Autodata Technical Issue 70 – 2011 Mini Countryman – Mini Countryman noise when air con operating

Each month the Autodata team answers a common technical question and provides a printable document with technical diagrams to download and keep, exclusively for IGA members.

Q. A service customer of ours has a 2011 1.6 petrol MINI Countryman which is suffering with a humming noise when the air conditioning is operating. We have checked that the AC refrigerant level is correct and we have checked that all the air conditioning pipes are fitted securely in their retaining clips, however we cannot find the source of the humming noise. Can you help?

A. Yes, the fault you describe affects several petrol MINI models within the year ranges 01/10/09-10/01/12. The noise is due to resonance from the AC low-pressure hose when the air conditioning is operating. Locate the AC low-pressure hose in the area of the LH front wheel arch. Fit a mass damper, available from MINI parts department, onto the AC low-pressure hose Fig.1.1. Ensure the mass damper is fitted 85 mm from the crimped section of AC hose. Operate the air conditioning to ensure the noise has been eliminated.

Autodata Technical PDFs are also available to download or print at any time from the Members Area of the IGA website.

Click Here to Download PDF Version

Take advantage of our exclusive member offer for Autodata online and combine your trade association membership with Autodata Diagnostic & Repair – call our member helpline on 01788 225 908 for more information.

Only 2 months left to complete your 2023/24 MOT annual training!

Testers have only two months left to complete their 2023/24 MOT Annual Training or be suspended from testing, but never fear – the RMI has 6 different training options to ensure that all testers can confidently complete their requirements.

Due to the annual training deadline falling on Easter weekend, we are recommending that the last safe day to submit annual training will be Wednesday 27th March.

Latest DVSA statistics show that over 30,000 testers still haven’t met their requirements, so book your preferred training option with The RMI Academy of Automotive Skills today to avoid the rush at the end of the training year, and secure a training date where required – don’t risk suspension from testing. Packages range from face-to-face training at your garage premises or an RMI Academy venue, to remote learning either online or in a physical workbook.

This year’s assessment pass mark remains at 80%, but due to the wide scope of the assessment syllabus we advise testers to ensure they complete their training and assessment in good time to accommodate potential re-takes.

The 2023/24 topics for group B (cars) are:

  • Registering a Vehicle for Test
  • Use of Equipment
  • MOT Test Procedures
  • The MOT Inspection Manual for cars and passenger vehicles

The 2023/24 topics for group A (motorcycles) are:

  • Registering a Vehicle for Test
  • Use of Equipment
  • MOT Test Procedures
  • The MOT Inspection Manual for motorcycles

You can browse our training options below, or for more information about the annual assessment you can visit RMItrainingAcademy.co.uk/annual-assessment. All options include access to the online assessment included in their cost, unless specified.

The following annual training packages are currently available:

Annual Training Workbook

Our popular, cost-effective annual training workbooks allow testers to train from anywhere, in their own time. The workbooks contain self-learning material, sample assessment questions, a log and declaration form as evidence that training has been completed, and personal login details to access the online assessment. This option is also available for class 1 & 2 vehicles (motorcycles).

Workbooks cost £45 + VAT, and you can order as many as you need by calling us on 01788 225 908.

E-Learning

Annual training and the online assessment can be carried out fully online through the RMI Academy’s interactive e-learning platform. Click here to view some screenshots.

Testers can study from the convenience of their home or workplace at a time that suits them, with the freedom to revisit areas of the course as little or as much as they like at their own pace. This option is also available for class 1 & 2 vehicles (motorcycles).

Key features include:

  • A mixture of text, photos, interactive elements and videos, creating an engaging learning experience
  • Question boxes to test knowledge throughout the course
  • Save pages to quickly go back and find information
  • Make notes on each page, making it easy to revise before taking the assessment
  • ‘Learn More’ sections provide extra resources and links to Government information to encourage further research

Each e-learning package costs £60 + VAT. For more information, or to book the e-learning course, please call us on 01788 225 908.

Regional Training Events

The RMI is continuing to hold Regional MOT Training Events throughout the country for testers who prefer face-to-face training in their local area.

These three-hour training sessions will cover the 2023/24 MOT annual training syllabus; however, the online assessment will then need to be completed in your own time.

Regional Training is available in a number of locations at £75 + VAT.

You can view dates and locations here.

Classroom Training at the RMI Academies

The RMI Academies offer classroom-based training sessions at each of our training sites, where testers can conveniently complete their three hours of training and online assessment in one half-day session.

This package costs £95 + VAT and includes a training session, an RMI workbook, access to the online assessment and tea/coffee. To book a place, please call us on 01788 225 908.

Enhanced Annual Training Classroom Sessions

Enhanced courses are also available at RMI Academy sites to provide testers with further training beyond the minimum 3 hours required, and again has a limited classroom capacity.

This one-day course costs £195 + VAT, including assessment costs, and you can call the Member Helpline to book.

On-Site Training

Our on-site training option provides face-to-face training with a member of our field services team at your garage premises, for up to 6 testers at a time. Testers will receive the mandatory 3 hours of training and will be given an assessment code to complete the annual assessment at their own leisure.

On-site training starts from £245 + VAT for RMI Members. Access to the annual assessment is not included in this package and is £34 + VAT per candidate.

To book on-site training, please call the Member Helpline on 01788 225 908.

Extra Information

All RMI training packages include at least three hours of training or self-learning for the 2023/24 syllabus for class 4 & 7 vehicles, plus the online assessment. Where specified, training is also available for class 1 & 2 vehicles. All options meet the mandatory annual requirements set by the DVSA.

Please note: Once a login code has been issued for an online assessment or an e-learning package, it is not refundable under any circumstances.

Need further information about MOT annual training? Find out more on the GOV.UK website here.

What’s on at the RMI Academies – February 2024

Build the confidence and skills of your technicians with the wide range of courses on offer at the RMI Academy of Automotive Skills’ easy-to-access locations in Southam, Runcorn, Lincoln, Winchester and Cheltenham below.

Please be advised that all course dates and availability are subject to change.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the current subsidised training rates on certain courses for IGA members:

  • Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3 is available at a subsidised rate of £250 +
  • MOT Tester Training is available at a subsidised rate of £350 + VAT
  • MOT Centre Management is available at a subsidised rate of £200 + VAT

MOT Training Courses

Our automotive training provides technicians with the skills needed to become and maintain their status as an MOT Tester or MOT Manager. The RMI’s training venues also provide classroom-based Annual Training sessions on the current DVSA syllabus, allowing testers to complete their mandatory training.

MOT Tester Training – Class 4 & 7

This is a four-day course for experienced technicians who would like to become an MOT tester, plus a practical assessment which can be completed at an RMI Academy site or your business premises.

If a location is needed for the candidate to complete their DVSA VT8 demonstration test after receiving their qualification, we can arrange for this to be conducted on-site at an academy. For more information, please call 01788 225 908..

This course usually costs £575+ VAT for RMI members, but is available at a heavily subsidised rate of £350 + VAT for IGA members

For more information about MOT Tester Training Class 4 & 7 click here.

MOT Tester Training – Class 1 & 2

This is a three-day course for experienced technicians who would like to become an MOT Tester for motorcycles.

This course usually costs £575 + VAT for RMI members, but is available at a heavily subsidised rate of £350 + VAT for IGA members

For more information about MOT Tester Training Class 1 & 2 click here.

MOT Tester Training – Class 5

This is  an E-Learning course for qualified MOT Testers who can currently test Class 4 & 7 vehicles, who would like to become an MOT Tester for Class 5 vehicles.

For more information about MOT Tester Training Class 5 click here.

Vehicle Technician Accredited Assessment (VTAA) Level 3

This course is designed for technicians who do not hold a relevant level 3 qualification but want to become an MOT tester for class 3, 4, 5 or 7 vehicles.

The accreditation provides proof of competence and recognition of skills, allowing candidates to use this training route to become a fully qualified MOT tester. Course prices start from £630 + VAT for RMI Members.

For more information about Vehicle Technician Accredited Assessment (VTAA) Level 3 click here.

Please note this course is currently available at Southam and Runcorn .

MOT Centre Management

This is a two-day compulsory course for prospective MOT Managers. Those who are responsible for the operations of MOT stations (e.g. site managers) will also benefit from attending.

This course usually costs £395 + VAT for RMI members, but is available at a heavily subsidised rate of £200 + VAT for IGA members

For more information about MOT Centre Management click here.

MOT Centre Management Refresher Course – NEW

This 1-day RMISC certified course gives any AEDMs, AEDs and Site Managers the skills and information to update their knowledge to ensure they remain compliant with the DVSA’s rules and regulations. Course prices start from £195 + VAT for RMI Members.

For more information about the MOT Centre Management Refresher course click here.

MOT Annual Training

The RMI Academy is providing annual training for the  2023/24 MOT Annual Training year. The assessment pass rate is 80%, so we are advising testers to complete their training at their earliest possible convenience in case additional time is needed for retakes.

For more information about other training packages that can be completed at home or at your premises, click here to read this month’s MOT Annual Training update.

MOT Annual Training Classroom Sessions – Classes 3, 4, 5 & 7

2023/24 MOT Annual Training classroom sessions at all RMI training venues include three hours of training, an RMI workbook, access to the online assessment, and refreshments. Course prices start from £95 + VAT per candidate.

Find out more about this course here.

Enhanced Annual Training Classroom Sessions

Enhanced, full-day annual training courses are also available at RMI Academy sites to provide testers with further training beyond the minimum three hours required. This course costs £195 + VAT, and includes access to the annual assessment.

Call us today to book, or find out more here.

Technical Training Courses

Being a member of the IGA provides you and your technicians with a range of technical training opportunities. Below you can find a list of technical courses held at RMI Academy sites.

ADAS Introduction & Awareness

This half-day course provides technicians with awareness and understanding of ADAS procedures within the workplace. It covers safety features, usage of equipment and advises technicians of the various equipment manufacturers within the industry. This course costs £110 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about ADAS Introduction & Awareness click here.

ADAS Awareness & Practical

This full-day course helps technicians to gain better knowledge of ADAS procedures and equipment, and contains a practical element where equipment will be used within a workshop setting.

The practical element is designed to help develop technicians’ pinpoint accuracy of equipment, target positioning and general operation involved within calibrating. The key topics within this course include; ADAS code of practice, Sensors, Reversing aids, Radar systems, Targets, and recalibration. This course costs £205 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about ADAS Awareness & Practical click here.

ADAS IMI AOM 230

This 2-day, IMI accredited course is designed to ensure that the technician has the ability to calibrate Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). It demonstrates the technician’s ability to identify and correctly interpret information relating to a specific vehicle and its ADAS features to determine which method of calibration is required. This course costs £500 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about ADAS IMI AOM 230 click here.

Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Routine Maintenance Level 2

This 2-day course covers the skills and knowledge required to work safely around a vehicle’s high and low voltage electrical system and electric drive train system, whilst carrying out repairs or maintenance. This course costs £420 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Routine Maintenance Level 2 click here.

Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3

This 3-day course covers the technology associated with the present generation of hybrid and electrically propelled vehicles. The course focuses on gaining a thorough understanding of how the electric vehicle functions and the variation of electric vehicle types currently available, and there is a strong emphasis on safe working practices. This course usually costs £630 + VAT for RMI members, but is available at a heavily subsidised rate of £250 + VAT for IGA members.

An e-learning option is also available, allowing you to complete your training remotely and attend an RMI Academy site to complete the practical assessment. Alternatively, the assessment may be carried out at your premises depending on location and facilities. This option is also available at the subsidised rate of £250 + VAT for IGA members.

For more information about Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3 click here.

Diagnosis, Testing and Repair of Electric/Hybrid Vehicles and Components Level 4

This 2-day IMI accredited course contains the knowledge of the dangers surrounding repairs carried out to live high voltage vehicle electrical components and systems. The purpose of this qualification is to provide technicians working on electric/hybrid vehicles with the required level of skills and knowledge to carry out repairs on live high voltage vehicle electrical components and systems safely.

This qualification has been developed by IMI in conjunction with electric vehicle manufacturers, HSE, training providers and the IMI Sector Skills Council. It is the first qualification to address live electric vehicle (high voltage) technology, and is essential to ensure the health and safety of individuals working with live high voltage vehicle electrical components and systems. This course costs £545 + VAT for RMI Members and you can click here for more information.

Wheel Alignment Introduction & Awareness

This half-day course covers the safety and understanding of wheel alignment equipment, features and data, giving technicians knowledge of the various tools and equipment available and how to use them within the workplace. This course costs £100 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about Wheel Alignment Introduction & Awareness click here.

Wheel Alignment Awareness & Practical

This 1-day course covers the features and safety of wheel alignment equipment and data, including adjusting. Technicians will learn the functions of the equipment and how to use it safely. A practical element is held within this course where technicians will be able to demonstrate and use the equipment within the workshop, enabling them to put what they have learnt into practice on the same day. This course costs £205 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about Wheel Alignment Awareness & Practical click here.

If you would like any more information about any courses available at the RMI Academies, you can also like your nearest RMI Academy Facebook page or the RMI Academy Twitter for training updates.

To book a course, or for availability enquiries, please call 01788 538 399 or email enquiries@rmif.co.uk

The top risks for UK businesses in 2024

The Allianz Risk Barometer is an annual global report identifying the top corporate risks for the year ahead.

It’s based on the insight of over 3,000 risk management experts from 92 countries and territories including CEOs, risk managers, brokers and insurance experts and is being published for the 13th time.

We take a closer look at the report’s UK data and explain what the top risks are for the UK in 2024.

View the 2024 Global Report here.

The UK’s top 10 risks for businesses in 2024

1 – Cyber Incidents – (e.g. cyber crime, IT network and service disruptions, malware/ransomware, data breaches, fines and penalties). Learn more here.

2 – Business Interruption – (including supply chain disruption). Learn more here.

3 – Natural catastrophes – (e.g. storm, flood, earthquake, wildfire, extreme weather events). Discover more about how natural catastrophes are a risk for businesses here.

4 – Shortage of skilled workforce. Discover more on how a shortage of skilled workforce is a risk for businesses here.

5 – Climate change – (e.g. physical, operational and financial risks as a result of global warming.) Discover about how climate change is a risk for businesses here.

6 – Political risks and violence – (e.g. political instability, war, terrorism, coup d’état, civil commotion, strikes, riots, looting.) Discover about political risks and violence are a risk for businesses here.

7 – Changes in legislation and regulation – (e.g. tariffs, economic sanctions, protectionism, Euro-zone disintegration.) Discover how changes in legislation and regulation are a risk for businesses here.

8 – Macro-economic developments – (e.g. inflation, deflation, monetary policies, austerity programmes.) Discover how macro-economic developments are a risk for businesses here.

9 – New technologies – (e.g. risk impact of AI, autonomous vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, electric vehicles, Metaverse.) Discover how new technologies are a risk for businesses here.

10 – Market developments – (e.g. intensified competition/new entrants, M&A, market stagnation, market fluctuation.) Discover market developments are a risk for businesses here.

Join the IGA at The Aftermarket Event!

The Independent Garage Association will be supporting and attending the all-new Aftermarket Event 2024. The IGA team will be available on stand A51 and will also be taking part in the Aftermarket seminar programme in the Top Garage theatre.

This brand-new two-day live event dedicated to the UK Independent Garage and Bodyshop sector will translate the unmissable mix of information, technology and skills seen across all the Aftermarket platforms into the perfect platform for technicians and independent garage owners to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape in the automotive aftermarket sector.

Accompanying the exhibits of industry leading brands from across the trade, is an extensive programme of seminars, panel discussions and live workshops/demonstrations.

Where: Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre

When: 2nd – 3rd October 2024

Find out more: www.aftermarketevent.uk

Don’t miss out! One month left to enter the 2024 BIG Awards!

Time is running out to enter The BIG Awards 2024 – don’t miss your chance!

With 17 categories spanning all aspects of running a successful business in the independent garage sector, we have an award to recognise your achievements, no matter the size of your garage or how it excels.

Simply complete a short application form and tell us what makes your garage stand out from the rest to be in with a chance of winning the independent sector’s most prestigious accolade, a trophy, huge prizes, and countless unique marketing opportunities for your business!

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to enter now or discover the categories here:

Categories:

Click Here to Enter Your Garage!

Don’t delay –  entries close at midnight on Thursday 29th February.

About The BIG Awards

As the UK’s largest representative trade body for independent garages, we’re giving independents the recognition they deserve with awards truly created by the industry, for the industry. The BIG Awards are open to all and recognises garages across the length and breadth of Britain, with categories highlighting all areas that contribute to making the independent garage sector stand out from the crowd.

Each of our award categories is aimed at recognising the outstanding working and services delivered by businesses and individuals within the independent automotive sector. Last year our winners shared in prize pot of £50,000, so act now and submit your nomination today.

You’ve got to be in it to win it! To find out what the judges are looking for in each category and enter your garage, visit: theBIGawards.org.uk

Be Aware – February 2024

Changes to Holiday Pay From the 1st of January 2024

The Government has brought several significant changes to holiday pay at the start of 2024 which employers should be aware of. The main idea behind the newly introduced reforms is to simplify holiday entitlement and holiday pay calculations found within the Working Time Regulations. This article outlines the main changes.

Changes only affect certain classes of worker

The changes only affect workers with irregular hours or workers who only work part of the year.

  • An irregular hour worker is defined as a worker whose paid hours of work in each pay period during the term of their contract is (under the terms of their contract) wholly or mostly variable. This may, therefore, catch certain agency workers as well as some variable hours workers and zero hours workers.
  • A part year worker is defined as a worker who is only required to work part of the year under the terms of their contract and there are periods within that year (during the term of their contract) of at least a week which they are not required to work and are not paid for. This is therefore likely to catch seasonal workers and some term time only workers.

The provisions affecting irregular hours and part year workers only affects any workers after the start of the leave year on or after 1 April 2024.

The 3 Key Changes

A New Method Of Holiday Accrual For These Workers

This stems from confusion following the Supreme Court’s decision in Harpur Trust v Brazel  last year which resulted in part year workers having more holiday entitlement than part time workers who worked the same number of hours on an annual basis.

Under the new legislation, employers are permitted to calculate holiday entitlement for irregular hour workers and part year workers as 12.07% of the hours worked in a pay period. This does not affect how holiday entitlement should be calculated for regular hours workers.

Rolled Up Holiday Pay

Rolled-up holiday pay is where employers pay workers a sum in addition to their normal hourly rate of pay to represent their holiday pay entitlement. What this means is that employers will be allowed to pay a “holiday pay enhancement” on top of both irregular hour workers and part year worker’s wages. Rolled up holiday pay will need to be calculated using the worker’s total earnings over the relevant pay period. Again, this does not apply to regular hours workers.

New Method For Calculating Holiday Entitlement For Long Term Sick Leave Or Family Leave

The new legislation will calculate holiday pay entitlement for such both irregular hour workers and part year workers as 12.07 per cent of the hours worked in a pay period, in a bid to level the playing field and create greater transparency. This includes use of a 52-week reference period.

However, the Government has scrapped plans to introduce an overarching 52-week holiday entitlement reference period for all employees and workers.

Conclusion

The Government website has a full page with examples of calculations for the holiday pay changes (hyperlinked). On a practical level, employers should ensure they are reminding workers about the need to use up their holiday entitlement within the holiday year.

Resignation and Constructive Dismissal

One of the most common claims in the Employment Tribunal is a claim of ‘constructive unfair dismissal’, whereby the employee resigns because they believe their employer has seriously breached their employment contract.

Where an employee resigns in relation to what they believe is a fundamental breach of their employment contract, if they wait too long from the date of the breach to resigning, they risk losing their entitlement to claim constructive dismissal.

How important is the length of any time delay? This is what was considered in the recent case of Leaney v Loughborough University [2023] EAT 155.

Facts of the case

The Claimant, Dr Leaney, was employed at the Respondent university since 1979, first as a research assistant but most recently as a university teacher. Alongside his teaching role, he was also a ‘warden’ in one of the university’s halls of residence.

An incident occurred involving a student in the halls of residence and concerns were raised about the approach Dr Leaney took in dealing with the matter. A disciplinary procedure was conducted, and it was found there was no formal case to answer. However, Dr Leaney raised a grievance regarding the manager’s behaviour and approach, he then was unhappy with the university’s response to the grievance, and he raised an appeal which was dealt with formally.

The grievance was partly upheld, and Dr Leaney appealed the decision once again. This appeal was not taken forward by the university. During this time, which was over the university summer holidays, unsuccessful attempts were made to arrange mediation between Dr Leaney and his manager. After the last unsuccessful attempt Dr Leaney resigned and claimed constructive dismissal.

The ET at first instance rejected Dr Leaney’s claim on the basis that the gap between the date of the university’s last alleged breach of contract (held to be in June), and the date of the resignation (September) was too long. The Tribunal considered that over the 3-month period Dr Leaney had affirmed the contract by reason of the time delay. Dr Leaney appealed the ET’s decision to the EAT.

EAT Decision

The EAT allowed Dr Leaney’s appeal. The EAT outlining the question for tribunals to start with which is “whether there was conduct during the relevant period (ie between the final straw act and the resignation) that might or might not have amounted to express or implied communication of affirmation”? The EAT found, in line with previous cases, that the passage of time in such cases is not the issue, it is the conduct or circumstances in that period that can infer affirmation. A mere delay in resignation alone would not mean affirmation of the contract.

In the EAT judgment, the Judge helpfully then set out some key principles to consider when there are delays between an alleged breach and resignation:

  • The time between the last straw that prompted the resignation and the resignation itself is not determinative of affirmation.
  • The employee’s conduct during that time should be assessed for evidence of express or implied affirmation.
  • A range of factors should be considered including the employee’s workload (Dr Leaney in this case felt he could not resign until the summer break due to the damage it would cause to his students) and the employee’s length of service.

In Conclusion

The EAT judgment provided a useful analysis on the relationship between time delay and affirmation in constructive dismissal claims. The question for employers remains, in simple terms, whether the employee accepted the breach and carried on working.

Affirmation need not be express and can be implied/inferred from the conduct of the employee post-breach. Mere delay on its own is not enough to show affirmation, which was the focus of the Leaney case explored.

Holiday Pay on Termination

When an employee leaves employment without taking all their accrued annual leave, they will be entitled to a payment in lieu of the untaken leave. Can an employee contract to receive  less holiday pay on termination then they would have received had they been working?

No, held EAT in Connor v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police.

In Connor v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police, Mr. Connor had been employed for over 18 years before his dismissal. During that time, he had worked the same hours each week. Whilst he was working, his holiday pay was calculated as the equivalent of what he would have earned during a week’s work when he took a week’s holiday. However, his contract included a clause that where he was dismissed any holiday pay entitlement was calculated as 1/365th annual salary. This calculation resulted in him receiving less holiday pay then he would have received had he been working.

The WTR permits the calculation of payment for accrued but untaken leave to be determined by a ‘relevant agreement’, so the question before the court was can a ‘relevant agreement’ result in less pay to the employee.

On first hearing the case the tribunal held that the 1/365th calculation was a valid ‘relevant agreement’ under Regulation 14(3) and that the Claimant had suffered no unlawful deduction. This was appealed by Mr Connor.

The EAT disagreed. The EAT has clarified the legal position and held that a relevant agreement cannot put the employee in a worse position financially than they would have been in if they had taken the leave during their employment and been paid for it as required by law. Only a term which provides a formula for calculation which is in keeping with the rights provided for in law will be valid.

In Conclusion

The issue here is that Mr Connor appears to have worked regular overtime, such that his average daily wage was not 1/365th of his annual salary. This case highlights that employers will have to take care  when calculating payment in lieu of holiday to ensure the correct figures are used.

Recruitment and Discrimination

“We are recruiting for a new technician.  I have been through the applicants and there are two strong candidates.  The most qualified candidate however has said in his application form that he suffered from depression in the past but claimed it doesn’t affect his work at the moment.  I don’t want to take the risk if he proves to be unreliable, so I was going to choose the other candidate.  I presume that is okay?”

The simple answer is no.  The employer in this situation should be aware that discrimination law is very different from unfair dismissal law.  The right protection from discrimination applies to job applicants, so the employer can be liable before they have even met the candidate, essentially from when the application arrives through the employer’s door.

The risk in the situation above is that the job applicant could prove that the depression was a “disability” under the Equality Act 2010.  To prove this, they have to show that the condition has a substantial long term adverse effect on day-to-day activities.  The effect of any medical condition on work is not the essential ingredient in determining the issue.

A further problem for employers is that, as a general rule, whether or not someone is disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act is assessed as if they were not taking medication for the condition.  With someone with serious depression it follows that a Tribunal does not ask whether or not, when taking any medication or treatment, there is a substantial adverse effect on day-to-day activities, but rather how they would be coping with their medical condition if they were not taking such medication?  The result is that a far greater proportion of the population in the UK can argue they are technically disabled in employment law than might be expected.

If the employer rejects the candidate above, then the candidate can submit a claim to an Employment Tribunal.  To defend such a claim the employer essentially has to show that the decision not to offer the job was not influenced by the disability (provided always the employee can prove they are disabled within the meaning of the Act).

Employers when recruiting should make job offers “blind” to medical information, albeit offers should be made subject to the satisfactory completion of a medical questionnaire.  If it later transpires on further investigation that a medical condition is particularly serious and reasonable adjustments cannot be made to the terms of the job to accommodate that condition, then the employer can subsequently withdraw the offer and can raise a potential defence in the Tribunal.

In the situation above the claim may be difficult to defend if there is one very clear strong candidate then the job applicant may be able to prove to a Tribunal that the depression was the real reason the employer acted as it did.  Of course, in many situations it is more arguable and the fact that someone has a disability should not unduly scare an employer into offering the job if there are more able candidates.  Treating all candidates fairly and openly is therefore important, as is laying a good paper trail in recruitment to demonstrate the relative candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, so that the employer can prove that the reason they didn’t offer a job to someone who has a disability has nothing to do with the disability. Although not common, beware that this area of the law is sometimes abused and vexatious litigants can try to bring claims to force employers to pay out, simply by making applications.

General Note

Don’t forget, this advice is general in nature and will need to be tailored to any one particular situation. As an RMI member you have access to the RMI Legal advice line, as well as a number of industry experts for your assistance. Should you find yourself in the situation above, contact us at any stage for advice and assistance as appropriate.

Motor Industry Legal Services

Motor Industry Legal Services (MILS) provides fully comprehensive legal advice and representation to UK motor retailers for one annual fee. It is the only law firm in the UK which specialises in motor law and motor trade law. MILS currently advises over 1,000 individual businesses within the sector as well as the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) and its members.

All aboard the new BenBus to raise awareness of charity’s support

Ben is unveiling its new bus, a branded VW Transporter campervan, to increase the charity’s visibility out on the road and raise awareness of its life-changing support.

The BenBus has already made its debut into the automotive community this month, visiting companies in Guildford with the UK Garage and Body Shop team. The Ben on the road team surprised various companies by turning up in the bus with food and drinks, encouraging employees to get together for a chat and some fun to brighten up Blue Monday, known as the most ‘depressing day of the year’. You can watch the video here.

Ben’s dedicated Ben on the road team is on a mission to increase awareness of Ben’s Health & Wellbeing services and support. The team will be out on the road in the new BenBus delivering on-site visits to automotive employers to ensure more people who work in the automotive industry know Ben is here for them and their family dependents.

The charity is now also offering automotive industry companies the opportunity to ‘back the BenBus’ by sponsoring the vehicle. In return, the Ben team will join up with yours, visit your customers and feature your branding on the vehicle for one year. If you would like a visit from the team in the new BenBus or to find out more about sponsorship, visit www.ben.org.uk/BOTR.

Ellen Plumer, Head of Marketing and Outreach at Ben, said: “We’re delighted to be unveiling our new BenBus which will raise further awareness about the vital services we provide for our automotive family. Visibility is hugely important as our team is on the road all year-round visiting companies to spread the word about Ben and see those who need to hear about their industry charity. Knowing about Ben can make all the difference. If you would like to book a visit or discuss backing our BenBus, visit http://www.ben.org.uk/BOTR, and if you see the bus out the road, give us a honk!”

Ben is here for our industry family so if you work, or have worked, in the automotive industry we urge you to get in touch now if you’re struggling via our free and confidential helpline. Don’t suffer in silence, contact our helpline: 08081 311 333 or use our webchat at http://www.ben.org.uk/. You can also access Ben’s out of hours text support line by texting BEN to 85258.

Independent Garage Association Calls for Government Action to Address Automotive Skills Crisis

In advance of the Spring Budget, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) has written to the Chancellor, emphasising the need for new entrants into the independent automotive sector.

Stuart James, Chief Executive of the IGA, stated, “It is widely recognised that there is a shortfall of suitably skilled professionals within the automotive sector, and we have urged the Chancellor to take appropriate action to holt the decline. This is a great opportunity for the government to provide help and to take steps to fill the skills gap in the automotive sector.”

Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017, apprenticeship numbers have plummeted, made worse by chronic underfunding of apprenticeship training. This change to the apprentice levy has resulted in the automotive industry experiencing a 39% decrease in new Level 2 & 3 Light Vehicle apprenticeship registrations.

James continued: “It is paramount that the government recognises the urgency of our message and bring about measures to apprenticeship funding to ensure the future of our industry.”

A shortage of qualified technicians may result in garage closures, which would heavily impact consumer choice and limit competition, adversely affecting the mobility of the UK working population. Investing in training and apprenticeships strengthens the industry and the UK at large.

In light of these challenges, the IGA has put forward an innovative solution to provide financial incentives for individuals aged 19 and above who are currently not employed, in education, or undergoing training. This proposal suggests utilising unused Levy funds to enhance trainee earnings, attracting fresh talent to the automotive sector. The potential outcome is a reduction in the government’s benefits expenditure while offering crucial support to Independent Garages facing challenges in recruiting staff across the UK.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Data from the IMI about vacancy predictions can be located here.

For further information, please contact:

Stefan Wesley
IGA Communications & Marketing Manager
Tel: 07721 126 758
Email: stefan.wesley@rmif.co.uk

Independent Garage Association Welcomes DfT’s Decision to Retain 3-Year MOT First Test

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) welcomes the recent decision by the Department for Transport (DfT) to maintain the current regime of 3-1-1 for MOT testing, meaning that a vehicles first MOT will remain at 3 years from the date of first registration for cars, vans, and motorcycles.

The government’s decision not to proceed with the proposed change comes in response to the concerns raised by the IGA along with other stakeholders, regarding the potential impact on road safety. The statement from the DfT said; “After listening to your feedback, Ministers have decided that motorists will still take the first MOT test three years after buying their new car. The following MOT will continue to be taken once every year.”

The IGA actively lobbied against extending the interval to 4 years, highlighting the importance of MOT inspections in identifying and addressing vehicle defects that could compromise the UK’s outstanding road safety record.

Stuart James, Chief Executive of the Independent Garage Association, commented on the decision, saying, “We are pleased that the government has listened to our concerns and opted to retain the 3-year time period to first MOT. Public safety is paramount, and the decision aligns with our commitment to protecting motorists by ensuring the continued effectiveness of MOT testing in identifying potential safety issues as early as possible.”

The IGA organised a government petition opposing the proposed extension to 4 years, collecting over 11,000 signatures from concerned members and individuals. The significant support received highlights the widespread acknowledgement of the importance of regular MOT inspections in maintaining vehicle safety standards.

James continued: “The IGA looks forward to contributing to discussions on the future of MOT testing and other reforms. Our commitment to promoting road safety and protecting consumers remains unwavering, and we will actively participate in shaping policies that benefit both motorists and the industry.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Shannon Mee-Tingay

IGA Communications Officer

Tel: 07721 126 758

Email: Shannon.mee@rmif.co.uk

IGA Announces Date & Venue for the BIG Awards 2024

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) are delighted to announce that the British Independent Garage (BIG) Awards 2024 will take place at the Hilton Metropole, Birmingham, on Friday 20 September. Building on the success of the 2023 BIG Awards, where prizes to the value of £50,000 were awarded to category winners, this year’s event promises to be even bigger and more exciting.

The BIG Awards serve as a platform to recognise and honour excellence within the independent automotive industry, highlighting the remarkable contributions of garages, individuals and industry suppliers. With 17 categories, the awards aim to highlight the unsung heroes of the independent automotive sector.

Stuart James, CEO of the IGA, said of the upcoming BIG Awards: “These awards are a testament to the commitment and innovation within the independent automotive sector. They provide an opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of garage businesses, individuals and industry suppliers, all of whom continue to raise the standards of our industry.”

With entries closing on the 29 February, the IGA urges individuals and businesses to seize this opportunity and submit their nominations. Whether you are an outstanding garage, an industry supplier or an individual, the BIG Awards is your chance to stand out, inspire, and be celebrated among the best in the business.

For more information on the BIG Awards 2024 and to submit your entry, please visit thebigawards.org.uk.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Shannon Mee-Tingay

IGA Communications Officer

Tel: 07721 126 758

Email: Shannon.mee@rmif.co.uk

Scam Alert: Fraudulent Facebook Messages

The IGA has recently been made aware of a current ongoing Facebook scam targeting businesses.

Fraudsters are posing as Facebook representatives and sending direct messages to business pages. These messages claim that the business page is at risk of deletion due to alleged violations of advertising policies or trademark infringement, but reasons may vary.

The messages includes a link supposedly provided to help resolve the mentioned issues. We would like to remind members to be cautious of clicking on links sent in suspicious messages.

At present, the IGA does not have all the information available on this scam and do not know the end goal of the scammers.

Please let the IGA know if you have been targeted by this scam by calling the IGA Direct Member Helpline on 01788 225 908 or emailing enquiries@rmif.co.uk, so we can keep members updated.

For more detailed information on this scam, you can visit Which by clicking here.

Entries are open for the BIG Awards 2024 – Enter here!

Entries are now open for the Independent Garage Association’s (IGA) British Independent Garage of the Year Awards 2024; a night to showcase and celebrate the best of Britain’s independent automotive sector.

Why Enter the BIG Awards?

Join us as we shine a spotlight on the backbone of the independent automotive industry – from outstanding garages to industry suppliers. With 15 categories waiting to honour running an independent automotive business, your chance to claim your well-deserved moment in the spotlight starts here!

Seize the chance to stand out, inspire, and be celebrated among the best in the business.

Click here to enter The BIG Awards 2024!

Categories

  • Best Newcomer Award
  • Business Improvement Award
  • Community Hero Award
  • Consumer Choice Award
  • Customer Service Award
  • Eco Garage Award
  • Garage Management System of the Year
  • Independent Used Car Retailer of the Year
  • Innovation Award
  • Large Independent Garage of the Year
  • Marketing Strategy Award
  • Supplier of the Year
  • Small Independent Garage of the Year
  • Specialist Garage Award
  • Training and Development Award

About The BIG Awards

As the UK’s largest representative trade body for independent garages, we’re giving independents the recognition they deserve with awards truly created by the industry, for the industry. The BIG Awards are open to all and recognise garages across the length and breadth of Britain, with categories highlighting all areas that contribute to making the independent garage stand out from the crowd.

We have designed awards with meaning that garages can take pride in, as well as creating an incredible awards evening that’s welcoming and enjoyable for workshops and teams of all sizes. You won’t want to miss the industry night of the year!

Autodata Technical Issue 69 – Knocking noise from the RH front of a 2013 Citroën DS5 1,6

Each month the Autodata team answers a common technical question and provides a printable document with technical diagrams to download and keep, exclusively for IGA members.

Q. We are struggling to find the cause of a knocking noise from the RH front of a 2013 Citroën DS5 1,6 when driving over rough roads or when cornering. We have experienced the knocking noise on road test and we have checked the steering and suspension components which all seem to be OK. Are you aware of anything that could be causing the knocking noise?

A. Yes, we are aware of a knocking noise that occurs on Citroën DS5 models with 1,6 THP engine and it is due to excessive friction in the RH upper engine mounting. Apply manufacturer’s specification grease, available from Citroën parts department, to the contact surfaces of the RH upper engine mounting in the areas indicated (fig. 1.1.). Carry out road test to ensure knocking noise has been eliminated.

 

Autodata Technical PDFs are also available to download or print at any time from the Members Area of the IGA website.

Click Here to Download PDF Version

Take advantage of our exclusive member offer for Autodata online and combine your trade association membership with Autodata Diagnostic & Repair – call our member helpline on 01788 225 908 for more information.

What’s on at the RMI Academies – December 2023

The RMI Academy of Automotive Skills offers a wide range of high-quality MOT, management, technical and annual training, with preferential prices for IGA members. No matter your training needs, we are here to help you grow your business and develop your staff with sites in Runcorn, Southam, Lincoln and Winchester.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the current subsidised training rates on certain courses for IGA members:

  • Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3 is available at a subsidised rate of £250 +
  • MOT Tester Training is available at a subsidised rate of £350 + VAT
  • MOT Centre Management is available at a subsidised rate of £200 + VAT

To know more about the courses available, browse through the available options below. Please note that course dates and availability are subject to change. To book any course or for more information, please call 01788 538 399, or email enquiries@rmif.co.uk.

MOT Training Courses

Our automotive training provides technicians with the skills needed to become and maintain their status as an MOT Tester or MOT Manager. The RMI’s training venues also provide classroom-based Annual Training sessions on the current DVSA syllabus, allowing testers to complete their mandatory training.

MOT Tester Training – Class 4 & 7

This is a four-day course for experienced technicians who would like to become an MOT tester, plus a practical assessment which can be completed at an RMI Academy site or your business premises.

If a location is needed for the candidate to complete their DVSA VT8 demonstration test after receiving their qualification, we can arrange for this to be conducted on-site at an academy. For more information, please call 01788 225 908. Course prices start from £575 + VAT for RMI Members but is available at a subsidised rate of £350 + VAT for IGA members.

For more information about MOT Tester Training Class 4 & 7 click here.

MOT Tester Training – Class 1 & 2

This is a three-day course for experienced technicians who would like to become an MOT Tester for motorcycles. Course prices start from £575 + VAT for RMI Members but is available at a subsidised rate of £350 + VAT for IGA members.

For more information about MOT Tester Training Class 1 & 2 click here.

MOT Tester Training – Class 5

This is a one day course for qualified MOT Testers who can currently test Class 4 & 7 vehicles, who would like to become an MOT Tester for Class 5 vehicles.

For more information about MOT Tester Training Class 5 click here.

Vehicle Technician Accredited Assessment (VTAA) Level 3

This course is designed for technicians who do not hold a relevant level 3 qualification but want to become an MOT tester for class 3, 4, 5 or 7 vehicles.

The accreditation provides proof of competence and recognition of skills, allowing candidates to use this training route to become a fully qualified MOT tester. Course prices start from £630 + VAT for RMI Members.

For more information about Vehicle Technician Accredited Assessment (VTAA) Level 3 click here.

Please note this course is currently unavailable at the RMI Winchester and Lincoln Training Centres.

MOT Centre Management

This is a two-day compulsory course for prospective MOT Managers. Those who are responsible for the operations of MOT stations (e.g. site managers) will also benefit from attending. Course prices start from £395 + VAT for RMI Members but is available at a subsidised rate of £200 + VAT for IGA members.

For more information about MOT Centre Management click here.

MOT Centre Management Refresher Course

This 1-day RMISC certified course gives any AEDMs, AEDs and Site Managers the skills and information to update their knowledge to ensure they remain compliant with the DVSA’s rules and regulations. Course prices start from £195 + VAT for RMI Members.

For more information about the MOT Centre Management Refresher course click here.

MOT Annual Training

The RMI Academy is providing annual training for the 2023/24 MOT Annual Training year. The assessment pass rate is 80%, so we are advising testers to complete their training at their earliest possible convenience in case additional time is needed for retakes.

MOT Annual Training Classroom Sessions – Classes 3, 4, 5 & 7

2022/23 MOT Annual Training classroom sessions at all RMI training venues include three hours of training, an RMI workbook, access to the online assessment, and refreshments. Course prices start from £95 + VAT per candidate.

Find out more about this course here.

Enhanced Annual Training Classroom Sessions

Enhanced, full-day annual training courses are also available at RMI Academy sites to provide testers with further training beyond the minimum three hours required. This course costs £195 + VAT, and includes access to the annual assessment.

Call us today to book, or find out more here.

Regional Training

Training is delivered at our regional training events across the country and throughout the year. This package includes face-to-face training, an RMI workbook, access to the online assessment and an RMI Certificate of Learning, and is £75 + VAT per candidate.

Call us today to book, or find out more here.

Technical Training Courses

Being a member of the IGA provides you and your technicians with a range of technical training opportunities. Below you can find a list of technical courses held at RMI Academy sites.

 

ADAS Introduction & Awareness

This half-day course provides technicians with awareness and understanding of ADAS procedures within the workplace. It covers safety features, usage of equipment and advises technicians of the various equipment manufacturers within the industry. This course costs £110 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about ADAS Introduction & Awareness click here.

ADAS Awareness & Practical

This full-day course helps technicians to gain better knowledge of ADAS procedures and equipment, and contains a practical element where equipment will be used within a workshop setting.

The practical element is designed to help develop technicians’ pinpoint accuracy of equipment, target positioning and general operation involved within calibrating. The key topics within this course include; ADAS code of practice, Sensors, Reversing aids, Radar systems, Targets, and recalibration. This course costs £205 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about ADAS Awareness & Practical click here.

ADAS IMI AOM 230

This 2-day, IMI accredited course is designed to ensure that the technician has the ability to calibrate Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). It demonstrates the technician’s ability to identify and correctly interpret information relating to a specific vehicle and its ADAS features to determine which method of calibration is required. This course costs £500 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about ADAS IMI AOM 230 click here.

Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Routine Maintenance Level 2

This 2-day course covers the skills and knowledge required to work safely around a vehicle’s high and low voltage electrical system and electric drive train system, whilst carrying out repairs or maintenance. This course costs £420 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Routine Maintenance Level 2 click here.

Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3

This 3-day course covers the technology associated with the present generation of hybrid and electrically propelled vehicles. The course focuses on gaining a thorough understanding of how the electric vehicle functions and the variation of electric vehicle types currently available, and there is a strong emphasis on safe working practices. This course usually costs £630 + VAT for RMI members, but is available at a heavily subsidised rate of £250 + VAT for IGA members.

An e-learning option is also available, allowing you to complete your training remotely and attend an RMI Academy site to complete the practical assessment. Alternatively, the assessment may be carried out at your premises depending on location and facilities. This option is also available at the subsidised rate of £250 + VAT for IGA members.

For more information about Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3 click here.

Diagnosis, Testing and Repair of Electric/Hybrid Vehicles and Components Level 4

 

This 2-day IMI accredited course contains the knowledge of the dangers surrounding repairs carried out to live high voltage vehicle electrical components and systems. The purpose of this qualification is to provide technicians working on electric/hybrid vehicles with the required level of skills and knowledge to carry out repairs on live high voltage vehicle electrical components and systems safely.

This qualification has been developed by IMI in conjunction with electric vehicle manufacturers, HSE, training providers and the IMI Sector Skills Council. It is the first qualification to address live electric vehicle (high voltage) technology, and is essential to ensure the health and safety of individuals working with live high voltage vehicle electrical components and systems. This course costs £545 + VAT for RMI Members and you can click here for more information.

Wheel Alignment Introduction & Awareness

This half-day course covers the safety and understanding of wheel alignment equipment, features and data, giving technicians knowledge of the various tools and equipment available and how to use them within the workplace. This course costs £100 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about Wheel Alignment Introduction & Awareness click here.

Wheel Alignment Awareness & Practical

This 1-day course covers the features and safety of wheel alignment equipment and data, including adjusting. Technicians will learn the functions of the equipment and how to use it safely. A practical element is held within this course where technicians will be able to demonstrate and use the equipment within the workshop, enabling them to put what they have learnt into practice on the same day. This course costs £205 + VAT for RMI members.

For more information about Wheel Alignment Awareness & Practical click here.

If you would like any more information about any courses available at the RMI Academies, you can also like your nearest RMI Academy Facebook page or the RMI Academy Twitter for training updates.

To book a course, or for availability enquiries, please call 01788 538 399 or email enquiries@rmif.co.uk.

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