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Business / Advice for small businesses on employment

A WORKSHOP aimed at guiding small businesses on the responsibilities of employing people is due to be held in Lerwick in June.

HR specialist Judith Fenton will be speaking at the workshop. Photo: Jonathan Kerr

The event, which will take place at the Shetland Museum between 7pm and 9pm on 6 June, is being hosted by local chartered accountant Martin Tregonning and HR specialist Judith Fenton.

It follows Tregonning’s previous Making Tax Digital seminar run in February, which saw representatives from business software company Sage UK head north to speak.

Shetland-based Fenton, who has clients in the isles, Orkney and the mainland, said: “Many small businesses either have nothing in place, which puts them at risk legally, or else they buy in an expensive ‘off the shelf’ HR package which doesn’t actually fit in with their business and doesn’t provide them with the solution they need.

“The aim of any HR procedures must be to reduce the legal risk, minimise stress for managers, and manage staff effectively. There is a middle ground where small businesses can take reasonable steps to manage their requirements, and which make their lives easier not more complicated.

“Small employers need to know the general outline of their legal responsibilities, and how to keep on top of them, but they also need procedures to be proportionate and helpful in the day-to-day running of the business.”

The event is also due to touch on health and safety in the workplace.

The theme of the evening, meanwhile, was influenced from feedback from small businesses which attended the previous workshop in February.

“Often it can be hard to attract an audience to a new event, but our experience has shown that if you can get the right subject, one which is a real issue that small businesses face, and if people know that it is going to be practical and have an actual benefit for them, then they will join in,” Tregonning said.

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