The service from HOPS
HOPS provides farmers and growers in the UK with a source of overseas labour to meet their unmet demand for seasonal workers. HOPS is committed to working entirely within the regulatory framework of recruitment and employment. HOPS is managed by the Home Office and we are an appointed Operator of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme. The Seasonal Workers Programme is built on the same principles and was established by HOPS to enable nationals of countries with free access and home nationals to seek seasonal employment opportunities. HOPS endeavours, where possible, to exceed statutory minimums to ensure we are positioned at the top of the market and aims to provide labour to businesses that have a similar commitment.
Requirements on employers
HOPS is wholly committed to operating within UK legislation and seeks to work with employers with a similar commitment. HOPS will supply workers to employers who operate within all relevant UK legislation, including employment law, Health and Safety regulations, Immigration restrictions and Agricultural Wages Orders or National Minimum Wage. In addition HOPS takes seriously the welfare, care and safety of the workers supplied and looks to provide employment of the highest standards, we hope you are also mindful of each individuals well being and welcome participants into a new and strange environment, taking into consideration that for some this will be their first trip away from home.
Where we source our Labour
HOPS head office is based at Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth near Coventry in the UK. The HOPS Poland subsidiary business is based in Minsk Mazowiecki near Warsaw, Poland and HOPS uses third party Representatives in Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania. HOPS Poland and the representative’s market the positions available through HOPS by carrying out road shows giving presentations and providing information to potential applicants. In addition the Representatives assist with application processing, co-ordinate travel arrangements and candidate preparation.
Compliance and Guidance
HOPS employ two full time Farm Support Officers and visit all employers prior to placing any workers. This visit is to assess the employer specific requirements and to ensure the employment on offer is compliant. Thereafter HOPS undertakes farm visits to assist employers in meeting their employment responsibilities, to provide guidance and direction on the management of labour in farm specific circumstances. Furthermore assistance is provided in the provision of on farm accommodation and any other matter relating to the employment of seasonal agricultural workers. In addition to this the Farm Support Officers are on call for guidance and support as and when required.
HOPS provide registered employers with a login to the HOPS portal system where a library of guidance and information may be obtained to assist with employment requirements such as National and Agricultural Minimum Wage requirements, National Insurance, Wages and Security of wages, Employment Contracts and Health and Safety management tools. The portal is also the main link between the employer and HOPS for the co-ordination of worker requirements and is a HR resource to help farmers meet their legal obligations under UK employment and immigration law.
Bank accounts and Wage security – Barclaycard PrePaid
Obtaining bank accounts for participants has become more difficult through the high street banks. HOPS have a close relationship with Barclaycard PrePaid to obtain pre paid cards for participants. This type of account works in the same manner as a debit card account and ensures security and independence of wages for the participants and also removes any unwanted post and associated credit applications which may accompany a standard bank account. There are specific charges when using and setting up this card which are paid by the employee. The HOPS Barclaycard can only be used by the participants when working for a HOPS registered employer.
National Insurance Numbers
National Insurance numbers can be obtained using a fast path system through HOPS. NI forms, where workers do not already have NI numbers, will be sent out to farms for completion. Once returned to HOPS, NI numbers will then be processed and sent to farms for the workers. The current process time is approximately 5 working days. By using the fast path system this eliminates the need for farms to make appointments at the local Job Centre which may disrupt the working day.
Health & Safety Management
HOPS have specific guidance for Health and Safety and Risk Assessment examples to assist registered employers in meeting their obligations. The Farm Support Officers are in place to advise employers what is required of them in regard to training and documentation.
Charges to Employers
HOPS have a fair and competitive charging structure dependant on the specific needs of the farms supplied. Contact us to find out more.
Lobbying for Farms interests
HOPS is owned by the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC) and works in the interest of the wider Agricultural and Horticultural industries. In partnership with 50 Club, the Association of Labour Providers (ALP) and the National Farmers Union HOPS works to support the interests of its clients. This may include lobbying for the continuation of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) or for the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Order (AWO).