HR in 90 Seconds - June 2019

Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 20 June 2019
Legal Island
Legal Island
Issues covered:

In this month’s ‘HR in 90 seconds…’ we have compiled some top tips and highlighted new articles including:

  • What are the differences in Employee v Contractor?
  • Have you considered ‘Feedforward’ as a coaching concept?
  • How to get the best out of a resignation
  • Returning from sick leave and employee incapacity
  • What is the actual difference that flexible working can make?

What are the differences in Employee v Contractor?

The rise of the gig economy has seen many people who work for one employer classed incorrectly as independent contractors. We are seeing a trend of increased claims before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) of workers classified as independent contractors who should, in reality, be classed as employees.

Caroline McEnery takes us through some key stages that can be used when assessing whether or not a person is engaged under a contract of service (employee) or under a contract for services (self-employed). Caroline identifies that there are 4 main factors to be considered:

Does the person doing the work:

  • assume any responsibility for investment and management in the business
  • otherwise take any financial risk
  • provide his/her own equipment or helpers or
  • have the opportunity to profit from sound management in the performance of his/her task

Caroline’s full article gives further 13 criteria and 6 additional factors that can be used when cases are not clear-cut.

'Feedforward' as a coaching concept

The latest coaching blog from OCN Coaching Champions Ltd points out that we can’t change the past and discusses ‘Feedforward’ as a coaching concept, focusing on the future, on opportunities for growth. Discussing errors in our past performance makes us defensive. Feedforward, by comparison, helps us to focus on a positive future rather than a failed past, Goldsmith advises.

We have used Feedforward as a Coaching in the Moment tool for many years, sometimes in one-to-one coaching sessions but also in workshops. For this blog, we will look at how you could use Feedforward in a group session, e.g. a workshop.

  • Ask participants to pick one behaviour they would like to change. Ask them to consider a behaviour that would make a significant and positive difference to their lives.
  • Ask them to find a partner in the room and to describe that behaviour to them. It can be something as simple as “I would like to become better at time management”.
  • Ask their partner for a tip to help them to achieve a positive change. They are not allowed to explore the past. They are only allowed to give ideas for the future.
  • Listen. Take notes. Say “Thank You”. Swop Roles.
  • Find another partner and repeat the process.

How to get the best out of a resignation

With all the focus on the ‘employee experience’ and the ever increasing importance of your employer brand, it is great to read this month’s article from Olga Pollock as she considers ‘How to get the best out of a Resignation’. Olga is an HR Manager and knows only too well that bad news spreads so fast so as employers we want former employee to share their experience of your organisation as a great workplace. This will then boost the employer brand and potentially attract new recruits in both the short and long term.

We have summarised the main points from Olga’s article:

  • There are endless numbers of reasons employees leave their job
  • Always be able to think of the bigger picture
  • Northern Ireland is a small marketplace and bad news spreads fast
  • Employer brands need to be strong to attract and retain the best talent
  • Encourage the employee to take time to consider the offer before making any final decision
  • Take into consideration the employee's circumstances when responding to their reasons for resignation

If you have some more time, other items of interest include:

In this month’s ‘How do I handle it?’ article, Caoimhe Heery, Associate Solicitor of Ronan Daly Jermyn’s Employment Group addresses a query that was raised following Jennifer Cashman’s article last month on employee incapacity. Some of the main points raised include the importance of employers remembering that it is not for them to determine an employee’s fitness or otherwise to return to work and such a decision should always be deferred to a qualified medical practitioner.
Read all of Caoimhe’s thoughts here:

What is the actual difference that flexible working can make?

This simple, short video shows how much of a difference flexible working can make. It can be as simple as an amendment to start and finish time to miss the rush hour, allowing employees to work a pattern which works in with the shift pattern of a partner or maybe, for now, an employee is happy to work Monday to Friday 9-5. However, when things in their life change can they rely on their employer to be there to help them with a simple solution to make a really big difference to how they handle everything else. Think outside the 9-5 box. Reports suggest that flexible working is set to boost the economy by £148 billion by 2030. (Video, 1:00)

Our next webinar – Let’s Discuss… Workplace Investigations

Caroline McEnery, Managing Director of The HR Suite will discuss the practicalities of conducting workplace investigations and provide some takeaway tips on how to avoid the common pitfalls.

Covering the following points:

  • The policy; your starting point
  • The terms of reference
  • The rules of natural justice
  • The investigation report

Send in questions (anonymously) on the day or in advance to

Register Now:


This article is correct at 20/06/2019

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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