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It's that time again... Welcome to 2018!

View profile for Amy Edwards
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The first week back at work is always tough, but at least by now, you are getting over the post-holiday blues! I hope that everyone’s New Year’s resolutions are going well, and you have not delved into the box of chocolates just yet.

Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions in their personal life, but not quite as many in their professional or working lives. You’d be surprised by how making some ‘working’ New Year’s resolutions, will actually help your home lives and sticking to your personal resolutions, and help with that all important work/life balance. For example, having to work late to get something completed will stop you from getting to the gym class.

I am a great believer in being prepared, and having an idea of what is on the horizon – that way, it’s much easier to cope with any problems that may crop up and ruin your plans for that day, week, month or even year. Yes, I accept that you cannot prepare for everything and your to do list will never be quite complete, but now is the perfect time to review the last 12 months and see what is on the horizon for 2018. What did you achieve, what didn’t you quite manage to get around to dealing with and what has now (or will very soon) become a priority, what would you like to achieve this year?  Also, speak to your colleagues, many will be doing the same, many organisations will also be finalising their business plans for 2018/2019 – how will this impact you? Will something land on your desk that needs to be dealt with that will throw your plans into turmoil?

For those dealing with employees and HR issues, there are some things that appear on to do lists year after year, but rarely get completed.  Reviewing and updating contracts and policies and procedures is one such thing. They don’t carry the urgency that comes with some issues that arise when employing staff, until something goes wrong or you can’t discipline someone as you haven’t the correct procedure in place, but up to date documents are vitally important and can often save you a lot of money in the long run.

What about that new appraisal system you have been meaning to introduce for the last couple of years?

Are you a business that is struggling to recruit suitability skilled employees? The skills gap is only set to increase, so how as a business are you going to attract talent?

Not only that, 2017 was a very busy year for employment law, and 2018 is not likely to be any quieter. You must have published the Gender Pay Gap Reporting information by the 4th April 2018 (for private and voluntary sector employers with over 250 employees) or face fines and even prosecution. Don’t forget about the General Data Protection Regulation coming in force on the 25 May 2018 – all employers hold ‘personal’ data about their employees so you will need to take steps to ensure that you are complaint with the new Regulation. We also await the Appeal from Uber – in light of this do you need to look at how you organise your workforce?

These are just some of the things you may have to consider over the next 12 months, and over the coming weeks we will share with you more information about how best to deal with these and other issues that may arise.

In the meantime, Happy New Year from Brethertons! We hope that this marks the start of a bright new year for you.