01664 668164
Call us today!
Peter Etherington
Telephone number

Employment Update for Small Businesses
August 2019

Dear Subscriber

I have just purchased a VIP package for Showtime 100 (see below) for Lindsey and her family, as a thank you to her for her wonderful work and also to support a local theatre company that is very close to my heart! This has prompted me to base this month’s newsletter on reward for staff and, for small employers in particular, how to reward effectively without incurring excessive cost.

I have also used this opportunity to promote Showtime 100, in case you would also like to treat your own staff to a spectacular event!

Please contact me if you would like to find out a bit more about any of the subjects raised in this update or if you need any help or advice.

Please forward this email to any of your contacts who might find it of benefit.

Peter Etherington
Tel: 01664 668164


Twitter Facebook LinkedIn
Peter Etherington
Guide to Rewarding Staff
Low Cost Options
Most employers will appreciate that it is important to reward staff for good work, and to acknowledge their loyalty, commitment and flexibility where appropriate. Some employers will have commission and bonus schemes which are closely linked to performance (individual, organisational or a combination of the two). But that is not always easy to achieve in smaller organisations, particularly where individual contribution doesn’t easily translate into sales.

So how can a smaller employer show their appreciation for staff without incurring huge additional costs? In this article we consider a number of lower cost options.

Acknowledge success

It costs nothing to thank someone for a particularly good piece of work. People like to know that they are doing a good job, and positive feedback from their manager in a timely and sincere manner can be very effective. If the thanks and acknowledgement is done in a public forum (e.g. at a team meeting) then this can encourage others to step up also.

Thanks and congratulations should, however, be used sparingly and in reaction to a specific achievement at the time it happens (or shortly afterwards). Otherwise it can lose its impact and can in fact come across as a bit meaningless or condescending.

Give spontaneous rewards

On a hot sunny day, why not pop out and buy ice lollies for all the staff? It creates a bit of fun whilst showing the staff that you appreciate them. There are lots of other types of spontaneous low-cost rewards to consider, from inviting staff to a drink after work on a Friday to bringing in a box of pastries or fruit.

Just remember that you may have some staff who have dietary restrictions or who don’t drink alcohol, so make sure you take them into consideration as far as possible.

Offer rewards that also enhance your brand or status in your local community

Why not use reward giving as an opportunity to advertise! If you are doing something fun with your team, and particularly if it is in connection with a local charity or community project, then it is easy to put together a press release about the activity. If you struggle to recruit good staff, this sort of profile can help attract interest from job hunters.

Teaming up with a local charity and perhaps “adopting” it as an organisation can help focus activities and can lead to an ongoing narrative of good news stories and rewarding events for staff (whilst helping the charity, of course).

Why not start today by buying a VIP Package for The Melton Musical Theatre Company’s centenary celebration, Showtime 100?! (see below).

Offer welfare benefits

It seems that there has been a huge increase in mental health problems at work in recent years, so offering support and understanding to staff helps to instil loyalty and positive feelings towards work. There are a number of reasonably priced options for Employee Assistance Programmes, that provide confidential helplines covering counselling as well as more practical matters such as finance and legal matters.

Private health care can be very expensive, but there are some lower cost options to consider that do not amount to full private health cover but can still support staff when they are unwell. NHS top-up schemes can provide cash support ranging from car park costs when attending hospital, to payment for eye tests (which employers must cover in any case for staff who use computers).

If you would like the details of our recommended provider, please contact us.

Consider flexible working

Depending on the nature of your work place, it may be quite easy and cost neutral to offer more flexibility to staff at work. For instance, flexitime can work well, if it does not matter too much when staff start and finish work. Quite often employers will have core hours that must be worked (e.g. 10.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m.) but can offer flexibility outside those hours.

Holiday buy-back schemes allow staff to increase their holiday entitlement in return for a commensurate reduction in their salary. Some schemes allow staff to “sell” holiday back to their employer if they would rather have an increase in their salary.

Home-working can also work well in some organisations, whether that is on an occasional basis or more frequently.

If you would like to discuss these options further, please contact us and we can support the introduction of such schemes

Support Your Local Theatre
100 Years of The Melton Musical Theatre Company

Many of you will know that I am a bit of a luvvy at heart! I have performed on stage on a number of occasions with The Melton Musical Theatre Company (TMMTC), which this year is celebrating 100 years. TMMTC was formed in 1919 by the composer, Malcolm Sargent, and is still going strong.

We are holding a special VIP performance of our celebratory show on 3rd October for local businesses. If you would like to support us, and at the same time obtain tickets to reward your staff , please click on the image above. It is going to be a great evening, in spite of the fact that I have a few solo slots

National Minimum and Living Wage Rate​s
The current National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates are:

  • £8.21 per hour for workers aged 25 and over
  • £7.70 per hour for workers aged 21 to 24
  • £6.15 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20
  • £4.35 per hour for workers aged 16 and 17
  • £3.90 per hour for apprentices under 19 and those over 19 in their first year*

*N.B. Apprentices over 19 and who have completed at least one year are entitled to the appropriate rate for their age.