‘Coping’ at work

EHRC has responded to the publication of Thriving at Work, the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health & employers.

CE Rebecca Hilsenrath said;  ….. “Employers should open up all jobs, regardless of seniority, to part-time and flexible working to support progression of people with mental health conditions, ensuring that everyone has an equal chance to use their skills and make their own contribution to society."
Researched Links:

EHRC:  Mental health the last workplace taboo: Stevenson Farmer review

Mental health at work | Mind, the mental health charity

Mental health in the workplace | Acas

Managing mental health in the workplace | Mental Health Foundation

Mental health in the workplace - NHS Employers

Working towards better mental health

This impacts on the economy as well as individuals

Partial integration will only provide only limited benefits

They are valued members of society

No one is without ‘economic stress’ in these austere days

A healthy body is a guest-chamber for the soul; a sick body is a prison (Francis Bacon)


Many organisations that keep or process personal data of EU citizens are hard at work trying to reach the May, 2018 compliance deadline for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Yet, despite these efforts, a large number of organisations remain far from ready. Many also remain unaware of the need for GDPR compliance at the far side of their asset life cycle: namely, the point of IT asset disposition (ITAD). Proving GDPR compliance with a formal ITAD policy is important, but often overlooked. Fortunately, good advice can make it easier to develop an ITAD policy.

This latest guidance sets out how to formalise your ITAD policy and best practices together with an essential checklist to assess your requirements and evaluate your current and potential new suppliers.

Click here to find out more and access this Essential Guide to IT Asset Disposition.

‘Radical’ guidance

NHS England Prevent Mental Health Guidance and new e-Learning package now available.

The guidance is aimed at providers of NHS mental health services and contains information applicable to mental health professionals who work within them.  It is designed to support providers & staff to exercise their statutory & professional duties to safeguard vulnerable adults, children & young people at risk of radicalisation.
Researched Links:

NHS England Prevent Mental Health Guidance and new e-Learning package now available

They are our ‘future’

The CQC has completed the first phase of the review of mental health services for children & young people.

The report is the first phase of a major thematic review requested by the PM in January 2017.  CQC has drawn on existing reports, research & other evidence and its inspections of children & young people’s mental health services, as well as conversations with young people to identify the strengths & weaknesses of the current system.
Researched Links:

CQC completes initial review of mental health services for children & young people

NHS Confederation:  Mental Health Network welcomes CQC review for children & young people

LGA responds to CQC children’s mental health report

Blog posted by Children’s Commissioner

‘Catching’ it early can be beneficial

Hopefully more joined-up working will help reduce this problem

Prevention requires real action not just action plans

Children are mentally vulnerable

New safeguarding strategy

New training for Foster Carers who support unaccompanied asylum-seeking children was announced last week.

The training, which will be made available to 1,000 foster carers & support workers, is backed by updated statutory guidance, a review of local authority funding and a drive to improve inter-agency advice and information sharing.  It complements the guidance already available to every foster carer as part of their duties under the government’s Prevent strategy.
Researched Links:

HO:  New safeguarding strategy boosts support for lone child migrants

Urgent, growing & long-term challenge of children in migration needs better EU response

Family Restoration Fund gets £2m extra funding

EHRC chair comments on irrational discussion on child migrants

PC&PE:  Unaccompanied child migrants failed by EU Member States

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

Just imagine the mental strain!

Internet Watch Foundation is looking for a new analyst who can pass gruelling tests.

With 12 analysts now on the IWF Hotline, the charity is looking for one more who can help its mission to eliminate child sexual abuse imagery online.  An analyst’s job is to assess reports of online child sexual abuse content from the public, IT professionals and other sources.  They also proactively search for child sexual abuse material and use internet tracing techniques to find images. They then have them removed.

The difficult tests that must be passed to be offered a job at the IWF include a questionnaire, personal interview, formal interview and a psychological assessment.  Once they get through this, they are then given an image viewing session which is the toughest test of all.  Candidates will be questioned about their personal relationships, support networks and attitudes towards pornography.
Researched Links:

IWF:  Is this the UK’s toughest job?

Internet Watch Foundation’s ‘Game On’ workshops with Everton FC nominated for 3 awards

A new measure of ‘depravity’

Watching over us, so as to ‘make the internet a safer place’

They should hide their ‘Faces’ in shame

‘Seared’ in their memories

Bishop James Jones’ review of the Hillsborough families’ experiences has been published by the Home Office.

The review, entitled ‘The Patronising Disposition of Unaccountable Power’, is aimed at ensuring the pain & suffering of the Hillsborough families is not repeated.  It was commissioned by the now-PM following the conclusions of the fresh Hillsborough inquests in April 2016 so that the families’ perspective was not lost.
Researched Links:

Home Office:  Bishop's review of Hillsborough families' experiences published

IPCC:  Criminal charges following IPCC Hillsborough investigations

Hillsborough investigations refer evidence to Crown Prosecution Service

Adam Smith Institute: Safe Standing: An Open Goal For Football That Cuts Prices In Half

"Alarming" inconsistencies in policing across forces must be addressed

Statements from IPCC, Operation Resolve and CPS following conclusion of Hillsborough inquests

What if men took career breaks and had ‘Care’ responsibilities?

PM announces new drive to improve workplace equality.

New figures published by the ONS show the UK’s overall gender pay gap rising marginally to 18.4%, but the gap for full-time workers falling to a record low – from 9.4% in 2016 to 9.1% in 2017.

To close the gender pay gap further, the PM is calling on companies to:

  • improve the pipeline to ensure progress on female representation at senior levels, including supporting women to progress to middle management and offering return to work schemes
  • publish their gender pay gap data, including companies with fewer than 250 employees
  • make flexible working a reality for all employees by advertising all jobs as flexible from Day 1, unless there are solid business reasons not to
Researched Links:

10DS:  PM announces new drive to end the gender pay gap

EHRC:  Gender pay gap: closing the gap for a more equal Britain

FCA publishes data on progress toward diversity targets and gender pay gap

Can you help reduce gap between theory & practice?

Lies, Damned lies, and Statistics

Power to the (female) people

Work Foundation - An end to workplace taboos surrounding women's health conditions

IFS: The gender wage gap

IEA: Employer discrimination not to blame for the gender pay gap

JRF response to the Women & Equalities Commission’s second report into the gender pay gap

New Research: Low Paid Women Firmly Shut Out Of The Recovery

Twentieth century feminism failed working class women

‘Crack Cocaine’ of betting
Government to take action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.  12-week consultation on stake reduction launched.
Researched Links:

DCMS:  Government to take action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

LGA responds to review into lowering maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals

LGA responds to report on lack of responsible gambling measures by operators

LGA:  Greater curbs needed on gambling advertising, councils urge

LGA responds to APPG review of maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals

LGA: Extra powers and lower machine stakes are needed to tackle betting shop clustering

The Future is Technology

New Science & Technology Strategy launched to counter evolving threats & adapt to rapidly changing technology.

By setting out specific research areas & capability priorities, like autonomy, cyber & sensor technology, the strategy will encourage defence to be even more responsive to emerging opportunities and threats, whilst promoting more innovation & collaboration with suppliers.
Researched Links:

MoD:  Science & tech at core of defence as Minister launches new strategy in Birmingham

MOD science & technology strategy 2017

Spooky science at Dstl

Suppliers invited to contribute to advanced materials consultation

Autonomy of Hazardous Scene Assessment Phase 2 – ‘MINERVA’

Mini drones set to investigate hazardous scenes, announces Defence Secretary

Dstl is looking for out-of-this-world space scientists to join its programme

MOD and Royal College of Art collaborate on cutting-edge new uniform

Autonomy on the frontline: Last Mile challenge winners announced

Protecting the maritime industry from cyber attacks

Defence Secretary announces £55m contract for UK bomb disposal robots at DSEI

AI and machine learning for Defence at the D&S Accelerator

Showcasing science, technology and innovation at DPRTE

Smart success

The Made Smarter Review (previously known as the Industrial Digitisation Review) has been published.

The report identifies & describes the role of key Industrial Digitisation Technology (IDTs) such as IoT and AI, but its main focus is on how it is the convergence of these technologies where the UK will see the revolutionary advances in productivity & output.  The Review quantifies this impact to be as much as £455bn over the next decade, including; increasing the manufacturing sector by 1.5-3% per annum, reducing CO2 emissions by 4.5% and a radical increase in productivity.
Researched Links:

techUK:  Made Smarter: A £445bn Prize

Less impact on the world

Geovation, has launched a challenge to create greener, smarter communities for future generations to live in.

The challenge is open to anyone with an innovative business idea, which makes it especially suitable for start-ups.  You might be an innovator wanting to make a difference or an entrepreneur looking to build a new venture.  We’re interested in ideas that are scalable and can be applied across Britain – or even globally.

Winners will get an all-expenses paid place at a 3-day Geovation Camp and Conference in London in February 2018.  This camp will equip you with the tools to build a sustainable business model and create a pitch to increase your chance of success.  There will also be the chance to pitch for funding or a place on the Geovation Programme to help you get your business idea off the ground.
Researched Links:

Innovate UK:  Creating greener, smarter communities - apply to take part

More difficult than trying to find ‘Good’ local school
Cllr Linda Thomas responds to Which? research on the choice of care homes.
Researched Links:

LGA responds to Which? research on care home choice

Councils don’t / cannot afford to pay the true cost

No option but to pay!

This problem is not going to be solved by taxing a few people a lot more

Some Councils seem to have forgotten their ‘Duty of Care’

What is the state of ‘God’s waiting rooms’?

Are you entitled to free care?

Most services meet the ‘Mum Test’ but there is still too much poor care, finds CQC

Citizens Advice responds to launch of CMA investigation into care homes

Councils must offer affordable options when arranging care homes for families

Change for the better

The Personal Independence Payment guidance now reflects a recent legal decision. 

This was on the interpretation of people’s needs for supervision so as to carry out activities safely. The change will lead to approximately 10,000 claimants receiving an extra £70 to £90 a week by 2022/2023.
Researched Links:

DWP:  Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment guidance updated

ScotGov:  UK Government welfare cuts

Second review of Personal Independence Payment

Changes to Personal Independence Payment regulations

PIP failing disabled people

PIP consultation response announced

NAO:  Contracted-out health & disability assessments

CAB:  PIP waiting times falling 'slowly but surely'

Minister for Disabled People, writes about the recent PIP ruling

Carers can now rest easy

New sleep-in shift pay compliance scheme launched to support social care sector & identify back pay for workers.

The government has launched a new compliance scheme for social care providers that may have incorrectly paid workers below legal minimum wage hourly rates for sleep-in shifts.  The scheme has been designed to help ensure workers are paid what they are owed, while also maintaining important services for people who access social care.

Social care employers will be able to opt into the new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS), giving them up to a year to identify what they owe to workers, supported by advice from HMRC.  Employers who identify arrears at the end of the self-review period will have up to 3 months to pay workers.
Researched Links:

DH:  New sleep-in shift pay compliance scheme launched to support social care sector and identify back pay for workers

LGA:  Councils respond to sleep-in back pay announcement

Lack of basic ‘protection’
NAO report investigates the NHS’s response to the cyber attack that affected it in May 2017 and its impact.
Researched Links:

NAO:  Investigation: WannaCry cyber attack and the NHS

techUK:  NAO publishes report on WannaCry Ransomware Attack on the NHS

NHS Digital responds to report on WannaCry cyber incident

Just over 6 months away

The ICO has launched a dedicated advice line to help small organisations prepare for a new data protection law.

The phone service is aimed at people running small businesses or charities and recognises the particular problems they face getting ready for the new law, called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR replaces the current Data Protection Act.  Regulated by the ICO, the GDPR strengthens the rules around personal data and requires organisations to be more accountable & transparent.  It also gives people greater control over their own personal data.
Researched Links:

ICO:  New data protection advice service aimed at small organisations preparing for GDPR

GDPR will soon become a reality

GDPR Guidance: What to look for in your Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Transitioning for away from the EU DP ‘umbrella’

With GDPR coming into force next year ‘effective solutions’ are needed

‘Unfriendly’ Banks

Small businesses will be matched with alternative finance options, under a government scheme.

9 of the UK’s biggest banks will pass on the details of small businesses they have rejected for finance to 4 finance platforms - Funding Xchange, Business Finance Compared, Funding Options and Alternative Business Funding Ltd.

These platforms will then share these details with alternative finance providers and go on to facilitate a conversation between the business and any provider who expresses an interest in supplying finance to them.  These new rules make it easier for businesses to access finance when they have been turned down by traditional lenders.

Research shows that 71% of businesses seeking finance only ask one lender and, if rejected for finance, many simply give up on investment rather than seek alternative options.
Researched Links:

HM Treasury:  New matchmaking service for small businesses looking for finance

Conflict of interest?

The CMA is investigating booking sites;  Are their customers really able to choose the best hotel deal?

The CMA is concerned about the clarity, accuracy and presentation of information on sites, which could mislead people, stop them finding the best deal and potentially break consumer law.
Researched Links:

CMA launches consumer law investigation into hotel booking sites

No mercy

New DVLA ‘Tax it or lose it’ campaign is aimed at car tax dodgers

New DVLA ‘Tax it or lose it’ campaign is aimed at car tax dodgers
Check before paying

There has been an increase in cold calls to the public from bogus bailiffs requesting payments for a “phantom” debt.

The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a bailiff working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt.

Fraudsters are requesting payment by bank transfer and if refused they threaten to visit the people’s homes or place work in order to recover the debt that is owed.  Though this type of fraud can occur throughout the UK, we have found that significant levels of reports are being made from those in the Yorkshire area.
Researched Links:

Action Fraud:  Cold calls from bogus bailiffs

Booking a restaurant for your work’s Christmas party?

Make sure you choose a venue that is taking food hygiene seriously.  So “look before you book” this festive season and check the food hygiene rating.

Food Standards Agency:  Look before you book this Xmas - don’t let poor food hygiene ruin your work party
Editorial commentary;  Doomsayers in full flow! - Remember Y2K (or Millennium Bug) foresaw the end of the electronic age.

According to the IEA, Halloween may not be the most auspicious time to be talking about what happens if the Brexit negotiations break up without a deal.  But there are still plenty of scare stories to dispel – including planes no longer flying, cancer patients being denied life-saving treatment, and criminals running amok.

Firstly, a confession;  I was one of many public sector employees in London who were charged with responding to all the doom mongering predictions back in 1998 - 2000 – among which was the claim that most lifts would cease to function and hospital equipment stop working!

The media were all generally at panic stations as the ‘doomsayers’ flew around the world delivering their ‘message’ (for large fees) about the catastrophe which was about 18 months away (sounds familiar?)!

That was until we began to analyse the ‘problems’, co-ordinate our activities, draw up contingency plans and generally work out what we had to do to work in co-operation with all Emergency Planning Officers, local & national government departments, NHS, F&R, transport organisations, local businesses, etc.  These preparations included both local & London-wide meetings & conferences where everyone shared their concerns, state of preparation and plans.

Within our organisation contingency plans were drawn up, tested & circulated (in some cases for the first time ever!), computer systems evaluated, updated, replaced, or in some cases scrapped.  In general we questioned what we did & why, evaluated how we could do it better and eventually came to the conclusion the world would not end in the early hours of 01/01/2000.

In fact, by the night of the Millennium, our biggest fear in London was that a relatively warm evening would be followed by a freezing cold drizzle after midnight.  Things would then be complicated by someone ‘falling’ onto the underground track by Westminster, so that 1m+ people would then be forced to walk home, with many getting hypothermia! 

We should prepare for WTO trade, but that does not mean everything will grind to a halt IF we prepare in advance.  Chances are that if we prepare the EU will agree to co-operate.
Researched Links:

IEA:  UK has nothing to fear from a ‘bare bones’ Brexit deal

PC&PE:  Government response to Brexit - Trade in goods

Y2K bug | computer science | Britannica.com

Is the Year 2038 problem the new Y2K bug? | Technology | The Guardian


 More contributions to the Brexit process

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

Brexit microsite

DExEU:  Joint statement by the Department for Exiting the European Union and the EC

DExEU:  Government affirms commitment to strong consumer protections post Brexit

10DS:  PM meeting with FM of Wales

EU News:  Joint statement by the EC and DExEU

ScotGov:  Cross-border policing

ScotGov:  Brexit analysis must be shared

PC&PE:  Government response to Brexit - Trade in goods

Open Europe:  Catalan separatism is part of a broader crisis of legitimacy

Open Europe:  May needs to show the EU the colour of our money to unlock the next round of Brexit talks

IEA:  UK has nothing to fear from a ‘bare bones’ Brexit deal

NIESR Commentary: Monetary & fiscal policy normalisation as Brexit is negotiated


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:
Innovate UK
Latest Documents
People - not products - are the secret to scaling up businesses

People - not products - are the secret to scaling up businesses
Independent study shows investors and businesses fail to see eye-to-eye on what drives innovative companies to attract private investment and scale up.

Using augmented reality to boost tourism: apply for contracts

Using augmented reality to boost tourism: apply for contracts
Organisations can apply for a share of £70,000 to develop augmented reality technologies that help tourists to plan and make the most of their visits.

First of a Kind competition: transform tomorrow’s train journeys

First of a Kind competition: transform tomorrow’s train journeys
Innovative, real-time working models of ideas to transform rail passenger travel could benefit from a £3.5 million fund by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Creating greener, smarter communities: apply to take part

Creating greener, smarter communities: apply to take part
Got an idea that could make where you live greener, smarter and more sustainable? The Geovation challenge will help get your innovation off the ground.

The UK’s first Hyperloop prototype to exhibit at Innovate 2017

The UK’s first Hyperloop prototype to exhibit at Innovate 2017
Explore the future of travel and discover some of the UK’s most exciting new technologies and innovation opportunities.