PAPA Bulletin 31 January 2022

This week's bulletin includes:

  • Operation Warm Welcome Recruitment Opportunity
  • Sick Pay
  • Guidance Updated
  • Tender Procurement Opportunity
  • Mustard in Wheat
  • Food Safety Concerns

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Operation Warm Welcome Recruitment Opportunity

Those looking to fill staff vacancies might find 'Operation Warm Welcome' helpful. This is the Government’s programme to settle people who have arrived in the UK as a result of the evacuation of Afghanistan. As part of this programme the DWP is seeking to find work and permanent housing for these arrivals and to help them integrate into UK life. Those available through the scheme have a wide range of skills, experience and English-language ability and are scattered across England, Scotland and Wales. The matching process helps connect employers and other organisations to DWP, who can then offer opportunities for training or jobs for Afghan citizens resettling in the UK. If you have potential employment opportunities available, please contact DWP by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
It would be helpful if your email included the following details:

  • Job title and job description
  • Number of roles available
  • Locations
  • An outline of the application process required
  • Level of English language requirement
  • If a driver’s license is required 
  • If accommodation is included


Please can you let us know by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can take advantage of this service as we have been asked to keep officials updated about uptake by the industry.

Sick Pay

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) has been temporarily reintroduced to support employers facing heightened levels of sickness absence due to COVID-19. If you’re a small or medium-sized employer with under 250 employees, you may be eligible to claim for up to two weeks per employee for COVID-19 related absences from 21 December 2021. To help employers understand the scheme, HMRC are organising a webinar on 17 February. You can join here - Register here

Guidance Updated

With the removal of restrictions that came into force last week, all the Government Primary Guidance documents for businesses have been updated accordingly. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/restaurants-pubs-bars-nightclubs-and-takeaway-servicesTender Procurement Opportunity
Wired-Gov have now opened registration to the Supplier Locator Procurement Gateway and they are now recruiting a variety of Suppliers for the registration period of January 2022.
The invitation is open to SMEs and suppliers that are able to deal with enquiries relating to fast tracked, lower value government & public sector contracts.
If you would like to find out more and receive full registration details, please register your interest by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mustard in Wheat

The Food Standards Agency is keen to understand more about the problems of mustard contamination in some flour which can potentially affect allergen labelling of some products and has asked if users and suppliers can help by giving them feedback. Questions they would like answers to are:

  • We understand that in Europe in 2021 some wheat crops were “heavily infested” with mustard? What caused this infestation? Agricultural practices (eg. mustard in the rotation, herbicide regime)? Climatic conditions?
  • Did it affect wheat harvests across Europe and beyond?
  • Are regular samples being taken from tanks before wheat is transferred to silos to ascertain the prevalence of contamination?
  • When samples are tested, are both ELISA and PCR techniques employed?
  • What information are industry TA’s passing to its members – quantitative information from allergen tests or advisory allergen information or both? 

Please email any feedback to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Food Safety Concerns

The Food Standards Agency is seeking feedback from industry on a number of issues potentially affecting food safety:Packaging: Given the shortages of packaging materials, the increased price of packaging materials, and the incoming plastic in packaging tax from 22 April - are there concerns about lower standards in food packaging which could affect food safety and how are you planning to manage these issues?
Staffing Shortages: In view of the widespread shortages of workers, including agency staff, are there any food safety concerns both with regard to the higher percentages of newly trained staff as well as shortfalls in availability of staff to cover certain key functions?
Food Fraud: With reports of manufacturers struggling to meet customer demand, with service levels significantly lower than previously experienced, there are reports that EU customers are potentially seeking financial compensation from suppliers for breaching contracts. Do you have concerns about the affect this could have in terms of food safety, and have you identified any heightened incidence of food fraud?

Sourcing: There have been suggestions of specific strains within supply into foodservice, particularly with regards to supply into private sector catering and hospitality. Does this tally with your current experiences within the sector and are you concerned this could lead to riskier sourcing decisions. Also, do you have knowledge of any specific incidences of food safety or food fraud?
The FSA would welcome any feedback to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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