What is HR Support?

AB HR Solutions:

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Our message at AB HR Solutions is simple – we provide HR Support to business.

But what does this mean?

It does NOT mean that we become your out-sourced HR Department.

Our value added model provides HR Support to businesses – often SMEs – who are not large enough to need a dedicated HR team but they still require occasional access to HR Support to deal with tricky issues that arise.

Typically, we work closely with MDs, CEOs, business owners or chair persons, start-up and entrepreneurs, family businesses and senior managers.

What does our typical client look like?

Our typical client is a small business, possibly family owned/managed with up to 100 employees and they are unlikely to have an HR Manager or Head of HR. The likelihood is that HR falls under the remit of a Finance Manager/Director, Office Manager or very often, the MD’s PA.

The HR tends to be administrative often in conjunction with payroll and is based around contracts of employment, offer letters, issuing warnings, job change letters, medical certificates, keeping absence records and drafting policies. Every so often a difficult situations arises which is out of the ordinary –

  • The need to re-organise resulting in making some roles redundant
  • A long term absence issues with an employee – possibly mental health related with uncertainty about their return to work intentions and ability to do the role
  • Senior management re-organisation leading to some form of full and final settlement
  • Employee makes a complaint or allegation about another employee – possibly bullying, harassment or inappropriate conduct and this needs to be investigated because it may lead to disciplinary action – even dismissal.

When these situations happen, they can become quite complex and messy requiring specific expertise and experience. It is not uncommon for people not to fully understand the implications, risk and complexity of such issues because we “don’t know what they don’t know”.

Sometimes a business is on the threshold of requiring an HR Manager and we can advise the business on the specification for the role, support the recruitment process and provide on-going coaching and mentoring to the newly recruited person.

What types of business need HR Support?

Any business that employs people can have HR issues – even those with 2 or 3 employees. The greatest concentration of HR issues arises in businesses where there are teams of employees doing similar job roles – helpdesk, call centre, teams of technicians, maintenance engineers, cleaners, catering, production operatives, administration, customer service……

HR issues can also be greater where the workforce is culturally diverse because this can give rise to work eligibility issues as well as possible discrimination and complaints or, where – for instance – employment is subject to DBS clearance. This would apply in situations where the employee is working in environments with children, vulnerable adults or those with disabilities or special needs.

AB HR Solutions have a wide variety of clients across sectors including;

  • Hospitality – pubs, café/bistro, social clubs
  • Personal care treatment – hairdressing, beauty salons
  • Landscape gardening and artificial sports surfaces
  • Childrens nurseries
  • Farming partnerships
  • House builders, construction and development
  • Consulting engineers
  • Facilities and property management
  • Electrical contractors and allied building trades –roofing etc
  • Car sales, dealerships and vehicle bodyshops
  • Printing and design

AB HR Solutions also work closely with GP Doctor surgeries supporting Partners and Practice managers who are unable to access HR Support through the NHS and smaller GP surgeries (perhaps 5 Partners and up to 15,000 patients) don’t have an HR person but might employ over 20 people.

It is also common for HR issues to arise in charitable organisation and the NFP sector.

How has Covid affected HR Support?

During the challenging times over the last 18 months, the need for HR Support has increased with queries relating to furlough, carrying over holiday, redundancies, voluntary pay and hours reductions, contract variations, flexible working arrangements and work from home.

As we emerge from lockdowns, the need for HR support has been impacted by issues with mental health, employee reluctance to return to the office, flexible and hybrid working arrangements, office closures and the possibility of redundancies as funding from furlough reduces.

What does a business want from its HR Support?

Any business wants value for money which is why, in most cases, our support is “pay as you go”. Also, you can’t find the answer to every HR problem via google or in a text book because each situation is different and it is all about interpretation – hence experience matters.

A business also wants risk free solutions and damage limitation without threat to their reputation. In many SMEs, employees have long service and when disputes and issues arise, they can get very personal because of the informality of the personal relationship that has built up over many years so external HR Support can bring an independent perspective whilst also providing the business owner with an invaluable confidential “sounding board”.

If you need HR Support – get in touch – adrian@abhrsolutions.co.uk


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