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 case study image

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 case study image

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.

UK Prisons over Capacity case study image

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

Do you have Fire Roll-Call? case study image

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.

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