We want to provide a Human Resources Unit for emerging voluntary and community groups. There are many groups are employing or who are about to employ staff, but who do not have the expertise of HR matters. However, they do not require and / or cannot afford to hire part- or full-time HR staff.
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Registered Charity in England and Wales (220085)
This unit of HR professionals would provide training, advice and record-keeping services for groups, with the emphasis on ‚Äúremind, not do‚Äù. Therefore the groups would carry out appraisals, interviews etc., after suitable training, thereby learning skills and gaining an understanding of HR issues. The unit would keep track of when appraisals, etc., would need to happen and would undertake work on legal aspects of employment. Each group would build a sound HR foundation and become professional and efficient employers. This will have a wider impact in building a sound voluntary community by preventing bad practice, ensure fairness and transparency and avoid incurring high legal and IT costs, so any funding raised by each group can go directly to their work, rather than its administration. In addition, this unit will also act as an umbrella body for running CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks for groups. We see this project as helping groups to build a sound foundation, by having access to professional services without having to take on unnecessary and perhaps even crippling expense. They will pay a subscription only for the service or part of service that they use. o Groups would have access for the first time to professional HR expertise. o Groups can submit sound and professional bids for funding staff posts, growing the voluntary sector and thereby creating more employment opportunities in Newham. o The professional employment standards of the voluntary and community sector are raised and developed sustainably. o Individuals are trained in HR issues, enhancing their own skills which can be passed to other groups with which they are involved. o The Community Involvement Unit can provide an integrated service for groups in Newham. o We will enable groups to fulfil their legal obligations for CRB checking. This project has been identified within the context of Change Up and strengthening local infrastructure organisations to give the entire voluntary and community sector expert support. We have identified a need for an integrated and complete service for the groups with which we work. Aston-Mansfield is part of the Change Up Working group and is recognised as a local infrastructure organisation in Newham's Change Up plan. Through this network, we have identified HR support and information as a much needed resource. We also have direct experience of the need for this project through our Community Development officers who work on a day to day basis with the groups. One of our most worrying concerns is that groups are largely unaware of staffing issues and so do not even realise that they need this support. Even prior to becoming employers, they need advice on how to write job descriptions, work out salary scales, etc., so they can write effective funding bids for staff posts. This is an area of weakness for many at present. In terms of CRB checks, we have only found two umbrella bodies in Newham who are able to do these checks and they are passing on charges which are quite high for most small groups. The project will cost ¬£443,072 over 5 years.
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