Tag Archives: Employment Law

HR Directors Boardroom Birmingham

DirectorsboardroomWhat reward/recognition initiatives do HR Leaders need in place to make their firm a more sustainable and attractive place to work for?  

Sonia Belfield HR Director from the award winning, highly acquisitive firm Muller Dairy will share the new reward and recognition strategic initiatives she has successfully implemented and explain how they have positively impacted the company. Hear more about her journey and how she has developed these key areas which has resulted in making Muller Dairy a more desirable workplace – one that entices the best Talent. She will lead a debate that will focus on her results and challenges around engagement and recognition, and delegates will also discuss

“What should a consistent employee experience look like’’

Muller is the fourth largest FMGC brand in the UK and has won numerous awards in its sector. It has 19 sites nationwide and employs almost 6000 people across four business units: Muller Dairy, Muller Wiseman Dairies, Muller Minsterley and TM Telford.

Our Chairman for the session, David Beswick of Eversheds LLP, has indicated that this session might be of interest to you and has asked us to extend a personal invitation to you.

David Beswick, Partner of Eversheds International Law Group According to Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession “he is the best employment lawyer around” and is the only employment lawyer in the West Midlands to be awarded a Star Individual ranking.

The HR Debate is completely membership led and to ensure you get maximum return on your involvement the places are limited so if you are interested in attending please click one of the links below.

Venue:      The Boardroom: Eversheds LLP      Birmingham

Address:   115 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 3AL

Date:       Thursday 11th June 2015  

Time:         8am – 10am

Cost:        Free of charge

To reserve your place please email kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com.  Places are limited so early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.




51% of HR Professionals plan to move jobs in the next 12 Months

Kim MacNamara - HR Business Director

Kim MacNamara – HR Business Director

Did you know that 51% of HR professionals are planning to move jobs in the next 12 months?

This is just one of the revealing statistics highlighted in Ashley Kate HR’s latest HR Salary Guide and Market Trends report which is out now.

Once again Ashley Kate HR  have seen a significant surge in  HR vacancy registrations and year on year saw a further increase of 11%,  at all levels. Hiring levels are returning to pre-recessionary levels, as many firms are adding more weight and support to their departments in order to grow their operations. Businesses are no longer just replacing leavers but are now looking to substantially expand their teams, which is also the case at Ashley Kate HR. Resourcing is now key to an organisations success, with strong HR driving business critical growth initiatives.

Change As the proportion of the UK plan to move, jobs increase  – work forces are becoming more ambitious in their reasons for moving on and this is due to a number of dominant factors including ; salary dissatisfaction, lack of promotional prospects, lure of better training and development opportunities and better conditions . This means that a higher number of employees are now keen to source a new role and employers, who are focussing on strengthening their EVP offering, have attracted more interest.

If you would like to find out more about the key findings from this market leading HR salary survey contact us now either via email solutions@ashleykatehr.com or call 0845 413 3200.

FIRP, HR Recruitment Director –  Kim MacNamara is a HR recruitment specialist who has successfully placed senior HR roles across the UK and is driven by a focus on an excellent customer experience.  Working alongside Claire BakerGemma Thomason Lucy Wesson & Paula Shaw they provide effective recruitment solutions for HR roles from Administrative to Board level.

If you enjoy networking and want to connect with other HR professionals – Kim also runs the LinkedIn Groups- HR Professionals Network  and HR Directors Boardroom. The former cited as one of the fastest growing HR specific groups. Kim is also responsible for running the Ashley Kate HR HRD Boardroom style debate events in the UK.

If you are looking for a new opportunity in 2015 register your details with us today.


Must do, Online Branding tips for Job Seekers


Keeley McKay – HR Recruitment Manager

Why is your ‘online’ brand so important?

When over 90% of recruiters and HR professionals refer to social media to review your profile, managing your online reputation is KEY. – take a look at this article published by HR Grapevine A teenage girl who was offered a job at a pizza parlour has been fired, before she even started, for sending an expletive tweet about how she really felt about the role.’


stalkingThe rise of the search engine is both a blessing and a curse – logging all of life’s little indiscretions making pre-screening an interesting read. Simultaneously, this very same tool offers a gloriously unlimited pool of information at our fingertips that we simply couldn’t function without.    Debate the issue of privacy all you want; what goes online, definitely stays online so it’s time you step up your online personal brand management and adapt in this modern age of acceptable cyber-stalking. It’s about keeping your profile interesting and relevant.  Most importantly, adding a single step into your existing process – consideration. Consider not only what you post, but how you post it.

Here are my top tips on managing your online brand

Building your online brand

brandingIf you are a ‘no show’ on Google, then let’s get started. There are a number of ways you can leverage your online presence to get on the radar of potential employers and recruiters. Effectively managing your online profile and maximising your online personal brand should be an integral part of your job search.  In a professional capacity, your LinkedIn profile is the one that needs immediate attention and will be reviewed the most by recruiters and HR professionals alike.

LinkedIn linkedinbranding

  • Make your LinkedIn profile as attractive as possible
  • Sell your skills, experience and competencies
  • Maintain an up-to-date profile
  • Ask previous employers or clients you have worked with to recommend you
  • Build your professional network and leverage your connections
  • Follow key industry experts and companies you want to work for
  • Join Groups where they will have a presence


  • Use your feed as a platform to communicate your specialist knowledge and industry expertise
  • Follow industry leaders and media to retain top industry insight
  • Maintain a good balance of professional and informal tweets to show your personality

Facebook facebook

  • Decide if you want Facebook to play a part in your online career arsenal
  • If you do, treat it in the same way you do your LinkedIn profile
  • Publish details about your personal interests and profile-enhancing updates like your charitable activities and voluntary work, sports or writing.
  • If you wish for this to remain private, then update your security settings!


  • Blogging in a professional capacity can help enhance your online personal brand see To Blog or not to Blog written by Kim MacNamara HRHQ
  • If properly managed, it is a channel to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to a targeted professional audience
  • Tailor your content to your audience

Put yourself out there

  • Don’t forget the professional blogs and LinkedIn discussion groups
  • Raise awareness of your specialist expertise across your professional network – engage in this space by providing commentary on topical discussions
  • Managing and monitoring your online brand should be part and parcel of your career development.


Keeley McKay is a HR Recruitment Manager  for the  South East and Home Counties and a key member of our Southern team. she works alongside Natasha James for the South East.

Keeley has had key success in filling roles in the Home Counties area including several at Regional Senior HR Manager level with a Global Manufacturing firm, HRBP’s for a National Retail, Distribution and also in the Professional Service sectors.

Having enjoyed some great outcomes especially in the Reward and Talent area please contact Keeley for any advice in the South East market. 

If you enjoy networking and want to connect with other HR professionals – Kim runs the LinkedIn Groups-HR Professionals Network-UK and HR Directors Boardroom. The former cited as one of the fastest growing HR specific groups. Kim also runs Ashley Kate HR’s HR Directors Boardroom style debate events in the UK.



The by-product of Fifty Shades of Grey

FiftyshadesSo, Valentines weekend coming up and the much eagerly anticipated and talked about release of Fifty Shades of Grey the movie, have you booked your ticket yet?  Be warned a predicted Baby Boom has been announced.

Sociologists come up with all sorts of excuses for baby booms; recession, wars ending, cold winters, hot summers, national disasters, national successes and now Fifty Shades of Grey. The release of the books created the biggest baby boom in 40 years.  That’s right, 2013 was a bumper year for bumps, with a large proportion born in the February, directly correlating to the Fifty Shades of Grey sales spike in May 2012.fiftyshadesofgrey

The upcoming release of Fifty Shades of Grey has had far reaching effects to say the least.  HR Grapevine reported that B&Q have reportedly put staff on ‘stand by’ for increased demand for certain products. The DIY retailer’s staff briefing goes on to say: “All staff are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the content of Fifty Shades of Grey by reading the novel or watching the film upon its release. Copies of the book will be delivered to each store and can be lent to staff on a one week basis. Understanding the storyline and how some products that B&Q stock feature in the film will better prepare staff for incoming queries.”

So B&Q are forward thinking (though not necessarily appropriate), are you? If this potential baby boom were to happen are you prepared for a potential mass maternity/paternity leave exodus? With the introduction of Shared Parental Leave last year what effect will this have on your business come Autumn? With the government’s new shared parental leave which came in to force on December 1 last year, small businesses need to be aware of the HR implications. While the news may be welcomed by parents, there are a number of complicated elements employers need to consider.

For babies due on or after April 5 2015, mothers can now choose to end their maternity leave early and opt for shared parental leave with their partner. Essentially they will take up to a maximum of 50 weeks (of the total 52 weeks) for maternity (or adoption) leave to be shared between them, either at the same time or not.

HRN EVENT BANNERThroughout the year we host a number of Employment Updates with Eversheds LLP across the UK on subject matters such as Shared Parental Leave, Right to Flexible Working & Holiday Pay Entitlement, follow our company LinkedIn page for updates on events near you.


HR Employment Law Update March 2015

HRN Header 01This is an essential update for anyone involved in HR.

We would like to invite you to the next Ashley Kate HR Network Event where leading employment lawyers from international law firm Eversheds LLP will provide an update to HR professionals on key legal developments including;

Calculating holiday pay

The new right to request flexible working

Case law Update

The event will be led by Simon Rice-Birchall from the Eversheds LLP Human Resources Group.

Simon Rice-Birchall:
Simon has considerable experience of employment litigation and has a reputation for his discrimination law expertise, having been responsible for a number of high profile discrimination cases over the last ten years, and continues to build his reputation in this area of his practice. In addition, Simon’s contentious workload includes unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and executive terminations.

In addition to his contentious practice, Simon also gives advice in relation non-contentious matters, such as the implications of TUPE in relation to commercial transactions, issues relating to proposals to change terms and conditions of employment and large scale redundancy exercises.

Simon has expertise of employment issues arising in the public sector, such as in local government and relation to the Police. Simon is described in Chambers by sources as “sharp, on the ball and highly efficient. He is a recommended lawyer in Legal 500.

Kate Sheehan
Kate is an senior associate in the Eversheds Human Resources Group. She specialises in both pensions and employment law and her experience across both disciplines provides a unique insight into the interface between the two subjects.
Kate specialises in all aspects of employment law with a special interest in tribunal litigation, discrimination and advising on changes to employment contracts (particularly when associated with pension scheme changes) and subsequent consultation obligations. Kate also provides general pensions advice to both companies and trustees, including advice on scheme mergers, the pension aspects of TUPE, age discrimination and scheme change.

Breakfast pastries and refreshments will be provided at 8am for an 8.30am start.

The event is sponsored by Ashley Kate HR and is free to all HR Network members. Non-members will pay a small charge of £25 (plus VAT) per delegate.

If you would like to attend this update, please complete the form below.  We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 3rd of March 2015.

Venue:        Eversheds LLP Leeds
Address:     Bridgewater Place Water Lane Leeds LS11 5DR
Date:           Tuesday 3rd of March 2015
Start Time:  8am for an 8.30am start  Finish Time: 10am

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Negotiating Salaries – The Pitfalls

Paula Shaw

Paula Shaw – Head of HR Recruitment – North

If you’ve ever been a candidate applying for a new job or been a client recruiting for a role then chances are you’ve had to have the conversation of salary expectations.

There’s nothing worse than getting all the way through a recruitment process for it to all fall apart at the offer stage because you are both on different pages with salary expectations.

Here are my top tips to help you manage salary expectations throughout the recruitment process

Manage expectations; Candidates be aware, if an advert says ‘up to £30k’ then an offer could be anywhere belowmoney1 that however, companies also need to be mindful that candidates could equally think they might be guaranteed the top end.

Do your research; be aware of market rates and where you sit in the market place. As a candidate your salary expectations could be unrealistic and as a client you might be paying well below your competitors. Ashley Kate HR can provide you with an updated salary guide to support you with this.

benefitsThink about the complete package! Don’t rule out a role/candidate based on salary alone.  The complete package can mean so much more.  Candidates move for many more reasons than just money.  Think about the work/life balance, the progression, the bonus/pension/car allowance, the travel.  All will make a difference.


Choose your moment!  Talking money can be an uncomfortable conversation so choose themoney appropriate moment to do this. If you are working with a reputable consultancy then they can facilitate these conversations behind the scenes but if it’s a direct process then it is not necessary to have the conversation at the first interview stage as it can create a superficial image.

I feel this is a conversation best initiated by the client towards the end of that second stage interview when they are drawing their thoughts to a positive conclusion.

As a candidate being asked that question, be open and honest but make sure you also take the opportunity to ask about all the other additional benefits, progression opportunities and future salary reviews.

If you require any further advice on managing salary expectations, please contact me on 0114 2218000 or email me Paula.shaw@ashleykatehr.com.  if you would like to be kept up to date on any HR related issues why not follow Ashley Kate HRon LinkedIn you can also follow me on Twitter to keep up to date about events, HR roles, employment law updates and much much more.

Head Of HR Recruitment-North. Paula I a dynamic, results focused, HR Recruiter and a key member of our Northern team. With over eight years recruitment experience resourcing at Junior, Middle Management and Senior levels. The northern team consists of Jo Pearson - HR Recruitment Consultant – North West, Jorja Carr - HR Recruitment Consultant, Gemma Thomason, Senior HR Recruitment Consultant-Yorkshire & North West. 

Ashley Kate HR are always on the ‘look out’ for the best talented, ambitious and enthusiastic individuals to join our team. We have an established, committed, loyal team and we are a renowned HR recruitment consultancy specialising in recruiting HR professionals for temporary, contract and permanent interim roles, working across all industries and every HR discipline. Founded in 2001, we’re now a market leader in one of the fastest-growing recruitment sectors in the UK and overseas. Read our blog on How to Join Ashley Kate HR




HR Networking & Employment Law Update

The Ashley Kate HR final employment law update of the year was a great success.

Birmingham played host to over 50 HR Professionals who enjoyed a breakfast and networking followed by an employment law update delivered by Caroline Robins and Frances O’Neill of Eversheds.

The update covered Whistle blowing, Shared Parental Leave & Holiday Pay.

The feedback from this update was extremely positive with a great deal of interest surrounding Shared Parental Leave and in depth questioning regarding potential Holiday Pay reforms.  The feedback we received regarding the event was very positive. 

silouette2“Very Informative” “Great content” “A good general ER overview”

“Informative session and the speakers clearly presented the topics and covered all areas”

“First time to an event and I found it very informative”



During the event the Ashley Kate HR team sold raffle tickets, the prizes included £50 TGI Voucher, £50 Boden Voucher, tickets to Twin Lakes and beauty gift bags.  The raffle raised at total of £77 and this  money has been split evenly between the Whitechapel Mission and Base 51.

base51Base 51 supports young people aged between 12–25, providing easy access to services including: Health, Counselling, Housing Advice and Support, Learning Support, Support for young parents, practical support such as affordable meals, and free laundry and showers.

At the Whitechapel Mission, they have been helping Londoners to help the homeless since 1876, meeting the specific needs of each man and woman who walks through their doors. They are a volunteer led workforce with very few staff, but this does not mean they are a small Whitechapelpngorganisation.  First, they help the homeless by meeting immediate needs: food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.  In their recovery programs, Whitechapel Mission volunteers help address deeper needs for life-skills and job skills training, and addiction recovery.



HRN5Ashley Kate HR run these much anticipated legal seminars in conjunction with Eversheds and they formed part of a full schedule of HR networking events that we held in for 2014 for HR professionals right across the UK.

These events offer HR an invaluable opportunity to hear about the latest employment law changes, network with other HR professionals and ask direct questions to the legal experts from Eversheds and recruitment teams from Ashley Kate HR.  We are currently putting together the schedule for next year and will release this shortly. If you are keen to join the our HR Network and attend these valuable legal updates please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com

HRDboardroomBirmingham1Our final event of the year is due to take place on the 18th November our HR Directors Boardroom debate is being hosted at Eversheds in Birmingham and promises to be a lively HR debate, a few places are still available if you would like to attend please email kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com




The inside take on how to choose which Recruitment Consultancy to work with


Leon Morley - Ashley Kate HR Recruitment Consultant for the East Midlands

Leon Morley – Ashley Kate HR Senior Recruitment Consultant for the East Midlands

I wrote a blog recently on the reasons why to use a recruitment company exclusively (using multiple agencies). Naturally, I feel if I am giving that advice I should also assist you in how to choose a Recruitment Consultant.

It goes without saying that I believe if you are recruiting in HR or Training, then Ashley Kate HR is the correct choice and you needn’t look further.  We are the HR Recruiter of Choice. However, what if you are looking to recruit a PA, or a Finance Director, or a Quantity Surveyor, or a Qualified Social Worker, or a Buyer… I think you’ve got the gist.


My thinking cap

So I put my thinking cap on and I have come up with what I feel are the 5 easy steps you should do before deciding whether to engage the Recruitment Consultant on your assignment.

tips1 - Before you pick up the phone there are two things you need to do firstly, check they are a member of the REC, this is easy to do and it is essential you work with an agency that is governed by them, follow this link to see why www.rec.uk.com , reclogoand secondly, are they connected? Increasingly in this social media driven world; recruiters are networkers and the more networked they are, the more likely they will find you the best candidate. Check if they are on LinkedIn and review their LinkedIn recommendations.

2 – Now pick up the phone and speak to the Consultant who will (potentially) be working the role with you. Don’t email – it’s impossible to assess their credentials properly and will ultimately take longer. Can they demonstrate to you a history of placing your type of role? For example, if you’re recruiting a Quantity Surveyor, ask them to name some companies they personally have placed quantity surveyors with? Past performance is a strong indicator of future performance. And, if they prefer emails they will prefer emailing candidates and you can’t interview and assess a candidate over an email.

3 – Ask them how long they have been working in Recruitment. Why does this matter? It doesn’t theoretically, but it’s a clue. I believe recruiting is an art, not a science because we are talking about people. It takes time for a recruiter to develop the ‘seduction’ strategies they need to attract good people. Secondly, the Recruitment consultancy world has a funny way of allowing people into the industry, trialling them and spitting out the weaker ones; it’s estimated that 50% of new Recruiters leave or are released within their first year in agency recruitment. Those who don’t make the grade go on to find very successful careers elsewhere where their skills are better suited.

4 – clouseauDo they sound credible? Ask them about the market? – If they don’t sound credible to you they won’t to the candidates you are trying to attract, you have to be a bit of a Clouseau here because you are looking for clues of blagging, dishonesty or possible ineptitude. There are brilliant Recruiters everywhere, I have worked with them. There are however poor Recruiters everywhere too; I know I have worked with some (obviously not at Ashley Kate HR!). Hopefully, if they have passed stages 1, 2 and 3, you probably are talking to a good Recruiter already.

5 - Finally, if you think they sound good and they know what they are talking about. Ask them what salary you should be paying for the role? Of course you will have your own idea and probably an amount signed off. Hopefully, it will be similar. If it is very different from what you considered- ask them to justify it with examples like you would if you were interviewing. If they specialise in that field they should produce an annual Salary Guide to assist you with this. If you still aren’t sure get a second opinion and start again somewhere else – you can always go back. But do consider this, if you believe they are the right consultant and consultancy to work with their salary and market knowledge will be accurate and it is worth taking into consideration.

For a copy of the Ashley Kate HR Salary guide, please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com.

Contact me on 0115 922 3000 or email leon.morley@ashleykatehr.com. I am always keen to network with HR professionals from the East Midlands, so if that’s you please feel free to add me as a LinkedIn connection.

Leon Morley has been in recruitment since graduating with a BA (Hons) Degree in History in 2008. He has recruited in the Social Care, Commercial sectors and now focusses purely on HR Leon works closely with Kim MacNamara, Claire Baker, Lucy Wesson and Emma Dobson recruiting in the Midlands.

Read Leon’s blog regarding using multiple agencies denzel


Ashley Kate HR Directors Boardroom at Eversheds London

HRD Boardroom Header 02Earlier this month, leading UK HR Directors gathered at the Eversheds Boardroom in London to join Pamela Harding Group HR Director from The Law Society as she led the latest Ashley Kate HR Directors Boardroom forum.

Kim MacNamara – HR Business Director Ashley Kate HR Midlands and South and Amanda Underhill  –  Senior HR Recruitment Consultant for the London region welcomed an excellent mix of leading HR Directors and invited them to join a, ‘collaborative’ interactive forum with Pamela as she introduced the key topic of, ‘How to make HR more accountable’ and then initiated in-depth discussions around how HR leaders could ‘advance their HR systems effectively in order to drive a culture of self-sufficiency and positively impact the bottom line’ and discussed how in todays climate HR leaders are keen to promote a more accountable culture, one which is high performing and value added and how to do so with confidence and to learn how to overcome obstacles as and when they  arise.

philipThe event was chaired by Philip Davies Partner of Eversheds and he fed back that Pamela had given a thorough overview of the project she had undertaken. He thought she had  offered attendees  a, “very practical and interesting presentation (which) helped to generate some excellent debate and discussion regarding the most significant barriers to change that organisations can face and how they can be overcome.”

We all agree that one of the top benefits of HRD Boardroom attendance is the networking value.  Where else can you find leading HR leaders facing the same issues as you and your organisation? Are there solutions you’re not aware of? Our market leading events provide HR leaders with a secure forum opportunity to debate topics that are relevant and topical and allow HR directors to clearly focus on key issues that will affect the future of their HR function. Pamela commented after the debate that she thought the event, “Was such a great forum …organised really well and attended by people with the appropriate level of experience from a range of industries that made for more fruitful debates and information sharing”.

In addition, all attendees were unanimous in highlighting that the forum provided them with opportunities to, share experiences with fellow HRD’s and was ‘very relevant to their current transformation programmes’ and it was ’good to know that other organisations have the same challenges’.

HRD8As you can observe from the photographs a good discussion ensued – click on the link to view photos Facebook and also why not take a look at the video on the Ashley Kate HR YouTube  page that provides further feedback and outcomes from Pamela regarding the HR Directors Boardroom forum.

Ashley Kate HR have further events planned for 2014/15. If you are a senior level HR executive and would like a copy of the notes and are interested in sharing ideas and experiences with those in similar positions to yourself and would like to join our HR Director’s Boardroom or offer your services as a key speaker please let me know so we may speak further. Email Kim – kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com or call her on 0845 413 3200. Why not take a look at other HR Directors views of our Boardroom events by reviewing Kim’s recommendations on her LinkedIn profile.http://uk.linkedin.com/in/kimmacnamara

Ashley Kate HR offer the full range of HR recruitment services further details of which can be found at http://www.ashleykatehr.com/


Feedback from the HR profession

surveyIn our on-going aim to provide the highest level of service to you, Ashley Kate HR regularly review, analyse, amend and update how we work with and partner the HR profession.

Feedback from previous years Annual Surveys have resulted in an increase in HR specific events we run at Board and Middle Management level, annual HR Salary Guides and improvements to our recruitment service offering.  Your feedback is very valuable and shapes how Ashley Kate HR work with you.

Please follow the link below, it is confidential and will only take a few minutes of your time. As a thank you if you haven’t already received our Annual Salary and Benefits Guide please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com and a free copy will be sent to you.

Client Survey

Candidate Survey

The closing date for this survey is Friday 6th June

Thank you for your participation.

If you would like to discuss how Ashley Kate HR can assist you with your HR recruitment needs please feel free to contact us on 0845 413 3200 or email solutions@ashleykatehr.com.