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Treat National Living Wage as an Opportunity

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With the impending introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW), employers are urged not to panic. Instead of shedding workers and eroding their knowledge base during the biggest staff shortage and skills gap in recent history, they should welcome the new legislation as an opportunity to work smarter as opposed to harder.

CurrencyNowadays, businesses do not simply compete for customers but for the human resources to fulfil their orders in a highly predatory recruitment landscape. In these conditions, it is far better for them to factor in the new wage bill without diminishing their most valuable assets - which can be achieved via improved working efficiencies and increased productivity.

With this in mind, a viable way to improve and economise is through changed employment terms and conditions, for example, hours worked and when they are worked. Flexitime systems and annualised hours contracts give plenty of scope for manoeuvre, reducing overall working overtime and with great cost savings.

However, introducing them can be tricky as they may be unpopular with staff - partly because they often reduce earnings and partly people tend to dislike change anyway. As such, effective communication, consultation and negotiation ahead of any new arrangements are vital and professional support in their introduction and implementation is invaluable.

hlw Keeble Hawson has vast experience in changing or varying employment contracts, so if you would like to discuss the implications of NLW for your business, or any broader staffing issues, please contact Barry Warne at barrywarne@hlwkeeblehawson.co.uk or 0114 252 1437.

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