Weather Warning!

We have some severe weather warnings forecast for this week across different parts of the country and it is always best to be prepared. But there are some things that as a business we should have in place already:


  1. Ensure you have an adverse weather policy in place. Implementing a policy gives you an opportunity to show how you will be dealing with major disruptions, in advance of them actually happening, giving you the time to think about how to act when things take a turn for the worse outside. Employees also understand their responsibilities and what they are required to do when the weather is affecting work and can even start to think of alternative ways into work.
  2. It is worth checking that your employment contracts compliment and add value to this policy. The last thing you want is to contradict making it difficult to take decisive actions.
  3. Consider how you will deal with absences caused by weather disruption, to pay or not must also be defined in your policy. Remember you are not obliged to pay for this, it can be classed as unpaid leave.
  4. When considering payments, think how this will reflect upon your culture and attitude towards staff and is this the best approach to take? You may already have practices in place which make it possible for staff to continue fulfilling their responsibilities even though they may not be in work. Think whether any disgruntled employees will get your reaction into the public domain
  5. Consider alternatives which may be available for your staff with their working arrangements; taking holiday instead, working from home, working different hours, making up the hours over the forthcoming weeks are all suitable alternatives to people losing money which they may not be able to afford
  6. Always think through closing your establishment. Closing the workplace where people are willing to come to work will mean that you will need to pay them for the time during which the workplace is closed.
  7. Recognise the effort people put in to attend work. How can you make this time enjoyable?
  8. Consider your Health and Safety obligations as well as your duty of care and welfare to those employed. The workplace needs to be safe as far as is reasonably practical so consider those working outside or near the cold – if the conditions get worse you may need to consider how your staff will get home

Please do not hesitate to call one of our HR Consultants on 07989 343361 or email us on and we will be happy to talk through with you any of the above areas. Most of all keep warm and enjoy it when you can!

A magical time of year

It can be the most magical time of the year, when the Christmas spirit brings together all those who have been naughty or nice in the workplace. It is an opportunity for most of us to relax, unwind and celebrate the last 365 days and all those who’ve helped it be a successful one.

But for some, the season typically, of goodwill can feel a little deflated with  nearly 20% of office workers in the capital admitting to “hating” the annual Christmas get together, according to research by Many workers are concerned over potential drunken embarrassment, or quite simply, seeing the same faces again socially as we have seen for the last 2000 hours.

A relaxed environment aided with alcohol are usually two ingredients for a great party most of which will happen at this time of year at the annual Christmas party, we can’t forget though the responsibility for behaviour is still vitally important. Employers should be mindful of doing as much as they can to avoid any stilted Monday morning meetings with their staff.

Ensuring employees know their rights before the celebrations is one of the key things to consider. Setting out the standards that are expected even though it is away from the normal workplace is key. Asking people to drink responsibly and a decision on whether to operate a ‘cash bar’ rather than a free bar,”

Recent cases have shown that if employers provide all alcohol free of charge (i.e. free bar) and something happens as a result of too much drinking, there could be a defence by the employee that the employer contributed to the actions.

Another familiar problem employer’s face is time off around the Christmas period. For the majority of us, being required to take annual leave ensures Christmas is spent with family and friends and not work colleagues, however, this can give risks of its own to indirect religious discrimination if non-Christian employees are required to use their annual leave during the Christmas period – a time with no religious significance to them.

To manage these issues, consideration needs to be given if non-Christian workers request time off during a time that is significant in their religion. It would be wise therefore to consider whether agreement needs to be reached to make different working arrangements.

Some other tips

  • Ensure that all annual leave payments are made in line with contractual requirements and that people are taken all unused entitlement if at the end of their annual leave year
  • Although your Christmas bonus may not be mandatory, it needs to be paid to everyone or face a claim of prejudice. Again this is not limited to sex, disability, race/nationality, religion/belief, sexual orientation, marriage/civil partnership, transgender or maternity/pregnancy etc.

If you want us to help you with any aspects of business over Christmas, please do give us a call or visit our website and complete a contact you form, or 07989 343361

Coping with sports events in the workplace

England have secured their place on the continued journey in the World Cup. Exciting times? Or is it when you have to manage things at work? We also have Wimbledon starting next week for all those tennis fans all of which may impact on how to keep employees motivated to still come into work and be productive when they do!

People are passionate about different sports and certainly which team they want to win so think about whether your business has the ability to be open to different ways of working so that it is not unduly affected by these growing sporting events. Options to consider are:

  • Allow employees to listen to matches on the radio or online
  • Provide TVs
  • Consider how to accommodate followers and those not interested in break out areas of work – not everyone wants to hear the cheers and boos!
  • Let people watch on television or the internet during breaks, after work or in the background.
  • Consider whether drinking will be allowed in the workplace for games watched outside of normal working hours, or whether doing so may cause more problems than it’s worth.
  • Different break times to suit different nationalities to enable them to watch their home country.
  • Split shifts with the break taken at work with the facilities of TV etc available

Things to think about in relation to the above are:

  • Make sure you have valid licences in place for TVs
  • That risk assessments are carried out beforehand to identify any health and safety issues.
  • Consider whether some people will use inappropriate or unguarded comments about another team’s nationality or characteristics of its players, which may be offensive and/or lead to allegations of discrimination.
  • A good opportunity to remind employees of the relevant policies in place that relate to conduct within and outside the workplace, and of the potential consequences of failing to comply (for example, World Cup privileges being withdrawn and/or disciplinary action being taken). If your policy provides limited personal use on the internet or social media, remind employees that personal use must be limited and any parameters of personal use that you impose

It is always good to learn from each event as well. What things went well? Did we achieve the attendance at work we were expecting? If not why? Were there reasons for this? As knowing these answers not only gives you great information for reviewing policies and procedures but the way you handle the next sporting event of the year!

Finally, there is potentially one date in the not too distant future which you may wish to put in your diaries, Monday 16th July 2018. If the unthinkable happens and England actually win a penalty shoot-out and go all the way to the final, then this would kick off at 4:00pm on Sunday 15th July 2018. If England somehow managedto win the World Cup then you can probably expect record levels of absence on 16th July 2018!

If you need any guidance or support in any of the issues this may raise please do not hesitate to give one of our Consultants a call on 07989 343361 or visit our website for more details and other ways to stay in touch.

The Royal Wedding – from a HR Perspective

beautiful wedding decoration for Silk tent for the wedding ceremony for the newlywedsSo we are fast approaching the wedding of the year – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are tying the knot this weekend but how will this affect your business? What are the things you need to think about?

A Public holiday has not been granted

Their engagement was announced some time ago and speculation started almost immediately whether we would be given an extra day off as a public holiday as we did when Prince William and Kate Middleton (as was then) also married. However, the Prime Minister Theresa May quickly put a stop to this, commenting that the young royals getting hitched should be enough in itself to ‘cheer people up’.

Whether connected to this or not, the happy couple have decided to marry on a Saturday, which is a move that breaks royal tradition.  This gives a larger proportion of the population the opportunity to enjoy the day with most enjoying a Monday to Friday working week.

Do I have to give time off? 

In the eyes of the law, Saturday 19th May will see business as usual for employers throughout the UK.  You are under no obligation to offer time off, or relax any contractual terms.  Any time off for this day, if it is a normal working day, should be dealt with in the normal way as detailed in your annual leave procedure.

It might be wise though to consider how to accommodate the interest the day will have in those who are unfortunate to have to work.

Some businesses have reported that more than half (51.7%) of employers say their organisation’s approach to major sporting and special events like the Royal Wedding has a positive or very positive impact on employee engagement so we should use this as an opportunity. as with other special events that take place during working hours to think of ways to accommodate and have facilities or arrangements include:

  • a TV in a communal area or staff room;
  • allowing employees to follow events online on work devices; and
  • permitting the use of radios.

It might not be possible but you may be able to consider making special working time arrangements. The most popular options are:

  • flexible start and end times;
  • considering late requests for annual leave;
  • allowing employees to make up any working time taken to view events; and
  • allowing differently timed lunch breaks.

All of the above can go a long way when it comes to boosting morale and protecting your employer brand.


Hopefully this won’t be the case, but if you do have any issues which occur on the weekend, these should be handled in line with your current people policies. Be prepared though – consider the possibility of a member of staff celebrating a little too hard and failing to turn up for duty the next day?  Or, what if they do come into work, but are clearly still inebriated from the night before?

Remember though, you should be doing nothing differently.  Follow your normal people policies which are well know to your employees so that you remain fair and consistent in your approach.

After our, what seems an eternity of a winter, this may be what we all need but if you do have any problems over the weekend please contact one of our HR Consultants to talk things through, we will be happy to advice, we can be contacted on 07989 343361 or emailed on

When do I give my employees a contract?

contract of employment

You may be surprised to hear that you don’t actually need to provide a full contract of employment in writing but you do have to provide certain information in writing within 2 months of the employee commencing employment with you.  If you don’t, there is a risk of a legal claim against you.

You are legally obliged to provide the following in writing:-

  • Name of employer and employee.
  • Date employment and continuous employment started.
  • Job location.
  • Pay and whether it’s weekly, monthly etc.
  • Working hours.
  • Holiday entitlement.
  • Job description / job title.
  • Details of any collective agreement that directly affect the employee’s conditions of employment

The following information may be provided in other documents such as staff handbooks:

  • sick leave and pay entitlement
  • pensions and pension schemes
  • disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • appeals procedure under the disciplinary and grievance procedures

Remember a contact of employment still exists from when you verbally make that offer. The full contract of employment does not have to be written down, or signed, to still exist between you and your employee.  It is formed regardless. What you provide for the individual, your day to day dealings, your decisions, what you provide for your employees, employment practices, all set your contract.  And then it may be difficult to change.  So, whatever you start, make sure you are happy for it to be your permanent contractually terms regardless of whether it’s written down or not.  Ideally, you should think this through from the outset and set all your desired working practices and offerings in the form of written policies and procedures so that all parties know what to expect (Employee Handbook).  But at a minimum, you must provide at least the basic minimal legal requirements as listed above.

If you want to talk about your requirements through with us please ring our team of HR Consultants who will be happy to talk through these and other elements of the employment contract on 07989 343361 or email us on

Employing someone for the first time?

Well done! You are experiencing high demands for your products or service and in a position to employ someone for the first time means it’s a great achievement.



There are some things that we forget to consider though when first faced with this decision. First, consider whether it’s a permanent requirement, seasonal or temporary, or even part-time.  Think about what their continued employment is reliant upon and with the very best of foresight that the requirement is going to continue.

You will also need to think about any practical elements of becoming an employer, think about the requirements of the job you’re creating, what will you be paying them, and how to get candidates and select someone who is right for the role.

You will also need to provide them with a written contract of employment, carry out some background checks, inform the HMRC, and decide how you are going to pay them.  And don’t forget your employers’ liability insurance and swotting up on all those employment rights!


Checklist when starting a new employee:

√    Employers liability insurance in place

√   Paying individuals monthly or weekly

√   Permanent or temporary contract?

√   What benefits will they have – how do you want to be perceived to the new employee – what will make them want to work for you

√   Confirmation in writing of the terms and conditions of employment, a legal requirement

√   Informing HMRC that you employee

√   Check Right to Work documentation in line with the Asylum & Immigration Act

If you need to talk through any of the above elements, our qualified consultants at Teme HR can help, please call for an informal chat on how we can help on 07989 343361 or email us at .

Are you GDPR Ready?

World Business BackgroundWe have all heard about the new Regulations which will be effective from 25th May 2018 but are you ready for this latest piece of legislation which amends the Data Protection Act? Teme HR Consultancy have put together the top 10 things to think about with this new piece of legislation

  1. Ensure all personal data is kept securely and you have processes in place which will ensure this security. Any breach of security in that the personal data becomes known to those outside of the organisation is what could lead to fines being issued, which, as stated by the Regulations is up to 4% of your turnover
  2. Assess all procedures of processing personal data so that you are fully aware of who will come into contact with personal data. You need to be transparent as to who will be handling the data so that the data subject is aware who will see their data
  3. Gain complete understanding and buy in from all senior leadership teams so that they are fully aware of the new Regulations, leading from the top is the best way to help ensure compliance and full understanding
  4. Assess why you need any personal data you hold; do you have a legitimate business reason for holding this data? If not assess whether you have consent from the individual
  5. Review all places you hold data, hard copy files, electronic databases, spreadsheets of information, emails where you have passed data to someone else within the company or even outside, is this data secure, has it gone outside of the business, does the data subject know their data could be sent to these people?
  6. Are your privacy notices up to date, do they reflect the changes in regulations? These may need addressing to ensure they comply with the new Regulations
  7. How do your suppliers process personal data, what have they in place. Additional requirements are being introduced when using data service providers outside of Europe, and your suppliers should be aware of these changes by now.
  8. Have you considered IP addresses as personal data? This could be part of the Regulations, ensure you are fully aware of IP addresses as well as any other online applications and how they are stored and accessed
  9. Do you have CCTV, have you the right policies in place to ensure you are monitoring with consent?
  10. The key question is – do I really need this data!

So, are you GDPR ready? If you need any further advice on the above or want to ensure your business is ready for the new Regulations but need some help or advice, or an audit on your current situation, please do not hesitate to call one of our HR Consultants on 07989 343361 or email us on and we will be happy to talk through with you.

Love is in the Air!

But how do we feel this affects our business, in particular when it comes to romantic relationships particularly in the office?

People develop relationships in all environments but, this is more likely when they spend substantial amounts of time together whether in meetings, working together in general, across teams or in the same team and there is no surprise therefore that this could happen in the workplace.

Many companies have a Relationship at Work Policy, which is great but sometimes this only encourages people to bury the relationship and for people to hide from superiors which could increase gossip and make the people involved feel uncomfortable in their own working environment which in turn could impact on their own morale and how they feel at work.

It is sometimes better to be sensible and upfront when a relationship develops in the workplace. Establish some guidelines and have a fair approach to how to manage such a delicate situation.

Also think about some relationships which may have an impact on the company’s integrity like; client and customer, supplier and contractor, manager and subordinate. There are of course ways to manage even these sensitive situations but, this needs to be clear and transparent to all employees so as to make coming forward easier for them should they be in this situation.

office desk Red heart Valentine dayThese clear guidelines make it easier for the individuals to accept any changes in working arrangements which may be needed to protect the company and their relationship. Some actions will help to maintain the fair and consistent approach which will enhance your own culture and values, remember managers must deal with situations as swiftly as possible without delay. There are additional steps that can be taken to try to reduce the risk of lawsuit by an employee who claims after a break up of sexual harassment – one of the biggest dangers of office/workplace romances.

We don’t want to be a kill joy! It’s great if relationships work out.

So, this Valentines Day we hope you and your employees have a romantic evening – whatever you do!

For more help in this tricky area call Teme HR Consultancy on 07989 343361 or visit our website Teme HR Consultancy

Employing someone for the first time ?

Are you considering employing someone for the first time? Its great news isn’t it – your business is doing well and you need some help. But how do you make sure you get everything right?

Is it permanent/part-time/seasonal, how do I get the right person, do I need to confirm things in writing?

If you are not sure of the answers to any of these points Teme HR are here to help talk through your situation and provide the advices and guidance you need. Please call our qualified team today on 07989 343361 or email us on