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Holiday Carry-Over Rules

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Holiday carry-over rules established by the EU remain in force in UK law. This means up to 4 weeks of statutory annual leave can be carried over up to 18 months where an employee cannot take it due to sickness, they are not given the opportunity to take the leave or are not informed the untaken leave will be lost.

In cases where employees were unable to take the leave due to family leave (maternity etc) then all their statutory entitlement may be carried over for up to 18 months. Perhaps a pertinent reminder that holiday pay must include other regular payments like commission and overtime.

The rule regarding employer records for working hours and rest breaks for all employees has been removed, however some records are still required. Our advice is to make sure your annual leave policy captures how holiday pay is calculated and your rules on how to carry leave over.

Public Speaking with Confidence

Our Guest Writer - Fiona Brennan-Scott - Bespoken

Image: Fiona Brennan-Scott

Fiona Brennan-Scott of BESPOKEN shares her thoughts. Fiona is a voice and speech coach, trainer, keynote speaker and author of Breathtaking Communication – Tools and Techniques for Everyday Leaders. She founded BESPOKEN in 2018.

Public speaking is not just about talking. It’s having prepared something to say on a given topic for a specific audience. That means expertise, potentially research and definitely preparation is required. For anyone who wants to excel, it will also mean practice.

What defines the ‘public’ in public speaking? I would suggest three or more people. Communication with one or two people is better served by a dialogue or conversation.

Public also implies that there are likely to be people who are unknown or at least unfamiliar to the speaker. Therefore, it could be speaking to a group of ten, two hundred or even thousands of people. That level of exposure requires a level of skill and courage that can be greatly aided by developing public speaking skills, or audience engagement skills as I prefer to call it.

Why would you want to do public speaking coaching or training? There are many reasons why people reach out to work with me. Here are a few that might resonate with you.

You may recognise that you don’t have the tools and techniques to speak up with confidence in meetings. You are being overlooked and others are chosen who are perhaps less competent than you but more confident speakers.

You may have had an experience where you’ve not done yourself justice or received negative feedback in a meeting or public speaking situation.

Perhaps you’ve been invited to do a presentation or speech in your personal or professional capacity and need help preparing or practicing. You want to impact a different or wider audience with your message.

You may see it as part of growing your business or CPD (Career and Personal Development). It also may be required for attending interviews or interviewing others.

Public speaking training is a process of acquiring the skills and techniques necessary to develop the confidence to stand or sit before a large audience and know that you can accomplish your desired outcomes. This while engaging your audience throughout your speech or presentation. ‘Speech’ implies that you will use your speech consisting of voice, words and language, and body language to engage your audience. Presentation is a broader word and may include props and visual aids or a demonstration.

If you would like to find out more, you can Link in with Fiona, avail of free resources through her YouTube videos, or on her website. Fiona is also happy to have a no-obligation, Discovery Call. Please book here at a time that’s convenient for you.

Holiday Pay

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Working out holiday entitlement and holiday pay for employees with irregular hours has always been a nightmare with a real need for consistently staying on top of and recording their changing data. We think all of us at one stage or another have faced a disputed holiday calculation and remember the hours of going over line managers’ records to prove/disprove the query. Time we will never get back….

Some good news for those of you managing this particular juggling act is that rolled-up holiday pay which is calculated at 12.07% will again be lawful for part-year workers and those who work irregular hours for leave years starting 1 April 2024.

This new method for holiday accrual comes into force for irregular hours and part-year workers (which May include some agency workers), based on 12.07% of hours worked in the previous pay period.

Our advice is to ensure your annual leave policies reflect how holiday and holiday pay are calculated. It’s also a good idea to check your payslips clearly detail this and be proactive in employees actually take their holiday.

Stress and Burnout

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Everybody who has ever worked will at some time in their career face high levels of workplace stress What most of us don’t realise is that you can lose approximately 55 working days in productivity per year according to the most recent Telus Health mental health index. 

As business owners and managers of people, we should be looking out for the early signs of burnout and work on having a Company culture that contributes to lessening the likelihood of burnout.

The index also indicates that thirty-three percent of the UK workforce are finding themselves more stressed than they did prior to the pandemic. With further insight into particularly acute demographics for those aged under 40 where 70% were feeling more stressed. Parents also were sixty percent and managers of people were forty percent. So, if you’re a young parent working as a manager imagine the stress level at play?

We can all see workplace stress is a very big problem and whilst the pandemic was a major contributor there are other reasons as well.

Human beings are averse to change and let’s face it we have and are looking at lots of disruption in recent times and the speed at which this change has come and in fact seems to be accelerating means demands at work are on the up. All the ingredients you need for stress to take hold.

There is no doubt stress is a significant contributor to poor productivity.  The primary reason employees report is their manager relationship (55 working days lost in productivity).  

And what about those of us worrying about losing our jobs?  Those people are losing 54 days of productivity.

How is this contributing to employers leaving their jobs?  It’s estimated ten percent of UK employees considering leaving their employers are doing so due to the increasing strain at work.

So how do we as managers spot the early signs of stress?  Here are some work performance indicators:-

    • Declining or inconsistent performance
    • Uncharacteristic errors
    • Lack of commitment or motivation
    • Lapses in memory

Other signs might be signs of conflict or emotion:-

    • Irritable or mood swings
    • Overreaction
    • Personality clash

There may be a withdrawal that can be recognised by:- 

    • Being late for work
    • Absenteeism
    • Reduced social interaction

Unfortunately, there may also be aggressive behaviour:-

    • Criticism of others
    • Bullying
    • Harassment

And sometimes you might observe your employees having difficulty in relaxing, increased consumption of alcohol, lack of interest in appearance or hygiene and accidents at home and work.

Physically stress can make an impact:-

    • Nervous stumbling speech
    • Tired and lethargic
    • Tension headaches
    • Upset stomach

In summary, if you’re a people manager look out for and recognise the signs of stress in you and the team you lead.  Early intervention is key to keeping you and those around you out of the statistics shown above and firmly in an environment that promotes and cares for its employees.  For help with this and other questions you have, don’t hesitate to ask.