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Certificate in Human Resource Practice

Categories: Human

Tutors: John Ashcroft and Suzanne Tyrrell Hand in date: 06/11/14 Weighting: 100% of module requirements (100% of learning outcomes). The CIPD Bank assignment contains the following information:

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Signed…Ben Sutcliffe……………………. Date: 05/11/14……………….. Submission: First
3HRC Understanding Organisations and the Role of Human Resources Ben Sutcliffe – 97023393 05/11/2014

An Introduction to Workwear Outlet
Workwear Outlet has been in its current location in Blackburn since September 2012.
The new site was purchased due to rapid growth in the business and a need for larger premises.

Purpose & Goals
Our core purpose is to help keep people safe at work.
Our primary goal is to make Workwear Outlet a great place to work and to grow
the business to become a ?50 million business by 2025. The Organisation
Workwear Outlet is a new venture by J&B Electric Powertools Ltd. It was opened in September 2012 in the current location in Blackburn. Work wear and PPE had been offered on the website since 2000 and slowly overtook the sale of power tools becoming the main focus of the business.

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Graham Heap, the Managing Director, is the son of John Heap who purchased the company in 1985 from the original owners Bancroft & Jagger who started the business in 1969. At Workwear Outlet we take pride in the knowledge and experience of our staff. This means we can offer all of our customers a complete solution to their work wear and safety needs. We offer our customers:

Work wear to suit any industry or environment.
Bespoke garments to fit any size.
Personalization and corporate logo design.
Embroidery, Vinyl Printing, Screen Printing & Direct to Garment Printing.
Advice & guidance on the right kit for the job.
A professional and efficient service.
All the key brands and the best staff in the industry.
Our Customers:
Government funded bodies – NHS, HMP, Schools, Universities and Local Authorities etc. Large national companies – The Range, Rolls Royce, Silentnight and Travis Perkins etc. Smaller local companies – Builders, Hair Salons, Garages, Florists and Garden Centres etc. Man on the street – our busy retail shop and trade counter offer a personal touch. The External Environment

As a business we need to be aware of external factors that can have either a positive or negative impact.

Interest Rates

Europe/Single Currency/Sterling

This has the ability to affect the bottom line of the company. The current rate of 0.5% means we can borrow and invest at lower rates than previous. Exchange rates can affect our profits when purchasing and selling in Europe.


General Economic Health

Decline in Competition


The “double dip” recession meant many construction workers were laid off, we were forced to diversify to maintain profit levels. The economic problems of the last few years have forced several smaller competitors into administration. High levels of unemployment mean fewer companies with less staff buying less work wear and PPE. Social

Emphasis on Safety

Ageing Population

Cultural Diversity

Companies and individuals are finally realising that it’s not “soft” to wear and use protective equipment. We may need to look at our product portfolio to suit older workers. We need to manage diversity in the workplace to ensure we are an equal opportunities employer.


I.T. Systems

Social Networks

The Internet

Changing technologies mean we need to stay current and up to date as the majority of our business is done online. This gives us new and unique ways of keeping our customer up to date with new products. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin . The internet gives us a platform to sell our products all over the world. Legal

Legislation means more PPE has to be used
Minimum Wage

Equal Opportunities Legislation

Increased sales opportunities.
This has the ability to affect the bottom line of the company. Recent change to ?6.50/hour. Legislation has a direct impact on the processes and practices of the company.

Waste Policy

Chain of Custody

Weather and Climate

Currently all waste is recycled in accordance with government recommendations. Products can be traced back to manufacturers ensuring no child labor or unethical practices have been used in the production of goods. This can be an opportunity to supply work wear to people working in extreme environments.

Key External Factors and the affect they have on our business
Emphasis on Safety
Over the past 20 years cultures have slowly changed to accept that wearing PPE is the norm. Previously there has been a culture of people thinking they did not need to wear safety boots and hi-visibility clothing. The building trade especially had a culture of dangerous practices that due to legislation and education have now been eradicated. Long gone are the days of sending the apprentice to the top of a scaffold without a safety line while carrying a hod laden with bricks! Legislation and changing attitudes towards H&S have brought new and exciting opportunities and markets; this has allowed us to expand into new areas and increase sales and margin

. Minimum Wage

From October 1st 2014 the National Minimum Wage changed from ?6.19/hour to ?6.50/hour. As we employ a large number of minimum wage workers this has had an impact on the wage bill. This increased wage cost needs to be paid for by increasing sales and margin. By working closer to our customers and developing new customers we can increase turnover by offering additional services. These can include personalising work wear with company logos, consignment stock, offering bespoke services and finding new and more diverse markets. Australia and New Zealand are way behind the UK in terms of H&S legislation yet there are many UK nationals working in these countries. By developing this market we can offset the increased wage costs against the increase in sales.

Social Networks

As a company whose business is mainly online we were slow to embrace Social Networks. We initially feared that giving customers a platform to talk to each other could be damaging and that one negative customer could have the potential to lose us business. As social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have grown in popularity we have now embraced this technology. We have actually found it an excellent and free way to promote special offers and to keep customer informed of changes to H&S legislation.

Weather & Climate

The weather and climate have a direct influence on our business. Many garments are seasonal. In the UK we see a clear shift in which products are being sold as the seasons change. We need to be ready for the seasonal changes and ensure we have the correct stock in the warehouse. As we also sell into Europe we need to be aware of the climates of different countries. The climate can also affect the supply of goods. Freak snowstorms, gales, floods etc. can all have an impact on our ability to receive deliveries and get goods out to our customers. We also need to be aware of the weather from a H&S point, decreased visibility and increased potential for slips and harm need to be properly managed through risk assessments.

Structure of the Organisation

Workwear Outlet is a family run firm with 22 members of staff working at the Blackburn site. Graham Heap is the Managing Director. He oversees the whole operation from the top down. Senior Managers are employed to run the relevant departments. Since opening in 2012 with 6 staff the company has grown to its current level. We are still recruiting sales and warehouse staff as we continue to grow. Ben Sutcliffe manages the sales, customer services and telesales staff, he also manages the sales executives. Ben has been with the company since March 2013 after ten years as a manager with Jewson builders merchant. He has overall responsibility for H.R. and is currently gaining qualifications from C.I.P.D. Paul Disley has been with the company for 11 years initially working at the Bolton site for Powertool Direct.

Paul writes all the company software, maintains the webservers and manages all the I.T. functions for the business. Paul has been instrumental in setting up the telesales office and designing call monitoring software and databases to maximize efficiency. Scott Livesey and Zach Baig are recent recruits to Workwear Outlet. Both have joined as apprentices. Scott has joined on a warehousing apprenticeship and works picking, booking in and dispatching orders. He is supervised by the warehouse & procurement manager Jayne Rostron. Zach is currently undertaking a web design and programming apprenticeship and works closely with Paul Disley.

Both Scott and Zach will be employed fulltime on satisfactory completion of their apprenticeships. All departments are linked and work closely together. The sales teams take orders and input them onto the system. The I.T. department feeds in the orders from the website. Standard orders are sent to the warehouse for picking and dispatch. Bespoke items and special orders are placed by procurement. Customer service informs customers about expected delivery times and potential issues. Personalised garments are prepared in our art department ready for dispatch. Accounts and payments are handled by accounts. Each function is interlinked and essential to our success.

The structure of the business is changing. Due to rapid expansion managers are doing multiple roles. As we continue to grow new talent will be brought in to manage specific departments.

Culture of the Organisation

Workwear Outlet has clear lines of management and responsibility but the overall atmosphere is informal the majority of the time. Staff are friendly to each other and grievances are uncommon. All lines of communication lead back to Graham Heap through the management team. This could be defined as a power culture.

The main advantage of this is that decisions can be made quickly. Graham Heap is a charismatic leader and has the full support of the management team and staff. As we develop and mature as a company we are moving more towards a role culture.This will allow us to clearly define roles and procedures and as we grow will mean new employees have set policies and procedures to follow. This will make training easier as it will not be on an ad-hoc basis as previous.

Different types of organizational culture can affect operations in several ways, these can include;

Initiative or Empowerment
Internal Regulation
External Regulation
Honesty & Ethics
Management Style

Workwear Outlet is fairly open in terms of staff being aware of any current issues facing the business. The staff are aware of how well we are doing financially and this has a positive effect on morale and productivity. Both the sales teams and warehouse staff have a hunger to be the best at what we do and to always improve on the past years performance. Being a family run company we believe that the staff have a right to know how we are performing. Our aim is to be the best at what we do and by sharing our successes with the staff we believe it creates a positive environment. We are now a very diverse employer, from being a traditionally local employer of mainly white males we now employ 8 women and cover most ethnic and religious backgrounds. Not only does this make the workplace more interesting and culturally diverse but it also improves sales and productivity. By having Urdu and Punjabi speaking staff we are able to communicate better with customers whose first language is not English.

How Human Resources support the organization.
Cost Savings

HR can contribute to cost savings. One way is through sickness/absence management. If the cost of sickness can be reduced there is potentially a large saving to be made. This has a direct impact on the bottom line and profitability of the company. By managing sickness and absence in a fair way it ensures everyone works together and there is no bad feeling when a colleague is genuinely ill.

Helping manage staff fairly

When under pressure it can be hard for managers to recognise the need to treat their staff fairly. HR can provide support and guidance to ensure the company operates in a fair and legal way and is not open to tribunal action. We aim to be a fair and fun place to work where the employees want to work and stay. We do not want a high turnover of staff as we believe this is counterproductive to growth and success. As we invest time and money in training our staff we want them to work for us and not the competition.

Helping with change

HR can support the change management process by working closely with senior management. This can involve changes in job descriptions and working closely with the staff involved. Although we have never been in a position to make anyone redundant if the case ever arose HR would have an important role to play in advising management on policies and legalities and in calculating any final pay and settlements. HR can provide any paperwork and support to
any changes relating to staff.

How Human Resources Support Line Managers

Justifying Management Actions

All decisions made by managers that affect staff need to be communicated in a clear and understandable way. HR can also assist line managers in the actual decision making process to ensure the actions are fair and legal.

Dealing with Employees problems

HR can provide a neutral role in resolving any employee grievances. Although line managers can deal with the majority of grievances sometimes HR need to become involved if legal advice or guidance is required. Employee problems such as early retirement, bereavement and redundancy will all be handled by HR.

Advisory Role

One of the main functions of HR is to advise line managers. HR staff have specialist knowledge and can provide guidelines for line managers to work within. Two very important areas in which advice is given are disciplinary procedures and employment law.

We look forward to you joining our team and being part of Workwear Outlet

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Certificate in Human Resource Practice. (2016, Jun 17). Retrieved from

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