News & Updates

Broadcast January 2020

Hello, and happy new year from us all at Stallard Kane Associates. We trust you all had a good break and are fully refreshed and ready for what 2020 has to bring!

Our Christmas treat this year involved everyone at Stallard Kane and Riverside Training Services enjoying an afternoon Go-Karting. We only mention this as Richard Kane would like you to know that his team won!

2020 is an important year for us as we are celebrating 20 years in business, and we’re as invested as ever in improving the way that we work and growing the services that we offer, so please keep a lookout for important announcements throughout the year. 

Also, to mark this special milestone, we will be celebrating our clients’ success stories too – we are so grateful for the opportunity to work with each and every one of you and thank you for your support over the years. Our first success story in this newsletter is about RLH Developments who recently secured the Contractor of the Year title for the second time at the PCA Awards, late last year. 

This month’s health and safety and HR articles cover something new and something old, but both are equally important and are worth taking the time to read through.

Firstly, our HR Advisor, Richard Naylor, talks through the implications of the new Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act, which comes into effect from April 2020 and is relevant for all employers.

Then Steve Taylor, our Health & Safety Advisor, discusses the importance of proper risk assessing, (which is not only important, but is a legal requirement), and offers some helpful guidance.

Finally, there’s a message from our Training Team as now’s the ideal time to review your training requirements for the year ahead.

As ever, should you need any support or advice about any of the issues raised in this newsletter, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


HR UPDATE: Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 

Unfortunately, over the years we have received calls from employers regarding what their responsibility is when it comes to bereavement leave.

As it currently stands, there is no legal obligation for employers to provide paid time off for bereavement, despite 1 in 10 employees being affected by the death of a loved one at any given point.  

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees currently have the legal right to take ‘reasonable’ time off to deal with an emergency, this falls under the statutory right to emergency time off for dependants. This entitlement is only to unpaid leave and does not allow for a longer period off due to grief. 

With effect from April 2020 the new Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act comes into force.

Who is entitled to paid Parental Bereavement Leave?
Parents and primary carers who have suffered the loss of a child under the age of 18. This is a day one right. 

What are employees entitled to?
The new Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act will give all employed parents / carers who have been employed for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks prior to the child’s death and have received pay above the lower earnings limit for the previous eight weeks, a day-one right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. In this instance, female employees will still be entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave and/or pay, as will a mother who loses a child after it is born. Employed parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

Workers who have not been employed for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks are entitled to two weeks’ unpaid leave.

The two weeks’ leave can be taken either in one block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each. It must be taken within 56 weeks of the date of the child’s death. This is to allow for time to be taken off for difficult events such as birthdays or anniversaries.

Notice requirements for taking the leave will be flexible, so it can be taken at short notice.

Employees who have sufficient service and earnings will be entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay.

If an employee loses more than one child, they will be entitled to take a separate period of leave for each child.

What else should HR be aware of?
Under the new legislation, employers will not be entitled to request a copy of the child’s death certificate as evidence of an employee’s right to the entitlement.

Large organisations will be able to reclaim almost all the statutory bereavement pay, whilst small employers will be able to recover all of it. 

Dependant on the diversity of the workforce, employers may need to be mindful that different religions have their own bereavement traditions and funeral rites that must be followed. Any refusal to allow an employee to observe their beliefs and customs could amount to a tribunal claim for religious discrimination.

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, employees have the right to keep details of their child’s death confidential. Speak to the employee, what information are they comfortable with their colleagues knowing and, above all, ensure that their wishes are respected.

As with any traumatic event there is always the possibility that employees may experience mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Should this be the case, you must seek medical advice with a view to making reasonable adjustments. 

Managing bereavement in the workplace comes with its challenges. However, remember, treating employees with the same kindness and compassion that you would wish to be treated will be beneficial to all.

If you need any help or advice regarding this or any other HR/Employment Law matter, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the SK HR team.


H&S UPDATE: Understanding the importance of risk assessing 

Health and safety rules and regulations can often feel like an inconvenience, boring, a general annoyance that gets in the way of “actual work”, but in reality, the rules and regulations are there to protect us, those around us and sometimes (shockingly) they even improve the working environment as a whole.

Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2019 reported that:

  • 147 workers were killed at work
  • 581,000 working people sustained an injury at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 69,208 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury 
  • £15 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions

This begs the question: was there a suitable risk assessment in place?
risk assessment is not only an important step in ensuring a safe and healthy work environment, it is a legal requirement. 

It’s also a legal requirement to physically document your findings of a risk assessment for companies with 5 or more employees.

It needs to be conducted before employees start, carry out and complete work on current or new parts, processes or materials. 

You must consider the possible causes of harm and what steps to take in preventing the harm in the first place.

A good risk assessment

  • is not complicated, but simple and concise.
  • will help to prevent accidents and ill health – these not only have the potential to ruin lives, but they could also increase costs to businesses through lost output, compensation claims and higher insurance premiums. 
  • should give the employer the information required to enable all other health and safety processes to branch off from it.
  • will provide the user with adequate information detailing all control measures required to complete the task as safely as responsibly practicable.
  • will ensure that employees work safe and go home each day to their loved ones.
  • should be carried out by a competent person (defined as: Someone who has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities that allow them to carry out the required task effectively).
  • should also include the input of the employee carrying out the works as they have the skills and understanding , this is a very good tool to write a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and also gets employee buy-in.

The most important actions for any risk assessment are communication and understanding of all the relevant employees.

Once Risk Assessments have been completed, it is important to remember that they are live documents and should be monitored and reviewed regularly, while also being managed effectively, ensuring that all employees are adhering to the controls in place. 

Further training and information:
All Stallard Kane consultants will be happy to discuss and advise where we can if you require further information on how to complete and manage risk assessments.

We can also provide specific Risk Assessment training to ensure your nominated person is fully conversant in all aspects of assessing risks within your workplace.

Guidance, frequently asked questions and further information on how to complete a competent risk assessment can also be found on the HSE website:  

https://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/

https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/steps-needed-to-manage-risk.htm

REMINDER: The HSE inspectors are now visiting businesses across the country to check that companies are complying with the law, concentrating on welding fume AND metalworking fluids. This is due to the fact that all welding fumes (including mild steel) are now classed as carcinogens, and that metalworking fluids can cause occupational asthma, occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis (a rare immune system disorder that affects the lungs) and dermatitis.

Engineering companies are most likely to be visited, however, if you carry out welding or use metalworking fluids within your organisation, any possible inspection would focus on the same.

These visits are planned to last until the end of March 2020.


TRAINING UPDATE

Happy New Year from Faye and Naomi, who manage the Training Department at Stallard Kane Associates Ltd.

2020 not only brings the start of a New Year but also a New Decade – we wonder what that decade may bring? Smaller phones? More social media platforms? Flying cars? Who knows?

But what if 2020 could bring more efficiency within your workplace? Greater staff retention? Increased staff motivation? Having a robust Training Programme in place within your business can help with these factors and make for a happier, more valued, workforce.

In the words of Henry Ford 

 “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay”

One of the many services offered by the SK Training is a Training Needs Analysis, whereby our Training Manager, Faye, will come to your business, regardless of where you are in the country, and discuss potential training needs, costing and a timeframe of delivery. 

Both Faye and Naomi are happy to discuss any Training Requirements or questions you may have, so please feel free to contact them on 01427 678 660.


CELEBRATING: RLH Developments

Back in November, RLH Developments Ltd was honoured by the Property Care Association (PCA) at its annual awards ceremony – for the second time.

The company secured the Contractor of the Year title in the damp and timber (larger company) category, sponsored by Safeguard Europe, having won the same award in 2012.

RLH Developments was established in 1980 and has grown to a successful and trusted contractor, working for local authorities, housing associations, surveyors, landlords, estate agents, building contractors and private clients across the south east.

The PCA recognised the work of its members at an awards ceremony held during its annual conference, which this year took place at The Slate, University of Warwick.

Stephen Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, said: 

“This is a well-deserved award for RLH Developments. They work to a very high standard and are worthy winners of this prestigious accolade.”

Based in Croydon, RLH Developments provide timber and damp-proofing treatment and restoration across Central and South London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent. It is a family-run firm, with a commitment to excellence in everything they do. 

They have always had a particular focus on health and safety and training, ensuring all of their surveyors and operatives receive regular, scheduled health and safety briefings in all aspects of the work they cover and are trained to the highest industry standards.

One of the Team
Stallard Kane have been ‘one of the team’ at RLH Development since 2010, providing our health and safety services, but they have recently signed up for our HR & Employment Law service too. 

Kerri O’Reilly, Director says:

“The support and advice we receive from Stallard Kane is so helpful and everyone’s very approachable. All of the consultants we have worked with over the years have been outstanding – Paul Kent especially has worked tirelessly, guiding me through our health and safety – we would not have received this award if it hadn’t been for him.

Apart from all of the usual health and safety services, Paul and his colleagues guided us through the hand vibration calculations for all of our new Hilti tools and provided invaluable advice throughout the year, including respiratory wear and associated face fitting, policies etc.

We stay with Stallard Kane because of the personal attention we receive – they are flexible, always available, quick to respond to queries and offer excellent up to date guidance.  The whole team make health and safety easy to police and enjoyable.

Looking to the future, we are excited to gradually increase the both the size and geographical area of the company, and with the excellent guidance from Stallard Kane for both our health and safety and HR this will be achievable.’

We’re honoured to have been a part of RLH Development’s success and look forward to seeing what they go on to achieve over the coming years.