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Emma O'Connor


Welcome to the latest edition of the Employment team’s Training Times!

Emma O’Connor, Head of Training, discusses training during lockdown, recent assignments, training Staff Representatives in collective redundancies situations and how employers are using training and development as an opportunity to engage with their people.

As a passionate advocate of training and development, postponing training courses and events has been a blow; however, the move to online training, increasing our webinar and podcast content and audiences, and being able to work with some fascinating speakers to bring a new focus and message on current employer issues, has been fantastic. Through our newsletters, webinars and podcasts, the Employment team have delivered updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme(JRS) – more to come on this topic next week too – supporting the mental health of our workforces, managing redundancies as well as European lockdown issues for employers. To listen to our podcasts and webinars, click HERE

But our clients have not stopped training. Our courses are being delivered as “bite sized” virtual sessions, focusing on core topics such as managing conduct, equality and diversity and managing redundancies. We are able to deliver training to HR, managers and wider employee populations. We’re using online polls, Q A’s, case studies, small focused break outs and chats panels to engage with the audience and answer their questions as we would do face to face. We are able to – and have - delivered training using client’s preferred meeting platforms or our through own. Live/recorded and/or bespoke sessions are available focusing on your businesses’ key training needs; however, we also have ready to play courses - a great way to work round your people’s working hours if a fixed start time does not suit. Some topics – such as managing sickness absence – are available for clients to use “on demand” through short “how to” guides which can be uploaded to your intranet. Online training can also be more cost effective for businesses and flexible at this time.

For me, training has also taken on a new focus, the need to update, share knowledge and develop new skills - yes of course - but training and getting groups together has also aided engagement and connection at a time when some feel disconnected, and, dare I say it, sometimes it’s good to laugh too!

By way of example, recent training assignments have included:

  • an HR case law update session 
  • HR and manager updates on furlough and the JRS
  • running sessions for a client’s leadership team on managing their workforces remotely and return to work challenges
  • a “virtual” employment law quiz for one of our technology sector clients – not as fun as virtual “pub quiz” but hopefully as entertaining
  • staff representative training (see below)

We are also receiving new instructions to deliver individual and collective redundancy training to managers and HR focusing on the risks and process pitfalls. One area of focus is on staff representative training for organisations involved in collective redundancy consultation. This training is key to staff representatives understanding their rights, roles and the process more generally – especially if representing a remote workforce. If your business is contemplating redundancies and are unsure of what to do next speak to us by email at [email protected].

Whilst training is encouraged for furloughed staff, there are special rules under the JRS so do take advice

Many employers have invested heavily in their wellbeing programmes, this drive does not need to stop at this time and is to be encouraged. Through the HR Training Academy we are also able to offer stress, resilience, mental health and wellbeing training for your people. Podcasts and pre-recorded webinars are a useful way of offering guidance and support to your people at a time when they need it. This is an anxious time for many in your business and offering training or useful tips and guides are a great way of supporting your people. Health and safety training as businesses start to re-open and return to work is another area the team are being asked to assist. Training your people on the new expectations with regard to health and safety is part of the new Covid-19 risk assessment measures being introduced (and good practice in any event). Perhaps the need for training, understanding and risk management have never been greater.

Helen Goss, Partner also launched Boyes Turner Coaching services which provides experienced business coaches to companies for their leaders and rising leaders. Every business needs its people to be the best version of themselves so as to ensure the business moves in the direction it needs to go in and to ensure people are operating at optimum level. Sometimes a business needs to think in different ways to achieve its goals and business coaching can help that happen.

Training will return to face to face, but for now to join us, subscribe to our invites for events, listen to our podcasts, talk to us about training, coaching and development. 

I hope you are well and we look forward to connecting with you soon!

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.


Get in touch

If you have any questions relating to this article or have any employment issues you would like to discuss, please contact the Employment team on [email protected]

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