Human Resources Managers Forum
                                                        1 March 2011
Chair’s Report:
The purpose of this report is:
     ·    to share information and knowledge which may or may not be appropriate to you in your role, depending on
          which aspects of HR you are involved in and other areas within your business you are involved in. It might be
          that some of the information would be useful for other colleagues in your business;
     ·    to share good practice from different sectors and learn from one another.

Legal Update
In addition to the legal update, just a couple of observations from a HR practitioner’s point of view:
·   Facts & Figures re Employment Tribunal Costs (figures from BCC – British Chamber of Commerce), seeing
    increase in Tribunals, up by 56% to 236,100 last year, with average settlement £5,400. Overall 58% of cases are
    settled, 39% through ACAS and 19% privately. According to BCC, rather than fearing losing the claim, the main
    reasons employers chose to settle was to keep costs down (51%) and because it was convenient to do so (25%).
·   Consultation on Employment Tribunal Reform – ‘Resolving Workplace Disputes’ –published January 2011,
    with the consultation closing on 20 April 2011. Proposals include, introducing a fee for lodging Tribunal claims;
    extending the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims from one year’s service to two. The document can be
    downloaded from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills –
·   Resignation letters – do they form a grievance? Should you be in receipt of a resignation letter which, in
    addition to providing the date when the employee intends to leave, gives information on how they feel in relation to
    their current role. If the latter is negative, you may wish to speak to the person and ask if they want their letter
    treating as a Grievance. Should you miss this opportunity and the employee / ex-employee issues an ET1 and you
    have not looked into their Grievance, then potentially should they win at Employment Tribunal, the costs awarded
    could be uplifted by 25% due to you not going through the grievance procedure. As a practical suggestion, you may
    want to consider undertaking Exit Interviews – these do provide the opportunity of having a conversation with an
    employee and some good “value added” information can be obtained from such a conversation, whilst giving the
    individual an opportunity to raise things / get things off their chest.

Other topics to be aware of:
Work Experience – Business in the Community - Having attended the Employers & Education Working In
Partnership (Burnley & Pendle) meeting before Christmas, a copy of the Business in the Community - Business Class
Partnerships for Success was provided, which gave the website - This is a useful guide /
document for developing or improving work experience placements, some thought provoking questions / tips on how to
"sell" the roles / jobs in your sector.

CRB Checks – ISA (Independent Safeguard Authority), new rules not come in as yet. Should you organise your work
experience through Lancashire Education Business Partnership, they will undertake a Health & Safety Work Experience
Risk Assessment and they would advise if CRB is required and if so would organise with the Employer. Should you /
your business require CRB checks, contact Sharon Page of CXL on 01772 642439 or email

Business in the Community – run Business Class which provides a framework for developing strategic, long term and
positive partnerships between schools and colleges. Preston and Burnley have a “cluster" eg Aircelle & Shuttleworth
College (Burnley). BIC are looking at developing a cluster in Blackburn with Darwen, there is a launch with Head
teachers on 9 March 2011, with a view to commencing in September. If you are interested, for more information or
involvement contact Liz Holmes, Preston Education Manager, BITC, 0161 233 7750 or Mobile 07718 792225.

Colleges – wanting to work with employers about what employers want from their prospective applicants – last
time we shared contact details for Burnley and Blackburn Colleges (ref to Chair's report on the CBP website)

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- Accrington & Rossendale College – attended an Employer Forum. Ian Emmott – Director of Workforce
Development is the point of contact for employers wanting to work with the College. His details: 01254 354409 or

Recruiting Staff
- Young People age 16 to 19 via CXL – need to offer positions with recognised training ie NVQs – place advert with
CXL and they advertise. Forbes' has placed all vacancies for last 11 years with CXL. Email – vacancy.matching@cxl-
- National Apprenticeship Service – NAS – advertise free – or contact 08000 150 600. If
you already offer apprenticeships you can obtain an "online badge" / certificate which you can display on your premises
– to obtain the certificate – email – with your company's details. You can be
included on their Role of Honour, use the NAS logo on your website and produce case studies for the site on your

Dale Carnegie – Free Seminar – Engage & Influence – 14 April 2011, 8.30am – 10.30am – The Village, Bury – if
interested, email or phone 0845 658 2288 – limited 3 places per company.

Town Evacuation Plans – each local Council has these or is currently in the process of developing these. If you are in
the town centre, suggest you contact your “Emergency Planning Department” to obtain copies of the plans, so that you
can build the “evacuation” routes into your Business Continuity Plans. Blackburn with Darwen is currently developing
their Community Resilience Programme. This entails building links with local businesses and communities raising
awareness to individuals with regards to emergency preparedness and to try and build community resilience. Have
asked for an update and will keep you posted via CB Partners.

For reference - useful internet sites:
BIS – Department for Business, Innovation & Skills – – useful "sign posting website and covers topical
issues relating to "Employment Matters", Health & Safety Matters. This is a good website which covers topical issues
(especially, if you are not a CIPD – see below – member).

Redundancies – support for employers - Michael Downey can organise visits to
local companies, contact Michael on or Emma Coster from Blackburn with
Darwen Council Redundancy Taskforce can provide support, contact Emma on
Alternatively, - or telephone 0845 145 0004 – this is a Redundancy Helpline,
supported by the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform's to assist employers if planning to make
people redundant and need to understand more about their responsibilities as an employer.

Useful Networking Opportunities:
CIPD – Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development – professional body providing information, and training to HR
people who are a member of the Institute. NB – do not need to be qualified to be a member – different levels of
membership. In addition to website, fortnightly journals covering topical issues.
- CIPD main website –
- Lancashire Branch – - meetings monthly, with speakers delivering presentations
on topical issues. Useful networking event. Should any of you wish to attend, please let me know.

Joanne L Pickering
Chair of HR Managers Forum

Contact c/o Forbes Solicitors, Northgate Office, Blackburn; Direct Dial: 01254 505834
Email –

Or: Mike Ashton, Project Manager, Employers Forums, COMMUNITY & BUSINESS PARTNERS CIC
Tel No: 01254 505050 Fax No: 01254 505051; Email –

All details of Employer Forums, including presentations, minutes of meetings and past Chairs Report, can be found on
CB Partners – click on Business Section – link to employer forums.

Forbes Solicitors/ HR Managers Forum / Chairs Report – March 2011 / JLP            Page 2   of 2

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