Back to Blog

Tuesday 15 October 2019
by Jackie Emson

Learn more about Sarah Pearson, owner of Personify HR

Sarah Pearson is the Owner of HR Consultancy, Personify HR.  After more than 15 years in senior HR and Operational roles, in the UK and the US, Sarah now uses her expertise and experience to assist local SME’s with their HR needs.    

“SME’s and start-up businesses often do not require full time, internal HR resource. Yet irrespective of size, the same, significant Employment Law, Legislation & HR best-practice applies to every business.  Approaching areas such as long-term absence, mental health, performance and redundancy, to name a few, can be extremely daunting.  It is vital that businesses get their HR infrastructure correct from the outset. Legal and organisational documents such as contracts, handbooks and policies can be difficult to write if they are not your area of expertise.  But having these in place early on can stand a business in good stead, avoiding future issues and giving staff confidence in their workplace.     

The drain on time spent by senior employees trying to navigate through HR matters can be significant as well as opening employers up to potential, future claims and substantial costs.  Following the abolition of fees for tribunals in 2017, the increase in submissions has almost doubled and cases are now taking longer to get through the system, subjecting employers to even more time and cost.  Even when the behaviour of an employee may clearly constitute gross misconduct and is cited as such in your employee handbook, if the business hasn’t followed the correct process and ensured that is it acting as a “reasonable” employer it will find itself open to a claim and potentially thousands in legal fees and awards. Most employers are also aware that there is a two-year qualifying period for unfair dismissal so they can terminate unsuitable or underperforming team members without following a long, drawn-out process within this timeframe.  However, whilst this is the case in most instances, there are some exclusions and pitfalls that an employer must be mindful of.”    

Sarah is particularly passionate about small, entrepreneurial businesses who are going through significant change and growth.     

“My experience has always been in this area and I have been involved in growing businesses, both organically and through acquisitions. From small start-ups to 100+ employees, to ultimately being acquired themselves.  I understand the profound impact people issues such as underperformance and long-term sickness absence can have on a small business, but all too often little is done due to the fear of falling short of the law.  This in turn can quickly turn toxic and cause other, high-performing team members to leave.  I would urge any business to meet issues head on, with the assistance of a partner such as PersonifyHR and to always seek advice before taking any action. The alternatives; doing nothing or doing it wrong can present untold risks for a business.”    

Working with PersonifyHR will allow businesses to tap into HR expertise as and when needed, without the need for long term tie in’s or the cost of employing someone directly.  PersonifyHR will keep everything simple, clear, cost-effective and, most importantly, protect the business by providing sound advice and practical solutions.  In addition, PersonifyHR if fully insured, giving you complete peace of mind.   

Personify HR can also assist with one-off projects such as HR software implementation or interim HR cover.  Sarah can be contacted for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your HR needs.   

07961 845050