The Metal Guys Talk Business

SteelBuy - A faster way to buy and sell metals

Show Notes

In this episode, Pete and Mike met Terry Sargeant, the new CEO of SteelBuy and the current Chairman and CEO of ThyssenKrupp UK PLC. 

We've spoken with a number of e-commerce platforms since we started the podcast, and Terry gave us some great insight into the why, how and future plans for this website. With finance in place, a clear plan and a small but growing team, it will be interesting to see how this platform performs in the coming months and years.

The SteelBuy website makes the following statement about the business:

"SteelBuy is an easy-to-use online marketplace that instantly connects buyers and sellers to trade quickly and anonymously, without compromising on quality.

"Buy and sell from anywhere, at any time!"

The website goes live on the 2nd of December 2022 and will be officially unveiled at the ISTA Annual Luncheon on that same day.

Amongst other things, we talk about:

* Why now
* Initial funding and the feasibility study 
* Compliance, anti-corruption and anti-trust
* ThyssenKrupp and its involvement
* £22 million for the UK and more to come for Europe and the USA
* Products at launch, and the next steps
* Anonymity for buyers
* How the site works
* Payments, terms and conditions and credit
* Who can sell on the platform, and vetting suppliers
* Human vs Digital interactions
* Growth Strategy and a multinational, gender-diverse team
* If the platform is really a win-win for suppliers and buyers

This podcast was recorded on November 29th 2022

To find out more about SteelBuy, check out the links below:

Website https://steel-buy.com/
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/steelbuy/

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SEASON TWO of The Metal Guys Talk Business is sponsored by:

The UK Metals Expo - 13th-14th September 2023, NEC Birmingham - ukmetalsexpo.com

Anglo Stainless - Supplier of stainless steel pipes, fittings and flanges - anglostainless.co.uk

Amron Architectural - Specialists in metal meshes and architectural finishes - www.amronarchitectural.co.uk

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The Metal Guys Talk Business is created and produced by Comton Group. Comton Group are a Metal and Engineering Agency supplying Temporary, Permanent and Contract Staff and Media and Marketing services. Comton Group also publish a digital publication 'The Metal Magazine', which features the latest news and information from across the Metal and Engineering sectors.

Contact us on our social media channels to discuss the podcast, recruitment and our marketing solutions for your business.

https://linktr.ee/comtongroup

Creators & Guests

Host
Mike Bolton
Co-founder of Comton Group
Host
Peter Comerford
Co-founder of Comton Group

What is The Metal Guys Talk Business?

Peter Comerford and Mike Bolton are The Metal Guys! They have worked in the metal sector for over 10 years, a huge global industry that produces more than a billion tonnes of material annually and affects all other industries and walks of life.

They now run a successful recruitment and marketing company servicing the metal and engineering sectors, making them ideally placed to provide impartial, independent insight into the industry, sitting outside the hierarchy of the various stages of the industry from raw material to finished product.

Under the moniker of The Metal Guys, the pair continue to gain insights from - and ask the difficult questions to - the decision makers and technical experts that you won't hear on any other podcast.

If you produce, work with or supply metal, then tune in and join the conversation.

00:00:00:00 - 00:00:02:09
Unknown
Hi, guys. Hey, Mike. That I lost

00:00:02:09 - 00:00:16:22
Unknown
today with Liz Barley from Berlin. Yeah. Hello. Thanks for coming to join us today. And we met at Kirstie's Women with Metal Industry the back in the last year.

00:00:16:22 - 00:00:30:20
Unknown
when I was kind of having to think about that events, the topic that caught my eye and we'll be talking about today, it was your presentation about menopause, but it wasn't just specifically about menopause.

00:00:30:20 - 00:00:42:16
Unknown
It was about the legalities behind it or the lack of legalities behind it, which I thought was quite interesting. And it just seemed to be an area that I've seen a lot of. There seems to be more debate

00:00:42:16 - 00:00:52:07
Unknown
and more conversation about an area that was probably I don't want to use the word taboo. I'm going to use it here a quote not not even that long ago.

00:00:52:09 - 00:01:01:17
Unknown
But before we dive into that, can you just give us a bit of background on who you are in the business? Just give us the kind of the elevator pitch if we want to know that. So by law, we're

00:01:01:17 - 00:01:09:22
Unknown
a very small but niche law firm where most of them were led by husband and wife team. That's me and Mr. Burley.

00:01:09:24 - 00:01:34:12
Unknown
And we've been going for nearly ten years now and we so the niche in that we don't cover, we're not like a full service law firm. It will be areas of unit conveyancing, crime and private clients. So what we do cover is commercial law, which is primarily focused on IP protection for businesses, I think trademarks, copyright pageants and employment law, which is my bad.

00:01:34:14 - 00:02:03:09
Unknown
And that's all around helping employers and employees navigate employment disputes, manage HIV issues, processes, communications and also dealing conflicts, tribunal legal cases. So in terms of many, I've been knocking around a while. So I became a solicitor in the 1990s, qualified and went into private practice working in Birmingham, working for large regional law firms and fell out of love with what I was doing.

00:02:03:09 - 00:02:24:13
Unknown
So I took a break and when I say took a break, I kind of decided to leave. I didn't want to carry on being the lawyer that was in development for 20 years ago. Now, and I honestly didn't expect to go back to being a solicitor ever. And my at that time in the lives of my children. And so I decided that was the life for me.

00:02:24:13 - 00:02:47:08
Unknown
And I did some of the jobs. In the meantime, I work with kids in schools and I ended up working for a church as I left community local again, working families and in schools, a really, really different kind of job to being a IT. And then something kind of forced me back into it for two things happened. My husband started our firm and I also two really good friends.

00:02:47:08 - 00:03:04:08
Unknown
He started a separate law firm specializing in employment laws, and there's a famous couple who work with us. We'd love to get you, but we think you can do this. Come back and work with us. That's what is it, 2005. They got the skills back up to speed because they were very, very rusty by that and joined us to one of them in 2020.

00:03:04:08 - 00:03:08:14
Unknown
Well, after the big claim it happened. So nice. Yeah. Plus,

00:03:08:14 - 00:03:25:18
Unknown
most of all? You know, you still talk. All the skills were rusty. There's a lot of people wasted to have left assets of metals and then they want to get back in because they've been out for such period of time. People sometimes, yeah, it's a song and it's about employment even after 15.

00:03:25:18 - 00:03:29:05
Unknown
Obviously. I'm also not trying to when you join a business, trying to

00:03:29:05 - 00:03:35:24
Unknown
get those skills, you find. Yeah, I can remember the first time I sat in the office and picked up the phone, the subject. This was a women

00:03:35:24 - 00:03:44:02
Unknown
in mine, woman in my mid-forties, mid-to-late forties, and picking up the phone to make a phone call to Alex about the place.

00:03:44:04 - 00:04:10:09
Unknown
I was really, really nervous. I couldn't remember what to say. I was quite looking seven. I was frightened of being found out as the outsider coming back and people offered up my I think, you know, because I don't I don't know the metal sector so well. But in law, I guess it's a very highly competitive profession and people are very proud of what they do.

00:04:10:11 - 00:04:41:19
Unknown
And you but, you know, you sort of head into the it's the into the profession, high aspirations about your career journey. And mine had to go the usual way. So I was I really did feel like an outsider coming back. And I think as you grow older, the sense of, well, you either come become very, very arrogant and not self aware or you can you could the kind of person who is sort of the way I was, if I'm going to use the word findings, you know, we're aware of how things have gone wrong and that could be a look on your shoulder.

00:04:41:19 - 00:04:58:18
Unknown
And I think it was for me to look on my shoulder and the five years I spent sort of pushing up my skills, getting back to where I had been in 2000 for I had to do a lot of work on myself. I'll be honest, I didn't. I did some therapy as well, just working through those issues that's perhaps held me back.

00:04:58:20 - 00:05:03:01
Unknown
But then when I gave up that I had to kind of look into

00:05:03:01 - 00:05:17:01
Unknown
when I came back from it. Yeah, I have a little bit saying, but I think I think that as a woman coming back in midlife, let's say that can affect a lot of women and that that might resonate with women in the manufacturing and metal sector.

00:05:17:03 - 00:05:17:17
Unknown
So yeah,

00:05:17:17 - 00:05:34:05
Unknown
I think what was the employer like involved? Because obviously when you employ someone in general, I mean, you were probably like, you know, you obviously you don't have confidence in both parties in a wife with the phone. How how how would I figure how the how can you kind of get

00:05:34:05 - 00:05:44:02
Unknown
absolutely nurturing? I would say I think there was a lot of empathy for my situation and there was a lot of encouragement.

00:05:44:02 - 00:06:07:06
Unknown
You can do it that, you know, I remember the reviews and was there's no judgment there, you know, no questions, a silly question. And that makes a huge difference. I think just to be fairly not under judgment, you're you're free to fail safe. No, it's very empowering issue agency to to believe in yourself and develop. So that's I think that made a huge difference to me.

00:06:07:08 - 00:06:10:09
Unknown
And I might not have stuck up to it if I hadn't had that nurturing

00:06:10:09 - 00:06:23:03
Unknown
and obviously self aware as well and such connectivity through the adventure. Again, that's quite a stance, but it's something that I have. Yeah, but I think also, you know, in any stage of life there is of the stuff going on in at home

00:06:23:03 - 00:06:33:11
Unknown
in your mid-forties, you're probably in a situation where if you're lucky enough to have kids, your kids are growing and still they're still major and they might be going to teenage years and that becomes more complex.

00:06:33:16 - 00:06:54:07
Unknown
And then you might have aging parents in aging as well. So you've got those responsibilities of it. And I think it's it's for me anyway, it was quite a complicated time of life to be resuming my career, but I knew that it was a now or never opportunity. You it wouldn't come again. So I had to seize it with both hands.

00:06:54:07 - 00:07:00:03
Unknown
Augured not for me. I'll just stick here. Making a choice, perhaps of not to do it.

00:07:00:03 - 00:07:21:11
Unknown
there's a huge amount of people. I think it's going to resonate. What you're saying with lots of women who have been in a professional career taking a break because they've had children when their children are pre follow, particularly a pair of children or something like that, you can end up end up having like 5 to 7, maybe eight year period where you're not really working full time.

00:07:21:12 - 00:07:28:12
Unknown
You take that decision, cut back and like you said, you get and you get a job in a community where you get a job at school or whatever,

00:07:28:12 - 00:07:36:19
Unknown
it doesn't necessarily feel like it's at the same level as the professional qualification. I think that's why you're happy to do those jobs and bubble along and everything's following in the bubble.

00:07:36:21 - 00:07:57:01
Unknown
But then as soon as you look to go back, there is that kind of, well, I haven't got that. You know, I'm not like I was when I was 21, 22, when I first came out of university into a job. You know, it's a huge change. So you seeing people, I'm guessing when you talk to people who might been discriminated in one place.

00:07:57:03 - 00:08:16:08
Unknown
Now, if we're talking specifically about women, how do you think we're going to know? How do you think the workplace is as of 2024 for bringing women that might be having those issues that you've just discussed back into the workplace? Because I mean, I might be wrong here, but I'm looking you know, forgot about said like the nineties.

00:08:16:13 - 00:08:18:04
Unknown
Yeah. You know I'd say it was pretty much

00:08:18:04 - 00:08:35:12
Unknown
women get to a certain age. They have kids. They stop working. There are some women who come back as career women, but it was almost like they had to fight for this kind of and it was almost like a male style of woman in the business, right? How we as of 2024, what what does it now look like?

00:08:35:16 - 00:08:39:12
Unknown
Do you think we're in a good place? I think we're in a much better place. And

00:08:39:12 - 00:09:02:13
Unknown
women. Well, you know, I wish I was in some ways I'm so I was up 21, 22 year old, not otherwise not but in terms of opportunities that were flexibility for women, it's never been better. Now, some women having this some of the still a long way to go.

00:09:02:14 - 00:09:27:12
Unknown
Yeah, there's always room for improvement, but we have come a long way in those 30 years since I started out. And you're absolutely right. They, you know, my the world I know is law firms and I worked in three law firms until updates for four kind of work experience and they were all male led so they were all male dominated with a male way of thinking and doing business.

00:09:27:14 - 00:09:49:06
Unknown
And the only way you hit the nail on the head, the only way women could rise to the top, was to adopt those behaviors. And so the women who were, if you like, came out as the rising stars. One of the women who could display those behaviors. So if you were empathetic, compassionate, kind, showed your true self, your authentic self, that expression did not exist.

00:09:49:06 - 00:10:14:11
Unknown
But then what it does, the idea with that, if you wants to be authentic self as a woman or a man, which meant you didn't fit into this mold, you were not you, you were at the inner circle and you were not going to get promoted. And self-help felt that was that was me. That probably was my experience because I've never been particularly, you know, assertive in the sense that I railroad's through.

00:10:14:13 - 00:10:36:22
Unknown
I'm quite self aware of in the way of, you know what And I read the rules of that. So I felt that maybe the environment that I was putting myself into just wasn't for me. So if we go back to a question, if it come back to now, I imagine if I went into one of those firms now, I'm probably seeing things that are similar to my experience.

00:10:36:22 - 00:11:13:24
Unknown
There will be people knocking around that were like they were back in those, but there'll be prints, plenty of room for other types of personality and behavior, and there will be a more flexible and inclusive approach. Not a lot of firms are saying they're doing this. The test is whether they're really doing it on the ground. But I guess in the conversations we have with some I'll take what's in paralegals exist and today they're going into business networking meetings and stuff and they're, you know, hanging around and mixing with those professionals.

00:11:14:01 - 00:11:30:16
Unknown
That is, if you like, in the firms. And I think the feedback that's coming to us is that things are more flexible in office. If you want the top jobs in any firm, whether it's law, accountancy, any other profession or even in manufacturing, you want to be C-suite, you have to be know and you have to put the hours in.

00:11:30:17 - 00:11:44:04
Unknown
You've got to be prepared to be tough and resilient. I don't think that that's changed and not everybody wants that. But on the way that, though, I think the options that I've picked have more creative careers, I

00:11:44:04 - 00:11:53:18
Unknown
guess. Yeah, mold to design that career is a bit at home and that's what was missing. But then yeah, because it's similar in how it works in smaller businesses in the

00:11:53:18 - 00:12:00:12
Unknown
sector might work for a lot of big corporate companies and listening to how you talk, you can probably hear the same thing.

00:12:00:12 - 00:12:07:17
Unknown
There's still a lot of similarities between how law firms were very old school, very old fashioned, very you know,

00:12:07:17 - 00:12:11:03
Unknown
traditional patriarchal law. And actually the way they were run and the

00:12:11:03 - 00:12:20:08
Unknown
metal industry where hearing all these events, you never want to be getting more women in. You want to be, you know, changing the not just gender, but, you know, the diversity of the workforces.

00:12:20:08 - 00:12:48:13
Unknown
And, you know, there is there's an idea that we need to do that feels like we're still a bit behind the curve. And actually, one of the topics we talk about is often the opportunities that in the metals industry right now, a great way you get to where we say if we're looking at not just in metals, but across the UK and off the top level jobs where what we've been set up the whole industry for this is like when women get married and you have you start to build a fund, it's that's the hardest thing.

00:12:48:15 - 00:13:01:02
Unknown
you can't snowball around trying to bring a young family up unless you've got a real good support network. Yeah. Now who's Granddad's. Yeah. Who can take that on And you can get back into work quicker than you'd like or whatever.

00:13:01:02 - 00:13:17:23
Unknown
it's the stress of going while I'm out of work. What happens when I'm not there and you can have all the insurances, you kind of ownerships management, everything's fine. It's that self worry that if one has enough and that's what needs to change, you know, you know how each other

00:13:17:23 - 00:13:20:14
Unknown
and you know, it's not, it's not an easy is it.

00:13:20:14 - 00:13:44:06
Unknown
I mean I know Kirsten is a professional crossing and talks openly about the facts. I mean, I've heard her say you can't have it all. She had to make a choice around her child's upbringing and schooling, but meant she could focus on work and be in work and not, you know, be in that position of worrying who's good doing it when I'm not there, then that's a conscious choice.

00:13:44:06 - 00:14:05:06
Unknown
Some people wouldn't be able to make that choice because it's not my choice as well. And so relying on the, you know, the extended family is the only way for some people. It's a fact, isn't it, that childcare costs in the UK are astronomical. And if you've got more than one child, it becomes probably unaffordable for most to carry on working because you pay more while in the UK.

00:14:05:08 - 00:14:28:10
Unknown
So there are I think there are system issues, there are infrastructure. Is that main. We can't unlock this, if I'm honest. Should it all be on the employer to do it? I'm not sure it should. I think society and then just the system, the UK economy, the support for made available. I mean we're going into an election year.

00:14:28:12 - 00:14:38:14
Unknown
Things may start changing in terms of what we say if we get a Labor government, what they're prepared to do, but their hands are going to be tied by finances. If an individual says, well, this

00:14:38:14 - 00:14:57:17
Unknown
you know, we're looking for in a recruitment, there's not a pay difference between male candidates and female candidates. No, I think where it changes is when families when you start to have a family, it's not just put on the life preceding, you know, right now is, if any, her own.

00:14:57:18 - 00:15:06:13
Unknown
And you'll be left with what works best for us as a partnership for you to go back. Why the market may use dice, but not the flexibility.

00:15:06:13 - 00:15:27:14
Unknown
So you say to me, I thought it was paternity leave provisions. It's different, isn't it? Yeah. The paid leave is for the mother. Yeah. So we haven't got the right level for unless employers are prepared to put it in place voluntarily that there isn't there isn't the the sector there's at the scene and ready for you to offer.

00:15:27:16 - 00:16:05:00
Unknown
Yeah it is. Exactly. And the law is very, you know, often very slow to talk about menopause and the legalities around it. Well, we have a huge amount of awareness growing and and that's focusing on best practice, but it isn't reflected in labor rights so often. It's just I think I think there's been a huge amount of societal change, you know, around workplace culture, flexibility, expectations and what that's helping us was helped by the pandemic and then then the hot recruitment market.

00:16:05:02 - 00:16:25:08
Unknown
But but the new philosophy, it depends, I think doesn't necessarily lead to change because it takes time to evolve, you know, consult about changes and get everybody on board, but it isn't them. And in some ways, you know, it might be the law won't catch up. Maybe this isn't a legal thing that maybe is the imperative, not that the need is somewhere else.

00:16:25:08 - 00:16:30:15
Unknown
It's it's about getting the best talent and making business thrive. And so

00:16:30:15 - 00:16:47:00
Unknown
it's definitely hard as an employer to when candidates want to say what she feels on the pitch. Because I think of what you just said that suits the pandemic sort of in reality, in a different world of recruitment. Now, what people want flexibility, work life, balance, everything.

00:16:47:02 - 00:16:49:06
Unknown
It's almost when people come in for an interview,

00:16:49:06 - 00:17:00:02
Unknown
the one that comes out of the South sometimes actually doing the work. You know, I don't think that's an unusual now. Yeah, I think, you know, we are so hot. We're interviewing people. It's like how

00:17:00:02 - 00:17:03:23
Unknown
I could do with work and fly on from it. Anyone that's always right on that.

00:17:04:00 - 00:17:24:21
Unknown
Yeah. You know, and then it's, you know, could do we on a Wednesday on our time a daughter values and you and before you know it just what's in it for us yet do you think it's gone too far from on from. I think I'll concede that you know for certain industries it probably works that you can have people remotely not just be amazing for your talent pool.

00:17:24:21 - 00:17:38:11
Unknown
Then you can actually look at an area as the country. So there's definitely positives. But I think for running a small business, you need that criteria. So you need that where you bouncing off here in conversation ins and outs and make things happen.

00:17:38:11 - 00:17:55:13
Unknown
I think that's right. We as a small law firm, we don't our default is not so remote, I think because we've got young developing lawyers and there's not only all kinds of easy work, but we could say the cost of having an office and just everybody working from home.

00:17:55:15 - 00:18:12:22
Unknown
But we know developing lawyers not going to be able to learn as fast. They're not going to pick up the skills that they think that you pick up in an office, a physical environment, which is not like. So I'm not going to get the best decision making. And this problem solving if we're not together most of the time.

00:18:12:24 - 00:18:35:15
Unknown
So we are introducing some homeworking, but it's not been right from day one. It's not really fair, I must say that. Well, you'd have to ask them if it works for them. There is a push back for more flexibility, but I think because we're doing it gradually, it's not become the thing I think you have to do with employees.

00:18:35:17 - 00:18:48:14
Unknown
You're not going to get the best start to them if they're not that right. So you've got to work with them. Yeah, but then always got to say the business reason why something works or doesn't work, and that's around good communications, which is

00:18:48:14 - 00:18:55:15
Unknown
why for the business, that's the most business that's the most important thing at the end of the day is it's like we say, sometimes it's the business.

00:18:55:15 - 00:19:15:17
Unknown
You just the name. Isn't it nice? We all work together and come together and be able to recognize that what we were and have not evolved yet. Then you don't lose that. You don't go back to it sort of working somewhere else where it's it can be, especially recruitment for that kind of place. Yeah. You know, sometimes there's some horror stories.

00:19:15:17 - 00:19:22:22
Unknown
Sometimes when we speak to them how it can be. So if you can promise to try to pull together that Yeah. Of what the business is just as well

00:19:22:22 - 00:19:32:15
Unknown
nothing's changed. So the change that's what stations in quite certain is I think it's come on us, it's been accelerated by the pandemic isn't it. And we saw that working from home works.

00:19:32:15 - 00:19:49:18
Unknown
So why can't it, why can't we just the default and it's and it's been almost it's been too Saddam is linked to unrealistic and we see employers trying to pull it back now but it's quite difficult to do that, I think, because that's been set as the tone. It's been it's been

00:19:49:18 - 00:19:59:16
Unknown
Well, I think we're going to have to really I think with big companies, big and small companies to furlough people, it was difficult to be going to your fellow.

00:19:59:18 - 00:20:21:17
Unknown
But George is and he felt as a favoritism. Yeah. Because while on furlough so say a few months suddenly boss a dog suddenly creates new routines around each life. And then when you're asking them to come back because you felt for so in the first place, you almost the the guilt allows these new routines to be frightening. You know.

00:20:21:19 - 00:20:38:23
Unknown
And that's where I think you come from. I think people would acknowledge do this, let's do this. Yeah, okay, that's fine. Yeah. And I think people just because they were off the set don't just quite new routines, though. On all taking the kids to school. That changed me having to do that besides me with it. And it's and before we lose control,

00:20:38:23 - 00:20:49:22
Unknown
I mean the response I suppose there's an argument that greater flexibility in some businesses it's not you know, you can't manufacture stuff on the horizon.

00:20:50:02 - 00:21:17:12
Unknown
Some bricks and mortar businesses have done that. But in office environments where people can work remotely, there's an argument to suppose if you allow that flexibility, they people become people. Women with childcare responsibilities come from that. I can be trusted to work productively when they can work and have a more of a different pattern of work. I suppose it's up to the business to test whether

00:21:17:12 - 00:21:19:05
Unknown
that is correct.

00:21:19:05 - 00:21:32:02
Unknown
You know, are they working productively? It is. It is doable. But again, I think it all comes perhaps effects of communication on setting expectations and always revisiting expectations. So I can always

00:22:12:10 - 00:22:36:10
Unknown
but Prazo. Yeah, well, but not featuring to accomplish that, we've got to have. Yeah, we did a podcast. The other way, and I think this one because they said you start off in our fucking silos, and that's what made it like sort of the no, when we interview this bloke and he was like, you can play in our brain of our lives up and all sides.

00:22:36:15 - 00:22:52:13
Unknown
And I thought, like I seem to talk shit about all those guys with gonna be asking if it's what's going on. I was like, is it really like it was like nervous? First time we ask a stupid question and I ask him and he looks a bit like he's been silent for 40 minutes. I know it was something.

00:22:52:13 - 00:23:17:17
Unknown
Maybe not. So it's exactly what it was like. Yeah, I think he was talking about the microstructure of the fish scale. Yeah, They rice it on a boat, like a shape. And I was thinking, well, who's who is also as great as you know from that James Excuse me, but I seen this film about an hour later. Cillian and he was like, Yeah, but why should that cost you that?

00:23:17:18 - 00:23:40:20
Unknown
I cost around about half a billion. It's only going to be able to come out to show you get to from Southampton to the Caribbean about 40 minutes quick in Iceland because okay, that's what he was saying. That was where there is more commercial application. But you know whose fish was in stream? It was just using fish scales as the as the bottle because there was no corrosion on the fish and the bird wings.

00:23:40:20 - 00:24:06:22
Unknown
Yeah. Anyone who ever watched that, we were hugely impressed with stuff. How it was complacent. Yeah, but videos for falcons. Yeah. Children just never engagement. Yeah. If it's Scottish about what she's making and lies and that it shoots mosquitoes. Yeah. Why. yeah. Yeah I'm sure they got the right. She could be on top. It's in the environment and it just it scans it can pick up on this case and just gone.

00:24:06:24 - 00:24:31:20
Unknown
I just saw that kind of mind that can see a problem and work out a solution and fix it. Can you imagine? I've been in that mine 24 seven. Yeah I shocking yet if you've got mushrooms for any reason, not much of a problem and the product's going to cost of course well brought to you on dragons that and try and get this is going to be absolutely laughed out of the belly giants isn't that I might not get and I just got a letter from David Stephen right Yeah.

00:24:31:20 - 00:24:51:13
Unknown
He's got a boatload of funding. Yeah. That's really Yeah. Yes, yes, yes. I think people sighs. Trooper, I can't. Yeah. I've yet to believe, I've yet see one. I think that's the main thing and it's. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway I got something to say because I've got, I think. So what if

00:24:51:13 - 00:24:53:09
Unknown
does cooperation is that we wanted to get you really.

00:24:53:09 - 00:25:07:16
Unknown
Because people who listen to this podcast are generally listening because they think you've all learned something about the industry or whatever, but you're doing a lot of webinars about recruit, retain. What say you recruit, retain,

00:25:07:16 - 00:25:13:12
Unknown
recruit, retain releases on Mantra? Yeah, we've come up with just to give a hook. Yeah. And yeah.

00:25:13:12 - 00:25:14:24
Unknown
is it? This is not where we're at.

00:25:14:24 - 00:25:31:16
Unknown
The one side we're talking to companies where they say, Look, we've got a problem that you can fix. Bring us some candidates, get these people into our business and you're looking at it more from the h.r. And legality side. And i'm guessing you're pitching more to smes

00:25:31:16 - 00:25:36:20
Unknown
business when they don't necessarily have as much of the like the corporate infrastructure behind them.

00:25:36:20 - 00:25:37:13
Unknown
So

00:25:37:13 - 00:25:43:24
Unknown
just talk to us a little bit about that webinar. What's it about and why a company talking to your family box.

00:25:43:24 - 00:26:03:00
Unknown
So as an employment guy off of work for big and small, companies were very complex with all sorts of different sectors and you can take a lot for granted because you're dealing with quite, you know, like you said, big in, in internal I tell you confessionals who really know their stuff.

00:26:03:02 - 00:26:28:06
Unknown
And so what you're doing is you're just advising on quite the high level stuff that they need to bring the lawyers in. I think when you support a survey, we often do all sorts of businesses and scheme that something rich like a critical mass of employees. There's a much better base of knowledge about what, what is legal or isn't, how do you manage people.

00:26:28:08 - 00:26:52:12
Unknown
So it's in the last three years it's have been working kind of about three or four don't live in thinking about those businesses because I don't know the portfolio of large corporate clients. So what is it that they need? What is it they struggle with? Where are the gaps? And what I see because I it's quite I'm lucky that it's always both employers and employees.

00:26:52:12 - 00:27:24:20
Unknown
So employees would come to me if they've got a grievance that place and disciplinary there's an active one on how they can get out, how can they negotiate with maybe confidentially whistleblowing all sorts of problems that are happening at work. And so I get to see it from the other side. And sometimes it can be quite shocking how you think some of the larger organizations that might, you know, be household names and insurance or financial affairs or, you know, just whatever retail would be brilliant at all of this.

00:27:24:22 - 00:27:50:00
Unknown
But they're not that often getting it very wrong. So at those high levels is room for improvement, but at the smaller level. So kind of, you know, if you've got 50 employee employees or less who may not have any, it's only a So where do you go to to know how to do effective processes? Well, a lot of businesses opt for cost effective solutions that go to a peninsula that a B provider HSA visits.

00:27:50:02 - 00:28:00:12
Unknown
And, you know, you get a subscription and you know that you can pick up the phone if you've got a really difficult thing that they can talk to you. But but they don't have updated day

00:28:00:12 - 00:28:22:07
Unknown
life support you know alongside the so manage everything between recruiting to releasing staff. So that was the aim of the webinars is to get in front of their surveys to sort of not teach them so much as just you know, how to in the summer remind them of what the laws are around unfair dismissal, for

00:28:22:07 - 00:28:25:11
Unknown
example, and discrimination and then die in that box.

00:28:25:16 - 00:28:53:08
Unknown
What does that mean when you're recruiting people? What does it mean for managing your processes that might end up with, you know, disciplinary warnings or sacking people or somebody leaving? And then what about when people do leave? What does it they think about that? But I think the other thing is rather than is is it's not just about the legalities we put we deliberately call it recruitment time release because there is a problem.

00:28:53:08 - 00:29:24:00
Unknown
We know there's a problem out there with recruiting and retaining good talent. Well, what is retention about? It can be about the flexibility and the create your own, you know, creativity, workplace culture and making sure people are happy but making sure people are happy is often about good management. It's about managing, setting expectations, managing expectations, and then doing effectively what happens when expectations become misaligned.

00:29:24:00 - 00:29:47:20
Unknown
So that's what the piece for me is all about, is what we've seen. I think in the UK we don't develop good managers and good people managers and because we've become very tech driven, we assume I think more of this can be done to set solutions. It's, you know, it's just the blood of the people that go, Yeah, just, just drop me an email.

00:29:48:00 - 00:30:03:20
Unknown
We're losing a think. The skill of effective verbal and written communication in the management of Rachel. So that's for me really important. It's because I know it's important because of the job that I do, and it's about trying to communicate to those assignees well,

00:30:03:20 - 00:30:14:10
Unknown
what's important for them, right? There's a lot there. There is some pretty much got a lot of notes in the book, so I said the console could not take it.

00:30:14:12 - 00:30:35:21
Unknown
So if I was listening to this as an actual topic, there's loads of these kind of companies, not just in our sector, but in all of these different sectors. As you mentioned, rates, I whatever and I would want to be, you know, or I'd like to know what are the things that businesses are typically doing? Not wrong. I'm going to say wrong.

00:30:35:21 - 00:30:56:24
Unknown
Yeah, that's correct. Well, what about what are you saying that companies are doing badly and how could they do things less spot? And so so there's one thing that we cover on a but we also call them away because I think it's said recruitment side so when we went on during recruitment it's not about how do we create you know I'm not critical so I'm not an expert in treatment.

00:30:57:01 - 00:31:07:22
Unknown
It's more what we say, I should know. So so all I can say is, well, how do you

00:31:07:22 - 00:31:29:04
Unknown
Make sure you stay within the law so you comply with discrimination rules, you know, you know, rejecting people for discriminatory reasons. But you also look at some of your business and then how do you, you know, shortlist your candidates so that you get you making sure you're communicating what they need to know about the business and what's expected events that you're you're hiring.

00:31:29:04 - 00:31:53:06
Unknown
That's talent size more. But it's not just about legalities. It's about getting an effective recruitment decision. And then one of the things that we labor on is the probationary period, because what I see and have seen over many years is that employers don't use probationary period selectively. It's they're in a contract to offer that service mentions so it's easier to use.

00:31:53:06 - 00:31:53:12
Unknown
But

00:31:53:12 - 00:31:57:24
Unknown
why are they typically if we're trying to provide a period, it's the period it was the beginning

00:31:57:24 - 00:32:21:02
Unknown
of employment that's usually 3 to 6 months. And it's a period of time where the employer can, if I've got this in the contract, can suck an employee. If they're not that a fit well, they're not performing, then they don't do what they say they can do and they can be sacked any time during that three or six months on shorter notice.

00:32:21:04 - 00:32:45:23
Unknown
So that's typically what you see, an employment contract. So that's fine. And employer come to the and if you think about it from the legal side, what is the risk of doing that without any good process behind it? There's no risk of infection still because that right doesn't kick in until two years. So we've been with you for two years, but there are always risks around discrimination.

00:32:46:00 - 00:33:12:09
Unknown
No, discrimination is a rule that depends on protected characteristics. Not everybody can claim it. They're going to have to fit themselves into of characteristics, but things like disability, race, religious belief, sex. So, you know, in that first six months, if somebody feels that they've been treated differently because of that protected characteristic, there's a potential for thing. So we it's easy to get things wrong.

00:33:12:09 - 00:33:22:20
Unknown
But equally it's not that it's not that difficult to put some process in place that protects an employer from allegations when you've done that to me, but you didn't do it. So then

00:33:22:20 - 00:33:28:06
Unknown
as an assembly and we'll get into the processes in a second on official practice.

00:33:28:09 - 00:33:55:12
Unknown
But I think there's a lot of onus on small business owners to make money, but also comply with all the different things that these huge businesses have to comply with. We've got big departments, big budget, big, you know, so it makes it easier for them, but it's definitely a lot more difficult as a small business to make sure that you covering off within the law now, we have hired many people within our business and we've definitely got better at the process of higher fire.

00:33:55:14 - 00:34:21:16
Unknown
If someone doesn't fit, they're not what they just go get playing fast, correct? Yeah, And people use that all the time. And we definitely struggled with it earlier on. And as you become more as you develop your business, you get through that process quicker. Now, if someone is going to be saying we've got say, a six month probation in your contract, and for anyone listening, the central Rakhine, I really need to know this.

00:34:21:18 - 00:34:37:17
Unknown
Yeah, because I need to be able to get rid of people by choice. Yeah, we've got to address it too much. You know, we tell that the companies that we work with, you know, a rate that excites people. If they come in and they don't get the break, just get rid of them. Yeah, there's no point. I was having to devalue after I would have.

00:34:37:21 - 00:34:47:12
Unknown
Yeah. And it's like they're paid as a fee and then we got we'll grind, we'll fill it again, we get paid again yet but realistically you, you in a week. Absolutely. You knew it was going to so I think there's

00:34:47:12 - 00:34:56:11
Unknown
a there's a shyness about this shyness a reluctance if you like to confront We don't like conflict. Human human beings are not good at conflict.

00:34:56:11 - 00:35:15:22
Unknown
You forget it's lots of fun, right? So I think there's a reluctance to face into the problem. Sometimes there's an optimism it'll get better, but it'll just get better. Myself and I suppose that's what I might try and do it, but it's not really a better What you've just said is not by not a good fit. There are a lot it's become less fit within six months, but you've got to nip it in.

00:35:15:22 - 00:35:16:00
Unknown

00:35:16:02 - 00:35:41:22
Unknown
But sometimes it's not their fault. You know, I kind of like to come in with all the right things, you know, And he's just like this, this person. This isn't going to work. Yeah, it could be for any number of reasons. You don't need to list. They're just going to be gone. Yeah. Unfortunately, I think niceness is the longer you let it go, the worse making it because you're mentally, if checked out, it's like you've been in a relationship, but you're leaving it out, but you're not managing expectation on that level.

00:35:41:24 - 00:35:50:19
Unknown
You know, allow them to move on. That's really positive as well as the extra credit. Same offer that we've talked on affects everyone else. But I think I think there's a

00:35:50:19 - 00:36:08:11
Unknown
lot to be said about your recruitment process, but also the onboarding process. I think people, I think especially right when it's hard to get the best talent, as you mentioned, I think sometimes employers are desperate to get skills that offer way too much.

00:36:08:12 - 00:36:30:18
Unknown
And I don't mean financially, I'm talking benefits, perks, hourly rate, whatever. But then when they're coming in that I'm concentrating, it's self employed. You have a skill set that should just go and do it. And there's no check ins on week one. That's it. You want to be free going through those 1 to 1 processes. Yeah. So then they should then.

00:36:30:18 - 00:36:38:06
Unknown
But if it doesn't work, at least this economy, the candidates often see that this isn't going to work that you can take from this. Absolutely. For example,

00:36:38:06 - 00:36:50:06
Unknown
that's where I want to go with you've got your paper trail, which is like we discussed this week, will wait forward to ask the question there at the end of it, which is like, how do you basically cover your ass?

00:36:50:09 - 00:37:06:19
Unknown
So I hear what you're saying, race, religion, you know, these things can come into play. So what do mean, What can I do? It's easy or relatively quick to do to make sure that they're doing the onboarding process right and they're covering their ass if they do need to release someone in a probationary period.

00:37:06:19 - 00:37:08:20
Unknown
So I think there's a few things in there.

00:37:08:20 - 00:37:29:20
Unknown
I think the onboarding process is fundamentally important is that it's often the missing piece. So why why have you recruited that person? You presumably have got a job spec because the spec that you've put, you've align them with. So having that as your you know, you're seeing sex on a spouse on day one of employment, don't just leave it in the recruitment pot.

00:37:29:22 - 00:37:51:18
Unknown
This is what we've recruited you to and this is what we're going to assess. You advance during the probationary period and we will have the regular check ins. And I think weekly is probably why in the first month of this and then minus two weekly and then monthly. So having those regular recorded conversations, they're not formal meetings, but they are important meetings.

00:37:51:20 - 00:38:13:07
Unknown
And to make that probationary period, to give it up to elevates our space. So that level of importance of having that paper trail, this is not just ask offering, but it's important for the management of the expectations and the development of the individual, because if you're going to spend thousands of pounds on recruiting something, you want to make it work.

00:38:13:08 - 00:38:53:01
Unknown
You don't want to end up at six months at the door, let's do a settlement agreement. So isn't it worth investing the time as well as in the paperwork? So I think the first aspect that, you know, get out of your development piece some day while you're monitoring your review, check in checklists on the check ins, do the probation period, the signing off, but also the recording of where the gaps are and what we're going to do about it so that those active and proactive management of those issues as you go on and you will thought, yeah, you know, if someone doesn't like the way we manage them, even value the fee or that will

00:38:53:01 - 00:39:14:14
Unknown
become troublesome. But the more troublesome they become about those issues, for me, the easier it is for you as an employer to say, look, we were doing what we could to manage this and we weren't getting the improvement and that individual wasn't happy, but they weren't engaging with the process. And so it was an excellent, concise decision at the end.

00:39:14:14 - 00:39:39:16
Unknown
And I think having that, having it aligns to that recruitment piece will protect the business because presumably the recruitment piece, the person's but the cultural fit, the values, the business reason for, you know, the business case I suppose is there. It's not going to be about them as a person. It's going to be about that fit with the role they've been

00:39:39:16 - 00:39:40:10
Unknown
recruited to.

00:39:40:12 - 00:40:06:04
Unknown
So it's quite a long winded answer and there is no easy one document tick. Yeah, you've done it yet. Still take boxes to text marks. Okay. Person development plant. All right. Tick one. Yeah. Reviews too. I think so. Paperwork at the end. Review at the end of the six month over three months, one of us theoretically only got two.

00:40:06:06 - 00:40:15:21
Unknown
We call it. You call on off to states, do those three things, and that's what I often hear. So I think no lawyer, we don't do anything else. Yeah,

00:40:15:21 - 00:40:20:14
Unknown
okay. So I just really try that. So that's three points. Then when someone comes on first point

00:40:20:14 - 00:40:28:08
Unknown
development plan for very long. So like said, you don't just say, well you've been recruited to jump off, you got busy on six months.

00:40:28:14 - 00:40:35:02
Unknown
So they know from the outset what the expectation is and you set them on their way and you review against that development plan.

00:40:35:02 - 00:40:36:20
Unknown
So I think one thing to

00:40:36:20 - 00:40:49:04
Unknown
reviews is run your weekly, monthly, whatever you think is right for your business, take 3 to 3 meeting at the end and then just send a letter saying we've got concerns we're going to extend or.

00:40:49:04 - 00:40:55:07
Unknown
Weldon you've lost your commission meeting to sign them off or not this

00:40:55:07 - 00:41:08:18
Unknown
week as the reason this will look that this is the reason why it's not working. We got that quite a bit where someone will do so through a six month probationary period. And on the day of the kind of write you probationary period, it's like we're going to extend that and it's like one day.

00:41:08:22 - 00:41:15:11
Unknown
Exactly. We haven't even had a conversation. And for that person, they just crushed all of us. But then it's the one thing

00:41:15:11 - 00:41:22:11
Unknown
and then the mind starts to go into, Well, you're doing this to me because it's me. It's like they look they look for

00:41:22:11 - 00:41:31:12
Unknown
the lot of market. I can't because I disagree with what you said when you get across to the people.

00:41:31:14 - 00:41:47:03
Unknown
And I actually think the bigger issue in businesses is that I don't know how to deal with letting people go. People are in a position of being a Hollywood manager, don't know how to deal with that. This is south of the higher rung. There's an embarrassment level.

00:41:47:03 - 00:41:48:11
Unknown
We've got to fight

00:41:48:11 - 00:41:56:24
Unknown
Islamophobia, especially if they are trying to progress that career, that important to go and talk to people and the companies don't address it because they don't know how to.

00:41:57:00 - 00:42:23:07
Unknown
Yeah. Of enlightened fear about what you've spoken about discrimination unfair dismissal and so yeah and often I continue to let them in and then eventually so it gets addressed where you can leave because the two candidates can't work it out but that the candidate is only for short period because they worried about that kind of an end. And both of them are never a on but one to do the best.

00:42:23:09 - 00:42:41:02
Unknown
But you do get companies where they address it quickly. We do that because I think it's always not fair on the person who's working here, because we in a small team, people can see it. And I think it's I think it's too often thinking quite negative on someone's

00:42:41:02 - 00:42:47:13
Unknown
development. You know, like a little confidence thing is one of things you cannot people want to talk about recently.

00:42:47:14 - 00:42:55:21
Unknown
I think that's losing a face, whether it's because they decided they were going to go and it's just the pursuit of an opportunity or whether it's there's been

00:42:55:21 - 00:43:11:02
Unknown
a problem of performance or discipline or whatever, I think it's fundamentally important to afford people. Well, yeah, to help them move on. Well, in a way that doesn't make, you know, score them, doesn't make you feel like it's been done to them.

00:43:11:04 - 00:43:17:06
Unknown
So and just coming back to have a dismissal because this offense is ridiculous and it's like

00:43:17:06 - 00:43:18:12
Unknown
this is where we want to go for this.

00:43:18:12 - 00:43:29:24
Unknown
This is in this is in the headlines, but it's not big headlines. And if the Labor government come into power later this year, there's a likelihood, because I've done a green paper on it, that they're going to reduce the unfair dismissal,

00:43:29:24 - 00:43:32:02
Unknown
length of service to one year.

00:43:32:04 - 00:43:50:00
Unknown
No, not in that one year. That's going to make probation period much more important because this sort of claim of dismissal at the year, you don't want to leave them, you know, extended rotation period for another six months. They've got to be aware that you're going to be making this relationship in much more effective and get them out quicker.

00:43:50:04 - 00:43:51:16
Unknown
So it's horrible language. But

00:43:51:16 - 00:43:56:08
Unknown
yeah, let me say this. That's what what will happen if that happens with people

00:43:56:08 - 00:43:59:23
Unknown
who do not, say six months leave from office.

00:43:59:23 - 00:44:11:00
Unknown
I think it won't be retrospective and it won't affect people who are already employed. It'll affect new recruits. So but it's it is it's going to make things more focused. I thing

00:44:11:00 - 00:44:12:10
Unknown
first for the recruitment process.

00:44:12:10 - 00:44:21:03
Unknown
So we're getting this right because it would only be that he is at risk of an offense. I'm going to deal with it properly. But

00:44:21:03 - 00:44:28:01
Unknown
the recruitment and the onboarding and early stage prevention period is going to be, you know, effective management. So and

00:44:28:01 - 00:44:30:07
Unknown
two years is a long time that we've it,

00:44:30:07 - 00:44:31:01
Unknown
you know, you

00:44:31:01 - 00:44:32:01
Unknown
know, like

00:44:32:01 - 00:44:36:20
Unknown
we are sometimes when people get to say what you said about work conversion or who got rights,

00:44:36:20 - 00:44:49:19
Unknown
it's like the day when you been working with someone for two years and to think, you know, and especially at the moment when people press

00:44:49:19 - 00:44:53:20
Unknown
pay rates are going up, the people salaries are perhaps they need to earn more

00:44:54:12 - 00:44:54:16
Unknown
that

00:44:54:16 - 00:44:55:23
Unknown
in their time where

00:44:55:23 - 00:45:04:04
Unknown
at least. So we're looking for more money for those folks for two years when you in uncertain time is a long time to fill on

00:45:04:04 - 00:45:10:09
Unknown
probation. So I think a year working all our wages, we are quick to say that's a problem.

00:45:10:09 - 00:45:10:13
Unknown
But,

00:45:10:13 - 00:45:13:04
Unknown
you know, it would have looked like it some in some businesses.

00:45:13:18 - 00:45:15:00
Unknown
If you're not on it.

00:45:15:00 - 00:45:21:20
Unknown
So you can get by with a picture. How much do you feel like you still you know, somebody still get in the face on the table when in fact, boom.

00:45:21:20 - 00:45:27:00
Unknown
Yeah. What do you think? When I couldn't see as an employee, Let's look at it. And they've kind of been a little bit

00:45:27:00 - 00:45:30:03
Unknown
lopsided about buying and they've got to a point with that.

00:45:30:03 - 00:45:48:21
Unknown
And this isn't going to work. What's the main reason for being a little bit what do you think? It is not following those prices that don't need to be to be quite tough to pay money out. But, you know, you can just blow up pizza dough sometimes. It's, you know, you know, now, you know, for the first week, for the first couple of, you know, the first month, you certainly do.

00:45:48:21 - 00:46:08:22
Unknown
think it's probably a lack of confidence in people management. And I haven't got somebody that can delegated to go to that job table. Yeah. So they have to do it. And frankly, but in a business is hard work. It's you got to be able to figure out something. And the most important thing when you do business is keeping business going.

00:46:08:24 - 00:46:38:04
Unknown
Somebody is bringing the money, top line, bottom line, right. So unfortunately, people problems and all, you know, it's this it takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of emotional energy. It's stressful and it involves conflict and stuff coming back to you. So I think there's a reluctance then. I think it's you know, whether it's deliberate, you know, people don't want to have to deal with, you know, the elephant in the room, if you like.

00:46:38:04 - 00:46:48:20
Unknown
but maybe this all sorts of expectations that people might just get. That's what I or, you know, read the mood that have. They'll get it. And people don't generally get it. They have to be told

00:46:48:20 - 00:46:58:16
Unknown
people will have to manage. And the owners in an employment tribunal, if somebody brings a claim against you for unfair dismissal, the onus will always be on the employer, it will never be on the employee.

00:46:58:18 - 00:47:17:06
Unknown
It's very much it's the responsibility of the employer to get the process right, not the responsibility of the employee discrimination. Slightly different, but any if anybody brings a claim for this against the dismissal, it's the process is where the focus is. That is behind any process. You just forget it's unfair.

00:47:17:06 - 00:47:23:23
Unknown
Now we're looking at this all from the point of view of someone coming into a world without know why they go to trial.

00:47:23:23 - 00:47:45:04
Unknown
Sometimes people who are really effectively within a business for a number of years, the business might grow or for whatever reason their performance naturally drops. But they're well over that two year, five year, ten year period. How a business has been able to effectively manage those people because that can have all contracts. They might be have lots of money, you know,

00:47:45:04 - 00:47:52:18
Unknown
and as might say, if you've got someone within your business where they're just they're underperforming, yeah, everyone knows that person is underperforming.

00:47:52:18 - 00:47:56:23
Unknown
And that could just be a bit of a bad apple. But it could have been great five years ago.

00:47:56:23 - 00:48:07:19
Unknown
you looking after that, say, one year with the Labor government or two years? How is how is that process, what the small businesses need to be doing to effectively manage that risk? Why?

00:48:07:19 - 00:48:33:09
Unknown
think it's much harder with people who've been with you for a long time, and I think this this is a broader topic, isn't it, about people's development, whether it's to keep track of changes in their own learning, new skills, maybe to be in a new, new roles within the business, or whether it's about engagement, they're being motivated to keep going.

00:48:33:11 - 00:49:17:06
Unknown
And it could be behavioral. As younger workers come in and have different, you know, different behaviors in the workplace and expectations. And so such a work culture, there could be some cultural clash there. So I think there could be quite a lot of things to unpack in the front language and, you know, you could be looking at people who develop illness and disability in life because they're getting older and they're not sort of in management for there is so much to unpack here, but I think generally the longer somebody's been with you on the the, you know, the more stable it being as an employee, it's much, much harder to manage and even think about

00:49:17:06 - 00:49:17:08
Unknown
it

00:49:17:08 - 00:49:25:05
Unknown
and know let you go. We always we usually end up with such situations so yeah we usually end up with settlements frameworks because

00:49:25:05 - 00:49:43:18
Unknown
there are more risks around discrimination. I think with age disability, if there's illness involved. And I think where do I see claims heading tends to be probably around constructive dismissal rather than simply being fired.

00:49:43:18 - 00:49:54:17
Unknown
So it's not that they're being managed through dismissal process, but they get the individual gets to feel unhappy, undervalued,

00:49:54:17 - 00:50:14:00
Unknown
badly managed. There's probably conflict developing between when you say a manager, you know, a manager and then or between them and their colleagues around the role or the way that work is carried out and relationships, it tends to be relationship driven, both of them.

00:50:14:00 - 00:50:32:24
Unknown
You're not fit for business because this has been a life long and I'm the fit the best for the business. But the businessmen have changed and they're not able to stay with, you know, keep involved with that change or something will have happened in their life. They become just generally disengaged or not happy, but they're not prepared to move on.

00:50:33:05 - 00:50:50:24
Unknown
The stakes are high, aren't they? Like through life, they're not going to easily walk into the job. You know, if I was if I was let go by my husband now, what would I do? I've got I'm going to find myself with a job in my mid-fifties. That's a much more difficult thing for somebody to face at that age than in their twenties.

00:50:50:24 - 00:50:53:05
Unknown
was listening to Katie Hopkins.

00:50:53:05 - 00:50:56:19
Unknown
to school

00:50:56:19 - 00:50:57:16
Unknown
want

00:50:57:16 - 00:51:04:05
Unknown
someone gave me the famous, I think, you know, it was

00:51:04:05 - 00:51:07:23
Unknown
Somalia says this is coming in next week Have you seen this what Cape

00:51:07:23 - 00:51:11:01
Unknown
York is saying that she said Yeah

00:51:11:01 - 00:51:21:15
Unknown
I said, is it controversial by the chancellor whilst these the seem to get this wrong you've probably seen or heard it that menopause.

00:51:21:17 - 00:51:30:03
Unknown
She was discussing menopause and she was discussing it the way that she does menopause being effectively a disability.

00:51:30:03 - 00:51:42:19
Unknown
there's some talk about the severity of menopause and it being classed as a disability. But can you just give us your take on this topic and what's been spoken about currently? Yeah.

00:51:42:19 - 00:51:49:10
Unknown
So I think things that it's the headlines of the news don't they, they can get, they can get reshaped a little bit and I think that's what happened last week.

00:51:49:10 - 00:52:19:18
Unknown
So just to set the scene, the this new guidance issued last week by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, now they're really a non-governmental body that basically look after people with protected characteristics. They they think they can pay they raise awareness about discrimination in the workplace, but also elsewhere. So they issued this guidance about menopause for employers, about how to support people with menopause.

00:52:19:20 - 00:52:38:07
Unknown
No, I've read the guidance and it doesn't say anything new. It doesn't create new law or create any new thinking on menopause. It's just really repeating what we already know. If you go to an accounts and look at their guidance records, it's it's very similar, right? So we just have, you know, that press release that published it and it was

00:52:38:07 - 00:52:39:22
Unknown
in the what was the guidance?

00:52:40:05 - 00:53:06:23
Unknown
Well, the guidance, I think, says employers, you need to be aware if you've got people in that goes through menopause, it's you know, you need to you need to look after them, you support them and show flexibility. And by the way, there could be a legal claim here. And it goes on to unpack of possible legal claims. But but the law hasn't changed.

00:53:07:00 - 00:53:42:08
Unknown
There's no new types of legal claim here. And traditionally or traditionally, we're only talking about this sort of five years. Okay. But though it's been quite difficult for women who feel they've been unfairly treated, not supported in the workplace when they're going through menopause to bring a legal claim, Why? Because a couple of things. If they want to claim that after leaves of employment, someone to claim constructive dismissal, Yeah, it's very rare that they sat by the menopause unless it's related to like a performance.

00:53:42:08 - 00:54:05:21
Unknown
And so what become a disciplinary must if that's okay. Too much time. So in those cases that could be planned for obviously so but otherwise similarly. Well yeah. Talk about stability and cost of living. That's a big risk to take, isn't it? But one of the areas that they produce and have used is discrimination and the the best, the easiest claim to bring, if I can put it that way.

00:54:05:21 - 00:54:29:21
Unknown
Not that any claims seems to be the easiest box to fit into is disability, because the disability law discrimination was very wide. It's not difficult to make jump to the hurdle saying I'm disabled. Why? Because it's illegal test and it's basically any condition that's long term, 12 months or more that has more than a minor or trivial effects on a day to day life.

00:54:29:23 - 00:54:49:07
Unknown
Well, think if somebody has got severe menopause symptoms, just like anyone who might have severe mental health illness displaying a amounts fitting that robust enough to describe what the symptoms are. But that's the easiest box to fit into. It's quite difficult to bring claims around age discrimination and sex discrimination, which is the idea of the two boxes that you make.

00:54:49:07 - 00:55:12:12
Unknown
So that's always been available and women have started to make more use of it in the last five or so years. And there are nine decisions come at the tribunal where tribunals will say, Yes, I'm satisfied this individual is disabled for purposes of disability discrimination because of her menopausal symptoms. Does it mean every woman who's going to menopause is disabled and would be able to fit in that box?

00:55:12:14 - 00:55:35:17
Unknown
It's just an available legal claim. So nothing new in that guidance. And actually the government's the guidance is aimed at employers thinking about best practice rather than what what legal terms you need to be frightened of because the legal claims that there's no there's no obvious claim. Right. And things would have to get quite bad, I think, for something workplace and an employer would have to

00:55:35:17 - 00:55:41:21
Unknown
basically do nothing to try and help sort of to get into place where there's a big risk of that claim if that

00:55:41:21 - 00:55:44:07
Unknown
genuinely trying to be flexible is

00:55:44:07 - 00:56:08:07
Unknown
where the can appreciating the big organizations have got bigger resources and budgets to do more than smaller employers, no small employers going to be just the same as the big employers are doing what they can reasonably within that physical environment. I don't think employers should be scared of clients coming back them. It's not. It's you know, I think there's a lot of hype around it.

00:56:08:09 - 00:56:20:18
Unknown
There's a lot of noise around menopause, but it's very contextual. That means it's about what's happening in your workplace, What is the problem you're being presented with? How are you trying to how at the end of the day, that's all choppiness.

00:56:20:18 - 00:56:36:08
Unknown
Yeah, What do businesses need to do in those days? So I've worked in one business where there's a couple of minutes in the course of that time, and it was when I look back now, we've all got that.

00:56:36:08 - 00:56:37:17
Unknown
I mean, I just got grief

00:56:37:17 - 00:56:56:09
Unknown
about that and stop time. But that's what it is. It's a word. It is still, isn't it? And unfortunately, it still happens. Look, cancer is the thing that is not acceptable. And I think you saw that as a very as a minimum. Yeah. And this isn't just about menopause. This is about everything.

00:56:56:11 - 00:57:05:20
Unknown
You don't you think really carefully about the doctor, how you talk in the workplace, because that's that's a that's a cultural thing.

00:57:05:20 - 00:57:18:03
Unknown
And not only is it put you know, it's the risk of legal claims for harassment, but it's about what we want to see, what what kind of culture, what kind of working environment do we want in our business?

00:57:18:05 - 00:57:22:20
Unknown
So I think it goes wider than that. But yet a lot of employers need to do.

00:57:22:20 - 00:57:27:05
Unknown
It depends on the capacity because again, you know

00:57:27:05 - 00:57:38:03
Unknown
are the laws be faced with? So some of these claims, disability discrimination for menopause, it's going to look like what we call a plan for reasonable adjustments. That was in the headlines last week.

00:57:38:04 - 00:58:01:24
Unknown
What Ruth, what adjustments, what reasonable adjustments do employers need to think about? Well, if a woman's got she's suffering with symptoms of hot flashes and she gets, you know, too hot in the workplace. What is also just before that, let's put the make sure she's in events. And I suppose it might mean making sure she's got a different look, you know, in work uniform that's looser.

00:58:02:01 - 00:58:06:11
Unknown
It might mean that she needs to just take time. I'm if I were to go and

00:58:06:11 - 00:58:11:18
Unknown
that's the bit what was a classic law and then ripping off in December.

00:58:11:18 - 00:58:13:11
Unknown
when this wind is open

00:58:13:11 - 00:58:15:20
Unknown
and everyone's offering a wage because it's slowly

00:58:15:20 - 00:58:16:07
Unknown
Yeah. You

00:58:16:07 - 00:58:18:09
Unknown
then you get when you've been for the

00:58:18:10 - 00:58:24:12
Unknown
menopause you forget what it was like to go for the manual now just from the comedy shop.

00:58:24:14 - 00:58:25:09
Unknown
But, you know,

00:58:25:09 - 00:58:53:00
Unknown
in reality when I look back at, you know, especially the idea wasn't the most confident of, you know, almost it must have been it must have been really almost bullying, really the most of any embarrassment or other object filed on how she felt. But when I look back at it that now or in December, you'll wonder, I mean, it's like, yeah, it seems funny, but it's not, you know, if it's almost like, you know what I'm thinking now, everyone's having a twinge of reply makes phrasing go, but like small businesses or whatever, it's not that

00:58:53:00 - 00:58:56:21
Unknown
you, it's what you there's an unspoken thing also we, you

00:58:56:21 - 00:58:58:20
Unknown
know, we've latched on to menopause.

00:58:58:20 - 00:59:24:09
Unknown
So Emily's like is like the hot topic and discrimination, but it's only one issue. And then you know, in the workplace you've got to accommodate everybody. Yeah. And you've got duties around health and safety. Secretary Work for everyone, not just menopausal people. Yeah. So it's not simply saying we've got do all of this. You know, we've got a map of menopausal employees looking for them.

00:59:24:09 - 00:59:45:13
Unknown
Okay. Because you've got duties to everybody. So, yeah, this imbalance is needed in this setting and I think it will come. I think it's just it's know, there's a whole industry around menopause support because it is the big headlines at the moment. It will move off. I think we talking a lot about that. But we need to think more like personalizing that.

00:59:45:13 - 01:00:10:12
Unknown
We need to think a lot about health at work on the aging workforce because we are at risk of focusing on one group of people and forgetting about all the other challenges that come with a workforce that's getting older. You know, 30% of the UK workforce is over 50 and pension age is rising. So pension age, pension pots are not as props as they should be when people think they want to retire.

01:00:10:14 - 01:00:20:15
Unknown
But the people over there don't have to keep working for longer and that will come with health challenges. So where the conversation? For me, the debate needs widening. I

01:00:20:15 - 01:00:33:05
Unknown
do think it's a bit of a dangerous topic as well. The fact that it's getting so much at home because as a business owner you might be looking and thinking, I've got an option of taking a female on this side

01:00:33:05 - 01:00:35:01
Unknown
or a female on this.

01:00:35:01 - 01:00:55:18
Unknown
I'll turn. Yeah, well, you know, people used to think about nurses, not maternity, and maybe I maybe still did, but I still do. I think we can. We can dress it up and pretend that people like they do. I still call the cost to the business. I think any business is seen as a cost. When you small businesses, you could look at it.

01:00:55:18 - 01:01:11:16
Unknown
You think, Well, if I've got three women of a certain age working for me, I could end up feasibly having all three of them all at the same time, which could be 60% of my sales force. And having that type of people in is a huge amount of cost to it.

01:01:11:16 - 01:01:17:05
Unknown
But I think we've done with menopause because you can have an argument about the aircon.

01:01:17:08 - 01:01:36:13
Unknown
We've just two people in a room alone if someone's Yeah, but how is it affecting ability to work, How do you sell it? Because there's a wide range of issues. When someone has the menopause, some can be quite light and if you get on to work quite well and there's other people where it's actually just debilitating, I think.

01:01:36:16 - 01:01:38:11
Unknown
And that's why I think they're talking about

01:01:38:11 - 01:02:00:14
Unknown
it being classed as a disability because it's so debilitating that you can't work. But then if you flip it around to the employer, it's like, well, how much can you do for someone who effectively can't do the job? And I think that's where it can be worrying if there's too much talk about it and we're saying that we're almost pigeonholed in everyone with medical care and disability.

01:02:00:19 - 01:02:05:22
Unknown
So I'm trying to get away from that. The saying for everyone is not quite right. Spataro

01:02:05:22 - 01:02:22:00
Unknown
talk about mental health, all right? We talk about mental wellness. Well, there's a great deal of difference between somebody who's suffering. You know, temporary lapse in their mental wellbeing, you know, someone who's got clinical depression or another diagnosed mental health disorder.

01:02:22:02 - 01:02:41:24
Unknown
So we can't we can't support everybody with mental health as disabled is simply not correct. And I think we need to think about menopause in the same way as a parallel illness. And in those very severe cases where somebody is too and well, it's worth it, then unfortunately does have to become a different conversation as it is about what you can do.

01:02:42:04 - 01:03:00:03
Unknown
Do to help work effectively. But how do you manage that absence and when is when you know, how long do you wait and how much support can you put in place to help them come back to work? And if you've come to the end of the road, then unfortunately there's only one way and then that's dismissal for cabinets.

01:03:00:03 - 01:03:03:09
Unknown
Sick and employers are talking to do that.

01:03:03:09 - 01:03:11:17
Unknown
Yeah, yeah it's you know it's great that employers are I mean it's but they're not expected to provide to move.

01:03:11:17 - 01:03:26:05
Unknown
they're not expected to provide the room for everybody. They're expected to do generally the cut off the balance of employment law in this country is reasonableness. So you know, face this allowance for disability and disability.

01:03:26:05 - 01:03:57:04
Unknown
You know, it's all about reasonable adjustments. So it's not every adjustment, it's what's reasonable was. Yes, I do believe that is what is reasonable depends on what is the employee's cost them. Are they loyal then to work? What is it that's stopping them? Is there anything the employer can do to help them back into the workplace? And and usually that means going to occupational channel for getting a report on an employers sense, finding out more about what adjustments could be made and then reviewing that.

01:03:57:10 - 01:04:22:03
Unknown
Can we make those adjustments how we made some of those already, what more could we do? We can't do that. It's going to cost more than £25,000. And when the business owner meets next year, all her considerations must go into the mix of deciding whether you can remove the employer. And if you can't, just dismissal doesn't mean it's going to be unfair and it's going to be discrimination as long as you have properly considered all of those factors.

01:04:22:03 - 01:04:39:08
Unknown
And that's that process again. Yes, we're coming back to our old friend. Yeah, yeah. But you say these things take time, but yeah, businesses often don't have time and patience to deal with the process. They want it quick, they want a quick review and all that sort of supplements when it's in.

01:04:39:08 - 01:04:48:19
Unknown
I want to talk before you go, before we finish about the stuff that you're doing now to differentiate, differentiate yourself.

01:04:48:21 - 01:05:15:06
Unknown
But I want to spin it on your viewpoint on women becoming more present through social media at the moment. Why, given that you signed up in the forties, go back into the workplace? Pretty nervous. You know, a very old talking about not being already difficult. PAR Now you sat here on podcast you talk in public speaking, you're doing these well, but you've really thrown yourself out.

01:05:15:08 - 01:05:22:13
Unknown
How did that come about and what are your thoughts on on where we are again now for for women, more women to be doing this

01:05:22:13 - 01:05:29:03
Unknown
right? Gosh, there's a lot in the pressure, I think, for men. So for me, I think personality driven,

01:05:29:03 - 01:05:36:18
Unknown
I like a challenge. I like to scan stuff and do new things. I've always been into performing.

01:05:36:18 - 01:05:53:17
Unknown
I was a dancer when I was young, so the idea of getting in front of people doesn't scare me. So I think that's what drives me to do stuff like this. I do find it a little bit lonely, so I think being in front of a group of people is for me, getting on camera is more is more daunting for me

01:05:53:17 - 01:05:58:00
Unknown
as any friend from this is like not wanting.

01:05:58:02 - 01:06:00:07
Unknown
So I'm not sure I'm going on a TV career, but

01:06:00:07 - 01:06:15:13
Unknown
there's so many women out there that are pioneering that and are being brave and standing up and saying stuff that needs to be said that kind of encourages you to, if you like, going forwards to just get involved and put your big girl pants on.

01:06:15:13 - 01:06:36:07
Unknown
As often people say, forget the imposter syndrome though, just launch it, I guess. Unfortunately, we live in an age where, you know, everybody can have their say. So it's it's very easy to get criticism back to the social media, isn't it? And that can be very uplifting. And I've not really I've not really put myself out there enough tonight to get that and then work out how that would affect me.

01:06:36:07 - 01:06:57:19
Unknown
But I can imagine that can be very damaging. I think as women, we do suffer with self-confidence issues. Well, I know that we did it because we see talked about so much. I find it difficult to understand why that is, why men don't have that so much or don't articulate that as much as women feel the need to articulate the positive wishes.

01:06:57:19 - 01:07:18:15
Unknown
We could just get over that and get on with it because we've now got I think we live in a world where women. Yeah, it's not it's never going to be equal women a minute different. But I think we've reached a point where we are recognizing that women bring equal strength to the workplace. They're different strengths, but they are equally as important as the strengths that men bring.

01:07:18:17 - 01:07:41:23
Unknown
So I think that the platform is different, and if only we could move away from the comparison with men and we could look at how women are different and acknowledge that differences good and that we bring different things to leadership that lifts says talking more about that. And for that to be, you know, not about women versus men thing.

01:07:42:00 - 01:07:58:15
Unknown
I don't like the narrative of women versus men. I think we all bring different things to business that can help business thrive. But those are the things I'd love to see women leading on more. So I'm not sure I even begun to answer your question. Then what was your question again?

01:07:58:15 - 01:08:02:19
Unknown
because it was quite a big one, wasn't it?

01:08:02:21 - 01:08:04:07
Unknown
What was What did you say? Sorry,

01:08:04:07 - 01:08:10:17
Unknown
it's wrong. I was going to say, you know, we noted that when you say it, women talk a lot about what she's saying. They talk a lot about that. You should never

01:08:10:17 - 01:08:14:14
Unknown
have confidence. Or should you get beyond that? Yeah,

01:08:14:14 - 01:08:17:09
Unknown
just yeah, you said just get over it. Let's just get over that.

01:08:17:09 - 01:08:21:01
Unknown
What's going to happen, which we seem to obsess on quite a lot

01:08:21:01 - 01:08:39:00
Unknown
appreciate that we've got loads of opportunities. We don't we don't need to feel that we're starting to judge, you know, people starting to judgment on us. I recently got involved with a new community network called Women in Leadership through one of the business networking groups in Birmingham.

01:08:39:00 - 01:09:04:08
Unknown
And we've got committed together. And the hope the aim of that is really to elevate some of these conversations around burns sense around women in leadership, to not be constantly talking about imposters syndrome and why while we feel we're being held back. But to examine some of these some of these deeper issues about what what, what the hell, what what is talking about mea culpa, let's let's celebrate what we can do.

01:09:04:08 - 01:09:14:20
Unknown
Well, then, looking at the various also or if there are barriers, let's start to really seriously look into them and push for policy change. So yeah, just being a little bit more empowered, I think

01:09:14:20 - 01:09:26:21
Unknown
I'm very shrewd as well, especially the imposter syndrome. I think even with the confidence stuff as well, I just don't think, I think that I'm more of a persona, more of that kind of,

01:09:26:21 - 01:09:30:20
Unknown
you know, you know, riffing of the picture of mental health with men.

01:09:30:20 - 01:09:57:08
Unknown
People don't, you know, make them talk enough or whatever. And I think there's a lot of people on the field. I think there's a lot of I think my effort is, you know what? If you get into a position of power, of responsibility, I think I'm fairly knocked off, almost an imposter. You shouldn't deserve it. Yeah. We spent a lot of my cabinet office about, you know, in a senior position at the same.

01:09:57:13 - 01:10:14:01
Unknown
Yeah. Not the most comfortable with the same, but I think it's up to the minute. All cocky online a can can pretend good presenters outside but I think we've all kind of open up to a friend or a colleague or whatever, but I think that I think we

01:10:14:01 - 01:10:21:13
Unknown
should all have a more rational self-awareness and national awareness generally in women, that is.

01:10:21:17 - 01:10:28:11
Unknown
Yeah, perhaps. Does it come back to mental toughness that can bring huge positive impact to the workplace if you think about.

01:10:28:11 - 01:10:29:01
Unknown
compassionate

01:10:29:01 - 01:10:55:21
Unknown
Leadership and how that can benefit organizations culturally, I think is a huge amount of work to do, though, because women can bring up some men can as well will say it's binary without women. Generally, you've got that insight perhaps that men don't bring to the senior leadership that can cast them. You know, all cultures top down and really get into all of these things we're talking about.

01:10:55:23 - 01:10:58:15
Unknown
Yeah, the processes, the comms

01:10:58:15 - 01:11:28:10
Unknown
is a good process from this. I think we've we've it process I, I would that process up and that's a big thread. I think that that's that's the maybe that's why when it does go wrong you guys are terribly wrong because rest of it we could you could spin outside and say that's the investment in you people development can go, we can, we could give it a different name until we have a language about it rather than it being in the confines of tick box and something you have to do to to protect the business.