We certainly agree with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on this – as the world’s leading exporter of insurance services, the Government needs to secure a #Brexit deal which protects the multi-billion pound life insurance industry
The head of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has called on the government to secure a Brexit deal that will protect the multi-billion pound life insurance industry.
As negotiations with the European Union get underway, the ABI has pointed out that the insurance and long-term savings sector is one of the UK’s most productive industries, adding more than £40bn a year to the economy.
It is also the world’s leading exporter of insurance and long term savings, with an export surplus of £13bn with the rest of the world.
ABI director general Huw Edwards said: “The insurance and long-term savings industry is a jewel in the UK’s crown – leading the world in exporting insurance and pension services and helping Britain thrive.
“The sector provides hundreds of thousands of quality careers, three quarters of which are outside of London. Ensuring the continuing success of such a productive sector is something the UK representatives should have at the front of their minds during negotiations with the EU.
“The right Brexit deal for insurers benefits the UK economy, thousands of UK employees and all the other businesses the sector supports on a daily basis.”
ABI-commissioned research by economists Volterra has shown individual workers in the industry are around twice as productive as those in sectors such as construction and manufacturing, each contributing between £135,000 and £150,000 to the economy every year.
The industry also provides high-quality jobs, with 86 per cent of the 309,000 workers employed full-time – significantly higher than the UK average of 67 per cent.
More than £3.5bn of UK insurance exports go to the European Union, while £4bn go United States and £5.2bn to the rest of the world.
Published ahead of the ABI’s conference Brexit: The Road Ahead, the research was based on publically available data from the Office for National Statistics and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Jason Witcombe, director at London-based Evolve Financial Planning, commented: “I would expect the ABI to say what they have just said, and they should be supporting their members in that way.
“But I think we need to be realistic that no-one has the first clue how Brexit is going to pan out, and it would be foolish of me or anyone else to try and make predictions based on what may or may not happen in future. This is something completely out of our control.”
If your insurance costs have risen steeply over the last few years, this is why – the insurance premium tax rate has risen to 12%, the fourth increase in just six years. Whilst cost shouldn’t be the only reason that you choose your broker wisely, it is always worth testing the market from time to time to ensure you’re getting the best cover for your business at the right price http://on.ft.com/2sHLwdT
The new Health & Safety Sentencing guidelines are having a real effect, with this year’s fines higher than ever before. This excellent article from @PersonnelToday provides some top tips on how to protect your organisation’s position http://bit.ly/1QqhDFB
“With much higher health and safety fines coming into force from February 2016, HR has a role in preventing injuries at work. Jon Cooper explains the new penalties and offers guidance on how to avoid hefty fines.
For some time there, has been concern that penalties imposed for healthy and safety offences, particularly on large organisations, were too low and the approach to sentencing in the courts was inconsistent.
In response to that concern, the Sentencing Council issued new guidelines in November 2015, which will apply to sentencing in all health and safety and corporate manslaughter prosecutions.
It will be mandatory for courts to follow the guidelines for all sentences passed after the 1 February 2016, regardless of whether or not the offence took place before that date.
More on health and safety
Health and safety policy statement
Task: check understanding of health and safety duties
Report an injury, fatality or dangerous occurrence
This heralds the start of an era where sentencing in health and safety offences will increase dramatically, as will the commercial and reputational consequences that follow the imposition of significant fines.
Range of new health and safety fines
The suggested range of sentencing makes stark reading, particularly for large organisations.
Under current guidelines, fines for health and safety offences resulting in death should not normally be less than £100,000 and for corporate manslaughter not less than £500,000. Those figures pale into insignificance when compared with the incoming guidelines.
For health and safety offences, fines of up to £10 million are envisaged for large organisations (those with a turnover greater than £50 million), up to £4 million for medium-sized organisations (turnover between £10 million and £50 million), up to £1.6 million for small (£2 million to £10 million) and up to £450,000 for microbusinesses (less than £2 million).
For example, the recent prosecution of Siemens Windpower and Fluor Limited resulted in fines of £375,000 and £275,000 respectively.
Under the new guidelines, the sentencing range in those cases might well have been between £1.5 million and £6 million.
Likewise, a recent prosecution of Baxters Food Group Limited resulting in a fine of £60,000 for a non-fatal accident might, under the new guidance, increase to a fine between £550,000 and £2.9 million.
For corporate manslaughter offences, the ranges are even higher with penalties of up to £20 million for large organisations. Where an organisation’s turnover greatly exceeds the £50 million threshold courts may go beyond the figures contained within the guidelines.
The other two factors influencing the level of fines imposed under the new regime are the seriousness of the offence in terms of the level of culpability, and the level of harm caused.
Levels of culpability
Culpability ranges from very high – deliberate breach of or flagrant disregard for the law, down to low – where an offender did not fall far short of the appropriate standard.
Once the degree of culpability has been determined the court must consider the risk of harm. This involves considering two factors, the seriousness of the harm risked and the likelihood of that harm arising.
It should be remembered that, in the criminal context, a breach of health and safety legislation arises from the creation of the risk of harm; it doesn’t necessarily need to have resulted in actual injury or harm.
The seriousness of harm is stepped into three categories, with the most serious including fatalities, physical or mental impairment resulting in life long dependency or significantly reduced life expectancy. The second category including physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term effect on the ability to carry out daily activities or return to work, or a progressive permanent or irreversible condition.
The severe penalties which will follow for breaches of health and safety legislation when the guidelines take effect are therefore a timely reminder to all organisations of the need to attain the highest standards of health and safety management.
Having proper procedures in place not only reduces the level of risk of committing an offence in the first place, but it also provides evidence that can be used in mitigation and reduce the level of sentencing faced when an offence is committed.
Four tips to avoid heavy health and safety fines
Put in place an effective system of risk assessment and risk management identifying hazards and putting in place appropriate precautions.
Ensure that health and safety policies are relevant, communicated and enforced, using the disciplinary process if appropriate.
Make sure that in multi-site operations that there is a consistency of approach – you will be judged against your lowest standard, not your highest.
Support everyone in the organisation to understand and accept their personal responsibility for health and safety; leadership from the very top in this respect is crucial. ”
Cyber Attacks are still making headlines! Don’t leave your business exposed – give us a call today on 01730 265500 to discuss practical ways that you can safeguard your organisation http://reut.rs/2uemXDb
New computer virus spreads from Ukraine to disrupt world business
A new cyber virus spread from Ukraine to wreak havoc around the globe on Wednesday, crippling thousands of computers, disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles and halting production at a chocolate factory in Australia.
The virus is believed to have first taken hold on Tuesday in Ukraine where it silently infected computers after users downloaded a popular tax accounting package or visited a local news site, national police and international cyber experts said.
More than a day after it first struck, companies around the world were still wrestling with the fallout while cyber security experts scrambled to find a way to stem the spread.
Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) said it was struggling to process orders and shift cargoes, congesting some of the 76 ports around the world run by its APM Terminals subsidiary.
U.S. delivery firm FedEx Corp (FDX.N) said its TNT Express division had been significantly affected by the virus, which also wormed its way into South America, affecting ports in Argentina operated by China’s Cofco.
The malicious code locked machines and demanded victims post a ransom worth $300 in bitcoins or lose their data entirely, similar to the extortion tactic used in the global WannaCry ransomware attack in May.
More than 30 victims paid up but security experts are questioning whether extortion was the goal, given the relatively small sum demanded, or whether the hackers were driven by destructive motives rather than financial gain.
Hackers asked victims to notify them by email when ransoms had been paid but German email provider Posteo quickly shut down the address, a German government cyber security official said.
Ukraine, the epicenter of the cyber strike, has repeatedly accused Russia of orchestrating attacks on its computer systems and critical power infrastructure since its powerful neighbor annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014.
The Kremlin, which has consistently rejected the accusations, said on Wednesday it had no information about the origin of the global cyber attack, which also struck Russian companies such as oil giant Rosneft (ROSN.MM) and a steelmaker.
“No one can effectively combat cyber threats on their own, and, unfortunately, unfounded blanket accusations will not solve this problem,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Following the recent tragedy in London, fire safety has become a real cause for concern, not just for homes but businesses too. Take a look at this helpful fire risk assessment guide to safeguard your premises http://bit.ly/1GOiEQG4
Fire Risk Assessment Overview
From 1st October 2006 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the Responsible Person (RP) of any non domestic premises to carry out a fire risk assessment, including measures to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire, and identify persons at risk. Where there are 5 or more employees, a record must be kept of significant findings and a definition of a Responsible Person is contained in the above Order.
There are official guidance documents on www.gov.uk which will assist you in conducting a fire risk assessment.
Where the RP does not have control of all parts of the building and it is shared with other persons, they should be informed of significant risks identified. The person who does have control (landlord, owner, or other employer etc.) has a responsibility to make sure the regulations are complied with, in the parts they control. This may require communication and cooperation between parties to ensure coordination of fire safety provisions, fire fighting measures, evacuation procedures etc.
Knowledge and experience required
Each RP must consider his or her own circumstances and capabilities in respect of the risk assessment process. Nobody knows as much about the business/activities as the RP but if the RP is not confident in his or her own ability to complete their fire safety risk assessment then they can arrange for a suitably qualified or experienced person to complete the assessment on their behalf.
Concept of Fire Hazard
When considering fire risk assessment it is useful to understand the definition of fire hazard. A fire hazard has two components balanced against each other, one is the possibility of a fire occurring and the other the magnitude of consequences of that fire. For example a metal fabrication workshop has a high possibility of a fire due to the cutting and welding equipment. But providing the house keeping is good and no combustible substances are present, then a fire is not likely to to spread, so the consequence is low, therefore the risk can be considered to be normal or even low.
In the case of a cellulose paint spray booth an occurrence is highly likely because of the products used and the equipment required for the process. The consequences are also very high because any fire would have a rapid development, consequently it would have to be considered a very high risk.
These risks can be reduced to acceptable levels by various methods including good housekeeping, specially designed electric apparatus, equipment located away from the risk and have compressed gasses used in the processes, piped to the risk from a bulk storage or centrally located position.
When evaluating the measures needed or proposed and deciding what would be acceptable then the principle of ALARP (as low as reasonably possible) should be used and information on this subject can be found on the HSE website.
To assist in these decisions a simple matrix below can be used to estimate the level of fire risk.
Don’t be penny wise, pound foolish. An inadequate insurance policy might be cheap but could cost you £££s in the event of a claim. Ensure your business is protected – call us today on 01730 265500
It’s an accepted norm to buy your car insurance online and for cheapest to be best. There are however alternatives that, when you need the policy, might surprise you. Let’s look at a few;
You write off your car 18 months after you bought it new. One insurer will offer you Market Value, the other a new car.
As a result of an accident you need to hire a car. One insurer gives you a 1 litre runabout, the other a like-for-like replacement.
You need to drive a car that doesn’t belong to you. One insurer gives you third Party only cover, the Other Fully Comprehensive.
A friend needs to drive your car. Do you rely on his/her Third party cover or are you confident that your insurer provides fully comprehensive cover for the trip.
Your car gets hit whilst parked. Do you lose your no claims bonus or do you have a policy based on No Blame. Talk to us to check the cover you have is the cover you need 01730 265500.
It’s interesting to note that 1 in 6 UK SME’s with between 10-50 employees has a patent. Whilst this reduces to 1 in 25 for firms with less than 10 employees the need to protect your business from competitors is real and the financial consequences severe. Recently announced, we now have access to an easy to understand, simple to transact and affordable solution to assist clients who wish to protect themselves in the event that they may need to enforce a patent in the Patents County Court of England & wales. Premiums start at & are generally around £1,500. Cover is suitable for UK domiciled clients with a Patent that could be enforceable in the Patents County Court.