Working out staff holidays was one of the first issues that Steve Varcoe, manager of Enmore Park Golf Club called Carolyne for advice on. He was confused when it came to holiday entitlement – specifically bank holidays – for club employees with zero hour contracts and those who were only working with the Somerset club on a part-time basis.
Steve said: “Is someone who works three days at the end of the week still entitled to a bank holi day if it falls on the Monday, as most of the holidays do? And what about Christmas and New Year entitlement for those same individuals? It was all a bit baffling when it came to employees who weren’t on standard contracts and I knew I needed expert advice. Thankfully, Carolyne and her team were there to provide that for me, and in a timely fashion too.”
Steve did have HR and legal expertise to fall back on at the club – but it was on a voluntary basis and he didn’t feel he could insist on quick feedback.
“It was one of the club members who worked in the HR profession. He would help us out when he could,” he explained. “But he was giving us advice for free and we couldn’t expect him to go through individual contracts or come over and help every single time we had an issue and needed advice.”
Steve decided to employ Carolyne after seeing her make an impressive presentation at the Golf Club Manager’s Association (GCMA) National Conference.
“It was very clear she knew what she was talking about,” he said. “I also knew that the GCMA organisers thought highly enough of her to invite her to do a workshop in the first place, and that a few of them used her HR services as well. At the same time, I wasn’t aware of any other HR companies specialising in Golf. To me Carolyne seemed the obvious choice.”
Other work Golf HR has done, for the 110-year old club which has around 700 members and sits at the foot of the Quintox Hills, includes re-issuing all 15 staff contracts and producing a new employee handbook.
“When these were complete it felt as if we were starting from fresh, I was delighted and I’m still really happy with the service I receive from Carolyne and her team. I particularly like the fact I usually hear from them within 24 hours, whether by email or voicemail.
“She’s certainly helped us through some situations that we just didn’t have the answers for ourselves. It’s difficult to keep up-to-date of changing employee legislation, for instance, when it’s not your full-time job. Carolyne is aware of this and can point us in the right direction, sometimes before we’re aware we need it.
“Certainly, if it’s not Carolyne that attends to us directly then it’s one of her colleagues who I’ve found are equally as on the ball.”