The Employer’s Handbook
Author: Barry Cushway
Publisher: Kogan Page
I was in two minds about this book. My first thought was that it was a clearly laid out and comprehensive account of ‘everything you need to know about HR but were afraid to ask’. So far so good, but as I read more closely, its attempts to be both comprehensive and brief ended up in it becoming neither.
Admittedly, this book is mainly for the small employer – someone who needs a good grasp of the basics but not the detail. And yes, there are downloadable documents and employment law advice online. However, in most of the areas I looked at, I knew there was a lot more to be said, and I wonder if it would leave the unsuspecting novice with a false sense of security.
The book is split into 17 sections covering – literally – everything in HR from health and safety to Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, maternity and absence management. It tries to cover both policy and practice and the law. The legal information cannot be relied on though – it is just too brief, and given that the law is constantly in flux, it does render a hardback summary costing £40 somewhat superfluous next to the internet.
It’s also very poorly indexed – the entry on age discrimination, for example, is woefully inadequate, though there are other snippets of information in the book that you wouldn’t be aware of from the index. In fact, the ads scattered liberally throughout were a better guide to the law than the text.
Altogether this was a good introduction for the very small business, or possibly for an entry-level HR person, but not for anyone who already knows the basics.
Useful? 3 out of 5
Well-written? 4 out of 5
Practical? 4 out of 5
Inspirational? 2 out of 5
Value for money? 3 out of 5
Overall 3 out of 5
Reviewed by Ian Foster, strategic HR adviser, Hampshire County Council
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