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Human resources

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by Toni Rose, Apr 22, 2015.

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    Toni Rose

    Toni Rose Graduate

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    Are there any other HR professionals on the forum? NO specific query just curious as to the kinds of roles people are in? (y)
     
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    Maevla

    Maevla Administrator Staff Member

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    well I'm not a HR professional - but I do have plenty of HR experience :)
    I'm a company owner / directer and operational and logistical jobs are my thing
     
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    Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic Graduate

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    Hi Toni,



    I wouldn’t describe my approach to HR (or employment law) as professional, but rather effective: I rarely pussyfoot around, but prefer to get things done, pushing boundaries to achieve the desired result. I don’t belong to CIPD (and have never done any of their training or exams); I’m a servant to my client’s needs, rather than any tribunal I advocate in; and I give as good as (or better than) I get in conciliation – I don’t bow to intimidation or threats, but invariably call their bluff.


    If an employer wants an employee dealt with, there’s a good reason for this – they don’t want to lose a good & experienced employee for no reason – so I find a way to achieve what they want, whatever that takes.


    I do get the occasional verbal slap in employment tribunals (well, "occasional" should read: I was surprised to get through a three day hearing last year without any slaps from the judge, only upsetting opposing counsel, who wanted to preserve the term “lawyer” for the elite; that was just about the first tribunal I wasn’t given some sort of slapping down by an employment judge), but not being a servant to the court, I do take chances – to good effect.


    There are occasions when an employee needs to be supported, assisted, accommodated, but more often than not, I find the issues SMEs face are idle employees (not the majority of staff, just the odd one or two) who want to dictate the terms, misquote (misunderstand) the law, or generally take the piss. And they don’t deserve anything but a robust response.

    I know that CIPD (and ACAS) often advocate for more lenience than I would typically provide, so if this is what a professional HR person does, I definitely am not in that category! But I do deal with HR...

    ...which of course is only getting more complicated, with parental leave (is that what they call it?) available now, where parents can take chunks of leave off each over a year; what a chore that will be to deal with (but Jo Swinson, LibDem minister responsible thinks it will be as easy as maternity leave to manage!).


    Karl Limpert
     
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    Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic Graduate

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    And to add, it will possibly help to work remote from your colleagues Toni: if you don't associate daily, you don't feel any affinity towards them, no need to bow to their expectations.

    I've only ever had one case where I actually felt for an employee, where I wanted to make a decision in their favour (to offer lenience, not to dismiss), and that was based on a letter of appeal they'd written. The facts didn't support that decision though, and while it was close to 50/50 - the test being balance of probabilities, not beyond reasonable doubt (the latter a test that wouldn't have been satisfied) - I had to conclude in a case once that someone was responsible for theft of petty cash from a charity, based on not knowing much about the person at all, only the limited information to inform the disciplinary. When a tribunal claim followed, I received the full personnel file, and then I felt exonerated in my decision... and the unfair dismissal claim was duly dismissed (albeit, unfairly, not without cost to the charity).


    Karl Limpert
     
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    Toni Rose

    Toni Rose Graduate

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    Hi Maevla, Hi Karl! I haven't taken a CIPD exam either I did start an evening CIPD course at my local college last year and I just could not get into it I felt a lot of what was taught wasn't relevant to today's workplace! Possibly if I'd have taken the CIPD exams before working in a HR role for 2 years previous to starting the course I would have had a little more interest! Can I ask where or how you trained Karl? At the moment a lot of my HR knowledge I have gained through on the job training and various online courses I have taken to fit around my job (some really useful, others not so much!). I also studied criminal law at college, I originally wanted to train as a solicitor looking back now I wish I'd studied employment law but hey you never know there's still time! At the moment I'm unsure of which direction I want my career to go in I'd love to stay in HR but I'm not really sure how to move forward. My job role is very mixed so my main focus isn't always HR (we are a medium sized business so a full time HR person just isn't needed) I'm gaining constant experience with the company I work for but I'd like some solid training to fall back on both to continue learning but also to prove to myself I do know as much as I think I do - any recommendations?

    I agree with the above there have been times when I have 'felt' for the employees and the situations they find themselves in and I think that may be because I worked with them as a colleague with no authority for quite a while before I took on the HR and training role and was given the authority to overrule their decisions. At the same time I tell myself I have a job to do and although i can't always be the good guy and tell people what they want to hear in the end the situations are always resolved effectively!

    Thanks for the responses! :)
     
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    Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic Graduate

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    Hi Toni,


    My training was on the job, my story a little more unusual than the norm: I worked the other side of the fence for nearly 20 years – as a trade union rep. In that time, as well as a lot of basic courses – negotiation, pubic speaking, etc – I managed to get onto a five-day course on employment law, run by the TUC. It only scratched the surface, taught me how to find & read case law (IRLR publications in those days, a lot easier now with sources like http://www.bailii.org/), but it whet the appetite at the time, and I spent many hours in libraries reading law after that.


    I effectively used my knowledge & skills to encourage managers (who were a lot more ignorant than me, and would invariably slip up even on following basic procedures that were laid out very clearly for them in manuals, and supported by a HR department who were the same – much like ACAS & their support lines) to back down from taking tough approaches to my members.


    As a favour for a friend, I represented a private client once in negotiation with an ex-employer (based on a TUPE transfer), and a few months after the case was settled, I got a call from the opposing solicitor: “do I just represent employees [at the time, yes], or employers too?” (Her knowledge, as a property lawyer, was based on a Dummies Guide to TUPE – her words.)


    Following a redundancy opportunity, I started representing the “other side”, realising the opportunities this provided. Having done a lot of research beforehand, I went into it – started Employment Law Clinic - with my eyes wide open, confident that I had the skills & knowledge necessary – both within HR/employment law & to run a business… and quickly realising I had neither.


    My website today (as with my posts on business forums) provides the same sort of advice that managers in the civil service used to have: it’s all there for them to follow,… if you know how to read it. But I’ve continued to read, and resources like BAILLI, following Daniel Barnett http://www.danielbarnett.co.uk/employment_law.php (for some interesting case law), subscribing to updates from Personnel Today & Xpert HR (I think they still do some podcasts, and you can always find an alternative resource opinion for cases behind their paywall), annually purchasing Tolley’s Employment Law Handbook (which includes a reference to a case I presented ;-0 ) & Butterworth’s Employment Law (if you actually want to go that advanced into the legal side of things – it’s what all the practitioners use, including tribunal judges, an easy reference to the statute law (but not the case law – see Tolleys for that, unless you want to spend c. £5k on Harvey’s annually)) and a lot of time actually studying for oneself (my personal preference – I left school at 15, and couldn’t compose a sentence), are all useful. Oh, and the #ukemplaw tag on Twitter – after filtering the spam. And employmentlawclinic.com/latest-news includes some updates (Twitter @LawClinic).


    In SMEs, the best policy I think is instinct & do as asked: if an employer wants rid, they have good reason for this – they haven’t gone through the expense of recruiting, inducting, training, etc, and then want rid because they’ve taken a dislike. And if someone appears dodgy, they probably are – at least on the balance of probabilities, the test we have to satisfy.


    I take a much tougher line than I would have accepted or supported when I was a trade union rep, and some of my larger clients sometimes care to offer more lenience than I recommend (the choice is always, ultimately, theirs), but SMEs need to survive, and they don’t with dead wood.


    Don’t be intimated, hold your ground when you’re confident of your position, and the opposing party will back down. And enjoy it – HR can be boring, but law is always evolving & isn’t.



    Karl Limpert
     
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    Duncan

    Duncan Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Blimey Karl - gamekeeper turned poacher! ;o)
     
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    Maevla

    Maevla Administrator Staff Member

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    Karl some excellent advice there and would never have guessed your background was a trade union rep!
     
  9.  
    Toni Rose

    Toni Rose Graduate

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    I'm about to become a new subscriber/follower of all of the above! I think a lot of people have the preconceptions that the only way to become a lawyer is to study in university (or similar) for years which isn't always the best route for everybody so it's nice to hear a success story like yours where you turned a redundancy into something you are obviously very good at! Thanks for the great advice! :happy:
     
  10.  
    jhonn23

    jhonn23 Applicant

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    Hi all
    well I'm not a HR professional - but I do have plenty of HR experience.
     
  11.  
    rossy paul

    rossy paul Applicant

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    hiiiii friends
    I am not hr professinals but i know this forum site is amazing and very experience personal to join this forums and they will help you.
     

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