Social media and retirement biggest HR issues - Business Works
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Social media and retirement biggest HR issues

Howard Robson, partner at Warner Goodman A study of HR issues facing businesses, has shown subjects as diverse as changes to retirement laws and growth in social media are now occupying more time than ever for companies.

The research, conducted among small to medium sized businesses in the Hampshire region, reveals that 'one size doesn't necessarily fit all', according to Warner Goodman, the law firm that commissioned the study.

"SMEs are facing a raft of new legislation which they want to understand while at the same time dealing with issues relating to company law, employment legislation, health and safety requirements and the fast moving world of social media," said Howard Robson, partner at Warner Goodman.

Top of the list of issues facing all companies was changes to the retirement law which came into force in April.

Overall 60% of firms questioned welcomed the move which now means that older workers can no longer be made to retire at 65, saying it meant they could retain staff who are reliable, experienced and have the knowledge companies need to succeed.

However, 40% of firms voiced concerns over the changes, commenting that if older employees are unable to perform their duties well and 'wished to stay till they're 90', then it could become a constraint.

Some HR professionals admitted that they may have to look at using disciplinary action if an employee does not want to retire, but was considered unable to perform their duties satisfactorily.

The survey also revealed some debate over the implications of social media use for businesses, an area which has increasingly involved HR departments in producing policies and guidelines for staff.

A quarter of firms revealed they are unsure about the benefits of using social media, or view it as a potential threat. One commented that it could be both a threat and a bonus; as a way to create awareness in the wider marketplace, but also needing strict guidelines to police a brand and protect it.

The findings come as Warner Goodman launches its improved Peace of Mind (POM) employment protection service, which provides businesses with comprehensive legal and human resources advice, together with optional protection against potentially costly employment claims.

"What our research has shown is that companies have diverse requirements when it comes to keeping up-to-date with different areas of law and the support they need with employment law knowledge is particularly crucial," said Howard.

"It is important for firms to protect themselves by staying on top of new legislation and to think about new trends, such as social media, which may need to form part of company procedures."

He added: "We launched our Peace of Mind service, to offer employers protection from the risk of expensive and time consuming employment claims. In some cases of unfair dismissal, and in all discrimination cases, there is no limit to the amount of compensation that may be awarded which could cripple a company unless it has taken appropriate steps to protect itself."

For more information please call 023 8071 7719 (Southampton) or 023 9277 6512 (Portsmouth and Fareham) or email:

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