HND, news, delivery, paper, boyA couple of times a year we get into the ‘I want to give up my newspaper round’ season. These are after Christmas and at the end of the school summer holiday so we have just had several of our team leave us. We have been very fortunate to get all our rounds covered with new people with relative ease this summer.

When employing compulsory school age children there are many issues that have to be considered such as applying for the local authority children’s employment certificate, the child’s health and safety, a round specific risk assessment and training the new employee to effectively carry out their duties. There is an excellent guide published by my local council, Delivering in Safety, which covers the issues of employing children to undertake newspaper deliveries.

While our team has been changing over the last few weeks I have been spending time adjusting the round routes to match the safety needs of the new employees and sending off our Child Employment Certificate application forms. Then there have been safety and condition checks to make to the bikes, and the process of going out with the new team members for three or four mornings to train them. I do this to ensure that they understand what is required of them and most importantly that they show that they are sensible out on the road.

The other aspect of changing personnel is of course how it effects our customers, so when I have the opportunity to talk to the HND customers that have been affected by these changes I ask how the service is now that we have had a change of deliverer. Firstly I need the feedback to discover if there is a need for more training or equally important for passing any praise on to the new employee.

I just hope that the next time we need to find new HND staff it is as easy!