Read the latest news and blogs surrounding access control, time and attendance systems and integrated security solutions with Tensor plc.
Working Time Directive – 48 hour opt out and ´on-call´ hours
In December 2008, the European Parliament voted to end the Working Time Directive 48 hour opt out. This would have meant the phasing out of the opt-out over a three-year period. The Council of Ministers however continued to support the retention of the opt-out. For any amendments to be adopted it was necessary for both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to agree and approve any changes. A conciliation committee of the Commission, Parliament and the Council held a series of discussions to seek a mutually acceptable text for the revision of the Directive. No agreement was reached. As a result of the above, proposals to introduce changes have failed. For the UK this means that the 48-hour opt-out will remain. The above actions have been the last opportunity to introduce any changes before the European elections to be held in June 2009. For any future changes to be introduced now, it would be necessary for the Commission to submit new proposals in order to start the process again. The proposals under consideration held wider implications than the removal of the 48-hour opt-out. The proposals also considered changes to the definition of ´on-call´ hours to be included as working time. At the present time the Directive considers active on-call to be included in working time. Active on-call is defined as the time that the worker is required to be available at their place of work. The Council thinks this should continue to be the case but the Parliament says that the definition of working hours should be widened to include ´inactive on-call´, which is the time a worker is on call, but not required to be at their place of work. As with the 48-hour opt-out, no agreement was reached between Council and Parliament hence the current position of only ´active on-call´ being included will remain. However, to comply withy the opt-out businesses must be able to prove the hours worked by employees and the legislation says "a paperwork system is not enough". Hence, the need to install a Time & Attendance system such as WinTA lite to cost effectively comply with the Directive.
Assessment of your human resource systems for Points-based migration
A new points- based system to enable the UK to control migration more effectively, tackle abuse and identify the most talented workers was launched by the Home Secretary. The Home Secretary called on industry and education sectors to play their role in making migration work for Britain, and reminded them that they had a responsibility to help make the new scheme a success. The points based system is a central part of the Government’s five year strategy for asylum and immigration, which was published in February 2005, and is committed to a wide-ranging plan: to ensure that only those who benefit Britain can come here to work or study to strengthen the UK’s borders; to crack down on abuse and illegal immigration and increase removals. Its implementation is a key Government priority The scheme will be complemented with a tougher approach from our own British embassies abroad to weed out false applications and will place increased obligations on UK businesses and universities who will now be required to sponsor migrants and help to ensure that those they sponsor adhere to the terms of their visa. As part of the new legislation your human resource (HR) systems and compliance while employing migrants is rated when you apply for a licence to sponsor migrants under the points-based system to work or study. They assess five individual areas of your HR systems, which are: Area 1: Monitoring immigration status and preventing illegal employment Area 2: Maintaining migrant contact details Area 3: Recordkeeping Area 4: Migrant tracking and monitoring Area 5: Recruitment practices and professional accreditations You must mostly achieve a rating of 1 in each of the five areas to get the top rating for your HR systems overall. They also assess your past compliance with immigration law while employing migrants and will give you an A rating or B rating, or refuse or withdraw your licence. They assess: whether you have the correct human resource (HR) systems to make sure that you can meet your sponsorship duties; and whether you are complying with, or have previously complied with, the work permit arrangements and other immigration law. With these new regulations it would be very hard to pass the assesments unless you have a computersied Personnel System.
Fuel thieves targeted at stations
The BBC reported that some motorists in Cambridgeshire are filling up at a petrol pump and driving off without paying. The Cambridgeshire Police have sent out a warning that they are targeting such criminals. The fuel thefts have led to more patrols on petrol station forecourts. Although the police have sent out numerous warnings, these are being ignored as there were 125 thefts of fuel in the north of Cambridgeshire last year. Pc McCallum said "We will be concentrating on filling stations that have been particularly badly affected and that are all in rural areas". Pc McCallum also added "This is often seen as a victimless crime but the cost of thefts are eventually passed on to the public and we treat all forms of threat seriously". Officers have begun using Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology at garage forecourts to target offenders.
UK Prisons over Capacity
The latest reports show prisons in England and Wales have surpassed their normal capacity for the first time. At present, there are 82,068 inmates in jail which is 96 over the Prison Service’s normal capacity. Since November 2007 to date, 521 people have been sentenced and sent to prison and around 358 inmates are serving their time in police or court cells in an attempt to ease the pressure. "The government’s policy towards prisons is like boiling a kettle – there is a red line and when you fill it with water, you don’t cross that line" – Colin Moses, Prison Officers’ Association For the first time the Prison Service has more inmates in jail than the number governors want to hold. This added pressure has caused concerns over safety & security within the prisons. HOW MANY INSIDE? Friday population: 82,068 In prison: 81,710 In police cells: 358 Official limits Operational Capacity: 81,972 Uncrowded conditions: 74,141 Source: Prison Service Tensor has a unique, low cost Prison Pass PC computer based system that allows prison officers to quickly check the identity of the visitor and monitor their movements. This is a first class system, which is used by many prisons around the country. The system is highly secure and stores a digital image to ensure instant confirmation of the visitors’ identity. Tensors Prison Pass system will also provide the prison officer with a warning when a banned or cautioned visitor is recognised. A Biometric Fingerprint Reader can also be installed for ‘extra’ security to provide indisputable proof that the guest is who they say they are. For more information on the Prison Pass Visitor Monitoring System, Access Control & Biometrics or to book a demo, please contact our Sales Team on (01480) 215530 or email@example.com
The importance of School Security
Many schools are checking their security level to ensure that it is sufficient to match current threats. A recent survey of teachers carried out revealed there are a number of different security issues that present themselves in the day to day environment of a school. In the summer of 2007, schools were given the go-ahead to take fingerprints from children as young as five. An investigation earlier in 2007 showed that 285 schools had already introduced fingerprint scanners for a range of purposes including tracking children for truancy and security purposes. Although this is a successful system it still does not make school computers and equipment secure. Schools are targeted for their laptops, computers, over-head projectors and general electrical apparatus. In February of this year, a school was burgled and "50,000 worth of equipment was stolen. Unfortunately, the school did not have Access Control or secure entry & exit system. However, they did have an alarm system, but regrettably the alarm was ignored by local residents and an alert did not go through to the control centre. It is very important that schools are fully equipped with a professional security system to keep intruders out and to protect the school during the evenings and weekends.
Do you have Fire Roll-Call?
Every year, many people die or are seriously injured as a result of fires in the workplace. Fires cost UK businesses millions of pounds a year due to damage, loss of business, fines, compensation claims and insurance premiums. Statistics show that between 70% and 80% of UK businesses fail within 3 years of experiencing a fire. Burning or combustion is due to a chemical reaction between fuel and oxygen. Many common materials can act as fuels such as: furniture curtains desks The rate of fire growth depends on the fuel that is burning and how much air can get to the fire. Legislation implements a risk based approach to fire safety within a business. It requires a responsible person to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement appropriate fire precaution and protection measures. Once this is in place, it must be maintained with a fire management plan. Fire safety at work is exceedingly important. Although employers must ensure that their staff are trained in how to prevent a fire and know the escape routes, there are still companies that do not have a Fire Roll-Call system in place. A Fire Roll-Call system is a fundamental tool. Should a fire start, the Fire Roll-Call system will automatically print a report indicating which employees are on site. In 2002, over 40,000 workplace fires were reported causing 147 deaths and 3,200 work injuries. Fire Roll-Call will determine who is at the fire muster point and who is unaccounted for.
What does a Turnstile do?
A turnstile allows one person to pass at a time. It can also be manufactured to enforce a one-way traffic system for people. The turnstile was originally used to allow people to pass while keeping sheep or other livestock penned in. In the late 1880’s Britain used turnstiles for public events. The first major use of the turnstiles was at a sporting venue in Hampden Park, Glasgow. A turnstile is often used for counting the number of people passing through a gate, even when payment is not involved. Turnstiles are extensively used in amusement parks to track how many people enter and exit the park and go on each ride. Turnstiles are more effective than doors when there is a need to physically control people entering or exiting a facility. With crime such as robbery on the increase, turnstiles are also used for security purposes. In addition, an Access Control system can be integrated with the turnstile/turnstiles. There are many different types of turnstile. It depends on what the individual wants. The most commonly used turnstiles are: Half Height Turnstile – Ideal for controlling access in areas such as reception, health clubs and libraries. Full Height Turnstile – Recommended for use when absolute entrance or exit security is required. For example football stadiums, amusement parks and high security establishments. For more information on a Tensor turnstile, barrier or gate, please contact our sales team.
What is Visitor Monitoring?
Visitor monitoring is an indispensable system and is becoming increasingly popular. Visitor monitoring controls, records and monitors the entrance and exit of a guest. Upon arrival the Receptionist will check the visitors’ identity and enter their details onto the visitor monitoring system. The guest will then be issued with a printed ID pass. This system is an advantage to any business because: It records an accurate date & time of the visitors arrival Is individulaised with a bar-code and expiry date Is an efficient way to quickly pass visitors through Reception It is becoming increasingly common for businesses not to have a Reception/Receptionist. Visitor monitoring will allow a guest to self register by using a touch-screen computer. The system will automatically notify the host by email. Depending how high-tech a company wants to be, biometric fingerprint readers are frequently used as part of the visitor monitoring system to provide irrefutable proof that the guest is who they say they are. The biometric fingerprint reader is vital for high security sites. In addition, surveillance equipment such as digital CCTV and automatic number plate recognition devices can be combined with your ID card software, allowing you to create a highly sophisticated visitor monitoring network.