Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 13.32.00A special seminar is being held next week (November 3) to help small and mid-sized businesses across the North East avoid potentially costly HR mistakes.

Louise Kennedy, of Sunderland-based Oculus HR, claims that many smaller businesses are unwittingly making themselves vulnerable because they don’t keep up to date on legal requirements.

And now the human resources expert is hosting a free masterclass, not only to bring the main issues of contention to the fore but to also give companies the opportunity to get a “health check” on their existing policies to ensure they are compliant.

“Often small to mid-sized business owners and managers may unwittingly make mistakes in overtime, wage and hour regulations; disciplinary and discriminatory practices,” said Louise.

“Unfortunately, these mistakes can be costly as well as create distractions that keep the company from performing at its best.

“Having the right guidance, policies and procedures helps not only look after a business but also staff feel reassured and looked after.”

The free HR masterclass is being held at Sunderland BIC on Tuesday November 3 from 9am until 11.30am and anyone wanting to book can do so at

The event will highlight all the HR policies and procedures employers need to have in place with attendees invited to take along their standard policies and procedures for a post-event session when they can be checked to see if they are compliant.

Louise, who is based at the e-volve Business Centre at Rainton Bridge, believes the session will help businesses avoid the pitfalls that can lead to employment tribunal.

“One of the biggest disputes for ACAS is unfair dismissal,” she said.

“At an employment tribunal one of the first questions would always be what procedure was followed to dismiss an employee.

“If employers do not follow an established procedure through the disciplinary process it can be a very costly mistake at a tribunal.

“The process needs to be established in a policy, which provides the employee and employer the control of the procedure.”

For further information about Oculus visit