Vacancy – Lettings/Operations Administrator – Oxford

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Shared parental leave to be extended to grandparents

As you will have heard in the news and seen in the press the Government is planning to extend shared parental leave to include grandparents.

The idea is for the mother to return to work, so ending her maternity leave and for the grandparent to be given the opportunity to share the rest of the leave entitlement, as set out in the recently introduced shared parental leave.

A few points that have not been widely reported are that:

  • The aim is to introduce this in 2018
  • To be eligible the grandparent will need to be working.
  • There will be a consultation during 2016.


Mandy Brearley, MB HR Support

Vacancies – Multi Trade Operatives, Carpenters, Painters/Decorators, Kitchen and Bathroom Fitters.

Our client SCM Limited has great opportunities for Multi Trade Operatives, Carpenters, Painters/Decorators, Kitchen and Bathroom Fitters.

SCM Limited is the most recognised Building & Maintenance Company in Oxfordshire. Due to continued expansion we are currently looking to recruit Multi Trade Operatives, Carpenters, Painters/Decorators, Kitchen and Bathroom Fitters to be part of our team working across Oxon, Berks & Bucks.

We are looking for people who are trustworthy, responsible, have strong communication skills and high standards. In return we offer a supportive environment, competitive remuneration package and development for people who want to build their career in this industry.

You must have your own transport and CSCS card is desirable but not essential.

To apply or to find out more call Bryn Skrine on 0845 533 3538 or email your CV to

Dealing with employees who misuse social media at work

Social media is good for business.  It reinforces positive images of your company, but it has a downside….

When faced with an employee whom you suspect has misused social media, here is some practical advice for what you can do:

1.  Quickly understand the facts – what has been posted, when, where and how?  What are the actual and likely consequences?

2.  Take PR advice, if necessary.

3.  Be clear about the policy breach you believe the employee may have committed.  How serious is it?

4.  Check that the relevant policies have been communicated to the employee.  Some will be quick to plead ignorance.

5.  Meet with the employee to discuss the posting, and carry out any further investigations that prove necessary and reasonable.

6.  Deal with any underlying grievance or whistleblowing issues.

7.  Decide whether or not to discipline.


FREE Seminar – HR Basics for Line Managers at Pure Offices, Aylesbury

Mandy Brearley, HR Specialist, from MB HR Support is  holding a FREE seminar on HR basics for Line manager on Tuesday 28th April 2015, 12 noon to 2.30pm at Pure Offices, Aylesbury.

We will be giving advice and covering all HR queries including;

recruitment and hiring documentation, dealing with poor performance and misconduct issues, managing grievances and sickness absence and disabled employees (full agenda below).

A sandwich lunch is provided.

To book at place please contact Mandy on 07766665665 or email

Full Agenda

Recruitment & hiring documentation
Adverts and job descriptions
Avoiding discrimination
Conducting the interview
Selecting the candidate
Making the offer of employment
Taking references and making checks
Probationary period
Dealing with poor performance and misconduct issues
Consequences of not address the issue
Informal action plan
Formal process

Managing sickness absence
Dealing with long term and short term absences
Keeping records
Return to work interviews
Obtaining medical advice
Taking formal action

Taking grievances seriously
What is a grievance?
The grievance process
Taking action

Dealing with a disabled employee
What is a disability?
Medical advice & reasonable adjustment

Data protection obligations

Free seminar on HR Basics for Line Managers – 19th November

I will be running a free seminar on HR Basics for Line Managers on 19th November 2014 at Pure Offices in Oxford.  I will be covering:

  • Recruitment & hiring documentation
  • Dealing with poor performance and misconduct issues
  • Managing sickness absence
  • Taking grievances seriously
  • Dealing with a disabled employee
  • Data protection obligations

If you would like to attend please let me know for catering numbers.             Tel:  07766665665

National minimum wage increased from 1st October 2014

The national minimum wage increases from £6.31 to £6.50 with effect from 1 October 2014. The youth rate increases from £5.03 to £5.13 per hour.

New payments to employers employing military reservists

New regulations come into force on 1 October 2014 which will help employers employing military reservists. At the moment, when called up, military reservists are paid directly by the Ministry of Defence. Employers can claim expenses in respect of additional costs incurred whilst replacing the reservist (to a maximum of £110 per day).

However, from 1st October, small and medium sized employers will also be able to receive up to £500 per month for each full month a reservist is absent from work (reduced pro rata for parts of a month, or part-time workers).

Anti-natal appointments from 1st October 2014 – new right to accompany pregnant women

The new right for employees and qualifying agency workers to unpaid time off to accompany a pregnant woman to ante-natal appointments comes into force on 1 October 2014.

The new right applies to the pregnant woman’s husband, civil partner or partner (including a same-sex partner), the father or parent of a pregnant woman’s child, and intended parents in a surrogacy situation who meet specified conditions. The entitlement is to unpaid leave for one or two appointments and the amount of time off is capped at 6.5 hours for each appointment.

There will also be the new right to paid and unpaid time off work for adopters to attend meetings in advance of a child being placed with them for adoption. This right will come into force on 5 April 2015.

Health and Work Service supplier announced

Health Management Limited, a Maximus Company, will deliver the government’s new Health and Work Service in England and Wales.

The state spends around £12 billion a year on health-related benefits and £2 billion a year in healthcare and foregone taxes and employers face an annual bill of around £9 billion for sick pay and associated costs.

To help reduce this cost the Government are to set up an Occupational Health Service and have announced that Health Management Limited are the appointed occupational health provider to help employees and employers manage sickness absence.

Employees on sick leave will normally be referred by their GPs and will receive an occupational health assessment when they reach, or are expected to reach, more than 4 weeks’ sickness absence.  Nearly a million employees a year reach the 4-week sickness absence point.

Occupational Health will create a return to work plan, which will be shared with the employee’s employer and GP.

More general health and work advice will be available to GPs, employers and employees via telephone and a website.

The service will be launched in late 2014 with a phased roll-out coming to a close by the end of May 2015.