Sure Group backs nationwide ‘Clap for our Carers’ NHS celebration campaign

Sure Group and our healthcare division Sure Healthcare is backing a campaign for people to celebrate the amazing work of our NHS.

‘Clap for our Carers’ is an event calling for people to join in a round of applause to show appreciation for the hard work of NHS workers during these unprecedented times with the Covid-19 outbreak.

The appeal, which has gone viral after being shared thousands of times on social media, says:

“Please join us on March 26 at 8pm for a big applause (from front doors, garden, balcony, windows, living rooms, etc) to show all who are working at the front line, our appreciation for their ongoing hard work and fight against this virus.

“Please share this message, so we can make sure the word spreads and reaches all to join!”

With doctors, nurses and other NHS staff working around the clock risking their own health to help others in the battle against this virus, we want to show our support here at Sure Group, and our teams will be joining the campaign by taking part in a round of applause at 8pm this evening (Thursday 26th March).

Our healthcare division, Sure Healthcare, supplies healthcare professionals and auxiliary staff to clients in a range of sectors, including NHS trusts.

While not solely catering for NHS remits, as a provider of health and social care in the community, we want to also thank and include our team of dedicated and fantastic Healthcare workers who are still supporting the community for their daily healthcare needs.

We understand the dedication and passion staff bring to these roles and want to highlight their fantastic work in this difficult period though the ‘Clap for our Carers’ campaign.

We hope you’ll join us this evening and show our NHS your support by taking part in a nationwide round of applause at 8pm.

Sure Group Coronavirus Business Update

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister last night (Monday 23rd March) we want to offer our staff assurance on how we are handling and treating this situation.

Sure Group supply to key sectors such as Food, Logistics, Recycling and Healthcare.

Therefore some of our workers are treated as ‘key workers’ and are still allowed to travel to their place of work as they will play a crucial role in the country’s fight against Coronavirus.

In these torrid times, there is a lot of concern but we want you to be reassured we are doing our upmost to ensure everything runs like normal for everyone. This includes being paid weekly and on time and having a member of our team on hand should you have any questions.

Do not worry, we are here for you. Although most of our staff will be working from home from today (Tuesday 24th March) we will continue to be available for you as normal. We will be servicing our clients’ requirements and doing our best to ensure everyone has work and keeps a wage coming in until otherwise advised by them or the Government.

Please note our offices will now be closed with immediate effect as from Tuesday 24/03/20 and our teams will be only contactable by phone. Please be patient with your account manager, as mentioned they will be working remotely but may take a little longer to respond. We will be providing vital PPE to all our workers at planned collection times so please liaise with your line manager for your requirements.

We will continue to provide update on a frequent basis so please keep an eye on our website and social media channels.

All that remains is that you listen to the news and follow the advice from the Government.

Stay calm and stay safe.

From all the staff at Sure Group

Coronavirus (COVID-19) company update

In light of the potential impact related to COVID-19, we feel it’s important that we update you on our business continuity infrastructure.

Let me start by saying that at this moment in time and until advised otherwise it is business as usual for the Sure Group. We have business continuity plans in place and these are well tested on an annual basis and are designed to cover many areas including pandemic impact and in the past such measures have been implemented during times of bad weather, with very little interference in our service levels.

We are confident that our plans will mitigate the impact to our clients and workers and have been designed specifically to minimise workflow interruption. Sure Group has secondary back up locations with full operational infrastructure, and our team of consultants and back office support teams can work independently and remotely from any location including their homes if required, this includes full access to our phone and IT systems.

We are confident that any further widespread developments will have little effect on our day to day operations, including; Service Levels, Order Fulfilment, Payroll Processing, Compliance Management, and Recruitment/On boarding processes and that you will continue receiving the quality of level of support and service you have grown accustomed to from the Sure Group.

We are aware that due to COVID-19 some clients are taking precautionary measures and as such have decided to go on lockdown and refuse client visits etc, however due to the nature of our business we will continue our duties as normal with regards to attending site for daily check in, service reviews etc unless otherwise instructed by our clients.

I can confirm that we have preventative measures in place with regards to the health and safety of our workforce and candidates and we have issued everyone with a Coronavirus Fact Sheet which provides them with guidance on how to prevent them from catching or how to proceed in the event of having caught the virus. Furthermore we have introduced a new health questionnaire which has been issued to not only our current workforce, but also to all new candidates who come and register with ourselves and covers the key areas in relation to having the any of the main Coronavirus symptoms, recent travel movements in the last 14 days etc.

We will keep all our clients and workers up to date with the latest government guidance and are here to support any queries you may have.

In the meantime if you require any additional support during this period, then please do not hesitate to contact your account manager via your normal channels If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your account manager or our team for more information.

Kind regards,

Mark Newby

Commercial Manager

IR35 reforms delayed due to Coronavirus outbreak

Reforms to the IR35 tax ruling have been delayed by one year, just a week after they were confirmed in the Budget, chief treasury secretary Steve Barclay has confirmed.

The changes, which restrict tax avoidance by targeting contractors for companies who are, in practice, providing the same service as employees, will come into affect on 6th April 2021 and not this April as originally planned.

Read City A.M.’s full report at: https://www.cityam.com/ir35-reforms-to-be-delayed-for-a-year-due-to-coronavirus/

Government update on drivers’ hours rules during the Coronavirus pandemic

Please be aware of the following temporary relaxation of driver’s hours rules, directed by the government in regard to supporting the logistical recovery of urgent supplies back into shops and supermarkets.

This temporary relaxation applies from 00:01 on Wednesday 18 March 2020 and will run until 23:59 on Thursday 16 April 2020.

As your drivers hear about this, they will no doubt be calling you to clarify these rules, hence the below communication is for your benefit to help you understand the changes. This will also affect the number of days you can plan a driver to work, as long as he is fit and willing to do so.

Please remember the health and wellbeing of the driver and other road users is paramount and must always be considered as number one priority.

In response to requests from Industry, the Department for Transport has agreed to a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales for the drivers of vehicles involved in the delivery of food, non-food (personal care and household paper and cleaning) and over the counter pharmaceuticals when undertaking the following journeys:

1) Distribution centre to stores (or fulfilment centre)

2) From manufacturer or supplier to distribution centre (including backhaul collections)

3) From manufacturer or supplier to store (or fulfilment centre)

4) Between distribution centres and transport hub trunking

5) Transport hub deliveries to stores

This exemption does not apply to drivers undertaking deliveries directly to consumers.

The department wishes to make clear that driver safety must not be compromised. Drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired – employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees and other road users.

 

For the drivers and work in question, the EU drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows:

a) Replacement of the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours;

b) Reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours;

c) Lifting the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limits (90 hours) to 60 and 96 hours respectively.

d) Postponement of the requirement to start a weekly rest period after six-24 hours periods, for after seven 24 hours period, although two regular weekly rest periods or a regular and a reduced weekly rest period will still be required within a fortnight.

e) The requirements for daily breaks of 45 minutes after 4.5 hours driving replaced with replaced with a break of 45 minutes after 5.5 hours of driving.

 

Drivers’ must not use relaxation ‘a’ and ‘d’ at the same time. This is to ensure drivers are able to get adequate rest.

The practical implementation of the temporary relaxation should be through agreement between employers and employees and/or driver representatives.

The drivers in question must note on the back of their tachograph charts or printouts the reasons why they are exceeding the normally permitted limits. This is usual practice in emergencies and is, of course, essential for enforcement purposes.

If you need any further guidance on information regarding this matter then please do not hesitate to contact your Sure Group representative.

 

HMRC makes last-minute change to IR35 rule

HM Revenue & Customs have announced changes to the operation of off-payroll working rules, meaning they will now only apply to payments made for services provided on or after 6 April 2020.

The announcement was made this morning (Friday 07 February) ahead of the publication of the government’s review into implementation of the new rules, in response to a common issue raised over the course of the review, which is businesses’ concerns over what payments the rules apply to – and from when.

The government says the decision was taken to give businesses certainty and more time to prepare to ensure the smooth and successful implementation of the reforms that come into force from 6 April.

To find out more, read Recruiter’s report at: https://www.recruiter.co.uk/news/2020/02/last-minute-ir35-rule-change-hmrc

The Apprentice – Your Hired!

This week is National Apprenticeship week and here at Sure Group we are firm believers in supporting the youth of today and giving them an opportunity to progress and develop their careers.

Every year we take on a new apprentice and last year saw Max join our company through Cityworks.

Like most of us at his age, Max wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after leaving school, so he joined the Apprenticeship scheme and undertook an NVQ level 2 in Customer Care.

Since joining the Sure Group, Max has progressed month on month. His apprenticeship has seen him undertake a variety of roles in relation to the recruitment industry. He has not just performed general administrative duties but also become a key player within our industrial department, overseeing the whole recruitment process from resourcing, registering and placing candidates.

Max said “When I was offered an apprenticeship placement at a recruitment company I wasn’t too sure what I would be doing, but from day one I was made welcomed and part of the team. Every day is different and I am faced with new challenges which I enjoy and this opportunity has helped me with my confidence.

“I still have a lot to learn but I am looking forward to progressing my career here at the Sure Group.”

At the Sure Group we feel that Max has become an integral part of the team and are excited in seeing him progress with our company over the coming years.

Max is now coming to the end of his apprenticeship and following his success here has been offered a permanent opportunity with us as a Junior Consultant as from March this year.

So if you are looking for an opportunity to join a company that offers you diversity and are looking for a challenge in an industry that is rewarding then forward your CV to info@sure-grp.co.uk

 

 

Changes to holiday pay calculations

Calculation of holiday pay for variable workers

(Amendments to regulation 16 of the Working Time Regulations 1998)

What is the law now?

As it stands, all employees are entitled to paid annual leave and they must be paid the same amount when on holiday as they would receive when they’re at work – regardless of their working pattern.

Holiday pay can be calculated based on the days or hours worked per week, annual hours, compressed hours or shifts.

If an employee’s working hours don’t vary (i.e. they work 9am – 5:30pm, 5 days per week), their holiday pay should be calculated using their usual pay rate.

For example, Jack works from 9am to 5:30pm every day, Monday to Friday. If he takes seven days of annual leave in January, he will be paid the same amount as if he has worked a typical week.

However (and this is where it gets a little complicated), if an employee doesn’t have fixed or regular hours or their pay isn’t always the same, their holiday pay is calculated based on the average number of hours worked, at their average pay in the previous 12 weeks. 12 weeks being the current holiday reference period under the current iteration of the Working Time Regulations.

For example, Jill has worked an average of 23 hours per week over the last 12 weeks and has been paid an average of £10.50 per hour for her work. As such, she would be entitled to £241.50 per week as holiday pay (£10.50 per hour x 23 hours).

What will change on 6th April 2020?

The amendments being made to the Working Time Regulations 1998 that come into force in April will make changes to the holiday reference period which is currently 12 weeks.

The holiday reference period used to calculate holiday pay for variable workers is being increased to 52 weeks (for employees that have been in your employment for more than 52 weeks).

Thus, to calculate the holiday pay for an employee on variable hours or pay, you will need to work out the average hours worked and average pay from the previous 52 weeks.

If you have employees on variable hours or pay that have been in your employment for less than 52 weeks, the holiday reference period will be the number of weeks for which they have been employed. Again, you would need to calculate the average number of hours worked and that average pay for the period of time they have been employed.

As with current employment law, any weeks an employee hasn’t worked or received pay for should be excluded from your calculations.

What does it mean for your business?

These changes to the methods in which holiday pay is calculated should greatly benefit employees on variable hours. The change in reference period should help even out any peaks and troughs in pay for employees, particularly those in seasonal roles.

What it does mean for your business, however, is that you must ensure that your records of the hours worked and pay received by these employees are correct as any incorrect records will directly impact an employee’s pay. Online clocking in systems or timesheets can be helpful to track the exact hours worked by each employee, where details of hours worked and any variable pay entitlement can be logged. This information is then securely stored online and is easily accessible whenever employees make annual leave requests.

 

 

 

 

 

Survey reveals half of employees seek flexible working in 2020

It’s been revealed that the number one priority for the workforce of 2020 is flexible working.

That’s according to a new survey which has found one in two employees value flexible working far higher than holidays and benefits (1%), job security (6%), commute time (6%) and even salary (31%).

It’s the results of a survey of over 800 people aged 18-65 which was carried out by online recruitment company Redwigwam, which matches workers with a wide range of flexible jobs.

Founder and CEO Lorna Davidson said: “The days of a strict 9-5 will soon be a thing of the past. Businesses not prepared to offer flexible working are in danger of making their employees not feel valued and with the feeling that their working pattern does not fit their lifestyle.”

To read the full article, visit https://recruitmentbuzz.co.uk/half-of-employees-seeking-flexible-working-in-2020/

New employees’ right to a statement of particulars on their first day

(Amendment to the Employment Rights Act 1996)

What is the law now?

At present, UK employment law states that an employer must give employees a written statement of employment particulars within the first two months of their employment (providing their employment lasts more than a month). This document, often contained within a contract of employment, outlines the basic terms and conditions of employment.

These can be delivered in instalments, as long as all particulars are delivered within two months of the start of employment.

At minimum, a principal statement of particulars must include:

  • the business’ name,
  • the employee’s name, job title or a description of work and start date,
  • if a previous job counts towards a period of continuous employment, the date the period started,
  • how much and how often an employee will get paid,
  • hours of work (and if employees will have to work Sundays, nights or overtime),
  • holiday entitlement(and if that includes public holidays),
  • where an employee will be working and whether they might have to relocate,
  • if an employee is expected to work in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is.

A further written statement must also contain information, where applicable, about:

  • how long a temporary job is expected to last,
  • the end date of a fixed-term contract,
  • notice periods,
  • collective agreements,
  • pensions,
  • who to go to with a grievance,
  • how to complain about how a grievance is handled,
  • how to complain about a disciplinary or dismissal decision.

What will change on 6th April 2020?

Amendments to UK employment law that come into force in April state that employees have “the right to a written statement of particulars of employment when an individual begins employment (a day one right)” (Legislation.gov.uk, 2018).

Employers will also have to include further information on the statement of particulars when an employee joins a business

These include:

  • Terms and conditions relating to hours of work including normal working hours, the days of the week the worker is required to work and whether or not working hours/days may be variable (and if so, how they may vary or how the variation will be determined),
  • any other paid leave,
  • any other benefits (childcare vouchers, health insurance, health cash plans, food, accommodation etc where applicable),
  • details of any probationary period (including its conditions and duration),
  • any training entitlement provided by the employer, any training that the employee is required to complete and any mandatory training costs not covered by the employer.

Furthermore, existing employees can, on or after 6th April 2020, request an updated statement of particulars from their employer. This must be delivered to the employee no later than one month after the request has been made.

This amendment to the Employment Rights Act states that a statement of particulars can no longer be delivered in instalments, but must be provided to all employees from day one of starting work and as one single document.

What does it mean for your business?

In short, you need to be better prepared when welcoming new employees to your business. Review your existing contracts and make the necessary changes to accommodate these changes. Make sure your business’ contract of employment covers off all of the required information for a statement of particulars and update it as necessary for any new employees.

This should ensure clearer lines of communication between HR in preparing a contract and/or statement of particulars and the manager conducting interviews and negotiations with candidates. The job being offered should be documented in its entirety and all of the necessary information required for a statement of particulars should be clear and agreed between HR, the hiring manager/head of department and the new starter ahead of their first day.

While the changes to the Employment Rights Act 1996 don’t state that you have to provide all existing employees with an updated statement of particulars – be prepared for an existing employee to request one on or after 6th April 2020 (and at any time up to three months after the end of their employment).