Ecoffins

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Background

Ecoffins is the premier manufacturer and supplier of eco-friendly coffins and urns in the UK. Paul Young, HR Manager, tells us about the company and his role within it:

“We are an environmental coffin distributor based in Kent. The business has been up and running for roughly 20 years now. We import coffins from around the world and provide finishing touches to them—such as adding liners, bags, headrests, and name plates. Then, we export them to funeral directors across the UK, Europe, and even as far as Australia.

“We have around 20 employees currently. I’ve personally been with the business for just over five years now and I manage HR and health & safety across the business.”

Challenge

“We were first introduced to Croner through one of your local seminars. The General Manager and I thought we were up-to-date and informed on everything HR and employment law, but the event made us realise there were a lot of things we needed assistance with. Particularly on the documentation side. We needed to update our contracts and handbooks.

“We thought it would be nice to get a little extra support and backup. We came away from the seminar and didn’t have second thoughts about signing up for the service. And, we don’t feel the need to shop around because Croner are providing everything we need.”

How We've Helped

“The most useful aspect of the service is being able to phone up and speak to a intelligent—someone who knows what they’re talking about—and receive immediate advice. Nine times out of ten, you’ll be certain of the action you want to take, but there’s always a niggling voice in your head that makes you doubt your decisions. When that happens, it’s great to be able to ask an expert whether you’re taking the right course of action. That reassurance is essential.

“We’re not a company with a large turnover, but that doesn’t mean you don’t run into employee issues every now and then. When they do occur it’s nice to know Croner are backing us up and helping us out. When possible, you want to deal with conduct issues informally, and the service helps us do that effectively.

“Then, when you do need to take a formal stand, we’re supported with that too. Croner introduced us to something called a ‘line in the sand’ letter, and we thought that was genius. It was exactly what we needed.

“From the health & safety side, we do use a forklift and require manual handling training as some of the coffins are quite heavy. Similar to the HR support, it’s just good to know that we have expert support to ensure we’re doing the right thing. We also needed a fire risk assessment. I initially did this myself, but our Croner consultant advised that it needed to be done externally. The HSE won’t accept an internal report. Thanks to this advice, we now have a compliant risk assessment.”

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