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A day in the life of…Stuart Beattie

first_img8.00pmI get into the car and switch on the radio. A bit of music always helps me to relax. At home I catch up with the latest Sky Sports News, then head to bed. 7.30pmAfter a productive afternoon, I see it’s almost time to go home. I check through all the trays to ensure we have the right numbers for each customer and that all of the products are up to Rich’s standard. Everything looks fine.I have a quick handover to my counterpart on the nightshift, Mark Stewart, who works mainly on the production of our signature mince pie range for a top celebrity chef. Then I leave the bakery to drive home. 2.00pmThe pies have been in for around half an hour and I can see that they have turned a lovely golden brown and are ready to come out. I get them out of the oven and place them on the rack to cool. Once they are at the right temperature, I will move them to the finishing area, where I will hand-sprinkle them with sweet snow before handing them over to our packing team to be carefully packed ready for the next delivery.I’ve been with Rich’s, or David Powell as it was then, for six years now and I’m always amazed at how you start the day with nothing and end it with mountains of delicious products. I was 16 when I joined the business, with no experience or qualifications. I’m now 22 and a qualified baker, thanks to the support given to me by the company, and I take enormous pride in my work. It’s testament to the family atmosphere here that I am just as passionate about my job today as I was when I first started here. 3.30pmIt’s been a busy day so far, but thankfully, we’re well on track. I make a quick check on the trays containing the day’s products to see that they all look 100%.Then I take the opportunity to have a quick break and a bite to eat before heading back down to the bakery to complete our orders for the day. 11.15amTime for a quick team briefing. There are 10 people on my team and as it’s a busy bakery, we work in shifts over a six-day period. I have eight Polish guys working here with me at the moment and, while their English is great, my Polish is not the best.I’ve been trying to pick up a few phrases, but sometimes the words turn out to be not what I think they are, which always raises a few sniggers from the lads. 11.00amI head onto the floor to turn on the heaters for the stampers and the ovens. We’re in the middle of the festive season at the moment, so we’re working on a number of new Christmas lines and there’s a real buzz around the bakery.I’m the day supervisor, responsible for our luxury, award-winning mince pie range. We’re currently producing six varieties, all bespoke for our key customers, and turn around about 15,000 every day.We deliver the mince pies fresh twice a day and, as we take a flexible approach to meeting customer demand, our actual orders for tomorrow won’t come in until around 2.30pm.It’s my job to make sure that we deliver on customer orders, so being prepared for – and reacting to – fluctuating orders is an enjoyable challenge.I take a look at yesterday’s figures and estimate how many pies we will need to make during the day so that we can all get started.One of our major coffee shop customers – a world-leading chain – is having great success with its mince pie range and, with Christmas approaching, I make an extra allowance for an increase in its order for tomorrow. We’re going to be busy.center_img 2.30pmConfirmation of tomorrow’s order comes in and I am pleased that I made extra provisions because, as predicted, our customer has increased its order. I call the team round to let them know the exact figures and reallocate a few tasks. 1.30pmThe first batch of mince pies is in the oven and it’s my job to watch over them. We use deck ovens at Rich’s, rather than modern travelling ones, so it’s vital that I keep an eye on the pies to ensure that they are baked just right – not too pale and not too dark – and that the pastry is light and crumbly to eat. 11.30amThe team is split into two to make our mince pies. As every product is hand crafted and finished, it’s no simple task. I coordinate the first team, who are busy stamping out the pastry cases. We do each one individually as it adds to the consistency of the product.The butter pastry is then individually hand-placed into the foil cases and deep-filled with premium, citrus-infused mincemeat before being passed on to the second team, who put on the pastry lids and top them with sugar. They then go into the oven to bake.The love and attention that goes into every one of Rich’s mince pies is, in my opinion, what makes them stand out from the long-life boxed products that fill the supermarket shelves at this time of year. I challenge anyone to come up with a better mince pie than ours! 10.30amI arrive at the bakery and chat with the guys about last night’s football match. I’m a keen Liverpool supporter and, the previous evening, they drew with Portsmouth, a team that most of the lads here support. I wish we’d won!last_img read more

Opportunist theft: who covers the losses?

first_imgAn opportunist thief has stolen an employee’s bag from your workplace; it contained their railcard, mobile phone, house keys and £100 in cash. You are as upset about it as they are, but can they claim on your insurance?Sadly, opportunist theft occurs all too often. One of our members recently suffered such an incident. The back door to the premises was left open and someone snuck in and stole an employee’s bag. It contained several personal belongings, which will prove rather costly to replace. But who is responsible for covering this loss?Responsibility for employees’ personal effects at their employer’s premises has always been a difficult issue, particularly where expensive items are involved. Although you are under a legal duty to provide a safe working environment for your employees, you are under no obligation to replace, or bear the cost of replacing, any of their possessions stolen, or removed, from your workplace, or damaged while on-site.The insurance positionA typical commercial insurance policy, which covers the contents “owned by the business or for which it is, or may be, responsible”, will include an element of cover in respect of employees’ belongings. However, it will contain a number of limitations.Cover usually only operates if the items are “not otherwise insured” for example if they are covered elsewhere say, on an employee’s home insurance policy. In addition, a relatively modest limit will apply for any one loss; this is usually around £500 to £1,000 and any claim made will probably be subject to an excess,.Yet this type of cover will generally only pay out for a theft that involves a “forcible entry and/or violent means”. So if you have a break-in you are probably covered. But leave a back door open, as in the case of our member, and you won’t be. There may also be a specific exclusion regarding theft by any of your own employees.Employees bringing their belongings into work should be made aware of the need to take all necessary precautions to protect their personal property while on the business premises. Disclaimers should be prominently displayed around your workplace stating you “accept no responsibility for any loss or damage to personal effects brought on to your premises”.Staff should also be reminded of the need to take out their own insurance for items they take away from their home.last_img read more

News story: Armistice 2018

first_img Nation’s bells to ring out together to mark Armistice Centenary Armistice 100 website On social media search #Armistice100 Sunday 11 November 2018 marks the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice.The day will recognise the significance of the end of the First World War, and the sacrifice made by so many men and women during this period.If you’re holding a commemorative or bell-ringing event marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, you can add your event to the Armistice 100 Map where you can also search for local events near you.Further informationlast_img

Press release: Foreign Secretary call with Cuban Foreign Minister

first_img Media enquiries Email [email protected] Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Further information Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @Jeremy_Hunt The Foreign Secretary spoke to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez on the first full day of the Royal visit to Cuba by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The Foreign Secretary said this visit was a flagship moment in our longstanding policy of positive engagement with Cuba and is testament to how far our bilateral relationship has developed. He said he hoped this provides opportunities to increase our co-operation in areas of mutual interest that UK and Cuba already enjoy. The Foreign Secretary also discussed the situation in Venezuela where so many people are suffering at the hands of the Maduro regime. He expressed the UK’s deep concern on Cuba’s support for Maduro and called on Cuba to play a more constructive role in resolving the Venezuelan crisis. The call ended with the Foreign Secretary thanking Foreign Minister Rodríguez for hosting Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and looked forward to strengthening the relationship between the UK and Cuba. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, who has joined the Royal visit to Cuba, will continue discussions on our bilateral co-operation, human rights and Venezuela with senior representatives of the Cuban government. For journalists Following the call on 25 March, a Foreign Office spokesperson said:last_img read more

News story: LLWR workforce hit jackpot for Charity of the Year

first_imgLLW Repository Ltd raised a record £9,339 for Charity of the Year, Give Us A Break 2010, after a magnificent response from the workforce.The charity is raising money to fund a short stay centre in West Cumbria for disabled children and their families, and employees voted to support it as their charity in 2018/19.A string of fundraising events were initiated and organised by the workforce including a book sale, baking competition, sponsored car wash, Christmas Jumper Day and numerous raffles. LLWR’s Lead Team also agreed to match-fund £2,000 for the charity.Cath Giel, LLWR’s Head of Public Affairs, said: “We have a fresh chosen charity every year, and the enthusiasm for giving, and for coming up with new ways of fund-raising, shows no sign of diminishing. In fact, the opposite is true.“Many members of our workforce helped to raise funds for Give Us A Break, and we are grateful to them all, not least our apprentices, whose Christmas Food Market initiative proved a tasty new addition to our fundraising efforts, adding almost £700 to our tally, and a few inches to waistlines!”last_img read more

Press release: Surge testing to be deployed in Southwark

first_imgWorking in partnership with the local authority, NHS Test and Trace is providing additional testing and genomic sequencing in a targeted area within SE16 in Southwark where an additional confirmed case of the variant first identified in South Africa has been found.Genomic sequencing results indicate that this case is linked to the cluster identified in Lambeth and Wandsworth. The confirmed case is self-isolating and their contacts have been identified.This targeted approach will contact certain households in Southwark, due to lower confirmed case numbers. These households will either get a leaflet asking them to get a test from a specially deployed mobile testing unit, or be asked to complete a home kit by a door-to-door team. Everybody aged 11 years and over in this area who is contacted and invited to take part is strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not.Enhanced contact tracing is used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern. This is where contact tracers look back over an extended period in order to determine the route of transmission.By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify variant of concern cases and their spread. People in this area should continue using twice-weekly rapid testing alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing.People with symptoms should book a free test online or by phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to them at home. Those without symptoms should visit the local authority website for more information.Dr Kevin Fenton, Regional Director, PHE London and Regional Director of Public Health, NHS London: The cluster of cases in parts of South London – predominantly the Lambeth and Wandsworth areas but also in Southwark – of the variant first identified in South Africa is significant. It’s really important people in the local area play their part in stopping any further spread within the local community. PCR testing is now available for all and I would strongly encourage everyone in Southwark who is invited to take part to get tested, even if they don’t have any symptoms of coronavirus. Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t show any symptoms. By taking part you can protect yourselves and your loved ones and help us identify any possible new cases that would otherwise be missed, preventing further transmission and saving lives.last_img read more

Provost announces changes to academic policy due to COVID-19

first_imgUniversity Provost Thomas Burish announced several changes to Notre Dame’s academic policies, including the implementation of a pass/no credit system for undergraduate and graduate students, in a letter to faculty Friday.Under the new academic guidelines determined by the Academic Council, Burish said, students will be able to view their grades at the end of the semester and elect to either accept the letter grade options or choose a pass/no credit option, according to the release. For undergraduates, students receiving a letter grade of A through D can receive a pass, and those receiving an F can choose the no-credit option. If they choose, graduate students will receive a pass for grades from A to C and a no-credit result for grades ranging from C- to F. Pass and no-credit grades will not affect a student’s grade point average, according to the letter. Other updates to academic policies include a temporary expansion of the Leave of Absence policy for undergraduate students. “For the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, any undergraduate student who withdraws from classes due to a specific COVID-19-related concern will be granted a leave of absence and be allowed to automatically re-enroll in the fall,” Burish said.Students wishing to take a leave of absence must seek approval from the dean of the school or college of their primary degree or the dean’s designee and re-enroll by the first class day of the fall 2020 semester, the release said.Students writing theses and dissertations will receive an extension in light of the pandemic. The deadlines for defending a thesis or dissertation have been prolonged from March 30 for defense and April 6 for submission to April 20 for defense and April 27 for submission, according to the report.Professors seeking tenure have also been granted an automatic one-year extension for probationary faculty who are not currently being reviewed for tenure, according to the letter.“Tenure-track faculty members who wish to opt-out of the automatic extension of the tenure clock must notify their dean in writing no later than one year prior to the time when they would otherwise come up for tenure,” Burish said.Faculty who are currently supposed to have their tenure reviewed in the upcoming academic year should notify, in writing, the dean of the college they are employed under if they want to opt-out of the extension, the letter said.In the letter, Burish expressed his gratitude for the work University faculty have been doing to adjust academics due to COVID-19. “It is often said that a crisis brings out the best in people, and that is surely what I have witnessed during the past weeks,” Burish said. “Your ingenuity, selflessness and dedication in overcoming obstacles are both humbling and inspiring. I shall always be grateful for your efforts and example.”Tags: academic council, coronavirus, COVID-19, pass/no-credit, University Provostlast_img read more

NCUA first out with exec compensation proposal

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The NCUA Board on Thursday in a 3-0 vote released an interagency proposed rule aimed at preventing executive compensation that is excessive or could lead to material losses in credit unions. While revised from a 2011 proposal, in NAFCU’s view, it remains onerous and unnecessary.Comments on the proposal are due July 22; NAFCU is reviewing the proposed rule as it plans for an official comment letter.NCUA is the first of the federal financial industry regulators to reissue the proposal, which was first released jointly by the agencies in 2011 but was never approved in final form. Banks, securities firms and investment advisors are also affected, among others.The proposal includes grandfather provisions for incentive-based compensation arrangements that begin prior to the rule’s effective date, which would be 18 months following publication of any final rule in the Federal Register. In remaining cases: continue reading »last_img read more

Dutch roundup: Blue Sky, Zwitserleven, SNS Reaal, ASR, Chevron

first_imgA search – supported by consultant PwC – for a new provider concluded that Blue Sky Group offered the best “price-quality ratio”, as it specialises in non-insured company pension funds, the scheme’s board said.A spokesman for Zwitserleven said the insurer was disappointed about the pension fund’s decisions and that it had submitted a “market-consistent quote based on its specification”.“However, it has indicated that other providers had a better proposition on board support,” he said.According to the scheme’s board, costs at Blue Sky Group – including costs for actuaries and accountants – would be lower.In other news, the €370m pension fund of energy giant Chevron is to liquidate itself and transfer pension rights to insurer ASR.Pensions accrual will now occur in a new external defined contribution plan.Because Chevron has scaled back its activities in the Netherlands substantially, no more than 100 workers are to participate in the new scheme, it said.According to Kees Klink, the pension fund’s chairman, the drop in the number of active participants triggered the scheme’s liquidation.The Pensioenfonds Chevron was among the few remaining scheme’s with final salary arrangements.Thanks to a coverage ratio of 127% at the scheme, the board has been able to negotiate a deal with ASR where participants will be granted ongoing indexation based on the European consumer index, in addition to a one-off, partial compensation for indexation in arrears.“Under the new financial assessment framework, the latter would have been very difficult,” Klink added. The €2.7bn pension fund of banc-assurer SNS Reaal has replaced its pensions provider, SNS Reaal subsidiary Zwitserleven, with Blue Sky Group, pensions provider for the large KLM pension funds.Eelco Blauw, the scheme’s director, cited changing legislation as the chief reason for the decision.“Legal requirements for pension funds increasingly differ from those for insured pension arrangements,” he said.“Our scheme was the only uninsured one with Zwitserleven, which mainly focuses on insured pension plans.”last_img read more

Actuaries raise alarm over ability to transfer pension assets cross border

first_imgIt also retained much of the European Commission’s initial wording that would allow pension funds to question a regulator’s decision in court – powers not granted under the 2003’s Directive.“Multinationals will be extremely reluctant to invest the time and effort in working with all the stakeholders to proceed with the transfer if the transferring regulator can simply refuse to transfer on the grounds of their opinion,” Kelly said.“It also means it will be more difficult for multinational companies to sustain existing mature DB plans without the tool of combining these.”The ACA added that the veto could “kill” defined benefit cross-border activity, despite attempts by member states to relax the procedure whereby cross-border funds could be established – such as funding requirements.The number of cross-border funds has been limited since the initial IORP Directive was transposed, stagnating for three years from 2010 and only increasing from 82 to 86 at the end of 2013.French pension fund UMR was in 2012 considering the transfer of its assets to a Belgian organisation for financing pensions (OFP).In 2013, IPE was given to understand that the French regulator, Autorité de Contrôle des Assurances et des Mutuelles, “advised” the scheme not to proceed. The UK’s Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) has raised concerns that the latest draft of the IORP Directive will hamper a pension fund sponsor’s ability to transfer pension assets across European borders.Its chairman Paul Kelly said it was “perverse” the Directive, ostensibly meant to promote cross-border activity and enable the easy transfer of assets, would make it “extremely difficult” to do so.Kelly cited wording in the latest Council of the EU compromise draft that said the regulators of the IORP’s home member state should have the ability to, according to him, “refuse to transfer on the grounds of their opinion”.The latest draft, drawn up in late November, said regulators from home member states should be able to stop a transfer of assets should it consider the interests of members not “adequately protected during and after” the transfer.last_img read more