How leading law firm Addleshaw Goddard is supporting Excellence in Business Awards

Rebecca KitsonRebecca Kitson
Rebecca Kitson
YORKSHIRE's leading firms can show they are committed to promoting excellence in business by engaging with their staff as the economy emerges from the pandemic, according to senior figures from law firm Addleshaw Goddard.

Leeds-based Addleshaw Goddard is one of the headline sponsors of The Yorkshire Post’s Excellence in Business awards, which celebrate the world class entrepreneurs who are bringing jobs and investment to the region.

Over the last week, employers around Britain have been studying the latest initiatives from the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help the economy cope with the pandemic, including the Job Support Scheme.

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Rebecca Kitson, a partner in Addleshaw Goddard's employment team said: “The Job Support Scheme is a much more targeted support package. It is only intended to protect jobs that are considered viable in the longer term. Jobs which are not considered viable will inevitably still be impacted by redundancy.

Shakeel DadShakeel Dad
Shakeel Dad

"There is no doubt that the JSS carries a greater financial burden for employers than the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

"It does mean that more redundancies are inevitable. Under furlough the can could be kicked down the road. JSS will require employers to take tough decisions about what jobs are really viable.”

:“You can only use JSS if there is enough work available for people to do. You have got to see a way out of it. Many employers are biting the bullet and reshaping their business now.

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"Employee engagement is absolutely critical. Most of our clients report increased productivity from staff working from home."

Ms Kitson added: "Excellence in business is all about employees feeling they have been treated well, feeling that they can see career progression and seeing that the business is committed to diversity and inclusion."

Shakeel Dad, who is also a partner in the firm's employment team, said: “The retail and hospitality sectors are under intense pressure and many of these businesses rely on Christmas as a key trading period. The coming months will be especially difficult for businesses in these sectors.

"I’m not sure that the JSS will have a huge impact on them. Businesses are trying to retain staff to the extent possible, but this is becoming increasingly difficult.

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“Firms are also considering how they can ensure that their workforce is fit for the future. Key aspects of this are employee engagement and the need for flexibility.

"For example, contracts that say people must work in the office five days a week, may no longer be fit for purpose.

"You will lose goodwill if you unilaterally impose contractual changes and so bringing employees on the journey with you is critical. One example of excellence in business is the number of firms who returned their furlough money. That shows they are committed to doing the right thing.”

The judging session for the Excellence in Business awards takes place on Friday.

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