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Blog  »  May 2022
May 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

The Benefits of having Employee Referral Schemes

One of the many challenges faced in the world of HR is recruitment. Whether it’s trying to fill multiple roles or trying to find the right candidate for one an employee referral scheme may be a solution.

In this post, we will share some benefits of introducing an employee referral scheme to your organisation.

Employee referrals are faster hires

One of the most challenging aspects of hiring is that it takes a long time to find a quality candidate. Not only do you have to search through CVs, but you have to schedule screenings and in-person interviews. Not to mention that candidates can drop out of the process bringing you back to square one.

Less costly hires

Using referral methods to gain employees will lead to not using recruiting agencies which come at a high cost.

Employee referrals onboard more quickly

New hires may feel intimidated and withhold from asking questions or getting clarification about things they’re confused about, which can slow down the onboarding process. However, having a friend in the same company can make it easier to open up and get integrated quicker into the organisation.

Improves Employee Engagement

When a company asks employees to help them find their next new hire it makes them feel more empowered. At the same time, it’s a great feeling for them when they can help their friends with their next career move.

Boost Employer Branding

When employees spread the word about job openings it brings a lot of traffic to the company. This also improves brand visibility.

 Many companies use employee referral schemes with employees receiving rewards such as cash bonuses or experiential rewards. Building employee referral programs can generate buzz and excitement around the workplace.

Related Articles: 

Employment Engagement Part one: How to Attract and Retain Employees.

Employee Engagement Part Two: Seven Dimensions of Good Work

May 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

How to Combat Loneliness in the Workplace

According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, nine million people in the UK are suffering from loneliness. Loneliness has the same health risk as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, by increasing the risk of high blood pressure.

People experiencing loneliness can feel disengaged and disconnected from their work and colleagues, which can cause them to become emotionally detached from the organization.

Tips to help combat loneliness at work:

Communicate and raise awareness: Create a space for employees to talk about their wellbeing by checking in regularly, even if it’s virtually. Raising awareness will help build a company culture where people feel comfortable disclosing challenges and being informed about the support available to them.

Facilitate workplace socialising: People with social connections at work tend to be more engaged and loyal because these relationships help to build a company culture based on trust and respect.

Create opportunities for employees to connect: Get your organisation to organise quizzes, group calls, or even exercise classes for remote employees. Additionally, assign work buddies or mentors who can listen to work and non-work-related issues and provide team lunches or away days where employees can socialise outside of the workplace setting.

Encourage employees to use their employee benefits: benefits such as (EAPs), virtual GPs and mental health nurses can all prove a useful source of help. EAPs provide around-the-clock confidential support for a wide range of problems employees might be facing.

Loneliness affects millions of people in the UK every year and is a key driver of poor mental health. It is important that employees are made aware of what they can avail of in the workplace so they know when and how to reach out.

Related Articles:

What You Need to Know About Employee Burnout

Wellbeing at Work


Posted in Health & Safety

May 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

Changes to Flexible Working Rights

In September 2021, the UK Government published a consultation document to reform the right to request flexible working under a new Employment Bill- which is yet to be put before Parliament.

What will the new legislation mean for hybrid work?

The document will put forward five proposals;

  • Making the right to request flexible working a day one right
  • Consider whether the currently permitted business reasons for refusing a request all remain valid
  • Consider the administrative process underpinning the right to request flexible working
  • Requiring the employer to suggest alternatives to what has been requested by the employee
  • Requesting a temporary arrangement

These proposals will broaden employees’ rights to request flexible work. However, employers will retain the right to reject such requests for one or more broadly defined reasons.

What does this mean for employees?

The main change for employees would be the right to request flexible working from the first day of their employment, rather than first having to accrue 26 weeks’ service under the current legislative framework. It’s important to note that employees only have the right to make a request for flexible working, rather than a right to flexible working, and employers will still be able to refuse the request on certain broad business grounds.

Unless there is a discussion between the employer and the employee about flexible working before their employment starts, employees who want to work flexibly will have to start working on the basis of their original terms of employment while trying to change them, as there is no right to make a request before starting the job.

What does this mean for employers?

Rejecting a request might become more difficult for employers. Employers could be required to suggest, or at least consider, alternative arrangements to those requested by the employee.

As it stands, employees can only make one request every 12 months, and employers have 3 months to consider the request and make a decision. Potentially increasing how often an employee can make a request will somewhat reduce existing barriers to flexible working and would recognise that employees’ personal circumstances can quickly change. The Government suggests where these changes are temporary to encourage employees to request temporary arrangements.

Striking the right balance

Many employers already have hybrid working policies in place, meaning that any reform is likely to have a limited impact in practice. Whilst employers will clearly benefit from embracing flexible working in terms of recruitment and retention of employees, whether requests can be accommodated will very much depend on the requirements of the business and the nature of the employee’s role, and employers will have a broad range of reasons on which to reject any request if necessary.

In Bright Contracts, we have a flexible working policy which you can add to your handbook where you can edit to suit your company's needs.

Further guidance on flexible working can be found here.

Related Articles: 

Everyone's Talking About Flexible Working

Pilot Testing the Four-day Working Week


Posted in Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Employment Law, Hybrid Working

May 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

Menopause Policies in the Workplace

The conversation around menopause in the workplace has been amplified recently, with weekly press reports stating that an increasing number of companies are taking steps to support employees who are going through menopause.

A major high street retailer announced in March that they would be paying for employees’ hormone replacement therapy (a common treatment for severe menopause symptoms). Additionally, a large media company is offering access to menopause resources and desk fans for women suffering from hot flushes.

Creating an environment supportive of women going through menopause is particularly important in the context of retaining senior women in the workplace. Recent research reported that almost a fifth of women with menopausal or peri-menopausal symptoms took more than eight weeks’ leave, and half of these women resigned or took early retirement.

A recent poll conducted in March 2022 revealed that 72% of companies do not currently have a menopause policy in place and only 16% of businesses train line managers on how to address the menopause at work. Given the increasing number of queries we are responding to on this topic, we expect these statistics to change significantly this year, as employers are to place greater emphasis on supporting those going through menopause at work.

Bright Contracts has a Menopause Policy available in the 'Terms & Conditions' section of the company handbook.

Related Articles:

Supporting Female Employees: Implementing a Menopause Policy

Don't Be Afraid to Talk About Menopause in the Workplace


Posted in Company Handbook, Employee Handbook, Employment Law


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