Business Staffing During Strike Action, Retaining Your Talent + Organisational Sustainability Tips

AUGUST 2023. By Kimberly Bradshaw (CEO, Spotlight HR.)

In our August 2023 roundup, where we cover the HR matters of most importance to you. With recent flashbacks to the 70s in terms of strike action, we look at what measures are being considered to maintain staffing during industrial action. Also, we consider why there is a rise in counteroffers to retain valuable employees from leaving. Plus, we look at business sustainability as a tool to promote growth and longevity – and finally, our tribunal looks at neurodiversity in the workplace. So, strap yourselves in – here we go!

Staffing during strike action – The latest update on government intervention

Barely a week passes without some kind of industrial action taking place, which remains a challenge for many business owners – and the public – regardless of political opinions. During August, the government began discussing what trade unions needed to cover when planning industrial action – including ensuring enough workers would be available during strikes.

The results will help create future staffing rules for unions in important industries. These rules will ensure that unions cooperate with employers before going on strike. Although not active yet, these will form the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act of 2023, GOV.UK (

We will keep you posted on developments.

Retaining your talent – The growing trend of counteroffers to retain existing employees

This is a real sign of the times. For financial, time-saving and business continuity reasons, keeping your most valuable employees from leaving is sensible.

In fact, a recent survey by CIPD of 2000 UK employers showed that 40% of them have tried to keep their employees from leaving by making counteroffers. This happened most often in London, with 58% of employers doing so.

To convince their employees to stay, 38% of these employers matched the salary offered by another job, and 40% offered even more money. This data comes from the latest CIPD Labour Market Outlook, and you can read the full CIPD lowdown here.

Striking the right balance in terms of incentive, persuasion and financial outlay in these negotiations is crucial.

Need some advice? Drop us a line.

Through the HR lens – How can workplace sustainability deliver more for SME businesses?

It’s sometimes easy to confuse business sustainability with practical measures like office recycling. Here, we explore the bigger sustainability picture – because the scope for regeneration and reward are impressive.

In today’s terms, sustainability is all about people and balance: treating people ethically and fairly across the workforce, supply chains, and communities – and it’s not a passing trend – especially when you consider 34% of global investments are in sustainability, 55% of employees prefer responsible employers, and 40% of millennials choose jobs based on sustainability (read more here). Sustainability is now proving itself crucial for success, growth – and profitability. But the larger question remains: How best to implement this in your organisation?

In simple terms, business sustainability relies on people. It involves investing in the right technology and making a commitment to creating truly sustainable organisations. You also need to measure and improve your sustainability efforts. The main goal is to ensure that businesses can grow without harming the environment, which can be achieved by harnessing the skills and dedication of your people.

When everyone works together in the right direction, you can achieve both profitable and sustainable growth. But how can you go about this?

Spotlight HR’s Top Tips: The six pillars for organisational sustainability

Recently, at Spotlight HR, we’ve been doing a lot of work involving translating organisational goals around sustainability into role objectives for different parts of the organisation, which is about implementation, goal setting and measuring success.

The six pillars to consider for sustainable workplaces:

  1. Wellbeing and Balance: Prioritise employee health and financial stability, offering support to ease concerns.
  2. Trust and Transparency: Build trust with transparent pay and responsible data use.
  3. Empowerment and Growth: Empower employees for personal and career growth, connecting them to the company’s future.
  4. Sustainable Engagement: Involve employees in environmental efforts and skills sharing.
  5. Health & Safety: Ensure safety and well-being in the workplace and beyond.
  6. Diversity & Inclusion: Foster belonging and equal opportunities with transparent technology.


Most importantly, sustainability is about ensuring the long-term survival of businesses by having the ability to grow and adapt without causing harm to the environment. This makes you more attractive to employees and candidates and gives your business investment kudos and longevity. Every business is unique – if you want some advice on future-proofing your sustainability, please get in touch.

Employment Tribunal in focus – Neurodivergence and reasonable adjustments

We chose this tribunal for August because, at Spotlight HR, we are seeing a real uptick in projects involving neurodiversity.  This case involves a gentleman who claimed that his autism and Asperger’s syndrome hindered him during the application process to take a judicial role.

He’d asked for simpler questions and live practice scenarios to assist his neurodiversity. However, the court ruled in favour of the commission, stating that the challenging tests and forms were designed to assess candidates fairly. They cited some additional assistance, such as offline submissions, and aid from others had been offered. However, his request for multiple live practice scenarios was deemed impractical. The court concluded that he had received reasonable help, and his desired reasonable adjustments were not feasible.

What is the take-home from this? The topic of reasonable adjustments for employees is an ever-increasing and complex area of employment law, as is supporting neurodiversity in the workplace. The good news is, we stay up to speed, so you can too. For professional, up-to-date HR advice, you know where we are!

If you need HR advice or are affected by any of these issues discussed this month. We are here to help.