an app like I have seen in the news? Not currently, the app is being trialled and it is thought this may be ready to roll out next month but this has not yet been confirmed. Currently, anyone displaying...

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Furloughing done - what's next???

Furloughing done - what's next???

As many businesses have utilised the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough employees that they are unable to provide any work for during this pandemic, the next question we are asked is ‘how do I manage employees returning from furlough?’ As of today (28th April) the Government advice regarding lockdown remains unchanged and so the guidance is still to stay at home and where possible work from home, factors that have to be considered when reviewing the situation for your business...

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My Covid-19 experience by Kizzie Robbins

My Covid-19 experience by Kizzie Robbins

Having never even heard of the term ‘furlough’ before, realisation started to set in at the possibilities my new career could be coming to an end. As having only started my journey with Quest 6 weeks prior to the lockdown, uncertainty and fear was present, questions started to arise: Would I still have a job? How will I retain the knowledge I’ve picked up in my early weeks with Quest? Will I still be part of the team when things go back to normal? These are questions I suppose...

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My Covid-19 experience by Amy Sharpe

My Covid-19 experience by Amy Sharpe

For me, the coronavirus epidemic came at the worst time for my family, not that there would have ever been a good time! Just two weeks before the country got put into lockdown my Grandad became very poorly after having a stroke – and I know I won’t be the only one with family members in the same position as unfortunately the world doesn’t stop for anyone. As the virus continued to spread, it became harder to be able to visit him in hospital This was very difficult as we knew he...

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My Covid-19 experience by Helen Lamb

My Covid-19 experience by Helen Lamb

When we first started to see the impact of the virus outbreak, initially this seemed to be just happening elsewhere until we heard the announcement to enter lockdown and we all had to reassess our professional and personal situations. The decision was made that from Thursday 26th March we would be working from home and at first it was an exciting thought but then the realization set in, where had my support network gone? We are so used to in the office sharing experience, talking through cases and...

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My Covid-19 experience by Sarah Birkenshaw

My Covid-19 experience by Sarah Birkenshaw

What strange times we seem to be living and working through right now! I wanted to share my experience not only as a business owner but as a HR professional and to some degree to put pen to paper to record what has been an unbelievable time. I had to admit that as we first started to hear information on Covid-19 I did not for one second anticipate the scale of disruption and devastation this virus would wreak on the world. I managed to enjoy a great weekend away at the end of February for my Husbands...

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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor announced on 20th March the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which is a grant available to employers to help reduce redundancies or unpaid layoffs during the current crisis. Details on how this will be delivered to employers is sparse at the moment but here are the key facts you need to be aware of. Eligibility All businesses within the UK that employ staff. How to Access the Scheme The Government guidance sets out 2 steps but let me explain what this means in real terms. 1)...

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What Is the Disciplinary Process and When Should This Be Used?

What Is the Disciplinary Process and When Should This Be Used?

What Is the Disciplinary Process and When Should This Be Used?   When an employer is having troubles with an employee, it can be hard to know what to do. It is vital to follow the correct course of action to resolve situations that could be damaging to a business. The best way to do this is to have a disciplinary process that can be followed in the event of an incident that requires corrective action. The disciplinary process is a procedure set by an employer which provides guidance throughout...

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The Good Work Plan - What changes will I have to make?

The Good Work Plan - What changes will I have to make?

The Good Work Plan was a review conducted by Matthew Taylor for the Government which was reviewed in 2018 so that workers rights in the UK would not take a step backwards when we left the EU. Part of the review reflected that we have a very flexible approach for workers in the UK, however there are a minority of employers that use the current system to transfer too much risk to the individual which can jeopardise the wellbeing and financial security of the individual and this gives a very one sided...

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Do I Need to Provide PPE Like Safety Boots, Safety Glasses & Gloves Free of Charge, Even If I Think an Employee Won’t Stay?

Do I Need to Provide PPE Like Safety Boots, Safety Glasses & Gloves Free of Charge, Even If I Think an Employee Won’t Stay?

Do I Need to Provide PPE Like Safety Boots, Safety Glasses & Gloves Free of Charge, Even If I Think an Employee Won’t Stay?   As an employer, you are obliged to take the health and safety of your employees into account as they carry out their duties. This means that, for employees working in hazardous areas, you must provide them with personal protective equipment (PPE), regardless of how long you think an employee may stay within your organisation. However, any equipment you supply...

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How Many Fire Extinguishers Should I Have and What Types?

How Many Fire Extinguishers Should I Have and What Types?

How Many Fire Extinguishers Should I Have and What Types?   As a general rule, it is advised that you have at least one water-based fire extinguisher per 2000 square feet per floor. In addition to this, because most workplaces now have electrical equipment which cannot be extinguished with water-based extinguishers if it catches fire, you should also pair each water-based extinguisher with a CO2 one. Powder extinguishers used to be the go-to fire extinguisher for many businesses as they are...

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What is Mental Health Awareness?

What is Mental Health Awareness?

The Health & Safety Executive report that one in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point. However, some people will suffer in silence. Home life events such as money worries, family issues, bereavements, etc. are often a catalyst for mental health problems such as anxiety, stress and depression but can also be caused by events at work. It is in an employer’s interest to encourage employees to be open and speak up if they believe they are at risk. Mental health...

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How should I record disciplinary action

How should I record disciplinary action

How should I record disciplinary action?   It is important that If and when any formal disciplinary action is taken with employees, that a clear audit trail is kept in relation to the process followed, meetings held, and action taken. This is important for a number of reasons: You have clear records should there be issues in the future with the employee. You can demonstrate you have followed a fair and consistent approach. Any evidence is retained to show how and why a decision was made,...

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What safety training is needed in my business

What safety training is needed in my business

What safety training is needed in my business?   The HSE publication ‘Health and safety made simple - The basics for your business’ states that ‘Everyone who works for you needs to know how to work safely and without risks to health. You must provide clear instructions and information, and adequate training, for your employees.’ To begin with, all employees should be given an induction which includes familiarisation of the workplace. Ideally, it should at least cover...

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Having a great work space improves efficiency plus so much more…

Having a great work space improves efficiency plus so much more…

Having a great workspace improves efficiency plus so much more…   Do you want your employees to feel like they are looking forward to showing up for another day at work or simply accept that they show up because they have to? If your answer is the former, then a good hard look at your workspace may reveal more than you think. There have been a variety of studies that consider the connection between a more engaged and productive workforce and their surroundings such as Gensler’s...

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What is acceptable practice to monitor staff in the workplace

What is acceptable practice to monitor staff in the workplace

What is acceptable practice to monitor staff in the workplace?   The national survey of more than 1,200 UK workers, conducted by the TUC in May this year, found 56 per cent of people felt monitoring was going on in the workplace, through methods including CCTV, vehicle trackers, browsing history and phone logs. There are may legitimate reasons that you may monitor your employees in the workplace, but it is essential that they are fully aware of these measures and how any information resulting...

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There Are Different Accreditation Bodies. Which Accreditation Is Best for My Trade?

There Are Different Accreditation Bodies. Which Accreditation Is Best for My Trade?

There Are Different Accreditation Bodies. Which Accreditation Is Best for My Trade?   Of the many different accreditation bodies, it can be difficult to decide on which one you want for your trade. Here’s our golden rule to help your choice: Go for whichever body you get asked for the most. Different bodies are more desirable to different sectors, so you may want to get a number of accreditations so that you have wider coverage, but, ultimately, the best course of action is to get an...

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How Often Should You Do Fire Drills?

How Often Should You Do Fire Drills?

How Often Should You Do Fire Drills?   All workplaces need fire safety provisions and procedures so that, in the event of a fire, employees know what to do to safely exit the building and alert the relevant emergency services. But how often should you be doing fire drills? Are there any other checks you should be doing? Read on to find out. As a general rule of thumb, all employees should run through a fire drill at least once a year. However, because it isn’t guaranteed that your entire...

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How Often Do I Need to Check Machinery?

How Often Do I Need to Check Machinery?

How Often Do I Need to Check Machinery?   In order to maintain the safety of machine operators, machinery must be checked regularly, but there can be some confusion as to how often.  First off, the term ‘machinery’ can refer to a great number of devices, from lathes to forklifts to cars to photocopiers, ranging widely in size, complexity and the danger they pose to users. The frequency of checks is dependant on the risk assessments carried out for each individual piece of...

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How can we have a healthier workforce?

How can we have a healthier workforce?

How can we have a healthier workforce?   It’s a fact that healthier employees take less unplanned time off work but how can you help employees be healthier? As an employer you already have a legal responsibility to consult with employees about their risks at work so why not take this opportunity to ask how you, as an employer, can help the same people be healthier. What would they like putting in place? Are there initiates they can suggest that are easy to implement? Do they have interests...

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Why do health and safety inductions?

Why do health and safety inductions?

Why do health and safety inductions? As an employer you have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees. Besides the usual information that new employees are given such as hours of work, pay and holidays, company policies, etc. they should also be given some important health, safety and welfare information on the day they start. This health, safety and welfare information should include the following: Company emergency evacuation procedures (ideally there should be a fire...

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Do I Need to Report Accidents?

Do I Need to Report Accidents?

Do I Need to Report Accidents?   It depends on the seriousness of the accident. Some accidents and ill health at work are classed as ‘reportable’. Reporting these is a legal requirement under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) and must be reported to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) via the HSE website. RIDDOR places a legal duty on employers, self-employed people and people in control of premises (known as ‘responsible...

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What information can I ask for on an application form?

What information can I ask for on an application form?

What information can I ask for on an application form?   When advertising for a vacancy within your business, you’re naturally going to want to gather as much information as possible about your applicants; you need to know who’s applying so you can make an informed choice. However, there are some topics you have to avoid by law to prevent discrimination. Read on to find out what you can and can’t ask job applicants on their application forms. Firstly, you need to know who...

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How your Managers can improve wellbeing

How your Managers can improve wellbeing

The latest Health & Wellbeing at Work Survey shows that work is good for us! Where we enjoy quality, good work then this benefits our wellbeing overall. So, what happens when it goes wrong? The research shows that the biggest reported causes of stress at work are 62% of workers citing unmanageable workloads and 43% citing poor management style. Your Line Managers really do play a crucial role in the wellbeing and effectiveness of your staff yet: Less than 50% of businesses train their Managers...

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What Is the Disciplinary Process and When Should This Be Used?

What Is the Disciplinary Process and When Should This Be Used?

What Is the Disciplinary Process and When Should This Be Used?   When an employer is having troubles with an employee, it can be hard to know what to do. It is vital to follow the correct course of action to resolve situations that could be damaging to a business. The best way to do this is to have a disciplinary process that can be followed in the event of an incident that requires corrective action. The disciplinary process is a procedure set by an employer which provides guidance...

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I Haven’t Any Health & Safety Documents. What Do I Need to Get an Accreditation?

I Haven’t Any Health & Safety Documents. What Do I Need to Get an Accreditation?

I Haven’t Any Health & Safety Documents. What Do I Need to Get an Accreditation?   For many businesses, getting a recognised accreditation can mean opening the gateway to a much wider pool of potential customers. But, if you have no experience or documentation, how do you go about getting one? First off, certain information about your business is required, as it determines what you will need in order to gain accreditation. You will need to know how many people are in your business,...

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I Have an Employee That Takes a Lot of Odd Days Off Sick. How Can I Manage This?

I Have an Employee That Takes a Lot of Odd Days Off Sick. How Can I Manage This?

I Have an Employee That Takes a Lot of Odd Days Off Sick. How Can I Manage This?   All employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) when they are too ill to work. However, when an employee takes frequent short spells of sick leave, they can cause much more disruption than an employee on long term sick leave. But how do you identify where this is happening and manage it as an employer? The best way to identify where frequent absences are occurring is to use the Bradford Scoring system,...

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Why Would Having an Accreditation Help My Business?

Why Would Having an Accreditation Help My Business?

Why Would Having an Accreditation Help My Business?   The benefits of having your trade accredited are numerous, but we are still often asked why people should bother getting an accreditation, so we have compiled our top 4 benefits of having an accredited business: An accreditation improves your professional image. Potential customers will know that you take safety seriously and therefore that you can be trusted to protect anyone on their property, as well as the property itself, giving them...

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How Often Do You Need to Review Your H&S Documents?

How Often Do You Need to Review Your H&S Documents?

How Often Do You Need to Review Your H&S Documents?   Having up-to-date documents is vital to keeping up with ever-changing Health & Safety law and remaining compliant. However, re-drafting risk assessments every week will take up a lot of your time, so how often should you review your documents? Let our Health & Safety consultant Steve fill you in: You should review your Health & Safety policy at least once a year, or when there is a change in legislation that is relevant...

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Are Contracts of Employment really necessary?

Are Contracts of Employment really necessary?

Are Contracts of Employment really necessary?   A Contract of Employment is an agreement between an employer and an employee that states the terms and conditions of employment across a number of different fields. It sets out the hours an employee works, how much they are paid for their work, how many days’ holiday per year they are entitled to and the employee’s main place of work, among other things. It also gives certain rights to employers and employees to protect both parties...

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Do We Need a Trained First Aider?

Do We Need a Trained First Aider?

Do We Need a Trained First Aider?   Injuries can and do occur in all types of workplace, be it a huge industrial manufacturing plant with an equally huge workforce, or a small office filled by just a few employees. Though every attempt should be made to prevent injuries from occurring, businesses should also be prepared to deal with any incidents that may slip through the cracks. The Health and Safety First Aid Regulations of 1981 requires businesses to provide adequate and appropriate first...

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Risk Assessments - Lone Workers

Risk Assessments - Lone Workers

Lone workers   There will be lone workers in most companies at some time or another. They could be working in a remote area of the premises, a driver, a representative visiting clients’ homes, or just opening or locking up a workplace. It is often safe to work alone but employers must assess the risks before allowing lone working. So, what can be done? Consider what the worker is doing, where they are working and what could happen to them. Do they have any pre?existing medical...

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Risk Assessments - People with Disabilities

Risk Assessments - People with Disabilities

Risk Assessments - People with Disabilities   All employees need to know how to work safely without risk to their health. As mentioned in previous blogs, employers have a legal duty to provide the appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision. This also includes employees with disabilities and a duty under the Equality Act 2010 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace for them. If there are 5 or more employees, regardless of ability, employers should...

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How should I record disciplinary action?

How should I record disciplinary action?

How should I record disciplinary action?   It is important that If and when any formal disciplinary action is taken with employees, that a clear audit trail is kept in relation to the process followed, meetings held, and action taken. This is important for a number of reasons: You have clear records should there be issues in the future with the employee. You can demonstrate you have followed a fair and consistent approach. Any evidence is retained to show how and why a decision was made,...

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Do We Need a Trained First Aider?

Do We Need a Trained First Aider?

Do We Need a Trained First Aider?   Injuries can and do occur in all types of workplace, be it a huge industrial manufacturing plant with an equally huge workforce, or a small office filled by just a few employees. Though every attempt should be made to prevent injuries from occurring, businesses should also be prepared to deal with any incidents that may slip through the cracks. The Health and Safety First Aid Regulations of 1981 requires businesses to provide adequate and appropriate first...

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What should Induction Training cover?

What should Induction Training cover?

What should Induction Training cover?   So, you have hired your next employee and their first day is fast approaching – how do you settle them into your business quickly and what on earth should an induction programme look like? Every business is very different to the structure and length of an induction, but these are some top tips to help you put together a programme that will help your new employee feel part of the team quickly. Health & Safety On their first day there will...

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How to change Culture

How to change Culture

How to change Culture   I have seen time and time again, great businesses that have failed because they have allowed a poor culture to take hold and it has destroyed what could have been an amazingly successful organisation. So how do businesses get this so wrong and end up with a bad culture that drives away great staff and customers? If I consider some examples where I have witnessed this first hand, then these may be some of the warning signs. No vision Where business owners have failed...

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Why are Vision & Values still important?

Why are Vision & Values still important?

Why are Vision & Values still important?   As an expert working with Small – Medium businesses I am constantly banging the drum to encourage business owners to actually take the time to establish their Vision, Mission and Values as this forms such an important foundation to build their whole people strategy on. Much as trends come and go, this isn’t one of them – why? Your Vision is where the business is heading, what do you want to be famous for in your world. If...

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How do I conduct a Toolbox Talk?

How do I conduct a Toolbox Talk?

How do I conduct a Toolbox Talk?   A toolbox talk is a valuable safety tool whereby important health and safety issues can be communicated to the workforce and they can give their feedback - such as safety concerns or improvements. It therefore needs to be well prepared and engaging.   First of all, explain why you are having a toolbox talk on a particular topic. Perhaps a recent near miss or observation highlighted a safety issue. Ensure you prepare what you are going to talk about....

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Who can do a Risk Assessment?

Who can do a Risk Assessment?

Who can do a Risk Assessment?   I often get asked this question and the simple answer is ‘anyone confident that they understand what's involved can do a risk assessment.’   If you are not enlisting the help of an expert, then the starting point is understanding what should be included in a risk assessment. In this event then the person responsible should speak to others in the workplace to get their input. Those working in a particular location, doing a particular process...

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Do I Need to Report Accidents?

Do I Need to Report Accidents?

It depends on the seriousness of the accident. Some accidents and ill health at work are classed as ‘reportable’. Reporting these is a legal requirement under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) and must be reported to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) via the HSE website. RIDDOR places a legal duty on employers, self employed people and people in control of premises (known as ‘responsible persons’) to record and report...

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I need to take on my first staff member but don’t know where to start

I need to take on my first staff member but don’t know where to start

I need to take on my first staff member but don’t know where to start  Growing  your  business  means  you  have  too  much  work  to  take  on  yourself,  so  it’s  finally  time  to  take  on  your  first  staff  member.    But where  do  you  start?  Let us  give  you  a  few  tips.   First, ...

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Testimonials

Dragonfly Grounds Care Ltd

You are all doing a fantastic job guys and I just want to let you all know we would be in a real panic had it not been for the support and advice you have given us so far. I really don't know if we would have been in business at the end of this. But with your exceptional effort I feel much more confident that we can ride this storm and come out the other end. The decision we made as a business to procure your services has paid massive dividends.

Thank you from all at Dragonfly.

Dragonfly Grounds Care Ltd

Northern Accountants

Sarah and the team at Quest have provided us HR support since January 2013.

Quest Consulting Services provided us with a comprehensive employment structure with contacts and a handbook and have been on hand to help me deal with the occasional issue I have faced with team members through their telephone support service.

As our personal Consultant, Sarah provides a quality, professional and complete service which is great value for money.

Northern Accountants

Off Limits Corporate Events

Sarah has transformed our HR and has introduced systems that have taken lots of hassle away from staffing issues within our company.

We have worked with Sarah and her team for 5 years and in this time our business has grown considerably. With telephone support available for all our Managers as they need it plus Sarah and her team proactively keeping us updated on changes in legislation we are reassured that we are in safe hands.

The HR software that Quest implemented also helps us keep on top of the routine aspects of HR such as holiday bookings, recording absence, holding personnel records which then allows Sarah and her team easy access to give us relevant advice.

Our Managers have also benefited from workshops run by Sarah to help develop their skills on handling issues such as disciplinary, appraisals, recruitment etc….

The support of Quest is invaluable and provides a much more cost effective solution than employing a HR Manager in house.

Off Limits Corporate Events

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After what has been a very unusual year for businesses, what has become clear to us is that there are lots of businesses out there that have...

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