Lynda Moore, a Partner in the Consultancy, FM Contract Watch writes for Infologue.com on improving the perception of security services. Lynda writes: “Experience has shown us that the reasons for a performance failure on site lie somewhere between an overstretched contract management and a number of the team, being regularly transferred over by TUPE, not being up to the required standard. The problem regarding the ability or otherwise of the contract management team being able to successfully handle 20 or more contracts will be the subject of a separate article, but the punitive effects of TUPE regarding the team of security officers being regularly transferred needs to be urgently addressed. The Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, known colloquially as TUPE, are the UK’s implementation of the European Union Business Transfers Directive. It is an important part of UK labour law, protecting employees whose business is being transferred to another business. The regulations main aims are to ensure that in connection with the transfer, employment is protected (i.e. substantially continued).
“TUPE plays a very significant role within the overall context of contract security. We are all aware that clients on certain assignments change their security contractor very much more frequently than is either desirable or conducive to consistent on-site performance. The reason that is invariably quoted for these changes is that, whilst the security staff were satisfactory, the contractor’s management team were either not up to standard; not as good as their predecessors or just did not carry out the promises which were made when the contract was originally awarded.
“Within our role at FM Contract Watch we come across numerous cases of security officers who, in a short space of time, have been transferred 4 or 5 times whilst still based on the same assignment. In many instances these individuals have remained on exactly the same hourly rate of pay as when they first joined the assignment.
“Quite apart from being locked into a spiral of ever decreasing morale, I urge clients to treat their contractor staff with compassion when such transfers take place. A small increase in the hourly wage rate could be the catalyst which kick starts a whole new level of performance.
“The requirements of the Security Officer and their responsibilities have dramatically changed over the last decade, yet their terms and conditions have hardly improved and are disproportionate to the modern day role and risk they are required to perform.
“Until all security companies can convince the end user to recognise the investment made in the contract Security Officer unfortunately, there is little likelihood of any improvement in the current situation.”
Lynda Moore is a Partner in the Consultancy, FM Contract Watch and was formerly Managing Director at Risk Management Security Services. She has more than 30 years experience in the industry.