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Prospect Diamond Light Source Branch Issue 3 ● June 2014


Learning at Work Special Edition

Prospect Learning Branch of the Year 2013! Welcome to our third Prospect Diamond Branch Newsletter. This month is a special Learning at Work Edition but we are also focusing on issues around parental leave, flexible working rights and pensions. We have also highlighted some important events coming up in the near future. We have the Prospect Diamond Branch AGM at the end of June, Tolpuddle Festival in mid July and a major TUC March and Rally in October entitled Britain Needs a Payrise.

Lloyd Collier (Prospect Union Learning Rep) and Caroline Holmes (Ruskin Academic Coordinator)

In May 2008 Prospect launched its first ‘ULR of the Year’ award. The scheme aims to recognise ULR achievement and contribution to the skills agenda, changing or improving members’ personal or professional lives. In addition, it serves to remind Prospect that much of the work is achieved through the dedication and competence of volunteers and thereby acts as a forum for the Union to acknowledge this and say “thank you” to the nominated ULRs and representatives for their hard work. Since 2008, the individual ULR award has been bestowed 3 times and the Learning Branch of the Year 4 times. Prospect Diamond Light Source Branch has been recognised as Learning Branch of the Year 2013 for the innovative and creative ways it has used the Learning at Work initiative to host not just a companywide, but campus wide science and general learning event, leading to 425 people participating in 2013. And, only recently, Diamond Branch hosted a week -long 2014 Learning at Work programme including talks, training sessions and workshops on subjects as diverse as Technician Registration to Geocaching to Jogging for beginners! These events, whilst orchestrated by Lloyd Collier, the

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Prospect ULR, have been a joint activity – involving employer general support, Prospect financial and resource support, Diamond staff and local providers. The employer has acknowledged the company benefits that have flown from such activities, including increased staff morale and positive engagement to ongoing business performance and therefore was delighted to encourage and support the 2014 week long extravaganza. Diamond Branch was also highly commended by NIACE - Open University as part of its 2013 Learning at Work Day Award for Inspiring Learning. The award was announced at the recent Prospect National Conference and includes a £200 charitable donation which the branch committee have agreed to donate to Ruskin College (Oxford) in light of its status as an adult learning college and its close ties with the trade union movement. The donation will be used to buy a range of books and/or journals relating to the BA (Hons) International Labour & Trade Unions Studies course.

Inside this issue: Learning at Work Award


Learning at Work Week 2014


Parental Leave & Flexible Working Rights


ERC View


Diamond branch AGM


TUC March & Rally


Pensions & retirement


Tolpuddle Festival


Reps Details


Prospect Diamond Light Source Branch Issue 3 â—? June 2014

Learning at Work Week 2014 Following on from the successful 2013 Learning at Work Day, Learning at Work Week 2014 was recently hosted by Prospect at Diamond from 19th-23rd May. A range of seminars, training and taster sessions were organised, with subjects ranging from Technician Registration to Geocaching to Jogging for beginners! These events, whilst orchestrated by Lloyd Collier, the Prospect ULR, were a joint activity involving the Prospect Branch committee,, Prospect financial and resource support, Diamond management and staff support and local training and education providers.


The event was again a great success with lots of positive feedback. Over 500 employees from Diamond and across the Harwell Campus took part this year. A selection of photos from the event can be found here. If you have any comments on how we can make the event even better next year then please email them to



Open University

Financial advice Technician Pathways

Web editing

Museum of History of Science

Science Council


Prospect Diamond Light Source Branch Issue 3 â—? June 2014


Weird Science

Writing workshop

The BookPeople

E-Proc Science Council


Registered Scientist

IET Atrium



Prospect Diamond Light Source Branch Issue 3 ● June 2014

Recent changes extend employee entitlement to request flexible working and provide more choice for parental leave, as Emma Nelmes (Prospect Executive Assistant) explains. Parental Leave Parental leave is defined as ‘leave taken to look after a child or to make arrangements for the good of the child’ which need not be connected to the child’s health. It has specifically been designed to allow for flexibility. An employee is entitled to parental leave for each child born or adopted and they can take it at any time up to the child's fifth birthday (or until five years after placement in the case of adoption), or up to the child's 18th birthday if they have disabilities. Parental leave should be taken in blocks of a week or multiples of a week, and should not be taken as individual days off, unless the employer agrees otherwise, or the child is disabled. Employees cannot take off more than four weeks during a year. A week is based on an employees working pattern. An employee will remain employed while on parental leave and a period of leave will count as continuous service for the purposes of statutory employment protection rights, such as a right to a redundancy payment. Under a new system of flexible parental leave, parents will be able to choose how they share care of their child in the first year after birth. Employed mothers will still be entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave; however, working parents will be able to opt to share the leave. Mothers will have to take at least the initial two weeks of leave following the birth as a recovery period. Following that they can choose to end the maternity leave and the parents can opt to share the remaining leave as flexible parental leave.

Summary · Employees must have completed one year's service with an employer to qualify. · 18 weeks of unpaid leave can be taken up to the child's fifth birthday. ·

Leave may be taken straight after the birth or adoption or following a period of maternity leave.


Employees will need to request leave giving at least 21 days’ notice before the intended start date.


Employers may ask for the notice to be in writing.


Employees have the right to return to the same job in which they were employed before the absence, unless it is not reasonably practicable for the employer to permit the employee to return to that job.

Flexible Working There are many forms of flexible working. Flexible working can include; home-working, temporary contracts, part-time working, staggered hours, compressed working hours, flexitime, job sharing, shift working or career breaks. The request can cover hours of work, times of work, place of work or different patterns of work. On 30 June 2014 the Flexible Working Regulations will be extended to cover all employees after 26 weeks' service, rather than only those with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) and certain carers.

Summary · Employees must have 26 weeks continuous employment at the date the application is made. ·

Employers have statutory duty to consider applications.


Once agreed it becomes a permanent change to the contract of employment.


An employee has the right to appeal if necessary against the outcome.


An employee is able to negotiate an agreement if the requested hours are not possible.

· Only one application can be made in a 12 months period.

How to Request Parental Leave and Flexible Working 1. The request must be in writing. The employee must state their relationship to the child and give a proposed start date. The employee will also need to advise of any previous application made, and if so when. The application must set out what effect the flexible working pattern will have on the organisation, and how in their opinion, any such effect may be dealt with. 2. The employer must consider the request seriously, and can refuse it if there are clear business grounds for doing so. When attending a meeting to consider the application the employee has the right to be accompanied at the meeting by a fellow employee or trade union representative. The meeting must be held within 28 days of the date on which the application has been made, and must be convenient to both the employer and the employee. The employer’s decision must then be provided in writing within 14 days of the meeting.


Parental Leave and Flexible Working rights

Prospect Diamond Light Source Branch Issue 3 ● June 2014

3. The 2007 Work and Families Act also introduced a new right for carers of adults to request to work flexibly. A 'carer' is defined as an employee who is or expects to be caring for an adult who:

· Is married to, or the partner or civil partner of the employee ·

Is a near relative of the employee


Falls into neither category but lives at the same address as the employee.

ERC View Regular spot for our Prospect ERC Reps to report back to members from the most recent ERC meeting 

Social media policies will be released soon, and we encourage all members to read the policies especially if they are users for Facebook, Twitter, etc.

The company have placed a hold on work experience placements for 2014. The communications team are looking at implementing an updated system, hopefully by the autumn. If you have children that you would like to organise work placements for, then they will need to be registered with the company. We encourage all members to help with the work experience program where they can.

Some time ago, we raised the issue of training and development at Diamond, and the company have not been able to respond for one reason and another. We hope that this will be progressed by the end of the year.

It looks like the pay and grading review will finally get underway with the directors meeting soon to discuss the topic. We submitted our views quite some time ago. We have also commented that we would set up a sub-committee to air the views on the review.

Finally, the company has set up a cycle to work scheme. It took a change of CEO to achieve this. It would be good to see the scheme take-off and be a success at Diamond.

The discretionary pay review has been partially completed. We continue to monitor the process.

If any members have any issues that they would like raised at the ERC, then please contact a Rep.

If any members have issues with pay, grading or job descriptions, etc, then please contact a Rep.

4. The 'near relative' definition includes parents, parent-in-law, adult child, adopted adult child, siblings (including those who are in-laws), uncles, aunts or grandparents and step-relatives. 5. There is no obligation by the employee to state the specific care they provide to the adult in question. The type of care provided can include (but is not exhaustive): ·

Help with personal care


Help with mobility




Nursing tasks


Help with financial matters or paperwork


Escorting them to doctors’ appointments


Giving/supervising medicines


Providing emotional support/company.

Further information can be found in the following Prospect Members’ Guides: ·

Parental and Family Leave – Members’ Guide 12


Part time and Flexible Working – Members’ Guide 16


Your Legal Rights at Work – Members’ Factcard 1

AGM Reminder Friday 27th June, 12.15pm, Diamond House G59 All members are encouraged to attend. Light sandwich lunch provided.

Prospect Diamond Light Source Branch Issue 3 ● June 2014

Pensions & Retirement Scott Fleming and Richard Moore, experienced senior financial advisers with Lighthouse Financial Advice have agreed to provide regular updates for members (through the pages of our newsletters). In this article Richard looks at the potential issues for people who are in or approaching retirement. Retirement The retirement date and taking a pension is one of those times that some people look forward to and some dread. It is one of the major crossroads in life after marriage, the first child and buying the first house. Many issues have to be considered and confronted and not taking action isn’t really an option. Probable issues are:  Shall I take the tax free lump sum from my pension?  How much lump sum should I take? What should I do with it?  How can I generate a tax free income to boost my retirement income?  How can I reduce my expenditure?  How will the recently announced changes to pensions’ legislation affect me?  Shall I use my home to generate an income or pay for that special project?  Should I review the performance and appropriateness of my savings and investments?  Should I clear debts and mortgages?  Should I review my tax situation?  Will I or my children have to pay Inheritance Tax?  Is my Will up to date?  Can I afford to finance Long Term Care if I or a relative needs nursing or residential care?  Have I prepared for funeral costs?  Who has control of my healthcare and finances if I become ill? If you need the answer to or assistance with any of the above questions then one of our qualified advisors can help you. If you are a Prospect member who has concerns in an area for protecting their own future or that of parents or relatives, then one of our team would be happy to carry out an initial telephone consultation with you. There would be no charge to yourself for this initial service. To take advantage of this service please contact our Client Services team on the freephone number 08000 85 85 90 quoting reference Prosp04 Lighthouse Financial Advice Limited is an appointed representative of Lighthouse Advisory Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Lloyd Collier, Prospect Diamond Branch Secretary, is organising Prospect’s presence at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival this year. The festival brings together thousands of people every July to celebrate trade unionism and to remember the sacrifice made by the six farm workers of Tolpuddle who were transported to Australia for defending their union rights. This year Prospect members will be running a stall on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 July and carrying the union’s banner during the procession on Sunday afternoon. All Prospect members and staff are encouraged to attend, take part, enjoy and celebrate our collective movement and achievements. The event is free on Sunday (£10 parking) or tickets for the whole weekend can be bought on the festival website. If you are interested in helping out over the weekend, please go to Prospect’s dedicated Facebook page or email Lloyd Collier, Prospect branch secretary at Diamond Light Source, for more information. Lloyd, along with Prospect organiser Chris Perry, is making arrangements for our presence this year and is looking forward to a fantastic weekend of music, entertainment and debate. He said: “The response from members to help on the stall has been great, although we could always do with more people to share the work around. Preparations are going well and I’m really looking forward to a great weekend working with and meeting other like-minded trade unionists and their families.” Find out more about the festival and what Prospect will be doing here

Your Reps

Prospect Diamond June 2014 newsletter  

June 2014 issue of Prospect Diamond Light Source Branch Newsletter