Hospitality and Travel

Protecting your Workforce

Protecting your Workforce 1920 1280 James Hallam

It has been widely reported that staff are fleeing the hospitality industry, following the uncertainty of Covid, Brexit and long working hours. Protecting your staff will always have been a priority, but now holding on to a good loyal team is more important than ever.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their working environment, but sometimes when tempers are running high or customers are experiencing longer than intended wait times, it can be your team that bear the brunt of their anger.

The James Hallam team have been looking at ways to protect your team’s personal safety in the workplace.

Working Environment

It is important you are committed to creating and maintaining an environment within your hospitality business, that is healthy and where your employees are shown respect and dignity by others.

Where it is expected that all staff, guests, visitors, contractors and any other persons who are on your premises behave in a respectable manner.

You could display a poster for staff and customers making it clear what behaviour is not tolerated. You could include the following:

  • Bullying of any kind
  • Violence of any kind in the workplace
  • Abusive or aggressive behaviour of any kind
  • Harassment, especially of a sexual nature

If any of this behaviour is brought to your attention, take immediate action to investigate and deal with the relevant parties. If employees are found to be guilty of any wrong doing they should be disciplined. If other parties are at fault then the appropriate actions must be followed, this may involve criminal proceedings being brought against an individual.

Violent or Abusive Customers

Whilst we’re sure on the whole your customers are friendly and respectful, it is wise to offer some ‘best practice’ guidance should an incident occur.

Occasionally customers may become embroiled in altercations with other customers or aggressive to staff especially at busy times or when alcohol is involved.

You could ask your employees to look for the potential triggers that could lead to a violent situation:

  • Raised voices, shouting, or use of swearing and offensive language
  • Racial slurs or comments said with the intention of causing offense to others
  • Aggressive gesturing, pushing, to others
  • Veiled or open threats to others

If these potential triggers are identified then there are a number of steps that can be taken with the intention of preventing an actual act of violence or physical abuse occurring.

Firstly, staff should always think of their own personal safety and never try and deal with the situation alone, they should always call for assistance.

  • Advise another member of staff at the earliest opportunity if they sense that there is potential for an incident to occur
  • Talk to the relevant parties and remind them that such behaviour will not be tolerated – advise them not to raise their voice as this may aggravate the situation
  • Instruct that the Police will be contacted if the issues are not addressed

Actual acts of violence and physical abuse are thankfully very rare indeed but it is wise to have procedures in place to make your staff feel protected and safe.

As well as protecting your staff, protecting your business premises, income and liabilities is also key. For more details about insurance for your hospitality business speak to our Hospitality Division today on 020 7977 7856.

Independent Hotel Show 2021

Independent Hotel Show 2021 1920 1280 James Hallam

A fantastic start to the week for the James Hallam Hospitality and Leisure Team by sponsoring this year’s Independent Hotel Show in Olympia, London. The event was incredibly well attended with two days of inspiring showcases, seminars and outstanding networking opportunities.

David Noble, Our Director of Hospitality and Leisure, is pictured below presenting this year’s Outstanding Contribution Award to Peter Hancock. Many Congratulations Peter!

We look forward to seeing you all again next year.

How to look after your mental health while working from home

How to look after your mental health while working from home 1920 1283 James Hallam

The global pandemic, an unstable jobs market and the isolation of working from home has meant we have had to adjust to new ways of living and working. There are some perks to working from home that some of us can enjoy, but feeling stressed, bored, anxious and uncertain is also completely normal. We can all take steps to improve our own mental health by building our resilience and acknowledge your own self care.

For many of us work forms a massive part of our lives so it is not surprising that any changes could affect our wellbeing. Human connections are more important than ever as we continue to work remotely, here are some tips for supporting your mental health and feeling connected while working from home.

How can I help myself and those around me while working from home?

The work life balance. Many workers find it hard to switch off mainly due to the removal of the commute to a physical office location. However put a reminder in your diary to take a break and encourage your team to do the same.
• Get moving. Whether it is indoor or outside, this will help maintain your physical and mental health, you will feel more awake and alert, and your concentration and sleep will improve.
• Establish new ways of working – Trial and error will help you find out what ways of working works best for each individual.
• Get connected. Check in with your team regularly whether it is by video calls, check ins between managers and their teams, Q&A sessions for colleagues to chat through any concerns or any other collaborative platforms to connect with one another.
• Make your team aware of support organisations – There are numerous charities and organisations that can offer support with your mental health while we continue to work from home. Keep your teams informed on how they can get in contact with them.
• Set and stick to a routine – Working from home can be very challenging and isolating, but a structured day can be a good way to address this. Designate a place to work that is free of distractions. Scheduling exercise throughout the day are paramount to maintaining your energy levels.

For more advice on how to look after your own mental health and supporting colleagues while working from home –

Mind’s online community ‘Side by Side’ 

Hospitality Action’s COVID-19 wellbeing hub

Cyber & Data Risks Insurance

Cyber & Data Risks Insurance 1920 1280 James Hallam

Each year when completing a review of their insurances, most businesses will look at uninsured exposures with their insurance broker. Most of these can be reasonably ignored following simple cost-benefit analysis, but cyber is more difficult in that the associated risks and their potential cost to a business are still developing. It is anticipated though that the frequency and severity of such incidents will continue to rise, mirroring the experience of North America where cyber risks are given a higher regulatory and boardroom prominence. In the US it is now estimated that over 75% of corporate businesses purchase cyber insurance.

  • Different businesses will be exposed to cyber risk in different ways; some are reliant on their website to drive turnover, some rely on a hosted accounting or billing system to operate whilst others hold sensitive client data or intellectually valuable data on their systems. There are a multitude of scenarios that leave a business exposed to internal and external electronic threat. The failure of an IT network could be debilitating and a good first step is to identify and take steps to mitigate external and internal IT risks. These include:
    data theft or data loss
  • hijacks where hackers gain control of a system and demand a ransom to restore service
  • bot scams where viruses are used to take over large numbers of computers
  • basic human error (internally generated risks should not be overlooked and continue to be the most common proximate cause to a cyber loss)

Notification costs following the loss of third party data is now a major concern for EU business following GDPR. Safekeeping of data is the responsibility of the customer facing entity, notwithstanding that a third party processing company may have been the party that lost the data and/or contractual terms making a third party responsible for notification. This means if you are hacked and lose your customer data (names, addresses, credit card numbers etc.) you will need to report the loss to the data commissioner, possibly pay PCI fines, pay the cost of notifying your customers that they are at risk, pay for advice to manage their risks and pay PR costs to manage the potential damage to your brand and reputation. All of these risks can be insured and cyber insurance will additionally cover fines and penalties associated with regulatory investigations due to a privacy event.
The other major threat to a business may be the loss of a website and a resultant loss of revenue. Again, this can be insured.

  • The cyber insurance market has been developing at a rapid pace over the past five years as experience has been gained by insurers. Areas of cyber-risk that can now be insured include:
    replacing, restoring or recreating data that has been corrupted or destroyed by network failure or first/third party intervention
  • loss of data and notification management costs
  • criminal threat or extortion to release sensitive information or bring down a network unless demands are met
  • loss of income and extra expenses resulting from when a network is interrupted by attack. Covers criminal hackers, malicious insiders and denial of service (DOS) attacks, (including extortion monies)
  • payment fraud (deception of the insured’s customers into transferring over funds)
  • public relations expenses and crisis management
  • disaster recovery activation costs
  • fines and penalties where insurable by law
  • use of leased / rented external equipment
  • use of third party services
  • additional staff expenditure and overtime payments
  • terrorism risk, including ideological risk (LulzSec, Anonymous etc)

James Hallam Insurance Brokers have been placing cyber risk in the London market for over fifteen years. We source cover to insure against all of the above threats and, in addition, we can protect against risks that the majority of cyber insurers omit. For example, our favoured market will also provide:

  • the provision of first party cover on an “each and every claim” basis, ensuring that policyholders aren’t restricted by a policy aggregate and that the full benefits of cover are available each time a crisis strikes, even if they experience multiple cyber incidents in the same policy period
  • full retroactive cover as standard, meaning that policyholders are covered for breaches they discover during the policy period, even if it first occurred long before. Symantec has reported that the average time to discover a breach is 205 days, making this a particularly important feature
  • an extensive in-house incident response capability to ensure that cyber incidents are dealt with quickly and efficiently in real time. Initial response services are offered with no deductible payable by the insured
  • broader cover for senior executive officers who are regularly targeted in cyber attacks, covering theft of personal funds of individuals as well as those of the company
  • if a suit is brought against directors and officers following a cyber attack, the policy provides affirmative cover in the event that their management liability policy doesn’t respond
  • incident response costs are provided in addition to the policy limit
  • no excess is applied to the initial reporting and investigation costs
  • full systems failure is covered, including resultant business interruption
  • full Supply Chain is covered, including Technology suppliers (and non-Technology suppliers if named)
  • Cryptojacking and Botnetting are included under the definition of Cyber Crime
  • Additional Extra Expense coverage is included for costs above the normal operating expenses of a business
  • Hardware Replacement coverage is included for computer hardware or tangible equipment damaged as a result of a cyber event

Some points to consider when discussing Cyber Risk with your clients

Dealing with a ransomware incident is rarely a simple matter of the ransom payment being made and the business in question automatically regaining access to their systems and data. Even after a ransom payment has been made, and assuming the system can be successfully decrypted, the ransomware can have the unintended side effect of severely impairing the functionality of one or more of a business’s vital systems.

The use of legacy systems can significantly increase the risk of a cyber loss. Generally speaking, legacy systems are not only far more vulnerable to attack, they are also much more susceptible to dysfunction following a cyber attack.

The importance of having data re-creation cover is becoming increasingly apparent. Many cyber policies only provide cover for the cost to recover or restore data from back-ups, but not the costs to re-create or re-enter lost data from scratch. The bulk of the costs to a claim can come from the labour costs associated with manually re-entering data, and brokers should be sure to check that their clients have this important cover in place.

Almost all modern businesses have some form of cyber exposure. Even if a policyholder does not solely rely on their computer systems to carry out work, they will still have an office function that playing a key role in the running of the business. When the computer systems in an office are affected by a cyber event it will almost certainly have a negative impact on the overall business operation and having a cyber insurance policy in place will provide a valuable safety net for the company.

James Hallam can place cyber insurance in the London Market for business domiciled almost anywhere worldwide so please feel free to get in touch if you would like us to assist you and your clients.

Government Signals Intention to Secure Tourism Sector Deal

Government Signals Intention to Secure Tourism Sector Deal 1920 1280 James Hallam

The Government has signalled its intention to deliver a landmark sector deal for the UK tourism industry to attract more domestic and overseas visitors and help drive major economic growth.

Speaking to the Tourism Industry Council, made up of leading members of the tourism industry and government, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright confirmed the Government will begin negotiations with the sector on an ambitious Industrial Strategy sector deal that will benefit the whole country.

As part of this process, he has called upon the industry to respond with a renewed commitment to promote its offer throughout the year, not just in the peak summer months, and increase high-quality, well-paid jobs.
The sector has been asked to look at the key themes of:
• Making tourism and hospitality a career for life
• Making the UK the most accessible tourism industry in the world
• Sharing industry data to identify growth opportunities in new and emerging markets
• Increasing accommodation capacity

The announcement follows an initial proposal submitted by tourism industry leaders, led by Steve Ridgway, Chair of the British Tourist Authority. It also comes as the Government marks one year since the launch of its modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.
Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

The tourism industry is one of the UK’s most successful exports. Every time a leisure or business traveller chooses to visit, it brings investment in our economy and supports jobs across the country. But we are in a competitive global market and we need to be ambitious to maintain the fantastic growth we have seen in recent years.

I want to make sure that we continue to attract visitors to all parts of the UK throughout the year, who are welcomed by a highly-trained and highly-motivated workforce.

A Sector Deal is a way to deliver this, and the industry have put forward some strong ideas to Government. We are ready to formally negotiate on a deal which can boost productivity in this crucial sector.

I want to achieve the best deal possible for tourism and know that the industry will respond with renewed energy to achieve this.
UK tourism is now worth over £66 billion a year to the economy. The sector employs 1.6 million people, covering beaches and activity parks, to hundreds of thousands of heritage sites.

Annual statistics released in July revealed that a record-breaking 39.2 million visits were made by overseas tourists to the UK in 2017, with the latest domestic tourism figures showing that residents across Great Britain took a total of 120.7 million overnight visits to destinations in England, Scotland and Wales in 2017.

There are more than 11 million disabled people in the UK with a combined spending power of their households, ‘the purple pound’, standing at around £250 billion. There are a number of business benefits for ensuring that disabled people’s needs are catered for – from improved training on disability awareness for staff to adaptations to ensure facilities are accessible.

A potential tourism sector deal is an opportunity for driving change, through workforce development and consequent productivity gains, resulting in perception changes of hospitality and tourism as a career for life.

British Tourist Authority Chair Steve Ridgway CBE, former Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways, who is leading the UK tourism industry’s bid for a sector deal under the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy said:
Tourism is an economic powerhouse, a growing industry with huge potential to scale-up productivity, so it is very welcome news that an official negotiation for a sector deal has today been confirmed by the UK Government.

Securing this deal will be a game-changer for the industry, spelling a step-change in how we underpin the success of tourism for a generation, fixing issues from skills and productivity to extending the season year-round and building stronger tourism destinations up and down the country. And it will be a game-changer for the economy with a sector deal growing the value of the industry and increasing employment in tourism.
One of the UK’s most valuable export industries, tourism needs no trade deals to attract overseas investment. It is also a fiercely competitive global industry and a sector deal moves tourism right up the UK Government’s agenda as a priority for future economic planning, ensuring we continue to compete as a world-class destination for all visitors.

The Secretary of State also challenged the tourism industry to use the sector deal negotiations as an opportunity to deliver more collaborative data sharing with VisitBritain, around visitor figures, behaviours and audience analysis. This is to help take a more strategic approach to promotional activity and a more united approach to environmental protection

Hospitality and Leisure Newsletter

Hospitality and Leisure Newsletter 1920 1280 James Hallam

Insurers are becoming increasingly diligent when dealing with kitchen fire claims, particularly with regard to the scrutinising of extract duct cleaning reports.

The majority of insurers apply a policy condition stating that kitchen extract ducting should be deep cleaned at least every 6 months by a professional contractor (the industry standard for this type of work is known as TR19).

Read the newsletter here.

Be Aware- Electrical Installations

Be Aware- Electrical Installations 1920 1280 James Hallam

This month sees the publication of the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations. These regulations apply to the design, erection and verification of electrical installations; and additions and alterations to existing installations.

Also known as BS 7671:2018 Requirements for Electrical Installations, these changes were issued on 2nd July 2018 and will come into effect on 1st January 2019.

The period between publication and application gives a 6-month window for electrical contractors and others responsible for installing and maintaining electrical installations to become familiar with the new regulations.

Whilst there are many small changes from the previous 17th Edition, some of the significant updates in the new 18th Edition cover include:

  • Protection Against Electric Shock – changes to regulations relating to protective equipotential bonding and those relating to disconnection times.
  • Protection Against Thermal Effects – of particular relevance to fire, a new regulation has been introduced recommending the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) to mitigate the risk of fire in final circuits of a fixed installation due to the effects of arc fault currents.
  • Protection Against Voltage Disturbances – stipulating that transient over-voltage protection has to be installed when (amongst others) the consequences caused by over-voltage results in interruption of commercial or industrial activity.
  • Inspection and Testing – this has been revised to align Inspection and Testing requirements to other revisions within the 18th Edition.
  • Energy Efficiency – recommendations for the design and erection of electrical installations with local production and storage of energy to optimise the use of electricity. These are listed in a new appendix.

This doesn’t mean that existing electrical installations installed in accordance with earlier editions of the wiring regulations are now unsafe or require upgrading, but any new installations, alteration or additions made from 1st January 2019 onwards will need to comply with the new regulations.

It is always recommended to hire contractors who are members of a trade body such as NICEIC when choosing an electrical contractor to inspect and test electrical installations within your premises. Many commercial insurance contracts contain a fixed wiring electrical inspection condition and generally stipulate use of an NICIEC contractor.

Be aware

Be aware 1920 1280 James Hallam

Insurers are becoming increasingly diligent when dealing with kitchen fire claims, particularly with regard to the scrutinising of extract duct cleaning reports.

The majority of insurers apply a policy condition stating that kitchen extract ducting should be deep cleaned at least every 6 months by a professional contractor (the industry standard for this type of work is known as TR19).

Key items to check when engaging a contractor;

  • Ensure the contractor complies with the TR19 industry standard
  • Obtain evidence that the contractor has valid ‘Public Liability’ insurance in place with a minimum £5,000,000 Limit of Liability
  • Ensure that the contractor provides a schematic of the duct system in their report, which should detail the complete run, including the canopy
  • Ask the contractor to provide before and after measurements of grease build-up in their report
  • Ask the contractor to provide before and after photos in their report
  • Ask the contractor to confirm in writing in their report that 100% of the ducting has been cleaned and passed clean
  • Ensure that the contractor is instructed to provide recommendations in their report

Cyber Security and Fraud in Travel

Cyber Security and Fraud in Travel 1920 1280 James Hallam

James Hallam to support ABTA’s Cyber Security and Fraud in Travel Seminar – Key James Hallam partners and clients receive a discount to attend

Andy Bugby (Lead Underwriter – Financial Risks, RSA) will be speaking at ABTA’s Cyber Security and Fraud in Travel seminar on behalf of James Hallam Travel and Tour and Touchstone Underwriting Limited, which will take place on 20 June 2018.

Click here to find out more

Bedbugs Infestation Cancels Flight

Bedbugs Infestation Cancels Flight 1920 1280 James Hallam

As British Airways has found to its cost, an infestation of bedbugs can ground its aircraft but more importantly if left unresolved, it can inflict serious reputational damage.

Airlines, like hotels are at particular risk and whilst it is impossible to eliminate these risks completely, it is possible through careful and swift management, to contain and minimise any outbreak and limit any financial and reputational damage.

As specialist insurance brokers to the Hospitality & Leisure, we at James Hallam understand how your business works but unlike other brokers our ‘risk management’ programme is proactive, continuous and collaborative.

Working with our clients we are continually raising standards and equipping them with the knowledge and confidence to recognise the risks and associated costs with not acting decisively when managing a crisis.

Had British Airways taken the appropriate steps when the incidents first appeared, including deep forensic cleaning, the risk subsequent outbreaks would have been minimised and the media feeding frenzy avoided.

By working with James Hallam and signing up to the Gauntlet Package to achieve best practice, we keep premiums competitive and thankfully incidents rare. If a crisis were to occur, our strong and proactive leadership to implement a resilience strategy quickly, is why James Hallam is the Broker of Choice.

For more information about James Hallam Hospitality & Leisure or our Gauntlet Insurance Package, please call David Noble on 020 7977 7856 or email