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This Blog brings you content and information from within Bakers House team. Look out for updates from our CEO, Training Team and others to keep you up-to-date with everything going on here at Bakers House - the home of YOUR trade association.


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Top tags: Brexit  communications  communities  engagement  EU Exit  EU Workers. settled status  facebook  immigration  instagram  online marketing  social media  trends  twitter  visibility 

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Guidelines

Posted By Alasdair Smith, Scottish Bakers, 16 March 2020
Guidance for members on the current Coronavirus epidemic, and news of postponed AGM and Events.




SCOTTISH BAKERS: meeting and event postponements

Scottish Bakers has a duty of care to our members, staff and speakers and, during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we do not want to put anyone's health and safety at risk unnecessarily.

We have taken the difficult decision to postpone the following scheduled events and meetings:

  • Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Wednesday 18th March 2020, at Bakers House
  • Scottish Baker of the Year Judging day, scheduled for 25th March, in Dunfermline
  • Scottish Bakers Annual Conference, 8 & 9th May, in Glasgow.

We hope you will understand the reasons for this cancellation and would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support at this challenging time.

We will issue further guidance and information as it emerges from official sources. 

What is Coronavirus/COVID-19?

Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus which was first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 12 March 2020.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

With COVID-19 now spreading within communities, we are all responsible for taking extra precautions to ensure we practice good respiratory hygiene while those with symptoms should self-isolate in accordance with published guidelines.

Scottish Bakers and Coronavirus/COVID-19

As the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 accelerates, we have summarised the main advice and have brought together links to the wider sources of information to help our members understand the risks, their responsibilities to employees and the steps necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Slowing the Spread of COVID-19

The usual high standards of hygiene and food safety observed by bakery businesses as an operational requirement will ensure that routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces, as recommended by the Government and NHS sources, will continue to keep potential infection sources at bay.

Members may choose to increase the frequency of routine environmental cleaning and disinfecting while the current situation continues.

Members should also be aware of the following general advice:

Individuals should:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand rub where available if you don’t have access to soap and water.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Not come to work if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Wherever possible, avoid direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness and avoid using their personal items such as their mobile phone.
  • Cover the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping and blowing the nose, Dispose of all used tissues promptly into a waste bin. If you don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow.

In the workplace:

  • Maintain, or enhance, regular cleaning, disinfection and environmental cleaning – especially frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Promote hand hygiene by making sure that staff, contractors, service users and visitors have access to hand washing facilities and, where available, alcohol based hand rub.
  • Ensure any crockery and cutlery in shared kitchen areas is cleaned with warm general purpose detergent and dried thoroughly before being stored for re-use.


  • Ensure that all members of your workforce are aware of the requirement to self-isolate if they develop symptoms and support them in doing this.
  • Consider whether individuals can work from home, especially those at higher risk of illness (elderly, immunocompromised and pregnant).
  • Consider how you can change working practices to reduce risk of spread of infection (eg – stopping all but essential visitors to your premises).
  • Consider staggering start and finish times to reduce commutes at high volume travel times.


Common symptoms include:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature

These symptoms can range from a mild-to-moderate illness to severe acute respiratory infection. For most people COVID-19 will be a mild infection. COVID-19 is more likely to cause severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you have symptoms of recent onset (within the last 7 days) of a continuous cough and/or high temperature, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. This advice is designed to help people prevent the spread. You do not need to be tested for COVID-19. Self-isolating for 7 days will be enough to prevent spread.

Please visit NHS Inform for further guidance and information.

What should I do if my symptoms are worsening?

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening. If it’s not an emergency, contact NHS 24 or your GP. If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you may have coronavirus (COVID-19).


The key points outlined above are taken from the official Scottish NHS publication, COVID-19 Information and Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings.

Where can I find further information on COVID-19 and how to reduce the risk of infection?

Additional information can be found on the COVID-19 pages of the NHS Inform website.

A COVID-19 communication toolkit is also available on NHS Inform (zip file) and contains posters, video and social media posts for organisations to print, use and share.

People who want more general information on COVID-19 but do not have symptoms can also phone the free helpline on 0800 028 2816 (NHS 24).

The helpline is open:

  • Monday to Friday – 8am to 10pm
  • Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm

Further extensive information on Coronavirus/COVID-19 the is available from Health Protection Scotland.


The HR Employment Law Service from Peninsula has contingency plans in place to support members regarding Coronavirus Queiries,

Advice lines will stay open and you’ll continue to get expert support. Remember, you’ll also receive practical and up-to-date guidance on how to manage the impact of COVID-19 on your business through the online coronavirus toolkit.

Alasdair Smith
Chief Executive

Scottish Bakers is proud to work with Bako North Western Group as its strategic Partner.


Our Mobile App is available now on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Search 'Sociallink' in the store or download the app immediately by clicking on the images below.

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Copyright 2020 Scottish Bakers. All rights reserved.

Scottish Bakers is a trading name of SAMB, a Company Limited by Guarantee and Registered in Scotland, No. SC181670.

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Working in the UK after Brexit

Posted By Alasdair Smith, Scottish Bakers, 24 August 2019
Updated: 23 August 2019

Working in the UK after Brexit

Information for EU Workers

I am asked regularly about the UK’s impending exit from the European Union and, in particular, what implications this may have for the significant proportion of the Scottish Bakery workforce that is made up of EU nationals.

While it’s probably true to say that nobody really knows what 1st November 2019 will bring for us, there is clear action that all EU Nationals working in Scotland can take to ensure they have leave to remain.

I’ve brought together in this Blog Post some helpful information and links that can be shared with EU Workers across our membership.

We also have a useful information sheet from our HR Legal Service providers, Peninsula, available to download here .

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme

All EU Nationals wanting to continue working in the UK after the UK’s exit from the EU must apply for official clearance through the EU Settlement Scheme which is open to applications now.

Please bear in mind the deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021 (provided a deal between the EU and the UK is agreed). If no deal is agreed, applications MUST be received by 31 December 2020.

The scheme is completely free and can be done online.

More Information and help

There are help pages available on the UK Government’s website and the Scottish Government website:

If you have a question about applying for settled status use the following link:

There is also a good deal of useful information and help available through the Citizens Advice Bureau website:

Tags:  Brexit  EU Exit  EU Workers. settled status  immigration 

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Get Social - the essential communications tool

Posted By Alasdair Smith, Scottish Bakers, 20 August 2019

I was responsible many years ago for taking forward the development of my then employers first website. This was the mid to late 1990s and websites were becoming the latest “must-have” in every communications plan. Part of my ambition was to ensure I linked to local information and so I embarked on a tour of local stakeholders to secure their co-operation and input.

When I set out my plans for a national website with critical local information and links to one local stakeholder (who shall remain nameless) they responded along the lines of:

“That’s all very nice and all, but are you telling me any of my local businesses are going to be bothered to switch on their computers […SWITCH ON!] to look up some information they could get in the yellow pages? I don’t think so!”

Over 20 years later I think we all know what’s happened to the Yellow Pages. The point of telling this tale is to highlight how badly my contact back in those days underestimated both the importance and potential impact of the web, and to draw comparisons with businesses today who underestimate the importance and impact of social media.

Social media technology is now well over 20 years old. It is not a young upstart technology anymore and neither is it the exclusive preserve of IT geeks, silicon-valley dot com start-ups and teenagers.

Social media is a pervasive communications tool accessed by 45 million people across the UK. Yes, 45 million or 67% of the entire UK population. 39 million of these people access social media on mobile devices.

And while there is a general trend for internet and social-media use to be more prevalent amongst younger demographics, recent UK Government statistics blow out of the water any notions that older people are simply not using social media and the internet.

  • 93% of UK households have internet access
  • 84% of those households have mobile internet access – ie smart-phone or tablet
  • 87% of ALL adults used the internet daily, or almost every day
  • 61% of adults over 65 years used the internet daily
  • 83% of those in the 65-74 years bracket were internet users (up from 52% in 2011)
  • 54% (more than half) of adults aged 65 years or more shopped online
  • 52% of those aged 75 and over use Facebook

The stark reality facing all businesses today as they strive to compete in today’s challenging market is that social media use is not a passing fad. For bakers, the power of social media to reach out to your local communities is more powerful than any other media platform.

The way in which social media can tell stories and create engagement with your existing customers, and reach out to connect with new customers, is tangible. If your business is not on social media, then, arguably, it may as well be invisible.

Social media is not the future, it is now.

Tags:  communications  communities  engagement  facebook  instagram  online marketing  social media  trends  twitter  visibility 

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