SMOVE renews call for
women in removals
To mark International Women’s Day, which took place on 8 March, SMOVE is campaigning for more
women to seriously consider a career in the removals sector and encouraging fellow BAR Members
to step up their recruitment processes to facilitate their entry into the trade.
The call is being spearheaded by the Hampshire-based firm’s Senior Porter, Kerrie Birkett, whose
success serves as a shining example of the benefits of improving female representation within the
sector. Kerrie joined SMOVE in 2011 and, having since been extensively trained by the company, now
plays a leading role in all areas of its operations, from packing to national and international driving.
Company Director Jason Burton told R&S that Kerrie’s presence at SMOVE has paid real dividends
for the company: not only do customers often feel more comfortable having their effects packed and
handled by a female porter, Kerrie has also received reams of top-notch feedback that cites the care
she takes with their belongings as well as the warmth of her conversation and demeanour, which
helps put nerves at ease on moving day.
“People often double take when they see me carrying heavy furniture or reversing a large vehicle
down a narrow lane with just as much ease as male operatives do,” Kerrie said. “Yet the reality for
most women in this industry is that keeping up with the men has always been easy, and so I’d like to
see more female packers, surveyors and management staff in our ranks. Yes, removals can often be
hard work, but the opportunity to meet new customers from all walks of life every day is extremely
rewarding, and I’d definitely urge more women to get involved.”
For more information, visit www.smove.co.uk
Pickfords modernises approach
to workplace wellbeing
Pickfords has launched a formalised mental
health policy to encourage open discussion
of work-related stress, anxiety, depression and
other mental illnesses in the workplace and
remove the stigma around seeking help.
Under the new company-wide policy, which
has been developed in collaboration with UK
mental health charity Mind, Pickfords
employees will now receive clearer
information and assurance about the range
of support options that are available to them
in times of need. The company’s managers
have also been given improved training,
information and resources to ensure they are
able to effectively and compassionately address mental health issues within their teams
locally and on a one-to-one basis.
The Government’s latest Labour Force Survey found that 15.4m working days were lost to
work-related stress, depression and anxiety in 2017/18. Workload pressures (including tight
deadlines), too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support were cited as the main
factors causing work-related ill health.
According to workplace expert ACAS, wellbeing initiatives (such as mental health
awareness workshops and mental health ‘champions’ with whom staff can talk) can often
reduce the likelihood of a mental health problem building up, in turn leading to improved
morale in the workplace and less time off for a mental health issue. ACAS guidance on
promoting mental wellbeing in the workplace can be accessed at the link below.
For more information, visit www.pickfords.com and
April 2020 Removals & Storage 9
Key outcomes for
• Fuel duty frozen for 10th consecutive year;
• £25bn to fix potholes and resurface roads in
England over the next five years;
• £27bn for motorways and other arterial
roads, including a new tunnel for the A303
• £600bn+ to be spent on roads, rail,
broadband and housing by the middle
• Firms with <250 staff to be refunded for
statutory sick pay (SSP) for the first 14 days;
• Self-isolating employees entitled to SSP even
if they have no symptoms.
Source: Backhouse Jones Solicitors, The Budget and my business, published 12 March 2020
For more information, visit