121 is hiring! We’re looking for a social media superstar to join our team.

121 HR Solutions is an HR consultancy with wide ranging clients throughout Scotland and we are also developing an exciting new franchise network in our business which will be launching next year. We are looking for an enthusiastic social media associate to deliver engaging sales driven content across all social media channels for us, our clients and our franchisees when required. You will be passionate about Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn and will be confident to write and plan content across wide ranging industries and sectors.
• An ability to write engaging product copy paying particular attention to driving sales
• An Expert on all social media channels
• Passionate about Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn
• Full of ideas on how to drive business and engage the customer
• Excellent English language skills
• Experience in a similar role, or demonstrate flair in this field from university / college assignments
• An ability to take direction but use it to be proactive and to use your own initiative

• Managing and growing presence across all social media platforms as and when required.
• Creating schedules and monitoring the response to different post types and times of day to optimise strategy
• Finding engaging new content; quotes, inspiration for use on social media, and ensuring that all content across all media platforms reflects accurate tone of voice.
• Working on special projects
• Excellent written English and a flair for short, sharp copy.
• Proven ability to work quickly and efficiently with accuracy and attention to detail
• Ability to meet deadlines

Job Type: An associate team member working on an ad hoc basis for 121 and our clients and franchisees.
Required experience: This position would suit a student currently working towards a degree in a relevant field who has an interest and some experience on social media campaigns, or a graduate in this field.
If you are interested please forward your CV and a covering letter to; recruitment@121hrsolutions.co.uk

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Is drug testing at work effective?

Despite claims from drugs-testing companies, there is no real evidence that drug-testing is common-place in British workplaces. It is mainly used in safety critical areas such as transport and energy generation or after an incident. There is also increased usage in the construction industry.

The presence of drugs can be detected in urine, for most drugs, for up to three or four days after use, although in the case of some drugs they can be detected for up to 30 days, especially after heavy use.

In the past, drug-testing was very unreliable. In recent years, testing has become more accurate and, if a sample is conducted by an approved laboratory and the sample is subject to a confirmation test, false positive results are now less common. Even when it does identify drug use correctly, what the test shows is simply whether the residues of a drug are present. It cannot tell with any certainty when the person took the drug, or whether they were under the influence of the drug.

Good practice recommendations say:

• Only use drug or alcohol testing where it provides significantly better evidence of impairment than other less intrusive means.
• Use the least intrusive forms of testing practicable to deliver the benefits to the business that the testing is intended to bring.
• Tell workers what drugs they are being tested for.
• Base any testing on reliable scientific evidence of the effect of particular substances on workers.
Drug testing is a costly and time-consuming process that is often used by organisations as a substitute for an effective drugs and alcohol policy. If an employer does introduce a testing programme it should ensure that:
• It is done by a laboratory accredited by the UK Accreditation Service.
• It is part of an effective and agreed workplace drug and alcohol policy which aims at supporting any person with a drug or alcohol problem.
• It is only done after impairment testing has been carried out and there is evidence that the person may be impaired as a result of drugs.
• No samples are taken without the informed consent of the person (this cannot be given under duress).
• There is an appeals process, with right to union representation, if anyone tests positive.

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Interviewing, Hiring and On-boarding workshop

Interviewing, Hiring and On-boarding: 26th October 2017 in Dundee

Feedback from previous delegates: “Given real life examples, opportunity to share experiences and ask questions”
“Really helped identify where as a business we can improve our recruitment process”

This is designed to enable delegates to recruit effectively and efficiently so that the business can confidently select talent, first time round ensuring induction training plays a vital role for all new employees.
This workshop will cover:

• The importance of selecting the right candidate
• Different types of questions, from traditional to behaviour-based, learning which questions elicit different types of responses.
• How to create behaviour-based questions that are directly relevant to the job requirements.
• Identify the difference between good and poor evidence, and how to match evidence to role and to business requirements.
• How to conduct an effective interview process which will consist of setting job requirements, building interview questions, conducting interviews and selecting the right candidate.
• Evaluating the best candidate and making the selection.
• The importance of an effective on-boarding process

Who is it For?
Managers likely to recruit new employees.

Price: £160 + VAT, per person. Maximum of 4 delegates per organisation. Contact us to find out about multiple booking discount available
Time: 10.00am – 16.00pm.
Book now: click here to book your place or contact us at mailto:events@121hrsolutions.co.uk
Cancellation: Minimum 7 days cancellation notice applies or full cost will be charged.

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Regardless of gender, flexible working prevents career progression – true or false?

Two-thirds of employees believe working flexibly would prevent them from climbing the career ladder, new research has found. Despite this, 83% of more than 5,400 UK professionals felt flexible working was an important benefit. A further three out of five said it had improved female representation in senior roles.

The survey concluded that it was concerning that, although these initiatives are viewed as important options to both men and women and are directly associated with bridging the gender divide, employees are worried about the negative impact a leave of absence and more flexible working pattern may have on their career.

The study revealed that women were more likely to believe working flexibly would dampen their prospects, with three-quarters saying they were worried about the effect it would have on their career, compared with 65% of men.
Three-quarters of men believed there were equal career opportunities for both genders, compared with only 54% of women.

Meanwhile nearly two-thirds of permanent, full-time UK employees now enjoy some degree of flexible working, including working from home, working reduced hours and working flexible hours.

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Dismissal without seeking evidence of disability

A former TK Maxx worker who was dismissed following a fight with a customer over a pair of trainers has won an employment tribunal.

The employee worked for the store for around 13 years in various roles, before becoming store manager in 2009, and general manager in 2013. In March 2016, he was promoted to general manager of TK Maxx’s High Street Kensington store.
Shortly after he took up the role at the High Street Kensington store, it was alleged that he behaved inappropriately towards some colleagues. When he was asked about this by his district manager and the regional HR manager, the employee told them he suffered from depression and anxiety, including having suicidal thoughts. This, in turn, negatively affected his sleep and mood, and made him quick to anger. He advised that he was receiving therapy and taking medication for his condition.
In August 2016, the employee claimed he was sworn at by a customer after he told them he could not refund a pair of trainers because they appeared to have been worn outside, which would have been against the store’s returns policy.

Apparently, the unhappy customer then pulled out his phone to record the incident. The employee pulled the phone away from the customer over the shop counter in what became an altercation. The customer complained, with claims that the employee tried to steal his phone and that he had been punched by a security guard in the ensuing struggle.

After receiving the complaint and reviewing the CCTV footage of the incident, the employee was dismissed for gross misconduct.
However the tribunal found that TK Maxx had gone ahead with its disciplinary procedure without properly investigating and first obtaining a proper medical opinion to confirm whether the employee’s mental health issues had been ongoing and had therefore contributed to his behaviour and found in favour of both unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.

This case demonstrates the need for employers to make sure they have properly considered the impact of a disabled employee’s condition, and any medication they may be taking in respect of that condition, when making any decision to discipline and / or dismiss a disabled employee. This may mean seeking medical opinion before making any decision as part of the investigation process.

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Managing Investigations – Edinburgh Venue – more information!

Conducting Workplace Investigations: 19th October 2017 in Edinburgh

Feedback from previous delegates: “Very useful training – to the point but personable”
“Interesting and informative presentation, leaving me feeling confident to investigate matters”

There are many occasions where there is a need to hold internal investigations in the workplace. They are held to clarify and establish the facts of individual cases and to assist Managers in making a decision as to whether there are grounds to call a disciplinary hearing or dismiss a member of staff. It is important to be aware that employers may be held liable if a poor investigation leads to an unfair dismissal.

This workshop will cover:
• The responsibilities of the employer
• The rights of the employee
• The stages of an investigation
• Listening and questioning techniques
• When to suspend
• Writing the report and presenting findings
Who is it For?
HR professionals, line-managers, supervisors, employee representatives and legal practitioners.

Price: £160 + VAT, per person. Maximum of 4 delegates per organisation. Contact us to find out about multiple booking discount available
Time: 10.00am – 16.00pm.
Book now: click here to book your place or contact us at mailto:events@121hrsolutions.co.uk
Cancellation: Minimum 7 days cancellation notice applies or full cost will be charged.

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Increase in Tribunal claims in past year

Whilst tribunal fees have now been removed, the Ministry of Justice has released statistics that show that employment tribunal applications increased last year when tribunal fees did apply, for the second year in a row. However the figures are still 100,000 less than the last full year before fees were introduced.

In the year to 31 March 2017 a total of 88,476 tribunal applications were made. This compares to 83,031 the previous year, 61,308 in 2014/15 and 105,803 in 2013/14. It is expected that next year’s figures will demonstrate a significant increase.

The highest sum awarded in a tribunal claim was £1,744,575.56 and awarded in an unfair dismissal claim. The highest award in a discrimination claim was £456,464 for race discrimination. This is reduced from the highest award last year which was over £1.7 million.

The number of costs awards made by the tribunal in 2016/17 has fallen for the third year in a row. The number made this year was only 479, having previously fallen from 870 in 2014/15 to 658 in 2015/16. Once again more awards were made to claimants than respondents.

The maximum costs award made was £146,404 with the median award dropping by £75 to just £925.

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Are you saving to retire?

58% of employers expect to help their employees make more informed choices about their finances in preparation for leaving the workplace, according to new research. But interestingly, almost half admitted that they only contributed the statutory minimum of 1% to pension pots.

More than 35% of respondents said they felt it was the government’s responsibility to provide the necessary financial education to employees, and just under half were concerned that workers were not making adequate provision for their retirement.
Employers are becoming more aware that they could end up with a sizeable number of older staff who simply cannot afford to retire. It has been suggested that the pensions’ industry and the government should consider whether pensions are the only way to retire, and whether today’s young workers would prefer a savings product that’s more flexible.

Approximately two million older workers in the UK may not be able to afford to retire because somebody else is financially dependent on them. The main reasons given by over-50s for remaining in work were the financial needs of their children or parents. However, 40% said they were motivated to stay in work because of job satisfaction and fulfillment. This figure rose to 53% among 65 to 69-year-olds and two thirds) of over-70s.

Four in 10 workers believe they will never be able to retire, further reflecting the importance of saving for retirement through a workplace savings scheme.

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121 ILM Residential Leadership Development Programme – 21st to 24th November at Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort

We are delighted to introduce our residential Leadership development training programme which has been accredited by the ILM. The first 4-night residential course runs in November this year at Forbes of Kingennie. The Leadership training programme covers all areas that aspiring or new managers will need to equip them for their job and assists organisations in succession planning and retention of talent.

A recent successful delegate said of this programme, “I cannot recommend the workshops highly enough, and I am delighted, that through their attendance, and completion of an ILM qualification, I feel far more confident in undertaking job interviews, performance reviews, managing conflict and enforcing disciplinary procedures as and when required.”

The residential combines learning with fun interaction and additional evening team building activities, along with guest speakers – all geared towards becoming a better leader and understanding how to best motivate people!

ILM is the leading specialist provider of leadership qualifications in the UK. Over 70,000 ILM qualifications are awarded each year and in the past year alone, ILM has delivered over 14,000 management apprenticeships. Taking part in this programme also provides free membership to ILM for a year, providing a toolkit of information and resources to each delegate!

Module 1: Interviewing, Hiring and On-boarding: Designed to enable delegates to recruit effectively and efficiently so that the business can confidently select talent, first time round ensuring induction training plays a vital role for all new employees.

Module 2: Effective Performance Reviews: Providing an understanding of the benefits of undertaking performance reviews and the business consequences of not completing them effectively.

Module 3: Effectively Managing Poor Performance: Covering the essential skills and knowledge to manage and motivate poor performers.

Module 4: Understanding UK Employment Law: Ensures that delegates are aware of UK Employment Laws and up to date with relevant recent changes in employment legislation. Delegates will be aware of changes to Employment Legislation and the impact on the business to ensure compliance with managing employee relations.

Module 5: Effective Time Management: This module aims to establish how managers spend their time and identify time-savers.

Module 6: Running Effective Meetings: Understand the fundamentals of conducting meetings, the planning, participating and concluding meetings successfully.

Cost: £1250 per person, inclusive of accommodation and meals.
2nd delegate £950 per person but only if sharing accommodation. If single accommodation is required then cost remains at £1250
For further information or to book, contact events@121hrsolutions.co.uk or call 0800 9995 121

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Long hours – productive or not?

At various times in the year, employees find that they have to work longer hours to manage their job – most know that regularly working long hours can be harmful for health.

A recent report found that the average UK employee works an extra 13 working days every year, with 64% of those asked admitting they often work longer hours than they are supposed to. 58% of staff believe that the traditional 9-5 working day is an outdated concept, citing the influx of technology as one of the main reasons for being able to work from anywhere at any time.

The report found that three quarters of UK professionals think that a four-day working week would be beneficial to them. This is in addition to an extra 40% who agreed that it would make them more productive in general.

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The 121 HR Business Partnership is at the heart of the relationship with our clients.

The partnership brings the benefits of cost-effective HR support and professional advice without the worry of escalating legal fees when issues arise.


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121 HR Business Manager is a professional HR service provided to businesses on an outsourced basis. Each business has different needs, therefore we tailor our service and approach to fit perfectly with your organisation.


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121 HR Solutions provide a comprehensive range of HR services that can be accessed through the Business Manager package, or more commonly on a short-term project basis. This is useful to organisations that do not employ full-time HR staff and lack the knowledge and skills required.

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