The ministerial round table meeting on 5th July, was arranged to discuss issues affecting the Retained (On-Call) Duty System, a note (available here) was produced.
Item 5 covered the relationship between Fire and Rescue Services and the business sector.
‘ 5. For the business sector, there were concerns about the difficulties faced (particularly by smaller firms) in committing their support to the RDS. There needed to be flexibility and open dialogue in the arrangements between primary employers and Fire and Rescue Services, as the secondary employer, and both parties should benefit from the relationship’
With this in mind, the RFU initiated a meeting with the Federation of Small Business (FSB) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) at their London HQ at Centre Point, to discuss recruitment and retention issues from an employer perspective. The meeting was positive and we believe there is merit in working together where possible to develop a better understanding and to bridge the gap between fire services and the primary employers of the majority of 'On-Call' personnel.
We would like to record our thanks to Sinead Lawrence (CBI) and Sara Higham (FSB) for agreeing to the meeting and being receptive to moving these issues forward. Not forgetting that if Bob Neill facilitates another round table meeting in the New Year, it would be constructive to have something positive to report.