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Accountants expands HR department to support staff growth

L-R Lousie Robinson, Caroline Pigg and Caroline Bowerbank

Clive Owen LLP, chartered accountants and business advisers, has tripled the size of its HR department to reflect the increase in staff at the rapidly growing firm.

The company, which has offices in Darlington, Durham, Middlesbrough and York, has experienced a ten percent expansion in its workforce during the last 12 months.

During that time its HR department has recruited two members of staff to join HR and training manager Caroline Bowerbank, who will become HR director on 1 April 2022.

Caroline joined the firm in April 2017 and has 19 years’ experience gained from working in various HR roles in local government, a global outsourcing business and not for profit organisations.

During her tenure with the firm, Caroline has strengthened the firm’s focus on well-being with the introduction of several initiatives.

The additions to the team are recruitment and training adviser Caroline Pigg and Louise Robinson, who has joined as HR assistant.

Caroline Bowerbank said: “Our staff numbers have increased substantially during the last year. With people being a top priority at Clive Owen LLP, it is important that the HR department is appropriately resourced to ensure our employees receive the necessary support to flourish and thrive within the firm.

“The recruitment of Caroline and Louise has enabled us to build upon and expand our in-house HR capacity.”

Caroline and Louise bring a wealth of experience to their new roles – Caroline having worked for an apprenticeship firm and in compliance support and training positions at a range of businesses and Louise at a global engineering outfit including delivering the company’s reward and benefit packages and leading the annual graduate recruitment programme.

Clive Owen has introduced an app which underpins a four-week programme, focusing on sleep, mindfulness, healthy eating and physical exercise.

To help motivate staff and keep the initiative fun and collaborative, employees have been divided into teams with prizes and medals for achieving goals.

Clive Owen has implemented a hybrid format of working following the company reassessing its practices to take account of people wanting a better work-life balance and more flexibility following the government order to work from home during Covid lockdowns.

Now restrictions have been eased, the firm is concentrating on supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of its staff whether they are working from home or are coming into the office.

As part of the Clive Owen LLP partners progressive approach to maintaining a work-life balance for colleagues, new flexible working has just been introduced which enables individuals to work their fortnightly contractual hours over nine days to achieve one day off a fortnight. The firm has also introduced core working hours to allow employees flexibility with their start and finish times. Clive Owen has also removed the legal requirement of 26 weeks service to request flexible working, making this a day one right for all employees.

Caroline Bowerbank said: “The focus is on keeping staff engagement, communication and wellbeing at the forefront of the firm as our people split their working lives between their homes and the office.

“It is important that wherever they are working from at any time, employees feel valued and well-supported members of the Clive Owen team and that they are able to interact effectively and efficiently with colleagues and managers.”