HR - Now It's Getting Personal

08 April 2009

Has anybody else noticed that the busiest department in your company is the Human Resources team?

It’s coming to something when you haven’t been able to find anyone to review your personal development plan for the last six months. And now the three-week residential diversity course that you were so looking forward to has been cancelled.

The truth of it is, after spending years thinking of mind boggling ways to help you confuse your identity in a ‘right on’ style the BBC would be proud of, the lovely HR people are finally working their trolleys off.

That’s what happens in a recession. Everyone’s busy doing the things that really make a difference to make sure your business is still here in 2010. And, at last, HR has been welcomed to the inner circle.

If hiring and firing really was as easy and as much of a wheeze as Sir Alan Sugar makes it look – we’d all do it for ourselves. But shouting, ‘You’re fired’ at a gaggle of punchable wannabes whose egos appear to be as colossal as their collective talent is puny won’t qualify you as a Human Resources guru – shame though that is.

And no matter how small your business, you have to take it seriously. Screwing up on a piece of HR legislation is as big a risk to your business now as turning up on the first tee wearing bermuda shorts used to be.

But surely at times like these we can rely on the government to help small businesses by slowing the pace of HR legislation just for a while. What do you think?

Since the beginning of this month:

Minimum paid holidays have increased to 5.6 weeks and must be correctly calculated for key workers (part-time staff to you and me).
Parents with children under 16 can request flexible working patterns (previously 6).
A brand new ACAS code of practice has replaced the previous grievance and discipline standards applicable to all businesses.
If you’re a big business you need to make sure that your HR team is on the ball. If you’re a small business you need to ask for help. Or subscribe to Personnel Today, study for a degree in contract law and buy a decade’s supply of coffee.

Let’s get through this without going bust, and remember – ‘The Apprentice’ isn’t real, it's only make-believe.

Stuart Wilkin writes for Insider.

Posted  08 April 2009


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