Specialist employment law firm and HR consultancy business ESPHR has provided UK businesses with more than 800 hours of employer-based advice last month – a 60% increase compared to time logged in March 2019.


Following the Coronavirus outbreak, over 200 organisations on ESPHR’s customer books – that operate in sectors including hospitality, retail and property and have workforces ranging from 500 employees to over 40,000 staff – have requested critical legal and Employee Relations (ER) advice to help their firms restructure, furlough staff and survive the global crisis.


ESPHR’s market-leading ER online case management system, MyHRCases, has recorded a total of 449 enquiries spanning over 800 hours in March – of which approximately 50% were dedicated solely to COVID-related enquiries.


As a result, ESPHR has reported a 117% increase on its lowest month of advice given in June 2019. Fielding calls and emails – to deliver real-time employment law guidance to several stricken firms across the UK – ESPHR’s legal team has helped employers to understand furlough, the Job Retention Scheme, and answer queries concerning redundancy, employee sickness absence and pay.


Delving into its MyHRCases detail further, media and hospitality organisations have recorded the most amount of advice, closely followed by retail firms and property organisations.


The South East topped the total amount of advice too, with 42%. They were followed by London (26%), the North (10%), South West (7%), West Midlands (6%), the North West (5%) and East of England (4%).


Alongside real-time assistance, ESPHR’s team has produced several advice-led blogs, thought leadership articles, an informative e-newsletter and ongoing social media content to continue to update its customer base – which includes Greene King plc, Ladbrokes Coral Group and Randstad.


Speaking about MyHRCases’ COVID-19 figures for March 2020, ESPHR founder Pete Byrne said: “The sheer number of hours logged has been phenomenal, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down as the UK lockdown continues and more firms try their best to survive.


“The team has spent an exponential amount of time assisting a range of organisations in crisis and helping them so that they can battle through a truly critical time – and come out the other end with a viable business.


“It’s been a remarkable effort from our workforce, and I can’t thank them enough for their determination and unwavering efforts to keep supporting those in need – they continue to go above and beyond to help customers save their companies and jobs.”


MyHRCases is a smart, cloud-based ER case management system developed by ESPHR to provide real-time visibility and reporting capability on all cases to its HR customers. Customers can also access an extensive online portal of legally-compliant, downloadable resources to help guide and upskill teams when they need it the most.


Having used MyHRCases to receive Coronavirus-related employer advice, Liza Rabaiotti, HR manager for multidisciplinary engineering design consultancy Hydrock, said: “ESPHR is a critical resource for Hydrock, especially through the very challenging times of COVID-19. From the outset, the team’s detailed advice and guidance has given us a structure to follow which ensured we were able to make essential business decisions with minimum risk.


“Through the really tough days as an employer it is always reassuring to know that ESPHR is there. During the Coronavirus outbreak, there has never been a time where our questions weren’t answered with a market-leading response – each of which has a high level of detail that’s understandable and we can subsequently action.”