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Emma O'Connor


Training Times is a series of articles highlighting the latest updates and training courses run by the HR training academy. You can view our previous updates focusing on the development of HR training strategies, and the importance of manager training.

Emma O’Connor, Legal Director and Head of our HR Training Academy, talks about her recent training assignments and shares what her clients are training their managers and HR teams on and what training you should be thinking about now. Remember that training is important, training does work!


The HR Training Academy

It has been a busy start to 2024 in the HR Training Academy. Manager training is certainly back on the HR agenda – which is great! The need and importance of ensuring our people leaders are aware of their basic legal responsibilities and understand why following core employment processes, such as managing absence or knowing when to escalate a performance issue, is so important. This is where training comes in.

Training is essential. I take a proactive approach to training, working with HR leaders to design and develop bespoke training programmes which suit their management training needs. My view of training is that it should be accessible and relevant to the audience you are delivering to. It is also important to focus on the take aways – what are managers going to do differently and how can HR get value from its training investment.

Training can also give businesses certain defences in employment tribunal claims as well as being a great way to engage, support and bring your leadership population together. There is also a focus on the April 2024 changes and what HR and leaders need to know.

The HR Training Academy is a “one-stop shop” when it comes to legal, compliance, soft skills and leadership training. I work with a network of trusted trainers and leaders to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of courses.

Think training, think Boyes Turner.  

So what training courses have I been running for clients?


Training for staff representatives

Staff representative bodies, such as those elected as part of a collective redundancy consultation, need support in understanding their role and responsibilities. This helps their constituents but also assists the business more generally, in making the collective consultative process work efficiently and more effectively. This is where staff representative training comes in. Staff representative training can be run in-person or as eLearning, pre-recorded videos which explain the key aspects of the staff representative role. Focusing on our staff representatives can often be overlooked so if your business is embarking on a collective consultation process then get in touch if you would like to learn more.


Flexible working revolution virtual course

“Great training session”

“These short sessions make sure you are prepared for legislative changes ahead”

The statutory flexible request process is changing from 6 April 2024. To help managers and HR prepare for these changes and to give tips on managing requests, I ran a virtual training session as part of our external Academy training programme. The group from different sector employers, discussed the new changes, what needs to be amended in our HR policies and how can managers manage flexible working requests post 6 April 2024.

This course is aimed at HR professionals and managers. Get ready for April and book a virtual, in person or eLearning Working Revolution course for your organisation!


Manager essentials course

“I enjoyed the whole session”

“great delivery and explanation”

Managing teams can be daunting; however, this course helps “demystify” key people management issues. For example, managing conduct, performance or absence – giving managers the confidence and the tools to spot ER issues early and proactively engage with HR processes. Run in small groups of managers, we use discussions, case studies and questions to focus on key management and compliance issues. We discuss roles, responsibilities and risks with a focus throughout on how managers can be more inclusive. A great course which I enjoy running for management teams!

Managers benefit from legal and compliance training, whether they are new to the role or as a refresher. Legal training on the Equality Act 2010 may give defences in the Employment Tribunal too. This is going to be particularly relevant when we think to the Autumn and the changes to the law around sexual harassment. This is our most popular course run as a day or as bitesize in person or virtual sessions.


Employmnent law and HR webinars

“Emma’s regular webinars are of enormous benefit”

So far I have talked about changes in statutory rates, April family friendly changes, redundancies and motivation. If you are not signed up to our newsletter updates, up-and-coming webinars, and podcasts then please do so, or you can check out our previous webinars on our website.

Training is important, training does work!

For practical, relevant and accessible training and leadership courses be it legal, leadership or soft skills, the HR Training academy has the right course to suit your needs, budget, and method of delivery. If you want to adopt a training programme for your managers and do not know where to start, then speak to me.


Upcoming HR training available

In the coming months Emma is providing international employment training, an HR Masterclass 2024 on 19th June and menopause awareness training. To register and keep up to date with the upcoming training, sign up to our newsletter or get in touch on [email protected]. I look forward to working with you and discussing your training plans.

Training for managers and HR teams

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 legal disputes you would like to discuss, please contact the Employment team on

[email protected]
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