Human resources firm expands into Australia

Brad Adams & Gemma Tumelty

Nationwide UK outsourced human resources company The HR Dept has signed a deal to launch its services into Australia.

Gemma Tumelty, managing director of The HR Dept, which was founded by her mother Sue in Bristol in 2002, has signed the agreement with Sydney businessman Brad Adams for taking the brand Down Under.

The deal represents the culmination of a two-year project – one to research and one to secure the deal – which she believes could be the first of many similar SME deals as Britain looks for additional trading partners after it exits the European Union.

But there is more to the venture than the A$424,000, including A$100,000 of working capital, that Mr Adams has invested for the Master Franchise and shareholding in the new company.

HR expert Pia Engstrom has been appointed as the company’s first independent franchisee and has invested A$53,550.

And in a true business partnership, The HR Dept in the UK has also invested A$100,000 of working capital to support Mr Adams, in return for management service fee and shareholder dividends.

The 10-year deal will see Mr Adams maintaining responsibility for growing The HR Dept nationally, focusing on bringing on new franchisees and supporting them to succeed.

The HR Dept is a Bristol-based family business which was set up by Sue Tumelty in 2002 and begun franchising in 2005.

Today, it has a network of 65 Licensees operating independent HR businesses in 83 territories across the UK and Ireland, providing more than 5,000 SMEs with a range of advice and support.

Gemma Tumelty, Sue’s daughter, is a former president of the National Union of Students who left a career in politics and communications to take over as managing director of her mother’s company.

She said she hoped other UK SMEs would learn from planning and research that The HR Dept has done to complete the Australia deal, and that they would see her company’s move as an example of how UK businesses can forge new ventures abroad post-Brexit.

She comments:  “As the UK looks to leave the European Union it is important that businesses of all sizes look further abroad for ways to achieve growth and success.

“However it has taken significant amounts of time, research trips, expense and effort for us to reach this point and businesses looking to trade in Australia or indeed export generally should be under no illusions about the complexity of doing so.”