Springboard Centre

The Springboard Centre in Coalville is a not-for-profit organisation that was founded in 1985 to provide skilled ex-miners with an opportunity to develop their own small businesses.

Background

In the early eighties the decline of the mining industry started to have an impact, with large numbers of miners becoming redundant and looking for alternative means of support.

For most of the miners the only job they knew was working down the pits, although many had a number of transferrable skills which they were yet to nurture.

One option open to them was to invest their redundancy money in starting up a business but there was no suitable accommodation.

In 1984 a group of interested parties, including Leicestershire County Council and British Coal, founded the centre in a semi-derelict building, which was origially a wagon works. They turned this into a basic workspace with 21 units available for start-ups and at least 50% were taken on by redundant miners.

Fast-forward to 2018 and The Springboard Centre has become a thriving Business Centre featuring offices and workshops, which cater for a wide-range of businesses.

The Springboard Centre currently has over 70 units of different sizes and accommodation types. Their current tenants include a telecoms business, printer, vehicle repair, tattoo artist and a picture framer. To contact The Springboard Centre call 01530 839531 or visit www. springboardcentre.co.uk

Challenge

As with all businesses The Centre has staffing issues from time to time with one serious HR issue requiring Croner’s assistance.

The Centre Manager said: “A member of staff raised a grievance, which was completely unfounded, and indicated that he wanted to take it all the way to employment tribunal stage.

“The other staff were devastated as they had all worked together as a team for a long time, it was hard to take. At the time it became obvious that extra support was required to help manage the case, which is where Croner came in.”

How We've Helped

Croner helped The Centre Manager with every letter and they were provided with templates that could be used. The Centre Manager sent all of the letters off to Croner to ensure they were worded correctly, so in the Centre Manager’s words “we were hand-held all the way.”

The next stage of the grievance process was to provide mediation between The Centre and the employee, which was managed by a Croner consultant.

“The Centre had never had an issue like it before and the Board of Directors are all volunteers, with very little HR experience, so it was decided we use Croner to chair the process,” said the Centre Manager.

“Because the consultant took care of the interview and prepared the report and made the findings, it took everything off our shoulders.

“If not for Croner we would have gone to ACAS and it would not have been such a smooth process. In the end no case was raised and it did not proceed to an employment tribunal.

“It was clear that there was no real chance of the case going to tribunal but The Centre had to manage it properly otherwise the employee might have tried to go down that route.

“After this was resolved we were able to move on with our business. I would not hesitate to contact Croner again for peace of mind and for their expertise."

The Springboard Centre uses Croner’s Simplify Employment service, which provides full access to the business helpline, as well as use of Croner’s unique cloudbased service, which highlights problems before they materialise as detrimental issues.

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