Accommodation Know How has been around for years and is commonly called ‘The Pink Book’ – due, no doubt, to it’s easy-to-spot pink cover. Produced by VisitEngland, this handy little title has been helping England’s accommodation providers determine what they can and can’t do in the running of their businesses by providing valuable legislative guidance.
Now, change is afoot! VisitEngland is making some improvements to an already excellent publication. The Accommodation Know How website will close at the end of June 2014 and will be replaced by the Pink Book Online. Access to VisitEngland’s new industry website will be FREE (!) and is due to launch during the summer of 2014. Regular visitors to Accommodationknowhow.co.ukwill be redirected to the new Pink Book Online once it is live.
If you prefer your legislative guidance in hard copy (perhaps not a bad idea if you need to refer to it during an emergency and can’t get online) then the Pink Book Online will also be available in a printed copy. Hospitality businesses that participate in the VisitEngland Quality Assessment Scheme will receive a hard copy free and all others can purchase a print copy from VisitEngland for £9.99 plus £1.50 postage.
We’re looking forward to seeing VisitEngland’s latest incarnation of The Pink Book because it is a seminal title for English accommodation providers large and small. Make sure you obtain your hard copy and bookmark the online version when it becomes available this summer.
Many young people will have their first job experience in one of the hospitality industry’s many sectors, such as tourism and leisure parks, pubs or hotels. Some of these young people will go on to build careers in the industry, so hospitality employers have a vital role to play in making their temporary or part-time employment a success.
If your hospitality business employs under-18s, the Institute is hosting a new must-attend IoH Webinar on 17th June at 3pm.
During the webinar, employers will learn how keep their young employees safe and well during the performance of their duties. Find out if young staff are working the right hours and taking on age-appropriate responsibilities. Discover who needs to be supervising under-18s and even the subtleties between employing 17 year olds versus 15 year olds.
These and many other questions will be addressed at the forthcoming IoH Webinar presented by BusinessHR’s expert, Terry Edney. Book your attendance today and to make sure your business is doing what is necessary to keep young employees safe in legally-compliant roles on your hospitality premises.
Book now at:IoH Webinar. Seating is limited, so book today!
Members of the Institute can attendfree and there is a nominal fee for non-members.
The 2014 World Cup starts next week on Thursday 12 June and continues with 63 matches until Sunday 13 July. Over the past few years, with more experience of successive large scale sporting events like the Olympics, generally a harmonious way to get through these periods, limiting productivity loss and avoiding a mass of disciplinary hearings, has been found. However, we think that it’s still worth sending out a clear reminder of what is acceptable and what’s not. Many employers have also successfully used these type of events to improve staff relations, camaraderie and team spirit – so a bit of forward planning may pay dividends.
England’s first three fixtures in the group stage are:
• Sat 14 June, 11pm (v Italy)
• Thursday 19 June, 8.00pm (v Uruguay)
• Tuesday 24 June, 5.00pm (v Costa Rica)
Further matches will depend on the results of group matches: if England progress, it will get more serious and times may vary (and be less easy to deal with) with each match. Remember that you may have employees who support other countries, so check the nationalities and allegiances of your staff but make no assumptions, there may be surprise loyalties. You must be consistent, even if/when England fall out. For a full schedule of fixtures see the BBC listing.
Most matches are in the evenings, some very late and some in the early hours. This obviously affects shift workers’ ability to watch them live, but also bear in mind the knock-on effects on the following days of tiredness etc amongst those who work normal office hours. Consider the diversity of your workforce (those with different nationalities should also receive the same opportunity to support their country). Who will they be supporting and how can you help keep things in friendly rivalry mode?
Actions to take
A few suggestions:
• Remind your staff about expected standards of behaviour and discrimination: we would suggest that you remind everyone (gently) of your standards of behaviour and in particular, your equal opportunity, bullying/harassment, IT and computer use and alcohol and drugs policies. Be clear that offensive and discriminatory conduct (including language, banter, gestures etc) will be dealt with in the usual way, no matter how heated the debate or the match moment. If you have a diverse workforce, it may be worth looking at the full schedule of matches with a view to who might be vulnerable on which days. Even a reminder of dress code is a good idea. Race is the most obvious protected characteristic, but in Northern Ireland shirts with football logos may be considered discriminatory as an indicator of religion. Flags put up in the office may cause issues if they are restricted to certain nationalities. Check that your alcohol and drugs policies cover not just drinking/taking illegal substances whilst at work, but also being under the influence caused by over indulgence the previous night!
• Deal with holiday requests fairly and consistently: hopefully the fanatics booked their leave dates as soon as the fixtures became known but you might encourage others to put in any extra requests now. If you can’t accommodate all requests, then ensure that you deal with competing requests fairly and consistently. (You can of course expect the tennis fans to then ask for similar leniency with leave bookings to fit with Wimbledon season but we have found this to be manageable in the past.)
• Review working hours: how flexible can you be with those who are at work during key matches? Will you allow them to swap shifts, to leave early and make up the time, or might you provide an on-site facility to enjoy the matches with colleagues (or even key clients etc)? Be aware of when the major fixtures are and assess the impact on your workload, likely customer demand during/after those times, impact on employees who would normally be travelling home when the local pubs close after a match etc. Any change in hours or flexibility in working hours should be approved before the event. If watching on television or radio at work, do check you have the appropriate licences. If watching in-house after work make it clear if alcohol is banned on site, and also reinforce your rules re driving – ensure that your normal rules of conduct apply as you may remain liable for your employees’ acts. We may not want to be a nanny state but a little forward thinking will go a long way towards avoiding trouble.
• Handle absences properly: we all worry about abuse of sickness absence by those who haven’t taken leave or who may have had their leave requests turned down. Be careful not to jump to conclusions, but remind your employees of their responsibilities and your procedures re attendance and sickness absence notification, and, if absences occur, be sure to follow your usual guidelines and treat the situation fairly. This means investigating and following up with a reasonably open mind, despite any misgivings you may have about the timing.
• Take steps to prevent the misuse of company resources: another possible cause for disciplinary action would be misuse of company resources, such as the Internet. If a large number of employees stream a match to their desktops all at the same time, not only would their productivity levels reduce, but this could slow down your network or cause it to crash thus affecting everyone else. Again how lenient will you be? How many people will have extra windows open on their pcs – what effect will this have on work outcomes? How would you deal with people involved in gambling on on-line sites? If this is prohibited, a gentle reminder before you have to handle this is a good idea. Possibly more hazardous is the distraction caused by constant checking of mobiles, so again consider where this temptation could be dangerous (eg whilst driving on business or operating machinery) and discuss it upfront. In safety critical roles, you may wish to insist that mobile phones are only accessed during breaks. Evening drivers may need particular briefings to reinforce safe driving.
• Consider more positive initiatives: in-house sweep stakes (with moderate sums) or simple fantasy league type schemes can play an easy role in taking the heat out of misplaced patriotic behaviour and can involve those who are not usually footie followers in a positive, team spirited way.
A quick memo or email, circulated to all staff in advance, could cover all of the above points to remind employees of your rules and also to ensure that they are aware of any special measures that are in place. The World Cup may present you with an opportunity to increase employee engagement and morale, so do try and use this to unite not divide!
About the author
Terry Edney FCIPD is the CEO of BusinessHR who provide a comprehensive HR support service to SME clients from a wide range of industries. Terry and his team provide a business orientated service comprising HR document compliance review, HR helpline and interactive HR website in order to reduce risk, save clients time and allow them to focus on their business.
Institute members may recall the excellent Hospitable Climates programme which was overseen by the Institute in the early ‘noughties’. Run by the Institute with a staff of three alongside the Carbon Trust, the government funded programme tracked participating hospitality businesses’ energy use and assisted them with lowering the cost of utility bills and reducing their carbon footprint. Unfortunately, the government funding ended and the Hospitable Climates programme was brought to a close.
However, both the Institute and the Carbon Trust retain an interest in helping hospitality managers reduce carbon emissions and lower energy costs. The Institute provides the Business Climate page on its website, which refers members to a variety of ‘green resources’. The Carbon Trust offers a hospitality page on its website containing some excellent Energy Management reports for the Hospitality and the Food and Catering Sector.
If you don’t have time to dip into a report, have a quick look at the following Carbon Trust energy saving checklist to discover some easy-to-apply tips.
“Switch off all non-essential lighting out of hours. Install timers to help with this
Replace traditional tungsten bulbs with energy efficient, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to reduce operating and maintenance costs
Replace any old 1.5 inch (38mm) fluorescent tubes with 1 inch (26mm) tubes
Establish a basic lighting maintenance programme to keep lights and windows clean. Identify and replace failing lights
Ensure thermostats are set correctly. Increase temperature set-point for cooling and reduce for heating
Set a ‘dead band’ between heating and air conditioning control temperatures of 5ºC to avoid them operating at the same time
Check insulation levels and increase wherever practical to reduce heating requirements
Install and use a swimming pool cover whenever the pool is not in use
Raise awareness amongst kitchen staff: label equipment with minimum warm up times, keep fridge and freezer doors shut, use correctly sized equipment and switch off unnecessary kitchen equipment and lights
Walk around your building at different times of the day and during different seasons to see how and when heating and cooling systems areworking. Check time and temperature settings”
The Master Innholder Scholarship Programme awards scholarships to managers in the hospitality industry. Successful candidates are granted places on two week intensive management development courses held at the following top universities: Cranfield University, Cornell University (USA), or the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (Switzerland). The entire cost of tuition, board and lodging is included as well as a contribution towards travel to New York state and Lausanne. Scholarships are being awarded this year to be taken during 2015.
The closing date for receipt of applications is 12th July 2014
Interviews will be held in London in November 2014. For more information please contact either Gillian Croxford, Assistant Clerk, Worshipful Company of Innholders on 0207 236 6703 or at Gillian@innholders.co.uk, or Philippe Rossiter, Executive Secretary, Master Innholders, on 01252 624505 or email email@example.com.
The Institute has just released an exciting new publication called the Hospitality Digest 2014. Packed with data and expert opinion on the UK and global hospitality and tourism industry, the Digest’s 190 pages cover industry sectors and topics such as:
Employment – salaries by region and title
Hotels – values and hotel insolvencies
Foodservice – its size and leading operators
Meetings and Events – conference market share by venue and attendee spending
Tourism – global and UK tourism arrivals and tourism trends
The Digest also contains directories and lists, which are often used to seek out new business contacts, conduct research and perform job searches.
However, the Hospitality Digest 2014 is much more than a reference work of data and statistics; it provides sector analysis, opinion and ‘horizon-scanning’ for an up-to-date look at the hospitality industry’s performance and future.
Read analysis and opinion from respected industry authorities including Bob Cotton, Martin-Christian Kent, Melvin Gold, Peter Backman and others and learn about critical issues affecting the industry and its future.
Hospitality business practitioners, investors, the media, academia and students will find the new Hospitality Digest 2014 indispensable. For a look inside the Hospitality Digest 2014 or to view a Table of Contents, visit the Institute’s website today.
If you’d like to be at the forefront of a new trend developing in the hospitality industry, then try the Institute’s new management guide, Making Drinking Water Part of Your CSR Policy. It explains why something as simple as drinking water has become a critical issue for hospitality businesses and discusses viable alternatives and legal obligations on the part of the business.
bottled waters are costing the environment – and consumers – dearly.
hospitality owners and operators can manage drinking water simply through a popular process
costs are reduced for consumers and operators and profits are retained or grown for the business
the new process fits in with any hospitality business – from micro to global – and why it is an essential part of any business’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy and activities.
This is an important topic that will become even more urgent as the price of utilities and recycling increases and as informed consumers increasingly look for ‘greener’ measures from hospitality providers.