Recruiting and Supporting your Teams During Lockdown Webinar with PIPA

We are pleased to say that we will be hosting a webinar with PIPA, the Pharmaceutical Information and Pharmacovigilance Association on the 10th of July at 12 pm.

Jonathan Hart-Smith, Managing Director of CK Group, will be hosting the webinar themed ‘Recruiting and Supporting your Teams During Lockdown’. He also will be supported by Glen Ridgeway, Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing at Applied Driving.

The webinar will discuss how to get the best from recruiting remotely including tips on how to conduct video interviews and remotely onboard new starters for example. It will also investigate how to support your employees and their mental health whilst remote working. The webinar will discuss these topics and include a Q&A:

  • Remote recruitment tools and practical tips
  • Candidate behaviours – what we are seeing in the current market.
  • Remote working and mental health
  • Practical steps to support your team’s mental health

Glen Ridgeway who is a specialist in workplace mental health particularly in remote working and a fantastic speaker will discuss the practical ways in which you as a Manager or Team Lead can support your team.

If you are a Hiring Manager or have a team of employees then this webinar will be really helpful, it will give some great practical ideas on how to recruit, onboard and support your team so they stay productive whilst working from home.


If you would like to attend and are a PIPA member then look out for the signup page here

Find out more about our services here.


Posted in Industry News, News

A Scientific Affairs Manager sends reassuring message of her experience of Covid19 in Hong Kong

Here at CK, we recently had a reassuring and heartening message from Shahana Hoque-Ali a Scientific Affairs Manager, now based in Hong Kong who has been a friend of CK’s for many years now.

She sent us this encouraging message regarding her experience in Hong Kong of the Coronavirus, she speaks about how the people of HK coped and are now coming through the other side. We thought that it would be nice to share it with you all.

“To my friends and colleagues in the UK,

I can understand the difficult time you are going through at the moment, we were there 3 months ago. Thrust into a crisis situation which was extremely scary. Schools closed, social isolation started, people had no idea what they could do or should not do so we did nothing.

Panic buying created shortages and added more stress. People started to work from home and the Hong Kong economic situation took a hit. Budgets got pushed back and everything went into survival mode. Homeschooling quickly became the norm and the only rest bite was being able to take the kids to an open space to run around for a bit. Most of their friends were either too far away or had not returned from holidays.

If you had ever tried to entertain a 9, 4 and 1.5-year-old together, you know how much fun that is. As the weeks passed we slowly started to spend more time hanging out with our neighbours. We are extremely fortunate and have some nice ones and found ways in which we could safely interact, trusting each other. No large groups, taking proper hygiene precautions and so on. In busy areas, we wore a mask out of respect for others since people are a little cautious when they don’t know you. Considering anyone could carry this virus and show no symptoms, it’s understandable.

However, at home, we created a sanctuary. People started to create their own little ways of coping, putting kids together and sharing homeschooling responsibilities. Turning up at the same time to a park to allow the kids to have a kick about. Every indoor playgroup was closed so we organised outdoor meeting places, organised hikes, beach and country park trips, our community became stronger and resilient.

Even though we had never gone through anything like this, the people of Hong Kong had experience so they knew what to do and how to react. Hygiene became heightened, not in an obsessive way but just a new way of life. Even small kids knew the protocol: “wash hands frequently, don’t touch your face, don’t shake hands, avoid touching metal surfaces if possible.”
Yes, it has been tough, but the results of adhering to the rules really showed us it works. Also, it has given us some time and space to slow down.

Seven weeks on, the Hong Kong government are pushing the school start dates back further but at least talking about a realistic start date. People started to return back to their offices a few weeks ago.

Please don’t be afraid to take the next important steps. Statistics show that even after one day of social distancing and quarantine, cases start to reduce. You only have to look around to see the devastation it is creating in other places. Healthcare workers, doctors and nurses were and are being stretched to the max. An estimated 3400 healthcare workers picked it up in China alone. It may not be as fatal SARs, but due to the numbers, the pressure on resources is so high that people grapple to be treated (or may not be treated at all). In Wuhan, they had built 16 temporary hospitals in a matter of weeks, which closed a few days ago!

We live in a global world where the consequences of our choices have a wider reach. Due to the flare-up in the rest of the world, we are having new cases appearing as people travel and return. So, we are having to go back to social distancing and quarantine like the early stages.

Please don’t hesitate to start taking precautions and follow your gut instincts. Share kindness and love. Buy sensibly what you need and resign to some downtime for a few weeks. Reach out if you need anything from us here and good luck.

Love from
Hong Kong

Kind regards


Thank you to Shahana for that encouraging message. Here at CK, we are working from home but business is as usual and we are all contactable as normal on our phones and email.

If you are home working like us then you might like to read our latest working from home tips here.

Our clients are still looking to recruit so if you would like to use this period of downtime to look for a new role, take a look at how to spruce up your CV here.

Posted in Articles, Industry News, News, Research and Knowledge

Remote Working: How to Work Effectively from Home

Under the current circumstances many employees are choosing, or being asked, to work remotely rather than venturing into the work environment. This is being done to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and lessen the long-term impacts on businesses.

Working remotely in an effective manner takes effort – as it can sometimes feel disruptive and unfamiliar – so here are some top tips to stay productive whilst in the comfort of your home.

Find your work space

Some people think working from home means lying on the couch with the TV on. Working like this is not viable, and certainly not productive.

If you are working remotely make sure you have a home office or suitable desk space dedicated to work, with little distractions around you.

This will not only help you concentrate but will also allow you to leave your dedicated work area and disconnect once your working day is over.

Introduce routine

When you work from home it is easy to lose routine as well as get physically lazy –and this in turn can affect your way of working.

A good idea is to start the day as you would if you were leaving the house– for example get ready, have breakfast and go for a walk – to get prepped for the busy day ahead.

Read the full article here

Posted in Articles, Industry News, News

3 RWE Contractors Required to Join a Global Pharma Company

We are looking for three Real World Evidence contractors to work with a multinational biopharmaceutical company on a home working basis.

Company: A large biopharmaceutical organisation, that focuses on developing therapies and improving the lives of patients with severe diseases in immunology and neurology.

All three roles are 12-month contracts and can involve home working with visits to site in Slough. They are at two levels:

RWE Strategy Lead

  • Early phase immunology.
  • Development and implementation of RWE strategy plans.
  • Providing leadership and subject matter expertise in RWE generation and RWE analysis projects.

RWE Scientists

  • Immunology or Neurology
  • Responsible for designing and executing global RWE projects using real-world data.
  • Support external decision making by key stakeholder groups.

For both roles, you must have:

  • At least a Master’s degree in a related scientific field.
  • Proven experience with RWE/RWD projects in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Excellent communication, reporting and presentation skills.

Take a look or apply for these roles here:

RWE Strategy Lead

RWE Scientists


Posted in Industry News, News

Job of the week: Senior Programmer

We are looking for a Senior Programmer to join a specialist CRO to be based on-site in London, Swansea or Manchester.

  • This organisation is a specialised biometrics CRO, focused on delivering high-quality statistics and programming to the pharmaceutical industry, for the reporting of Phase I-IV clinical trials across a variety of therapeutic areas. They work with a number of top pharma, their projects provide varied and exciting challenges. This client also provides the opportunity to develop and enhance your skills within a friendly, fun environment.
  • Join this interesting CRO on a permanent basis.
  • Competitive salary and other benefits are offered.

Find out more or apply for this job here

Posted in Industry News, News

CK caught up with Global Pharma Senior Manager after helping him find his first scientific job

In 2012, our Senior Key Account Manager Hannah Oakley found Balraj Rai, now a Senior Manager at GSK, his first role in the science industry. He had just finished his degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and was keen to get started in the sector. Hannah helped him find his first role at Eurofins in Genomic Sales where he worked for a year.

Over seven years later, he has fulfilled his goal of working with GSK gaining a breadth of experience.

Hannah recently caught up with Balraj to find out how he is getting on and she was delighted to hear of his progress.  Hannah asked him what his current job involves, what gave him the inspiration to pursue this career and what tips does he have for others who want to work within pharmacovigilance and drug safety.

Take a look at the full interview here

Posted in Industry News, News

Watch our IR35 Information Event Video

We recently hosted an IR35 Information Event with two excellent speakers designed to help contractors and employers learn more about the extended IR35 legislation.

By popular demand, we filmed the event so that delegates could watch it back and those people who missed the event could watch it as well.

Watch it here:

The event was very well attended and it was fantastic to have so many questions and interaction with between the delegates and speakers.

Our specialist speakers are experts in the tax and legal space, Lewina Farrell, the Head of Legal Services at REC (The Recruitment and Employment Confederation) and Chris Humphreys, Head of Tax at BHP, one of the largest accountancy firms in the UK.

They discussed the following:

  • Explain the changes to the IR35 legislation
  • The implications of the legislation
  • How this will affect employers, agencies and PSC/Ltd company contractors
  • Planning for April 6th, 2021
  • Offer information as to the steps to take
  • Get you to think about contractual arrangements
  • What conversations you should be having with your accountants, advisers and/or agencies

Payroll alternatives post IR35

The IR35 regulations have not changed but how they are to be administered will. This means that many personal service companies and their employees could well be impacted by the changes and will be asked to work in a different way. CK Group has a tried and tested payroll service that has been used by clients and contractors for the last 28 years to provide compliant PAYE solutions.

Do you engage contractors?
If you engage contractors through personal service companies (ltd co) and have undertaken your assessment as to whether or not they are inside or outside IR35 and found that they are “in”, you may well be looking for an alternative legally compliant way to engage these workers. This is where CK can help. We offer a scalable payroll solution for contractors from a single person through to teams into the hundreds. We have a track record of compliance and a high level of customer service. We can engage these workers on your behalf and offer them a PAYE contract and a simplified single monthly invoice for the service. Speak to CK about how we can transfer your workers and save you money in the process.

Are you a contractor that will be impacted by IR35?
If you are a contractor seeking a platform to be able to deliver your flexible services to your client, CK Group is able to offer you a payroll solution with weekly or monthly payroll, expenses processing, access to a private health scheme and pension facilities. Unlike umbrella companies, CK Group will not charge you for this service.

If you have any questions regarding the information then please contact Liam O’Connell here.

Posted in Industry News, IR35, News

Two x Connect 4 Champion at PHUSE 2019

We exhibited at the PhUSE EU Connect this week in Amsterdam. Stephanie and Andy were delighted to meet so many new faces and catch up with some familiar ones to mark the 15th year of PhUSE. We hosted the annual Connect 4 Championship and ran a prize draw to win an Amazon Echo Dot.

The 2017 and 2018 Connect 4 Champions, Chris Harris and Michael Brockman, were back to defend their titles. It was a fierce competition with some competitors even practicing on an app in between sessions!

Kriss and Michael competing at PHUSE

In the end, 2018 Champion Michael Brockmann from Chrestos Concepts retained his Connect 4 title, beating Thomas Ellebæk from Ferring Pharmaceuticals 2-0 in a gripping final!

Our second competition was to win an Amazon Echo Dot. The lucky winner was a delighted Yohann Omnes who is a Biostatistical Programming Senior Manager at Amgen based in Bromely in the UK.

Congratulations to Michael Brockmann and Yohann Omnes on their wins, and particularly to Michael Brockmann who is now the 2 x CK Connect 4 Champion (Michael is pictured right, holding the trophy)

If you met up with Stephanie or Andy at the event and would like to get in touch with them, contact them here.

Posted in Industry News, News

IR35 Information Event – 7th November

We are pleased to announce that we are hosting a must attend IR35 Information Event on the 7th of November 2019 at 4pm at the Stevenage Football Club, Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

What is IR35? What is changing? How does it affect your business? How will this affect you and your PSC? Why do you need to prepare now?

If you are an employer or you currently work on a contract basis then this is an essential event for you to attend. This event will explain the changes to IR35 legislation in the private sector, how it will affect you and your business as well as the steps that you need to take now in order to be ready for April 2020.

Our specialist speakers are experts in the tax and legal space, Lewina Farrell, the Head of Legal Services at REC (The Recruitment and Employment Confederation) and Chris Humphreys, Head of Tax at BHP, one of the largest accountancy firms in the UK.

They will help you with the following:

  • Explain the changes to the IR35 legislation
  • The implications of the legislation
  • How this will affect employers, agencies and PSC/Ltd company contractors
  • Planning for April 6th 2020
  • Offer information as to the steps to take
  • Get you to think about contractual arrangements
  • What conversations you should be having with your accountants, advisers and/or agencies.

A little bit about our speakers:


Lewina Farrell Head of Legal at REC

Lewina Farrell- Head of Legal at REC

Lewina Farrell qualified as a solicitor in 2004. She joined REC in 2008 and is now Head of Legal Services. She advises businesses on employment and commercial law with a focus on IR35 and data protection.


Chris Humpreys - Head of Tax

Chris Humphreys – Partner and Head of Tax at BHP

Chris is an experienced Tax Practitioner who prides himself on looking at tax issues with a commercial eye and is able to explain them in a way that takes the jargon out of complex tax legislation. Chris has over 25 years’ experience, dealing with a wide variety of owner managed businesses, growing companies and family businesses, and advising on their taxation issues. Chris specialises in Corporate and Personal Tax.



16.00 – Welcome by CK Operations Director Liam O’Connell

16.10 – Lewina Farrell

17.10 – Chris Humphreys

17.40 – Q&A

17.50 – Networking and refreshments.

Don’t miss out on this free event!


Register for the event here



7th November


Stevenage Football Club
The Lamex Stadium
Broadhall Way



Plenty of parking is available at the football club and as well as only 5 minutes by taxi from the train station.

Refreshments will be available on the day.

This event is free.


Find out more about IR35 here:

IR35 – Businesses

IR35 – Contractors


Any questions regarding the event please get in touch with Lauren de Frece: /01246 457705



Author: Lauren de Frece

Posted in Industry News, Job News, News

Four easy steps to leading a healthy work-life balance

Today the perception of work has shifted. Having a healthy work-life balance has become a necessity for many, so much so that millennials prioritise this over pay and career advancement. Yet with social media and our ever-growing addiction to technology, it is more difficult than ever to switch off and escape the demands of work outside the office.

Mental health issues are currently on the rise, with 74% of individuals in the last year feeling so stressed that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. The Mental Health Foundation calls the increasingly demanding work culture in the UK “perhaps the biggest and most pressing challenge to the mental health of the general population”

With work related stress costing Britain 10.4 million working days per year, maybe it is time we pay more attention and prioritise our own work-life balance.

To help get you started we have created 4 simple steps to improve your work-life balance.


Step 1: Turn off technology

We live in a world that never sleeps. Smartphone users unlock their phones on average 85 times daily and use it for over five hours a day. With the constant distraction of emails and social media, it is extremely hard to set boundaries of when our working day begins and ends. Furthermore, using our phones at home not only disrupts family time but also affects sleep.

As a tip, to help separate your personal life from your home life, make a rule not to answer any emails in the evening and be present with your family, or take part in a sport or hobby to help you switch off.


Step 2: Work smarter not harder

Rushing around and chasing the clock seems to be the norm in today’s society. Most individuals feel they never have enough time to get everything done. However, this can be tackled by improving your own time management skills.

To help feel on top of life and tasks, it is extremely important that you learn how to work smarter, and not harder, to make the most effective use of your time.

  • Ensure you organise your day appropriately by creating a to do list and focusing on the most important tasks
  • Review all work meetings to see if they are necessary, and if they are, make sure they are sharp and straight to the point. Try limiting them to 30 minutes with a specific desired outcome.
  • Devote your entire focus to the task at hand. Many people think that they will get more done when multitasking, however multi-tasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Put your phone away, close browsers and concentrate on one task at a time.


Step 3: Take time to exercise

One of the most beneficial activities to participate in before or after work is exercise. Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever and improves our sense of well-being and overall mood. It is estimated that exercising three times per week can reduce the risk of depression by up to 20%. This In turn helps us be more productive at work.

Try to keep your exercise plan flexible and make it fit around your timetable. For example, you could include lunch-time walks or runs, early morning workouts, or a fitness class on your way home. Try and strike a balance between cardio, weights, and relaxing workouts such as stretching or yoga, to best reap the benefits, otherwise you could end up doing more harm than good.


Step 4: Learn to say no

Despite everyone leading busy lives, many of us often find ourselves taking on tasks that we don’t have time for or would rather not do. Whether it’s agreeing to overtime, doing someone a favour, or socialising when you don’t want to, if these activities are causing you to feel exhausted or stressed, it is time to learn to say no more often.

Steve Jobs once said “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

Saying no can have a very positive influence on your life and is essential when it comes to your work-life balance. Saying no shows you value your time, you understand what you want, and makes it easier to fill your life with activities and people who bring you true happiness.


It is important to realise that a healthy work-life balance means something different to everyone and it is crucial to find the right balance for you. However, no matter what career you’re in, or however many additional commitments you have, creating a healthy balance between work, play, and recharging, is essential to leading a happy, healthy and productive life, both at home and in the workplace.


Posted in Articles, Candidates, Homepage Candidates, Industry News, News