date posted: 25-09-2014


Is it really September already, where did most of 2014 go? They do say time flies when you’re having fun… or working hard! We have certainly been doing plenty of the latter here at Sterling, ensuring we keep our promise to you our contractors, and delivering a service we can be proud of.

This month we are pleased to be able to inform you that we have obtained the RoSPA Gold Medal award for 2014. We expand on this further below, but this award really demonstrates how seriously we as a company take the health and safety of our contractors and employees. This award along with the recent Professional Passport accreditation and APSCo Affiliate member status really shows how compliant we are and look after the interests of you our contractors.

So it isn’t just us saying it, you can be safe in the knowledge that these awards mean we really do things the right way.




We are proud to announce that we have been awarded the RoSPA Gold Medal Award 2014. What exactly is this? Have a read of the press release below that was recently released by RoSPA.

Sterling, of Warrington, is among the winners in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2014.

The Gold Medal (6 consecutive Golds) award has been received in the prestigious annual scheme run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

As the UK’s family safety charity, RoSPA’s mission to save lives and reduce injuries covers all ages and stages of life. In support of this mission, the RoSPA Awards, which date back 58 years, recognise commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention at work. Through the scheme, which is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas, judges consider entrants’ overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “The RoSPA Awards encourage the raising of occupational health and safety standards across the board. Organisations that gain recognition for their health and safety management systems, such as Sterling, contribute to a collective raising of the bar for other organisations to aspire to, and we offer them our congratulations.”

The majority of RoSPA’s awards are non-competitive, grading achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. Organisations that maintain high standards in consecutive years can win gold medals, president’s awards and orders of distinction.

Competitive awards are presented in more than 20 industry sectors, and they also recognise excellence in specialist areas, such as the management of occupational road risk (MORR).  

See for more information about the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards.



What is a subsistence expense?
Subsistence is a monetary amount that an employee can claim from their employer to cover the cost of food and drink purchased whilst on assignment at a temporary place of work.
How much can be claimed?
The value depends on how long you are away from home during your working day.
If you are away from home for 5 hours or more, but less than 10 hours, you can claim £5 per day
If you are away from home for 10 hours or more, you can claim £10 per day.
How much do you have to spend?
As long as a purchase of a meal is made during your time away from home, it can be of any value. Regardless of the value spent, you will be paid either £5 or £10 depending on your eligibility.
Do you need receipts for purchases?
You are required to keep receipts for all purchases for which you are making a subsistence claim. We perform regular audits and will require the receipts during these times.

If you do not wish to retain the receipts yourself, you can send them to us with your claim and we will file them for you.

Our audit process
In order to ensure we comply with all HMRC guidance, laws and regulations, we perform regular audit checks for receipts to validate subsistence claims.

We will notify you if your claim has been selected for an audit. Once you receive this notification you will have 7 days in which to send us the receipts relating to this subsistence claim.

If you are not able to provide receipts to validate your claim, you must contact us to discuss this matter as failure to do this may result in us suspending the ability for you to claim subsistence.

If you send us receipts with each claim, which fully validate your subsistence claim, then you will automatically pass the subsistence receipt audit and will not be contacted with regards to this.






What do you do at Sterling?
I am the Health, Safety and Environmental Advisor. I am responsible for anything related to the health and safety of all Sterling employees, contractors and sub-contractors working through Sterling Umbrella, CIS or Techserv. This includes dealing with accidents, reporting the accidents to relevant authorities, producing health and safety and health assessment questionnaires and dealing with queries contractors may have on their assignments. I am also responsible for a team of fire marshals, first aiders and appointed persons, conducting risk assessments and implementing the changes to reduce risk of accidents, delivering health and safety training to new members of staff and looking after general building safety, i.e. emergency lighting, electrical equipment, fire extinguishers, etc. to make sure all the equipment is regularly maintained and Sterling is a safe place to work in.

What is a typical day like?
Every day in health and safety team is different. First thing in the morning I go through my emails and respond to any queries. Accident investigation, completing accident reports and chasing other health and safety related documentation from contractors and agencies, reviewing risk assessments, health and safety policies and procedures are also important tasks of mine and part of our health and safety management system that is looked after on a daily basis.

What’s the best thing about working at Sterling?

Sterling is a great place to work and the fact that I have been with the company for the last 7 years serves as proof. A great atmosphere, really nice working environment, friendly colleagues and lots of company benefits make Sterling a very enjoyable workplace.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I am also a part time student at University of Salford which takes up a lot of my free time. However when I do finally get some time off I love to travel and explore different continents, countries and cultures. Some countries I recently visited are China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Dubai and more. I also do a lot of sport activities such as; football, ice hockey, tennis and squash to burn all the calories from too many barbecues with friends.




Sterling Umbrella enables contractors to claim back legitimate business related expenses to maximise their income. It offers the benefits of being an employee whilst keeping the flexibility of contracting.  

Sterling Umbrella employees enjoy:

- The ability to claim back business related expenses, such as travel and subsistence whilst on assignment.

- The security of being employed and the advantages this brings (holiday pay, SSP, insurances) but with the flexibility of contracting.

- Through being an employee and not in business on own account there is no burden of producing financial paperwork or calculating tax liabilities.

- The support of Human Resources and Health and Safety departments.

- Personal accident cover to compensate for periods when unable to work due to an accident on assignment.

- Continuous employment which improves credit status.

- SMS update service for both payment and receipt of expenses.

Find out more about Sterling Umbrella here



You may already be aware, but if not we wanted to inform you that we have a jobs board available for you to access at any time on our website. The jobs board has around 19,000 jobs listed at any given time across all industries!

Ensuring we have a jobs board available to our contractors is just another way we are enhancing the service we provide to you. Again we have listened to your feedback and want to do what we can to support you should you find yourself out of work or looking to switch assignments.

So if you are looking for a new assignment, then take a look out our jobs board here. You can also access it at any time via our website.

Not found what you are looking for?

Contact Customer Services on 01925 626200 or email or you may wish to look on the about us page.