"We're going to turn the UK into a supercharged magnet, drawing scientists like iron filings from around the world" - Boris Johnson.

While giving a speech at the Culham Science Centre, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, spoke about his plans to expand the UK's hub of scientists and intellectuals following Brexit.

To do this, he plans to remove the cap on 'tier one' visas which currently only allow 2,000 skilled migrants into the UK each year.

On top of this, he wants officials to come up with a way to allocate automatic endorsement (subject to immigration checks) that allows researchers' families to work and live in the UK too. 

 

The Current Situation

Currently, over half of UK scientific workforce is made up of EU researchers (roughly 211,00 people), who don't need visas to work in Britain. Researchers from outside of the EU are faced with an arduous, expensive process to gain a working visa for the UK costing, on average, £8000.

Following our departure from the EU, researchers from European countries will be expected to go through the same process, which has sparked fears of a scientific skills shortage.

 

Concerns

Researchers in the UK are already worrying about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit. The loss of scientific collaborations with EU institutes, alongside the loss of European funding, is predicted to impact our science industries.

It's thought that the UK will be unable to participate in EU-funded Horizon projects and that British scientists may not be involved at all if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. 

Mr Johnson addressed these concerns by saying "the UK will continue to collaborate in great scientific projects under any circumstances".

 

What Does the Future Hold?

It's nice to see the PM already addressing these concerns and prominent scientific figures, like Dr Daniel Rathbone (assistant director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering), have welcomed the Prime Ministers "powerful message".

But, like us, they look forward to seeing the finer details of these proposals. Science is a collaborative enterprise and we're hopeful that these proposals will keep our science industries thriving for years to come!

Read more on this story here >

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Business relocation

Whether your business is in its infancy or a well-established enterprise, you may be considering business relocation as an opportunity to grow and expand (or indeed to downsize).

Business relocation can occur for a plethora of reasons, but one thing is certain: pursuing a fresh start in new premises is not a decision to be taken lightly.

Relocating a whole company is costly and causes disruptions, so choosing the right time to move your business - and doing it for the right reasons - is paramount.

 

Why relocate your business?

 

Moving to find better employees

One reason you might choose to relocate your business is to pursue staff with better qualifications and/or more experience.

If your business requires individuals with a very particular skill set (especially common in scientific professions), you might find that your current location just isn't suitable.

Many business owners relocate close to higher education institutions because they offer a surplus of well-educated graduates who are ready to seek employment.

 

Upgrading facilities

Another reason you might move your business is to make better facilities available to staff. If your workforce is growing and expanding, sheer lack of space can be a factor that influences your decision to relocate.

If you find that you can afford to upgrade your facilities (e.g. desks, toilets, parking) but have insufficient space for it in your current building, relocation may be a great option.

 

Downsizing

If your business is facing economic difficulties, or the location of your business is no longer lucrative, downsizing to smaller offices in a more economically-stable town or city might be just the fresh start your business needs to recover.

Whether you need to cut jobs or not, downsizing your business can increase your profit margins and allow you to move somewhere where demand for your product / service is at its highest.

 

Business Relocation Tips:

  • Plan ahead
  • Let loyal customers and vendors know well in advance
  • Update your contact details
  • Update your website and other online listings
  • Don't make a snap decision

If you're planning to relocate and you need to find new employees for your business, Hyper Recruitment Solutions can help!

Specialist Recruitment Solutions >>

Employee Appraisal

Whether you're an employer or employee, one of the best ways to evaluate performance at work is through an appraisal. Now, you may see the word 'appraisal' and start to panic - after all, sitting down with your boss can be extremely nerve-wracking no matter how good you are at your job!

But there's no need to worry. Appraisals, also known as performance reviews, aren't about getting told off - instead, they provide a great opportunity to:

  • Discuss how you've performed since your last review
  • Analyse your strengths and weaknesses
  • Set new goals that you can work towards

However, in order for your appraisal to be as productive as possible, you will need to prepare for it. By properly preparing for your appraisal, you give yourself the best possible chance of providing a clear and broad picture of your performance as well as fostering conversations and taking control of where your career goes next.

To make your appraisal go as smoothly as possible, be sure to follow these essential tips!

 

Appraisal Tips

Gather Information

Before getting started on your appraisal, try to gather some information on your role within your company and the responsibilities that you hold. This can include your job description, competencies, and the goals that were set at your last performance review. These can be used as the foundation for preparing vital details on your strengths, achievements, and potential areas for improvement. Reports can be a great source of material to gather milestones and highlights that you can show off, so be sure to gather these as well!

 

Put together a list of your accomplishments

From the information gathered above, you should now be able to prepare a list of all your accomplishments. As you do this, however, it is important to relate them to your goals and the things that you might like to achieve in the future. Detail the way in which you achieved these goals so your manager or supervisor can see the steps that were taken. Identify any challenges that may have limited your ability to succeed, as well as any support that you received from others. Locate emails, letters, awards and certificates that document moments of outstanding performance since your last appraisal, and make a note of any development or training activities that you have completed. 

You need to think of this as your time to shine! It's definitely okay to brag a little and to show your superior just how much you have achieved since your last appraisal (in case they're unaware!). Even small achievements can really add up over time. 

 

Conduct a self-evaluation

Self-evaluations are a vital activity that can help to make your performance review more effective. When done properly, they offer a number of key benefits not just to you, but also to your employer. To get started on a self-evaluation, go through each competency and goal and rate your performance against these. The goal of this is to share your perception of your own performance with your manager before your appraisal takes place. Sharing your ratings before your meeting will help your manager prepare for the review and notify them of any differences in perception that you may have. 

 

Prepare a list of development areas 

When reviewing all of the above, it's important to identify key areas where you feel that you can develop. Be open and honest about your struggles and do not be afraid to ask for the help, training or support that you feel you need in order to be more successful. Nobody's perfect, and there is always room for continual learning and development.

If you can, do a bit of research: look at training courses and activities that are available through your organisation or third parties that might help you develop the specific skills and abilities you need to improve your performance.

 

Draft goals

Instead of waiting for your manager or supervisor to hand down a list of goals, take a proactive approach and list some possible goals that you can achieve over the next performance period (based on your job description, your skills and experience, and the goals that your organisation is aiming to achieve).

 

Have an open mind

This is probably the most important thing when it comes to preparing for an appraisal. As mentioned above, many people panic whenever they hear the word appraisal or performance review. They're bracing themselves for criticism and begin to become slightly defensive - and unfortunately, when we're defensive, we don't tend to listen very well.

It's important for you to go into your appraisal with an open mind and a relaxed attitude. Your ultimate goal should be to listen carefully to the feedback you're given as well as the goals and progression plans that are set out for you.

 

Businessman thumbs-up right hand

Rights: we all have them, but very few of us actually know just what we have. This may be because the topic of workplace rights can a bit of a minefield to navigate through.

Your rights as a worker are perhaps best understood when segmented into two distinct categories:

 

Statutory Rights at Work

Statutory rights are the most basic form of employee rights, and they're applicable to virtually all workers across the UK. These rules are enforced to protect workers nationwide from mistreatment, discrimination and unfair dismissal, amongst other things.

While there may be some exceptions to the rule, statutory rights are typically available to working men and women the moment they start a new job. They include basic rights such as the National Minimum Wage, itemised payslips, and holiday entitlement.

 

Contractual Rights at Work

Additional rights may also be granted to you depending on what's in your contract. These rights are part of the terms and conditions of your employment, and the specifics may differ widely from one job to the next.

Contractual rights can provide you with additional protections beyond the minimum legal requirement. Remuneration, working hours, commission rate, pension schemes and notice periods may all come under this heading.

 

Specific Rights at Work

In addition to your basic human rights, your pay and your holiday leave, there are a variety of other specific working rights available to workers across the UK.

While some of these may not ever come up in conversation or necessitate discussion, they are important for a variety of reasons.

 

Sick Pay

People can't help falling ill from time to time, and workers rarely achieve a 100% attendance rate year after year. This is what paid sick leave is for.

Sick pay is typically split into two types: statutory sick pay (SSP) and company sick pay:

  • Statutory Sick Pay - SSP is the minimum amount of pay you are legally entitled to when you become ill and require extended time off. For SSP to kick in, you should be off work with illness for a minimum of four days. As of April 2019, the rate of SSP is £94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks.

  • Company Sick Pay - Your employer may (at their discretion) offer their own sick pay policy that is more generous than the SSP baseline. Also known as occupational or contractual sick pay, the terms of this are laid out by the company themselves, typically in employee contracts or job T&Cs.

 

Maternity Leave

If you're expecting a birth, you are entitled to a number of additional rights outside of your standard daily employee entitlements.

Impending parenthood is protected under employment law through maternity leave. Employed mothers are entitled to 52 weeks' statutory maternity leave, up to 39 of which must be paid.

Women are protected from discrimination and unfair dismissal during this time, while expectant mothers are also entitled to paid time off for antenatal care. Additionally, some employers may also have their own maternity schemes in place that offer additional benefits.

Fathers-to-be may also be entitled to up to 2 weeks of paternity leave. You are also allowed time off to accompany the mother for two antenatal appointments, as required.

 

Parental Rights

Children get sick just like adults do - more often, in fact. To make matters even more stressful for working parents, many schools now abide by a 48-hour rule, meaning a sick child must be free of their symptoms for at least 48 hours before being allowed to return to class.

Luckily, parental responsibilities such as this are usually covered by employment law and worker's rights. The law grants you the right to parental leave if you have worked for your employer for over a year and have official parental responsibility over the child in question.

Employers may also grant this courtesy to some people who don't meet all of the requirements. Most reasonable employers will grant time off to care for children or vulnerable family members.

 

Additional Work Rights

In addition to the above, there are additional rights that can be highly relevant to many workers across the UK. Two of the most common topics of conversation are:

 

Flexible Working

Flexible working is essentially altering your work schedule to a new pattern that differs from your old one. This includes changes such as full-time to part-time, flexitime and job sharing.

This can be approached as either a statutory request or non-statutory request, with the former representing a more official legal approach and the latter a less formal manner.

 

Agency Work

Also known as temps, agency workers typically don't enjoy some of the rights of full-time or part-time employees. This due to the fact that they are paid through an agency, not the company the worker is ultimately placed in.

While agency workers do have many of the statutory rights of typical employees, granting them basic legal protection, they aren't covered for claims relating to statutory redundancy, statutory maternity or unfair dismissal.

Read More: Inappropriate Interview Questions   Browse Latest Science Vacancies

Team HRS with their football shirts

Last Saturday (13 July 2019), the inaugural Apprentice Cup took place at Epping St John's School in Epping, Essex. This special charity football match saw Ricky Martin and the HRS five-a-side squad take on 2014 Apprentice winner Mark Wright and his Climb Online team.

Ricky Martin and HRS vs Mark Wright and Climb Online

The stakes were high: in addition to the shame of coming in second, the losing side's manager would have to donate £1,000 of his own money to Alzheimer's Society, a UK charity that funds research, campaigns for change, and supports people affected by dementia all over the country.

How did the match go? Well, watch the video and see for yourself...

By the final whistle, the score was Hyper Recruitment Solutions 8, Climb Online 1 - which meant that it was Mark who ended up giving a grand of his own cash to the Alzheimer's charity, although both companies donated an additional £500 each!

Everyone here at HRS is very proud, both of our resounding victory on the football pitch and of the money we've helped to raise for this very worthy cause. If you're able to spare anything, please consider clicking the link below and donating to support Alzheimer's Society and the amazing work they do.

Alzheimer's Society - Donate Now >>