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Think about it…..what are your biggest frustrations and worries right now?

  1. Do you really have the Right People in the Right Jobs?
  2. Do you have the right Company Culture, including Positive Leadership & how is your reputation perceived locally?
  3. Do you waste hours of unnecessary time on people related admin?
  4. Do you have updated Company Plans & Strategy, Vision, Mission & Values?
  5. How does your Company Branding reflect you as a business?
  6. Do you really know where all your people’s personal information is kept & is it GDPR compliant?
  7. Are your people generally Happy, Motivated & Productive & do you have Strong Teams?
  8. Do you manage Performance effectively?
  9. Do you focus on Positive Employee Engagement initiatives?
  10. Do you have an effective Onboarding Process?
  11. Do you regularly benchmark hourly rates/salaries & pay above to remain competitive?

Some common examples of Client Pains;

  • CEO/Business Owners/MD’s unsure how to ‘Lead’ in a less directive & dated way
  • Not having the Right People in the Right Jobs
  • Lack of streamlined Processes & Company documents
  • Unable to Communicate effectively
  • Incapable or Untrained managers creating employee relations issues & grievances
  • No performance management or training/development
  • No People Management ‘self-service’ proactive software & not finding employee’s information easily
  • Poor recruitment & retention of staff
  • Unhappy &/or demotivated staff
  • No clear salary structure & poor pay &/or benefits
  • Poor Marketing

Are you clear on what steps to take as a business if facing a tribunal, unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal or whistleblowing claim?  

We have the experience and knowledge to reduce risk and save you time and money by solving these problems.

The Prime Minister has announced that England will move to ‘Plan B’ in response to the rapid rise of cases of the Omicron variant.

Do office workers now need to work from home?

Anyone who can work from home is being advised to do so from Monday 13 December. The Cabinet Office guidance says that anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work .  This is guidance rather than law so nobody will be committing an offence by continuing to work from the office if they could have worked from home.

Note that the new guidance applies to England only – the position is different in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. In Wales, for example, working from home is already encouraged.

Does this mean the office Christmas party must be cancelled?

In answer to a question at the press conference, the Prime Minister said that Christmas parties can go ahead. This is legally correct – there are no restrictions on social events.

Ireland recently brought in restrictions in a similar way – with working from home being introduced without restrictions on social events (although social events in Ireland are now also restricted).

Are there new rules for offices if they stay open?

The Working Safely guidance on how employers can reduce the risks in their workplace has not yet been updated and there is currently no new guidance from the Health and Safety Executive.

Which settings must use NHS Covid passes?

From Wednesday 15 December, subject to parliamentary approval, the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and large venues – including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees. In a concession to the affected industries, alternative proof (such as an email or text) of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted. The requirements are likely to be apply only to customers, rather than staff.

What are the planned new self-isolation requirements?

Under the current law, a close contact of someone with a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant is required to self-isolate regardless of vaccination status.

This month we have a guest article by Chris McGrath providing an overview of the Draft Building Safety Bill that will aim to improve building and fire safety, so that people will be, and will feel, safer in their homes.

Why this Bill?

On 14th June 2017 a fire broke out at the Grenfell Tower, a 24 storey residential tower. Failures in the building’s design and maintenance caused the fire to spread at high speed. As a result there were 72 fatalities and 151 homes were lost. A major reform was needed.

The Scope of the Bill

It will cover all higher risk buildings.  This will include all multi-occupied residential buildings, (new or existing) of 18 metres or more in height, or more than six storeys (whichever is reached first).

Expectations to improve safety and performance

The expectation is to reduce the risk of fires spreading across multiple dwellings. Also to reduce the risk of major fires.  However, the proposals are not expected to have a material impact on the number of fires.

The Bill includes key new roles, functions and responsibilities

 

The Building Safety Regulator
  • The Building Safety Regulator will introduce a better safety system.  In addition they will be able to impose sanctions and regulations to ensure this happens.
  • They will provide a more stringent regulatory framework to implement a stronger focus around building safety for developers and landlords.
  • They will also instruct an industry-led competence committee, publish non-statutory advice and guidance for various sectors.
  • The Regulator will also take enforcement action.  They will be able to impose sanctions on the corporate bodies or building control companies that do not meet regulatory standards.
Duty holders
  • Duty holders will implement a system in every building to ensure that the person, or entity, that creates a building safety risk is responsible for managing that risk.
  • The building cycle will be split into gateways – phases of the building’s life – with different duty holders for different gateways. For example, the duty holder for the design phase of the build will be the principle designer. For the construction phase, it will be the principal contractor.
  • The regulator will assess the gateway at each handover.  A ‘golden thread of information’ will connect these different phases. This will include details about the original design and construction, as well as details on the changes and upgrades to the building during its life cycle.
  • Once the building is occupied, the duty holder will become the accountable person. The accountable person is usually the building owner.
Accountable Person’s Responsibilities
  • The Accountable Person will submit a Residents Engagement Strategy (which will include a complaints procedure) to the Building Safety Regulator.  They will also listen and respond to concerns and ensure residents are heard.
  • Their responsibilities will also include developing a Safety Case Report.  This will be submitted to the Building Safety Regulator as part of application for a Building Assurance Certificate.
  • In addition they will conduct and maintain a Safety Case Risk Assessment (on new and existing buildings).  They will also appoint a Building Safety Manager to oversee it day to day.
Safety Case

This is a full building description that explains how the fire and structural risks in a building are being managed by the Building Safety Manager.  It will include –

  • An explanation and justification of the approach being taken to manage risks.
  • A hazard and risk assessment.
  • A summary of mitigation measures.
  • The approach to risk management.
Building Safety Manager
  • The Building Safety Manager will support the accountable person in the day-to-day management of the building.  Above all they will ensure that safety standards are adhered to.
  • They will also communicate the work that has taken place on the building to stakeholders.  This will ensure that the building is meeting the regulator’s requirements.  Also that it is on top of any advice or non-statutory guidance put in place by the regulator.
Cost to Leaseholder

Under the new plan, a new “building safety charge” will be set up for leaseholders. Fire Safety works are currently paid for through the service charge. This new charge will be separate to the service charge. The money will need to be held by the Freeholders in a separate account (held by a financial institution). This money will only be available for Fire Safety works.

If the freeholder has not provided a clear breakdown of costs, leaseholders will also be allowed to refuse payment if the charge is deemed “unreasonable”. However, under the new rules, leaseholders will be required to pay the fire safety charge within 28 days of when the bill was issued.  They will be required to cover some of the new measures brought in under the bill.  This will include items such as paying for a Building Safety Manager and the day-to-day management of the building.

New committees
  • A Building Regulations Advisory Committee, to provide evidence-based guidance on new issues that emerge in the built environment sector.
  • Also a new committee for industry competence.  This will overcome the fragmented and inconsistent competence of workers and managers that currently exists in the building safety sector.
  • In addition, a new residents panel will be put in place to ensure residents have a voice in the changes being made to building safety guidance. This will include residents of high-rise blocks and representative tenants groups.
New Homes Ombudsman

A New Homes Ombudsman will allow a better mechanism for new home owners to make complaints against developers about the quality of the construction. (There is currently no mechanism for new home owners to make these complaints.) The Ombudsman will work with developers to come up with a code of practice that could be used in relation to sales, marketing and standard and quality of workmanship.

 

The full details of the Bill can be found on the Government website.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-building-safety-bill

Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014

Are you aware that the legislation on storing petrol is changing?  Although existing health and safety responsibilities will remain the same, the new Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 will come into effect on 1 October 2014 and replace existing petrol storage legislation which will be withdrawn. Further information can be found here http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/petroleum.htm

Legislation is being introduced next year to protect “Good Samaritans” who are acting for “the common good”.

The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill has been developed to reassure first aiders and voluntary workers that they cannot be sued for accidents that happen when they are attending to those who need help or are in distress. There was concern that people were being deterred from taking part in voluntary activities, helping others or intervening in emergencies due to worries about risk and liability.   Read more