Washington Employers Association was set up over 25 years ago by Harry Townsend M.B.E. when Washington New Town was established to try and bring together companies moving into the area. The association instigated a yearly wages survey on behalf of all member companies and partly as a result of this, a growing number of companies joined the association. As the years have progressed, the location of member companies has expanded to include companies from throughout the North East. In 2006 it was decided to establish a website and change the name of the association to the North East Employers Network to better reflect the scope and work of the association.
What we do?
A series of meetings are organised throughout the year and breakfast venues have proved to be the most popular timing. Our first 2 meetings of 2017 will be at Lumley Castle, Chester le Street; we will then be moving to the Holiday Inn beside the Washington Services on the A1M. Meetings cover a wide variety of topics with bi annual employment law updates as well as other subjects including absence management, coaching, social media in HR etc.Most topics are determined by the membership at the annual general meeting. A key feature of the meetings is the ability to network with other HR Manages, discuss current issues and share information. This network is also regularly used in e-mail exchanges between members. The website will further enhance this as responses will be available to all members with examples of policies and procedures.
We still undertake regular surveys on topics such as wage levels, shift rates and absence levels.
How we operate
We are and have always been a very informal group with few rules and procedures. We do, however, insist that members use the network to share best practice and not to see it as a means to sell their services to HR professionals. Administration is kept to a minimum and we do our best to simply be a source of help to all members and to create a situation in which members can seek advice, test ideas and know what is happening in general in the region.We are in no way exclusive, although we do not advertise the network, relying simply on word of mouth and now the website to generate new members. The network does have a committee that oversees how the network runs, with a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, supported by a small committee.