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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

HR in the hour of need

This opinion piece is over 1 year old

Q&A with SCVO’s HR service

How has the first two years of the HR service gone?

Busy! We’ve answered over 800 queries and helped almost as many organisations in Scotland with their HR issues. We’ve facilitated webinars with our pro bono legal partners, hosted an event at The Gathering, developed over a hundred downloadable templates and piloted a training course on people management.

Topics like recruitment and performance management have been noticeable trends, as well as lots of organisations without any HR expertise on staff with a desire to do the best thing by their employees. This is where we’ve been able to help develop policy catalogues, handbooks, contracts, and recruitment materials.

It’s been hugely rewarding to support so many organisations over the past two years and we’re really looking forward to developing the service even more in the future.

Why was the HR Service set up in the first place?

When Covid-19 happened back in March 2020, the working environment changed drastically, and organisations needed support. SCVO’s Information Service saw a big increase in HR queries about furlough, remote working and employee health and wellbeing. With seed funding from the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland, we were able to set up a dedicated HR service to answer these queries and develop specific resources to support organisations through that period.

As time went on, we became aware that the reasons an HR service was needed went beyond Covid-19. We received queries about recruitment, performance, setting up as an employer, equality and diversity, as well as many other topics. Knowing this got us thinking – how could we make sure that the service would remain available for those that needed it most?

What’s next for the HR service?

For the past few months, we have been working on ways to keep the HR service going after our initial funding period ended, because we know how much it’s valued by its users. We will launch our new HR subscription service where, for a small annual fee of £500 +VAT for SCVO members and £750 +VAT for non-SCVO members, organisations will gain unlimited access to our query service and online resources. We can review contracts and talk about recruitment needs, talk you through the redundancy process and keep you up to date with the latest employment law changes. We can also support organisations with timely subjects like retaining staff and reward strategies. Subscribers will also be able to join our HR network, with regular email bulletins, online meetings and in person networking opportunities.

We’re really excited about this development at SCVO and can’t wait to start welcoming new subscribers to the service! If you would like to discuss becoming an HR service subscriber, please email us at

Lorna Robertson is HR and employment support service officer at SCVO.

This article originally appeared in TFN's Guide to Running a Charity or Social Enterprise 2022/23, which you can read here.

Access SCVO's HR Service here.