Welcome to my blog

My collection of HR tips and resources, along with my thoughts and all the goings on at HR Refresh.

Business Owners often tell me that HR can feel overwhelming, confusing and risky. And I can understand why. The law is complex and constantly changing, the fines for getting things wrong can be astronomical and when you’re so busy wearing so many hats, HR can fall down the list when you need to focus on sales and marketing. I’m all about making life easier for people, which is why my services offer flexible, convenient and affordable HR Support. That’s why I’ve put together this list of the most common questions I get asked about HR – with links to relevant content or answers.


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When you’ve decided that now is the right time to hire someone, and you know the skills you need, the next step is thinking about whether you should hire an employee, a worker or a freelancer (which is called the employment status).


Why is this important?

Some people think you get to choose the employment status yourself, but this is a big myth. In reality, it’s based on the terms and conditions of the relevant engagement. So, if you decide to hire a contractor, so you don’t have to commit or add someone to my payroll, but you want to dictate where they work you have probably got the employment status wrong. You can’t have your cake and eat it, where HMRC is concerned.

The Employment status also has ramifications for how you treat each person for tax, National Insurance, employment law, and pensions, so getting it wrong can be costly.

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65% of UK businesses are at risk of being fined or sued because of a lack of HR Knowledge, according to recent research.

But if you don’t know what you’re doing, or have the luxury of an HR Team, it’s easy to make costly mistakes.

With the worst fines being imprisonment and unlimited fines, it’s more important than ever that you take proactive steps to protect your business.

So, here’s 7 of the biggest mistakes companies make, and what you can do to avoid making them!

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The best thing about being a HR Expert, is being able to solve problems. Whether that’s giving people peace of mind, by reassuring them they have everything they need. Or skyrocketing performance and profit, through HR strategies and boosting productivity.

But, one of the biggest challenges I face is that people don’t really know what HR does. Hiring and Firing is the most common answer, when I ask people. But it’s so much more than that. My clients are often surprised that HR can help with things like reducing cost and creating more efficiency within their business.

So, I thought I’d put together a list of some of things HR can do for you, and how it can help your business succeed.

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Last year (1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016) a total of 83,031 tribunal applications were made. That’s a lot!

The highest sum awarded in a tribunal claim was £1,762,130, which was for a sex discrimination claim. This is when you are treated differently (badly) because of your sex. This kind of fine can bankrupt even the most financially stable company.

Now before you start panicking, I want to assure you that in my experience, most people don’t want to sue you. They do it because they feel they’ve been treated badly. And when I say badly treated, this could be anything from them feeling bullied through to them feeling unfairly treated.

Now, they may not have been badly treated in your opinion, but when people feel their core values or morals or sense of fairness have been compromised or, they may do and say things that are out of character. And if it’s not nipped in the bud, it can end in an employment tribunal.

Today, I want to share the most common reasons why companies get sued, so you have more awareness and seek to reduce this happening to you.

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Marketing campaigns, blogging and social media posts are all designed to help you stand out in a crowded market to get more customers and therefore make more money.

Advertising a job is the same principle – except the aim is to get more top-quality candidates apply for your role.

If you can create a job advert that makes people want to work for you, then you’re more likely to hire someone brilliant. Fact.

But, how can you create a job advert that entices the best and brightest people to apply?

Let me share a few ways you can stand out in a crowded market.

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Hiring people for your business can be very exciting, but it can also feel daunting and stressful.

Get it right and it can be game-changing for both you and your business. But get it wrong, and you can waste a lot of time, energy and money trying to fix this costly mistake.

Today, I’m sharing 3 top tips, that have proven to help businesses make consistently great hires. I hope they help you, too!

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Hi. I’m Mandy Hamerla.

I’m going to let you into a little secret. I love HR! Don’t get me wrong – I don’t love it as much as my friends, family or my shoe collection, and I do have other hobbies, but HR has a special place in my heart. Plus I’m very good at it!

After many years working as a HR Director / Head of HR and getting constant requests from friends who have small businesses to ‘help them out with HR stuff’ it was clear that HR can be overwhelming, confusing and risky, if you don’t know what you’re doing.

According to recent research two-thirds of small businesses risk being fined or sued because they are getting things wrong. And 60% claim they are struggling to recruit and retain the people they need to survive. Does that sound familiar to you?

However, when you’re only source of help is expensive HR consultants, a call-centre when you get restrictive, text book answers or subscriptions that tie you in for 12 months, it’s not surprising that the majority of small businesses are still struggling with HR.

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If you’re thinking about getting some HR support, or if you already have a HR Manager, you may be left wondering what does a HR Director actually do? And how do I know if I need one?… read more

People are complex and trying to manage a team of them isn’t easy! But those who get it right reap lots of benefits, including greater commitment, productivity and motivation – all of which bring greater profit, growth and success. But what actually is it that makes someone a good people manager and how can you become one? I share my top 5 tips based on what actually works in practice.

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How we can help you 

My name is Mandy and I’m the founder of HR Refresh and the person you’ll most likely be working with if you choose any of our services. I’ve spent the last fifteen years working in HR, as the Global HR Director for a Technology company and Head of HR for a large Retailer. I have helped many businesses avoid costly mistakes, hire great people, tackle poor performance and build a team that’s more efficient and profitable – and I can do the same for you.

As well as supporting business leaders with HR expertise, I’ve also led large global teams myself and I know first hand how tough it can be when things go wrong. This is why it’s so important to prevent issues occurring in the first place.

I set up HR Refresh because the majority of small businesses are still struggling to get HR right. This is resulting in employment tribunals, fines, and wasted time and energy. I want to make a difference by making HR much simpler and easier for small business owners, which is why I offer flexible, affordable and convenient HR support. I love to help small businesses achieve BIG things and create a brilliant place to work!

So whether you’re worried about employment tribunals, confused or scared to hire people (which you know is essential to grow your business) or unsure about how to build your dream team that’s affordable and has the right skills to enable you to achieve your goals, then we can help.

Here’s 3 ways we can help you for free

1. Join our community to get my FREE mailing list. Each week I answer a new dilemma sent in by a small business owner, plus I’ll send you my blogs, offers and invites to free webinars and challenges.

2. Go to my blog to get top tips and advice – these are based on things I get asked all the time so I hope you find it useful.

3. Visit our resource library – there’s lots being added each week and some of the downloads are free

Want something more personalised?

1. Check out the HR Essentials package – I’ll help you get all the HR basics in place, such as employment contracts, HR policies etc. to help you avoid costly mistakes and create a great environment for your team, from just £199.

2. Schedule in a call for some urgent HR Advice Sometimes you just need great HR advice, fast, from an expert. With us there’s no call centres with text book answers, no commitments, and an easy online booking system to schedule an appointment immediately. For just £199, we’ll talk about your issue in detail, discuss the options and agree the solution that’s right for you. After the call, we’ll send you an action plan AND any useful resources like template letters or scripts, which are included in the price.

3. Check out our DIY downloadable resources – You’ll find How-To guides, HR policy templates, How-to-Guides, bundles and more. We’re adding more each week.

4. Hire me as your Virtual HR Director  – you’ll be amazed at the results. For less than the price of hiring a full-time Admin Assistant, you’ll get unlimited, dedicated support with no lengthy tie-in clause. Perfect for businesses with 15+ employees have have no or little HR support – £700 per month

5. Want something else? If you have no time and want to outsource an HR project then do let us know.  I’m happy to discuss what you’re looking for and give you a quote.

Want to know more about me?

Here’s a few other links that you might find useful.

Mandy’s Story – Find out more about me

What’s the role of a HR Director?

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