On the eve of an historical meeting between representatives of the industry and Government officials, it is good for everyone to know just exactly why we need our own Hospitality Minister and just why we seek to get closer access to the corridors of power. Much has been said but we think it is time to set out just what we aim to achieve when we do get our own Ministerial Official.
Ministers work between Government and the elected bodies and representatives of an industry. They consult and formulate and implement plans and legislation on behalf of that industry, liaise with and consult with that industry for the betterment of all involved, to create a better and more functional industry.
They can and do act independently but they also work together with the industry on new plans and the implementation of agreed plans and legislation. They can also advise and help draw up papers to put before government that might need new legislative approval.
The advantages are that government get an insight into the industry and that the industry concerned can get first-hand information and advice on any new or proposed plans moving forward.
The National Chefs Union already has an extensive list of items to put before our new Minister which include.
*The creation of a timetable to oversee the implementation of the Good Work Plan and the approval of budgets to create the policing structure for that legislation as detailed by the Director for Labour Enforcement.
* Discussions on the possible amendments to The Health and Safety at Work Act to create a Maximum Level of Heat and to set in law the requirement for free-flowing fresh air within all UK commercial kitchens.
* Discussions on the possible amendments to the Human Medicines Act to allow UK Commercial kitchens to store Emergency Asthma Kits (similar to schools)
* Discussing on the revision of Food Premises Licensing to include provisions for the above amendments and employee wellbeing.
Our list is not exhaustive, there is indeed much we wish to discuss with our new Minister and we fully intend to have our “seat at the table” and make sure the Chefs of the UK are not ignored.
Employment abuse is systemic in UK kitchens and we need to hit the ground running and address the many issues that have been building up for so long, including the age-old practice of Chefs and their kitchens coming last on the priorities of new business who think they can make a fortune on the backs of their chefs without consideration and due attention to the law and their representatives.
In the future no Pub, Hotel, Restaurant, or food premises should ever be allowed to open until the requirements and provisions of Laws attaining to the safety and wellbeing of employees are met first.
The future of catering is here and with us right now and for long we have been last in the queue…now we will be first. Make no mistake, we fully intend to have our voices heard.