Companies that are still running the Windows server 2003 operating system are now vulnerable to cyber-attacks by hackers looking to exploit security holes as Microsoft have ceased to issue security patches. Approximately 400,000 UK companies are still using the outdated operating system. In a report published at the beginning of this year, IT research company IDC stated: “Failure to have a current, supported operating system raises significant concerns about an organisations ability to meet regulatory compliance requirements, as well as the needs of business units, partners and customers”.
For further information about the vulnerability, go to:
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published draft regulations to remove self-employed people who do not employ others from the scope of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. If made law, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 will exclude the self-employed unless their work falls within a required category or poses a risk to a third party. Required categories include agriculture, construction, railways and work involving asbestos, gas or genetically modified organisms. The new regulations are predicted to come into force on 1st October 2015.
The draft regulations are available at:
The European Commission has confirmed details of funding under the England Operational Programme for 2014-2020, which includes an allocation of €3.6 billion from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Approximately 40% of the funding will be allocated to support small businesses to enhance their competitiveness. This is expected to result in 65,000 smaller businesses receiving advice and support by 2023. The rest of the funding will be used to focus on various priorities such as strengthening innovation and research and technological development. (RTD). Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu stated: “The programme we have adopted today for England complements the efforts already made for locally driven growth. The investments are strategic and targeted on key growth generating areas.”
Read more about the programme at:
A policy paper that explains alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which enables consumers to settle disputes with traders via an ADR scheme instead of taking legal action, has been published by the Department for Business (BIS). The Alternative Dispute Regulations 2015 installs competent authorities to certify ADR schemes and set standards that ADR scheme providers, such as trade associations, must meet. Starting on 1st October 2015, the regulations will require traders to provide consumers with information about a certified ADR provider for their sector.
The policy paper is available at:
New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has indicated that small businesses find it difficult to protect their intellectual property and struggle when using the tools and services which have been put in place by the Intellectual Property Office. 25% of small businesses surveyed had experienced some sort of intellectual property violation within the last five years. One third of businesses with intellectual property rights stated that they had spent money on securing the rights within the last five years, with 22% of those spending more than £5,000. The most common forms of copyright theft include the unauthorised use of copyright-protected work on websites and the illegal use of trademarks.
Read more about the research at:
Eight in ten exporters anticipate an increase in export revenue over the next twelve months, according to a FedEx survey of 2,500 business owners located in 26 UK cities. Almost two thirds think exporting has improved their financial performance, approximately four in ten believe it has helped them develop new products or services or employ additional staff, and more than a quarter think it helps them to compete with larger companies.
Read more about the research at:
Course Description: Formal feedback can be difficult to deliver and unnerving to receive.
This informal workshop will help managers and team leaders devise and implement an appraisal process that staff will welcome rather than dread. It focusses on understanding what levels of performance your organization wants and how to develop your staff to achieve them
The session is highly interactive and will encourage delegates to take a positive attitude to undertaking appraisals, and to be able to give feedback with more confidence .
Who should attend? Business owners, managers of teams or any manager responsible for the day-to-day running of a team. Just £45.00 + VAT
What will it cover?
Why feedback is important
The performance cycle
How to start the appraisal process
Getting staff engaged in their own development
Setting achievable objectives
Planning and preparation for the meeting
How to conduct an appraisal meeting
Recording the outcome
Personal development plans
For information and to book contact Christine or Rose on 01442 531002 or email email@example.com
Potential businesses, those employing less than 50 staff and people thinking of starting a business are invited to apply for this year’s Dacorum’s Den and the chance to be awarded a grant of up to £1,000.
The grant can be used for anything that will help with growth within the business.
It’s not too late to apply!
The deadline for applications is Friday 8th May 2015.
Application forms and terms and conditions can be downloaded from www.dacorumlooknofurther.co.uk/dacorums-den
or contact Lesley Crisp on 01442 531003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced that new childcare companies in England will benefit from doubled Childcare Business Grants from April 2015. Grants for nurseries, out-of-school clubs and childcare for disabled children will rise from £500 to £1,000, while grants for childminders will rise from £250 to £500. The grant scheme will also be extended to encompass existing childcare companies which have been trading for less than one year. Previously, only start ups which planned to begin trading within six months were eligible. This announcement follows criticism from sector representatives about the grants providing too little funding to encourage new start ups.
Read more about the increased grants at:
According to an opinion poll of UK business owners carried out by ComRes for the Local Government Association (LGA), 68% of respondents agreed that local authorities should set business rates in their area in discussion with local companies. Approximately half of business owners are concerned about the impact on business of forthcoming cuts to council services. The LGA has responded by calling for devolution of responsibility from central government to local authorities to set business rates and reform the business rates system. The LGA has also suggested that 100% of business rates income should be held by local authorities, as currently half is kept by the Treasury to pay grants to local authorities. Increased local power over business rates would enable councils to expand rate reduction schemes, or fund investment in their local economy and services.
Read more about the poll at: