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Important announcements from the Chamber, our members, local Councils and other relevant business news will be posted regularly here.

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  • 08 June 2020 12:41 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Employment law update and HR news from Acas South East

    Upcoming events: 

    03/07 Transition from lock down: key employment considerations
    07/07 Managing discipline and grievance
    09/07 Employment law update
    10/07 Transition from lock down: key employment considerations
    14/07 Employment law update
    16/07 Managing discipline and grievance
    17/07 Employment law update
    23/07 Transition from lock down: key employment considerations
    27/07 Managing discipline and grievance

    Workplace news:

    Top 10 HR questions May 2020: what process should employers follow to control coronavirus risks when returning to work from the lockdown? What should the employer do if an employee is reluctant to return to work as the coronavirus lockdown is lifted? Employees cannot undertake work for their employer during furlough leave, but what constitutes work...read more.

    Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees (updated).

    “Frequent bad language and banter which overstepped the boundaries of acceptability":  that was the verdict of an employmenmt tribunal in describing the working environment of an employer in this case. In the judges ruling “the staff engaged in unwanted conduct...which created a hostile and degrading environment for the claimant”...read more.

    Discrimination, bullying and harassment.

    ICO provides security checklists to employers for staff working from home: the ICO has published ‘Working from home – security checklists for employers‘ which advises that time should be taken to ensure that homeworking solutions are being used securely. General principles include: (a) have clear policies, procedures & guidance for staff...read more.

    https://www.acas.org.uk/

  • 08 June 2020 12:35 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Brooklands transformation takes a step closer to reality

    Plans to transform Brooklands Park into a jewel-in-the-crown destination have taken a big step forward.

    Planning permission has been given to build a new state-of-the-art cafe, toilets and play area at the Park paving the way for the entire green space to be converted into a breathtaking science adventure park with the emphasis on fun and finding out.

    The £3m Worthing Borough Council project will involve building:

    • A new visitor hub including cafe with internal and external seating powered from sustainable resources
    • An adventure play area to house 30 pieces of equipment, two of which are climbing frames more than 4 metres high
    • An outdoor space for multi use events such as frisbee, football or other activities surrounded by seating
    • A contemplative garden bordering the Teville Stream with new sensory planting
    • A new accessible pathway circumnavigating the lake with seating areas and shelters
    • A 2.5k fitness trail around the park
    • A number of glades on the old golf course, including Community Garden, Play and Build, Nature, Wind and Winter, discrete areas sheltered by planting allowing for different community activities including food growing, seed sowing, play dens, bug hotels and bird boxes
    • Windmill oxygenators for the lake as well as windmills and chimes in the Wind Glade
    • A mount celebrating the highest point in the park, from which views of the sea gives a strong sense of place


    Now council officers will be moving to the next stage of development, undertaking technical design before the construction work goes out to tender before the end of the year.

    Leading landscape architects Turkington Martin are leading the project.

    Director Mike Martin said, ‘We aim to create a unique landscape not found anywhere else in Worthing, allowing engagement with nature for everyone in new and exciting ways.’

    Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Cllr Edward Crouch said, ‘I’m pleased we have now cleared another important hurdle so that we can build new toilets and a fantastic new cafe for Brooklands.

    ‘Obviously lockdown has slowed down progress somewhat but we said we would revive this much-loved landmark into something everyone can be proud of again and that is exactly what we intend to do.’

    A section of the south west corner of the park has been earmarked for indoor play and adventure and will be the subject of separate planning procedures at a later date.

  • 08 June 2020 12:28 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Plans for pop-up cycle lanes welcomed by Adur and Worthing leaders

    Adur and Worthing’s leaders have welcomed plans to roll out 7.5 kilometres of new safe cycle spaces as part of wider efforts to help the area bounce back from COVID-19.

    With more and more people taking to two wheels during lockdown, Adur & Worthing Councils has worked closely with West Sussex County Council to identify a series of key routes which could be adapted quickly to support sustainable travel.

    As part of the first phase, two routes have been submitted to the Department for Transport for funding and approval. These are:

    • Shoreham & Southwick - Upper Shoreham Road, Holmbush roundabout and Old Shoreham Road, linking the River Adur and A283 in Shoreham to Brighton and Hove City Council’s pop-up lane (4.6km)
    • Worthing - A24/A259 Grove Lodge area to The Steyne and seafront (2.9km)

    Both routes are predominantly dual carriageways which have seen a substantial reduction in the number of motor vehicles since lockdown.

    If the proposed temporary conversions receive government backing, they could be installed within a matter of weeks.

    Leaders in Adur and Worthing welcomed the announcement from county hall but pledged they want to go even further - with both councils’ executives set to sign off on an ambitious Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan at a meeting of the Joint Strategic Committee next week (Tuesday, June 9).

    This sets out detailed proposals to create a network of accessible routes across both areas so that walking and cycling becomes the preferred mode of travel for short journeys.

    Cllr Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said: “I’m delighted to have worked with colleagues at West Sussex to get to this point. Providing the routes receive government support, Adur residents will get nearly five kilometres of new cycleway within weeks. 

    “We know the route will not be perfect but it will provide our residents with a safe place to cycle while giving all road users plenty of space as people start to return to work.”

    Cllr Daniel Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, said: “The benefits of cycling and other forms of sustainable transport are enormous - improving health, reducing air pollution and helping to create more vibrant, accessible places to live.

    “While we are not directly responsible for highways, that doesn't prevent us having bold ambitions to create a network of safe cycling and walking routes across our borough. We will continue to work with colleagues at County Hall to deliver on this. 

    “If these temporary routes prove popular then it could be a real turning point in delivering on our ambitious plans, which will be fantastic for residents, businesses and the environment.”

    The proposed temporary routes in Shoreham and Worthing are two of seven schemes put forward to the government by the county council.

    The schemes would involve a combination of temporary traffic management, such as cones and signing, light segregation using ‘traffic wands’, planters, water-filled barriers, road markings and temporary 20mph speed limits.

    Cllr Roger Elkins, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “We have been working closely with our district and borough partners to look at a whole host of ways we can improve cycling provision as a direct response to the easing of lockdown. 

    “If the schemes get the go-ahead, they will form part of a series of measures which will make a real difference for cyclists in each of the county’s seven borough and district areas as the Government eases lockdown.”

  • 08 June 2020 11:50 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Town Centre Reopening Plans

    Temporary road closures and widened pavements are set to be introduced as town centres across Adur and Worthing get ready to fully open for business on June 15.

    Social distancing measures in Worthing, Shoreham, Lancing and Southwick are being drawn up by officers of Adur & Worthing Councils and stencils and signs promoting one way walking routes and two-metre spacing are already being stencilled onto pavements and walkways.

    In consultation with West Sussex County Council, which has responsibility for highways. Temporary road closures are being sought in Portland Road, Montague Place and Montague Street West in Worthing and East Street north and St Mary's Road east in Shoreham.

    These measures, for a maximum of 18 months, are to ensure social distancing is still possible in tight spaces for pedestrians and cyclists although allowances will be made for delivery vehicles.

    Meanwhile Adur & Worthing Councils’ Public Health and Regulation Team has been working with local businesses to ensure a smooth reopening. Businesses can access a wide range of advice and support concerning reopening at www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-advice/

    So far six food and drink  outlets have been given permission to sell alcohol as ‘off sales’ which means either as takeaway or within permissible outside areas such as beer gardens. Another ten are working with officers from the Councils to seek such permissions which could see more alfresco eating and drinking.  

    A government grant of £56,000 to Adur and £98,000 to Worthing under the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help pay for implementation of many of the measures.

    The Councils will be working with businesses and organisations such as West Sussex County Council, Worthing’s Town Centre Initiative (TCI) and the independent traders to develop the plans.

    In the meantime discussions are underway with organisers and traders about the timing of the opening of open-air markets with the farmers’ market at Shoreham July 11 likely to be the first up and running.

    Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Cllr Kevin Jenkins, ‘We are working hard with West Sussex County Council, the TCI and traders to help make visitors to the town centre feel comfortable coming back and thus happy to enjoy some time sampling the excellent retail and food and drink outlets we have to offer. This is about helping businesses get back on their feet while continuing to make everyone feel safe.’’

    His counterpart at Adur District Council, Cllr Brian Boggis, said, ‘We want to be doing everything we can to create an environment where, on June 15, our traders can begin to rebuild their businesses but we need to do so while keeping everyone safe and well. These measures will achieve that balance.’


  • 08 June 2020 11:33 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    West Sussex Library - Business and Employment Page

    Although our West Sussex Library buildings are closed at the moment, they still have a wealth of FREE online business and employment resources that can help you to write a successful CV, get into work, start your own business, continue studying, build professional skills and connect with others. As well as selection of e business books. 

    These resources are available FREE to library members. 

    Click here for more information

  • 08 June 2020 11:26 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Tim Loughton MP May Newsletter

    Welcome to my latest lockdown constituency e-Newsletter. I hope you are continuing to hold up and looking forward to the gradual loosening of restrictions from next week. You can find the full details of what the Prime Minister announced yesterday HERE and I hope that the great majority of people will continue to observe them and use common sense so that the Government will not have to put them into reverse if the pandemic spread turns upwards again. I am only too aware that this message has not been helped by the furore over the actions of a certain Special Adviser at Number 10 and I have of course made my views very clear at the outset on this matter.
     
    I continue to spend much of my week on conference calls with local organisations and again pay tribute to all those in the NHS and care sector who continue to do such an excellent job. It is a privilege to thank them personally when on duty for handing out meals to nurses and others coming off shift at Worthing Hospital especially. I should also mention the excellent job that Sussex Police are doing, and I would like to pay tribute to Chief Constable Giles York who retires this week after a long and distinguished record with the police service and we wish him well. I was interested to hear that so far Sussex Police have issued 903 fixed penalty notices since the beginning of the lockdown in March although that number has been tailing off in recent weeks. I was horrified to be told however that assaults against police officers and PCSOs have now risen to 238 since the beginning of lockdown and that represents a rise of more than 27% over the comparable period last year. The police have a difficult enough job already and there is absolutely no excuse for assaulting them in the course of doing their duty. Worst of all there have been cases of disgusting people spitting at officers and claiming to have COVID and I am pleased to see that prison sentences have been handed out and this is being taken very seriously.
     
    I am delighted to announce the first wave of my Coronavirus Community Award winners and thank you to all those who have sent me nominations so far. Keep them coming. I am also asking for your help with collections toys and activity equipment for two excellent local charities Safe in Sussex and Home-Start and you can see the details below.
     
    Parliament returns on Tuesday and we will be considering the Finance Bill amongst other measures, which gives effect to the various Budget measures announced in March in what seems like a different age now. It is not clear how many of us will be required to turn up in person as opposed to continue working from home and our constituencies, but we are all learning how to be flexible in these extraordinary times
     
    K
    eep safe everyone.

    Best wishes

    Tim Loughton MP 

  • 08 June 2020 11:17 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Flexible furlough from 1 July under revised CJRS

    Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will apply a month earlier than expected. From 1 July the scheme will allow part-time working, but staff must have been furloughed by 10 June to be eligible.

    The Chancellor has announced the government’s plans to change the CJRS which will now be re-engineered to support businesses sending staff back to work. Employers will be able to put staff on part-time furlough, claiming the CJRS grant for a portion of their salary.

    Critically, employers will only be able to claim going forward if they have previously claimed under the pre-1 July scheme.

    Note too that as there is a three-week minimum furlough requirement under the current rules, it follows that any new period of furlough leave must have started by 10 June 2020 to be complete when the current scheme ends on 30 June and so ensure the employee remains eligible from 1 July.

    The proposed changes also introduce a new limit to the number of staff who can be included on a claim. This will be based on the maximum staff ever included in any single pre 1 July claim. The Chancellor also confirmed that from 1 August the CJRS grant will no longer cover the cost of employers’ National Insurance nor pension contributions with employers expected to cover the costs.

    What is changing?

    For July the grant will be available on the same basis as now (the lesser of 80% of pay and £2,500). The intention is that the government will reduce its contribution over the remaining months of the scheme – August to October – with a corresponding increase in the employer contribution.

    • August - the CJRS will continue to pay 80% of wages
    • September - the CJRS will pay 70% of wages while employers will take on the other 10%
    • October - the CJRS will pay 60% of wages while employers will take on the other 20%

    Throughout the duration of the furlough scheme it is important to remember that the employee will continue to receive their salary entitlement in full, as set out by the terms of their employment contract. The CJRS is a grant paid to the employer, and it is this grant which is now being scaled back, the calculation being based on the salary paid for any period while the employee is being furloughed.

    The revised scheme has many of the same features as the current scheme which runs between 1 March and 30 June 2020, but there will be some significant changes intended to encourage those previously furloughed back to work. In summary, these are:

    • Employees who were previously furloughed will be able to return to work on a flexible part-time basis.
    • For those staff who are furloughed part-time, employers will be required to pay for the cost of the time staff are working. A grant will be available for the cost of their furloughed hours.

    Employees must have been furloughed under the current scheme (CJRS V1) for them to be eligible for a furlough grant under the revised scheme (CJRS V2). So, in practice, only employees who have been included in a furlough grant claim made before 1 July 2020 can be furloughed under CJRS V2.

    The rules for CJRS V1 covered only the period 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, para 12, The Coronavirus Act 2020 Functions of her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) Direction. This means the furlough scheme is closed to new entrants after 30 June 2020.

    Further points to note about CJRS V2

    • A new minimum reporting period of one week will apply from 1 August 2020. More frequent claims will not be accepted, but the reporting period can be longer.
    • From 1 July, claim periods will no longer be able to overlap months, employers who previously submitted claims with periods that overlapped calendar months will no longer be able to do this going forward. This is necessary to reflect the forthcoming changes to the scheme.
    • The grant will be based on the same premise as now, so the employee must be paid the lesser of 80% of reference salary and £2,500 per month. The government contribution to the 80% of reference salary is being reduced as the scheme progresses.
    • From 1 August onwards, the scheme will no longer cover the cost of employers’ National Insurance nor pension contributions applicable to the grant.
    • The new calculation will apply from 1 July to factor in the cost of hours worked to hours furloughed ratio.
    • Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Further details will be included in future guidance. 
    • Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period. 
    • For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts
    • There will be a new maximum limit to the number of staff who can be included on a claim. This will be based on the maximum staff ever included in a single claim under CJRS V1.
    • CJRS V2 will end on 31 October 2020.

    A new factsheet giving further details on the changes to CJRS and SEISS is available from gov.uk.

    HMRC is hoping to publish detailed guidance on CJRS V2 on 12 June 2020.

    www.ayresbrightvickers.co.uk

  • 08 June 2020 10:45 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Get back to business safely....with the Type II 3 Ply Face Mask

    Single use, type II, lightweight 3 ply disposable face mask, with elasticated straps. Helps to prevent large particles expelled by the wearer from reaching others in their environment. Suitable for civilian day to day use. Conforms to: EN14683 type II standard. 

    From £0.59 based on 2000 pieces 

    Low minimum order quantity of 50 masks (1 box). 

    For more information click here

    Chamber members receive a 10% discount! Click here to view the Chamber members offers page 

    www.monkmarketing.com

  • 03 June 2020 2:15 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    The official requirements to return to the workplace and a practical approach to managing this return.

    As more businesses prepare to ask staff back to the offices, it is clear that, not only must they manage the physical separation now required to keep them safe, but also offer reassurance to all who may be feeling anxious when using communal spaces such as shared kitchens and toilet facilities, or simply when entering the building. The threat of the virus is real but the threat to our mental health is perhaps more so as we return to our workplaces.

    The Government has now issued clear rules regarding what must be adhered to when staff return to work, and for most organisations it is going to unfortunately be both disruptive and an unwelcome expense in the current climate. At Mocha, we have been through the 32 page document with a fine tooth comb and have assessed that the following key points issued relating to office and call centre workers are:

    • Staff must retain a 2m distance between each other when working if at all possible
    • If this is not possible screens or barriers to separate staff must be installed
    • Back to back or side to side working is better than face to face
    • Frequency of surface cleaning must be increased
    • Increased hand washing throughout the day should be maintained
    • No sharing of items – pens, cups, personal storage units
    • No hot desking – one desk, one member of staff
    • No communal touchpads to access rooms or conference calls
    • Hand sanitiser should be available at all entry and exit points and in lifts
    • Cleaning wipes are to be provided for keyboards, handles, printers
    • Additional bins to be provided for used wipes
    • The number of contact points should be reduced – if possible have multiple coffee points for a few staff rather than communal kitchen for all
    • Operate a ‘one-way’ system around the office with floor signage to clearly show route and direction of travel
    • Stagger arrival and leaving times to reduce traffic in lifts and on stairways
    • Where possible staff should remain working from home

    A link to the complete document can be found here

    It’s important to note that the above measures are not optional. Any business with greater than 5 staff must have carried out a written risk assessment of their office space and looked to address all the above points. Furthermore, this cannot just be done by the bosses – the assessment must be carried out in consultation with a union rep if there is one, or an appointed representative from the staff if not. Once completed and actioned, the risk assessment must be written up and displayed on site and on the company website and enforcement notices will be issued for companies not complying.

    Clearly this represents a huge challenge for most businesses and almost a u-turn in modern work space design. In a world where we have spent the last 15 years moving away from one person, one desk towards fluid spaces that encourage interaction and communication at all times, suddenly these open inclusive spaces are exactly what we are being told isn’t acceptable.

    So what can be done to help solve these issues? Of course we all agree that we need to be kept safe, but not many have a bottomless wallet to sort everything out in one go. We think that there are achievable and practical things that can be done to meet the new requirements however, and these are:

    • Keep as large a percentage of your staff as possible working from home permanently.
    • For those companies where this isn’t possible, work out how many staff will be returning to your office and re-plan it to suit. This will be different for every business and it may be that simply using every other desk gives the capacity required while maintaining social distancing. Where this doesn’t work, the installation of protective screens will need to be looked at, or reconfiguring the office to add permanent desks into previously communal spaces such as breakout areas, hot desk zones and meeting rooms.
    • If storage units are shared, such as coat cupboards, additional storage units or personal lockers will be required to allow each member of staff their own storage space.
    • Ensure staggered arrival and leaving times for staff are clearly communicated and adhered to.
    • Set up a one way flow around the office so staff are not passing each other in confined corridors and walkways.
    • Place hand sanitiser dispensers around the office but particularly at entry and exit points and outside lifts and stairwells with handles. Try and make them hands free if possible.
    • Ensure that anti-bacterial wipes are available in all communal spaces such as toilets, kitchens, and where touchscreens cannot be avoided.
    • Provide anti-bacterial wipes to all staff to use daily on their own workspace – desk, keyboard, mouse, printer, etc,
    • Issue personal hand gel bottles to all staff so they can sanitise each time they return to their own space from communal areas.
    • Provide touch free bins to be for disposal of wipes and usual waste.
    • Use antibacterial soap in all toilets.
    • Staff to bring in their own food, cutlery, plates and cup. No communal items in kitchens to be used including microwaves, café tables and chairs, etc. Food should be eaten outside where possible or at your own workspace.
    • Use meeting rooms only when absolutely necessary and with chairs removed – socially distanced, short, standing meetings should be the norm. Zoom meetings preferred even among staff in the same building.

    We hope the above helps to summarise the comprehensive guidance issued by the Government and provides a roadmap of how to take practical steps to implement this within your business. No two businesses will have exactly the same solution, to not only comply with what’s required, but also to be responsible employers. It’s vital to ensure their most valuable asset can return to work feeling safe and able to fully concentrate on getting the business they work for moving forward again. What is absolutely clear is that every business will need to make changes.

    We at Mocha have a huge amount of experience in helping businesses change their work spaces and are ready and waiting to help you in this challenging time. Whether you need space planning to adapt to social distancing, help with supplying and installing protective screens, advice on reconfiguring your existing furniture or supplying new furniture, speak to us and we can work with you to come up with a solution to get you back to work as safely and with as much peace of mind as possible. We can also supply, hand sanitiser dispenser units and personal PPE consumables such as wipes, hand gel, masks, gloves and soap to ensure the workplace stays safe as the months progress. Home working packages can also be provided as if staff are now going to be working from home on a more long term basis, employers should be providing the correct ergonomic equipment for them to work safely at home. A dining chair at the kitchen table should only ever be a short term solution.

    There is no doubt that the next year will present a challenge to all our businesses. It isn’t going to be easy but speaking to lots of business owners over the past couple of weeks everyone seems determined to come out the other side still intact, smiling, and a little bit wiser - if perhaps with much drier hands. If we can help you in any way, do contact us.


  • 03 June 2020 1:31 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Worthing Gin online cocktail classes

    Worthing Gin has teamed up with Paul Martin - a multi-award winning mixologist, holder of several world mixing records and producer of several bestselling cocktail books.

    Worthing Gin is showing you a series of classic Worthing Gin cocktails with instructional help and tips. This will enable you to create the best classic gin cocktails at home This is been shown every Monday on our Facebook page Worthing Gin at 7pm as well as our Instagram page @worthinggin

    For more information on the cocktail class or anything else including ordering a bottle of Worthing Gin please go to www.worthinggin.co.uk |  https://www.facebook.com/worthinggin/?modal=admin_todo_tour&redirect=false


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Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce is the trading name of Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd.
Company registered in England & Wales. Company number: 00345261.  
VAT No: 275 6477 60
Registered Office: Sphere Business Centre, Broadwater Road, Worthing,
West Sussex BN14 8HJ
© 2018 Worthing & Adur Chamber


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