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Ian Flatters

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Everything posted by Ian Flatters

  1. I guess the first thing to take on board is you now have someone 5 days a week and the costs that come with employment. You'll need to get your head around net and gross wages and the additional expenses that comes with paye. Holiday wise unfortunately you can't overly control when they take it. They are entitled to take it or request to take it. You do have the right to refuse asked dates and we have refused from time to time, although these are mainly when someone asks for a week off with a weeks notice. If your off on holiday I'd advise getting a subby in for the week to cover your role as you'll get an income whilst off as such. Weather is all about the clothing you provide. You have to provide suitable ppe, workwear for your working environment. So buy rain jackets, etc for them. It is after all about being prepared for the weather. Always a 6 month probation period. Training clauses are absolutely fine and common these days. We use signed training agreements with a 12 month period. We have used this in the past and even at court level to reclaim monies owed from doing the training, passing the courses then leaving and setting up a week later. Your a business not a charity. Contracts are key, get signatures on date of issue. If they turn up to work for 14 days after without signing it. It basically means that they were happy to come to work and the contract is valid. Contracts, even ours have a zero hour clause if work runs out or dries up. Again you need to cover yourself. Ideally you'll need to get an employee handbook drawn up too. This basically levels the playing field as employees have way more rights that the employer. This with the contract is how you build in your rights. However..... In the grand schemes of things its much better imo. Especially with the lack of climbers about, either freelance or employed. We have literally spent the last couple of years training 4 greenhorns up from scratch.
  2. Ian Flatters


    Hi everyone, After seeing a couple of threads on specific hobbies I had a thought. Start a thread and see what others do, you never know something you may have been thinking about, turns out someone on here's doing it so you can ask questions. For me it's been paddle boarding, every Sunday we go out on the quiet river and just enjoy it. Its been a fantastic stress relief and something out of work or work related stuff. I'm by no means anything more than a beginner but enjoying the time paddling, falling in, seeing the landscape a way you rarely do and lots of wildlife.
  3. A few recentish bits and bobs, works been manic with new staff coming on board and others moving onto grasses greener in other counties. I rolled the stump grinder through forgetting I was working on a 17 degree slope without putting the dual wheels on (being lazy and paid for my laziness), then smashed a lot of teeth and pockets off on a large piece of metal. Clearing windblown over the highway, Norwich Cathedral site and asbestos covered roofs and oil tanks. Enjoyed having a play in my mates 2.6t arb digger was nice, just showed how underpowered our little 1.8t is.
  4. 100%, we've been surveying a lot of vicarage and rectorys recently and part of my scope is to measure and check the boundaries are correct. Most are but I've had 3 sites where the neighbours claimed the hedge is there's and tried to take a few metres of land. In 1 case the knackered tree turned out to be the churches, just the fence was the wrong side. [emoji23]
  5. She was a beauty so we pollarded her a lot lower so it can be retained, as much as I hate doing a pollard I had to agree with the recommendations it was the best option for retention.
  6. I reckon we've had about 10 cars end up in the middle of our sites because they said, we thought they were stuck on red. Fixed traffic lights at junctions no bother. Temporary.... Nearly classed as invisible as stop go boards. But I do take the greatest enjoyment of making them back up out of the site and then let the other direction go first to make the point. Makes a rainy wet cold winters day a little bit more enjoyable doing that.
  7. Cheers, sadly it's what people expect in my area, lots of second London homes, mainly bankers who love posh vans I guess. I'm still trying work out how I can offer a prime next day service for an astronomical fee. [emoji23][emoji23]
  8. [emoji23] Good to know a few years to mature and sort myself out a bit has reduced it from 10/10 to a low 7.
  9. If anyone's interested it's called heath assured who were with, through peninsula who do our HR and legal stuff. My wifes just told me health assured is the one the NHS use for their own staff so I guess that says it's quite good. One random thing, I called up about struggling with sleep. I was getting about 1 hour solid then awake for an hour, back to sleep for an hour. I genuinely was convinced it was stress or anxiety that comes with the daily grind of business. Turned out the first thing they told me to do was cut sugar. So I cut sugar down massively (also realising how much sugar I was actually eating and drinking in a day), now I have fantastic sleep compared to before. I get 4 hours straight regularly and I'm edging close to 5 hours, so I hope I'll be onto solid sleep in a few months. Ps Joe, I know kind of what your going through. My wife struggles horrendously with aniexty after having a major wobble mental a few years back after having to have a full hip replacement and being told that she could never have children naturally or be pregnant as it would put her in a wheel chair for the remainder of her life (it's a pretty hard pill to swallow that one so I can appreciate how she felt as I felt awful too, but life is what it is and we can always adopt I guess). She's much better and off pills, for her yoga in the morning really helped her and counciling with someone better at it than me was worth it too as I'm pretty rubbish at that thing.
  10. Just over 2k a year for our company but it covers all 9 employed staff and their family. The single person one and family I think was around £300 for the year.
  11. In fairness I was writing it in the truck. We signed up to a service through the HR and legal company we use. It basically gives all employees and thier family 24hr access to councling and wellbeing apps. All calls are normally answered within 4 rings and any call back is within the hour, no matter what time of day or day of the week. Someone you've never met may be just the person you need to chat to at that time.
  12. As the world becomes ever more aware about mental health and employee wellbeing is it becoming more standard to have these in place? Our story... We've had this in place for around 4 years now after one of our youngest lads father sadly took his own life and until covid it was barely used by any of the lads. My thoughts about it have also changed, before I saw it as another expense sadly and wrongly so. With having access to 24hr 7 days a week it not only covers employed staff but their spouse and children. It covers most things including alcohol, drugs, loss of a loved one, loneliness, anxiety, stress, sleep and a whole lot more. I'm now fully behind it and believe that it's a great cost to spend. But I guess my question is more of because men do find it hard to talk and most of us have had bad days, weeks, months. Do you think this would help you as a business owner or an employee? I mean it's helped me as well, my early to mid twenties I was, well a arrogant dickhead to be fair and honest, losing some arb friends who just walked away but then it wasn't something you talked about so much back then and I don't blame them or hold and grudges. I'm sure there's a few posts on here that would back that up my knobbishness from years gone by. Sadly I didn't have access to this stuff and had a long road to recovery over the years but I was lucky that I have wonderful support from my wife and real friends that helped me hopefully become a better person with me feeling better in myself over the last few years from using it. But whilst sitting in the truck waiting for the rain to pass I was wondering if I'd had access to it back then how much better I could have been sooner. I fully accept some might read this and think it's a load of tosh but wondered if it may lead to some positive conversation with tips of how others got better. So I'll start off with a couple of things that have seriously helped me. * understanding that somethings are out of your control. * breathing techniques and yoga (yoga with kassandra helps me most mornings on YouTube [emoji6]). * openly talking to friends and family about your struggles and stresses. I have loads more but its stopped raining so I'm about to jump out of the truck and crack on surveying but please post your advice or even maybe take that step and voices your worries, you never know a member on here may have been through what your currently starting to experience. Apologies for the waffled post I'm writing it on my phone and the gramme police haven't turned up to correct me yet. [emoji30]
  13. One from our lads yesterday. I'm spending everyday currently banging out gps surveys and taking a rapid covid test each night [emoji30]. Really enjoying seeing a great team of lads getting stuff done.
  14. The crane thing was a bit of jest. I'd certainly say the micro chipper is your best option.
  15. Have you thought about a wee chipper and chip into a wheelie bin? See it a few times on Instagram. Might make shifting it easier. Or crane and just lift it out.
  16. It's incredible and I feel very privileged to have been able to carry the works out.
  17. We've been very fortunate to have been contacted in by a big forestry firm near us to do the arb work. Such a beautiful place and even I did some tree work today (used the mewp).
  18. We've been using 3 of thier ropes recently. The Barracuda is a good rope to be fair. I quite like the rigging line too.
  19. Pfanner ones seem the best for me in general.
  20. A few recent bits and bobs. The new skid steers been great and getting much more lift capacity has been nice. A large oak that's pretty much dead the lads put 1 in the mewp to clear the branch work towards the tennis court and trees underneath whilst the other 2 climbers knocked out big free fall sections then adding some coronet cuts.
  21. Cheers mick, just a shame the lads get to drive them more than I do these days.
  22. The current lineup of chipping trucks we have.
  23. Thankfully the fuel caps need keys. I may get a big petrol key ring for it though. Its got lots of stickers but....
  24. New machine day for us. We decided to go for a 40hp petrol this time round and I'm fully expecting someone will fill it with diesel within a month. 🤦‍♂️[emoji23]


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