Reach Out This Festive Season

Mental Health Awareness

Whilst this time of year is joyous for many, for some it is the worst season for mental wellbeing. A recent survey carried out by Toolstation shows the devastating effects the pandemic has had on tradespeople. If you combine this with the usual pressures of the festive season, it is no surprise people are suffering. Thus, John Burke Associates supports the “Head First” Campaign

Mental Wellbeing

What the campaign is about

Working in association with the mental health anti-stigma campaign, Time to Change, Head First encourages tradespeople to open up about their mental wellbeing. As mentioned above, Toolstation carried out a survey with 5000 of their customers. Nearly half (45%) said their main concern is the mental wellbeing of family members and friends. In addition, 25% of those surveyed stated they are concerned about their own mental health most of all. Therefore, this campaign is to get people in the industry to discuss their anxieties and always ask twice.

Ask Twice?

Yes, ask twice! We all know how the conversation goes; Are you ok? Yes, good thanks, you? It is almost an autonomous answer. Consequently, the sentiment loses its true meaning; to check in on the respondent. Take a moment to stop and see if that person really is ok, delve deeper into the question. Ask twice, it has not been an easy year for anyone, are you sure you are ok?

What Can I Do as an Employer?

If you suspect a colleague or employee is not ok, a great way to encourage them to open-up, is to lead by example. When someone asks you if you are ok? it could be because they are not. So, be honest with your response, if you are feeling pressure, talk about it. In doing so, you are creating an environment where it is acceptable to discuss our feelings.  Consequently, encouraging others to admit they are feeling the pressure and demonstrating that nobody must feel alone.

More info on How to Offer Support

 A Message from John Burke Associates

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you are struggling during the festive season, you are not alone! This year has been unprecedented for so many of us and lives have been affected in untold ways.  Do not suffer in silence! Below is a list of confidential services which are here to help you;

  • Samaritans

    Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)

  • Mind Infoline

    Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday) or text 86463


  • The Mix ( 13-25 year olds)

    Telephone: 0808 808 4994 (11am-11pm, free to call)
    Email: Helpline email form
    Crisis Support: Text ‘THEMIX’ to 85258.

  • Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line

    Telephone: 0300 5000 927 (9.30am – 4pm Monday to Friday)

  • Saneline

    Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm-10:30pm)
    Website: is a national mental health helpline providing information and support to people with mental health problems and those who support them.

  • Side by Side

    Website: by Side is an online community where you can listen, share and be heard. Side by Side is run by Mind.


    Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
    Text: 85258

  • NHS England IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies)

    If you’re based in England, you can use webpage to find and refer yourself to mental health services in your area.

5 Positive Implications of Strong Leadership

Employer’s Agent Services

Here at John Burke Associates we believe any company is driven by a strong leadership. A motivating leader inspires higher levels of employee engagement, in addition to promoting productivity. Therefore, our Project Management and Employer’s Agents division work proactively to implement and deliver synergy across all sites. Consequently, we know that a great leader is strong, but also has soft skills. In this month’s blog, we look at five benefits you can gain through developing your interpersonal skills. Especially during challenging times such as these.


Employees are more likely to put their trust in a leader who exhibits charisma and a positive attitude. As a result, this trust leads to greater autonomy and collaboration.


An employee who experiences warm and affective behaviour from their leaders will gain an increased sense of self-worth. Furthermore, this creates a sense of safety and belonging within an organisation, resulting in employee allegiance.


When someone feels like they are being listened to and that their opinions and ideas matter, their creative performance increases. It is vital to nourish your employee’s creativity and embellish their abilities through positive encouragement.


If you want your employees to outperform the competition, you must achieve a common goal. To do this, you must communicate your cause clearly. You need to be concise when explaining your expectations and each employee’s role in delivering these. Developing your interpersonal skills will enable you to understand their requirements and communicate yours, therefore, aligning in a common cause.


If you want your employees to outperform the competition, you must achieve a common goal. To do this, you must communicate your cause clearly. You need to be concise when explaining your expectations and each employee’s role in delivering these. Developing your interpersonal skills will enable you to understand their requirements and communicate yours, therefore, aligning in a common cause.


A leader who inspires their employees often achieves enhanced results. An employee who feels motivated is more open to new ideas and change in the pursuit of excellence. Furthermore, those who feel appreciated will always outperform those who do not.

Lockdown Leadership Advice

Leadership is more important now than ever! Lockdown has left many employees feeling disconnected and it is harder to recognise when people are struggling. Ann Francke OBE recently wrote an article for the CMI titled “Bridging the great disconnect.” Our Project Management and Employer’s Agent division recommend this short read to anyone looking for guidance.

Coronavirus Act 2020 – Update for Commercial Landlords

Coronavirus Act 2020

Earlier this year, Parliament introduced a list of extensive protections for commercial tenants to mitigate the economic fallout of Covid-19. The deadline for such protections was initially set for 30th September 2020. However, this deadline has now been extended until the end of the year. Below we explain the most recent developments, in particular Forfeiture and the CRAR Regulations.


On 25th March 2020, parliament passed The Coronavirus Act 2020 which came into force with immediate effect. This act prevents landlords from recovering outstanding rents for properties subject to commercial lease agreements.

Section 82 of the act essentially negates the landlords right to enforce forfeiture under a relevant business tenancy, for non-payment of rent. Initially the postponement of such rights was to run until 30th June 2020. However, the end date has now been deferred to 31st December 2020.

View the Act

CRAR Regulations

The Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 came into force 25th April 2020. Before this date, the minimum notice required for CRAR was 7 clear days excluding Sundays and Bank holidays. This has been temporarily increased substantially to 90 days. Thus, preventing landlords from taking more pugnacious approaches to outstanding arrears and protecting businesses during uncertain times.


The Government has been presented with a monumental challenge to protect business’s, jobs and our economy. As we enter a second wave of the pandemic it is yet to be seen if they can achieve this objective. The extension is welcomed by struggling tenants who will undoubtedly benefit from such measures. However, this offers little reassurance to commercial landlords whose tenants have defaulted. As many of the remedies for commercial landlords have once again been postponed.

John Burke Associates

We offer a full portfolio of professional services to the commercial and housing sectors for both public and private sector clients. Including but not limited too.

  • Multinational Developers
  • Private Developers
  • Housing Associations
  • Housing Trusts
  • Offices
  • Retail Units
  • Leisure & Sports Facilities
  • Private Investment Schemes

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from John Burke Associates.

Supporting Sustainability
Supporting Sustainability

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from John Burke Associates. Instead of sending Christmas cards this year we have donated to “Veterans for Wildlife”. This donation will support the charity in both the empowerment of veterans and protecting critically endangered creatures. While many of us will be spending the Christmas season with friends and family, these brave individuals will be risking their lives, working through the evenings, to secure our wildlife.

Supporting Sustainability

We are proud to support this cause, which promotes a sustainable environment and has such a positive impact on society. Therefore, supporting our practice’s environmental commitment and sustainability ethos.

Find out more

A Time to Reflect

2019 has been a auspicious year across all the departments. From our trip to MIPIM in April to elevate the profile of our already expanding Surveying, Cost Consultancy, and Project Management business. To our Clerk of Works Jon Tucker winning the ICWCI Building on Quality Award. Which is a remarkable achievement for his work on the Principle London project. We have much to be thankful for. But above all else, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their ongoing support.

Cost Consultancy

Looking Forward to 2020

Our aim for 2020 is to continue to build ongoing relationships with all our clients and contracts. Our organisation’s strategic business objectives are underpinned by repeat business with key clients. This ethos relies on a ‘Partnering’ mentality based on trust and performance delivery. Therefore, we strive to continue our growth by treating every client with the upmost importance and urgency.

Christmas Open Hours

The offices will close for a short time for the Christmas period to allow staff to enjoy the festivities. Our offices will close on Monday 23rd December and reopen on Thursday 2nd January. If you have any queries during this time, please use the link below to fill in a contact form. We will respond to any enquiries after the 2nd January 2020.

Workplace Gagging – Know Your SA from Your NDA – Part 2

Settlement Agreement and Non Disclosure

Settlement Agreements and Non-Disclosure Agreements

Following on from last month’s blog discussing NDA’s in business, we wanted to look at Settlement Agreements. As the two are sometimes confused, we aim to explain what they are and when they are used. But above all, why it is important you seek the correct professional guidance before agreeing to either.

What is a Settlement Agreement?

A Settlement Agreement or Compromise Agreement – as they were previously known, is a legally binding contract between employer and employee. The main purpose of the agreement is to relinquish an employee of their rights under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

The agreement would offer an employee the opportunity to negotiate a severance pay on their exit of your company. In return, they would enter into a legally binding contract which prevents them from taking tribunal action. Therefore, a mutually beneficial way to protect your business.

Settlement Agreement
Workplace Gagging

The Legal Requirements

There are many legal requirements to validate such an agreement, such as;

  • The agreement must be in writing.
  • It must relate to a specific complaint.
  • The document must identify the independent legal advisor.
  • It must state said advisor has given the employee advice and is covered by a contract of insurance.
  • Confirm the Statutory provisions governing settlement agreements has been met.

When would a Settlement Agreement be used?

Disputes between employers and their staff can be inevitable in business. Most of the time such disputes are resolved internally in an informal manner. However, if an employee makes a substantiated claim that you have breached their employment rights, a formal approach is required. Furthermore, a settlement agreement should be considered.
Attempting to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement now, could save you a lot of money and litigation costs. In addition, such an agreement would be completely confidential. Therefore, allowing the matter to be dealt with privately, rather than in the public eye.

Are Negotiations “Without Prejudice”?

Since July 2013, an employer has the right to have a “protected conversation” with their employees about the termination of employment. As stated in Section 111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996. While it is advisable that negotiating correspondence is stated to be “without prejudice” it does not mean you are protected.

However, due to the complex legislation surrounding such agreements. Simply stating something is without prejudice, does not enforce the rule. In certain cases, the negotiations can be used as evidence against you at a tribunal. Therefore, it is vital both parties receive professional advice before the agreement is signed.

If you are an employer with questions about Settlement Agreement contact our team today on 01708 770 770. Alternatively, click below to view our employer services.

So, what is a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

We are glad you asked! You can find out more about Non-Disclosure Agreements by clicking the link below;

Workplace Gagging - Know Your SA from Your NDA - Part 1