Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

PPE Regulations updated

In Employment law, health and safety, Uncategorized, workers on June 20, 2022 at 8:55 am

On April 6 the PPE regulations were updated to amend the old 1992 Regs. These regulations extend the employer’s and employee’s duties in relation to the use and provision of personal protective equipment to other workers who may be engaged on a less formal basis such as casual or occasional workers.

All businesses must carry out a risk assessment in relation to all their activities and determine if harm can occur to employees, visitors, contractors, or members of the public.

Control measures are then implemented to minimise risk as far as practically possible. PPE is an important control measure. PPE will be the last line of protection where all other practical measures have been taken but risk of harm still remains.

Rather than PPE being “available”. PPE users should be aware of why PPE is used and any particular hazard they may have been exposed to and what “signs” or ill effects they should look for.

If you have further questions contact Rob Bryan Associates – 01462 732444 /

A Burning Issue

In healthandsafety, Uncategorized on June 15, 2022 at 9:00 am
Pineapple wearing a hat and sunglasses

So what has a pineapple wearing sunglasses and a hat got to do with your business?

The hottest day of the year is forecast and ‘International Sunglasses Day’ takes place this month (27th June); raising awareness of the damage that can be done to the eyes by the sun’s harmful rays.

Still wondering?… We’re talking about sun safety. With cases of skin cancer on the rise in the UK (since the early 1990’s incidence rates have more than doubled) consideration needs to be given to the risks of sun damage associated with outdoor working. This could particularly affect workers in construction, agriculture or leisure. Research has shown that 55% of skin cancer incidences are from those employed in the construction industry.

Some groups are particularly at risk:

  • Pale or freckled skin that tends to burn
  • Fair/red hair
  • Skin prone to moles
  • Family history of skin cancer

Although the risk is lower for those with darker skin, sun damage can still occur, along with the same need to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion.

According to Cancer Research 86% of Melanoma skin cancer cases are preventable.

What can employers do?

  • Educate – make sure your employees know that sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and what they can do to minimize the risks. Encourage them to check their skin regularly and report any concerns to their doctor. This can be part of your health and safety training.
  • Provide shaded space to take breaks.
  • During particularly hot and sunny periods schedule work to avoid the midday sun / have more frequent rest breaks.
  • Encourage workers to keep covered up and wear a hat.
  • Encourage workers to wear a high-factor suncream and reapply during the day.
  • Make sure water is available.

For advice on all your employment matters contact Rob Bryan Associates – 01462 732444 /

More summer advice:

Heat Wave Hot Tips

What’s on your employee’s mind?

In business principles, Equality, family, health and safety, Uncategorized on May 16, 2022 at 10:05 am

Practical advice for supporting Mental Well-being at Work

May is mental health month. The events calendar is full of theme days, weeks months. Why? Well, in order to promote awareness, cultural change and to myth-bust.

A fear of admitting that “I cannot cope” the stigma attached to “breaking down” – surely there is now greater awareness about Mental Health!

But this week, multiple surveys show that most employees wouldn’t talk to their employer about their concerns.

As a forward-thinking employer, wanting to do things in the right way and protecting your business interests, you have probably put some things in place, developed some policies and perhaps even trained some staff.

Training is available for managers. Companies are establishing mental first aiders.

But what’s the point if there is no discussion?

As a busy manager or owner you might be thinking…

I haven’t got time for this,
I wouldn’t know where to start,
it’s personal and private, isn’t it?
these things sort themselves out in the end, won’t they?

I get it. I really do.

As a manager or business owner over the last couple of years you might well be thinking, “well, who’s looking after my well-being, my interests, my health…?

Some Reasons to act
It is highly likely that at some point in time you or members of your team will be significantly impacted by life!

It can happen to anyone – your ‘good’ people are not immune:

life disruptions can happen at any time, without warning
stuff outside of work, can and will, impair concentration, energy, and likely, performance.

This is all a barrier to: productivity, excellence and effective team working.

It leads to absence, mistakes, lost time, poor working relationships, friction and tension within your team with a greater chance of even ending the working relationship.

So, what can I do?

Some practical steps:
Create a space where people can talk
return to work interviews after absence
if you’re not the go-to person, make sure there is a dedicated person who is
decide ahead of time what you and your business can do to support employees
have access to and use a template discussion document such as 9 questions supporting employees

Look out for the signs or any changing behaviours:
dips in performance
mistakes or simple errors
loss of temper or irritability
being away from the desk or the workplace
preoccupied with text messages or phone calls
being withdrawn

Consider homeworkers
Whether by design or necessity work patterns may have changed – this is not for everyone. The changing behaviours above may not be so apparent for home-workers.

consider social break outs for online meetings
onboarding new staff needs special attention

Acknowledge known life events
…relationship breakdown, partner ill-health, concerns about children’s education,
care for elderly relatives, living with a teenager (or returning young adult!),
awaiting healthcare or results of tests, miscarriage, the loss of a loved one.#

We often know about our colleagues and what they are going through. It isn’t surprising that life throws up challenges.

But do we ignore or acknowledge this?

There is real power when an employee can be heard or acknowledged in relation to their situation. For an employee knowing that life does not need to be hidden from their boss can be a huge stress reliever.

Reality: many employees feel isolated, alone or even ashamed that they are struggling.

Providing Support
Right now, financial well-being is the headline topic.

Would you want one of your employees to get into debt with a loan shark, payday loan company or the trending apps freely offering credit at 29.9% APR!

A car repair, a washing machine breakdown, child’s birthday or school uniform.
Any unexpected bill.

1.5 million households are faced with being unable to pay for gas and electric out of disposable income.
What could it mean for your employees to be supported with perhaps a pay advance or interest-free loan, perhaps over 2 or 3 month’s pay? Your business has the power to make the difference.

Finally, this week I made a discovery. It is possible for an employer with 1 to 57 employees to buy in help and support for every member of staff.

I thought these programmes were for Large co, and not viable for smaller businesses.

However, for a single annual premium of £500 Health Assured offer an employee assistance programme covering up to 57 employees. That means your employees can get help and assistance as and when they need it on a wide range of concerns and problems.

The headline for me: if your employee goes to their GP and they cannot cope, the only tool in the bag is medication and a 6 month wait for counselling. An employee assistance programme will allow many many more options. And as for counselling, any of your employees can have access all within a fixed premium.

The employee gets the support they need, when they need it.

As a for your business, you are not doing it alone.

RBA supports many clients in the 1-57 employee category. Our clients tell us that our expert advice provided through a dedicated named contact gives them exactly what they need when they need it.

If you require further information on mental health in the workplace, the essential discussions to have with your employees, how to implement return to work policies was set up a mental health first aid scheme – then why not arrange a FREE NO OBLIGATION Discovery Call with us today.

If you’re thinking of making pay advances or setting up loans. You need to be putting in some contractual agreements to allow you to make deductions from pay.

As a thank you for reading this email today – Here is our FREE framework document.

If you would like details of our training course – THE ESSENTIAL DISCUSSIONS – please contact us to register your interest.

Finally, if you’ve never thought of an employee assistance programme before but would like to know more, RBA have access to preferential rates with Health Assured. For more details click on the link.

Thank you for taking time to read this post. We hope you found it useful.

Rob Bryan

Repeal of vaccination as a condition of employment

In business principles, contracts, covid-19, Employment law, government, health and safety, Uncategorized on March 7, 2022 at 1:29 pm

The Government is proceeding with revoking vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) in all health and social care settings.

The regulations revoking VCOD in all health and social care settings will come into force on 15 March 2022.

The Government is still strongly encouraging social care staff to take the vaccine.

The operational guidance, Covid-19 Vaccination of People Working or Deployed in Care Homes applies to regulated activity in a care home, i.e., the provision of accommodation together with nursing or personal care, and all professionals and tradespeople who enter these settings, now reflects this decision.

The Government’s response stated: “In light of this latest scientific evidence and having considered the views received as part of the consultation, as well as an analysis of equalities impacts the Government will bring forward regulations to revoke vaccination as a condition of deployment.

“The regulations will revoke the requirements that CQC registered persons only permit those who are vaccinated against Covid-19, unless otherwise exempt, to be deployed for the provision of a CQC-regulated activity in health and/or social care, and to enter CQC registered care home premises.”

Spring Newsletter 2022

In business principles, contracts, Employment law, government, health and safety, holiday, pay, Uncategorized, workers on February 28, 2022 at 11:04 am

Our latest newsletter brings you news and views from our HR experts on:

  • The Employment Bill
  • Setting Business Goals
  • Employment Status
  • Right to Work Checks
  • The Jubilee Bank Holiday
  • Updates to national insurance and statutory rates
  • Recent cases of interest

Join our mailing list

Business Goals

In business principles, Uncategorized on February 16, 2022 at 1:06 pm
Notepad with a heading 'Goals'

Many businesses set goals and intentions for the year ahead and for these to succeed it is important to get your team on board. Below are some tips to help ensure your business goals are achieved in 2022.  

  • Communication – Your team are instrumental in making your business goals a success, meaning that transparency and good communication are vital. Working on improving these areas of management can also increase employee happiness, productivity, and loyalty. 

  • Effective Management – Are your manager’s effective in managing their teams. Have they had any management training? Its essential to ensure that your management understand your policies and procedures to enable them to effectively manage your people. Consider a management training programme as part of their development.  Now is a good time to review areas of professional development and align training programmes with your business goals.  

  • Processes – Many businesses are still temporarily facilitating working from home. Will this be the year that you make it permanent? Or perhaps you’re leaning towards hybrid working? Whichever you decide, it’s important to have the right processes in place to assist your team. Also more importantly it is essential to ensure any contractual changes are dealt with properly and the appropriate employment documents are in place.  

  • Well-being – Workplace absences related to poor mental health have increased since the pandemic began. A commitment to well-being can keep your team healthy and on the road to success. You may wish to consider setting up an EAP scheme (Employee Assistance Programme) which allows employees to get support and assistance for any issues and concerns both in and outside of the workplace. These schemes often have counselling services and can assist with sickness issues and getting the employee back to work more promptly.  

If you need assistance with any of the above areas, we would be pleased to arrange a discussion with you.

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Holiday

In business principles, contracts, holiday, Uncategorized on February 16, 2022 at 1:04 pm

Employers are reminded that this year’s usual late May bank holiday has been moved forward to Thursday 3 June; and that an additional day has been designated a bank holiday on Friday 4 June, thus making it a full 4-day break.  

It is our belief that most employers will be accommodating this extra day’s paid holiday, although whether or not there is an actual legal entitlement to it depends upon exactly what is stated in their employment contract. However, expectations will already be there and not granting the day would no doubt lead to ill-feeling.  

Part-time employees should also be afforded a pro-rata entitlement (possibly on an alternative day). 

If you have not already communicated your intentions to your staff, we suggest that you do so without delay in order for people to make their arrangements.   

Right to Work Checks

In business principles, contracts, Employment law, government, Uncategorized on February 16, 2022 at 1:03 pm
passport and visa with a tick below

Employers in the UK have a responsibility to prevent illegal working. This means conducting a simple “right to work check” before offering work to make sure the individual is not disqualified from working by reason of their immigration status. 

Carrying out these checks and keeping a record will give a defence against liability for a civil penalty in the event you are found to have employed someone who is prevented from working by reason of their immigration status. 

If an individual’s right to work is time-limited, you should conduct a follow-up check shortly before it is due to come to an end.  

There are two types of right to work checks: a manual document-based check and an online check. Conducting either the manual document-based check or the online check will provide evidence to support your defence.  

You can also use the Employer Checking Service where an individual has an outstanding application, administrative review, or appeal; or if their immigration status requires verification by the Home Office, for example in the case of Crown Dependencies.  

Further details about the requirements and procedures to follow are available in the Home Office guidance document: An employer’s guide to right to work checks ( 

Work from home guidance ends in England

In business principles, covid-19, government, health and safety, Uncategorized on January 20, 2022 at 11:09 am
workers at desks with face masks

Yesterday  (Wednesday 19th January), the Prime Minister announced an immediate end to the advice for people to work from home. England will revert to ‘Plan A’ measures from next Thursday 27th January which means a relaxation on the rules regarding face masks and Covid passports.

Steps for employers with staff working from home:

  • Employers should update their employees on whether a return to the office is now required and how this will be managed.
  • Complete a risk assessment to ensure all necessary Covid-secure measures are in place. This could include increased cleaning,  one-way systems, hand sanitizers, screens/barriers, social distancing, mask wearing, ventilation. See our recent blog post for more information on workplace safety measures. If you have been through the process of return to work previously review and assess what worked well and what could be changed.
  • Have supportive conversations with any employees who are hesitant about returning to the office.

The latest rules for self isolation and testing

In absence, covid-19, government, health and safety, Uncategorized on January 11, 2022 at 10:38 am
lateral flow test

Update 13/01/2021: From Monday 17th January those who have tested positive for Covid-19 will be able to end isolation after 5 full days following 2 negative tests, 24 hours apart.
The day symptoms begin or you test positive is day zero. A lateral flow test can be taken on day 5, if it is negative a further test can be taken on day six and if this is also negative and you are not experiencing a high temperature isolation can be ended.
Click here for a table explaining the self isolation process 

For business-critical teams, each organisation would do well to consider the requirement for negative testing before a return to the workplace. 

There has also been a change in the requirement for PCR tests. From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow test results will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test. The positive LFT should be reported via the service. This is a temporary measure while cases are high.