Human One

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Human One's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Human One is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Managing Director Amber Blount
Preparing staff for the finest
Human One is a specialist hospitality recruitment company
that has been providing some of London’s most iconic
restaurants, hotels, private clubs and bars with qualified
and professional staff for decades. They are a well-established
brand within the capital and also work with luxury private
properties, exclusive gyms and premium spas. Working with just
a carefully selected number of businesses within the hospitality
sector, Managing Director Amber Blount explains how they
are overcoming the challenges presented by Brexit through
campaigning for better workers’ rights in the UK.
We have taken various forms and evolved over our 30-year existence, working with
candidates from across the globe and linking them with some of the best roles in
the London hospitality sector.
In our infancy, we worked with candidates from the southern hemisphere, mainly
from Australia and New Zealand, who did three to six-month placements. Everyone
had the right to work in the UK through partiality or working visas, and their
professionalism, excellent work ethic and high standards allowed us to build a
strong reputation which set us apart as a market leader alongside fellow recruiters.
Issues for the hospitality sector
Our candidate pool has since continued to evolve and expand, according to the
economic climate, and has included people from throughout Africa, Eastern Europe
and the Caribbean.
»Managing Director:
»Based in Central London
»Services: Specialist recruitment
for the hospitality sector
Human One
Until three years ago, working with
Eastern European migrants had proved
very effective for both us and our
clients; however, the combination
of Brexit, a weak pound and cost
of living in London has made the
UK, and London in particular, a less
attractive prospect for economic
migrants. This has been a challenge
for the recruitment business in
general, and we are trying to work
with organisations across the sector
to find a solution that will be mutually
beneficial for all involved.
Very few British people register for
work in our sector so we are heavily
reliant on labour from the EU and
the rest of the world. We have found
that historically, wages on offer do
not match that which can be received
through benefit claims, so we are
working continuously with our clients
to ensure better pay rates, benefits and
conditions in order to attract a wider
pool of staff.
All of our candidates are entitled
to benefit from Agency Worker
Regulations, which means they must
be offered exactly the same salary and
benefits as permanent employees after
12 weeks.
It has been a struggle for us to improve
the salaries on offer, but slowly the
industry is beginning to recognise the
need to offer competitive pay rates.
We are working hard with a number
of our clients, but this is a retrenched
industry-wide issue that cannot be
rectified overnight.
There are also a number of less
physically demanding roles available in
supermarkets and coffee shops with
higher pay rates, which makes these
roles more attractive. Meanwhile,
other European countries, such as
Italy and Germany, are becoming a
more appealing location, because
EU migrants can be paid in the same
currency, experience better working
conditions, enjoy cheaper living costs
and receive better job security as a
result of their continued membership
of the EU. We understand the issues
facing the sector are complex and
require a considered approach, but
we are working towards solving
them, using our experience to inform
Championing the needs of
our candidates
Numerous organisations throughout
the UK, be they in the healthcare,
construction or hospitality sector, have
benefited from the influx of cheap
labour into the UK. While they were
still able to deliver high standards,
organisations have taken advantage
of the reduced labour costs in order to
grow profit margins without rewarding
their employees. We think it is time this
balance is redressed and fortunately
our clients recognise this.
Working to an
exemplary standard
All of our
candidates are
entitled to
benefit from
Agency Worker
which means
they must be
offered exactly
the same salary
and benefits as
employees after
12 weeks
Highlighting best practice
The market used to be employer
driven, but the balance is now tipping
in favour of the employees. Employers
used to see employees as disposable,
safe in the knowledge that there was a
continual supply of cheap labour. They
wouldn’t take time to on-board, train
and build up goodwill with employees
and this has led to a decrease in the
quality of work. If employers begin to
engage with their employees, and pay
them adequately for their services, we
will rapidly see balance brought back
to employer and employee working
relationships, resulting in lower
staff turnover, increased reliability
and loyalty, which will, of course,
Campaigning for wage increases is
difficult in real time, as organisations
have to consider annual budgets;
however, there is less and less cheap
labour available, so we are seeing
industry leaders increasing budgets
more regularly, but unfortunately not
quickly enough.
Businesses are struggling as a result
and have experienced difficulty with
standards and sufficient staffing.
Facilities management operations, who
I believe are often counter-productive,
and unnecessary in our sector, and
actually increase costs for their clients
without providing a consistent service,
are asking us for 50 candidates per day
because they cannot source enough
people to service their contracts, but
there isn’t the staff available willing to
fill these roles, particularly when they
realise and take into account the pay
rates and conditions on offer.
While the strength of the dollar and
the euro is benefiting hotels and
restaurants because of the reduced
cost of travelling to the UK, it is having
the opposite effect on their ability
to attract staff from abroad. If hotel
operators continue to drive a hard
bargain with staff, they will continue
to struggle.
In response, we are working very
closely with our clients. We now
insist that we only work with like-
minded businesses who recognise the
importance of fair pay, training and
team-building. To help us achieve this
goal, we have established a group that
we have titled Leaders of Industry,
a not-for-profit organisation that
works with managing directors, hotel
managers and other decision-makers in
the sector, in order to raise awareness
of the damage that low pay can do
to their own sector. It needs to be
made clear that human beings are not
dispensable, and they aren’t machines
that you can just throw out.
To address language or skills gaps,
we have in-house trainers, and we
incentivise our employees to go
above and beyond the call of duty.
We help them open bank accounts,
offer them recommendations for
accommodation applications and help
with the necessary administration
when finding a job. Most importantly,
though, we respect them as people
and we are working tirelessly to ensure
that they are offered the best working
conditions possible.
To address
language or
skills gaps, we
have in-house
trainers, and
we incentivise
our employees
to go above
and beyond
the call of duty
Our staff are motivated
and happy

This article was sponsored by Human One. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy