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Key employment-related changes and guidance following our 2024 People Conference

| | Duncan & Toplis | 3 May 2024

Chaired by Chief People Officer, Heidi Thompson, we recently welcomed HR professionals from across the region to our 2024 People Conference. Hosted at Harlaxton Manor, the event provided an opportunity to learn of important employment law updates, payroll changes, and recruitment advice from our team of experts.

Recruitment Masterclass by Shane Sale: “Key Takeaways for Successful Hiring”

Recruiting the right people is essential for business success. Shane Sale, Head of Talent and People Experience at Duncan & Toplis, recently shared his insights during his ‘Recruitment Masterclass’ session. Shane is known for his innovative approaches to talent management and his commitment to fostering diversity, inclusion, and neurodiversity.

Shane explained the high cost of a bad hire, which can lead to reduced productivity, low morale, and damaged business reputation. According to Shane, bad hires often stem from rushed decisions, inadequate recruitment processes, and over-reliance on recruitment agencies without proper oversight. He recommended more comprehensive recruitment practices, involving multiple stakeholders to reduce bias and improve decision-making.

Shane's advice for successful recruitment also includes building strong foundations for your hiring process. Here's how:

  • Decision making - Ensure that hiring decisions are based on facts and feedback from multiple interviews. It's important to involve a diverse range of stakeholders to reduce bias.
  • Interview checklist - Establish an interview checklist that aligns with your company's values and culture. This checklist helps keep the process organised and ensures consistency across interviews.
  • Screening candidates - Avoid making judgments based solely on CVs. Check for grammar errors, cross-reference LinkedIn profiles, and look for consistency in a candidate's work history.
  • Supercharge your employer brand - A strong employer brand attracts top talent. Ensure that your company's online presence, including LinkedIn, Google, and Glassdoor, reflects your culture and values.

Shane also emphasised the usefulness of an ‘Attribute Library’ for a successful hiring process. This library should list the key attributes, define them, and create interview questions for each attribute. It helps ensure candidates meet the skills and competencies required for the job and reduces bias in the hiring process. For further resources, please click the link here.

Employment law updates

Katy Anderson, People Business Partner at Duncan & Toplis, covered critical updates in employment law, focusing on flexible working, changes to paternity leave, and enhanced maternity protection from redundancy.

Katy summarised the expansion of flexible working provisions, allowing employees to request flexible working from day one of employment, reduced from the previous 26 weeks. With effect from 1 April 2024. Employees can now make two requests per year (increased from one), and employers must respond within two months (reduced from three months). Notably, employers are now required to consult with employees about their requests, fostering a more collaborative approach to flexible working. Additionally, changes to paternity leave enable employees to take leave in one block of two weeks or two separate blocks of one week, with notice reduced from 15 weeks to 28 days.

Another significant update involves enhanced maternity protection from redundancy, which now starts from the point an employee informs their employer of their pregnancy and continues for 18 months after the baby is born, also covering adoption and miscarriage in some cases. The introduction of Carers Leave entitles employees to one week of unpaid leave per year for caring responsibilities, extending beyond immediate family, with flexibility in how it's taken.

The session also covered important changes in holiday pay, including the reinstatement of the 12.07% method for calculating holiday accrual, rolled-up holiday pay, and new legislation addressing the allocation of tips in the hospitality sector.

Katy also highlighted the upcoming employment law changes in 2024, including the right to a more predictable working pattern for casual or zero-hours workers and streamlined TUPE consultation processes for smaller businesses. Overall, these employment law changes reflect a broader shift toward employee-friendly policies and greater flexibility in the workplace.

Payroll updates

Head of Payroll, Damon Tunnicliffe, reviewed the payroll changes for 2024-2025, including the increase in National Living Wage for workers over the age of 21, and changes to statutory payments.

For further information, you can read the overview below.

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