THE-HR-DEPTHuman Resources expert Simon Morgan has taken on a new colleague and moved into new offices as he celebrates a decade since setting up his own business.

To mark the occasion, Mr Morgan was joined at a recent celebration by some of his long-standing clients at which he thanked them for their historic and ongoing support.

Mr Morgan set up The HR Dept South East London and North Kent in September 2007, to provide high quality yet affordable outsourced HR advice and support to SMEs in the area.

The move to set up on his own came after 30 years working in corporate HR, in various private sector roles heading up HR and training departments.

Now, after a successful decade running his own HR business, he has established a client base of 50 local firms.

Half of those clients have been with him for over five years and five of the businesses he works with have been using his services for almost the full decade. High profile clients include the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, Bird College of Performing Arts in Sidcup and mobile crane firm Bronzeshield Lifting, in Crayford.

With his sights set on further business growth, Mr Morgan has moved to new offices in Basepoint Dartford in Dartford Business Park and has appointed John Quigley, an experienced employment lawyer and qualified HR professional, to help him grow the business further.

Mr Morgan said: “It is great to have John on board. The size of my client base now is making things rather busy so having John’s expertise will help manage my current workload and also help us plan for future expansion.

“My clients, which range from larger employers to, typically, businesses with fewer than 20 employees, are organisations which don’t need an in-house HR Department but do recognise the need for professional expertise when staffing issues arise, as they inevitably will.

“With the economic uncertainty of Brexit to dominate in the years ahead and major changes in data protection laws coming next year, there will continue to be plenty of HR issues on which SMEs will need advice and support. So the new offices and John’s appointment are vital moves to keep the client base growing, as I expect it to do.”

Mr Morgan said that cultural and technological trends had changed the world of human resources significantly since he originally set up his business.

“The development of social media has created huge potential for staff problems, with some staff wasting their hours away or venting their frustrations publicly,” he said. “But it has also become the new way to find employees. In fact, the internet has transformed recruitment with most job vacancies now being advertised via online job boards.

“The growth of flexible working patterns has meant that people work in more varied ways, with variable hours, zero hours and home working contracts much more the norm. These working patterns suit many people but place increased demands on employers to ensure effective staff communications, management and training.

“So my work is becoming much more varied than before, tailored to people’s individual situations rather than a standard template. Related to this is the growth of the gig economy with many more people being classified as self-employed even though they are often working with one employer and under that employer’s control. As a result, there have been more challenges at tribunals and a wholesale review of employment status is underway.

“Individual employment rights have been strengthened in many respects, with the introduction of the national living wage, improvements in family friendly leave, abolition of retirement age and pensions auto-enrolment. But at the same time, these have placed more costs and burdens on employers. There’s a lot for employers to take on board and professional assistance can really help.”

The HR Dept South East London and North Kent is part of a network of businesses operating under licence from a national company based in Bristol.

Operating across the UK, Ireland and Australia, The HR Dept has a network of 63 licensees working in 85 territories, providing the full breadth of HR services, from recruitment, contracts, employee relations, training, and benefits, as well as policies and administration, to SMEs in their local areas.

Gemma Tumelty, managing director of The HR Dept, said: “We congratulate Simon on a successful decade in business and wish him continued success for the future. The development of The HR Dept South East London and North Kent is a great example of how an owner managed business can be the perfect solution for professional services experts who want to work under their own steam.”

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