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  • HR Heartbeat: Full apprenticeship funding for small firms, flying accusations, ‘4ugust’, and…

HR Heartbeat: Full apprenticeship funding for small firms, flying accusations, ‘4ugust’, and…

Get your HR headlines in a hurry and stay on top of the latest employment insights

First published on Tuesday, Mar 19, 2024

Last updated on Tuesday, Mar 19, 2024

2 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

Fully funded apprenticeships for small firms

As part of a package of reforms to “turbo charge” small businesses, Rishi Sunak has promised to create up to 20,000 more apprenticeships.

The government announced they’ll fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses, from 1 April, by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21.

As well as funding the cost of apprenticeships, Sunak also intends to raise the amount of funding organisations that are paying the apprenticeship levy can pass on to other businesses.

If you’re looking to hire an apprentice, learn more about minimum earnings, tax, national insurance and sick and redundancy pay here.

‘4ugust’: A summer fling with the 4-day working week

You’ve heard of the 4-day working week trials, but what about 4ugust?

The 4 Day Week Campaign and think tank Autonomy have launched a new “4ugust” campaign. This aims to encourage organisations to undertake a mini-trial of the four-day week in August.

The last 4-day working week trial in the UK took place from June 2022 to November 2022 and 89% of companies that took part are still using this model of working two years on.

Benefits of the 4-day working week according to participants include: better employee wellbeing, lower staff turnover rates, improved hiring efforts, and productivity boosts.

But like any other change to your employees’ work pattern, the success of adopting a 4-day working week depends heavily on having clearly defined policies and processes...

If you’re looking to adopt a 4-day working week this August, you’re going to need expert support. Especially when it comes to drafting new employee contracts, policies, employee terms and conditions, and fair consultation processes. For round-the-clock employment law advice when you need it most, explore our 24/7 advice service, BrightAdvice.

Or for instant lightning-fast advice, ask BrightLightning: Can employees request a 4-day week?

Boeing: Lessons on corporate culture and attitudes to safety

Accusations are flying as Boeing aeroplanes have come under scrutiny for the safety of their planes following various incidents this year.

Back in January, an emergency exit door blew off a brand-new Boeing 737 Max. And this week, a United Airlines crew found a panel missing from a Boeing 737-800 aircraft after landing safely in Oregon.

Another report into Boeing’s safety policies and workplace culture found there was a rift between senior management and staff which caused hesitancy when reporting problems for fear of retaliation.

Although Boeing is an extreme example, it does show how easily a string of incidents can put your entire organisation's health & safety process under the microscope. And how promoting a positive health & safety culture between employees and management is fundamental to keeping your business and your customers safe.

Easy but effective ways you can improve your health & safety culture include:

Accidents and serious incidents that happen in your workplace must be reported to enforcing authorities. To avoid fines, and reputational damage it’s best practice to always make sure you follow the correct policies and procedures.

Discover how BrightHR’s end-to-end health & safety software and support can protect your business from over 600 health & safety risks here.

And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!

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