With the advent of GDPR should you be considering Cyber Insurance?

The short answer is yes!

At ProAktive we consider that every business, irrespective of its size, should consider Cyber Insurance. As organisations have become more reliant on IT we have seen more & more companies buying cyber cover. On 25th May 2018 this became crucial when the General Data Protection Regulations became effective, meaning that if you hold personal data, you must now comply with this regulation.

Cyber Insurance

The good news is that Cyber Insurance is available to compensate you for the consequences of the loss of data & policies usually include access to a Public Relations firm who can help to quickly provide the right advice on how to respond to customers & the public in order to manage your organisations’s reputation & brand.

It is imperative to the success of your business that you take a joined-up approach to your IT risk management, staff training, data management, & disaster & recovery planning. Traditionally businesses have always insured their physical assets & financial liabilities. In a digital world, can you afford not to insure your virtual risks too?

If you would like to explore Cyber Insurance further, please talk to your usual contact at ProAktive on 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914.

By Beverley BrownBroking Director FCII MBA






(Some content courtesy of RSA)

The Plimlico Effect – What to look out for?

For businesses that utilise freelance or self employed contractors or labourers, the Gary Smith vs. Plimlico Plumbers court case was always going to be of interest due to its potential impact on the GIG economy and Employment Status.

Although Gary Smith originally lost his claim for ‘employee’ status in the original Employment Tribunal hearing in 2012, it did find him to be a ‘worker’. This entitled him to limited employment rights including minimum wage and holiday pay.

The court of appeal upheld this decision in February 2017 and now the Supreme Court has upheld the original decision that Mr Smith is a worker, despite the protests from Plimlico Plumbers.

Brief Case Information

  • Gary Smith worked solely for Plimlico Plumbers for six years
  • He was VAT registered and paid self-employed tax
  • He had signed a contract as a self-employed contractor
  • It was found that he was still entitled to workers rights

The Supreme Court ruling that said that Gary Smith was a worker, rather than a self-employed labourer/contractor, means that an Employment Tribunal can now proceed to examine whether Mr Smith was unfairly dismissed, amongst other

employment issues.

Although this is a decisive ruling, opinions are split on the impact this will have on other cases currently working their way through the courts i.e. Deliveroo and Uber, and whether it will cause other employers to change their stance on the employment status of the people they utilise within their business.

It is worth noting that every case will be taken on its own merit, and when considering the employment status of your workers you need to take into account the differences in business models and the nature of your work. What it has proven is that there is still major uncertainty for both employees and employers regarding employment status.

If employers are unsure about someone’s employment status they should consider the following:

  • Do they have multiple employers/jobs?
  • Do they have the opportunity to turn down work?
  • Are they allowed to transfer or subcontract the work as they see fit?
  • Do they operate under their own limited company?

If the answer to all of the above is ‘no’ then there is a chance that this person would have ‘worker’ status rather than being a self-employed contractor and therefore would have access to the following employment rights:

If you have concerns over the employment status of your workers on any other employment queries, please contact our HR Consultancy Team on 01302 341 344.

By Kris Kerins BSc (Hons) PGC (Tech Mgmt)Risk Services Adviser

World Cup Madness

In the run up to the World Cup, the deals on alcohol have been in full swing in most of the major supermarkets. The summer tournament for many signifies early finishes and drinks in hand whilst praying for England to reign victorious!

Many of the games are on weeknights and whilst there is no harm in having a few beers and watching the game, if employees are drinking excessively this can affect their ability to drive into work the next day and to carry out their roles safely once they arrive.

You have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of your employees. If you knowingly allow an employee under the influence of excess alcohol to continue working and this places the employee or others at risk, you could be prosecuted. Similarly, your employees are also required to take reasonable care of themselves and others who could be affected by what they do.

Often drinking alcohol is a positive part of life (especially where football is involved) and does not cause any problems, however, if employees drink so much as to be over the limit the following day this could lead to accidents at work. This is where a good drugs and alcohol policy will come in handy. Your policy should include:

  • how the organisation expects employees to limit their drinking;
  • how problem drinking will be recognised and help offered; and
  • at what point and in what circumstances you will treat an employee’s drinking as a matter for discipline rather than as a health problem.

Some employers adopt alcohol screening as part of their alcohol policy. If you think you want to introduce this you must think very carefully about what screening you want to do, and what you will do with the information it generates.

Whilst it is easy to get carried away in the excitement surrounding the tournament and in the hope that this time England will succeed, it may be a good idea to re-iterate your drugs and alcohol policy to your employees and ensure they understand the rules and what is expected of them.

By Rachel Cuff CMIOSHRisk Consultant

By calling cars autonomous, are we putting drivers at risk?

British Insurers and Thatcham have raised concerns that the evolution of automated driving technology could result in an increase in accidents due to drivers thinking their cars are more capable than they are.

There are different levels of autonomy:

Level 0 – the driver is completely in control of the car with only warning and alerts to assist in extreme circumstances.  These types of car are rare now and are normally found in high performance cars which is said to provide a “purer driving experience”

Level 1 – this is the first of the assisted driving levels which would normally include ABS, cruise control, traction control – normally these are not even noticed by the driver.

Level 2 – this level involves the car being able to control lateral or longitudinal movement.  For example adaptive cruise control which changes the speed of the car based upon the speed of the car in front, lane keeping assist to adjust the steering of the car because the driver has drifted out of their lane accidentally.  At no point should the driver not pay attention to the road of take their hands off the steering wheel. 

Level 3 – driving involves practically equal input from both the driver and the car.  For example if the car is in queuing traffic the “jam assist system” operates the accelerator, brakes and steering in slow moving traffic.  The driver still needs to concentrate and take control when necessary.

Level 4 – this is the first eyes off and hands off vehicle but at present there are no cars on the market that fit level 4, however with the UK Governments intention to make us a market leader in autonomous cars this should not be long.

Level 5 – The highest point of automated driving where the car controls speed and direction without any need for driver intervention – this would be the ultimate fully autonomous vehicle and is expected to be available by 2025.

Whilst driver assistance technology has moved on tremendously in recent months, fully automated vehicles that can move from A-B without any driver involvement whatsoever are unlikely to be available for many years yet.  However, some of the current models are potentially misleading drivers into thinking their cars can take full control in all circumstances and drivers remain criminally liable for the safe use of their cars; capability of current road vehicle technologies must not be oversold.

The results of tests, which are expected to be available from the Autumn, are likely to be used by insurers to help rate the effectiveness of semi-autonomous technology and could potentially affect insurance group ratings and premiums going forward.

By Jo Elliott ACIIAccount Executive




Health & Safety Training Courses from ProAktive

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world-leading chartered body for health and safety professionals. 

The IOSH Managing Safely certificate is targeted at managers in any organisation or sector who are required to manage risk and resources. 

The course aims to:

  • Ensure that safety issues are appreciated by those who are employed as line managers
  • Able these people to review their departmental systems for safety.
  • The course also helps managers to introduce new controls and implement changes to reduce risks in the workplace.

Course Duration

This training programme takes three days to complete.

Programme of Study

  • Module 1– Introducing managing safely
  • Module 2– Assessing risks
  • Module 3– Controlling risks
  • Module 4– Understanding responsibilities
  • Module 5– Understanding hazards
  • Module 6– Investigating Incidents
  • Module 7– Measuring Performance


This course is offered on your premises, specifically for a group of your employees.

Course Fees

Course fees include expert tuition, course materials, examinations and certification.

Costs are from £250 + VAT per candidate (based on 12 persons).

To request a quotation or find out more about this, or any other IOSH training course we provide, please contact Ann Granter on 01302 341344.


ProAktive are a leading provider of IOSH accredited health and safety training courses.

We can provide health and safety training on your premises, specifically for your employees. This means that travel, accommodation and time away from work are all kept to a minimum.

All our accredited courses can be delivered in-house, including IOSH Managing Safely, Managing Safely Refresher & Working Safely courses.

We also offer a variety of shorter courses that can be offered on your premises, including manual handling, risk assessment, health and safety awareness (for employees and/or managers), fire wardens and many others.

In-house courses can be tailored to your industry/company and can include your policies, procedures and forms to ensure that the course is truly bespoke.

In summary, ProAktive offer:

  • Qualified H&S trainers who are highly experienced health and safety consultants/trainers & Chartered Members of IOSH.
  • Competitive prices: in-house courses can be much more cost effective than sending individuals away on courses
  • Accredited courses (IOSH) and a variety of shorter courses can be delivered on your premises
  • Courses can be tailored to clients individual needs and can include your forms, policies, procedures and templates

Want to save money on your Motor Fleet Insurance Premiums? Thought so.

Like many people I drive on the roads for work and leisure. What I find remarkable is the volume of vehicles on the road; every major town or city suffers from congestion at some time during the day and with this increased volume of traffic, is there any wonder that accidents happen? Indeed in 2016 there were in excess of 180,000 casualties, from minor injuries to fatalities, on UK roads. The good news is that the number of fatalities has actually decreased but the volume of accidents is still colossal.

Inevitably business drivers are at the forefront of this battle. They tend to drive the most miles at the busiest times and this means that they suffer a significant number of the reported accidents. Businesses are also often an easy target for people who choose to make spurious or exaggerated claims. Haulage and van fleets are particularly susceptible and it’s a fact that many drivers do not give larger vehicles the right amount of space to enable them to make the necessary manoeuvres and many claims can be contentious. 

Often business owners and fleet managers operate under the misguided belief that they can manage fault claims themselves which means there isn’t any necessity to report the incident to their own insurers which, they believe, will protect their insurance record and help them keep their premiums under control – the evidence proves otherwise.

If a claim is reported on day 1, the date of accident, to your insurer, this will allow them to contact the third party, arrange for the vehicle to be repaired quickly and minimise additional hire costs, storage charges and the potential for injuries and the associated legal costs. Financial evidence shows that if a fault claim is reported immediately it likely to be settled at a fraction of the cost of a claim that is reported in 30 days. Allianz Insurance Company have suggested that a claim reported 30 days after an incident will cost 4 times more than a claim reported at day 1. The implications for anyone operating a fleet are considerable as their claims record could be impacted negatively by late notifications and the inevitable consequence is that premiums will be higher than necessary.

The message is clear. Report claims as soon as possible to prevent costs escalating. To help with this process ProAktive will shortly be launching a new motor claims app which will operate on smart phones and allow third party data to be collected instantaneously with GPS mapping and the ability to upload photographs. Watch this space for further developments.

By Andy Morley, Group Managing Director


Mental Health Awareness and Employment – STRESS

Mental Health Awareness week was from the 14th to 20th May and focussed on Stress. It therefore seems relevant to discuss Stress from the employers point of view and how this ties into the definition of a disability and discrimination.

Firstly when it comes to employment, the term disabled or defining someone as disabled isn’t determined by a doctor or medical professional, it is determined by the law.

Equality Act 2010: A person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantially adverse and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. In the workplace such activities are taken to include things like using a telephone or computer, interacting with colleagues, following instructions, driving and carrying everyday objects.’

To put this into context it is worth considering the following case law: Herry v Dudley Metropolitan Council, this was finalised at the end of 2016.

Some facts about the case are as follows:

Employee was off work for three years with sick notes attributing absence to “stress at work”

After dismissal claimed that he had suffered direct discrimination on the grounds of disability.

When taken to Employment tribunal, the claim failed as they found that under the Equality Act he wasn’t considered disabled under the criteria set out above.

At the Appeal this decision was upheld and they commented that the claimant’s stress was “very largely a result of his unhappiness about what he perceives to have been unfair treatment of him”

This sets up the conversation nicely for the differences between stress and mental illness disorders; when it comes to the employment arena.

‘Stress’ is different to a disorder that would qualify someone to be considered disabled, in that there are usually definable environmental factors that are the cause. For example, excessive workloads or you’ve fallen out with your family as two simple examples. When you remove the factor you are able to continue your daily routine without any symptoms.

This is different to mental health disorders where there can be numerous contributors to the illness, i.e. genetics, biochemistry, personality and environmental factors. People suffering with a mental illness or disorder, even without the environmental factors, will continue to suffer and be affected over a long period of time, and often indefinitely.

For employers this means that care should be taken when dealing with employees who are signed off with stress (or refer to workplace stress on their sick notes) however it may not fall under the disability category.


Investigate the cause of this stress and not rely solely on the doctors or medical professionals, as stress, anxiety and depression are terms often used loosely.

Find out whether stress is caused by a singular event or scenario, or whether there are numerous factors that could indicate a mental disorder.

For more information on Stress and Mental Health Awareness Week in general you can visit the Mental Health Foundation website here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

By Kris Kerins BSc (Hons) PGC (Tech Mgmt) – Risk Services Adviser


The evolving nature of terrorism

The terrorism threat level in the UK remains at Severe, following an unprecedented rise in terrorism attacks in recent times.

The nature of events, as evidenced at London Bridge and Borough Market with the use of handheld weapons and motor vehicles, has shown that the modern day terrorists are more likely to direct their actions towards causing human casualties, rather than causing property damage.

As terrorists move away from causing property damage, businesses are increasingly exposed to uninsured business interruption (BI) losses because terrorism policies typically require physical damage as a trigger for BI cover. Many businesses are discovering to their cost that most insurers don’t cover such losses unless there is at least some physical damage. 

Many clients currently purchase terrorism cover via Pool Re (which is the government’s reinsurance facility often provided as part of a commercial combined or property package), however, it is presently restricted by the 1993 Act only to pay out if physical damage has occurred to commercial property. The government are consulting over this matter in the hope this will change in the future, however, for now though these risks are uninsured.

Those in the retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors are particularly vulnerable to BI losses caused by the denial of access and subsequent loss of attraction that can follow events aimed solely at inflicting casualties, often in and around entertainment venues and tourist attractions. So, as well as damage to own and third-party property, you can now purchase cover that also responds to the use of vehicles, hand-held weapons and explosives devices aimed at causing death and injury.

The evolving nature of terrorism incidents brings a whole new set of risks and exposures not previously considered or catered for, particularly in relation to BI losses. Recognising this, especially if you are involved in any of the trades above – speaking to your insurance broker about these issues is vital.

By Dane Turner Dip CIIBroking Manager


How can the heat affect your staff?

Most of us love the hot weather. It’s great to get outdoors and have fun as the temperature rises but it’s not always comfortable. High temperatures can make work feel harder and it’s not uncommon to hear complaints that it’s too hot!

Most healthy people can cope with hot weather and adapt without problems but too much heat and sun can have consequences. Heat stress, sunburn or dehydration can have a serious impact on employees’ health.

Heat Stress

Heat stress can be a problem if working in high temperatures. Workplaces can soon get hot especially if hot and humid work processes take place. While it’s possible for employees can adapt over time, it’s important to recognise the symptoms so action can be taken to prevent harm to employees:

  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Cramps in muscles
  • Heat rashes
  • Severe thirst
  • Heat exhaustion – fatigue, giddiness, nausea, headache, moist skin
  • Heat stroke – hot dry skin, confusion, convulsions and eventual loss of consciousness

If you see someone suffering the above systems try and get them somewhere cool, give them water to drink and send for medical assistance.

What can we do to help prevent heat stress?

  • Use fans to circulate air. (Air conditioning if reasonably practicable.)
  • Temporarily relax dress rules so employees can wear cooler clothing, as long as it is safe to do so.
  • Provide information for employees so they are aware of the symptoms.
  • Provide periodic breaks away from the workplace.
  • Provide cool drinking water and encourage employees to drink small amounts frequently.


Sunbathing to get a tan is a popular activity at this time of year but getting sunburnt can be a painful experience. Often sunburn occurs before we know, only revealing itself after we have been exposed to the sun for too long. It’s important therefore to act before exposure. Ultraviolet rays from the sun damages skin (indicated by a sun tan) and can have short term and long-term effects:

  • Short term effects are obvious and include red, sore, blistering and peeling skin.
  • Longer term effects are much slower to appear and include, ageing of the skin, and an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

The best prevention of sunburn is to keep out of the sun, however this is not always easy to do when working outdoors. Advise and encourage employees to:

  • Stay out of the sun where possible – Take breaks in the shade
  • Keep their top on – wear long sleeved tops and keep legs covered
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat that will keep the sun off their head and neck
  • Use high factor sun creams on exposed skin
  • Provide drinking water and encourage employees to drink frequently to prevent dehydration
  • Encourage employees to check their skin regularly and seek medical advice if the find anything that itches or bleeding, changing colour, size or shape

Enjoy the sun and hot weather, winter will soon be here, but stay well informed and let’s do it sensibly.

By Ainslie Johnson GradIOSHRisk Consultant

Do Bloggers & Vloggers Need Insurance?

Everyday there are millions of blog posts finding their way onto the internet, be it in a professional or personal capacity. Within our blogs we see all trends from lifestyle to corporate being littered with alleged facts, quotes, assertions and pictures within them.

Whether it’s a pastime, paid work, or an extension of your business online, you’re liable for whatever content your blog pushes out onto the net from the moment your hit ‘publish’.

As a blogger, vlogger or influencer, the risks you’re exposed to are global. Specialist cover is essential. 

What if:

  • You get your facts wrong or you say the wrong thing?
  • You post other peoples images? Do you have the right permissions and licences?
  • You publish someone else’s content? Who owns the copyright?
  • You’re holding peoples data? How safe is the data of your subscribers  and how good is your Privacy Policy?

You could have a lawsuit on your hands if you find you have damaged the good reputation of someone. Everything you do and say on social media could affect your reputation.

What could you be liable for?

  • Defamation: Saying something on your blog which could damage an individual’s or company’s reputation.
  • Infringement of intellectual property rights: There is very little understanding surrounding copyright status. Every time you post a photo, logo or include copy from another article without permission you are treading on thin ice!
  • Illegal content– Some content is prohibited and can not only lead to legal action but also imprisonment.
  • Harassment – Causing distress or anxiety through threatening, indecent or false communication is a criminal offence which can come with a fine of up to £5000 and a 6 month jail term under The Malicious Communications Act 1988 and The Communications Act 2003.

Carrying insurance cover for these risks could be essential for anyone who could be sued for making a mistake and especially important for influencers and bloggers who are very active online. Call us on 01302 341 344 to speak to us in more detail about this type of cover.