The case for joined up L&D strategy is clearly made out

The case for joined up L&D strategy is clearly made out in the LETR final report.

The value of cpd

The Legal Education & Training Review report recognises the need for cpd to provide “intentional, meaningful learning”, not merely a points or hours-based system which is open to abuse.  Clearly it is in the interest of practices to know how their regulated staff are using their cpd and to ensure it dovetails with business need.  These are the sorts of things that get those expensive business plans implemented.  If you have not got an joined up L&D strategy I’d be happy to help.

Good learning practices serve business

The lessons learned from the Work Based Learning (“WBL”) pilot trainee programme are well made; ultimately participants found they had achieved higher levels of learning and were better able to evidence their achievements than their colleagues with traditional traineeships.  Seasoned practitioners would do well to think-on about this.  The skills involved in making WBL work will serve your business; it supports collaborative working, communication, cross-selling… all that good stuff that needs a bit of planning and some confidence in order to gain momentum .

Learning “every day”

The use of WBL is endorsed and its relevance post-qualification is highlighted.  Clearly, when legal professionals learn at their desks every day, there should be mechanisms for capturing and formalising that learning.  I have done a lot of work on WBL, so if you want to talk about this, L&D strategy or any other professional development matter, do call me on 07799 237479 or email

Athena Professional helps business realise the value of their people.

Managing Absence

Everybody is absent from time to time, is ill or has personal emergencies.  Expected absences are part of normal day to day and most organisations can cope with these, even if at times they are inconvenient.

But what do you do when the absence starts to become a problem?

There is always something that can be done, however, some key questions need to be answered before you do anything.

These questions include:

  • What is the reason for the absence?
  • How long have they been off?
  • How much longer are they likely to be off?
  • How frequent have the absences been?
  • What does your policy say about this type of absence?
  • What are the legal requirements?
  • What have you done in the past?

Key considerations

Have a conversation As their employer you need to understand the situation in so far   as it affects their ability to do their role.  It can sometimes be difficult to do this without a face to face meeting, but this should always be the goal.

It is important to show you are a caring employer, but also that you take these issues seriously   and have an expectation that your employees will keep you up to date with   their current situation and will not take advantage of your caring nature

Policies, contract   and handbook These provide a reference point for your policies on absence, dependants, sickness, holidays and other types of absence, giving a framework within which you can operate
Frequency and   duration Make sure you have all your facts and figures to hand.  Follow your organisations’s procedures around frequency and duration of absence, particularly relevant to sickness and dependants leave.
Ensure your existing   policies and procedures are followed Your contract and handbook are likely to include the procedure to be followed when absent or off sick, specifically whether or not they need to self certify, and at what point a fit note is required.

These together with   the frequency and duration information will provide a starting point for the conversation when absence becomes a problem.

Appropriate independent   advice Sickness can be difficult to tackle without a good working   knowledge of both the medical condition and the working environment.

Getting input from an occupational health professional can be very helpful to assess the medical implications for the environment in which the employee is working.

Pay This depends upon current legislation and your policy and   practice.  There are some absences for which you are required to pay, eg SSP, maternity, otherwise unless your   policy provides an entitlement to paid time off you need to apply  management discretion.

Some firms allow time off but unpaid, others are more flexible and will pay the employee but expect hours to be made up.

Return to work   interview These are proven to have a marked impact on absence of all   kinds.  A conversation with a line manager, of which a note is kept, on return to work provides evidence:

  • You have noticed the absence
  • You care whether your staff turn up for work
  • Upon which you can make decisions on action to take.

If you would like to discuss the points raised in this post, or would like more information contact us on 07977 932551 or email