Workers Are Sad—Here’s Why
Genie, a UK business support consultancy, surveyed office workers about their
happiness in the workplace. Based upon the 200 surveyed employees, the average
score was 3.63 out of 5. The five most commonly cited reasons for unhappiness
were the following:
Feeling a lack of control over
Having a bad or poor relationship
Having a poor working environment
survey also found that 51 per cent of employees with mental health problems
felt unsupported in the workplace. To ensure that all the employees at your
organisation are happy, consider implementing these six simple practices:
Award deserving employees a pay
Present the opportunity to earn
Offer flexible work hours.
Provide employees with the choice
to work from home.
Permit a greater degree of privacy
for your employees.
Rearrange your office to have a
more open concept.
Top Tips for Preparing Your Home for Summer
pays to inspect your home for safety and efficiency before the summer season
fully sets in. While you can complete some of these cleaning procedures
yourself, other duties require professional help to ensure the work is
out your fridge, freezer and pantry. Take everything out,
wipe down the shelves and throw away expired food. Rearrange your food for
better organisation and cleanliness.
the garage. Seasonal items can quickly become
dusty and disorganised when not in use. Keep your garage clean and organised by
installing shelving and by hanging tools on the wall.
door and window insulation.
Make sure weather stripping sufficiently seals openings, and immediately repair
any cracks or peeling. Then, open your windows to expose your home to fresh
your roof. The roof is your
home’s first defence against heat and rain. Maintain the roof’s integrity by
hiring a roofing professional to examine its flashing, caulking and shingles.
your wardrobe closet. The
winter months may have left your summer clothes buried and wrinkly. Use this
time to rotate seasonal clothing, clean any dusty items and select old clothes
your garden. Rip out weeds and
dead plants, rake mulch and plant beds to promote oxygenation. Then, use a
lopper to trim shrubbery and overhanging trees.
In February 2016, the new guidelines
from the Sentencing Council came into force. These amendments dramatically
increased fines for corporate manslaughter, food safety and hygiene offences,
and health and safety offences. Within the first year, the number of health and
safety prosecutions against directors and officers have tripled. What’s more,
is that the value of the 20 highest fines in 2016 totalled £38.5 million, which was
just slightly more than all 660 successful prosecutions in 2015-16. Research
from law firm BLM shows that there has been a 148 per cent rise in the overall
amount of fines since 2015, with the average fine amount rising from £69,000 to £211,000.
These new guidelines place a much higher
burden on directors and senior managers to ensure that their organisation is
compliant with health and safety regulations. If they do not rise to meet this
responsibility, the average health and safety fine is £75,000 more than the
cost of compliance, according to health and safety consultants, Arinite. Yet,
steep fines are not the only deterrent for noncompliance, as it has become
increasingly likely that directors and officers could go to prison for either
intentional breaches or a flagrant disregard of their responsibilities. In 2016,
34 company directors and senior managers were prosecuted and found guilty,
resulting in 12 prison sentences.
To help your organisation avoid these
potentially debilitating fines, consider the following best practices:
Have a health and safety professional conduct
a health and safety review of your premises and policies.
Provide annual comprehensive safe work
practices training for all your employees.
However, the most beneficial practice
that your organisation can invest in is to purchase robust directors and
officers (D&O) cover that also provides run-off cover. For more
information, contact the professionals at Weald Insurance Brokers Limited
30 Billion Reasons to Prioritise Cyber Security at
Two-thirds of UK organisations have not
provided their employees with cyber security training, according to a recent
survey from professional IT solutions firm, Ultima. What’s more, half admitted
they are unprepared for an attack and, if an attack occurs, they have no
recovery plan in place. This extensive negligence for cyber security is
particularly troubling, as each UK organisation was subjected to 230,000 cyber
attacks in 2016, according to research from internet service provider, Beaming.
While not every attack was successful, the ones that were cost the UK economy
approximately £30 billion in
The five most common and dangerous cyber
threats to your organisation include the following:
A piece of malicious software that encrypts all of the
data on an organisation’s network and can only be decrypted after paying cyber
criminals a ransom.
A cyber criminal will exploit an unpatched
vulnerability within an organisation’s security software to access its data.
attack: An organisation’s website is maliciously overwhelmed
by a high volume of data pushed to its servers, which temporarily or indefinitely
error: Information lost or distributed to the wrong person.
fraud: A cyber criminal poses as a senior person within an
organisation, either by hacking or ‘spoofing’ an email account, and convinces
someone with financial authority to transfer money.
Fortunately, according to government
research, 80 per cent of all cyber attacks can be stopped by implementing basic
cyber security. These practices include the following:
Install and regularly update firewalls
and antivirus software.
Require all employees to choose a strong
Encrypt all of your hard drives.
Provide your employees with robust cyber
Purchase a comprehensive cyber insurance
For more information on how insurance
can protect your organisation from cyber attacks, contact Weald Insurance
Brokers Limited today.
An EU Referendum Update for Businesses
As the government’s 23rd June referendum to decide
whether the United Kingdom will remain in the EU looms closer, the outcome
still remains uncertain.
Until recently, polling has generally favoured the
United Kingdom remaining in the EU, but the margins are so tight that most
experts agree it will be too close to call—with the still-undecided voters likely
to determine the result. However, multiple sources have recently reported a
slight swing towards the ‘Leave’ camp. A 3rd June YouGov poll found 45 per cent
favour leaving, while 41 per cent favour staying. A 5th June Opinium poll found
43 per cent want to leave and 40 per cent want to stay. And a 6th June ICM poll
found 48 to 43 per cent in favour of leaving.
A Brexit outcome would usher in a minimum two-year period
during which the United Kingdom would slowly disentangle itself from the EU and
negotiate a complex withdrawal agreement. Whatever the outcome on 23rd June,
proactive UK employers would do well to understand what Brexit would look like,
the general pros and cons, and how they can prepare their businesses for
leaving the EU.
What Would Brexit Look Like?
While divisive topics such as Europe’s influx of
migrants and the intractable euro crisis have galvanised anti-EU sentiment, Brexit
would not be a cure-all. Indeed, Brexit could take many forms, including but
not limited to the following models:
The Norwegian Model: Norway is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), but not the EU.
This grants the country access to the European Single Market in exchange for
requiring Norway to adopt most EU standards and regulations with no influence
over changing them. Despite not having voting rights, Norway still contributes
to the EU budget—it is the tenth-highest contributor according to the Guardian,
although the organisation ‘Mission of Norway to the European Union’ maintains
that ‘it is not possible to compare net payments between those of an EU Member
State and those of a Non-Member State’.
The Swiss Model: Switzerland is neither a member of the EEA nor the EU. It negotiates
access to the Single Market sector by sector and has about 120 bilateral
agreements with the EU. These negotiations took years to complete, and may be
difficult to replicate as they are a complex, patchwork collection of
agreements. Notably, Switzerland does not have unfettered cross-border access
in financial services, which is a huge part of the UK economy. Financial and
related professional services account for 11.8 per cent of UK gross domestic
product (GDP), according to UK Trade & Investment. Switzerland cannot vote
on EU regulations but must contribute to its budget.
The Canadian Model: The Canadian model refers to the Comprehensive and Economic Trade
Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU, which aims to eventually scrap 99
per cent of tariffs between the two parties and remove other barriers to
business. The Canadian model would neither involve paying into the EU budget
nor accepting free movement of people. However, such a model would not
necessarily permit the continued ‘passporting’ of financial services, and thus
might make it harder for UK-based financial services firms to sell in the EU.
What Are the Pros and Cons for Businesses?
Each Brexit model is complex and carries with it much
uncertainty. However, Brexit’s general pros and cons for businesses are more
straightforward and less contingent on unknown circumstances:
Companies may have
to pay new taxes and customs costs as well as deal with slower administration
processes for conducting business with suppliers in continental Europe.
Companies may have
difficulty hiring qualified employees from outside the United Kingdom to
address the skills shortage, and employees who are non-British nationals may be
required to obtain a visa or work permit in order to keep working in the United
may be hesitant to invest in the United Kingdom until it is clear that the UK
economy can be successful while independent of the EU, which could weaken the
relationship with the EU could sour if Brexit negotiations go poorly. This
situation could be further exacerbated if the United Kingdom is unable to
secure beneficial trade deals with other countries.
return regulatory control to the United Kingdom in areas like health and safety
and employment law.
have fewer regulations governing how they can conduct business, which could
spur serious growth.
Unburdened by EU
trade rules, the United Kingdom could negotiate better trade agreements with
A pound slightly
weakened by Brexit could actually help manufacturers export their goods, since
a strong pound is a main deterrent to overseas customers buying British goods.
will either no longer contribute to the EU budget, or contribute less.
This list is not comprehensive and represents a
general, non-industry-specific overview of the benefits and drawbacks of
Certain industry bodies and polls have found more
sector-specific support for staying. For instance, the Engineering Employers
Federation and the majority of polled construction executives are in favour of
remaining a part of the EU. However, the British Chambers of Commerce reported
in May that more businesses are opting to leave as the vote draws near—54.1 per
cent of businesspeople polled would vote to remain, down from 60 per cent in
February. And 37 per cent would vote to leave, up from 30 per cent in the same
How Can I Prepare My Business?
Preparing your business for a possible Brexit is vital.
If you have not started, you are not alone—April research from the Chartered
Institute of Internal Auditors found that only 21 per cent of FTSE 250 companies
had made or were currently making contingency plans for Brexit.
It is never too late to begin planning for Brexit. To
assess the impact on your business, do the following:
List out three
scenarios for how your organisation will be affected by Brexit, based on the
three models outlined in this News Brief. Pay particular attention to how those
models will affect issues critical to your business (eg, reduced legislation,
free movement of people, or the inability to ‘passport’ financial services).
For each scenario,
understand the main exposures your business faces and how they will change
depending on the outcome.
short-term effects—how will immediate market volatility and reduced economic
growth affect your business?
How much of my
business is with the EU?
Will reduced EU
funding impact my business?
Will Brexit halt
my future plans for growth?
international trade regulations help or harm my business?
Will Brexit affect
Do I need to send
out internal communications ahead of Brexit?
Search for any
opportunities created by Brexit. The change is monumental, and a post-Brexit
Britain may open up new avenues of growth.
Uncertainty Is Inevitable
But poor planning isn’t. Rely on the insurance
professionals at Weald Insurance Brokers Limited to help uncover and manage
your risk—whatever the future has in store.