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Start Up HR - first time employer

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Employment Law


Donna, at Spirit HR, was called upon to aid in an employment tribunal case, and throughout the whole process was on hand to offer support, guidance and a completely professional service. Donna’s knowledge of employment law is second to none and even when I thought I knew what I was doing, Donna was able to offer an insight that would otherwise not have been obvious to me. I had tried to manage the redundancy process alone in order to save money but, with hindsight, I wished I had included Donna right from the start of the process as this would have prevented some of the pitfalls along the way. Donna is someone that is approachable, professional and is someone that every small company should have on the end of the phone. She is fab!!

Tanya Richardson | Director | A Touch of Eden

Without HR in the business, and no expertise in that area, when a sickness absence matter started to become complex we took a recommendation to get support from Spirit HR. As Spirit HR started to work through the case we soon recognised how easy it would have been for us to make a mistake if we'd tried to deal with it on our own - employment law is really complex with so much of it set by tribunal cases. Spirit HR's expertise in management planning of the issue and their grasp of the law became really clear – and they gave us tips in other HR areas too. We were really pleased with the outcome and would recommend Spirit HR's services to other businesses.

Adrian Brown - MD
Plumb-Line Contracting Ltd

We always knew Employment law was a difficult area. With Spirit HR's advice we realise that it's even more complex with so many nuances. We can see how businesses can make an error even when trying to do the right thing. Fortunately we haven’t had a big HR problem to deal with, but we do have a number of small issues that we might not be quite sure how to handle. The benefit of Spirit HR is they are on the end of the phone, they listen and consider the problem (and our business resources), and suggest a solution that is legal, and practical from the business owner's point of view. Spirit HR draft our communications, and discuss how we'll strategically manage an issue so that we understand what we're aiming for. They also come out the office when we need to go through things face to face. We've used their Occupational Health associate too – who did some excellent work for us that enabled us to proactively and successfully manage a number of HR issues with the support of factual health information. We are happy to recommend them to other businesses.

Sarah Rogers - Director
EM Rogers Ltd

We could not have been happier with the level of service we received from Sprit HR. From our first contact we were met by an experienced and professional representative (Donna Fairbrass) who listened to the rather lengthy detail of our situation, recommended a way forward and was ultimately willing to perform the central role in a disciplinary appeal hearing where impartiality was of paramount importance. All meetings had to be conducted outside normal working hours; where else would we have received this kind of service? Thank you Spirit HR.

Adrian Thacker - Chairman
Friends of Delapre Abbey (FoDA)

Donna has recently worked with us on a staff issue resulting in Dismissal and then an appeal. She was really supportive, giving us excellent advice and support. Her knowledge was extensive and accurate. She attended the appeal meeting and supported one of our directors though the minefield, that is HR law. I would have no hesitation recommending the services of Spirit HR which is unfortunately a service we all need from time to time if we employ staff.

Sali Brown - Managing Director
Chelton Brown Ltd

Following a recommendation to me from a local solicitor I am writing to thank Spirit HR for the assistance they gave me over a discipline matter.
We did follow your advice, and I thank you for offering this free of charge.

We wouldn't hesitate to return to you if we needed HR services in the future. Thank you.

J Buckley - Secretary
Daventry Working Men's Club

Running a business is tough enough without the nightmare of ploughing through the legal minefield of HR issues. As a small health & social care business we have to be focused on caring for our clients 100% throughout the working day, so when employee issues arise we need to be able to call upon the services of a professional. Having worked with other HR companies in the past we never felt totally satisfied or confident, so when an HR issue occurred over the Christmas period we contacted Donna Fairbrass at Spirit HR. Donna was an absolute star, she met with us in the evening so that it didn't encroach on the business during the day & she even met with us whilst she was closed over the Christmas period.

Donna handled the HR issues with complete professionalism & we had 100% confidence in her knowledge and abilities.

We would thoroughly recommend Donna & Spirit HR, her guidance & expertise is invaluable.

Rachael Warwick - Director
Brixworth Nursery Farm

Facing an unprecented set of circumstances and having regrettably suffered what could have been an expensive exercise through our lack of knowledge, we recognised that we needed expert HR advice, and Donna at Spirit HR fitted our requirements perfectly. After an initial consultation meeting, Donna quickly and simply organised the correct procedures required and set about the tasks needed to streamline our business. By supplying verbal and written guidance and 'holding our hand' at difficult employee meetings, we were able to tackle the problems of redundancies and short-term working weeks, with the full knowledge that correct procedures were being adopted. In addition, Spirit HR supply templates for difficult employee letters, and the whole process was achieved with the minimum of fuss and disruption to our day to day activities. We have no hesitation in recommending the locally based Spirit-HR, and look forward to our continued association with Donna and her team

Ian J. Mayes, Commercial Director
S. W. Wreford & Sons Limited t/a Wreford's Transport
(01604) 761429

We already knew Spirit HR, and naturally called when difficult and challenging HR situations arose in our business. We were really worried about the legal aspects of handling the situations, but knew enough to know the risk and cost of making a mistake was high. We called Spirit HR and they immediately understood the issues, talked us though the legal situation, the options and then fully supported us all the way through including running meetings to ensure things were correct. And we had the perfect outcome each time. What’s great is Donna’s easy but clear approach, and the flexibility of the service. Now if we have staff problems we just ring up Spirit HR and know they will always fix them for us, and we get on with what we do best - fixing cars!

Mark & Colleen O’Callaghan, Directors
Calmac Tyres

Despite having our own in-house HR team for our 150 staff, with tough times upon us we felt the need for specialist support and guidance on some difficult HR matters. Spirit HR responded promptly to our enquiry, and quickly understood the situation in our business. As anticipated, things did become very difficult, but Spirit HR continued to provide advice, guidance and a presence on-site. Also to our benefit, with Spirit HR’s solution we were able to retain the skilled staff we needed. Throughout this time Spirit HR forged excellently working relationships with our own HR team. We would recommend their services to any local business.

James Prince
BCC Marketing

Spirit HR was recommended to us when we developed HR problems in our organisation. The situation was complex and sensitive involving a multifaceted problem with some history between two prominent employees. We needed external specialist HR support to best handle the situation to bring in some impartiality. Spirit HR was flexible in meeting times, fitted us around their existing commitments, and attended meetings at our offices dealing with some difficult situations. Their advice was clear along with options and preferred route for the best outcome along with thoughts about preparation for other scenarios.

Caroline Ward, CEO

HR is a complex area in any business type and we knew we needed someone with experience when we had to address HR issues in one of our businesses. Our accountant recommended Spirit HR who have been brilliant at working through our problem. Donna strategically planned the process, taking into account the employee, gave us verbal and written advice, provided us with letters to send, and attended meetings. She also knew the small detail of the law – which we did not – that meant we dealt with things correctly, and, as things turned out, to our benefit. We would be happy to recommend Spirit HR to other business owners.

Tanya and Andy Richardson
Eden Kids Club, Stanwick (part of A Touch of Eden)

Spirit HR have been such a support to us in dealing with employment issues - even being flexible in coming to meet with us in the evening after the business is closed. We want to say "Thank you" also tto the company for being on our wavelength - very refreshing - we actually commented that we felt the confidence to tackle our issue full on with Spirit HR supporting us fully and acting as our guide. We would thoroughly recommend - and already have!

Steve Ware, Neil Brailsford & Vernon Frost
The Shop @ Stanwick

Winners of the Countryside Alliance Award 2008

Tel: 01933 622055

Spirit HR provided us with excellent advice and support when setting up a new business in the UK. We knew we needed to understand the legal implications of employing people, but didn’t know exactly what they were. Spirit HR gave us the guidance, documents and the support we needed to get things right. Spirit HR have a knack of being able to talk about HR from a general business context and talk in a straightforward way. We would readily recommend their services to other business owners.

Susan Roberts
Mike De Brie Group (1896) Limited

Tel: 01604 879875

Donna has worked with the FSS for a 2 year period supporting the HR team with responsibility for providing advice and guidance to managers and directors across the organisation.

In particular Donna has taken the lead on the following:

  • Advising manager and directors on the people aspects of both preparing for and executing business change.
  • Developing people management skills across various levels of management.
  • Managing and advising on investigations, disciplinaries and grievance.
  • Advising managers on the practical application of employment legislation within the FSS environment

The Forensic Science Service

This is just a quick note to pass on my sincere thanks for your help and professional assistance during the recent events here at CDR Pumps when we had a redundancy situation.

As you are more than aware, these are daunting times for anyone who doesn't have the experience or knowledge to undertake such actions, and the assurances, as you gave me during our many phases of coaching meant that I could effectively make the redundancy in a safe manner to the business, while ensuring our very best care and attention to the employee at all times.

I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending your services to other people that I meet, and will more than happily return to you for any future requirements or advise that I will need.

Ashley Fenn
Managing Director
CDR Pumps UK Ltd

Spirit HR takes many of the hard things you have to do in your business and makes them easy. Donna takes the time to understand our HR issues before laying out all available courses of action, with her recommendations. She operates at my speed and is there with support and excellent guidance when we need it. Thanks to her we recently resolved a problem quickly, efficiently, legally, and to the satisfaction of all parties. There is no-one else I trust to keep my business legal with its people problems.

Paul Green
Publicity Heaven

Donna has proved to be invaluable to Screen WM, supporting us through a period of major restructuring and change. She has always been available to offer solid, constructive advice, guiding us through any legal issues with clarity. When companies undergo change, it is so important to have someone you can rely on for support, but also someone you can trust to give you the right advice. On top of all that, she's really great to work with!

Suzie Norton, CEO
Screen WM, 9 Regent Place , Birmingham , B1 3NJ
T: 0121 265 7120
M: 07971 952571
F: 0121 265 7180

Over recent years Donna has helped me and my business on a whole range of personnel and health and safety matters, from policies and procedures to staff contracts and appraisals to the difficult area of discipline, including hearings and appeals when it is so important to be right as an employer.

Donna is a true professional - her  advice is always quickly given, informative and helpful. She ensures that the interests of the business are looked after without detracting from the rights of the employee. I have no hesitation in recommending Donna's services to anyone who needs assistance from a human resources practitioner with experience and expertise.

John Murray
Managing Director
The Royal Hotel Company UK

I just wanted to let you know how wonderful it was to deal with you regarding the contracts of employment for my staff. As there is so much legislation, which is constantly changing in the world we live in today, it is a very delicate matter, which if not dealt with correctly can cost a business thousands of pounds.

You really went the extra mile for me. Not only did you meet every requirement I set you, you found out what I needed to know and explained it to me thoroughly. I would have no hesitations in recommending your services.

Jacqui Frost
The Office Genie

As a small company employing fewer than fifty members of staff, our HR requirements have always been outsourced. Spirit HR came highly recommended by one of our customers when we had to deal with a staffing restructure issue.

On our initial contact with Spirit HR, our issues were discussed with Donna Fairbrass who gave us the options where Spirit HR would deal with the whole situation, or just give advice and guidance, allowing our company to manage our costs and the pace of dealing with what has now become a minefield of processes and procedures, with the added reassurance of there professionalism and no hard sell.

We would strongly recommend Spirit HR to any of our customers who require any assistance in this area.

Claudio Mongiardi
General manager
APR Engineering Ltd

Donna helped me with all legal matters relating to staff issues when I brought a small hairdressing business. As l live quite away from Donna we had many telephone conversations about the work I needed her to do this included guiding me through redundancy procedure and drawing up staff contracts. All the information given to me was easy to understand. Donna responds straight away to any question I asked and always returns my telephone calls immediately. I receive additional information through out the year relating to law changes which I find very helpful.

Clare Fitzsimmons
Business Owner
Simply Hair

Donna did a great job. She is totally professional with knowledge of employment law, including dismissal procedure. She led me through many aspects of contracts of employment, job description, and even guided me on some areas of Health & Safety. Donna is easy to work with and has a great sense of humour. I feel I only touched on her great wealth of knowledge. I would have no hesitation recommending her company, Spirit HR, to my professional network.

Claire Allen
Skipps Florest

"As usual you've explained things very clearly and I understand exactly what I need to do now … thank you"

David Baker
Raid UK