News and Articles

22 May - 2020

Exec and Non-Exec Opportunities



21 May - 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week Pauline Drissell Explores - How to reduce anxiety

Sadly, public fear and anxiety are on the rise. The pace of change over the past 2 months has been stellar and for some employees being on the front line, remote working, financial worries, furlough and family and health concerns can lead to poor mental health.

14 May - 2020

COVID-19: Supporting clients now and in the new normal

With the immediate response to Covid-19 and the Government’s restrictions now embedding, many clients are asking us about how best to support their people during this time.

6 May - 2020

Stay Safe - Lets not forget the obvious………..

As we all start to move towards a new normal we will be very much focussed on keeping staff safe and well. Whilst we will be very much focussed on the environment, social distancing and getting that right we should not lose sight of those things we have started to take for granted – our eyes!.

5 May - 2020

COVID-19 – The Next Steps in a Return to Work

The UK Government is expected to announce on 10 May a relaxation in the lockdown rules with a slow return to normality whatever this might be. There may be a limit to how detailed any government guidance could be, as all health and safety measures needed be tailored to the business or the office's needs. Businesses need to plan now for what is likely to be a staged return to work over what could be a prolonged period of time.

1 May - 2020

Ready to Return

The Government may not yet have revealed its lockdown release date, but many organisations are already in recovery mode and thinking through whether they need an office at all, which staff will return if any, when, where and how.

24 April - 2020

Rest, Relax and Wellbeing

At ema consultancy, our focus is always on people and never more so of late, meeting the challenges of COVID-19, and hearing the sad news of the illness and loss of family, friends and colleagues. At a time like this it can be difficult to remain resilient, but we thought it might be helpful to share some small ways you can nonetheless support your wellbeing.

24 April - 2020

What can you do to reduce employee anxiety around COVID-19

Sadly, public fear and anxiety are on the rise. With fast changes comes many advantages, but for some employees being on the front line, remote working, financial worries, furlough, family and health concerns can lead to poor mental health. We can’t control everything for all employees, but there are a number of practices which can help reassure and reduce tension:

24 April - 2020

Working from Home – How your Personality is affecting your Performance

Over the past month many of us have been delivering “business as usual” from a home rather than an office base.

22 April - 2020

A Guide to Furlough

What is Furlough The word ‘furlough’ generally means temporary leave of absence from work. This can be due to economic conditions affecting one company, or matters affecting the whole country. Until now the expression has not carried any meaning in UK employment law but has been temporarily introduced in response to the unprecedented situation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. This does not mean that the fundamentals of employment law have changed, simply that this scheme adds to them.

21 April - 2020

10 Top Tips for Working from Home

1. Agree ways of working. Make sure every team member is clear about how you will work together remotely, how you keep each other updated, and how frequently.

17 April - 2020

Adapt, trust and thrive - The Big Reset

At ema consultancy, we know it’s not been an easy time for you and your teams. Many clients have been handling sad news around family, friends and clients, combined with an immediate and sharp change in how and where we operate. I want to take the opportunity to say a personal thank you to those clients who have supported us during this time, and I hope you’ve found us a source of support too.

7 April - 2020

COVID-19/HR Issues



27 March - 2020

Keep Calm and Carry on Recruiting

ema increasingly uses a range of on line tools for screening interviews and assessments as part of a recruitment process, however as the coronavirus takes hold and forces everyone to seek alternative ways of conducting their business – recruitment is no exception.  With current day technical solutions recruitment activity can still be facilitated through a wide range of on line products for example Skype,  Zoom, Microsoft Team amongst others and these are great tools - HR teams will be embracing technology to meet your recruitment requirements now and going forward - so here are the….

20 March - 2020

Interviewing by Skype

ema increasingly use skype for screening interviews and assessments as part of a recruitment process, however as the coronavirus takes hold and forces everyone to seek alternative ways of conducting their business – recruitment is no exception.  With current day technical solutions, recruitment activity can be facilitated through Skype – so here are the…. Top Tips Set up Skype or the alternatives such as Zoom etc. It sounds obvious but be sure to set up and share your contact prior to the scheduled interview. Go through an online tutorial if new to using Skype, Zoom or any other package.

12 March - 2020

Budget 2020

The government have yet to provide detail on when this will be implemented but in summary: Statutory sick pay will be paid to all those who choose to self-isolate, even if they don’t have symptoms. This is to support the government’s containment phase of the virus to dissuade employees from coming into work despite being ill. Sick notes will soon be obtainable by contacting 111, instead of attending a doctor’s appointment. Firms with fewer than 250 staff will be refunded for sick pay payments for two weeks for employee unwell with the Coronavirus. Contributory employment Support Allowance benefit claimants will be able to claim sick pay on day one, not after a week.  The aim of this incentive is support those on zero hours contracts or part of the ‘gig’ economy in getting access to benefits quicker if they are unwell.

18 March - 2020

Covid-19 – Working from Home

ema continues to monitor closely the situation and is following all relevant government and WHO advice to ensure that we are ready to adapt to the latest guidance.  The ema team are now working from home as our first priority is the health and wellbeing of all our employees, their families, clients and stakeholders.

13 February - 2020

New statutory rates that will apply from April 2020 - what you need to know

National Minimum Wage (NMW) Rises: NMW rates will increase on 1st April 2020 as follows: The national living wage hourly rate for workers aged 25 and over, will increase from £8.21 to £8.72.

5 February - 2020

Calling for HR big data – 2020

Housing HR professionals have the opportunity to take part in the sector’s largest benchmarking exercise on pay and reward. ema consultancy, which provides HR, governance and pay guidance to more than 200 providers each year, has run The Total Reward survey since 2014. It captures comprehensive trends in benefits, flexible working, pensions and anticipated pay increases. Last year more than 100 providers took part.

22 December - 2019

20 Thoughts for 2020



18 December - 2019

Trainee Board Members - All Locations



30 October - 2019

Ten case studies to capture board experiences

A new report has launched today, aimed at improving board diversity within the housing and not-for-profit sector. ema consultancy, one of the sector’s longest-standing HR and recruitment specialists, has captured the stories of ten female board members, with a view to encouraging candidates from a variety of backgrounds to apply for governance roles.

15 November - 2019

Housing sector pay predictions for 2020/21

Pay in the housing sector is predicted to rise by an average of 2.5% in 2020/21, according to a survey of almost 60 housing organisations. ema consultancy, one of the sector’s longest-standing recruitment, HR and governance specialists, has asked providers for their pay reward information each year, for the last three years. To recognise this anniversary, it is launching a pay and reward benefits club to help providers compare performance and insight.

1 October - 2019

ema consultancy appoints new management consultant

One of the housing sector’s longest-standing recruitment, pay and HR specialists has appointed a former housing director to its team, following a period of strong growth. Susan Richardson joins the ema consultancy team as managing consultant after more than 13 years at Parkway Green and then Wythenshawe Community Housing Group. A Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development, Susan most recently held the role of Executive Director before joining ema consultancy.

23 August - 2019

Merger staffing issues – What could possibly go wrong? And how to make sure that it doesn’t!

Anne Elliott, Managing Director at ema consultancy Limited… It is widely acknowledged that mergers often fail because of the people and cultural issues. But are employers giving this enough thought soon enough? A deeper analysis of the picture suggests that it is not generally the regulation, technical or financial issues that go wrong, it is the ‘people’ aspects. This can lead to poor staff morale and significantly affect working relationships. Not getting the ‘people’ aspect right means that staff may not buy in to the change, possibly leading to the merger failing or the newly merged organisation having to battle in its early years against a background of residual staffing issues.

26 June - 2019

A Guide to Increasing Diversity in Housing

ema consultancy is delighted to launch our latest report today, looking into practical actions those working in and for the housing sector should take to improve board diversity. Research by our team last year into housing board diversity showed that only 37% of board roles were held by women and only 32% had female chairs.

24 August - 2019

Why are men over represented as board chairs

Why are men over represented as housing association board Chairs? EMA examined the boards of 80 randomly selected housing associations and found women make up 37% of Board Members and only 32% of board Chairs are women, and this drops to a measly 20% of Chairs of the audit committee. (This is one of the most important board roles, as this committee oversees the organisation’s financial reporting and controls.)

20 June - 2019

Can succession planning address the gender pay gap?

The CIPD recently reported that 52% of companies who filed their 2nd year gender pay data indicated that the pay gap has increased in favour of men, compared with 40% who have seen an increase in favour of women and the 8% who saw no change. Within housing the gender pay gap is circa 8% in favour of men, however very few organisations have filed for 2018/19 and it is too early to see if this has changed significantly, but at ema consultancy Limited we suspect not.

19 June - 2019

Feeling the benefit: survey shows how housing providers are attempting to win war on talent

Average pay in the housing sector rose by 2.3% in the period 2018/19 and health-benefit packages are on the rise, according to a new survey on pay and benefits. The 2019 Total Reward Survey – carried out by ema consultancy Limited, a company that provides recruitment, training and governance services to more than 200 housing providers each year - aims to give an accurate picture of the benefits and pay packages on offer.

18 April - 2019

Employer branding in the housing sector

Employer branding is a major topic for many organisations these days, including housing providers. With many sectors facing talent shortages, and often equivalent pay and benefits packages on offer, it’s more important than ever that employers can differentiate their brand to attract the best quality candidates. HR expert Anne Elliott of ema consultancy Limited answers some frequently asked questions on how to build and maintain a strong employer brand.

5 April - 2019

Appraising your Board

We all know that the expectations placed on Boards has escalated hugely over the last decade. The Boards of today are almost unrecognisable from the Boards we knew then. Often now purely skills based, mostly paid, and – supporting this professionalism - robustly appraised…. or are they?

13 March - 2019

Call for housing sector HR to help benchmark benefits

Housing HR professionals are urged to take part in a sector-wide survey, designed to compare how providers are attracting and retaining talent. The Total Reward survey - run by ema consultancy Limited, a company that provides recruitment, training and governance services to more than 200 housing providers each year - aims to give an accurate picture of the benefits and pay packages on offer.

7 March - 2019

Why attracting talent is a thorny issue

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, according to Romeo at least. But it seems a name or brand change does heavily impact on how candidates view potential employers. Specialist recruiter and governance expert Anne Elliott of ema consultancy Limited has noted a significant shift in what attracts or repels someone from a role.

3 January - 2019

New Year, New Role, New You

As 2018 draws to a close many of us will personally be reflecting on the last year and considering what we achieved and what we could do better or more of in 2019. For many, this will include setting ourselves objectives to progress our career or stretch ourselves further.

3 January - 2019

Board New Year Health Check

As we enter 2019, we are presented with an opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the future. After what is likely to have been a short break from their Non-Executive responsibilities, no doubt your Board will be returning to their duties with a refreshed energy and a desire to contribute effectively in 2019.


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