Bluestones Investment Group works across a wide variety of sectors (see Our Divisions to find out more). Many of our portfolio businesses will have policies that are specific to the industries where they trade. Listed on this page are the core Bluestones policies that govern the way we with our clients, candidates and suppliers. These are reviewed regularly by the Board and updated to reflect prevailing legislation where required and appropriate.
Where referenced, “The Company” refers to Bluestones Investment Group.
- The Company is committed to eliminating modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, and similar human rights abuses.
- The Company is committed to ensuring that its staff and any workers it supplies (directly or indirectly) are not subject to behaviour or threats that may amount to modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, and similar human rights abuses.
- The Company provides appropriate training and awareness information for all of its staff. In particular, our leadership team receive detailed training in identifying and resolving concerns around modern slavery and human trafficking.
- Our recruiters, HR personnel, and/or staff involved in our procurement and supply chains undertake training courses that include guidance around modern slavery and human trafficking, as well as other wider human rights issues.
- All of our staff receive awareness-raising information around issues involving modern slavery and human trafficking so that they can bring any concerns they have to the attention of management.
- Any staff, workers or other parties are strongly encouraged to report any concerns or suspicions that they might have to our Group’s legal team.
- Reports surrounding these issues are taken extremely seriously by our board of directors who are committed to ensuring that all investigations shall be prompt and effective. If our investigations reveal any issues, we are committed to taking appropriate action, including but not limited to:
- Working with the appropriate organisations to improve standards,
- Removing that organisation from our preferred supplier list,
- Passing details to appropriate law enforcement bodies.
- We regularly monitor our risks in this area through the use of relevant key performance indicators, including:
- The percentage of suppliers who sign up to an appropriate code or provide their own modern slavery statements,
- The amount of time spent on audits, re-audits, spot checks, and related due diligence, and
- The level of modern slavery training and awareness amongst our staff.
- As part of our efforts in this area, we publish and update a modern slavery statement on an annual basis.
- We would also recommend reading this in conjunction with our other policies.
This policy was adopted on January 2018 after being agreed by our board of directors. It is reviewed annually.
Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) company policy outlines our efforts to be socially responsible, supporting the (local) communities in which we operate, and providing employees with opportunities for charitable work.
Our company’s social responsibility falls into two categories: compliance and proactiveness. Compliance refers to our company’s commitment to legality and willingness to observe community values. Proactiveness is every initiative to promote human rights, help communities and protect our natural environment.
Our company will:
- Respect the law
- Honour its internal policies
- Ensure that all its business operations are legitimate
- Keep every partnership and collaboration open and transparent
- Business ethics
We’ll always conduct business with integrity and respect for human rights. We’ll promote:
- Safety and fair dealing
- Anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices
Protecting the environment
Our company recognises the need to protect the natural environment. Keeping our environment clean and unpolluted is a benefit to all. We’ll always follow best practices when disposing garbage and using chemical substances. Stewardship will also play an important role.
We’ll ensure that we:
- Don’t risk the health and safety of our employees and the community.
- Support diversity and inclusion.
- Human rights
Our company is dedicated to protecting human rights. We are a committed equal opportunity employer and will abide by all fair labour practices. We’ll ensure that our activities do not directly or indirectly violate human rights in any country (e.g. forced labour).
Donations and aid
Our company may preserve a budget to make monetary donations. These donations will aim to:
Advance the arts, education and community events and alleviate those in need.
Our company will encourage its employees to volunteer. They can volunteer through programs organised internally or externally. Our company may sponsor volunteering events from other organisations.
Preserving the environment
Apart from legal obligations, our company will proactively protect the environment. Examples of relevant activities include:
- Conserving energy
- Organising reforestation excursions
- Using environmentally-friendly technologies
- Supporting the community
Our company may initiate and support community investment and educational programs. For example, it may begin partnerships with vendors for constructing public buildings. It can provide support to non-profit organisations or movements to promote cultural and economic development of global and local communities.
We will actively invest in R&D. We will be open to suggestions and listen carefully to ideas. Our company will try to continuously improve the way it operates.
The Company maintains a commitment to monitor best practice and operate continuous improvement in our CSR policy.
All our team have the opportunity to involve themselves in their charitable passions.
Team members are regularly released from work in order to support their chosen charitable activities including bereavement counselling and school governor meetings.
Our CSR is ingrained throughout our organisation.
The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that necessary records and documents of The Company are adequately protected and maintained and to ensure that records that are no longer needed by The Company or are of no value are discarded at the proper time. This Policy is also for the purpose of aiding employees of The Company in understanding their obligations in retaining electronic documents – including e-mail, Web files, text files, sound and video files, PDF documents, and all Microsoft Office or other formatted files.
This Policy represents The Company’s policy regarding the retention and disposal of records and the retention and disposal of electronic documents.
Attached as Appendix A is a Record Retention Schedule that is approved as the initial maintenance, retention and disposal schedule for physical records of The Company and the retention and disposal of electronic documents. We will make modifications to the Record Retention Schedule from time to time to ensure that it follows National legislation and includes the appropriate document and record categories for The Company; monitor legislation affecting record retention; annually review the record retention and disposal program, and monitor compliance with this Policy.
In addition, any retained information can only be used for the purpose for which it is stored. This is compliant with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679)
- Suspension of Record Disposal In Event of Legal Proceedings or Claims
There are certain occasions when information needs to be preserved beyond any limits set out in the Policy. The Policy must be SUSPENDED relating to a specific customer or document and the information retained beyond the period specified in The Company’s Data Retention Schedule in the following circumstances:
Legal proceedings or a regulatory or similar investigation or obligation to produce information are known to be likely, threatened or actual.
A crime is suspected or detected.
Information is relevant to a company in liquidation or receivership, where a debt is due to The Company.
Information is considered by the owning unit to be of potential historical importance and this has been confirmed by the Administrator.
In the case of possible or actual legal proceedings, investigations or crimes occurring, the type of information that needs to be retained relates to any that will help or harm The Company or the other side’s case or liability or amount involved.
If there is any doubt over whether legal proceedings, an investigation or a crime could occur, or what information is relevant or material in these circumstances, the Administrator should be contacted and legal advice sought.
The Administrator shall take such steps as is necessary to promptly inform all staff of any suspension in the further disposal of documents.
- Security of personal information
The Company will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.
The Company will store all personal information on our secure (password- and firewall-protected) servers.
The Client should acknowledge that the transmission of information over the internet is inherently insecure and that The Company cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.
The Client will be responsible for keeping their Username and Password used for accessing The Company’s website confidential; The Company will not ask for a password other than when needed to log in to our website.
The Company may update this policy from time to time by publishing a new version.
This page should be checked occasionally to ensure that the policy remains relevant.
This Policy applies to all physical records generated during The Company’s operation, including both original documents and reproductions. It also applies to the electronic documents described above.
This Policy was approved by the Board of Directors of The Company on 5th January 2018.
APPENDIX A RECORD RETENTION SCHEDULE
The Record Retention Schedule is organised as follows:
- Accounting and Finance
- Corporate Records
- Correspondence and Internal Memoranda
- Personal Information
- Electronic Records
- Grant Records
- Insurance Records
- Personnel Records
- Tax Records
1. ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE
Record Type and then Retention Period
- Annual Audit Reports and Financial Statements: Permanent
- Annual Audit Records, including work papers and other documents that relate to the audit: 7 years after completion of the audit
- Annual Plans and Budgets: 7 years
- Bank Statements and Cancelled Cheques: 7 years
- Employee Expense Reports: 7 years
- Interim Financial Statements: 7 years
Record Type and then Retention Period
Contracts and Related Correspondence (including any proposal that resulted in the contract and all other supportive documentation): 7 years after expiration or termination
3. CORPORATE RECORDS
Record Type and then Retention Period
- Corporate Records (minutes, signed minutes of the Board and all committees, record of incorporation, articles of incorporation, annual corporate reports): Permanent
- Licenses and Permits: Permanent
4. CORRESPONDENCE AND INTERNAL MEMORANDA
General Principle: Most correspondence and internal memoranda should be retained for the same period as the document to which they pertain or support. For instance, a letter pertaining to a particular contract would be retained as long as the contract (7 years after expiration). It is recommended that records that support a particular project be kept with the project and take on the retention time of that particular project file.
Correspondence or memoranda that do not pertain to documents having a prescribed retention period should generally be discarded sooner. These may be divided into two general categories:
- Those pertaining to routine matters and having no significant, lasting consequences should be discarded within five years. Some examples include:
- Routine letters and notes that require no acknowledgement or follow up, such as notes of appreciation, congratulations, letters of transmittal, and plans for meetings.
- Form letters that require no follow up.
- Letters of general inquiry and replies that complete a cycle of correspondence.
- Letters or complaints requesting specific action that have no further value after changes are made or action taken (such as name or address change).
- Other letters of inconsequential subject matter or that definitely close correspondence to which no further reference will be necessary.
- Chronological correspondence files.
- Please note that copies of interoffice correspondence and documents where a copy will be in the originating department file should be read and destroyed, unless that information provides reference to or direction to other documents and must be kept for project traceability.
- Those pertaining to non-routine matters or having significant lasting consequences should generally be retained permanently.
5. Retaining personal information
- This Section sets out the data retention policies and procedure of The Company, which are designed to help ensure compliance with legal obligations in relation to the retention and deletion of personal information
- Personal information that is processed by The Company for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.
Without prejudice to point 2 (above) The Company will usually delete personal data falling within the categories set out below at the date/time set out below:
Record Type and then Retention Period
- Information about a computer and about visits to and use of this website (including an IP address, geographical location, browser type and version, operating system, referral source, length of visit, page views and website navigation paths: 2 years
- Information provided when registering with our website (including email address): 2 years
- Information provided when completing a profile on our website (including a name, gender, date of birth, interests and hobbies, educational details): 2 years
- Information provided for subscribing to email notifications and/or newsletters (including a name and email address): Indefinitely or until the client chooses to ‘unsubscribe’
- Information provided when using the services on the website, or that is generated during the use of those services (including the timing, frequency and pattern of service use): Indefinitely
- Information relating to any subscriptions made (including name, address, telephone number, email address and sector sought): 2 years or until consent is withdrawn
- Information posted to our website for publication on the internet: 5 years after post
- Information contained in or relating to any communications sent through the website (including the communication content and metadata associated with the communication): 2 years following contact
- Any other personal information chosen to be sent: 2 years following contact
Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Section, The Company will retain documents (including electronic documents) containing personal data:
(a) to the extent that The Company is required to do so by law;
(b) if The Company believes that the documents may be relevant to any ongoing or prospective legal proceedings;
(c) and to establish, exercise or defend The Company’s legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk).
(d) if explicit consent is given by the data subject. Consent is requested at least every 2 years from candidates seeking contract roles and at least every 12 months for candidates seeking permanent employment.
Each day The Company will run a database backup copy of all electronic data contained on The Company data centre, except for the one financial package. All other databases are in the cloud, connected to a Tier 3 data centre. This backup will include all information relating to current users, as well as any information that remains due to any reason contained in this policy.
6. ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS
- Electronic Mail: Not all email needs to be retained, depending on the subject matter.
- All e-mail—from internal or external sources – is to be deleted after 12 months.
- Staff will strive to keep all but an insignificant minority of their e-mail related to business issues.
- The Company will archive e-mail for 90 days after the staff has deleted it, after which time the e-mail will be permanently deleted.
- Staff will take care not to send confidential/proprietary information held by The Company to outside sources
- Any e-mail staff deems vital to the performance of their job should be copied to the relevant client or candidate record in DataStar. (The Company CRM system).
- Electronic Documents: including Office 365 and PDF files, retention also depends on the subject matter.
The Company does not automatically delete electronic files beyond the dates specified in this Policy. It is the responsibility of all staff to adhere to the guidelines specified in this policy.
In certain case’s a document will be maintained in both paper and electronic form. In such cases, the official document will be the electronic document.
7. INSURANCE RECORDS
Record Type and then Retention Period
- Certificates Issued to The Company Permanent
- Claims Files (including correspondence, medical records, etc.) Permanent
- Insurance Policies (including expired policies) Permanent
8. LEGAL FILES AND PAPERS
Record Type and then Retention Period
- Legal Memoranda and Opinions (including all subject matter files): 7 years after close of matter
- Litigation Files: 1 year after expiration of appeals or time for filing appeals
- Court Orders: Permanent
Record Type and then Retention Period
- Material of Historical Value (including pictures, publications): Permanent
- Policy and Procedures Manuals – Original: Current version with revision history
- Annual Reports: Permanent
10. PERSONNEL RECORDS
Record Type and then Retention Period
- Employee Personnel Records (including individual attendance records, application forms, job or status change records, performance evaluations, termination papers, withholding information, garnishments, test results, training and qualification records): 6 years after separation
- Employment Contracts – Individual: 6 years after separation
- Employment Records Correspondence with Employment Agencies and Advertisements for Job Openings: 3 years from date of hiring decision
11. TAX RECORDS
General Principle: The Company must keep books of account or records as are sufficient to establish amount of gross income, deductions, credits, or other matters required to be shown in any such return.
These documents and records shall be kept for as long as the contents thereof may become material in the administration of state, and local income, franchise, and property tax laws.
Record Type and then Retention Period
- Tax-Exemption Documents and Related Correspondence: Permanent
- Tax Bills, Receipts, Statements: 7 years
- Tax Returns: Permanent
- Sales/Use Tax Records: 7 years
- Annual Information Returns: Permanent
The Company recognises that its activities impact upon the environment through its routine internal operations, its infrastructure and through its influence and effects on the wider community. It acknowledges a responsibility for, and a commitment to, protection of the environment at all levels. The organisation will comply fully with environmental legislation and is in addition committed to continued efforts to:
- Promote environmental management policies and practices at every level throughout the business
- Increase awareness of environmental responsibilities among staff
- Minimise waste and pollution and develop and operate environmentally sound waste management procedures
- Reduce water and energy consumption
- Promote a purchasing policy which will give preference, as is feasible, to those products and services which cause the least harm to the environment
- Avoid wherever practical the use of environmentally damaging substances, materials and processes
The Company embraces diversity and aims to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities. We seek to develop a business culture that reflects that belief. We will expand the media in which we recruit to in order to ensure that we have a diverse employee and candidate base. We will also strive to ensure that our clients meet their own diversity targets.
The Company is committed to diversity and will promote diversity for all employees, workers and applicants. We will continuously review all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful discrimination. The Company will treat everyone equally and will not discriminate on the grounds of an individual’s “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) which are age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We will not discriminate on the grounds of an individual’s membership or non-membership of a Trade Union. All staff have an obligation to respect and comply with this policy.
The Company is committed to providing training for its entire staff in equal opportunities and diversity.
The Company will avoid stipulating unnecessary requirements which will exclude a higher proportion of a particular group of people and will not prescribe discriminatory requirements for a role.
The Company will not discriminate unlawfully when deciding which candidate/temporary worker is submitted for a vacancy or assignment, or in any terms of employment or terms of engagement for temporary workers. The Company will ensure that each candidate is assessed in accordance with the candidate’s merits, qualifications and ability to perform the relevant duties for the role.
Under the Act unlawful discrimination occurs in the following circumstances:
Direct discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic. Treating someone less favourably means treating them badly in comparison to others that do not have that protected characteristic.
It is unlawful for a recruitment consultancy to discriminate against a person on the grounds of a protected characteristic:
- in the terms on which the recruitment consultancy offers to provide any of its services;
- by refusing or deliberately omitting to provide any of its services;
- in the way it provides any of its services.
Direct discrimination can take place even if the individual does not have the protected characteristic but is treated less favourably because it is assumed he or she has the protected characteristic or is associated with someone that has the protected characteristic.
Direct discrimination would also occur if a recruitment consultancy accepted and acted upon instructions from an employer which states that certain persons are unacceptable due to a protected characteristic, unless an exception applies. The Act contains provisions that permit specifying a requirement that an individual must have a particular protected characteristic in order to undertake a job. These provisions are referred to as occupational requirements.
Where there is an occupational requirement then the client must show that applying the requirement is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, i.e. the employer must be able to objectively justify applying the requirement. An occupational requirement does not allow an employer to employ someone on less favourable terms or to subject a person to any other detriment.
Neither does an occupational requirement provide an excuse against harassment or victimisation of someone who does not have the occupational requirement.
Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) is applied but this results in people who share a protected characteristic being placed at a disadvantage in comparison to those who do not have the protected characteristic. If the PCP can be objectively justified it will not amount to discrimination.
Indirect discrimination would also occur if a recruitment consultant accepted and acted upon an indirectly discriminatory instruction from an employer.
If the vacancy requires characteristics which amount to an occupational requirement or the instruction is discriminatory but there is an objective justification, The Company will not proceed with the vacancy unless the client provides written confirmation of the occupational requirement, exception or justification.
The Company will use best endeavours to comply with the Act and will not accept instructions from clients that will result in unlawful discrimination.
Under the Act, harassment is defined as unwanted conduct that relates to a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. This includes unwanted conduct of a sexual nature.
The Company is committed to providing a work environment free from unlawful harassment.
The Company will ensure that the consultants do not harass any individual.
Examples of prohibited harassment are:
- verbal or written conduct containing derogatory jokes or comments;
- slurs or unwanted sexual advances;
- visual conduct such as derogatory or sexually orientated posters;
- photographs, cartoons, drawings or gestures which some may find offensive;
- physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, or any interference because of sex, race or any other protected characteristic basis;
- threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued employment or to avoid some other loss, and offers of employment benefits in return for sexual favours;
- retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment.
If an individual believes that they have been unlawfully harassed, they should make an immediate report to The Company followed by a written complaint as soon as possible after the incident. The details of the complaint should include:
- Details of the incident
- Name(s) of the individual(s) involved
- Name(s) of any witness(es)
The Company will undertake a thorough investigation of the allegations. If it is concluded that harassment has occurred, remedial action will be taken.
All employees and workers will be expected to comply with The Company’s policy on harassment in the workplace. Any breach of such a policy will lead to the appropriate disciplinary action.
Any individual who The Company finds to be responsible for harassment will be subject to the disciplinary procedure and the sanction may include termination.
Under the Act victimisation occurs when an individual is treated unfavourably because he/she has done a ‘protected act’ which is bringing a claim for unlawful discrimination or raising a grievance about discrimination or giving evidence in respect of a complaint about discrimination.
The Company will ensure that the consultants do not victimise any individual.
Discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfavourably as a result of their disability.
Indirect discrimination occurs where a provision, criterion or practice is applied by or on behalf of an employer, or any physical feature of the employer’s premises places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled.
In recruitment and selection, there may be a requirement to make reasonable adjustments. For example, it might be necessary to have different application procedures for partially sighted or blind applicants that enable them to use Braille. With testing and assessment methods and procedures, tests can only be justified if they are directly related to the skills and competencies required for the job. Even then, it might be appropriate to have different levels of acceptable test results, depending on the disability. For example, an applicant with a learning disability might need more time to complete a test, or not be expected to reach the same standard as other non-disabled applicants.
Reasonable adjustments in recruiting could include:
- modifying testing and assessment procedures;
- meeting the candidate at alternative premises which are more easily accessible;
- having flexibility in the timing of interviews;
- modifying application procedures and application forms;
- providing a reader or interpreter.
Wherever possible The Company will make reasonable adjustments to hallways, passages and doors in order to provide and improve means of access for disabled employees and workers. However, this may not always be feasible, due to circumstances creating such difficulties as to render such adjustments as being beyond what is reasonable in all the circumstances.
The Company will not discriminate against a disabled person:
- in the arrangements i.e. application form, interview or arrangements for selection for determining whom a job should be offered; or
- in the terms on which employment or engagement of temporary workers is offered; or
- by refusing to offer, or deliberately not offering the disabled person a job for reasons connected with their disability; or
- in the opportunities afforded to the person for receiving any benefit, or by refusing to afford, or deliberately not affording him or her any such opportunity; or
- by subjecting the individual to any other detriment (detriment will include refusal of training or transfer, demotion, reduction of wage, or harassment).
The Company will make career opportunities available to all people with disabilities and every practical effort will be made to provide for the needs of staff, candidates and clients.
Under the Act, it is unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate against or to harass or victimise a person because of age. Age discrimination does not just provide protection for people who are older or younger. People of all ages are protected.
A reference to age is a reference to a person’s age group. People who share the protected characteristic of age are people who are in the same age group.
Age group can have various references:
- Under 21s
- People in their 40s
The Company will not discriminate directly or indirectly, harass or victimise any person on the grounds of their age. We will encourage clients not to include any age criteria in job specifications and every attempt will be made to encourage clients to recruit on the basis of competence and skills and not age.
The Company is committed to recruiting and retaining employees whose skills, experience, and attitude are suitable for the requirements of the various positions regardless of age. No age requirements will be stated in any job advertisements on behalf of the company.
If The Company requests age as part of its recruitment process such information will not be used as selection, training or promotion criteria or in any detrimental way and is only for compilation of personal data, which the company holds on all employees and workers and as part of its equal opportunities monitoring process. In addition if under age 22 to adhere to Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 and other relevant legislation applicable to children or young candidates.
Where a client requests age or date of birth, this will have to be under an occupational requirement or with an objective justification which should be confirmed in writing.
This policy also covers the treatment of those employees and workers who work on a part-time basis, The Company recognises that it is an essential part of this policy that part-time employees are treated on the same terms, with no detriment, as full-time employees (albeit on a pro-rata basis) in matters such as rates of pay, holiday entitlement, maternity leave, parental and domestic incident leave and access to our pension scheme. The Company also recognises that part-time employees must be treated the same as full-time employees in relation to training and redundancy situations.
GENDER REASSIGNMENT POLICY
The Company recognises that any employee or worker may wish to change their gender during the course of their employment with the Company.
The Company will support any employee or worker through the reassignment.
The Company will make every effort to try to protect an employee or worker who has undergone, is undergoing or intends to undergo gender reassignment, from discrimination or harassment within the workplace.
Where an employee is engaged in work where the gender change imposes genuine problems The Company will make every effort to reassign the employee or worker to an alternative role in the Company if so desired by the employee.
Any employee or worker suffering discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment should have recourse to the Company’s grievance procedure.
RECRUITMENT OF EX-OFFENDERS
Where The Company has registered with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and has the authority to apply for criminal records checks on individual because they are working with children or vulnerable adults or both, we will comply with the DBS’s Code of Practice which includes having a policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders.
COMPLAINTS AND MONITORING PROCEDURES
The Company has in place procedures for monitoring compliance with this policy and for dealing with complaints of discrimination. These will be made available immediately upon request. Any discrimination complaint will be investigated fully.
Bluestones Group and its subsidiary companies recognise that our commercial activities have the potential to impact on our suppliers and our locality. As a socially responsible small business our suppliers, local community and customers have a right to expect:
- All workers involved in the delivery of services provided by Bluestones Group and its subsidiary companies are treated with full consideration to their basic human rights.
- Bluestones Group and its subsidiary companies act in an ethical manner above and beyond basic legal requirements.
- We are committed to implementing the principles of the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code.
Code of Practice
This Code of Practice applies to:
- Staff directly employed by Bluestones Group and its subsidiary companies on temporary, contract or permanent contracts.
- Staff employed or provided by contractors or employment agencies to work on company premises or to undertake work for or on behalf of Bluestones Group and/or its subsidiary companies.
Employment Is Freely Chosen
- No forced, bonded or involuntary labour shall be used.
- Staff are not required to lodge deposits or identity papers with us.
- Staff are free to leave Bluestones Group and its subsidiary companies after reasonable notice.
Working Conditions Are Safe and Hygienic
- Adequate steps shall be taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of work by minimising, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.
- Staff receive health & safety information.
- Staff have access to toilet facilities and drinking water.
- The workforce has a published Health & Safety Policy.
Child Labour Shall Not Be Used
- There shall be no recruitment of child labour.
- Children or persons under 16 are not employed at any time, day or night.
- Young persons under 18 shall not be employed at night or in hazardous conditions. Living Wages Are Paid
Staff pay rates are equal to or above the national legal minimum standards.
- Staff are given information about their employment conditions in respect to wages.
- No deductions are made from wages as a disciplinary measure, and pay slips detailing lawful deductions are provided for each pay period.
- Staff are given clearly understandable written terms and conditions of employment that details the employment relationship and the respective obligations of the employee and employer.
Working Hours Are Not Excessive
- Staff are not forced to work in excess of 48 hours per week, a voluntary opt-out agreement is available for those wishing to work in excess of 48 hours per week.
No Discrimination Is Practised
- There is no discrimination in pay, hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, and termination of employment or retirement on the grounds of race, nationality, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.
- Opportunities for personal and career development are equally available to all employees. No Harsh Or Inhumane Treatment Is Allowed
- Physical, verbal and sexual threats, abuse, harassment or intimidation is expressly prohibited and grounds for summary dismissal, if proved.
It is an important duty of The Company, in the conduct of its business operations, to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all its employees. The organisation accepts the fact that this implies a corresponding duty of ensuring that necessary organisation, equipment and training is provided to fulfil this obligation. An effective health and safety policy requires the full collaboration and co-operation of all employees; everybody is asked to read this policy and accept their own personal responsibility for health and safety at work.
The Company is committed to operating the business in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and all applicable regulations made under the Act, so far as reasonably practicable.
COVID-19 policy – updated June 2020
Due to the exceptional circumstances surround the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, this health and safety policy has been updated to include specific arrangements, actions and guidance relating to health and safety in our workplaces.
The health and safety of our employees is critically important, so we have adopted a three stage approach to ensuring our workplaces are safe for our workers. These stages can be summarised as follows:
- Risk assessment – completed by the branch manager or brand/divisional director to assess the office environment against a range of key criteria, as recommended by the Government.
- Awareness – once the risk assessment has been completed, a COVID-19 poster will be signed by the branch manager/divisional director and displayed prominently in the office, confirming the following:
- A COVID-19 risk assessment has been carried out and the results shared with the people who work there.
- Cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures have been reviewed and updated, where appropriate, to ensure they’re in line with current guidance.
- All reasonable steps have been taken to help people work from home.
- Where working from home is not possible, all reasonable steps have been taken to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace.
- Where people cannot be 2m apart, everything practical has been done to manage and minimise transmission risk.
- Individual questionnaires – the final stage sees every individual worker complete a questionnaire confirming they’ve seen the risk assessment and understand the various steps that have been taken to ensure the health and safety of workers is protected,
Completed risk assessments and individual questionnaires are sent to the Group’s head office for central collation and record keeping.
Health & Safety Statement from the CEO
The Company regards the management of health and safety as an integral part of its business and as a management priority. It is our policy that all activities and work will be carried out in a safe manner and we will ensure the health, safety and welfare of our employees and others who may be affected by our activities.
Proper management of health and safety issues is seen as an integral part of the efficient management of the Company’s activities, and critical to developing the professional culture of the Company and establishing and maintaining a solid reputation with all of our clients.
In accordance with Government guidelines the Company has implemented workplace Risk Assessments for the prevention of COVID-19 and social distancing measures in place in line with the government directive.
The Company is committed to ensure the health, safety & wellbeing of all staff in line with government guidance and legislation and will continue to meet with legislative obligation in line with government updates and developments.
It is the Company’s policy, so far as is reasonably practicable to:
- where working from home is not possible, workplaces will make every reasonable effort to comply with social distancing guidelines set out by the government (keeping people 2m apart wherever possible).
- ensure the workplace has sufficient cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with the prevention of COVID-19 Company procedures and workplace Risk Assessment requirements.
- managing third party visits to the premises via remote connection and site guidance to reduce risks.
- provide and maintain facilities, equipment, and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health;
- make arrangements for ensuring safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
- provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of employees and visitors;
- maintain any place of work under the Company’s control in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and to provide and maintain means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;
- provide and maintain a working environment for employees that is safe and without risks to health and is adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work;
- provide such protective equipment as is necessary for the health and safety at work of employees and visitors;
- encourage staff to set high standards of health and safety by personal example and to instil an attitude of mind which accepts good health and safety practice as normal;
- monitor the effectiveness of health and safety provisions within The Company;
- and to keep the Health & Safety Policy under regular review and to duly publish any amendments.
The objectives of this policy are fundamental to our business and the Company Directors are responsible for ensuring that the requirements of this policy are achieved.
Management, staff and operatives have responsibility for implementing the specific arrangements made under this policy throughout the Company. All employees are expected to familiarise themselves with its provisions and carry out their defined responsibilities. A copy of all related policies will be held in the HR department and will be made available to all employees.
Employees are expected and encouraged to be proactive on health and safety issues as part of the continued development of the health and safety culture of the organisation and the manual describes the arrangements for employee consultation and feedback.
All employees, contractors and sub-contractors are required to cooperate with the Company and their colleagues in implementing the policy and shall ensure that their own work is without risks to themselves and others as far as reasonably practicable.
The Company will provide appropriate training and make available competent health and safety advice and adequate resources including time and money so that legal obligations may be met.
This policy will be audited for its effectiveness and it will be reviewed on a regular basis.
Ultimate responsibility for Health & Safety rests with The Company and its team of directors. The HR Director has specific responsibility for overseeing the implementation of Health & Safety policy and for advising and updating the Board of The Company and CEO on developments and performance.
The Company’s directors have responsibility for implementation of the Health & Safety Principles and Policy in their areas of responsibility. They must show leadership by ensuring the organisation, management and conduct of operations is in line with The Company standards and ensuring this is supported by adequate resource allocation to implement this policy across the business.
All employees have the responsibility to co-operate with the directors and management to achieve a healthy and safe workplace and to take reasonable care of themselves and others.
Whenever an employee notices a health or safety problem which they are not able to put right, they must straightaway inform a member of the Health & Safety Committee.
Line Managers have responsibility for the health, safety and wellbeing of those working within their area of operation and those who may be affected by the activities. They must ensure that adequate systems are in place to ensure delivery of policy and standards, and meet local statutory requirements.
Those tasked with the supervision of staff, at whatever level, are required to give careful attention to the health and safety of those under their supervision and to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken.
To fulfil its function, the degree of supervision must have reasonable regard to the level of training, experience and expertise of employees being supervised.
The responsibilities of manager(s) and supervisors within the company shall be:
- To read and understand the company’s safety policy and to ensure that its provisions are being effectively carried out.
- To bring the provisions of this policy, in so far as they affect the personnel, to the attention of the employees under the control of particular managers/supervisors.
- To inspect machinery, equipment and structures regularly and to ensure that any defects discovered are remedied forthwith.
- To prevent access by the workforce or other persons to any defective machinery, equipment or structures until the faults have been rectified.
- To ensure that employees are adequately instructed in the safe operation of equipment and machinery.
- To ensure that any areas of the site to which the general public or visitors may have access, are maintained to ensure their safety.
- To arrange for all necessary insurances, certificates etc., appropriate to the site’s size and function.
- To arrange via the responsible person for the reporting of all incidents to the insurers where appropriate.
- To arrange the appropriate fire-certificates for each site, the proper maintenance of fire-fighting equipment, regular fire drills and adequate access to fire-fighting services.
- Ensure that adequate first-aid facilities are available and adequately maintained.
- To ensure that all accidents are reported in accordance with the provision of this policy.
- Ensure that no unnecessary risks are taken by the employees in pursuance of their duties and to ensure a site disciplinary procedure is in place for offenders.
- Set a personal example.
- To give advice upon this policy when requested by either the directors or workforce.
Individual employees have a duty to carry out their work in a safe manner in order to prevent injury and ill health either to themselves or to others who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work.
Individuals are required to comply with the Company’s Health and Safety Policy as it relates to their work activities, and to any action to be taken in case of an emergency.
Monitoring the Health and Safety Policy
Monitoring the effectiveness of The Company’s policies on health and safety commences is a Board responsibility. Monitoring includes ensuring that Health & Safety audits and risk assessments are taking place regularly so that the hazards and risks of activities carried out within The Company are being adequately recognised and controlled.
Monitoring also makes sure that any deficiencies in health and safety performance are identified and that remedial action is recommended and pursued.
The provision of information, instruction and training to all staff (especially new employees) are matters that should also fall within the monitoring exercise.
The Health and Safety Committee assists to carry out the monitoring function effectively via the provision of paper and computer-based monitoring tools, such as model checklists, which individual branches and sites may adapt to their own requirements.
Monitoring of any accidents, incidents and instances of occupational ill-health occurring at branch or site level is particularly important so that remedial action can be taken to prevent any recurrence. The Health and Safety Committee will monitor all reported accidents, incidents and occupational ill-health in order to determine those events that are legally reportable to the relevant enforcing authority, and those which require further investigation and possible notification to others within the Company, and to set in train appropriate remedial action.
Any amendments will be notified by revision of this document.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the Bluestones Group’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 October 2019. This Statement has been approved by the Board of Directors of Bluestones Investment Group Limited which is the parent company of the Bluestones Group. Further information regarding the Bluestones Group is available at www.bluestonesgroup.co.uk.
The Bluestones Group does not believe there is any place in today’s world for slavery and human trafficking and in making this statement commits to ensuring there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our businesses.
We are committed to evolving our practices through all our group companies to combat slavery and human trafficking and to encourage the same principles and standards from our supply chain and business partners.
No breaches of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 were reported in 2018 or have been previously.
Our Company Structure
Operating primarily in the UK, Bluestones Investment Group (Bluestones Group) employs over 200 people across 19 locations. Bluestones Investment Group is a human capital investment company, with the subsidiary businesses within the Group’s portfolio being made up of recruitment businesses, staffing service companies and related workforce solutions providers.
This statement applies to the Bluestones Group and its subsidiary companies, detailed below.
Bluestones Group subsidiary companies
Our supply chain
Bluestones Investment Group takes its responsibility for ensuring the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking is minimised across its supply chain. It achieves this through a combination of due diligence questionnaires for all suppliers and annual supplier audits. The Group expects its staff to report concerns of non-compliance, no matter how trivial, in line with the established policies and procedures.
Policies on modern slavery
Bluestones Investment Group has a clearly defined Modern Slavery Policy, which can be read in full in this policies section of the website. This policy is regularly updated to reflect best practice methodologies, and subsequently approved at Board and/or Director level.
Our modern slavery policy reflects the Company’s commitment to acting with integrity in all its relationships and has implemented adequate policies, procedures and systems to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place.
Due diligence processes
In order to identify and mitigate the risks associated with modern slavery and human trafficking, Bluestones Investment Group has adopted the following processes:
- We’ve reworked our supplier appraisal questionnaire to include unambiguous questions regarding a supplier’s compliance (with modern slavery and human trafficking legislation) and their policies and processes.
- We review our supplier appraisal questionnaires on an annual basis to ensure continued compliance.
- We conduct internal audits on our recruitment process (and those of our subsidiaries) to ensure that we only engage eligible workers for agency work.
- We expect the suppliers we work with to have anti-slavery and human trafficking policies and processes that cover the subsequent relationships with their suppliers as it is not practical for us to influence and have a direct relationship with all levels of the supply chain.
With many of the subsidiary companies within Bluestones Investment Group placing personnel into companies on a temporary, contract or permanent basis, we appreciate the importance of robust operational practices. Through the aforementioned due diligence processes, supplier audits and questionnaires, and internal policies and staff training, we act to minimise the risk of individuals being placed into any form of slavery.
Checks are also undertaken to verify and identify where agency workers may be sharing bank accounts, addresses and telephone numbers which may be a risk indicator.
Bluestones Investment Group will continue to assess the risks associated with modern slavery and human trafficking and aim to fully understand other indicators of modern slavery.
Through regular monitoring, audits and assessments we measure the effectiveness of our risk control measures to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in our business, our subsidiary businesses or our supply chains.
Our key performance indicators (KPIs) in this instance are:
- 100% compliance of supply chain companies via the supply chain audit process.
- 100% pass rate when reviewing recruitment activities and their compliance with agreed modern slavery processes.
Training for staff
With such a clear focus on maintaining 100% compliance with modern slavery and human trafficking legislation it is essential that the people within our business receive adequate training and information. We provide information on this legislation and our policies and processes via the Group’s Intranet system and through induction and regular training updates.
Employees, workers, business partners and customers are encouraged to report any concerns that may give rise to a risk of modern slavery or human trafficking. The Group’s Whistleblowing Policy is designed to make it easy for disclosures to be made without fear of retaliation. The Group’s Head of Legal, a practising solicitor, is the Whistleblowing Officer. In circumstances which prevent independent consideration of disclosures internally the Company’s auditors or external solicitors will be instructed.
Employees are advised on how to report any concerns they have associated with modern slavery and trafficking.
This Privacy Notice tells you what to expect in relation to personal information about you which is collected, handled and processed by The Company .
The Company’s Human Resources function is the Data Controller.
We acknowledge and agree that any personal data of yours that we handle will be processed in accordance with all applicable data protection laws in force from time to time. With effect from 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulations (“GDPR”) will come into force, which will change the law.
The information about you we may collect, hold and process is set out below:
(a) Information collected and processed for finding you a suitable role is as follows:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your email address
- Your telephone number
- CV/work history
- Job preferences including role, geographical areas and salary
- Any other work related information you provide, for example, education or training
(b) Information in respect to individuals that have worked for us previously or may work for us is as follows:
- Passport (if applicable, permits and visas)
- Date of Birth
- National Insurance Number
- Full detail of job offers and placements
- Outcome of DBS and security clearance for certain roles (these will be supplied by the Disclosure and Barring Service or other external company applicable to the placement.
- Medical information (in specified cases – medical information may be supplied by a third party such as your GP, Consultant or Occupational Health)
- References (these will be from your previous employer or personal references as appropriate).
- Financial information (including but not limited to payroll details and terms, HMRC data, pension scheme details, court orders and statutory payments)
- A log of our communications with you by email and telephone
This information will have been provided, or will be provided, by you or a third party who we work with, such as a Job Board Company or another employment business or agency.
How we use the information
The above information is used to provide our services to you in our capacity as an employment business / agency to find you suitable work whether on a temporary or permanent basis based on your requirements as set out below.
The information under A above may be used as follows:
- To match your skill sets with job vacancies to assist in finding you the positions that best match your expertise.
- To put forward your details to our clients and prospective employers for you to be considered for vacancies.
- To place you with our clients and prospective employers
- To keep you informed for available opportunities as they arise
- To keep you informed of the services offered by us
The information under B above may be used as follows:
- To establish that you have the right to work
- To undertake relevant security and DBS checks as required by our clients and as permitted by law.
- To deal with any medical and health and safety issues relating to specific positions
- To put in place contractual arrangements and documentation once a role has been secured
- To pay you if we find you work
How we hold the information
All the personal data we have is stored on our database in the UK.
Disclosure of your information
- Your CV and related information will be shared or sent to prospective employers and our clients. Once you have secured a placement additional information will be provided to them to enable the placement to proceed.
- Such employers and clients will usually be located inside the European Economic Area (EEA) but may be outside of the EEA.
- Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the EEA unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection or the appropriate safeguards are in place for your rights and freedoms. Before such a transfer takes place outside of the EEA, we will provide you with further information concerning this.
- Other trusted third parties that we may share your data with are as follows: pension scheme providers, HM Revenue and Customs, Umbrella companies, legal advisors and other companies for the purpose of undertaking pre engagement checks for the role or for paying you.
What is the legal basis for processing the information?
We will rely on your consent to process the information marked with an * above which is collected at the outset of the recruitment process.
Information and documentation to establish your right to work is processed by us as we are legally obliged to do so.
In respect of medical information, the basis for us processing this will depend on the circumstances, but will usually be for one of the following reasons: it is necessary to protect health and safety within the work environment or to prevent discrimination on the grounds of disability or where consent has been obtained, if required.
Information in relation to criminal record checks, which are relevant for some roles, will be processed on the basis that it is necessary for us to comply with the law or consent will be obtained, if required.
Once a position has been found for you, we will process your personal data, including financial information, for the purpose of you entering into a contract to fulfil your role and to enable us to pay you, depending on the specific contractual arrangements and circumstances.
For the purposes of paying you, where relevant, we are legally obliged to provide information to HMRC.
Once a placement has been secured, we may also process your data on the basis of our legitimate interests i.e. for administrative purposes.
You currently have the right at any time to ask for a copy of the information about you that we hold in addition to your right to be forgotten. If you would like to make a request for information please go to our website.
Retention of your data
Your data will be retained for no longer than is necessary and in accordance with our Data Retention Policy.
Withdrawal of consent
If you have provided us with your consent to process your data, for the purpose of using our services and us finding you suitable work, you have the right to withdraw this at any time. In order to do so you should contact us via the website.
If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to Information Commissioners Office at
A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier that is sent to your browser from a website’s computer and stored on your computer’s hard drive. Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a web site to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites. Cookies record information about your online preferences. Users have the opportunity to set their computers to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time.
Please address any questions, comments and requests regarding our data processing practices to Human Resources.
Changes to the Privacy Notice
This Privacy Notice may be changed by us at any time.
Use of this website is governed by this website policy and you agree to be bound by them each time you access the website.
The material on this website is provided purely for your information and you should seek further guidance and make independent inquiries before relying on it. The Company may make alterations to the website at any time. You will be deemed to accept such alterations when you next use the website following any such alteration.
Any employment placement will be subject to The Company’s current standard employment terms and conditions.
The information on this website is updated from time to time. Whilst The Company has made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information on this website, The Company makes no representations or warranties whatsoever, express or implied, as to the quality, accuracy or completeness of such information.
The Company may without notice modify, suspend or discontinue the website or any part of it at any time without any liability to you or any third party.
To the full extent permitted by law, The Company accepts no liability in contract, tort or otherwise (including liability for negligence), for loss or damage of any kind including without limitation, direct or indirect loss or damage, loss of business, revenue or profits, corruption or destruction of data, or any other consequential loss or damage arising out of your use or inability to use the website (or other site linked to the website) or in connection with any computer virus or system failure and The Company excludes any such liability even if The Company is expressly advised of the possibility of such damage or loss.
You will indemnify The Company against all costs, losses, expenses or other liabilities incurred by The Company arising from the use of the website by you.
You will use the website for lawful purposes only.
You should note that The Company provides links to web sites maintained by others. The Company accepts no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or legality of any content contained in such websites. The fact that you may use one of these links to access other websites is not an endorsement by The Company of any content contained in those websites. Neither you nor any third party may link another site to The Company’s website without The Company’s prior written consent.
Unless otherwise stated, the copyright and similar rights in this web site and in all the material contained on this website belong to The Company. You are only permitted to copy or print extracts of the material for your own personal use. You may not use any of this material for commercial or public purposes.
Without The Company’s written permission, you may not (whether directly or indirectly including through the use of any programme) create a database in an electronic or other form by downloading and storing all or any part of the pages from this website. Without the permission of The Company, no part of this website may be reproduced, transmitted to or stored on any other website, disseminated in any electronic or non-electronic form, or included in any public or private electronic retrieval system.
Changes to these Terms and Conditions
The Company may add to or change this policy from time to time. You are deemed to have accepted changed or additional policy statements when you access the website following any such change or addition.
The Accuracy of your Registration Information
You are responsible for ensuring that any information you provide to The Company, including your CV, is accurate, complete and your own. If The Company has any reason to believe that any information you have supplied is false, inaccurate or not your own, we may remove your ability to log-in to the site and may prohibit you from using this site. The Company is entitled, forthwith and without notice, to remove from the website any such information found to be false, inaccurate, incomplete or not your own.
Your Username and Password
You are responsible for all use of this site made using your user name and password, whether or not such use is made by you or by someone else using your user name and password. You are responsible for protecting and securing your user name and password from unauthorised use. Your user name and password must not be disclosed to another person. If you believe there has been a breach of security of your user name or password, such as theft or your username or password becoming known to someone else or unauthorised use, you must notify The Company.
Information that you post on the website
The Company reserves the right, at your cost, at any time to remove any material from the site which it believes to be salacious, defamatory or offensive or which The Company believes may be in breach of a third party’s rights, such as a third party’s intellectual property or confidentiality rights. You agree to indemnify The Company on a full and continuing basis against any loss or damage suffered or costs (including legal costs) incurred by The Company in defending any action brought against The Company as a result of any information you have posted on the website.
Governing Law and Applicable Legislation
This website policy is governed by English law and you agree that the English courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine any matter or dispute arising out of or in connection with use of this website and this policy.
It is not intended that a third party should have the right to enforce any provision of this policy pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 and furthermore The Company may, and without the consent of a third party to whom the right of enforcement of any of the terms has been expressly provided vary and amend this policy.
Use of this website may not be allowed in countries outside the United Kingdom where such use may be contrary to local law or regulation. If you access information on this website it is your sole responsibility to ensure compliance with any applicable laws or regulations in any other country. Any use of this website outside the United Kingdom is your responsibility and we accept no liability whatsoever in connection with such use.
The Company has the right at any time to terminate or suspend access to, or use of, the website where The Company reasonably believes you have infringed this policy.
Bluestones Group is Registered in England, with company number 07807506. Operating Under The Employment Agencies Act 1973.