HR can be tough but should be done in a way that's fair - with co-operative principles at its heart - and Co-operatives UK is here to help.
Chapel Street Studio in Bradford is a co-operative agency of creative freelancers and small businesses collaborating to provide expert services together. In 2018, its members formed Bread and Roses – a cafe and co-working space – as a base and positive and supportive space for the people of Bradford to come together. Together they form the Bradford Co-operative Association.
“Our mission statement is to create a co-operative platform for the benefit of the people of Bradford, as well as our members,” said co-op founder member Martyn Johnston. “In creating a space to serve our local community, we also expanded our membership to include anyone who uses Bread and Roses, thus including the community in the ownership of our co-op.”
For Avril Barker, business and operations co-ordinator at Bread and Roses, Co-operatives UK’s contact package has provided vital support: She said: “When we had an employee off on long term sick leave it was a difficult situation.
Avril continued: “I spoke to the team at Co-operatives UK and they knew what to do. It gave me peace of mind that we were doing the right thing. It was good to have someone to bounce off in that situation and the solution worked – the issue was resolved.
“We similarly received valuable support while dealing with a grievance. And during the pandemic, we successfully applied for a free HR surgery session. This was really useful and I got some great advice on terms of employment and contracts.
“I will recommend to our board that we take up the HR Package next year because we want to update all our policies and procedures. The team at Co-operatives UK provide really solid advice. It’s good value and they are so helpful, approachable and caring about your business."