"Breathe is very much central to the services we offer and we have built subscription to the system into the retained service contracts we provide. It's a key element of our service".

Since 2013, PS Human Resources has been providing professional HR services to businesses across a range of industries. Located in Suffolk near the port of Felixstowe, PSHR supports local firms in addition to organisations across the UK.

The company was founded by Paula Phelan (FCIPD) and Emma Sheppard (MCIPD), both of whom share extensive experience of supporting organisations of every size. PSHR provides a full suite of HR services. These range from one off projects, through to annual retained service arrangements.

Paula and Emma are supported by a team of three, which includes office manager, Carla Brown.

PS Human Resources LogoRecognition for excellence

In 2019, PSHR was named as a finalist in the HR Partner of the Year category of Breathe’s annual awards. They were also announced as finalists in the 2020 Personnel Today awards, where they were shortlisted as HR Consultancy of the Year.

PSHR received a high commendation in the Best HR/L&D consultancy category in the 2020 CIPD People Management Awards. The CIPD judges praised PSHR on their very structured, people-focused and organised approach to finding solutions for their clients.

Helping clients with GDPR compliance

For many years, Paula, Emma and team have stressed the importance of employee related data security to their clients. Before GDPR regulations were introduced in 2018, they began investigating HR management systems which would enable the storage of sensitive documents and personnel information in a secure, central location which would eliminate the need for paper records.

Paula and Emma also wanted to offer a low-cost system which is managed on clients’ behalf in the cloud, which could be easily accessed from wherever a user has access to the internet via a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Security and document management

Through their research and recommendations from industry colleagues, they found Breathe, a cloud-based HR management system designed specifically for small businesses.

Breathe's document management functionality enables people to upload and store all employment related records in a single, central location and the software is hosted securely in ISO 27001 certified datacentre facilities managed by Amazon Web Services.

“Employee related information is amongst the most sensitive data a business holds and it's essential it is properly protected.

We also wanted to recommend a system which would automate many manual HR-related processes, enabling managers - many of whom aren't qualified HR personnel - to spend less time on admin and more time on helping their business grow.

We were very pleased to find Breathe which ticked all the boxes. Having joined their partner programme, we have recommended the system ever since. 

The feedback we have received from clients who either use the system themselves or for whom we manage admin on their behalf has been brilliant".

Carla Brown, Office Manager

Breathe’s document management functionality has been very valuable to clients with dispersed team members working from home as they have had easy access to documents throughout lockdown.

Carla and the team are also carrying out document audits for clients, ensuring they have all necessary records, policies and procedures in place and accessible to people. This is now a key aspect of the retained service contracts PSHR provide to clients.

Joining Breathe's partner programme

“Breathe is very much central to the services we offer and we have built subscription to the system into the retained service contracts we provide. It's a key element of our service”.

Carla Brown, Office Manager

Breathe’s HR partner programme has been designed for UK HR consultants who want to use our software with their clients. With easy access to clients' data they can remotely and securely support their client's business.

This has enabled many of our 500 partners to expand and enhance their current service offering, adding value to current clients and winning new ones. Each partner has access to their own dedicated account manager in addition to access to training, support and marketing materials.

“Our account manager, Bethan, has been great. She is always there for us and has provided help which has enabled us to achieve Gold Partner level status.

We're looking to build on this as the number of clients we have who use Breathe increases. The plan is to first become platinum and then diamond level partners".

Carla Brown, Office Manager

COVID-19: helping clients manage furlough

When lockdown began in March 2020, the PSHR team were faced with new challenges in terms of helping clients navigate their way through difficult circumstances and the biggest disruption to businesses in living memory.

After the government announced its furlough scheme, the team at Breathe worked quickly to develop new functionality. The priority was to enable businesses to log furloughed employees and also manage any pre-crisis annual leave requests.

“We were very pleased that Breathe introduced the new furlough management features alongside guidance about managing holiday requests at the same time.

We were able to explain the new functionality to clients who use Breathe themselves and use ourselves on the behalf of businesses who outsource admin to us".

Carla Brown, Office Manager

The importance of effective communications

Breathe also enables managers to publish updates about changes to regulations, company policies and procedures and general company updates, ensuring employees – furloughed or working from home- are kept up to date during a constantly evolving situation.

“Effective communications were key throughout lockdown and we have helped many businesses remain in close contact with their team members by using Breathe.

At a time of uncertainty and with many employees nervous about their positions, clear and uninterrupted lines of communication have never been so important”.

Carla Brown, Office Manager

Track and trace - location management

Breathe also added new location management functionality which enables businesses to keep track of who is working where and when.

This was important during lockdown and following the ease of restrictions and with many businesses managing phased and partial returns to the workplace, it was key that managers had complete visibility of peoples’ locations.

“The ability to quickly identify where people are working and making sure they are in the right place at the right time is essential.

Many of our clients are operating phased return to work plans where only small groups of teams can work together in bubbles at any one time.

Keeping track of locations means that if a team member was to report COVID-19 symptoms, pre-planned track and trace contingency measures could begin immediately”.

Carla Brown, Office Manager

Preparing for the future

As lockdown regulations are gradually eased and people begin to return to their workplaces, Carla and the team at PSHR are very confident they can help their clients with a safe and well organised return.

“Although there are still many unknowns, we are very confident that we can help our clients manage high priority tasks and also make plans for the future.

Using Breathe will make this easier and ultimately help us help our clients”.

Carla Brown, Office Manager

Keen to help your clients with a safe and well organised return to their workplace? Book a Partner demo to find out more about becoming a Breathe Partner and see how we can help. Or, contact our helpful team today.

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