CIPD joins government-backed advisory to help SMEs in coronavirus recession

The UK government has launched an initiative to provide SMEs with free business advice to help them survive the post-pandemic recession.

The Recovery Advice for Business (RAB) scheme is supported by 16 professional bodies and business services networks including the CIPD.

Emma Jones, founder of small business support network Enterprise Nation which runs the scheme, said the scheme is vital to SMEs.

She said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has left thousands of SMEs facing a set of completely new challenges now and into the future. There has never been a more important time for firms to turn to the trusted advice of a professional and start on a path to recovery."

To date 61 CIPD advisers have joined the RAB providing guidance on different aspects of best people practice.

Themes discussed so far have included ways to maintain motivation and positivity – both from the team perspective and in supporting leadership through change – communicating change, renegotiating salary and ending rolled up holiday pay.

Further reading and advice on this topic:

Back to life, back to (a new) reality: the workplace after furlough

HR urged to prepare for winter slump as workers flag potential burnout

Internal communications need to be rethought and reorganised

Speaking to HR magazine, Jones highlighted the myriad challenges businesses with little to no HR support are facing.

Adding that it would depend on how they had been affected by the crisis, she said: “Some are having difficult conversations with employees with regard to future prospects, while others are on a search for talent and figuring out how to integrate new people into a team that is not physically working as one.

"Every business owner I know is figuring out how to operate in the new normal, whether that be taking people on, or sadly letting them go.”

SMEs seeking advice and prospective advisers that hold a professional or trade body membership can join the RAB for free until 31 December this year.