Harveys Brewery

Harveys supplies cask conditioned and bottled beer to 48 pubs around Sussex and is proud of its long-standing connection to the region, not only as a local producer but as a fair employer.

Miles Jenner, himself a fifth-generation brewer, joined the business in 1980 and has since risen to the role of Managing Director. “I'm one of two brewers in the business, but I'm also responsible for the wellbeing of the staff within it,” he explains.

“We have 80 people here, ranging from directors to part-time cleaning staff - everyone is important and we work as one big team.

“Before we joined Mentor, we used local, individual consultants for guidance on employment law and health & safety, but our insurers liked the fact that Mentor's advice is indemnified, so we took both its Employment Law & HR and Health & Safety services.

“We're not looking for quick answers - we want to be compliant thanks to our own due diligence and be protected should an incident arise. Mentor is a preventative measure for us.”

A periscope on process

Miles adds that he likes the fact that Mentor is independent and its consultants often play Devil's advocate. “Over time this support has helped us to improve the culture of the business,” he adds.

“We have our own laboratory, but we also send product samples to outside laboratories for testing, as it's very easy to overlook something that you do every day when it's staring you in the face. The same applies to employment law and health & safety issues - you need that outside periscope in case you fall foul of your own processes.”
Miles comments that he is reassured by the fact that Mentor is at the end of the phone whenever he needs it, but he also values the regular meetings with his assigned consultants twice a month to cover high-risk areas, as well as the accessible and tailor-made training for staff.

“These have all helped our people to take responsibility for assessing risks in the workplace, so we are all more proactive rather than reactive.”

Having an expert who can advise the business about new legislation and how it impacts on the brewery has been particularly valuable. “A great example is recent developments on holiday entitlement - we now know we are already exceeding these payments to staff, which is a relief. It's also great to be able to keep our workforce informed, as they hear about these things in the media and want to know how they are affected,” he says.
“We're not experts on handling difficult employment or health & safety situations - but we know we're getting expert advice. This helps to reassure our staff too as everyone knows that we are getting it right. It has helped us to prioritise what needs to be done over a sensible time period, while spreading the cost.

“Mentor provides us with an independent voice - it is there as your advocate, helping you to be proactive and get your house - or brewery! - in order.”

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