Number 24
Winter 2014
Insurance broker specialising
in corporate protection
and employee benefits consultancy
Happy New Year to all from the team at Finch.
Here’s to us all enjoying a successful 2015
whatever business challenges may arise.
The New Year sees the release of the Winter
edition of our periodic “Affinity news” which
we hope will be of interest including a timely
reminder of the preventative steps we all need
to take around our homes to ensure that the cold
doesn’t cause unexpected problems.
Our Winter edition also includes a theme around
people development. Crucial to Finch’s success
is our commitment to our existing talent, but also
to bring in new talent with fresh ideas. We’ve
made some significant additions to the team
during 2014 and have been pleased to see these
quality individuals integrate within the existing
team raising standards throughout.
This latest edition also features a review of our
Apprentice scheme. This is a vital aspect of
our strategy to bring in fresh talent with new
ideas. We are delighted with the progress our
apprentices are making and plan to use the
scheme to grow more of our own talent in the
The apprentices bring energy, enthusiasm and
a complete lack of pre-conceived ideas about
how things should be done. It’s often the daftest
questions that are actually the most searching...
Mike Latham
Group Managing Director
[email protected]
How will it impact my business?
December 13th 2014 marked the
introduction of the Food Information
Regulations (EU1169/2011) which has
been introduced by the Food Standards
Agency and DEFRA.
These regulations bring together and
update a series of existing regulations
regarding nutrition and allergen ingredients
Prior to this the “Top 14 Allergens” only had
to be declared on the label of prepackaged
food but they now also need to be declared
with food sold loose or when eating out.
What are the requirements of the
Food services businesses now have to
provide ingredient information on the EU
Top 14 allergens contained in the dishes
they provide to their customers.
The regulations apply to all food service
companies which includes Restaurants,
Cafés, Bistros, Coffee Shops and Pubs,
as well as Schools, Nurseries, Hospitals
and Catering Companies. In fact, everyone
providing food in a catering environment
are required to comply with the regulations.
What are the EU Top 14 Allergens?
There are over 150 foods which have
caused allergic reactions worldwide but
the following 14 are the foods which cause
the most allergic reactions within Europe:
Gluten, Milk, Soya, Peanuts, Tree-Nuts
(almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew,
pecan, brazil and pistachio), Sesame,
Sulphites, Egg, Molluscs (snails, clam,
squid, cuttlefish and octopus - with a soft
underbelly), Crustaceans (lobster, crab,
shrimp, crayfish), Fish, Mustard, Celery,
What do my staff need to know?
Food service staff need to be aware
of what allergens are contained in your
dishes. They also need to understand how
to control and prevent cross contamination
when preparing and serving food to allergic
guests. This applies to all food service staff,
front of house and back of house, as all are
involved in the process.
What about cross contamination?
The regulations relate to intentional
allergenic ingredients in food only, as
allergen cross contamination is not part of
the current regulations.
Food service companies still need to
implement processes and procedures
which ensure allergen cross contamination
does not occur in the same way they would
to ensure bacterial cross contamination
How do I relay this information to my customers?
Details of the EU Top 14 Allergens will have to be clearly listed in an
obvious place i.e menu, chalkboard, information pack or allergen matrix.
Master recipes need to be supplied with information about where allergens
are contained in the dishes.
If given orally, a back up system needs to be in place to capture the
information in writing so that staff are able to answer questions from allergy
Proof and enforcement
Food Service Companies need to be able to prove when they have
changed from one suppliers brand to another or whether they have
added a different ingredient compared to the normal recipe.
Information has to be consistent so that if a local enforcement officer visits
your business and asks about allergens contained in your dishes, you can
provide traceability and supportive evidence to accompany what you are
telling your customers.
If an allergic customer or enforcement officer asks a question that food
service staff are unsure of, make sure they know it should be passed on
to someone with more knowledge in order to receive an accurate answer.
Fines for non-compliance will be set as they are currently.
Their training gives you all the tools you need to comply with the new food
allergen regulations which came into effect on 13th December 2014.
Allergy Aware Kitchen are the only food allergy training company working
in partnership with Allergy UK, the largest allergy charity in the UK.
What happens if I do not comply and somebody is taken ill as a result?
This is a significant piece of legislation aimed at establishing high
standards across all levels of the industry in terms of the provision of
information on Allergen’s.
Failure to comply could result in a fine, or improvement notice and advice
should be sought should this happen as an appeal may be possible.
It’s also easy to see an alleged failure to comply with this legislation being
used to support alleged food poisoning claims with the emphasis shifting
to the retailer to provide clear and adequate information on allergens in
food and possible cross contamination.
By law, all products sold to consumers must be safe and this includes
food and drink. Under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 you could
be held liable to your customers for injury, loss or damage suffered as
a result of supplying them with a defective product. The definition of a
defective product includes any mistakes or omissions in any instructions
or warnings given about the content.
Products Liability Insurance can protect you by providing cover for legal
costs and damages.
Where can I find training?
Allergy Aware Kitchen provide training throughout the UK delivered by
their network of high calibre trainers. They’ve already helped leading
food service providers across the UK prepare for the new Law, including
restaurants, pubs, hotels, cafes, schools, colleges, leisure attractions,
private clubs, football clubs and event caterers.
What if I need to make a claim?
If a situation arises that might give rise to a claim you should contact your
Account Manager at your earliest opportunity. They will advise you on the
next steps and allocate a member of our internal claims team to support
R e b e c c a Webster Cer t C II - A ccou n t E x ecu ti v e - T : + 4 4 ( 0 ) 1 6 1 2 4 2 4 3 6 3 - re b e c c a . w e b s t e [email protected] f in c hib . c o . uk
For employers who wish to promote health and wellbeing with
health cover that supports their employees and at the same time
reduce their sickness absence levels, employer funded health cash
plans remain an attractive low-cost solution.
The wide spectrum of benefits offered through health cash plans can
cover many of an employees’ short and long term healthcare needs.
Predominantly used for dental check ups, a new pair of glasses or
a session with a physiotherapist. The expanding range of services
available through cash plans is seeing the benefit evolving into a Private
Medical Insurance (PMI) style product, but at a much more competitive
price. Additional features such as a PMI excess cover towards specialist
consultations, diagnostic consultations, prescriptions, GP helpline and
online health assessments are, to name but a few, of the bolt on features.
Finch Employee Benefits have partnered with BHSF to offer employers
a bespoke cash plan scheme, with enhanced benefit levels that is
competitively priced, available to all employers and is not dependent on
how many employees they have.
Employers can choose to
insure their staff with the
minimum level of cover and
allow their employees the
flexibility to upgrade their
cover. They can select higher
levels of benefit, or add their
family at their own expense
thereby tailoring the benefit to
their own personal needs.
Finch Employee Benefits can also work with employers to provide
literature and onsite visits, if required, to roll out the scheme to ensure
employees understand the benefit and maximise take up.
In short, the Finch Employee Benefit bespoke cash plan offers:
 An affordable benefit
 Fast access to consultations
 Quick and easy claims process
 Help to reduce sickness absence levels
Lyns e y Wilson - Empl oy ee Ben ef i ts C on s u l t an t - T : + 4 4 ( 0 ) 1 6 1 2 4 2 4 3 2 3 - ly ns e y. w ils o n @ f inc h e b . c o . u k
As we begin to brace ourselves for the coming winter, it is so important
that we plan ahead and be prepared……
We should all be mindful about adequately protecting our homes to
prevent burst water pipes, which can cause so much damage as well as
a great deal of stress and inconvenience. It is also important not to forget
secondary homes that may be let to tenants or possibly left unoccupied
for longer periods, making them even more vulnerable.
Insurers continue to see an increasing number of escape of water claims
and we are very aware of the damage and distress that it causes, often
involving long periods where a home is made uninhabitable whilst being
suitably restored.
Act Now
Make sure you act now to protect your home and your family for the
winter by following these simple steps:
 Make sure that all exposed water pipes and tanks in the loft are
adequately insulated. Ensure that your loft insulation is not underneath
the water tank so that the warmth from below will help to prevent the
cold water from freezing.
 Leave your heating on constant i.e. 24 hours per day during severe
freezing temperatures.
 Inspect your cold water tank regularly and, if it is metal, make sure it
is not corroding.
 Know where your main stop valve is located and make sure you can
turn it on/off with ease. It’s also a good idea to label it so that all the
household are fully aware of its location in an emergency situation. If
you have a secondary home that is let, make sure your tenants are
aware of this too.
Repair dripping taps.
It’s usually just a washer
that’s needed.
A constantly dripping
overflow pipe is a
sure sign that your
Have it checked out
conditions, the heating fails or makes loud banging noises, this could
indicate that a pipe is freezing. Turn off the boiler and call a plumber
immediately or, if you have Home Emergency cover under your policy,
call the 24 hour Home Emergency Helpline listed at the front of your
policy for assistance.
 Regularly check the condition of flexible hoses to plumbed-in
domestic appliances.
 Have your entire heating system checked throughout on an annual
basis - not just your boiler.
 Seriously consider the installation of a leak prevention and detection
 Check that the rainwater gutters of your home are clear and regularly
clear leaf and other debris from drainage grates so that rainwater can
flow freely into the drainage system.
K a re n Watter son - Pr iv ate C l i en t E x ecu ti v e - T: + 4 4 ( 0 ) 1 6 1 2 4 2 4 3 3 5 - K a re n. w a t t e rs o n @ f inc h ib . c o . u k
(C o nte nt cour tesy of Ster l i n g In s u r an ce Grou p)
Each of our four apprentices has an
individual training and development
plan and the full support of their teams.
Once they have completed their
training and are assessed competent,
we will see them moving seamlessly
into their independent roles as we start
phase II of our apprenticeship plans in
At Finch, we pride ourselves on
having highly trained professional
staff. When we recruit we look for
staff who can bring experience
and knowledge, but who also will
fit seamlessly into the Finch family.
Over the last couple of years, we
have taken on a number of young A
level aged students to help us over
the summer months. We began to
realise we were missing a trick and
that we should consider different
recruitment opportunities, particularly
with these younger recruits who
added value to the business and
showed a real aptitude. We decided
to consider the apprenticeship route
to develop our own “home grown”
Quotes from some of the individuals
“I have really enjoyed the Finch
apprenticeship programme which has
Left to right back row: Andrew Cassell (Apprentice Account Handler), already offered me so much more than
Yasmin Chambers (Apprentice HR Assistant), Chelsea Ledbrook (Apprentice I anticipated at the outset, through
Account Handler), Rebecca Mlota (Apprentice Employee Benefits Administrator) delivering the right level of challenge
Left to right front row: Saira Chambers (Director, Employee Benefits), and diversity all throughout my role for
Mike Latham (Group Managing Director), Paula Morris (Group HR Manager)
the development of my self and future
career goals, and I’m really looking forward to what more is in store.”
Rebecca Mlota
So, with the help of our local Chamber of Commerce and their
Skills Solution team, we sought to develop a number of roles at the
“Everyone is really supportive and the Apprenticeship itself is great. The
apprenticeship level. We felt that we could access some incredibly
training provided through both Finch and Skills Solutions is very good
bright and enthusiastic individuals that had left college, with some great
and I feel that my development in my role and in my technical ability is
qualifications and good life skills but who had decided university wasn’t
progressing inevitably because of this.” Andrew Cassell
for them. They wanted training and development and a supportive
culture in which they could grow, and in return we got our future rising
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Finch so far, especially working
stars. Not only do we provide great training and support but we pay well
alongside Paula who has taught me a lot in the short time I have been
above the apprenticeship rate or even the minimum wage. When you
here and has supported me along to way. I look forward to what else is
pay at the right level, you get the right calibre of staff.
in store for my future at Finch!” Yasmin Chambers
A year into the programme we now have four apprentices, the first was
Rebecca Mlota who was recruited into our Employee Benefits team, the
next recruit Chelsea Ledbrook joined our Halifax Handling team. Andrew
Cassell then joined our Handling team in Manchester and, more recently,
we have recruited Yasmin Chambers into our Human Resources team.
“Being an Apprentice at Finch, has given me the fantastic opportunity
to gain the skills and knowledge required to fulfil my job role. All my
colleagues have been excellent to work with they are all very welcoming,
which has helped me make a successful start here at Finch.”
Chelsea Ledbrook
This year Finch has decided to support the Bone Cancer Research Trust as their chosen charity.
They are a small charity set up by the parents of sufferers in 2006. It does a huge amount of work in trying to prevent and cure this disease whilst also
supporting those who are unlucky enough to suffer from it.
Bone cancer can affect anyone and everyone but unlike many cancers over a third of people diagnosed are under 30 years old. Also the people that
seem to suffer the worst from it are sportsmen and women. This is because the symptoms are very similar to the every day aches and pains that we
can all have. By the time people get round to visiting a doctor the illness can be quite advanced.
We are holding a number of events throughout the year from coffee mornings, to the Finch cup 5 a side football tournament.
In addition to this Employee Benefits Consultant, Andrew Selby who proposed the charity after the death of a friend’s husband, has taken part in the
Great North Run and will be competing in the 2015 London Marathon and Ironman UK.
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