Newsletter Issue 11 – February 2022
Welcome to the February issue of the Fast Forward Newsletter. This month’s news and signposts to helpful guidance are on:
- How to be an employer of choice – recording now available
- Competition watchdog launches review to investigate the UK fashion industry
- Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday: what you need to know
- The Low Pay Commission (LPC) is taking evidence from businesses and workers based in Leicester on 23 and 24 March
- Fashion-workers Advice Bureau in Leicester launches with radio interview
- Open Apparel Registry: one way to improve your transparency
- Pandemic news: the end of Plan B
We’d also like to get your feedback whether you’re a brand, supplier, factory, warehouse or other organisation. Please do get in touch.
The Fast Forward Team
Fast Forward webinar
‘How to be an Employer of Choice’
If you are a Fast Forward SEP subscriber or Member Brand watch this FREE webinar for practical suggestions on how to create a positive working environment, attract and retain staff in a context of labour shortages, and improve employee morale and reputation amongst clients.
Supplier Engagement Programme (SEP)
If you are a supply chain business in the UK and would like access to the above webinar, SEP forum and a range of benefits including labour standards training, webinars, practical guidance and template resources to support and help strengthen your business, you can find out more on the link below.
IN THE NEWS
Competition watchdog investigates the UK fashion industry’s “misleading green claims”
Following the launch of its Green Claims Code in September 2021, the competition watchdog is prioritising the investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into the UK fashion industry due to the size of the market and the scale of consumer concerns. If businesses are found to have breached consumer protection law they could be forced to either change the way they advertise, or face court action. Firms will need to assess and demonstrate compliance with the Green Claims Code and guidance.
Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday
The May Bank Holiday Weekend will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an additional Bank Holiday on Friday 3 June will create a four-day weekend to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – the first time any British monarch has reached this historic milestone.
However, there is no statutory increase in total annual holiday entitlement as a result of the additional bank holiday. Entitlement to time off on the additional bank holiday will depend on the wording of the worker’s contract of employment.
Even where there is no contractual entitlement to take the additional bank holiday as paid time off, many employers, as a gesture of goodwill, will decide to allow their employees to take the additional bank holiday.
The Low Pay Commission (LPC) is taking evidence from businesses and workers based in Leicester on 23 and 24 March
“We’re inviting individuals involved in low-paying sectors to give evidence to our Commissioners on the minimum wage and enforcement. In Leicester, we’re seeking evidence in particular on the garment manufacturing industry, a focus of reporting and enforcement in recent years. We want to hear from all parts of the supply chain, to understand what has changed since we last visited Leicester in 2016; and what more needs to change in the future. The evidence we hear will inform a report and recommendations published this summer.”
Contact the Low Pay Commission
Fashion-workers Advice Bureau
Leicester (FAB- L)
Congratulations to FAB-L which, on Monday 24th January 2022, launched a free advice and support service for all garment, textile and fashion-workers in Leicester. FAB-L offers workers advice on:
- Workers Rights & Employment Law
- Health & Safety, & Injuries at Work
- Benefits Advice & Welfare Advice
- Form Filling & Letter Writing
- Housing & Living Conditions
- Immigration & Legal Advice
- Financial Hardship Support
- Courses & Training
- Domestic Violence & Harassment
- Access to interpretation and translation services
- Phone or face to face support
If you come across any fashion/garment/textile factory workers who need any advice, help or support, please refer them to the Fashion-workers Advice Bureau Leicester.
Radio Leicester (104.9 MHz FM) attended the Highfields Centre to interview the FAB-L team, which was broadcast on the Jimmy Carpenter programme on the 25th January.
Webinar for Brands
Contributing to and making the most of the
Open Apparel Registry
Whether you’re disclosing your supplier data for the first time, preparing information initiatives like the Fashion Transparency Index, or Transparency Pledge, this webinar will show you how to contribute, communicate with suppliers and share on your own website as a direct link or interactive map.
Watch the recording here.
Covid-19 update: the end of plan B
January has seen the easing of many coronavirus restrictions including:
- People are no longer advised to work from home
- It is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering in England. The government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.
- From 11 February all testing requirements were removed for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals into the UK from overseas, with only a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) required. Arrivals who are not recognised as fully vaccinated will only need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day 2 after arrival.
- People in England have the option to leave the 10 day self-isolation period on or after day 6 if they test negative on both day 5 and day 6 and do not have a temperature. Day 0 of the isolation period is the first day of symptoms or, if asymptomatic, the day a test was. Individuals who are still positive on their rapid lateral flow tests must stay in isolation until they have had 2 consecutive negative tests taken on separate days.
- There is no change to the guidance for unvaccinated contacts of positive Covid-19 cases, who are still required to self-isolate for 10 full days after their date of exposure to the virus.
- The prime minister has also said the government intended to end the legal requirement for people who test positive for Covid to self isolate – and replace it with advice and guidance.
Information provided with thanks from the Association of Labour Providers ALP
Just Good Work
Just Good Work is a free, interactive mobile app giving jobseekers and workers from the UK or abroad critical information and advice on recruitment and employment. The Fast Forward audit now requires businesses to display the Just Good Work poster.
Posters are now available for download in six languages from the Fast Forward website: Albanian, Bulgarian, English, Gujarati, Polish and Romanian.
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