Our top news this month offers advice for businesses to beat the heat, plug their skills gap and keep employees safe and happy.

Summer heat in the workplace

While most of us enjoy the hot weather, the summer sizzle brings its own workplace challenges for busy managers and supervisors. Top of the list is competing holiday requests. How do you manage holiday requests when it seems most of your staff want time off during the same period?

Above all, ensure that you have a clear and transparent system for staff to lodge their holiday requests – in this way you can avoid disputes and resentment if some employees’ requests have to be turned down. You should also have ready access to a holiday calendar so you have a clear picture of how work commitments can continue to be covered.

NB: the Working Time Regulations 1998 state that employers do not have to agree to all holiday requests.

Old is gold:  Drive to recruit older workers

Recruit more workers aged over 50 to fill the UK skills gap – that’s the message this month from the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, Andy Briggs. A number of top firms including Barclays and Aviva have already responded and published data showing the percentages of older workers employed by them. The move comes amidst warnings that by 2022 there will be 14.5 million additional jobs but only 7 million younger workers available to fill them.

Be prepared: Fire and safety

The tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London this month has led to many organisations checking their own fire safety arrangements. With more than 12 million people in the UK employed by small and medium-sized businesses many firms have been checking what lessons they too can learn to keep their staff safe in the event of a fire or other emergency. A key part of any fire risk assessment is how you know who is on your premises. In the event of an evacuation robust systems are needed for an accurate fire roll call, so be sure to include that in your safety review.

Go for ‘win-win’ with ‘returnships’

Almost a third of workers have taken a break from their career – that was the finding of new research from the CV-library released this month. People have stepped back from work for a period of time for a variety of reasons – to travel, to provide family care or to get back into education. However they face problems when trying to get back into the workplace. Employment experts say that businesses should facilitate ‘returnships’ to take advantage of their experience and talent; in return firms are likely to be rewarded with greater loyalty and staff retention.

Perk up the workplace

A study published in HR News has revealed that a third of British workers feel happier when receiving perks at work. This may seem obvious but it’s a useful reminder to employers about the importance of such benefits in lifting morale. The top five sought-after work perks included flexible hours, private healthcare, complimentary food and drink and finishing earlier on a Friday. While firms may not be able to provide everything on the wishlist, it’s worth considering what you can offer to show an interest in your staff’s wellbeing. Staff will feel they are getting a better deal and the business will hang on to good staff.

The Chronologic Workforce Management System makes it easy for firms to manage holiday requests; provide a calendar for managing planned absences due to holiday; add new staff to the system; track workers on flexible hours and deliver accurate data for fire roll call.

For more information about our solutions and products call 01761 410015 or email hello@chronologic.co.uk