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Half Of UK dad’s experienced discrimination after accepting parental leave

A new investigation by PowWowNow has revealed that almost 50% of Dads who have accepted their allocated parental leave have been discriminated against in the workplace. The research was carried out to assess the impact and uptake of Shared Parental Leave (SPL) on fathers in the workplace. SPL was introduced in 2015 to allow parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of statutory pay between them following the birth of a child and is designed to allow couples to split child-caring roles more equally.

According to the research, a huge 25% of fathers suffered verbal abuse or mockery after taking time off to look after their child. The survey further found that over 35% of new dads suffered a negative impact on their career after exercising their right to parental leave. Of these, 17% suffered job loss, while nearly 20% received a demotion.

This data follows the revelation that last year only 9,200 new parents took shared parental leave – just 1% of those eligible to do so.

It claims that large numbers of dads in insecure work, such as agency workers and those on zero-hours contracts, are not eligible for it. Additionally, men and women who are self-employed don’t have any shared leave rights at all. The TUC argues that participation is low because the scheme is so poorly paid (£145.18 per week) making it unaffordable for most fathers. Some companies do go the extra step in supporting both parents with paternity leave.

How does it currently work?

  1. Pay and leave must be shared in the first year after the child is born or placed with the family.
  2. Shared parental leave can be taken in blocks separated by periods of work, or all in one go. Parents can also choose to be off work together or to stagger the leave and pay.
  3. Parents receive £145.18 a week or 90 per cent of average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Emma O’Leary, HR Director at ELAS, explains how SPL must be communicated to your employer: “If an employee is eligible, they must opt in to the SPL scheme by notifying their employer of their entitlement and intention to take SPL at least eight weeks before the proposed period of leave. The notice must contain a declaration by the other parent consenting to the proposed SPL. It must also specify the start and end dates of any SPL, either as a single period of continuous leave or a pattern of periods of leave.”

May 15th, 2019|

Roffey Park Institute partner with Hr NETWORK for three years in continuing quest to discover Scotland’s HR champions

Hr NETWORK is extremely proud to announce that Roffey Park Institute, the world-class executive education and research institute, has become the key sponsor for the Hr NETWORK National Awards, for three consecutive years.

The partnership, which will run from May 2019 encompassing all the build-up to this years’ awards gala dinner, which takes place on Thursday 14th November, will continue until November 2021. During that period, both organisations will constantly seek input as to the value and difference their partnership brings, and how it may continue thereafter.

Based in the UK, Singapore and Ireland, Roffey Park Institute delivers high impact Leadership and Management Development, and Organisational Development programmes and qualifications, as well as development and coaching for HR and HRD leaders and business partners.

Dr Robert Coles (pictured right), CEO of Roffey Park Institute, commented: “Roffey Park Institute is delighted to be joining its efforts to the community of the Hr NETWORK. We share the same energy, passion for action and belief in the human value of work and of all employees. We look forward to recognising, championing and partnering with great HR leaders and their organisations in Scotland”.

Commenting on behalf of Hr NETWORK, founder Lee Turner said: “Hr NETWORK is honoured that a prestigious educational institution such as Roffey Park Institute has agreed to become our key sponsor of the Awards, and for three consecutive years. This partnership is wonderful not only for Hr NETWORK but for the wider HR community that we support.”

Nominations for this years Hr NETWORK Awards 2019 will close on Friday 31st May 2019 and it is anticipated that organisations of all sizes across will enter Scotland’s leading HR & people professional awards in 2019.

Award Nomination Categories for 2019 are:

  • Learning and Development Award of the Year
  • HR Assistant/Officer of the Year
  • Employee Engagement Award of the Year
  • HR Graduate of the Year
  • HR Specialist of the Year
  • Health and Wellbeing Award of the Year
  • Organisational Development Award of the Year
  • HR Manager/Advisor of the Year
  • Best Employer/Workplace of the Year
  • NEW CATEGORY: Diversity & Inclusion Award of the Year
  • HR Business Partner of the Year
  • Corporate Responsibility Award of the Year
  • NEW CATEGORY: HR Project of the Year
  • HR Team of the Year
  • Attraction & Resourcing Award of the Year
  • Chief Executive of the Year
  • HR Director of the Year
  • Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR

To register your interest in the Nominations and for further category details, Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:

The full list of categories along with criteria and supporting evidence is available by visiting:

May 1st, 2019|

Engage Event: Celebrating 70 Years of Developing the HR Profession at Strathclyde Business School

Winners of Hr NETWORK’s Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR Award for 2018, the University of Strathclyde Business School, are offering HR professionals the opportunity to attend their Engage Event and join in the discussion about Human Resource Management – Then and Now, and to learn about the future of HR and workplace innovation as Strathclyde Business School (SBS) celebrates 70 years of educating the HR profession in Scotland and beyond.  The event will be split into two sessions. Delegates can choose to attend the morning, afternoon or both sessions when registering.

Taking place on Friday 3rd May 2019 at Strathclyde Business School, the morning session will have registration at 9:30 for a 10:00 start, and will end with lunch at 12:45.  The aim of the morning is to reflect on the experiences of a number of alumni during their time at Strathclyde and in their subsequent careers. It will feature a panel discussion with a range of HR professionals who graduated from the undergraduate and postgraduate HR programmes at Strathclyde.  These HR professionals encompass alumni from the 1980s through to the 2010s and have a wide array of experiences in a variety of organisational contexts.  The Panel members will be Jackie Anderson, Forth Ports plc; Kulwinder Bhumbra, Diamond Power Speciality; Chris Gilsenan, The Edrington Group; Katherine Jans, Aberdeen Standard; Craig Martin, Glasgow Airport; and John Stewart, SSE plc. The Panel will be Chaired by SBS Business Fellow, Jo Chisholm, Weir Group.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) will be the keynote speaker for the morning session

The afternoon session will have registration and lunch at 12:45 for a 13:30 start, and will close at 16:00.  This session will focus on the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER)’s research on how HR and workplace practices that support innovation can help to transform business performance.  Professor Colin Lindsay will discuss SCER’s recent research with 35 Scottish companies, surveying more than 1,500 employees on opportunities and challenges around workplace innovation.  An interactive workshop will challenge HR and business leaders to reflect on how their workplace supports employees to innovate.  The SCER team will also be launching a major new research project on Employee Engagement and Workplace Innovation.  This project has recently received £1 million in grant funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, and will play a key role in informing business practice on employee engagement and innovation over the next three years.

Jamie Cumming of the Weir Group will be the afternoon keynote speaker, sharing insights on Weir’s current and future projects to support their people to drive innovation.

Key details:

Engage Event: Celebrating 70 Years of Developing the HR Profession at Strathclyde Business School
Friday, 3rd May 2019, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Registration from 9:30am
Venue: Strathclyde Business School

For further details:

April 29th, 2019|

Keynote speakers announced for Hr NETWORK Conference & Exhibition 2019

With ONLY 3 weeks to go, Hr NETWORK is delighted to announce details of the keynote speakers for the forthcoming ‘Smart Culture’ Conference & Exhibition 2019 which takes place at the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel on Thursday 9th May 2019.

Opening the Conference, in the her morning keynote address entitled Love where you’re going”, Pam August, Director of Activation at Westjet, will talk about the importance WestJet has placed, from day one, on the company’s culture to create the most passenger-friendly, financially successful major airline, as well as sharing some of the company’s history and its culture focused business model that underpins its success. Pam will also share lessons learnt from the company’s recent transition into a global brand as it rapidly scales up.

In the afternoon keynote address entitled ‘How to be smarter than the digital age – the post-digital value of future humans’, Dr. Robert Coles, CEO of Roffey Park Institute, the world class executive education and research institute based in the UK, Singapore and Ireland, will discuss what we all know about the lure of the digital age, from beautifully clean pictures of a perfect digital world, to marketing presentations that seem to show there will be nobody alive over 30 – other than Robots perhaps. The reality is different; digitisation will have social, human and environmental costs. And, unless you believe data is the same as human values, there is a key role for the future human, at work and at play.

The Conference, which will attract around 300+ HR and people professionals will also feature speakers from a range of award-winning organisations who have increased productivity, enhanced job satisfaction and gained a clear competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Speaker organisations include: Tennent’s, People’s Postcode Lottery, SSE, Aon Employee Benefits, Scottish Rugby, CYBG Virgin Money and Three.

Commenting on the ‘Smart Culture’ theme for this years’ Scottish HR gathering, founder of Hr NETWORK Lee Turner said: “The workforce of today is more dynamic than ever before, so it demands a more innovative and creative approach to building a satisfying and rewarding environment, which also attracts talent, drives engagement, impacts happiness and ultimately affects employee performance. The speakers featured in this years conference programme have all been instrumental in creating that innovative and creative approach within their own organisations and delegates are very excited to hear how they accomplished this and what were the challenges along the way?”

List of Sessions for Conference 2019

Stream 1

Session 1 – Employee Experience: Delighting your employees the same way as your customers

Session 2 – Smart Culture, Smart Workplaces, Smart Conversations…Smart Employment Law

Session 3 – Transformational HR: How HR can thrive in a world of disruption

Stream 2

Session 4 – Talent Foundations: Transforming talent at Tennent’s

Session 5 – Transforming CYBG and Virgin Money – Creating high performance through purpose and culture

Session 6 – Health & Wellbeing: Using Wellbeing to create a positive culture at work

Stream 3

Session 7 – Employee Engagement to People Experience: How taking a joined up approach delivers business performance

Session 8 – Learning & Development: Creating a leadership led approach to workforce development

Session 9 – Strategic People Planning at Scottish Rugby: Transitioning from changing room to boardroom

Stream 4

Session 10 – Culture Masterclass: Understanding people & change

Session 11 – A Diverse Workforce: Embedding diversity & inclusion in the culture of the organisation

Session 12 – Agile Working: The real impact on engagement and talent attraction

There is still time to book your delegate place. Please visit:

For further details on sponsorship and exhibitor options at the Conference & Exhibition, please contact: Tel 0131 625 3267 or email:

April 16th, 2019|

New legislation to help women at risk of being underpaid

Women are more likely not to notice if their employer underpays them. This is according to new research by ADP, that revealed that almost one in three women (30%) do not always check or even understand their payslips, and subsequently wouldn’t realise if they were paid incorrectly. The ADP Workforce View research surveyed over 10,000 employees throughout Europe, to investigate how employees feel about current issues in the workplace and the future of work.

Itemised Payslips, new legislation that is coming into force on 6th April 2019, will give contractors, freelancers, and zero-hour workers the right to receive a detailed payslip from their employer regardless of their employment status. With the Office of National Statistics (ONS) recently reporting that women make up 55% of zero-hours contract workforce, they are most likely to be affected by inconsistencies in their pay. The British government introduced the Itemised Payslips legislation to increase transparency in the workplace and to ensure workers are paid fairly and accurately in all industries across the UK.
The Workforce View research reveals that industries generally dominated by women, such as Healthcare and Retail, Catering & Leisure, are the sectors where employees are least likely to realise if they were paid incorrectly. Around a third of people in the healthcare sector (35%) and retail, catering and leisure sector (32%) said they wouldn’t realise if they were paid incorrectly.

When comparing unpaid overtime, the survey finds that 18% of women work up to five hours a week for free in contrast to only 10% of men. Simultaneously, both men (29%) and women (30%) work six to ten hours unpaid, while men (4%) tend to do more free work than women (2%) when looking at those that work an extra 21 – 25 hours.

Speaking about The Workforce View research, Jeff Phipps, Managing Director at ADP says: “With one in three women saying they find their payslips confusing, the report highlights that there are still gaps when it comes to pay, equality and transparency in the workplace. This is mostly true in women heavy industries where there are holes in understanding pay. Sectors such as Healthcare and Retail, Catering & Leisure, tend to focus on shift work where employees often work different hours each month that vary in pay rates. This means that workers in these industries are likely not to know if they have been underpaid.”

“The introduction of Itemised Payslips legislation is fantastic news and a step in the right direction. Good employers will always ensure that they are clear and honest with their employees about the hours they work and their pay. With the legislation coming into force, organisations now have the chance to be completely transparent with their workers, this will reduce the confusion employees face when looking at their payslips. Articulating their staffs’ wages in a simple and itemised way will help build trust amongst businesses and their employees while boosting employee engagement and productivity.” Concludes Phipps.

April 5th, 2019|

Majority of working women experiencing the menopause say it has a negative impact on them at work

Three out of five (59%) working women between the ages of 45 and 55 who are experiencing menopause symptoms say it has a negative impact on them at work. This is according to new research from the CIPD.

In response, the CIPD is today launching free guidance on managing the menopause at work to help break the silence surrounding the topic. It emphasises that even small changes like having a fan or access to flexible working can make a big difference to how women manage their symptoms and thrive in their jobs. Women over the age of 50 are the fastest growing group in the workforce and the average age for the menopause transition is 51. As more women go through the menopause during their working lives, it’s vital that employers encourage open discussions to ensure they get the right support.

The menopause transition can include a range of symptoms which, on average, last for four years. The CIPD’s research surveyed 1,409 women experiencing menopause symptoms and was led by YouGov. Of those who were affected negatively at work, they reported the following issues:

  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) said they were less able to concentrate
  • More than half (58%) said they experience more stress
  • More than half (52%) said they felt less patient with clients and colleagues.

Nearly a third of women surveyed (30%) said they had taken sick leave because of their symptoms, but only a quarter of them felt able to tell their manager the real reason for their absence. Privacy (45%) was the number one consideration for women choosing not to disclose. A third (34%) said embarrassment prevented them from saying why they had to take time off and another 32% said an unsupportive manager was the reason.

The need for better support is further highlighted by the fact that more women say they feel supported by their colleagues (48%) when going through the menopause than by their managers (32%).

To break the stigma associated with the menopause, the CIPD is recommending that employers educate and train line managers so they are knowledgeable and confident to have sensitive conversations with staff about their symptoms and any adjustments that might be needed.

Rachel Suff, senior policy adviser for the CIPD, said: “It’s likely that nearly every workplace in the UK has someone experiencing the menopause right now but many managers are in the dark on how best to support them. Rather than it being a workplace taboo, line managers should be ready to treat the menopause like any other health condition and have open, supportive conversations with women in their teams.

“Our guidance shows that if employers create a culture where everyone can talk openly about health issues, such as the menopause, women are much more likely to feel confident about asking for the support they need to be effective in their role. Mangers also need to work closely with their HR teams to understand what simple, practical adjustments can be made to help women feel more comfortable and able to manage their work.”

A Government Equalities Office spokesperson said: “We welcome CIPD’s guidance for employers on supporting employees going through the menopause whilst working.  4.4 million women aged 50–64 are in work – it’s vital that their employers are supporting them to feel comfortable and confident at work, for their own sake and for the sake of our economy.”

The good news is that there are a number of simple steps that employers can take that will make a huge difference to individuals. The CIPD is recommending that these should be outlined in specific guidance which makes clear to both managers and employees what support is available to manage the menopause at work.

The most common symptoms reported by women in the CIPD’s survey are hot flushes (72%), sleep disturbances (64%) and night sweats (58%).  Psychological issues (56%), such as mood swings, anxiety and memory loss, were also widely reported.

To support women experiencing these symptoms, the CIPD’s guide suggests:

  • Giving women a later start time if their sleep pattern is disturbed.
  • Providing a desk fan to help with hot flushes
  • Making sure women can take regular comfort breaks and allowing them to adapt their uniform to improve comfort levels
March 26th, 2019|