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Mindfulness – the meditation-style technique that is rapidly growing in popularity – can boost quantifiably creativity at work, according to a study from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) released earlier this year.

Employees who participated in a guided mindfulness mediation for just 10 minutes were found to generate a 22% wider range of ideas compared to workers who took part in a fake mediation or just relaxed.

In the study, one third of participants were taken through a guided meditation; one third had a fake meditation session, and one third were told to “relax and let their thoughts flow freely”. Afterwards, they were asked to present as many business ideas as they could for using a drone. Participants in all groups generated a similar number of ideas in the time allowed, found the researchers, but those who had completed the mindfulness mediation produced more innovative uses such as washing windows and feeding giraffes.

Encouraging mindfulness at work could be a boon for employers looking to get an edge on the competition, say the researchers who carried out the study. “Mindfulness meditation is not only an effective creativity booster, it is affordable, accessible and easy to organise,” said Evegnia Dolgova. “All it needs is a quiet place, a comfortable chair and access to one of the many mindfulness exercises that can be found online or in apps.”

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness centres around paying more attention to the present moment, and to the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing right then and there – rather than allowing your mind to dwell on past experiences or race ahead to what the future might have in store. “It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clear,” professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, tells NHS Choices.

“Creativity has traditionally been the responsibility of research and development departments; however, it is now vital for company survival that employees at all levels contribute to organisational innovation,” added fellow researcher Dirk Deichmann.

RSM’s study is just the latest in a growing list of research looking at the effectiveness of mindfulness in the workplace. Mindfulness also has the potential to increase both sustained and selected attention, neural efficiency, and fluid intelligence – which broadly correlates with IQ – with just a week of practice.

If you want to give your creative juices a boost, why not try out the guided meditation used in the study.

Mindfulness exercise - SoundCloud
(609 secs long, 568 plays)Play in SoundCloud

The post Just 10 minutes of mindfulness can make you more creative, research finds appeared first on CIPHR.

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Subject access requests will add an additional admin burden onto busy HR teams, warns CIPHR expert

Nearly a quarter (24%) of people plan to ask their former, current or potential employers for access to the personal data held about them once the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, according to a new survey by Veritas Technologies.

Under the terms of the GDPR – which comes into effect on 25 May 2018 – individuals can ask any organisation that holds their personal data for a full copy of the information being held about them, and the organisation must provide it free of charge within 30 days. Before 25 May 2018, subject access requests (SARs) cost £10 each and companies had 40 days to comply.

“That £10 fee used to put off quite a few people from putting in the request, so I expect the number that organisations will receive to increase quite significantly,” Sarah Dillon, director at ESP Law, told CIPHR earlier this year.

Employers have a right to turn down requests that are too ‘complex’, but there’s currently no legal definition of what that means, added Dillon. “Under the old regime, [you] could say: ‘that’s an unreasonable request, you need to refine the scope of your search’. That’s not going to be as clear under the GDPR.”

“Even if you receive only a handful of SARs a month, the time to satisfy them will quickly add up”

In organisations without a large IT department or specialist GDPR team, compliance with SARs from former, current or potential employees will likely fall on HR team said Claire Williams, senior HR systems consultant and data protection officer at CIPHR.

“Even if you receive only a handful of SARs a month, the time to satisfy them will quickly add up, putting an additional burden on already busy HR teams – particularly if you are storing sensitive employee information in a paper- or Excel-based filing system,” said Williams. “One simple way to speed up compliance is to put in place a comprehensive digital HR system, such as CIPHR, that securely stores employee data, meaning you can download the relevant HR information quickly and easily.”

Employers need to think about data relating to job applicants too, added Williams. “If you are using a system of email mailboxes, how easy will it be to retrieve the relevant information? Opting to use an online applicant tracking system (ATS) such as CIPHR iRecruit means you can make the information available to the applicant with a click of a button, and they can download it securely via the applicant portal.”

The survey by Vertias also found that many consumers don’t expect organisations to be able to carry out SARs adequately. Nearly four-fifths (79%) of the 3,000 respondents said they believe that organisations won’t be able to find all the personal data that is held about them. A further fifth (20%) said they expect organisations will only be able to find up to 50% of the personal data that they hold.

“It’s imperative that businesses embrace technology that can help them respond to these requests quickly, with a high degree of accuracy,” said Mike Palmer, executive vice president and chief product officer at Vertias. “This means having the ability to see, protect and access all of the personal data they hold regardless of where it sits within their organisation. Businesses that fail to recognise the importance of responding effectively and efficiently to personal data requests will be putting their brand loyalty and reputation at stake.”

Read this next

Why the GDPR will change how HR treats employee data

New regulations will prompt cultural changes in HR’s attitudes towards collecting and protecting sensitive employee data, experts argue

The post Quarter of workers will ask employers for personal data under GDPR, survey finds appeared first on CIPHR.

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Happy employees are healthier and more productive – so don’t overlook the importance of having fun in the workplace

While most people, generally, would rather spend time with their friends and family than be at work, there’s no need for work days to be all doom and gloom.

Investing time and effort into making your workplace a more enjoyable place to be can have tangible positive benefits for employees, teams, and your wider organisation. Here are seven reasons why fun should be part of your HR strategy.

1. Happy employees are healthier

Absence and absenteeism is a significant problem. UK businesses lose 6.9 days a year per employee because of absenteeism, at an estimated cost of £554 per employee. Nearly a quarter (23%) of UK organisations say ‘non-genuine absence’ is the top reason for short-term absence for non-manual workers, with this proportion rising to 30% for manual workers.

Content employees who have fun at work are more likely to avoid the negative effects of stress and anxiety and have even been shown to have a lower heart rate variability (the time interval between beats) with is associated with a risk of disease.

The health effects that happiness has on your workforce will also help to reduce absence costs and reduce presenteeism. If your workers are generally healthier as a result of the increased fun they’re having in the office, then they’ll take less time off due to sickness.

“A vast scientific literature has detailed how negative emotions harm the body. Serious, sustained stress or fear can alter biological systems in a way that, over time, adds up to ‘wear and tear’ and, eventually, illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis [plaque deposits on the lining of arterial walls] and increasing systemic inflammation.”

Harvard School of Public Health

2. Having fun improves communication and collaboration

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of knowledge workers collaborate multiple times a day with their colleagues, so encouraging an effective way to improve cohesion within your organisation should be a priority.

Enjoying time with colleagues in a relaxed and fun environment encourages honest and open discussion and trust in one another. If employees are friends with the people they work with, as opposed to simply being colleagues, then they’ll work better together and communicate more effectively.

Having fun with people is a great way for individuals to learn about each other’s traits, likes, dislikes and develop unspoken habits and rules that aid mutual understanding. This knowledge enables them to better understand each other’s boundaries, strengths and weaknesses.

3. Fun breeds creativity

Social ‘play’ is a vital part in healthy creative development. Young children often learn best when they are playing, and that principle also applies to adults.

Individuals’ ability to learn improves when the task at hand is enjoyable and they’re in a relaxed mood. Play can also stimulate imagination, helping people adapt and problem solve.

Creative environments have an atmosphere and activity that is easily distinguishable. There’s a buzz in the air, colleagues are enthusiastic and energetic, and there are lots of conversations happening.

This creative culture can be nurtured by injecting fun initiatives into employees’ daily lives. Challenges and problem-solving exercises, whether as a result of day-to-day activity or introduced in the form of competitions or initiatives, are an effective way to increase innovation within the workforce.

4. Promoting fun attracts an audience

The opportunity that having fun at work provides a business is substantial. Sharing stories about enjoyable atmosphere in your workplace can be a crucial part of a compelling employer branding story and can help to garner attention on social media. Providing a window for people to find out about daily life at your organisation increases familiarity and trust. Whether a potential customer or passive talent, if that individual feels that they ‘know’ your company and can see your ‘human’, fun side then they’ll be more likely to engage with you.

5. Having fun makes employees more productive

A 2015 study by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy found that happier employees are more productive by an average of 12% and, in some cases, up to 20% more than a control group. This difference is significant, given that “in term so national GDP or economic growth, [productivity] rises of 3% or so are considered very large.”

When an employee feels low or sad for any reason, their motivation drops, they may withdraw and communicate less, and may generally be less productive.

There will always be unavoidable events in our lives that make us unhappy, but we cope better and recover faster when we’re surrounded by happiness, support and friendship.

6. Having fun encourages advocacy

Advocates act as a powerful force in shaping the public perception of an organisation. Employees that have fun, enjoy what they do, and are engaged will naturally share stories and act as advocates for your brand – on and offline. If every one of your employees shared news and updates about your brand to their own social groups, then your audience will increase exponentially – and for free.

This article was first published in November 2016. It was updated in May 2018 for freshness, accuracy and clarity.

The post Six reasons why fun in the office is the future of work appeared first on CIPHR.

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Subject access requests will add an additional admin burden onto busy HR teams, warns CIPHR expert

Nearly a quarter (24%) of people plan to ask their former, current or potential employers for access to the personal data held about them once the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, according to a new survey by Veritas Technologies.

Under the terms of the GDPR – which comes into effect on 25 May 2018 – individuals can ask any organisation that holds their personal data for a full copy of the information being held about them, and the organisation must provide it free of charge within 30 days. Before 25 May 2018, subject access requests (SARs) cost £10 each and companies had 40 days to comply.

“That £10 fee used to put off quite a few people from putting in the request, so I expect the number that organisations will receive to increase quite significantly,” Sarah Dillon, director at ESP Law, told CIPHR earlier this year.

Employers have a right to turn down requests that are too ‘complex’, but there’s currently no legal definition of what that means, added Dillon. “Under the old regime, [you] could say: ‘that’s an unreasonable request, you need to refine the scope of your search’. That’s not going to be as clear under the GDPR.”

“Even if you receive only a handful of SARs a month, the time to satisfy them will quickly add up”

In organisations without a large IT department or specialist GDPR team, compliance with SARs from former, current or potential employees will likely fall on HR team said Claire Williams, senior HR systems consultant and data protection officer at CIPHR.

“Even if you receive only a handful of SARs a month, the time to satisfy them will quickly add up, putting an additional burden on already busy HR teams – particularly if you are storing sensitive employee information in a paper- or Excel-based filing system,” said Williams. “One simple way to speed up compliance is to put in place a comprehensive digital HR system, such as CIPHR, that securely stores employee data, meaning you can download the relevant HR information quickly and easily.”

Employers need to think about data relating to job applicants too, added Williams. “If you are using a system of email mailboxes, how easy will it be to retrieve the relevant information? Opting to use an online applicant tracking system (ATS) such as CIPHR iRecruit means you can make the information available to the applicant with a click of a button, and they can download it securely via the applicant portal.”

The survey by Vertias also found that many consumers don’t expect organisations to be able to carry out SARs adequately. Nearly four-fifths (79%) of the 3,000 respondents said they believe that organisations won’t be able to find all the personal data that is held about them. A further fifth (20%) said they expect organisations will only be able to find up to 50% of the personal data that they hold.

“It’s imperative that businesses embrace technology that can help them respond to these requests quickly, with a high degree of accuracy,” said Mike Palmer, executive vice president and chief product officer at Vertias. “This means having the ability to see, protect and access all of the personal data they hold regardless of where it sits within their organisation. Businesses that fail to recognise the importance of responding effectively and efficiently to personal data requests will be putting their brand loyalty and reputation at stake.”

Read this next

Why the GDPR will change how HR treats employee data

New regulations will prompt cultural changes in HR’s attitudes towards collecting and protecting sensitive employee data, experts argue

The post Quarter of workers will ask employers for personal data under GDPR, survey finds appeared first on CIPHR.

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Having trouble getting buy-in for your latest big HR idea? These simple tips will help

Whether you’re trying to secure a pay rise or promotion, or convince busy line managers of the value of your new HR initiative, your ability to persuade colleagues, peers and senior leaders plays a significant role in achieving success.

Some people are naturally persuasive and are easily able to steer a strategy or conversation in their preferred direction. Jedis, for example, can use their infamous ‘mind trick’ to get their way. But others find convincing colleagues a little more difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of techniques you can deploy to improve your powers of persuasion and increase your influence.

1. The ‘framing’ method

Carefully describing or explaining something in such a way that influences how the recipient interprets the information being given is known as ‘framing’. Take the classic example of a glass that is ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’ – the first phrase sounds much more positive, even though the same object is being described in both instances.

This technique is often used effectively by politicians when debating their opponents, to influence the audience to agree with their point of view.

Framing has three core elements:

  1. Placement – choosing the right time, place and people to communicate with
  2. Approach – carefully constructing how your argument is presented. People are more likely to respond better if you explain the positives of your viewpoint, rather than any potential downsides
  3. Words – selecting the most appropriate words to explain your viewpoint
2. Talk about ‘we’, not ‘you’

By using the word ‘we’ instead of ‘you’, you’re saying that your opinion or strategy is relevant to the whole team, rather than just to your vested interests. Being part of a team decision or project is far more appealing than being left out.

3. Be specific and confident

If you speak confidently, clearly and concisely, people are more likely to listen to you, to take what you have to say seriously, and to agree with you. Prepare what you want to say; make sure you have everything clear in your own mind before tackling a tricky conversation. When speaking, avoid filler words – such as ‘umm’, ‘err’ or ‘like’ – because these suggest that you’re struggling to express your message or are uncertain about its validity.

4. Explain what’s in it for them

One great way of persuading people is to explain the benefits that will affect them specifically. If someone can see and appreciate that agreeing with you will offer advantages to them personally, they’ll be much more inclined to agree with you.

5. Create scarcity and urgency

Creating a real need for something, or a time constraint, makes people want something more than if it were abundantly available. Think about the limited-edition products that brands launch – the fact that consumers believe they may miss the opportunity to own something new makes them rush out to buy them.

6. The ‘but you are free’ technique

A 2013 review of 43 research studies, which involved 22,000 participants, found the ‘but you are free’ (BYAF) technique to double the chances that someone would say ‘yes’ to a request. And it’s a devastatingly easy strategy to put into action: simply remind the people you’re talking to that they are free to make a decision on the subject you’re discussing, and they will be more disposed to agree with you.

7. The ‘it’s working for others’ approach

People naturally look to others to make their decisions and influence their behaviour. For example, if a crowd of people are looking up at something then we’ll automatically do the same, and continue to look even if there’s nothing there, because we believe there must be something if others are looking. This ‘herd effect’ can be used to persuade, too: pointing out that a particular service or strategy is being used by a lot of people in your industry or profession can seal the deal.

8. Get agreement on a more minor point first

In a sales environment, this is known as the ‘yes ladder’ – by getting someone to agree with a minor point, or to carry out a smaller task, you will be more likely to get them to agree with a bigger project.

9. Remember to reciprocate

I always say that you shouldn’t give expecting to receive. Even if you do follow this mantra, there’s still power in reciprocity; people do feel more obliged to accommodate your views and help where they can if you’ve previously assisted them in some way. Think about the last time a salesperson offered you a free gift – did you feel more obligated to make a purchase?

In a workplace context, be generous and helpful as often as possible, in the hope that those you help will be on your side when you need them in the future.

10. Pay attention to your body language

Your body language also has a significant impact on your ability to persuade:

  • Smiling naturally – makes you seem approachable and likeable
  • Raising your eyebrows – signals you are not a threat, and are friendly and approachable
  • Avoid crossing your arms and putting your hands in your pockets – signals that you don’t feel comfortable and makes you appear less approachable
  • A visible neck – shows that you are unthreatening and easy to approach
  • Eye contact – shows interest in the conversation and trustworthiness
  • Wear colour – complimentary colours make people stand out and seem more attractive
  • Show your palms – indicates you are telling the full story

This article was first published in April 2014. It was updated in May 2018 for freshness, accuracy and clarity. 

The post 10 persuasion techniques to use as your professional super power appeared first on CIPHR.

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Low productivity is a persistent problem in the UK, but there are simple measures HR can take to make a big difference

Barely a month goes by without another major report into the UK’s persistent productivity problems. In May 2018, a study by Ricoh and Oxford Economics estimated that the country could achieve a 1.8% increase in GDP – £36.8 billion – through workplace optimisation. Fortunately, there are simple, affordable steps that HR teams in any size or type of organisation can take to help encourage their staff to be that little more productive.

1. Adjust lighting

Ample lighting not only makes it easier to see what you’re doing, but it’s also much healthier than a dimly lit office. Having to strain your eyes to read text, and sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end, will not only result in lower productivity but can also cause headaches and drowsiness.

It’s vital to have the right type of lighting, too. Natural light is most desirable; a 2014 study by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that workers that were exposed to higher levels of natural light slept for longer (an average of 46 minutes per night), slept better, and were more physically active than those workers who were not exposed to natural light in their workplace. Many migraine sufferers also identify artificial light as a trigger for their attacks.

2. Ensure employees are sitting comfortably

Standing desks have, in recent years, been touted as a cure-all for everything from back pain to obesity.

Discomfort at our desks – whether they are standing or conventional sitting ones – is important for maintaining productivity and concentration levels. Constantly fidgeting, getting up and moving around to escape an uncomfortable seat, and having to frequently adjust a chair, will all eat into valuable time.

Investing in good chairs is a start, but HR should also make sure that employees know how to set up their desk environment for maximum productivity and safety, as back pain and headaches can often be attributed to poor desk ergonomics. Investing in online desk assessments and elearning courses is a good way to ensure that your staff are aware of the health considerations when working with computer equipment and have set up their desks appropriately.

Comfort can also be affected by the amount of unnecessary clutter you have on your desk. A study by furniture retailer OKA found that untidy desks are linked to a 77% decline in productivity and a 53% fall in motivation among British workers. Encouraging employees to keep their desks tidy could make a significant difference to their productivity levels.

3. Set the perfect temperature

Getting the temperature right in an office isn’t easy – there will almost always be someone who is too hot or too cold. But this seemingly innocuous trial of office life can make a serious dent in your organisation’s productivity; a 2014 survey found that nearly a third (29%) of workers estimate they spend between 10-30 minutes each day not working because of an uncomfortable temperature.

Meanwhile, a 2004 study by Cornell University linked warmer office temperatures to fewer errors and higher productivity levels. When office temperatures were increased from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20C to 25C), typing errors dropped by 44% and output increased by 150%.

4. Reduce noise levels

A steady hum of background chatter is part and parcel of working in most offices. But office noise levels – which usually range from between 60 to 65 decibels – can make it hard to concentrate. The German Association of Engineers specifies 70 decibels as an acceptable volume for carrying out simple, transactional office-based work, while just 55 decibels is the limit for what they term “mainly intellectual work” that is complex and demands creative thinking and problem solving.

A 2011 study by Cornell University found that office workers who were exposed to higher levels of office noise had higher levels of epinephrine – a stress hormone more commonly known as adrenaline – compared to those working in a quieter environment.

5. Support flexible working

Knowing that an employer is open to flexible working is great for employee morale and engagement, and is a sign that your organisation understands that employees have lives outside of work, and that you trust them to manage their time and workloads appropriately.

As well as potentially cutting down on time spent commuting, and financial and environmental costs, the ability to work from home (or other locations) also gives employees the opportunity to do the deeper work that they might struggle to complete in a busy office environment.

6. Encourage healthy eating choices

Making the wrong choice at lunchtime can have a profound effect on an employee’s productivity level later that afternoon. Tuck into foods such as pasta, bread and fizzy drinks – all of which release glucose quickly – and you could be heading for a sugar crash come 3pm.

It’s far better to encourage employees to choose healthy, filling foods that are a source of energy, fibre and nutrients and release glucose comparatively slowly, such as baked potatoes and pulses (such as beans and lentils). Don’t forget about snacks, too; consider making fresh fruit available on the house so staff aren’t tempted to graze on chocolate, sweets and energy drinks.

7. Invest in employee happiness

In a recent study by researchers at the University of Warwick, a boost in employee happiness led to a 12% increase in productivity, while unhappy employees were found to be 10% less productive. Commenting on the findings, the research team said: “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”

Creating a culture of mindfulness, communication and collaboration will improve morale and motivation among a workforce. Ensuring that employees are recognised for their efforts, whether by way of a reward or a simple ‘thank you’, will help to create a happy working environment.

This article was first published in April 2016. It was updated in May 2018 for freshness, accuracy and clarity. 

The post Seven ways HR can increase employee productivity appeared first on CIPHR.

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13 companies will take to CIPHR’s stage to showcase how technology is solving HR’s most pressing problems

More than a dozen experts will share their expertise with delegates at the CIPD HR and Recruitment Software Show 2018 in a series of free talks hosted CIPHR on stand F10.

Held across the show’s two days, on 13-14 June, the 30-minute presentations will showcase how innovative technologies are seeking to solve some of HR’s most pressing problems. They’ll be hosted by a range of experts from CIPHR’s partner companies, including Abintegro, Benefex, RSM, Totem, Digits and Webexpenses.

Visitors to the free show in London’s Olympia can either turn up for the presentations on the day at stand F10 or reserve one of a limited number of places online at ciphr.com/hrss-speaker-schedule.

“Our fantastic line-up of talks gives visitors to the CIPD HR and Recruitment Software Show 2018 an extra opportunity to brush up their knowledge of the latest HR trends and technological developments,” says David Richter, head of marketing at CIPHR. “It’s a genuine opportunity to learn about some of the key factors shaping the profession today without having to endure endless sales pitches.”

Richter added: “Those not able to make it on the day won’t miss out – video recordings of the presentations will be available shortly afterwards on our website, ciphr.com.”

CIPHR’s series of expert talks at the CIPD HR and Recruitment Software Show 2018 Wednesday 13 June

 

10.00 – 10.30     Right to work compliance: how to save money

with Gavin Burton, TrustID

 

11.00 – 11.30     The analytics to answer crucial talent management questions

with Ian Lee-Emery, Head Light

 

12.00 – 12.30     How technology is driving the employee experience

with Kathryn Kendall and Gethin Nadin, Benefex

 

13.00 – 13.30     You career coach your leaders, but what about your staff?

with Alex Innes, Abintegro

 

14.00 – 14.30     Revolutionising the way people are paid

with James Herbert, Hastee Pay

 

15.00 – 15.30     Why HR and training departments fail internal audits and how to prevent it

with Julian Roberts, Essential Skillz

 

15.45 – 16.15     Connecting the dots – the benefits of integrating HR and payroll data

with Steve Sweetlove, RSM

 

Thursday 14 June

 

10.00 – 10.30     Using gamification to drive engagement and behavioural change

with Marcus Thornley, Totem

 

11.00 – 11.30     Driving learning with gamification and learning journeys

with Toby Gilchrist, Digits

 

12.00 – 12.30     From annual snapshots to always-on employee engagement

with David Godden, Thymometrics

 

13.00 – 13.30     Why are companies failing to challenge suspicious expenses?

with Joe Gill, Webexpenses

 

14.00 – 14.30     Using time and attendance for more than just payroll

with Tallulah Day, FTS

 

15.00 – 15.30 – HR and finance, bridging the gap

with Ian Hogg, Shopworks

The post CIPHR to host series of expert talks at CIPD HR and Recruitment Software Show 2018 appeared first on CIPHR.

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Although the precise details of UK immigration and employment law are still to be determined, there’s plenty that HR teams can do now to support EU-national staff

With the immigration terms of the Brexit transition period recently agreed between the UK and EU, employers and HR teams are now able to start planning for the five employment scenarios that might affect their workers, said Tom Bradford, partner at Freeths, during a CIPHR webinar earlier this month.

Three stages of Brexit

As far as immigration law is concerned, there are three stages to the Brexit process, explained Bradford:

  1. Pre-Brexit – from now until exit day, 29 March 2019
  2. Transition – from 29 March 2019 until 31 December 2020
  3. Post-Brexit – from 1 January 2021 onwards

Changes to immigration law will affect the more than three million EU-nationals who currently live in the UK – all of whom will be required to apply for new immigration status documents. Those who don’t apply by the end of the transition period will be staying in the UK unlawfully, said Bradford. HR teams that don’t put the right steps in place and obtain the right documents that prove EU nationals’ right to live and work in the UK will be at risk, with statutory penalties of £20,000 per worker, and possible criminal sanctions, he added.

How UK immigration law currently works

All EU nationals can currently reside in the UK for up to three months with no restrictions. They may then reside for up to another five years if they meet certain criteria (such as if they are employed, self-employed, or are the family member of another eligible EU citizen). After year five they achieve the right of permanent residence, and then, in the sixth year, they can choose to naturalise as a British citizen.

Scenarios HR can plan for now

Changes to immigration law will affect EU nationals, and their employers, in five different ways. To ensure you can retain, legally employ, and continue to recruit EU nationals, HR needs to start planning for these scenarios now, said Bradford, and consider how actively they wish to support their affected staff.

Scenario 1: person arrived in the UK before 29 March 2019, and has been in the UK for five or more years

At some point in 2018 – likely in the autumn – the government will open a new route for EU nationals who arrived in the UK before 29 March 2019, and have been in the UK for five or more years, to voluntarily apply for ‘settled status’.

After 31 December 2020, it will be mandatory for such EU nationals to apply for settled status. If they don’t, they will have overstayed and, if still working, their employer will be subject to a statutory penalty. “Businesses who are employing such workers could be caught out if they haven’t taken the right steps,” said Bradford.

Scenario 2: person arrived in the UK before 29 March 2019, and has been in the UK for four years

Because this person has not been in the UK for five years, and therefore has not gained the right of permanent residence, they cannot voluntarily apply for settled status using the route outlined in scenario 1. However, they will be able to stay in the UK for an additional year to accrue the necessary five years, and then voluntarily apply for settled status. After 31 December 2020, it becomes mandatory that they apply for settled status.

Scenario 3: person arrived in the UK before 29 March 2019, and has been in the UK for three or fewer years

This person cannot voluntarily apply for settled status during the Brexit transition period because they will only achieve the five years’ residency qualification after the transition period ends. After 31 December 2020 they must apply for a temporary residence document, and then apply for settled status when they reach the five-year residency threshold.

Scenario 4: person arrives in the UK after 29 March 2019, during the transition period

This person can stay in the UK for three months and must then register for a temporary residence permit. The length of time they will be able to stay may depend on their skills; it is likely that ‘low-skilled’ workers will be able to stay for two years, and ‘higher-skilled’ workers for three-to-five workers (these categories are yet to be defined). Employers’ ability to recruit EU workers may be restricted by a yet-to-be-confirmed system of worker categories similar to the existing Tier 2 visa system for non-EU-national workers.

Scenario 5: person arrives in the UK after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020

Because the new immigration system is still to be confirmed, the outcomes in this scenario are less clear. There may be restrictions on how long EU nationals can stay and work in the UK based on their skill levels. We may also see the introduction of sponsorship requirements similar to those required of employers who want to hire staff from non-EU countries.

Hear more from Tom Bradford, partner at Freeths, on what HR can expect after Brexit and how to support EU nationals during the transition period, in our on-demand webinar. Watch it here now

The post Five Brexit scenarios that HR teams can plan for now appeared first on CIPHR.

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Hiring managers expect job candidates to be visible and professional on social media. Here are CIPHR‘s top tips for presenting yourself well online.

This article was first published in March 2013, and republished in April 2018. 

The post Infographic: the ultimate social media guide to getting a job appeared first on CIPHR.

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Popular UK salon group picks CIPHR for their first-ever HR system

RUSH Hair & Beauty has selected CIPHR to deliver and implement its first centralised HR system, supporting more than 90 salons, its head office teams and their operational support departments, and a family of more than 1,200 colleagues.

“Currently we are working with multiple spreadsheets to track and record our HR operations”, says people director Lisa Wheatcroft. “It means we spend a lot of time looking for data across different applications, we have difficulty reporting quickly on performance measures, and there’s a heavy reliance by the business on the people team to complete administrative tasks.”

RUSH chose CIPHR’s solutions because of their ability to grow at the right pace for the business. “I’ve previously worked with systems in large organisations that don’t meet the operational and day-to-day requirements of the wider business. In these cases, the people team is constantly trying to fit the business to the system, rather than the other way around.” says Wheatcroft. “I wanted to be able to put the basics in place first, and find a system that we could grow into, while ensuring our processes are simple and efficient.”

“I wanted to find a system that we could grow into, while ensuring our processes are simple and efficient.”

The ability to customise CIPHR’s look and feel was also key for the style-conscious business. “I was really keen to get something that looked modern, felt quite engaging, and could be ‘RUSH-ified’, so it truly felt like our own,” says Wheatcroft. “When we roll it out, it will be a cultural change and a new way of working for everyone. With RUSH being a unique business, we needed it to feel like our own bespoke system.”

Other features that appealed to RUSH include CIPHR’s employee self-service functionality – with salon colleagues able to access CIPHR anytime and on any mobile device – its powerful reporting functionality, and the system’s ability to assist RUSH’s people team with compliance obligations.

Wheatcroft expects CIPHR’s core people management system and its applicant tracking system (ATS), CIPHR iRecruit, to bring a wide range of benefits for both RUSH’s people team and the wider organisation. “The system will create a much more agile approach to our colleague data and processes. It will enable us to create a slick and quick way of working to meet the needs of this dynamic business. We are really excited for CIPHR to arrive.”

“We are just as excited for RUSH Hair & Beauty to join us as a client,” adds Rob Oehlers, head of customer success at CIPHR. “We’re looking forward to cracking on with the implementation project and getting their much-needed HR system up and running as soon as possible.”

The post CIPHR is a cut above for RUSH Hair & Beauty appeared first on CIPHR.

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