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Basic Pay Set To Increase

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In their recent autumn labour market outlook, the CIPD has indicated that basic rates of pay for public sector employees is expected to increase and is likely to match the rate for private sector employees for the first time since 2021. Pay awards are now looking to be around 5% and are the highest on record for the public sector.

The report also details that the cost-of-living crisis has become less of a concern in the workplace due to employers being better prepared to support their employees. Inflation has slowed and things have not become cheaper so employers should still be concerned about their employee’s financial wellbeing, particularly any on a lower wage.

Having regular and ideally annual pay reviews will alleviate employee concerns somewhat because they know that it is looked at annually. A review doesn’t always mean an increase but the facts its done regularly gives confidence that it is at least considered.
It is also key that as an employer you know the value of each job function and the best way to do so is to regularly benchmark those roles against the market. This will help to ensure your employees are on market and paid correctly for the role.

Try considering alternatives to base pay increases like linking individual, team and company performance to annual bonuses. Base salary alone is not always a solution a more rounded benefit package can help support your team.

Why is it so important to have Terms & Conditions and a Privacy Policy?

Our Guest Writer - Claire Rowland - Graphic Designer

Image: Harriet Matthews Brand Photography

This is a very important question to ask yourself when you are first starting out in your business. Whether you are service based or a company selling a product, having these in place is a must.

As a sole trader and self-employed freelance graphic designer, I soon realised the benefit of having these both in place. As a designer I am often asked to sign Data protection and non-disclosure documents with my clients before I can even begin to work with them. Protection works for both sides of the parties and this is why every company, business and sole trader should invest in having their T&C’s and Privacy policies.

My why for my Terms & Conditions (T&C’s) and private policy show my clients the legalities of my company of the policies and the protection that they give to me. My T&C’s set out the price, the delivery date of the project, terms of payment, approvals, third party suppliers, cancellation, and termination of agreement in the “Contractual Relationship’ that is agreed by both parties by the signing and dating of the document. My contract also talks about copyright, photo release and using the deliverables to showcase in my portfolio, on social media and website and other platforms, Intellectual Property, Trademark, logos, images, artwork, designs and content. We are all governed by the Data Protection Act 1998 and UK GDPR and this too is included. I have listed only a few of the benefits to having these documents in place. The protection is there for both parties concerned.

However, it is crucial to finding the right Solicitor for your business, as this is a ‘must’ when investing in the legalities for your business. If you don’t know where to start ask around, if you have a solicitor in your networking group, they will certainly point you in the right direction as to who could be perfect fit for your business.

Having these policies in place makes you look like you care enough to protect your business and your clients. You are a professional, be professional get protected.

Claire Rowland – Graphic Designer, Claire Noelle Design

Artificial Intelligence

Image: Adobe Stock

AI has been all over the press and not always in a good way. How is your Company adapting with this technology? It seems that 41% of UK employees consider this as an opportunity for their employers. But a quarter also believe there will be an increase in full-time employees over the next 5 years due to AI implementation.

As we see in the press employers are exploring what AI can bring them and more are investing in the development to increase future capability. AI has been around since the 1950’s and is touched upon by us all on a daily basis, but we probably don’t realise this. A good example was the secret use of AI by Amazon for recruitment that had an inbuilt bias. Clearly flawed in that instance however AI is commonplace in recruitment.

It still surprises people to know that you can apply for a job and be rejected whilst never having a human eye see your CV let alone be put in front of the hiring manager. AI is a useful tool in identifying the key requirements of the role being recruited. If the CV doesn’t indicate enough of those key requirements, then that CV will go down the no thank you route.

If you’re lucky, you might actually get a no thank you letter and again AI has been utilised to provide outcomes be that invitations to interview or the disappointment of a no thank you.

AI is here to stay but like most other things its only as good as the quality of data put in. Key learnings thus far are that the human/AI interaction needs to be well defined and people need training. Best practice is set your AI stall out from the start so your employees understand the right and the wrongs before you get to far down the use of AI track.

Festive Round-Up

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Tis the season to be Jolly. And that’s exactly what we want for everyone including in the workplace. It is the season of Christmas parties where we let our hair down and celebrate the year. Here are some top tips to ensure you have a stress-free and safe time:-

    • December has many holy days for different religions. Keep that in mind when setting a date for your party.
    • Don’t put pressure on, to get people to go, that takes the fun out of it for everyone.
    • Relax a bit we know it’s a work-related celebration, but give everyone a chance to have fun and celebrate your successes.
    • Cater for all dietary requirements, be that Vegetarians, vegans and remember not everyone drinks alcohol.
    • Keep an eye on the drinking – drink tickets are a good way to monitor how much people are drinking.
    • Before the party give guidance on conduct that’s expected to make everyone comfortable.
    • Boss, get a round in, it’s a nice way to say thank you.
    • Good to assign someone to subtly keep an eye on proceedings.
    • Set your expectation after all if the party is in the week, you expect all to be in work in the morning. A nice touch could be to cater for a good breakfast for them at work the next day.
    • Most important of all don’t let them drink and drive after the party, but also are they fit to do so the next day. Maybe hire a minibus?
Image: Adobe Stock

Wishing Everyone a Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year