HR in 90 Seconds - January 2019

Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 17 January 2019
Legal Island
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In this month’s ‘HR in 90 Seconds’ we consider the HR trends coming your way in 2019 and the skills that you might need to handle them. Also, are you handling an instance of absence during probation? We recommend a good article to help ensure that you are adhering to a fair process.

HR trends coming to your office in 2019

HR Review brings us Perkbox's predictions on the HR trends that they think as most likely to be the key issues in 2019. They predict that we may face issues such as:

  1. A battle against presenteeism at work;
  2. Workplaces having to recognise the importance of being more environmentally friendly; and
  3. Establishing a culture of psychological safety will also become key.

In the UK, CIPD reports that 86 per cent of employees have observed presenteeism in their organisation in the last twelve months. Alongside absenteeism, this costs the UK economy an estimated £77bn/year. With reduced productivity and spreading of illnesses to others in the office being some of the most obvious effects, an effort to change attitudes will be required this year to help tackle this issue.

Attempts have already been made with many organisations introducing policies such as flexible working and unlimited holiday, to help improve work-life balance, but these alone aren’t enough. Investing heavily in mental health initiatives such as EAPs, mental health first aiders, counselling and online GPs for staff will be a priority in 2019, as will be the need to set an example to employees, through encouraging them to seek help when needed.

Having seen the war on plastic hotting up significantly this last year, they also predict the rise of eco-workplaces turning mainstream in 2019. 2018 saw companies such as Wetherspoons and All Bar One banning plastic straws, while supermarkets like Iceland pledged to be plastic free by 2023. It is anticipated that ‘green thinking’ will play a key part in company culture. Expect initiatives such as a ‘Bring Your Own Reusable Bottle (BYORB)’, green electricity and paperless offices becoming the new norm. Speaking of environmental friendliness, have you seen Iceland’s banned Rang-tan ad?

Tackling the epidemic that is imposter syndrome will also be a big HR trend in 2019 as employers realise that psychological safety can become a huge driver for growth. Imposter syndrome is estimated to have affected 62 per cent of UK employees in 2018, it’s an issue worth its weight. Perhaps 2019 will see a movement similar to #MeToo as it gains public awareness and enforcement.

The Skills Companies Need Most in 2019 – And How to Learn Them

Paul Petrone, Editor of LinkedIn learning has analysed what soft skills companies might be looking for most in 2019.  Paul identifies the rise of AI making soft skills increasingly important, as they are precisely the type of skills robots can’t automate. He narrows it down to 5 and tells us in one sentence why it matters:

  1. Creativity - While robots are great at optimizing old ideas, organisations most need creative employees who can conceive the solutions of tomorrow.
  2. Persuasion - Having a great product, a great platform or a great concept is one thing, but the key is persuading people to buy into it.
  3. Collaboration - As projects grow increasingly more complex and global in the age of AI, effective collaboration only grows more important.
  4. Adaptability - An adaptable mind is an essential tool for navigating today’s ever-changing world, as yesterday’s solutions won’t solve tomorrow’s problems.
  5. Time Management - A timeless skill, mastering time management today will serve you the rest of your career.

If you have some more time to read the article Paul takes the article further to look at the ‘Hard Skills Companies Need Most in 2019’.

Other items of interest:

The answers to 65 employment law questions asked by your peers

During 2018 your peers submitted 65 employment-related questions for the First Tuesday Q&A feature answered by the employment law team at A&L Goodbody (plus hundreds of questions we answered in previous years). You can search for your question on the First Tuesday Q&A homepage… 

Absence during Probation: How do I handle it?

In this months ‘How do I handle it?’ Antoinette Vahey, Partner with Ronan Daly Jermyn considers a question on terminating employment during probationary period for reasons relating to sickness absence. She reminds us that just because the employee is in probation does not mean that the employer has a carte blanche to dismiss. Antoinette highlights a few key reminders of the steps to take, such as referral to company doctor, carrying out return to work meetings and that at all times there should be regard to fair process and the principles of natural justice. If you have a few spare minutes this article is definitely worth the time.

Don’t forget…Jennifer Cashman's Annual Review of Employment Law webinar, 11:00 - 11:45 on Thursday 24th January 2019.

Jennifer Cashman, Partner, Ronan Daly Jermyn is our keynote speaker at the Legal Island annual reviews of employment law. Jennifer will focus on three key areas of employment law developments:

  1. Due process in discipline grievance procedures, including an update on the cases of Lyons and McKelvey.
  2. Retirement Developments.
  3. Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.

Join Jennifer Cashman at 11:00am on Thursday 24th January. Listen to her summarise the law, advise on remedial actions and ask her questions live. 

Register Now:


This article is correct at 17/01/2019

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

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