Post-Covid Sporting Venue Measures To Address Rogue Labour Risk

Post-Covid Sporting Venue Measures To Address Rogue Labour Risk Richard Jenkins, Chief Executive of the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), cautions of the need to adequately manage security contracts as venue operators prepare to re-open their doors.

As sports venues across the four nations of the UK prepare to unlock their turnstiles in line with local Covid-19 public health and safety requirements and legislation, it’s an appropriate opportunity for stadium and other sports facilities managers to re-visit the risks associated with rogue labour which pre-date coronavirus – and won’t be solved by vaccination roll-outs.

The procurement of additional labour to support service delivery in the security guarding and events management sectors is common practice, giving companies the flexibility to scale their operations effectively. When professionally managed flexible labour ensures security is not compromised, but when poorly managed there is a risk to the safety and security of the public, the integrity of the supply chain and for worker exploitation. This can manifest itself in an absence of adequate controls regarding SIA (Security Industry Authority) licensing, security screening to BS 7858, adherence to Working Time Regulations, the paying of minimum wage and checks on identity, right to work and employment status.

It’s become increasingly clear the lack of ‘end-to-end’ oversight poses a risk. So, how can buyers have confidence in their main security or events management contractor’s labour supply chain?

Tackling The Problem

NSI, a UKAS accredited Certification Body in the guarding services market, independently approves organisations against British Standards, ensuring they operate accordingly. Over the last two years it has seen sufficient risk in the market to justify development of a Code of Practice and an approval scheme that both protects buyers and allows guarding and event management staffing providers to demonstrate supply chain integrity.

A workable and practical means of addressing this risk has been a priority, through the development of a new draft Code of Practice, NCP 119, for the ‘Provision of labour in the security and events sector’. It addresses and challenges labour providers’ processes. In short, it addresses rogue labour.

The new Code of Practice provides contractors/sub-contractors with an off-the-shelf mechanism to demand robust and professional employment practices from their labour providers. Organisations providing labour to security companies can demonstrate best practice by holding independent certification in the scope of labour provision in the security and events sectors.

The term ‘labour provision’ applies to activities such as bought-in-labour, licensed or unlicensed: labour employed and/or supplied by a third party to temporarily supplement the contracting company’s own workforce. Its scope covers all labour provision to NSI Gold and Silver approved companies operating in the regulated security and events sector and in due course it will be mandatory for these certificated companies to only use outsourced security staff from labour provider organisations compliant with the Code.

Robust Requirements

Importantly, approval to the Code by supply chain partners will demonstrate to buyers of these services an end-to-end supply chain commitment to meeting statutory and legislative requirements, as well as meeting certain relevant environmental, social and governance criteria in the provision of services delivered.

These requirements include measures related to best practice in terms of organisational structure, finances, payroll, insurance and premises. They also include personnel, sale of services, operations and documentation, training and record keeping. Companies procuring additional labour to support service delivery on their contracts can require labour providers to obtain a Certificate of Approval to NCP 119.

As Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on sporting venues including stadiums ease and fans begin returning, it’s important to ensure risks associated with weak supply chains are actively addressed to protect spectators, security officers and event management staff alike.

Post-Covid Sporting Venue Measures To Address Rogue Labour Risk