SME’s back Four Issue – One Voice Campaign

The following SME’s have added their support to the growing list of endorsement for the SMT – campaign – Four Issues One Voice:

Regent Group

Regent Group will be happy to support the ‘one voice’ campaign in conjunction with and SMT. In order for any legislation to be effective, consistency of standards is of utmost importance.  Ultimately, is there any difference between my company employing someone to perform a security role and another company using in-house staff to so the same with differing standards.  It is the role that should be licensed as much if not more than the employer.  This also provides difficulties to contract companies taking over in-house contracts of large scale.  In mid 2005, Regent took over 60 staff from in-house to contract with 2 months notice.  The staff had received no BJT of CMC training, no vetting, and few or no contracts of employment or terms and conditions, rendering TUPE information essentially redundant, and adding pressure and stress unnecessarily to the workforce, who did not know if their jobs would be secure. Had this taken place post 20 March 2006, we would have gone outside our 15% SIA ACS non-licensed staff requirement.  At present, there is no scope for allowing ACS approved companies time to put people to work whilst catching up with the backlog of training and planning the logistics involved in this.  With common standards, this would have been a straightforward TUPE situation.  Not only is it potentially compromising the staff employed, but it also restricts the customer’s choice of preference between contracted or in-house. In addition, with a lack of investment in training and vetting, unequal commercial parameters will preclude the pre-cursor of legislation that the security industry cannot continue to operate at low or loss making margins.
Paul Harvey – Managing Director – Regent Group

Guard Patrol Limited

I like the campaign idea, especially the licensing of the ‘in house’ Officers.
Brian Curran – Managing Director – Guard-Patrol Limited

Alamo Security Services

I read your article on licensing in-house teams, which I thought was great. We have found evidence that large FM companies are advising their clients to go in-house, who are using contract up until the 20th March 2006. If this is not flaunting the Law I don’t know what is. The sooner they are licensed the better.
Tony Leworthy – Managing Director – Alamo Security Services

Lodge Services

I would like to offer the support of Lodge Service to your Four Issues, One Voice campaign, which certainly has the potential to strike all of the most important notes. The licensing of in-house operatives is ‘The Biggie’. It’s a real ‘must’. With companies such as the Co-op essentially creating organisations like Aegis to circumvent the legislation, this is a loophole that must be closed. We would also agree with your call for industry representation on the SIA Board. However, we would not wish to see that representation necessarily coming from one of The Big Boys. In terms of fair charging, I cannot see you making major inroads here unless a situation arose where everyone’s renewal date is 20 March 2009. That could only backfire, as the Regulator will be trying to stagger renewals to ease its workload such that the administrative mess we are currently experiencing doesn’t occur again. Then there’s the red tape situation. Those of us in the retail sector have still to be told clearly whether or not our staff needs CCTV licences as well. The SIA’s representatives say not, its web site says not. Yet other SIA representatives are still saying to customers that they do. This is very, very annoying. There are other issues that must be addressed. What about a grading scheme for security officers such that there can be genuine differentiation between companies and solid career progression for staff? Enticement bonuses are a big issue just now. One security company is currently offering £1,000 as an enticement to licensed officers to join the ranks. Indeed, they have approached our operatives. Due to its lack of compliance with the regulation – as a consequence of which it has lost several contracts – many of its staff were transferred through TUPE. However, the company has written to their home addresses offering them these bonuses to come back despite the new companies completing the SIA process which they had failed to do. Two employees (currently claiming to be off sick) are on a training course with them! 
Stuart Lodge – Managing Director – Lodge Service