OUR BLOG 

 
Below are a number of posts containing useful tips and insights from the Directors of Auxil Limited, acknowledged industry experts and trusted advisors in the fields of Health & Safety and Human Resources, which will hopefully trigger some thoughts or ideas. 
 
Why not join the conversation? We would love to hear your views… 
 
We can all agree that consultation with employees during difficult and changing times has always been important. Going forward, it will become even more important as we move toward to our new normal, with new and innovative ideas on how we can work and live our lives safely and securely. So, with this in mind we have put together a number points that will help employers achieve meaningful consultation to enable businesses to reap the associated benefits, such as, better decision-making and problem solving, cost reduction, improved innovation and productivity. 
 
• Be open and honest. Not only will it help build trust in decision- making, it will also help to create a culture where employees feel able to speak up. 
• Be proactive and involve employees in the design of information and consultation arrangements. 
• Ensure there is a strategic focus at all meetings and provide employees with training so they can correctly identify this type of strategic issue. 
Working safely during the coronavirus pandemic has been and is at the forefront of business owners’ minds. To enable businesses to return to work, following the latest information from HM Government, employers are required to produce a risk assessment. 
 
To help, we have listed below the requirements employers must consider when producing their Covid-19 Risk Assessment: 
1. Are your employees fit to come to work or are their immediate family are infected or vulnerable, 
2. Should they be isolated, 
3. What happens if they show symptoms at work, 
4. Can your employees work from home and use technology 
5. Can you stagger shifts to reduce numbers at premises at any one time 
6. How are your employees getting to work, driving, using public transport, cycling or walking 
7. How are they signing in and out safely 
8. How is social distancing being managed within the workplace, 2m spacing, and moving around the workplace 
9. Use of desks, workstations, people in shared rooms or using shared working platforms. 
 
Construction company, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd was sentenced for safety breaches after worker, Mark Smith, fell 4.8 metres via an unprotected opening. 
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 28 April 2016, Mr Smith, aged 36, was working at Stone Gappe Hall, Lothersdale, Keighley, owned by Richard McAlpine, a director of the McAlpine team of companies. Mr Smith was attaching straps to a water tank while preparing to pass it to a decrease flooring of a water tower at the property, in order to paint the floor. 
 
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) observed that Mr Smith fell through an opening that did not have fixed aspect protection. As a result, he sustained serious injuries including: a tibial shaft fracture, a distal fibular fracture, a fracture to the left patella, orbital and nasal fractures, lacerations to the face, a concessional head injury, damage to his ribs and he was hospitalised for 9 days.  
 
UK employees can expect to receive a 1.1% real salary increase in 2020, compared to the 1.2% increase seen in 2019, according to research found by XpertHR. 
The median basic pay award edged up to 2.8% at the end of the quarter, 0.3 percentage points higher than the average seen in every other rolling quarter in 2019. However, XpertHR warned that the increase should be viewed with caution as its analysis looked at pay settlements awarded between 1 August and 31 October, traditionally a period where few pay reviews are concluded, the underlying picture is of organisations increasing pay by 2.5% across 2019 as a whole. 
 
Employers are in the dark about the rates they would need to pay their employees on the national minimum wage and national living wage from April 2020, as the general election has delayed the national minimum wage announcement usually scheduled for this time of year. 
This month, we are taking a look at recent news. 
An article published by hsmsearch.com shows that “a solar panel company has been fined after a worker fell through a skylight during the installation of solar panels on a farm workshop in East Sussex.” 
On July 23rd 2018 Brighton Magistrates Court heard how an employee of SolarUK Limited fell approximately four meters through a unprotected skylight, sustaining multiple long term injuries to his wrist; whilst carrying out insulation work in Ninfield. The court heard as he stood to move he stepped onto the unprotected rooflight. An investigation by the HSE found that, although the company were aware of the risks from fragile surfaces and unprotected edges, they failed to plan or properly supervise the work, failing to ensure that access to hazardous areas were prevented; thus showing that all the workers were at risk of falls throughout the job. 
 
SolarUK Limited, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of The Working at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £40,000 and ordered to pay an additional £2,170 to cover costs and a victim surcharge. 
Earlier this month we had the chance to take a Student at Severn Vale School under our wings for a week so he could experience everything Auxil had to offer. 
“Working with Auxil has shown me that Health and Safety and HR Consultancy are two massive industries, the way Auxil has blended them both together is ‘really’ clever! I would love to work for a company like this in the future.” 
Creating work experience opportunities for students and school leavers is a beneficial situation for both your company and for the young person. 
 
For employers, work experience is about giving back to society and helping the future economy by doing your bit to help preparing young people for the world of work. Employers who offer work experience give young people the opportunity to work on the company premises for a few days, giving them insight to the reality of your industry. Many young people, once they have completed or while completing their GCSEs have an idea of what they want to do as a future career, but they have no real hands on experience in the workplace. 
A skills gap is the difference between skills that employers want or need, and skills their workforce offer. As an employer, you will be aware of your own organisation’s current situation. Do you feel your staff are fully equipped to do carry out their roles to the best of their ability or are there some skills needed that are lacking which are preventing your team from driving the business forward? 
When you recruit young staff, does your eye skim down the application or CV in the vain hope of spotting those essential skills you are looking for? Are your new young recruits equipped to fill your vacancies? Has the degree or the qualification that your candidate has done prepared them for your opportunities? If not, is there something you could do as an employer to get your staff all on the same page. 
Providing in house training and outside courses for new and existing employees, Yes, they have qualifications under their belt, but young people and graduates are far from being the finished article when they apply for your roles. And yes, your current employees have experience at that role, but they are eager to learn more; not just specifically about their role but their industry as a whole. 
Auxil was blog free the whole of April, Why? Because April is a busy month for any business, with the new tax year coming into effect. 
Have you ever wondered why the new financial year starts in April? 
You might think logically the new financial year should coincide with the calendar year; some countries it does, but in the UK, we scramble to get our affairs in order by April 5th and the new year starting on the 6th. To understand this, we need to look back a few years… 
In the UK, the new year used to start on March 25th, also known as ‘Lady Day ’, to mark the angel Gabriel’s announcement to the virgin Mary that she would become the mother to Jesus Christ. Lady Day was one of the four most important days in the religious calendar. 
The move forward to April 6th is a result in changes from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Until 1582, Europe has used the Julian calendar established by Julius Caesar. Under the Julian calendar, the year had 11 months of 30 to 31 days, with February being an exception of only have 28 (29 every leap year). This had worked well for centuries, however because it didn’t align with the solar calendar, over time problems developed. 
 
SMAS is short for Safety Management Advisory Services. They are a Health & Safety assessment organisation that offers a nationally recognised Health & Safety accreditation used to demonstrate your business' Health and Safety standards.  
They are a co-founding member of the Safety Schemes in Procurement or better known as SSIP. 
Here at Auxil Limited we have just successfully renewed SMAS for another year, 
SMAS is a recognised SSIP Accreditation which helps us keep up to date with our policies and procedures. Without this accreditation we would not be able to, in good knowledge, give the pristine and established services we are proud to provide. 
All of the assessments are undertaken in-house which enable SMAS to offer a consistent standard across all assessments, the minimum standards SMAS assess against are set out in the SSIP Core Criteria. 
 
Milestones are great, especially for businesses. It means you’ve achieved a goal and something’s going right. 
This month we are celebrating a very special milestone as we are turning 5 years old, and we wanted to mark this occasion with a blogpost dedicated to how we have grown from a small idea to the thriving local business we are today. 
 
The thing with starting your own business is that you literally don’t know what you don’t know. It’s easy to head off, all gung-ho, into the entrepreneurial world but sticking at it through good times and the tough times takes strength and determination about your business’s potential success. Its hours of hard work! 
From a one-man band to a team of dedicated consultants, Auxil Ltd has come leaps and bounds from where we began. But we couldn’t have got to where we are today without you, our customers. 
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