Read the latest news and blogs surrounding access control, time and attendance systems and integrated security solutions with Tensor plc.
Working Time Directive UK Opt-Out Latest
As we predicted earlier, the European Parliament has voted today to scrap the UK Working Time Directive opt-out by 2010. However, it’s not all bad news. In the horse trading likely to take place in Brussels over the coming months it is possible that the UK opt-out will be retained, but that employers will have to keep better, more accurate, records of the hours worked by their staff and the individual employee review milestones favoured by the EU. With a good computerised Time & Attendance system this should be a relatively straight forward matter.
European Parliament votes to scrap the UK Opt-out
The Employment and Social Affairs Committee of European Parliament voted on 20th April 2005 to scrap the UK Working Time Directive opt-out. The vote is expected to be ratified by the full Parliament of MEP’s in May. This means that UK companies will be subject to the rules of the 48 hour working week and the allied regulations relating to night workers and shift working. Businesses that have not already done so, will have to install accurate time keeping systems and maintain records for six years of the hours worked by employees including all breaks associated with the working day. In practice, this means introducing a computerised Time & Attendance system. Companies who regularly request their employees to work overtime must be particularly vigilant of the regulations. UK employer organisations, including the CBI, have campaigned hard against the opt-out removal, but to no avail. Fortunately, the cost of a Smart Card Attendance Monitoring system from Tensor to enable you to stay within the legislation is only Â£1,495.
Tensor supports PC’s for schools in Africa
Tensor is supporting a project by Nazir Jessa, Chairman of Watford Electronics Ltd., to donate any out-of-date PC systems to schools in Africa, mainly in Tanzania and Kenya. Nazir needs to collect a sufficient quantity of half-reasonable systems (unfortunately, PC’s beyond repair or 386’s will not be of much use) to fill five 20 feet containers. As an extra incentive for business, the donation of old PC’s will take away their costly responsibility under the EU Disposal of Electronic Waste directive and at the same time help African children with their school work. His Excellency Hassan Gumbo Kibelloh, the Tanzanian High Commissioner in the UK, has made a special plea to UK businesses, impressing the grave situation facing schools in Tanzania due to an acute shortage of Text books and PC’s. He has explained that the Internet is the only way of downloading information that text books would normally provide; but without computers this is impossible. He has given an undertaking that any containers loaded with second-hand PC’s arriving at the port of Daressalaam will be given "Special Clearance" without any hindrance from the tax collectors. All transportation costs of the containers to Africa will be paid for by Watford Electronics Ltd. Nazir has received assurances from friends and colleagues in Tanzania and Kenya that once the goods are off loaded, that they will assist in refurbishing the machines and the hard drives at no cost to the schools. Computers will be distributed to various schools in Tanzania that have mains electricity "on tap" as a gift from private businesses of the UK. Tensor will be donating PC’s and is also asking any other UK businesses with surplus PC’s to do likewise. The procedure is simple, Â· Email Nazir Jessa at firstname.lastname@example.org of your intentions Â· Arrange delivery of the PC’s to Watford town (only 10 minutes drive from M1 Junction 5), which will be used as a collection point in the first instance.If you wish to deliver five or less systems, then you can deliver the PC’s to Watford Electronics Ltd. in Luton Once the PC’s are in place, Nazir will have photos of the happy faces of the children on a Website for you all to see. If any of the donating companies would like to visit the recipient schools to see their ‘donation at work’, then they will be most welcome.
European Commission One Step Nearer To Removing UK Opt-out
On 19th May the European Commission moved one step nearer to removing the UK opt-out on the Working Time Directive by publishing its views, so far, of the practice. The Commission prefers the removal of the current right of UK workers to opt out of the 48-hour maximum working week. However, it did suggest one option allowing retention of the UKs individual opt-out but with conditions that would, in effect, make it unworkable by Requiring opt-out agreements only to be made with worker representatives or trade unions The signing of employment contracts and the agreement to opt-out to take place at different points in time Employers regularly reviewing an employees opt-out agreement to see if they still agree Surely, it is only a matter of time before the opt-out goes. UK employers with no electronic method of recording employee hours can do so simply and cheaply with a WinTA Lite system.
Home Office Introduces New Rules On Illegal Working
The Government has confirmed it is to make employers fully responsible for checking that their employees are not illegal workers. Companies who fail to do this will be prosecuted if they are found to be employing illegal workers. This means employers will no longer be able to accept a National Insurance number or UK birth certificate as proof of a persons eligibility to work within the UK. Instead, employers will be required to check a single ‘secure’ document such as a passport or EU ID card and record this information. Where the correct documents cannot be produced, the employer must check two other documents from a list to be provided by the Government; and record that they have done so. However, help is at hand from Tensor as the latest version of Tensor Personnel has been modified to record the information and warn you when the proper checks have not been made. A related problem occurs when illegal workers run a scam where a legal person attends the interview and produces valid documents, whilst the actual person who turns up for work is an illegal worker. Here, the use of Tensor’s sub-dermal fingerprint technology will guarantee you know who is working in your business.
Partnering Deal With Sanderson’s Announced
Sanderson, the leading UK-owned management software provider, has announced a partnership agreement with Tensor plc for the supply of Smart Card based Time & Attendance and Access Control systems to their customers. The collaboration deal provides enhanced Time & Attendance capabilities for users of Sanderson’s Unity and Formul8 software management systems. The agreement also includes the supply of Tensor’s sub-dermal fingerprint reading biometric equipment and software which is particularly effective in security focused environments, such as the MOD, printing, private document management, food processing, nuclear and defence. Tensor has also included extra software features that help Sanderson’s customers to easily meet the requirements of the EEC Working Time Directive, including keeping track of the number of hours an employee should legally work and ensuring that shift breaks and rest periods are taken within the specified guidelines. Commenting on the partnership, Peter Beer, General Manager, Sanderson, said: A major part of Sanderson’s corporate strategy is to work closely with other software vendors. This enables us to provide customers with additional and innovative functionality by taking advantage of the best technology available. The collaboration between Sanderson and Tensor will provide Sanderson customers with the latest in Employee Attendance recording, which combined with Unity and Formul8’s payroll and other employee related modules provides one of the most complete and accurate human resources support systems around.
Tensor Awarded ISO9000 Quality Accreditation
Tensor plc were personally awarded their ISO9000:2002 certificate today by Trevor Nash, Managing Director of National Quality Assurance, the 2nd largest UKAS approved assessor in the UK. Said Nigel Smith, Chief Executive of Tensor This qualification is independent recognition of the quality of Tensor and it’s Smart Card and Biometric Time and Attendance and Access Control Products, as he received the certificate on behalf of Tensor. … and what’s more – I am unaware of any of our competitors who, like us, have achieved ISO9000 for their entire organisation he exclaimed. Whilst reviewing Tensor’s computerised administration system, Mr Nash remarked, We were impressed with the way Tensor hold their Quality Manual and Quality Procedures wholly in an electronic form over a computer network. It’s one of the most advanced systems our assessors have seen, as it allows Tensor to instantly get the information they need to run the business. I am sure that one day all companies will follow Tensor’s lead and introduce this type of paperless system he said. For more information on certification or of the National Quality Assurance then please visit their website.
Tensor Achieves ISO9001:2000 Quality Recognition
Tensor plc has been awarded the ISO9001:2000 Quality Management qualification by National Quality Assurance the 2nd largest assessor in the country. This is for Tensor’s entire operation of the design, manufacture, installation and servicing of their Smart Card and Biometric Time & Attendance and Access Control products. This qualification is independent recognition of the quality of Tensor and it’s products said Nigel Smith, Chief Executive of Tensor. It adds even more power to our slogan, Tensor – the name you can trust in Time & Attendance and Access Control he said. To find out more about the ISO9001:2000 qualification the please visit the National Quality Assurance website.
Working Time Directive Opt-out, The Story So Far
As we all know, the UK is the only country in the EEC to have an opt-out for workers who want to work more than 48-hours a week. While UK workers cannot be forced to work more than an average of 48-hours per week (normally calculated over 17-weeks), they can voluntarily enter into an opt-out agreement. This must be in writing and signed by the employee. The �opt-out� is due to finish in December 2003. The EEC will now, Undertake a study (due out October 2003-ish) on how the opt-out is being used in the UK. They will look at – overall usage by UK employers/employees – any abuse of the opt-out – relationship between the opt-out and workplace accidents Consult with the European Parliament and Council seeking their opinions and produce a report of recommendations (due out November 2003). The report is likely to – suggest no amendments to the existing opt-out OR – include legislative proposal amending the opt-out. The TUC are leaning on the Government to end the opt-out and the Government currently say they would like to keep it (but they may not get a choice!). The Government also want to be seen as �good Europeans� and simultaneously cabinet ministers criticise the UK�s �long working hours� culture. Separately, the trade union Amicus have brought an action in the European Court claiming the UK has incorrectly implemented unmeasured and partly unmeasured working time in the Working Time Directive. If successful this will affect white collar workers. Many people think it is only a matter of time before the UK looses it�s opt-out. Either way, employers (both public and private) need to make sure that they can prove the hours worked by employees. In practice this means accurately recording start and finish times and the easiest way to do this – is with a Smart Card.