Document Title: Termination, Reduction, Suspension or Withdrawal of Certification Policy
Doc Ref: QMS207
Version Number: 0.2

Termination, Reduction, Suspension or Withdrawal of Certification Policy

ERA Services award their certification and digital mark after successful demonstration of conformity following a full audit. The purpose of this is to ensure adherence to a satisfactory level of employment rights. This certificate is valid for one year only. Renewal of this certification is subject to annual surveillance audits to ensure a continued demonstration of conformity and hopefully, continual improvement.

In some cases, it may be necessary to suspend, withdraw, or terminate a certification, as stipulated in our Certification Agreement. This could be due to a nonconformity following a surveillance audit or other information that we become aware of. This could be anything that violates ERA Services’ core values of integrity or equal and fair treatment of employees. Under no circumstances do we offer a reduction in the scope of the certification.

Suspension
The client will be notified by the Decision Maker of any nonconformities found during their surveillance audit. If they have failed to reach the certification Standard in the Scheme document (QMS213) they will be given a maximum of 12 weeks to rectify these nonconformities. If there are still any outstanding after the 12 weeks the client will be given a further 4 weeks maximum to correct the remaining nonconformities.

ERA Services recommend that surveillance audits are carried out at least 3 weeks prior to the certification expiry date to allow time for any rectifications of nonconformities. It is the responsibility of the client to ensure they have booked a surveillance audit in a timely fashion and provided all information requested to avoid a lapse in their certification. Any outstanding nonconformities requiring remedial action will result in suspension of the clients’ certification once it expires. The client will be informed of the suspension in writing immediately and it will remain in place until ERA Services either issues a new certificate or withdraws it.

Any evidence discovered at any time that indicates a client has violated ERA Services’ Scheme or Certification Agreement will result in automatic suspension pending investigation. The client will be informed in writing immediately with full details supplied.

The investigation will be assigned to a senior manager of ERA Services who has not been directly involved in the decision-making process or audit for that client for a period of at least 1 year. The senior manager appointed shall be knowledgeable in the certification process and impartial. They shall not have provided consultancy nor been employed by the client for a period of at least two years prior. They shall sign an ERA Services Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Form (QMS007) before engaging in any certification activities for that
client.

The appointed senior manager shall conduct a thorough investigation. They shall communicate to the client any actions they may need to take within one week. This may include providing evidence to correct nonconformities, in which case an Auditor may be assigned to assist in reviewing the evidence. The evaluation time required shall be calculated and the client shall be sent an invoice along with details of the evidence required to correct the nonconformities. The client shall be given 8 weeks to provide the evidence. An additional 4 weeks can be given if needed. Payment will need to be made before the evaluation commences. After their evaluation, a decision will be made whether to withdraw their certificate, reinstate it, or terminate the client. Retention of their certificate may be subject to remedial actions.

The investigation shall not affect the dates of the client’s surveillance audits.

The client shall not be permitted to use the ERA Services digital mark or advertise certification during the suspension period.

To ensure that the market is not misled with respect to the status of certification and so that the integrity of our mark is protected, all suspended clients will be listed on the Directory of Certified Members which is publicly available on the ERA Services website. This will be amended after the investigation depending on the outcome.

Withdrawal
Any client who chooses to voluntarily withdraw and surrender their certification can apply again at any future date unless they have been formally terminated by ERA Services. However, any application will be subject to a full evaluation audit.

The client will not be permitted to use the ERA Services digital mark or advertise certification after they have received confirmation from ERA Services that their certification has been withdrawn.

To ensure that the market is not misled with respect to the status of certification and so that the integrity of our mark is protected, any clients who have withdrawn their certification will be listed on the Directory of Certified Members which is publicly available on the ERA Services website.

Termination
ERA Services may decide to terminate a client following an investigation during suspension. This will be at the discretion of the senior manager who conducts that investigation. Termination will be for the duration of a minimum of 3 years. Acceptance of an application after that period will be at the discretion of the ERA Services senior management.

ERA Services reserve the right to terminate a client if they do not adhere to the terms and conditions of their Certification Agreement.

The client will be informed in writing immediately and will not be permitted to use the ERA Services digital mark or advertise certification after they have received notification of termination from ERA Services.

To ensure that the market is not misled with respect to the status of certification and so that the integrity of our mark is protected, all terminated clients will be listed on the Directory of Certified Members which is publicly available on the ERA Services website.

ERA AND UMBRELLA COMPANIES

Currently we know that there is talk of regulating umbrella companies and we understand why. The need to demonstrate compliance on a more frequent basis has affected many agencies and requesting additional certification from umbrella companies is now commonplace.

There are various companies who offer assessments and certifications and this gives agencies peace of mind that their contractors are being looked after and things are done correctly. Not all of these are affordable or accessible for smaller umbrella companies, but ERA Services has a fair and affordable pricing structure, and as long as you have 1 employee, you can opt for an ERA assessment.

ERA conducts a thorough, impartial assessment of all aspects of employment rights from minimum wage, holiday pay, modern slavery, and confirmation that all taxes are paid appropriately and on time for both your internal and umbrella workers, along with the additional responsibilities for your umbrella workers in line with AWR, the EAA Conduct Regulations and Key Information Documents.  The ERA audit is not just a case of ticking boxes and providing documents; in line with UKAS procedures, we look at the processes in place to ensure that a company is following them to be the best employer that they can be.

Holding an ERA certificate should reassure your agencies that you uphold the standards set for all employers in the UK and that your contractors are well taken care of.

ERA AND RECRUITMENT AGENCIES

We do recognise that in the temporary workforce sector that there has been much unrest over the last few years caused mainly by constant changes to taxation and employment law legislation and appreciate that recruitment agencies are under more and more pressure from end clients to evidence their compliance, and this includes their relationships with umbrella companies. The ERA assessment is tailored with additional questions that deal with your responsibilities as an employer of your internal staff, along with additional responsibilities for your temporary workers such as AWR day one and week 12 rights, EAA Conduct Regulations and the Key Information Document.

The ERA audit is not just a case of ticking boxes and providing documents; in line with UKAS procedures, we look at the processes in place to ensure that a company is following them to be the best employer that they can be.

Holding an ERA certificate should reassure your end clients that you uphold the standards set for all employers in the UK and that your contractors are well taken care of.

ERA AND EMPLOYERS

ERA conducts a thorough, impartial assessment of all aspects of employment rights from minimum wage, holiday pay, modern slavery, and confirmation that all taxes are paid appropriately and on time. The ERA audit is not just a case of ticking boxes and providing documents; in line with UKAS procedures, we look at the processes in place to ensure that a company is following them to be the best employer that they can be.