IR35 Reform: What Logistics Firms Need to Know

This week’s rollout of reforms to the tax rules on off-payroll working (known as IR35) will have a significant impact on the way many logistics firms employ contractors. In today’s article, we break down the essential information you need to know about the changes: why they are happening, what they mean, who they affect, and what to do next.

Why the reforms are taking place

The growth of the gig economy has seen a rise in the number of contractors utilised by private and public sector clients as a flexible temporary workforce. When dealing with contractors, many client organisations prefer hiring companies rather than sole traders. Historically, this has helped the client organisations to avoid liability for costly employment benefits.

In response, many contractors have established personal service companies (PSCs), which act as an intermediary for tax purposes. This makes the contractor more attractive to clients (indeed, it may be the only way to do business in some cases). It can also lower the rate at which earnings are taxed.

The government has decided to clamp down on this practice. HMRC feels that many contractors are, in essence, employees, and should be taxed as such, estimating the tax shortfall due to the practice to stand at £1.3bn a year by 2023-24. The changes were originally due to begin in 2020, but were pushed back until this year due to the COVID crisis.

What the reforms mean

The changes are designed to address this shortfall by shifting the responsibility for deciding the IR35 status of contractors to the client organisation. The government offers a number of tools to assist organisations in making this determination, as well as guidance on the changes: see the weblinks below for details.

In summary, organisations need to review the employment status of every contractor supplying services through a PSC on an individual basis and determine whether that person would be considered an employee if there were no PSC to act as intermediary.

If the answer is yes, the organisation needs to inform the PSC and individual in writing. Responsibility for operation of the contractor’s PAYE will then fall to the client or an outside agency.

These changes have several knock-on effects on the way companies do business. Alongside re-examining and potentially amending existing contracts, client organisations also need to put processes in place to ensure future hiring meets the legal requirements. This includes establishing a procedure to deal with disagreements. According to an article for, clients also need to consider training for those responsible for compliance, as well as examining the way they do business with agencies.

Who is affected

Medium to large companies across all sectors of the economy, including logistics. Accountancy and advisory firm Macintyre Hudson predicts that ‘the new rules will have a significant impact on the engagement of drivers and warehouse workers where these are supplied through intermediaries’.

Whether your organisation counts as a small, medium or large company is determined by your status under the Companies Act 2006.

What to do next

Follow the links to find government guidance on what your next steps should be. It is important to bear in mind that the new rules are designed to prevent a one-size-fits-all approach to deciding who in your employ falls under IR35. Failing to assess contractors on an individual basis could be a costly mistake, as HMRC have shown they are willing to pursue organisations making what it sees as bad faith assessments.

But issuing a blanket ban on the hiring of contractors—as some organisations have done in the run up to the reforms—may prove costly, too, with IR35 experts predicting those companies who follow a strategy of compliance will gain a significant advantage over those following a strategy of avoidance.


Hermes’ commitments to health and wellbeing

The star of consumer delivery company Hermes UK has been rising for some time now, and the company enjoyed its busiest month ever in December. While Hermes has not rested on its laurels in rising to meet the surge in delivery demand, neither has it been complacent in meeting the needs of its employees under the demands of life in ‘interesting times’. At the heart of a programme of health and wellbeing initiatives being introduced is the rollout of a 72 volunteer ‘mental health ambassador’ network.

Ambassadors are being trained not only in the skills required to listen to and talk with those needing support, but also to recognise behaviours that can affect wellbeing. Talent in Logistics caught up with Hermes Head of Reward and People Services Vicky Connell and ambassador Lauren Fletcher, Head of Depots – South, to find out more about the role, and ask how it aligns with Hermes’ commitments to ‘raise awareness, address the stigma of poor mental health and signpost clear information on available support and guidance.’

Vicky, what made you implement the policy?

The mental health ambassadors were implemented as part of an engagement/employee experience initiative. We actually began to investigate implementing the ambassadors before Covid struck back in early 2020, however the pandemic slowed down our implementation whilst we waited for non-face-to-face training to be available.

Did you start this initiative by asking your employer what they needed or wanted?

We have always found success in implementing programmes where we involve a cross-section of people from across the business to act as ambassadors. That is why we believed this initiative would work really well at Hermes. It is flexible, and takes on board feedback from our people to ensure it delivers what they need.

What KPI’s will you measure?

Absence: we will be looking to track the reasons for absence over time, not just the amount of absence, to enable us to better support people. Engagement: people’s perceptions of how their mental health is supported at Hermes. We will also monitor take-up and use of our tools.

How have business areas collaborated to create these wellbeing initiatives?

Ambassadors have volunteered from every area of the business… from every level, ensuring we are able to engage with all of our employees. The ambassadors will enable us to tailor our communications.

How is the initiative supported by senior leadership?

We have a number of senior managers who are trained as ambassadors. It has been fantastic to see the buy in from a senior level. We provide regular updates to our senior leadership team, who are fully on-board.

Has COVID-19 changed the initiative in anyway?

Covid has not changed our overall aim. However, we’ve had to adapt, and we’ve probably paid more attention to ensuring homeworkers are covered; previously people based in the office would have had greater access to resources.

What have the take-up numbers been like? What are you hoping to see in the longer term?

We’ve trained 43 people so from across the business, with another 48 to be trained this year. We had over 100 people put their name down to attend the training.

We’re still very much in the early stages. In the longer term we are hoping to see a change in our people’s perceptions of mental health, and to create a culture where people feel able and willing to have open and transparent conversations.

Ambassador Lauren Fletcher was one such volunteer. She had this to say: I asked to be a Mental Health Ambassador to support our operational teams in supporting our leadership focus on mental health and wellbeing, and also to champion every day conversations about mental health. In the demographic of our workforce this is still a big taboo, and I want to help debunk the notion that mental health is the new ‘bad back’… just an excuse for a day off.

Talk to me about the tools and training you are providing the ambassadors to give them the confidence to perform this important role. What does that look like?

A two-day training course is provided, accredited by Mental Health First Aid England and provided by Mates in Mind, specialists in Health and Wellbeing training for the logistics and manufacturing sectors.

This is followed with an internal induction so our ambassadors fully understand their role and remit. Each ambassador will have access to a toolkit containing full details of the services and resources available, and they can in turn share these with people in their area. Ambassadors will also attend regular internal networking events to share their experiences and best practice.

Lauren had this to say: I found the MHFA training to be informative, empowering and extremely well delivered. Despite having a close family member with a mental health condition, I learnt so much that will help me both personally and professionally: in recognising signs and in signposting people effectively to get them on a path to good mental health.


A Plan for Wellness

Today, Talent in Logistics shines a spotlight on wellness, with the TIL Wellness Action Plan. But what is a wellness action plan, and how can it help? Read on to find out.

Wellness is something of a workplace buzzword these days, but before you scratch it off your bingo card and move on, you would do well to give wellness some deeper thought. Too often, wellness is either left by the wayside as a nice idea that, in practice, we don’t have the time to pursue; or worse still, dismissed as an HR gimmick.

Even if we acknowledge the mountain of evidence that wellbeing is crucial to both productivity and job satisfaction, it takes a shift in habits and perspective to put that knowledge into effective practice. On an individual level this often requires a step change in the way we see not only work but ourselves.

Wellness action plans are a means of doing just that. They offer a simple, structured approach to addressing wellness that focuses firmly on practical action. And no, you don’t need an extant mental health condition to benefit. All you need is an open mind, and to put aside a little time to consider your habits and circumstances.

In the TIL Wellness Action Plan, we ask you to start by thinking about these questions:

  • What are the key pressures and obstacles you find yourself dealing with right now?
  • How are they affecting your sense of wellbeing/mental health?

Don’t worry about writing anything down just yet; simply mull these questions over in your mind and see what you come up with. Answers to the first question might include issues with work from home, for instance, whether that means a sense of isolation, difficulty with self-management, or a hectic home environment you find it hard to work out of.

Answers to the second question might be more nebulous, but try to take into account not only how you feel right now, but the general trend over the past weeks and months.

Now we’ve considered obstacles to wellness in general, lets do a more thorough analysis. Our objective here is to identify both specific problems and the practical steps that can be followed to solve them.

Grab a piece of paper or pad and write out detailed answers to the following questions. Aim for more than a few lines: anything up to about half a page is good; more if the situation demands it.

  1. How would you describe your sense of wellbeing/mental health right now, over the past few months, and in general?

If it is difficult to answer this question, try keeping a journal for a week or two in which you jot down thoughts and feeling a few times a day. This can be an eye-opener, revealing patterns or changes you might not otherwise be aware of.

  1. How would a period of poor mental health/wellbeing negatively affect your life at home and at work?

You know yourself better than anyone, so the best placed person to predict the kinds of obstacles, symptoms and repercussions of poor mental health is you. Remember, everyone experiences difficulty differently. There are no right or wrong answers.

  1. Are there any early warning signs you or your colleagues/managers could use to identify when a period of poor wellness is approaching?

Think about both behavioural changes others can look out for, and thought processes/patterns you can spot yourself.

  1. What are the key issues which cause you stress and difficulty? Consider both present moment obstacles and general triggers which can cause you to feel pressure.

Again, journaling can help to track and monitor this, too, so consider looking into the question on a rolling basis over time.

  1. How might you adapt your habits and working environment to alleviate specific problems?

The key here is to focus on the more diagnostic questions above and what you learned from answering them. Pick specific problems, especially ones which cause your pressure levels to spike, and consider practical, SMART targeted solutions.

These might include changes to the layout of your workstation, creating a ‘quiet period’ in your household at a certain time of day, taking a healthy walk over lunchbreak, or setting an alarm to remind you to eat a nutritious breakfast, for example.

  1. What can your employer do to help minimise triggers and provide support when things are tough?

Prevention is often better than cure, so try to consider how problems can be headed off before they arise. Nevertheless, it’s important to recogise that this is not always possible, and that there is no shame in asking for or receiving additional support should the need arise.

Now you’ve analysed the potential problems and solutions, the final stage is to communicate. Consider using this wellness action plan as the basis for a conversation with your employer, or even providing them with your written responses. Above all, check back in regularly with yourself and your plan. A wellness action plan can be a powerful weapon when you are struggling, but it is not a fire-and-forget solution. Revise your plan, answers and approach as and when things change.

Information, Inspiration and Motivation at the Talent in Logistics Annual Conference

The Talent in Logistics Annual Conference 2020 took place on 23rd September, and although it could not bring us together in person, the online event still proved an informative, inspiring and motivating day for all involved.

After a welcome from our Talent in Logistics Business Development Director Ruth Edwards, the online conference kicked off with a topic front of mind for many in our sector – The Road to Recovery. 

Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer of System Group, the Conference Sponsor, discussed the evolving needs or learners and employers, and how innovation and creativity in learning can play a role.  Attendees went away with ideas for how to develop practical, inspiring and value-added solutions for learners, that cater to company’s differing needs, despite all the changes to the people development space due to Covid-19.

Responding to the Digital Skills Gap

Next, Jane Dickinson and Liz Hanway from the Open University looked at how a demand for software engineering, AI and automation skills are increasing in the logistics sector, as the digital landscape has evolved increasingly quickly since the pandemic. Findings from the Open University’s recent Bridging the Digital Divide and Leading in a Digital Age were shared providing helpful insights on how business can be ready for digital transformation and change.

Thought Provoking Conference Keynote

International consultant Liggy Webb led our conference keynote presentation, “How to lead a culture of wellbeing and resilience”.  This motivating session taught us as employers how to support mental health and overall wellbeing and manage emotions through change, volatility and uncertainty, as well as be aware of rising stress levels and avoid potential burnout. The importance of open communication, leading with compassion and empathy and being a role model in providing wellbeing guidance and support were some of the standout takeaways.

Preparation for what lies ahead

The next two sessions equipped attendees with knowledge and tools to navigate the tricky times ahead for the logistics sector and the economy. In “Business transformation – engaging people in change”, independent change consultant Calley Martin looked at why we this is important and how we can overcome the obstacles to engaging people in this process. Then Gwen Powell, International Manager at Investors in People, looked at “How to thrive and build organisational resilience in challenging times”, and discussed the role of how businesses engage with the community and the ways that this can help organisations thrive in a post COVID-19 landscape.

HGV Driver Engagement – Research Results Revealed!

Then it was our turn to take the (virtual) stage! Ruth Edwards, Business Development Director for Talent in Logistics explored the findings of our recent research project on HGV driver engagement and how understanding the key challenges around engaging, attracting and retaining talent is the first step in helping the transport and logistics sector tackle its skills shortage. Ruth then went into more detail on employee engagement and how this can positively impact employee retention in the workplace.

Download the ‘Driving Engagement in Logistics’ White Paper to read the full research results.

Leading and managing people you rarely see – if at all

Kate Cooper, Head of Research, Policy & Standards, Institute of Leadership & Management rounded off the day with a session looking at the challenges managers face when leading dispersed teams – never more relevant than during these times of home working (and attending virtual conference!)

Kate shared some interested institute research around this topic as well as the key considerations for leaders and managers -existing and aspirational – who want to ensure that out of sight is definitely not out of mind, even when working remotely.

Thank you!

Yesterday’s Talent in Logistics Annual Conference proved very positive, with lots of practical advice as well as knowledge sharing to help our sector improve its people strategies and attract and retain the best talent. Thank you to all the speakers for your insightful sessions and your part in making this a worthwhile event, and thanks again to our Conference Sponsor System Group.

Miss it?

If you didn’t make it to the conference, there is no need to miss out. Contact us to register to receive videos of the sessions.

And remember! Our calendar of events is not over for the year yet! The Talent in Logistics Awards takes place on 1st October online. Register now for free so that you can watch the streamed event and celebrate the amazing people in our logistics community.

How to boost LGV Driver morale

LGV Drivers

By Ruth Edwards, Business Development Director for Talent in Logistics explains.

According to recent research by Talent in Logistics and Pertemps Driving Division, just 30% of LGV drivers in the UK feel valued and less than half of drivers feel motivated to work hard for their employers. Following recent months of uncertainty, it’s arguably more important than ever for drivers to feel secure and happy in their role and with their employer. So, what action can Local Authorities take to help boost LGV driver morale? 

It starts with engagement

Employee engagement represents the levels of enthusiasm and connection employees have with their organisation. Highly engaged employees tend to be loyal, committed and highly productive. On the flip side, there are actively disengaged employees, who can be toxic to your organisation. But which is which? The only way to really know is to ask. This is where employee engagement surveys come to the fore.

Surveys are great for getting feedback, but time has to be spent understanding why you are doing them and what you want to achieve. Consideration needs to be applied when designing the questions and you need to make sure they are followed up, or there is no point doing them!

Employee engagement is mostly driven by leaders and managers. So as a leader, you should demonstrate active listening, responsiveness and decisive action taking and ensure your people know what your company objectives are and how they can contribute towards them. A culture of transparency can help build trust and engagement and is very important – 52% of respondents stated that they’d rather have a trustworthy manager than a 5% pay rise. Yet our research highlighted that just 35% of drivers felt their leaders were open and honest.

The cost of morale

Money isn’t the only thing keeps people working hard, motivated, and happy in their job, but it is a factor. Our survey showed that 44% of drivers believed that a more attractive pay package would attract new drivers into the profession, yet only 33% feel they are paid well for the job that they do.

If drivers are doing a good job, they deserve to be rewarded for it. A higher salary tends to lead to a culture of high performance and productivity and drivers don’t tend to have unreasonable salary demands. They just want to be paid fairly for the job they do. 

Rather than a pay rise, perhaps promotion to a different role or extra responsibilities would demonstrate you value a driver? Only 29% of the drivers we polled felt that career opportunities were clearly communicated so investing in an individual’s career shows that you recognise their value and is vital for morale.

Recognise a job well done

Recognition helps create happier, more motivated, and more loyal staff.  However, things that have been considered perks in years gone by are now an expectation, so, you may need to think differently about your recognition initiatives.

Something as simple as introducing an ‘employee of the month’ can make a big difference to morale. Or why not implement a “thank you” board or jar where peers and managers can recognise a job well done? There is also various HR software where this can be done digitally. Some even enable employees to accrue ‘points’ which can later be exchanged for a tangible reward.

However, often the simplest way to demonstrate recognition and boost morale is to say thank you!  People want to work for managers who appreciate them so make saying “thank you” part of your culture and, where it warrants it, put it in writing. 

Similarly, showing that you care is key, so get your corporate and social responsibility (CSR) strategy right. Show you care about others and give back to your local community and support charities, have clear environmental and sustainability strategies, and have good policies in place around employee wellbeing.

Balance and wellbeing

Our recent research found that providing flexible working arrangements would make a driving career a more attractive option, and 73% said they would like the option to work more flexibly.  Yet, only a third of drivers in our survey said that their companies support balance between personal life and work, and more than half said they had been stressed at work in the past 12 months. 

Just 32% of drivers surveyed felt that their employer cares about their mental health and our survey showed that 4 in 10 drivers would not trust their manager if they spoke to them about a mental health concern. This highlights a growing need for the provision of mental health first aiders within the workplace. These individuals, who may be well placed as peers rather than managers, can be trained to help alleviate stress and anxiety and in turn increase positivity, confidence, and morale.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Our survey showed that drivers love their profession for many reasons, like meeting new people, independence, freedom and seeing the open road. Although driver engagement and morale are ongoing challenges, they also present a great opportunity to celebrate talented drivers and build a motivated workforce for the future.

To download the ‘Driving Engagement in Logistics whitepaper’, visit

More information: 

The F Word: What you need to know about ending furlough

Whilst some parts of the supply chain have been busier than ever, other businesses have had to take the step of placing employees on furlough leave as part of the government job retention scheme. Some organisations have been hit harder still, and are looking at restructure or potential redundancies.

With many logistics employers now looking to bring employees back into the workplace or move ahead with restructuring plans, during our recent Talent in Logistics podcast we asked Partner and Employment Solicitor Maria Gallucci of Woodfines Solicitors for some guidance around ending furlough, plus advice for those considering redundancies.

Can you give us some guidance around the work retention scheme?

Maria Gallucci: Essentially, the government job retention scheme enabled employers to place employees on furlough leave for a period of time, and for a minimum three week period, and they were entitled to a grant from the government which covered 80% of wages. With the scheme, employers can choose whether to pay just the 80% or whether to top it up to 100% of wages. 

As an employer, when placing somebody on furlough leave, you have to inform them formally in writing. You must make sure you have their consent as you are temporarily changing the terms of their employment. 

What changes for employers from July?

MG: We are now coming to a point where the government is reducing the scheme and essentially getting those employees back into the workplace. So, from July it will be possible to bring furloughed employees back into the workplace full or part-time – before now it was very strict in that employees could not work for that employer at all. Over a period of time leading up to October, the government grant will slowly be reduced.

What are the rules around ending furlough?

MG: It’s a good point now for employers to start thinking about how they’re going to manage, reduce or end that furlough leave. Are they are going to reduce it step by step, by bringing people back part time? Or is there going to be a point where they just end it?

There is no set procedure for ending furlough. It depends on whether the agreement put in place by the employer when they put their employees on furlough refers to a process for ending furlough. For example, any notice that should be given. If no period of notice was specified, the employer should aim to give reasonable notice anyway, and this should be given in writing. There’s quite a lot of guidance on the ACAS website, and they have produced a template letter to notify employees of the end of furlough that may help employers.

What do employers need to communicate to employees when furlough ends?

MG: There are no real legalities, around ending furlough. However, for employee relations, employers should ensure that employees know that the workplace is a safe place to return to and they are going to be paid full pay, or whether there have been any salary reductions. Salary reductions have to be agreed because they’re a change to employment terms.

Employees will also want information around any working arrangements. For instance, is there is any possibility of flexible working? Or will the employer provide parking so that they can drive to work if they used to commute on public transport? They’ll also want some reassurance around their annual leave entitlement as well.

Of course, the guidance is still for employees to continue to work from home where they can at the moment. So if employers are thinking about bringing back furloughed employees at the moment, it might not necessarily be back into the usual workplace. For some, it may be a good transition for returning employees to work from home initially, before they fully go back into the workplace. 

What guidance would you give to organisations that might need to restructure and make people redundant?  

Employers should consider very carefully if there are any ways to avoid redundancies – can they reduce costs in other ways? Perhaps they can limit or stop overtime? What salary reductions or reduced recruitment? Is redundancy the only option? 

However, if they come to the conclusion that redundancies are unavoidable, then they’re under an obligation to follow a fair procedure, which includes fairly selecting employees for redundancy and also consulting with them.

When considering large-scale redundancies, essentially over 20 employees, a minimum consultation period applies. So, employers need to be mindful of that. ACAS has some useful guidance that is worth looking at on their website which talks through what the redundancy process looks like.

It includes warning employees about redundancies, and then consulting with them as well. Then there is fair selection, where they’ll have to think about whether they do a scoring process for selecting employees, and what kind of criteria they look at for that scoring process.

Learn more about returning to the workplace post-lockdown

From annual leave entitlements, Covid-19 testing rules and relevant employment law, you can learn more about what employers need to know as employees return to work in our wellbeing focused podcast where we interview Woodfines SolicitorsListen now or download from your usual podcast platform.

How can employers create a culture of equality, diversity, and inclusion?

Given what is happening in the world today, it’s important for our sector to talk about equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, or EDI as we may refer to it. That’s why in our recent podcast, we looked at topics around what EDI can mean for employee engagement, how to create a strong culture of EDI in the workplace, how to influence and get buy in from leadership, and some top tips for organisations starting out on their EDI journey.

Read on to see some key highlights from the podcast, where we spoke to Jennifer Swain. Jen has worked in logistics for over 20 years, mostly in recruitment. She started with an agency, ran her own business, and has spent the last three years with Clipper Logistics and she’s now about to embark on an exciting new journey.

Or listen to the full podcast here.

Jen, tell us a little bit more about yourself and the roles you’ve had and how they relate to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.

[Jen Swain]: I kind of fell, as I think most people do, into logistics and supply chain through working in recruitment. I’d never heard of it before, and it wasn’t a subject or an industry that I knew anything about. I just completely fell in love with the topic and spent the next 10 years working purely in recruitment within logistics and supply chain. As the days progressed interviewing candidates within the sphere of logistics and supply chain, it started to become really, really apparent to me that there was an issue around diversity.

I was seeing the same demographics, coming through the door, and seeing women in particular struggle to climb the ladder within logistics and supply chain. I interviewed very few women within the logistics industry, and I was always hearing lot of stories from women who has faced various barriers due to their gender. It really sparked a passion in me to try on raise awareness around it. 

That led me on to working for Clipper Logistics where I worked for three years and I was asked to head up our alternative labour supply, a project which we now know as Fresh Start, which essentially is about offering opportunities to individuals who would normally face barriers to employment. I’ve done that for the past 2.5 years or so and I absolutely loved it. Its now flying and we’ve got over 1,000 people working through that project at Clipper. 

Why is EDI in the workplace so important do you think? What are the benefits?

[JS]: I think there’s a whole stream of benefits. Some around health and wellbeing, and generally feeling good about what you are doing and the contributions that you’re making, but there are massive commercial benefits to having EDI within the workplace. When you reach out to people who have otherwise struggled to gain employment, and you offer them a position that essentially gives them a chance, what you’ll do is create a really loyal workforce of people who are grateful that they have been given the opportunity. These people work so hard and they come to work with a smile on their face every single day. They really lift the morale of the workplace, so you end up with a much more efficient and effective workforce, a workforce you can rely on.

All of Clipper’s figures around time and attendance are the best with the Fresh Start workers. Clipper has a 92% retention rate within the Fresh Start scheme. These are the same people who will turn up on time every day and don’t call in sick. Actually, some of the employees that through Mencap are the very best pickers week after week. 

So, there’s a multitude of reasons and I think, particularly within logistics, it is vital, that we are working hard to change the stereotypes. We go on about how difficult it is to attract people into the industry and I think a lot of that is to do with the fact that people have a perception that it’s quite an old fashioned environment to work within, it’s a very white dominated, male dominated industry. And I think EDI plays a massive part in making the industry a much more attractive one to join.

How do you think strong EDI can help with recruitment and why is EDI such an important part of youth employment?

[JS]: A lot of the reasons why organisations in logistics were previously looking at Alternative Labour Solutions was about CSR and making sure you’re do the right thing. But essentially, it started as a business need because of Brexit, because a lot of our workforce was returning back to Eastern European countries and there was a talent shortage. But it is really important that we don’t forget all the other great reasons why EDI is so vital in recruitment. Now that there may be less of a need because unemployment is going to be so high, it’s important we don’t forget the benefits. Just because there might not be a gap at the moment it doesn’t make EDI any less relevant. 

One of the main areas of why it’s so relevant, is because we do need to encourage young people to join logistics. It’s a fact that 80% of millennials will go online and research your business before they join you and if they don’t feel that you have an authentic commitment to CSR, they won’t even come for the interview. So, from a perspective of making sure that you are presented as an employer of choice and that you’re doing all the right things to encourage people to join your business, that employer branding piece is so vital. It’s absolutely vital that EDI is a serious and authentic part of your policy and that you’re committed to it.

So, there is obviously demographic diversity. But, what about the importance of making sure we’ve got cognitive diversity as well? 

[JS]: When I talk about diversity, it’s very much not just about age or gender. You know, we’re talking about having neurodiversity within the business. We are talking about helping people from different ethnicities, with different sexual orientation, because essentially when you create a sort of cosmopolitan environment, a melting pot of personalities and experiences, and you put those people as part of a team, and  – most importantly – you create inclusivity so everybody feels they’ve got a voice and what they say is relevant, you create a really powerful culture. It’s here where the best ideas happen. It’s where you create agile environments, where people can adapt because you’ve got lots of different skill sets and experiences that you could draw from. 

If you only recruit from one demographic or a set of people that come very much from the same background, you are only ever going to have a limited output of ideas because everybody has shared experiences. So, it is vital that both cognitive and demographic diversity are considered when recruiting talent. 

How do you think you can identify whether an organisation is in a good or bad place, in terms of equality, diversity, and inclusion? 

[JS]: There’s always things we could do better. So, I think for me, it’s just about making sure that at decision maker level, at board level, that there is an appetite for it. And then in my experience, when you go and talk to operational staff about something like Fresh Start or an EDI policy, everyone is in absolute agreement that it should happen.

I think any resistance tends to come from further up, because they see it as maybe something that could detract from the bottom line. There’s a perception that it could take more time, that it could open yourself up to risk from a HR perspective. So, it’s just about making sure that you gain one or two people who are on board at senior level and use them as a mouthpiece in larger organisations. In smaller organisations, you just have to make sure that whoever’s in charge really wants to do it, because if they don’t, then you’ll probably have limited success.

Are there any top tips that you would suggest for an organisation that is about to put more focus on their EDI journey?

[JS]: I would tap into other businesses who have done this successfully. There is also an equality organisation called ENEI, who have a gold standard of organisations who are diverse and who work very hard to achieve diversity, I would tap into that resource and just ask people if you can go and see their EDI schemes in action and ask questions as to what it means for their workforce. I think for me, the biggest key was actually starting to get it off the ground. We could prove the difference it made and start to get anecdotal evidence from the line managers who said things like, “it’s the best thing I’ve ever been involved in”, “I really love coming to work more”, “I feel much more motivated”, “I feel like I’ve got a sense of purpose or that I’ve given something back”. 

All of that intangible stuff is very difficult to put a figure on in terms of your profits or success, but, at the end of the day, we all know that if people come to work happy and they’re motivated, that outputs and success will be greater.  Then it’s about having data to back up all of the things that you are doing. In terms of things like KPIs for being on time and attendance, and a massive one for all businesses, is cost savings on recruitment.

Clipper were a very temp agency heavy business when I started with them and through Fresh Start, they saved hundreds of thousands of pounds on temp agency fees. I’d say it doesn’t matter if you recruit 10 people, 100 people or 10,000 people, there are associated cost savings that come with running EDI schemes like Fresh Start. Obviously, that is not the reason I did it and that’s not why I’m passionate about it. Pragmatically, when you’re trying to influence senior level people as to why they should do it, the pound always talks at the end of the day. 

Are there any suggestions for employers on what things they could do to avoid unconscious bias?

[JS]: If you’re serious about EDI, before you even embark on recruiting or interviewing people who are not classed as mainstream, or who are vulnerable, you absolutely have to make sure that your business is geared up for that. So, whether that’s having training on things like disability awareness, how to train or work with people with neurodiversity, ensuring that there’s not going to be any sort of ‘ism’ – whether it’s racism, sexism, people who may pick on somebody because of their sexuality, whatever it may be. There is training available, and a lot of it is free, because it’s provided by the charities who support these types of individuals, and they can come into your workplace and help you with that. 

There’s also something called Disability Confident, which is a scheme from the government that you go through, it’s actually a tick box exercise to basically sound out whether you are ready, whether you’ve got accessibility for people with physical disabilities, whether you are doing things like looking at reduced hours for people, that that may not be the position yet to work 40 hours a week. There’s lots of different things that you can do, and you should spend some time on this.  

When you’re actually recruiting, you will need to change and make reasonable adjustments to your recruitment process. So, you need to make sure that whoever’s interviewing is fully aware of unconscious bias, that they’ve had training on it, that they are not somebody who might be prone to it. You might decide that you’re not going to hold typical interviews, that you trust the partner that you’re working with, the charity that you work with, whoever it might be that’s introducing people to you, that they actually make the selection for you based on their knowledge of your business. 

Because you’ve worked together closely to make sure that your business is ready to accept these people on board, then it’s a case of offering them a day’s or a week’s work trial or and that is again something that you can get advice from the charity partners on. They can advise you on what those reasonable adjustments need to look like, to make sure that that you don’t put blockers up at that recruitment stage.

You’ve mentioned a couple of times that there are charities out there that can help you. What organisations can employers reach out to that can help them start this journey? 

[JS]: ENEI are great to start with and they have great resources. In terms of organisations that you can reach out to help you access alternative or vulnerable demographics of people, then the list is as long as your arm!

For me, with Clipper being such a big organisation and trying to avoid putting all eggs in one basket, it was about a multi-level approach. So, the company used many different organisations, from Mencap, who put us in touch with their neuro diverse customers, to Tempus Novo who are a charity that help ex-offenders gain work. And also working with local councils who have their own initiatives to support people who would struggle to find employment. The NHS has got a department geared to help people who have had mental health illnesses and that are on the road to recovery and to help them with their transition back into the workplace. And there is Emmaus who are a homeless charity. 

I think my biggest piece of advice would be think about your own organisation. There will be many more organisations created because of Covid and because of people being unemployed. There will be many more charities and initiatives to help support people who are out of work. As a first step, it’s always great to get in touch with your local council and ask them to put you in contact with any local organisations that have contracts with DWP to help more vulnerable people or to help a diverse range of individuals. 

All charities have got the best of intentions or heart, but not all of them are geared up to ensure that we mitigate as much risk as possible. So, for example, there are a lot of ex offender charities out there. Clipper works with Tempus Novo specifically because they can access various things to ensure that risk is mitigated as much as possible when employing ex-offenders and they are there to support employees for those first six months.  Every single partner that I selected, I ensured that they were able to provide some level of support post placement and I think that that’s a really crucial part of any successful EDI scheme.

To reach out to Jennifer Swain, please contact her via LinkedIn.

Free logistics podcasts and resources

For more guidance and practical advice on a wide range of topics, be sure to listen to our other podcasts and check out our free to download resources.

Employment law and Covid-19

During recent months, employers have had to adapt to new ways of working and learn fast about government guidance, including the furlough scheme. Amongst this, there are important considerations around employment law. 

We spoke to Partner and Employment Solicitor Maria Gallucci of Woodfines Solicitors in our recent Talent in Logistics podcast to get advice around some of the key challenges employers are facing and their legal requirements.

Can an employer make someone go back to the workplace? Even if they are anxious about returning to the workplace or have a health concern.

It really depends on the circumstances, and there is some ACAS guidance around this which employers should read, as well as the government guidance – in employment tribunals when they’re looking at claims, they really give weight to ACAS guidance, so following this should reassure employers that they are not going to go far wrong in terms of good employment relations and good employment processes. The guidance says that an employer should listen to any concerns that staff may have and try to resolve them in order to protect the health and safety of their staff. 

Employers have to consider whether employees can continue to work from home, or whether they need to look at other options such as holiday or unpaid leave. Or if they could be regarded as on sick leave, particularly if an employee has a health condition, such as severe anxiety. That type of condition can bring them within the definition of a disabled person under the Equality Act, which gives them certain protections.

The employer has to ensure that it doesn’t discriminate against those people, so particularly those with special health care needs, including acute anxiety. Requiring employees to continue to attend work in a pandemic, could constitute the provision criterion or practice which is indirectly discriminatory against disabled employees. There is an obligation on the employer in those circumstances to consider whether it’s possible to make reasonable adjustments, such as adjusting workplace arrangements like the place of work, or hours. It could be providing, appropriate equipment, such as a screen, to reduce the employee’s concerns and the barriers that are preventing that disabled person from coming into the workplace.

Employers need to carry out risk assessments to make sure that they’re protecting health and safety of their staff, but particularly those who have health care concerns. 

What about where the employee has childcare needs?

Where employees have childcare needs, they don’t necessarily have the same protection under the Equality Act, so there isn’t a legal obligation for employers to consider reasonable adjustments. But the guidance says that they should be dealt with sympathetically as well. Consideration should be given to allowing them to continue to work from home or to have flexible working.

It’s really all about communication and speaking to the individual about what you can do, rather than demanding an employee must work of they won’t be paid, or will be dismissed. Ultimately, if you’ve done everything you possibly can to allay that person’s concerns and they still refuse to come into the workplace, an employer can consider things such as not paying or dismissing them but those are very much last resorts and should be approached with extreme caution. The advice is to communicate and try to be as flexible as possible.

What support does the employer need to be providing for people working from home? 

It is the employer’s duty of care and responsibility for the employees’ welfare, health and safety and that extends to homeworking. Employers are supposed to conduct a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of all the work activities carried out by their employees, to identify hazards and assess the degree of risk. So, in the same way as they carry out those risk assessments in the workplace, they are supposed to carry those out for homeworkers as well. 

Employers also need to think about putting in place homeworking policies. Whilst there’s not necessarily any obligation to provide equipment or to, for example, pay for broadband, they should be putting in place a good, home working policy that addresses all of those things, so that the employee knows where they stand in terms of who’s going to provide the equipment, who’s going to pay for it, who’s going to insure it, and so on. 

The other thing also that the employer has a responsibility for, and that we shouldn’t forget about is mental health. ACAS has produced a Coronavirus Mental Health at Work Guide, which is to help employers spot and handle mental health problems in the context of homeworking and furlough as well. 

There’s potentially going to be a lot of people with lots of annual leave leftover – what are the rules around this? 

Annual leave continues to accrue during lock down for those people who are working and also those placed on furlough leave. 

Employers can give employees notice to take their holiday at specified times. They have to give twice as much notice as the length of the period of leave. So, if the employer wants them to take a week’s holiday, they must give the employee two weeks’ notice.

The purpose of leave is to allow period of rest and relaxation and there’s been some debate over whether it counts whilst people are in lockdown and essentially confined to their own home. As we start to see the lockdown ease, then it might become possible for employers to give notice to employees to take some of that leave. Employees themselves can also choose to take leave if they want to. 

There has also been some new legislation that came in on 26th of March. The government amended the working time regulations so that those workers who haven’t been able to take the working time directive annual leave entitlement (which is the four week entitlement) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have now got two years to take that leave. 

There are a number of considerations around this. One is that employees can only carry over what was not reasonably practicable to take, as a result of the effects of the coronavirus. Then there is government guidance that relates to holiday entitlement during coronavirus, which sets out factors that should be considered so whether it’s practicable to take the leave in the relevant year. There is also further ACAS guidance around this.

There is another tricky issue – the amendment to the regulations applies only to the Working Time directive, which is four weeks annual leave. However, under the working time regulations there’s an additional 1.6 weeks of annual leave. To carry that over, employers will have to put in place the relevant agreement so they may have to think about temporarily changing their annual leave policies. 

Have more questions?

Learn more about what you need to consider as an employer post-lockdown by listening to the full interview with Woodfines Solicitors in our recent podcast. Listen now or download from your usual podcast platform.

The Talent in Logistics Annual Conference

The agenda for our upcoming online Talent in Logistics Annual Conference on 23rd September has also been designed to put people at its heart, and address the key concerns logistics employers are facing in the ‘new normal’. See the full agenda here and book your place now to secure access to guidance from leading industry experts.

6 ways to improve employee engagement you might not have considered

In a recent blog, we looked at why it’s a good time to review and improve your employee engagement and provided some top tactics for achieving high engagement levels. But there may be other, perhaps less obvious, strategies that you could implement. 

1. Provide the right tools for the job 

Are your systems always crashing? Is there too much downtime? Are the phones ancient? Can people get their work done effectively with the systems/processes that are in place? Investing in the right systems and technologies may be difficult when budgets are tight, but this can often be an area that affects engagement levels a lot.  Involve your teams when you are making decisions on new technologies and systems for greater engagement.

2. Collaborate

Encouraging collaboration between teams makes for a stronger workforce. Get them to improve processes together. Do you have processes that touch different teams? Can they work together to find a more efficient customer focussed approach? It could lead to better working relationships and understanding too. 

3. Invest in training and development

Value the impact that expanding your employees’ knowledge base has. It will improve their weaknesses, drive a higher performance, and, of course, it shows they are valued and will therefore boost morale. 

The cost of losing an employee can be high, yet training and development can often be the first thing to go when a business is struggling. Perhaps it would be better to invest in someone than lose them and then spend thousands to replace them? 

Online training and e-learning needs to be utilised now more than ever, and it can be a very cost-effective way to develop people. It also creates flexibility around their learning, so they can do it at times convenient for them.

4. Reap the rewards of recognition

Research shows that 89% of organisations think people leave because of money but only 12% actually do. What people expect is ‘fair’ pay for the job that they do. However, other benefits, rewards and recognition do play an important part.

Things that were viewed as perks in the past, have now become expectations for many – from workplace snacks to flexible working. You must also pick benefits that reflect your organisation’s culture, whether that’s team nights out, wellbeing initiatives or support with childcare. Help people feel secure with critical illness cover and a good sick leave offering so they know you are there in times of need.

You should also be clear on the career paths available. Make sure everyone knows that if they work hard and give passion they can progress if they want to (remember not everyone does!). Have a strong appraisal system and give regular constructive feedback to your employees – do not steer away from difficult conversations. 

It’s important to act now. If employees aren’t recognised for their hard work during these times – their passion, stamina and focus may diminish. Even if it is just a simple thank you, this goes a long way – 79% of people cite lack of recognition as reason for leaving their jobs. Make recognition for a good job done the norm. You should also promote it among your teams – get them to say thank you and celebrate each other too.

5. Demonstrate corporate responsibility 

Showing that you care is key for employee engagement, so it’s important to get your corporate and social responsibility strategy right. 

For instance, ensure you have a strong health and safety strategy with goals for accident reductions, clear return to work processes, and absence management. Look at ways to enhance wellbeing, improve organisational resilience, develop better work life balance, and reduce individual burnout. You should also put into place good HR policies around performance management, equal opportunities, and bullying/harassment, for instance.   

Similarly, find ways to show that you care about others as this is also very valued by employees. Ensure that you have good engagement with, and give back to, the local community. You could support charitable work, perhaps by offering employees days off for volunteering, and should ensure you have clear environmental and sustainability strategies.

6. Lead from the front

Employee engagement is mostly driven by the leaders and managers around them, so you must be clear on your company objectives. Make sure your employees know how they can contribute towards them and how they will benefit. You are the face of change, so ensure the reasons behind any change are always clearly communicated. 

Everyone’s role is essential, so show employees they are valued by considering their perspective. Stand on their mountain! You may both be on the top of a mountain but the view from yours and the view from theirs may be very different. Bear that in mind.

Engagement attracts talent

Good employee engagement is also a crucial part of attracting the right talent.  Positive employee word of mouth travels fast and is one of the best ways to attract the right people to your organisation. 

When it comes to recruitment advertisements, tell people about your high engagement levels! But also think about how the language and images you use in your marketing come across, and if they accurately showcase your company’s passion, culture, and diversity. At interviews and assessment days, you should also communicate to potential employees how they can make a difference when they join your company, and that your business has the values they find important.

When it’s possible, also think about community outreach. Getting into local schools and colleges is a great chance to support your youth employment by talking to young people about the sector and the opportunities it offers.

More ways to improve engagement

For even more guidance on ways to improve employee engagement in the current economic climate, join fellow HR, management, and training professionals at the upcoming Talent in Logistics Annual Conference. This digital one-day event on 23rd September 2020 will provide inspiration and insight around employee engagement, with our sector’s amazing people at the heart of every session.

See the full agenda here and book your ticket now at the 2020 reduced price of just £50+VAT.

3 things you need to know about health & safety in the post-lockdown logistics workplace

In our wellbeing podcast, we spoke to Woodfines Solicitors to discover what employers need to know to ensure they are following legal requirements surrounding health and safety as employees return to the post-lockdown workplace.

Here are three of the key things we learned from the podcast.

Coronavirus symptom checks are not required, but consent is

An employer has health and safety obligations towards its employees, but it is arguable whether temperature checks can be part of a series of measures that assess employees to protect health and safety in a pandemic. And it is not a measure currently recommended by the government or the World Health Organisation.

When bringing in checks employers must consider employee consent, and visitor consent if it will apply to them as well. Consent is required as otherwise this could be a fundamental breach of contract and taking action without consent can be deemed as assault.

If employers choose to conduct symptom checks, they should communicate why it is necessary and they want to do it. Employees and visitors might feel reassured that the business is taking steps to protect their health and safety, so might be quite happy to give consent.

They also need to consider, from a discrimination perspective, that all the checks are applied consistently to all employees, workers, or visitors – only testing certain groups who perceived to be at higher risk could potentially lead to discrimination claims.

The ICO has issued guidance on workplace testing that may also be helpful to employers from a data protection perspective. The guidance advices that employers should ensure that they don’t collect and unnecessary or excessive information and that employers will probably only require information about the test result rather than details of any underlying conditions and they should only collect results that are necessary and proportionate.

Symptom checking has data privacy implications

Employers must also think about data protection. Health information is a special category of personal data, and a data controller can only process that data on certain grounds. This will require consent again, in relation to data protection, not just in relation to carrying out temperature checks.

Employers need to consider on a practical level, how they are going to do those temperature checks. Will they do them themselves? Or will they use an occupational health professional to do them? If they decide to use the latter, then there is a health exemption under data protection legislation GDPR. This enables occupational health professionals to process data relating to health where that processing is necessary for the purpose of preventative or occupational medicine, or for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee medical diagnosis, or management and treatment. It only applies to occupational health professionals who are subject to confidentiality obligations.

Before carrying out any testing, employers should also inform staff about what personal data is required, what it will be used for, who it will be shared with, how will it be kept, and what decisions will be made based on the test results.

Health and safety concerns must be dealt with correctly

It’s not just the risk of whistle-blowing claims if employers don’t take health and safety seriously in a post-lockdown work environment. Employees also have rights not to be dismissed or treated detrimentally if they raise health and safety concerns.

Firstly, to avoid complaints, and certainly then to avoid any claims, the employer should ensure that they comply with health and safety regulations and their duty of care towards their employees. Employers have a duty of care for the health and wellbeing of their employees under health and safety legislation.

Secondly employers must deal promptly and comprehensively with any complaints that are raised. So, if an employee does raise a complaint, then the employer should take steps to investigate it, take it seriously, and also take steps to address the concerns. What they shouldn’t do is treat that employee adversely because they’ve raised those concerns. They should also ensure that others don’t either, because the employer can be vicariously liable for the actions of other employees.

If an employer doesn’t take things seriously, then employees have the option of report issues to the Health and Safety Executive, which could cause all kinds of trouble for the employer.

More legal insights for logistics employers

This is just a few of the key points covered in the recent podcast with Woodfines Solicitors. To learn more about what employers need to know as employees return to the workplace, both in terms of practical considerations, employment law and health and safety, listen now or download from your usual podcast platform.

Returning to the Logistics Workplace? What employers need to know

For our new wellbeing podcast series, the Talent in Logistics team recently caught up with Mike Hayward, Partner and Head of Crime and Regulatory at Woodfines Solicitors, which specialises in cases involving the road transport and logistics sectors.

The podcast, which you can listen to in full here, discusses the duty of employers to review their policies and procedures during these unprecedented times and what businesses need to know as their employees return to work.

Read on to find out some of the key takeaways from our discussion with Mike.

What steps do you think need to be taken by employers when re-integrating their teams into the workplace?

Mike Hayward: Everything here will depend on the size and type of business, and how it is organised, managed, and regulated. Whatever sector you work within, there will be regulatory bodies giving specific guidance, so it is important to start there.

I urge employers not to panic. Look at the core, fundamental legal requirements (largely set by the health and safety at work regulations) which say that every business has a duty of care to those that come into their businesses as visitors or workers. Although we are all adapting to the world with Covid-19, let’s keep track of some of the fundamental safeguards that have to be in place. That’s carrying out certain risk assessments and making sure that you’re thinking: what we can do to achieve best practice? What can we do to ensure that our staff and visitors are safe?

You can only do your best. And one of the things that I would certainly advise businesses on, is to keep note of the measures taken. The Health and Safety Executive and the Government are talking about trying to take reasonable steps to achieve best practice, rather than this being set in law.

It’s about managing risk, but also about talking to your staff about what they feel is important, and the ideas they have to improve or to mitigate the chances of infection.

Are there any specific workplace policies/procedures that may need a review as they will now be inaccurate in light of the pandemic?

MH: Yes, so this is a really important opportunity to review all of those policies and handbooks! Use this time as an opportunity to look at the procedures and processes you already have in place, refresh them and, where you can, apply the Covid-19 guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and the Government.

Ensure that these changes are communicated to teams effectively. Share your updated risk assessments so people are knowledgeable about the changes made, even if they are working from home. You may want to set up “toolbox talks”, whether remotely or in the workplace (with social distancing) giving updates to the staff as to what your expectations are, and what measures you are putting in place. Also, to keep a record when you communicate this to your teams. Include when it took place, who attended, and get people to confirm that they read the instructions (get signatures if you can). It’s all about the documentation showing the steps you are taking in order to do what you can reasonably in these circumstances.

One thing that’s important to us is people’s health and welfare. A lot of businesses are suffering financially, already on a reduced amount of people, but are now expected to put additional measures in place, with yet more downtime and expenditure in relation to infrastructure. We want to see regulators, such as the Health and Safety Executive, working closely with businesses to ensure that everybody’s doing the best that they possibly can.

Rules can be very debilitating. You can feel bogged down by the amount of guidance that’s coming through. So, step back, consider what you need to do, implement all that you can, get advice where it’s necessary, and talk it through with associations, and people around you. 

Are there are current considerations businesses need to be aware of around business travel, particularly HGV Drivers?

MH: I still find it utterly incredible to hear the stories of HGV Drivers who are unable to access basic welfare facilities at the points that they drop at. In large warehouses, for instance, the Health and Safety Executive has clearly stated that people visiting from an employment point of view, should be given access to welfare facilities. Not only is the fundamental right of somebody’s own welfare to go to the toilet, but when there’s an expectation of frequent hand-washing, those facilities must be in place.

There are also aspects to consider in relation to sharing vehicles. Some businesses are providing a situation where the vehicle is entirely cleaned and sprayed after every use. But, it’s about what is reasonable and practical. We want to encourage hand-washing and that there is a reduction in the amount of time that two people are close to one another. For example, when delivering something, that sites are told in advance, so there is sufficient space between the person taking the delivery.

We’ve also seen the temporary relaxation of drivers’ hours for certain essential deliveries. This was not a green light for anybody to drive outside of their hours. I cannot emphasize enough that nobody should be being placed under additional time pressure or in any situation where driver fatigue may set in. Let’s not lose sight of the principal basic rules that are already there for driver safety.

Let’s Celebrate the Sector!

MH: The one thing that I’d really like to emphasize is that those across the whole logistics sector have often been the forgotten heroes. We rely so heavily on everybody who works in and during this lockdown period, they have come to the fore, delivering essential goods and pharmaceuticals to the NHS, and also the food and other essentials that enable the majority of people to remain at home.

The Undersecretary of State for Roads and Transport actually said that the whole nation will owe the haulage and logistics sector a huge debt of gratitude. Keeping the supply chain going was as an unprecedented challenge, and the logistics sector faced it with outstanding dedication and professionalism. I absolutely echo those words –whether it’s the person behind the wheel of the truck or the people back in the transport operation, this has been a really mammoth task and one that everybody should be very proud of.

Enter the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020

If, like Mike, you feel that the heroes of logistics deserve recognition for the amazing work they continue to do, why not enter the Talent in Logistics 2020 Awards? It’s free to do so but entries are only open until Friday 24th July. Enter now!

And don’t forget to register to be part of our online Talent in Logistics Awards night on 1st October to celebrate the people in our sector. Book your free place now.

Listen to the Talent in Logistics Podcast

For the full podcast, including an interview with Partner and Employment Solicitor at Woodfines Maria Gallucci where we discuss the rules around Annual Leave in 2020/21, Data Privacy for Covid-19 Employee Testing and the Future after Furlough including Redundancy Protocols, click here or download now from your usual podcast platform.

7 reasons to attend the Talent in Logistics online Annual Conference 2020

Over recent months, logistics operations up and down the nation have worked tirelessly to ensure that the country keeps moving. That’s why this year’s digital Talent in Logistics conference will put the wellbeing and engagement of its people at the heart of its agenda.

We believe that engaging with and looking after your talent is one of the best ways to help your business succeed, and that’s more important than ever with the uncertain times that lie ahead.  

Here are 7 reasons why you should attend our one-day online Annual Conference on 23rd September 2020. 

1. The skills shortage isn’t going away

The Logistics Skills shortage can’t be ignored and thinking about future workforce challenges remains absolutely essential.

63% of UK organisations are currently experiencing a skills shortage according to the FTA and research detailed in our downloadable Talent in Logistics Whitepaper “Changing Perceptions: Attracting Young Talent into Logistics” found that only 8% of young respondents felt that logistics was an attractive career option.

At our online Annual Conference, we’ll be exploring this important topic further by revealing the results of our recent research and subsequent White Paper, ‘Driving Engagement in Logistics’. This will share how drivers really feel about their role, their employer, and the sector, and why keeping them engaged is key to retaining and attracting talent. We’ll also share drivers’ ideas for how they would tackle the skills shortage. Don’t miss the conference session: ‘HGV Driver Engagement Research’

2. Learn how to look after your people

Recent events have taken their toll on people and businesses alike and, there’s never been a more important time to consider the wellbeing of your team. That’s why author, presenter and consultant Liggy Webb will be hosting our keynote presentation, titled ‘How to lead a culture of wellbeing and resilience’. This will explain why stress related burnout is a 21st century issue, why you should appreciate the value of investing in wellbeing, how to build a culture that manages burnout and builds resilience, and how you can help your people through demanding and uncertain times.

3. Personal development and wellbeing are important!

Do you have personal development plans in place for your team? What about for yourself? Are you so busy that training is taking a back seat? Continue to invest in your personal development by attending the Talent in Logistics Annual Conference and pass the benefits down to your team.

At the event, you will be presented with the case for continuing to focus on developing and training in our session titled ‘Covid-19 – A lesson for investing in your people.’ 

Understand the return on investment that your business will achieve by not cutting back on fundamental areas such as developing on your team and the future of logistics, plus gain a compelling argument to take back and present to your senior leadership team!

4. Employee engagement should be a priority

An engaged workforce not only ensures increased levels of productivity, but lower rates of absence and safety incident rates, as well as a reduced level in staff turnover. But how often do you get feedback from your employees? Probably not often enough. 

At the Talent in Logistics Annual Conference, we’ll be questioning whether employee engagement surveys are still relevant in our session titled ‘Getting constant feedback from employees – are annual engagement surveys dead?’. We’ll highlight the importance of getting constant feedback from your team in order to keep workers engaged and involved in the future of the business. 

5. You must prepare for your workforce to evolve

There’s no doubt that change is on the horizon, for the logistics sector and the country as a whole. This is likely to have an impact on your business in some way, whether that’s in the form of a restructure, changing responsibilities, or the unfortunate event of redundancies.

Implementing change well can be incredibly difficult. In fact, McKinsey research estimates that 70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals, largely due to employee resistance. During our Annual Conference we have dedicated a session to ‘How to manage change through an organisational restructure’ where you’ll get expert advice to help during these uncertain times.

6. Get the lowdown on being a remote manager

Although more employees are beginning to make their way back to the workplace, Covid-19 has shown that many workers can do their jobs remotely, and may need, or want, to continue to do so. As a manager, this may not be a way of working that you are experienced in or trained for. So, during the Talent in Logistics Online Conference, we’re offering a session on ‘Managing and engaging a remote workforce – best practice from the logistics sector’. Mastering the art of remote working within your business now, may also help make you an attractive prospect to the next generation of potential employees, who look for more flexibility in their working pattern and location.

7. Learn how to survive and thrive post-lockdown

Its’ been generations since something has unanimously affected businesses quite like the past few months have. How do you know where to go from here? Where do you even begin?

If, like many, you’re unsure what to do to ensure that your operations thrive in a post-lockdown world, industry leaders at the Talent in Logistics online Annual Conference have some ideas to help. One session will discuss how focussing on your corporate social responsibility strategy is a good first step, in a session titled ‘Survive and thrive by focusing on your corporate social responsibility strategy’. 

Register to attend the online conference

With all experts in the sector under one virtual roof, in just a day you can get the advice you need to feel more confident and better prepared when it comes to employee engagement and tackling the challenges that lie ahead for your sector.

To make sure these vital learnings are available across our sector, we’ve made our online conference accessible and affordable, with a special price for this year of just £50+VAT to attend.

In the meantime, why not sign up to one of our webinars? designed to help HR L&D, Training and Operations professionals to attract, develop and engage talent within our sector.