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Housing HR Forum Review

Apr 29, 2015

We were delighted to host the second in the Awbery Housing HR Forum series on Wednesday 22nd April at the QUAD venue in Derby.

With six housing associations represented around the table, and with that, over 70,000 houses in the Midlands, the Housing HR Forum had the perfect blend of experience and knowledge in attendance to stimulate very interesting discussion. We were also delighted to welcome a number of Awbery HR Associates to share best practice throughout the morning.

Rhys Wyborn (Senior Associate - Employment, Geldards LLP) got the ball rolling for the morning, providing a series of employment law updates.

  • Zero-hour’s workers - employees need to be treated just as fairly. Importance of equal opportunities and diversity discussed
  • Reasonableness of investigation - ensure reasonable steps are taken to investigate any matter that may result in dismissal - pendulum potentially swings back to employer
  • Uncapped damages in discrimination awards - ensure action is taken against offending individual and an apology is issued to show the organisation has taken action to mitigate injury to feelings

Rhys highlighted the April updates with regards to shared parental leave, adoption rights, and pension changes as well as the two year cap on backdated holiday claims that will be coming in to effect on 1st July 2015. Following this update, the Forum shared a thought provoking question and answer session with Rhys which, as ever, was very interesting and informative.

The Housing HR Forum then welcomed Richard Silverman (Health Coach) to speak about resilience and wellbeing in the workplace, emphasising that people know what to do… it is more about providing our employees a platform from which to change a habit. Richard stated that it takes ‘21 days to change a habit’ and spoke of the need to ‘eat right, keep active and stay healthy’. It is vital that we understand behaviour change and help garner internal motivation to succeed - ‘everything changes from within’. Special mention was made to the need of effective and responsible hydration (2-3 litres per day) with the bottom line being ‘the more hydrated your body is… the better it is going to work.’

The resilience and well-being topic sparked some passionate discussion around the table with a number of delegates sharing examples of best practice from their organisations.

  • A health and well-being strategy was formed two years ago, with members of different teams brought together to put the strategy together based on suggestions and feedback from each team
  • Introduced watercoolers and provided drinks glasses to ensure there were no excuses not to be hydrated
  • Lunch time walk, run and swim - one Housing Association spoke of their ‘Walk the World Challenge’ which motivated employees to get out and walk more
  • Fresh fruit Fridays
  • Local leisure centre discount and sessions with health trainers

What better way to leave things than with a quote used by Richard during his presentation…

“If you really want to do something… you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse…” - Jim Rohn.

We, as employers, need to provide our talent with the opportunity to do something (and stick to it!) to improve their health and well-being.

Finally, we’d like to thank all those who attended the Housing HR Forum, especially Rhys and Richard for their compelling contribution to the morning.

The next HR Housing Forum will be held on the morning of Friday 20th November 2015 at QUAD in Derby once more and we’d love to see you there!



Category: Events

Ben Quain


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