Archive for August, 2013

Acas launches online employment advice service

Acas has introduced a free online advisory service supplying  guidance on work and employment law issues for employers, employees and HR managers. The service provides solutions to 600 of the most frequently asked workplace questions, including maternity and paternity rights, absence, bullying and harassment. Acas states that the service will assist users to become better informed before a dialogue with an Acas helpline adviser.
Read more about the online advice service at:
http://www.workplacelaw.net/human-resources/news/48557/
acas-launches-free-advice-service-online-for-employers

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New country of origin rules could threaten ‘Made in Britain’ label

Recent EU proposals to change how the country of origin of a commodity is determined, have been condemned by manufacturers in the UK.  At the moment, a commodity’s  country of origin is defined as the place it underwent its “last, substantial, economically justified process or working”. However, under the proposals a commodity’s origin would be determined by the most costly element, with 45% of the product’s value coming from the country specified on the label. Business groups are arguing that many manufacturers would be forced to drop their “Made in Britain” label, but a European Commission spokesman disagreed with this, saying the “Made in” label would have more legal protection.
Read more about the proposals at:
http://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/
future-of-made-in-britain-label-in-jeopardy-following-new-eu-proposal/

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Calls for review of employee benefits tax system

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has recommended the Government to reassess the tax system relating to employee benefits and expenses. In an interim report of the way employee benefits are taxed, the OTS states that the current tax system is overly complex and does not reflect current methods of working such as flexi-time and zero-hours contracts. Key elements needing review included tax rules applying to travel and subsistence, accommodation benefits, redundancy payments, and the P11D process. The OTS has specified 43 ‘quick wins’ to enhance the employee benefits tax system and intends to publish formal recommendations before the next Budget.
Read more about the interim report at:
http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/august/
ots-calls-for-review-of-uk-tax-regime-for-employee-benefits-and-expenses/

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Businesses could face fines for late payment

A late payment toll for firms paying suppliers late is one of several options being examined by the Department for Business (BIS) to encounter the problem of late payments. The idea, which is modelled on a similar system in Sweden, would involve fining companies that fail to pay suppliers within 30 days. Previous efforts to combat late payments, such as the initiation of the Prompt Payment Code, have not been successful, with less than half of Britain’s biggest companies currently signed up to the Code.
There is more about the options being considered at:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/10238415/
Businesses-may-face-late-payment-fines.html

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Growth Voucher programme details published

Details of the Government’s £30 million Growth Voucher scheme to examine  ways in which smaller companies can overcome barriers to growth have been released. The Government states the scheme will support 25,000 companies with a maximum of 49 employees that have not previously used external business advice services, and will run until March 2015 in London, the West Midlands, the South East, North West and East of England. The programme will evaluate a variety of interventions and contribute a 50% subsidy (up to £2,000) of the cost of external advice from private sector suppliers. Providers interested in tendering for contracts to deliver the Growth Voucher programme must submit a Request For Information by 30th August 2013.
Read more about the Growth Voucher programme at:
https://online.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/Common/View
%20Notice.aspx?site=1000&lang=en&noticeid=1048743&fs=true

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Smaller manufacturers optimistic despite falling output and orders

Small and medium-sized manufacturers recorded a decrease in new orders in Q2 of 2013 compared with the previous quarter, according to the CBI’s latest SME Trends Survey. Output also fell, with export orders dropping for the fifth consecutive quarter. Added to that, companies proposals for investment in buildings, plant and equipment, staff training and processes remained comparable to the previous quarter. Despite this, smaller manufacturers’ confidence about the general business outlook rose for the first time since spring 2012 and companies predicted that output would stabilise and new orders would grow over the coming quarter.
There is more about the survey at:
http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2013/08/optimism-
rises-among-smaller-manufacturers-bust-activity-remains-weak/

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WORKSHOPS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS GROW!

Following the success of our Spring workshops, Dacorum Borough Council are pleased to offer you and your employees a new series of half day workshops in September, October and November to be held at the Maylands Business Centre.
These workshops are aimed at bite size training for you and your employees which will help your businesses grow.
Date    Workshop    Time    Duration    Price per delegate
03/09/13    PR for Virgins    09.30- 13.00    Half day    £40.00
10/09/13    Excel 2010 for Beginners    09.00 -12.30    Half day    £40.00
10/09/13    Excel 2010 Formulae    13.30-17.00    Half day    £40.00
24/09/13    Analysing Data using MS Excel  Session 1    09.00-12.30    Half Day    £40.00
24/09/13    Analysing Data using MS Excel
Session 2    13.30-17.00    Half Day    £40.00
09/10/13    MS Word – Tips and Tricks    09:00-12.30    Half Day    £40.00
09/10/13    Creating Mailshots using MS Word    13:30-17.00    Half Day    £40.00
23/10/13    MS PowerPoint for Beginners    09:00-12.30    Half Day    £40.00
24/10.13    Bring your Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation to Life    9.30-16.30    Full Day    £75.00
07/11/13    Time Management using Microsoft Outlook    9.30-16.30    Full Day    £75.00
19/11/13    Finance for Non-financial Managers    9.30-13.00    Half Day    £40.00

Please note that the Microsoft half day courses are designed so the afternoon session will follow the morning session, but they are totally self contained and can be attended in their own right if you cannot spare the entire day. If there is demand, we will arrange a second set of these courses in the Spring. All laptops and training materials will be provided and lunch will also be provided for those that attend all day.
These workshops have been organized as a result of your requests following those run earlier in the year

Spaces are limited (the Microsoft workshops will be limited to 10 attendees), so please book early to avoid disappointment.
For information and to book, please return the attached booking form and a cheque for the workshop (made payable to Dacorum Borough Council) to Christine or Rose on 01442 531002 or email christine.cowlard@dacorum.gov.uk.

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Action plan to combat nuisance calls announced

A new course of action to stop nuisance marketing calls has been published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Ofcom. The plans include circulating revised guidance for business on suitable methods of obtaining marketing consent from consumers and the limitations of indirect third-party consent; improving call and message tracing processes; administering an assessment of how well the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is currently working; and enhancing targeted enforcement action against non-compliant organisations.
There is more about the measures at:
http://www.ico.org.uk/news/latest_news/2013/ICO-and-Ofcom
-draw-up-joint-action-plan-to-tackle-nuisance-calls-31072013

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Global Internet ad spend increase

Spending on Internet advertising improved by 26% in Q1 of 2013 in comparison with the same period in 2012, according to the most recent Nielsen Global AdView Pulse report. While spending on display Internet advertising increased by 26.3%, growth in European spending was below the global average at just 10.4%. Global spend on  print and cinema advertising decreased, as well as  spending on magazine and newspaper ads. Television monopolised ad spend at 59% of the total, but  growth was slower than in previous quarters. Europe was the only region to see a fall over the period, with overall ad spending down by 4.4% overall.
There is more about the report at:
http://www.brandrepublic.com/news/1192817/internet-outdoor-lead-global-ad-spend-growth/

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Youth Contract Scheme starts slowly

Less than 5000 young people were assisted getting work under the governments Youth Contract Scheme between June 2012 and May 2013 according to legitimate figures.  The three year scheme which provides employers with a subsidy of up to £2,275 if they employ a young person aged between 18 and 24 who has been unemployed for six months or more, has a target of helping 53,000 young people into employment each year.  Mike cherry of the Federation of small Businesses (FSB) stated that wage subsidies were the most significant thing the government could offer to motivate companies to take on more employees.

Read more about the Youth Contract Scheme at:

http://www.workplacelaw.net/services/news/48271/government-039-s-youth-contract-scheme-gets-off-to-a-slow-start

 

 

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