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This Week's News 03.08.18

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Human Resources

Here is a range of HR documents for you to refer to during your apprentice recruitment process and beyond. They can all be downloaded free of charge. Please click here.

Health & Safety

Downloads for health and safety include an example H&S policy and risk assessment policy template. Please click here.

In Salon Assessors

There is loads of resources for in-salon assessors too. Please click here.

We'd love to hear if what we've uploaded is helpful, needs some tweaks or of other things you would like to be available. Please send any feedback to ten/dtl-sti//ofni - thanks!


Employment and labour market

The average number of sickness absence days that UK workers take has almost halved since 1993, from 7.2 days in 1993 to 4.1 days in 2017. This is the lowest since records began in 1993. Between 2008 and 2017 sickness absence rates have fallen by 0.5 percentage points overall, to 1.9%. In the private sector rates have decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 1.7%, whereas in the public sector they have fallen by 0.9 percentage points to 2.6%. Workers in large organisations (500 or more employees) report the highest rate of sickness absence of all business sizes. In 2017, this stood at 2.3%, compared with a rate of 1.6% for workers in organisations that employ fewer than 25 people. More than a quarter of days (26.2%) lost through sickness absence in 2017 were attributed to minor illness, such as coughs and colds. This adds up to 34.3 million days per year. Musculoskeletal problems, such as back and joint pain, was a reason for sickness absence for 20.8% of 50 to 64-year olds and 18.7% of 35 to 49-year olds. There has been an increase in the proportion of younger workers aged 25 to 34 who attribute their sickness absence to mental health conditions rising from 7.2% in 2009 to 9.6% in 2017, an increase of 2.4 percentage points. See Sickness absence in the labour market: 2017


Online customer reviews boost turnover

According to research 85 per cent of people trust online customer reviews as much as a personal recommendation so businesses now have a mechanism to prove the quality of their small business to people, anywhere in the world, who are thinking about buying a product or service that they offer.

Online reviews are a tool that can be used at different stages of a client's journey to help customers:

  • Find a business
  • Trust that business enough to visit the website
  • Have confidence that the business will deliver
  • Provide transparent customer service

Online reviews are also a valuable tool to:

  • Understand how to make their business better
  • Help them build relationships and retain existing customers

Online reviews can help deliver more business by increasing reach, improving conversion and helping to gather insight but first, potential customers need to know that you exist. Today this means being found in online search and if a business isn't on the first page of search engine results, they may as well be nowhere. Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the simple activity of ensuring a website can be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to what the site is offering. To get to the first page of the search engines there are two options, either:

  1. Pay Google or Bing for ads that appear at the top of the search results page via pay per click (PPC) advertising, or
  2. Try to conquer the search engine algorithms with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Both methods cost, whether in money, time or effort, and usually all three - speak with your website designer.


Is your website cutting it?

Your website is the digital portrayal of your business so it's important that it does your business justice.

The quality of your content
Do you regularly publish helpful, useful articles, videos or other types of media that are popular and well produced?

User experience
You need an easily navigable, clearly searchable site with relevant internal linking and related content. All the stuff that keeps visitors on your webpage and hungry to explore further.

Site speed
How quickly your webpages load is increasingly becoming a differentiator for search engines. How many times have you been too impatient for a page to load?

Cross-device compatibility
Your website and its content equally optimised for any screen size or device.


Child mental health

The BBC reports on the number of antidepressants prescribed to children. Responses to freedom of information requests sent to NHS England, NHS Scotland and the Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland show that: the total number of antidepressant prescriptions for children rose from 290,393 in 2015/16 to 330,616 in 2017/18; the steepest increase was seen in those aged 12 and under, where the number of prescriptions rose on average by 24%, from 14,500 to almost 18,000.


Online safety

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has released findings from a survey carried out by Mumsnet and Gransnet looking at concerns of parents and grandparents about their children's internet use. Figures show that 78% cited concerns about 'being exposed to sexual imagery or pornography'; 75% cited 'unpleasant or aggressive people, trolls and bad language'; 76% cited 'bullying'; 73% cited 'violent imagery', 69% cited 'grooming' and 61% cited 'child sexual exploitation via video or photographs'.

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