A new world for HR

HR Consultant Emma Barugh of MBHR Consulting. Pic by Doug Moody.

The backbone of a successful company is a happy and loyal workforce and with the continuing spectre of Covid-19, it’s vitally important that employers treat their staff fairly.

Middlesbrough-based MB Human Resources Consulting Ltd offer employee relations support, leadership development and individual development in addition to the basic HR needs that keep employers out of court.

Since Covid-19, however, their services have seen a landslide increase in demand of employment related matters linked to the pandemic.

Director Emma Barugh, a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD who formed MBHR in 2012 and has 20 years of experience in all facets of human resource management and organisational development in both public and private sectors, found her days filling with calls about furlough and redundancy.

“The pandemic really changed the way we were used to working,” Emma admits.

“While our ad-hoc work tailed off it was replaced with cases of people being made redundant far too early, others being forced back to the workplace or risk losing their job, or directors wanting to know just what they could and couldn’t do legally.”

Emma has a lot of sympathy for company owners who may have to make unpleasant staff decisions but insists that these must be made fairly.

“Legality comes from a place of morality,” she says. “Legal is a minimum standard, it’s not a standard to aspire to.

“MBHR takes a balanced and pragmatic view, but be warned that any tribunal would take a very dim view of people being made redundant, thrown into an economy with very limited job opportunities, whilst the job retention scheme is in place and not costing the employer anything.”

With many staff now returning to work, Emma is also beginning to see enquires about safety procedures.

“Bringing people back to work safely is caring not only about hygiene and social distancing but also about psychological health and work flexibility. Staff can feel pressured to go into an office where they fear catching coronavirus or anxious about their work-life balance, managing family dynamics, or lack of childcare.

“We all need to grow and learn from this, and above all retain a loyal workforce, so we are here to take your calls and guide you through it.”

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