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Euro Projects Recruitment Business Leaders Zoom Call 8th June Summary

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Stephen Brown

Euro Projects Recruitment Business Leaders Zoom Call

For Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology, Transportation & Logistics Professionals

Summary of Key Points: 8th June 2020

Furlough Update

Helen Dyke – Irwin Mitchell – If you have not already furloughed then you have until this Wednesday 10th June for a 3 week furlough to be completed by 30th June. If you miss the deadline then you won’t be able to furlough. 30th June deadline. Must be done by 10th June

  • Employers have until Friday 31st July to claim their furlough payment.
  • Next update is coming on 12th June on how new scheme works from July onwards.
  • Legal risk – If the employee has worked for the business for 2 years or more – they may have the right for an unfair dismissal claim – they could argue that employer didn’t use job retention scheme as an alternative. Some employers have been urged to delay the redundancies therefore you can proceed but look at alternate of furlough as some challenges expected.
  • Question : “If furlough is extended until the end of July, whilst knowing that there is an intention of making that role redundant – could the business be at risk of claim of fraud?” Just Helen’s view but the point of the scheme is to save jobs – even if temporarily – scheme used to save jobs so be clear in process – can keep them on notice in furlough, give them a salary as long as possible – not dishonest…let’s remember that employers were able to take on employees who had left a previous job – government allowed new employer to take them on so it gives someone an income…no risk of fraud – honest and open and not doing anything wrong as far as HMRC are concerned.
  • Some clients have had friendly call from HMRC – it is starting to happen….800 reports of fraud – so is starting to be investigated
  • Guide to Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884664/Coronavirus_Job_Retention_Scheme_step_by_step_guide_for_employers.pdf

 

  • Returning to Work, Risk Assessments  and Track & Trace
  • Stephen Brown – Euro Projects Recruitment - As things unlock – thoughts now  on “how do we bring people back into the workplace” SB observation : “nice to see a mix of people on the zoom call from their place of work and not just bedrooms / home offices”
  • Joe Rahman – General Manager – M&H Plastics (Part of Berry Group) –Sustainable Plastics Manufacturer.
  • We needed to move quickly to safeguard jobs in the first few weeks with so many unknown factors with M&H being such a large employer locally – 1000 people – 800 on Joe’s site. Recognition of how we impact local community not just the site.
  • We were well prepared – having recently done modelling on disaster recovery via BRC 50001, ISO 9001 – we are constantly training and receive constant auditing – perpetual improvement – our own governance highlighting any short falls etc were addressed, so we were quick to assemble a disaster recovery team and business continuity team.
  • In January we placed a large order for PPE. Thinking it’s better to be safe than sorry, same with sanitiser – when the crisis hit we were in a good place and even able to offer sanitiser to local businesses as well as to our staff. As part of a global business we leveraged the power of our supply chain. Although other group company sites in Germany were closed (industrial and automotive).
  • We were quick to communicate with high frequency and undertake practical measures such as segregate canteens.
  • We have 20% of office staff on site, the rest working from home – and business still running – not rushing people back but it is an option.
  • We pre-screen check all returning staff – we have a dynamic checklist, comprising a series of questions emailed to employees and contractors – Are they safe to come back?
  • We have made PPE mandatory for all attendees on site – it’s our risk assessment not the contractor’s.
  • All areas where employees might mix is marked out, such as smoking area.
  • You need to be creative to get good distancing – barriers cardboard – move tables etc. but with office workers at home it’s alleviated and created space – temporary break areas created.
  • Staff feel safe, a few have said they feel safer here than they do at home. However some are still nervous of returning. We have liaised with Public Health England and HSE who are pleased with how we were approaching it.
  • We were having daily Covid calls, now weekly now no longer needed at such frequency.
  • We have just had first Covid confirmed case, there is a high probability this was brought in from their family as mother is a Covid nurse. We already had staggered shifts and were well planned for this. Also brought in contract cleaners to deep clean the whole department, offices, corridors, toilets etc cleaned over weekend – The management team came in early and asked if any concerns with staff – offered face masks if they wanted but not compulsory.
  • Track and trace was instigated  – if someone on shift has a case does it close the whole shift was our concern. However the person who contracted covid had only been in contact with one person for more than 15 minutes within a 2 metre radius, so we were well protected. This highlights the need for good distancing measures.
  • We wanted to re-test the employee before coming back to work – but public health England said “why” as after first few days they aren’t contagious. If they get tested they will likely still test positive again as Covid stays in system for 3-4 weeks – so we’ve now changed our policy on this.
  • Track and trace question – “How was Isolated employee paid?” – They have a healthy sick pay scheme – 2% absent rates on average – so if been here over 3 years build up good sick pay provision – so choice of sick pay.
  • Helen Irvin Mitchell – SSP available  – some businesses top up to 100%.
  • Berry Group is manufacturing a lot of plastic bottles for sanitisers – huge demand, with 14 week lead times, although initially we had made some products for stock.
  • Local town of Beccles now talking about closing roads so they can social distance – we are producing hand sanitiser bottles for local authority.
  • It’s been a call to arms – but people have come together.
  • Alastair Evanson - HORIBA MIRA – Automotive Test and R&D Facility - 700 headcount across a large and diverse site.
  • HM done a lot of safety work – they have lot of visitors on site, including tenants on the MIRA Technology Park.
  • They have provided risk assessment advice to get teams back on site. Lots of parallels to Joe – A diverse site with different activities – They had Risk Assessments  in place before but have enhanced these specifically for Covid related risks.
  • Making sure implementation of safe systems of work. ‘Triple S’ Standardise, Supress, Safeguard, Taking corporate level risk assessment – from that boil down to individual level to specific activities.
  • RA done in line with standard legal obligations - 5 step plan:
    • Identify hazard
    • Who might be harmed and how
    • Assess the risk and take action
    • Record findings
    • Review and assess risk assessment against scoring matrix
  • Constantly reviewing how can we reduce risk? Focusing on hierarchy of controls – particularly contact with people and surfaces. Developing hand washing and cleaning schedules in preparation for having more people back
  • Additional consideration should be given to things like first aid procedures – if a responder needs to do First Aid – have safe systems in place so they can respond safely – Also issues such as fire evacuation – are we robust and are our people protected?
  • Communication is key – we’ve had incidents where people have felt unwell. We have stressed the importance of following safe systems of work. Otherwise a whole area of business the business can be taken out.
  • HM is  doing Inductions with everyone before they come to site – they know exactly what to expect – it follows their journey on site – access / security / what do / questionnaires before on site – an induction video maps it out – it’s reassuring to customers and tenants on site and shows we are taking it very seriously.
  • HM now running at 80% capacity with 55% of employees back onsite – 45% work from home. The best way to mitigate risk is to remove the hazard – if you can work from home continue to do so.
  • They are reviewing the site at the moment – how can we repurpose office space as we bring more back on site