All News

Employment law changes - on the horizon

Do you know about planned Employment Law changes?

Acas helps you get to grips with what is happening. 

Shared parental leave: for parents of children born or matched for adoption on or after 5 April 2015 - launch date 1 December 2014.

Managing sickness absence: a health and work assessment and advisory service is to be introduced - launch date April 2015.

Are you eligible for a £3,000 grant to upgrade your broadband?

Find out now if you are eligible for up to £3,000 to cover the installation costs of upgrading to a faster and more reliable connection for your business. You could get a fibre optic, cable or wireless broadband connection among other options.

Most businesses pay nothing but VAT and their standard monthly charges.

Thousands of businesses in the 22 Super Connected Cities Programme are already benefitting from the scheme. By upgrading, you too could:

• Do things faster - increase your business’s productivity,

• Improve customer service,

• Access new markets using video conferencing.

Visit the Connection Vouchers website to find out if you are eligible and choose from a number of pre-defined options.

How to prepare for a challenging conversation

Very few of us like to have difficult conversations, we may put them off and this can cause issues to escalate. The Acas guide ‘Challenging conversations and how to manage them’ gives some top tips on how to prepare for and get the most from the conversation. It's free to download from the Acas website.

Six things you need to do when employing staff for the first time

Taking on an employee means there are things you need to check, not just when they start working for you, but each year too.

Deciding how much to pay someone or checking if they have the legal right to work in the UK are just some of the things you need to consider.

HMRC provides information to help you decide what you need to do to get things right. 1. Read about six things you need to do when employing staff for the first time 2. See if you can reduce the amount of National Insurance you pay with the Employment Allowance 3. Check that you are paying your worker the National Minimum Wage here: National Minimum Wage calculator for employers

If you have any questions about employing staff, you can ask HMRC on Twitter @HMRCbusiness.  

It is 42 years since the first email was sent - how email marketing has changed

 Elizabeth Carter, eCommunications Manager, gives a summary of the evolution of email marketing in previous years, right up to the present. This is an interesting read, and brings up the features to remember when sending emails today.

Tax reliefs can help social firms save money

Tax reliefs can help businesses save money

Do you know that there are a range of tax reliefs/allowances that you may be able to claim that could help save your business money?

Some may not be immediately relevant to your business, but knowing about them can help you plan for the future.

Whether you are thinking of investing or buying assets for your business, or simply thinking of employing someone, there may be a tax relief or allowance that you are entitled to.

See what reliefs/allowances you or your business could benefit from and whether you can claim by checking out the information on the BIS GREAT website.

Realise Futures responds to Lord Freud’s comments on the disabled and the minimum wage

Realise Futures, one of the largest social enterprises in the East of England with over 40% of its workforce being disabled or disadvantaged, has today responded to comments made by Lord Freud, the Welfare Minister, on the value of disabled workers in relation to payment of the minimum wage.

Realise Futures Chief Executive, Sarah Sharlott said: “We are pleased to hear that Lord Freud has made a full and unreserved apology for his misguided comments. Our own experience shows that disabled workers make a significant contribution to the workplace, and there is no doubt that they should be paid a real wage for real work.

“Social enterprises such as Realise Futures have many outstanding examples of how this valuable group of employees can not only gain confidence and self-worth from employment but also how employers benefit hugely from their contribution.

547 job applications, unemployed and depressed…now I have turned my life around.

Robin tells his story for World Mental Health Day

Robin Boness, a 60 year old Security Officer from Torquay, is a successful, motivated and respected employee working for Frontline Total Security Ltd.

However, rewind one year and it was a completely different story. Isolated and in the very depths of despair, Robin was fighting a battle with severe depression due to long-term unemployment.

Friday 10th October is World Mental Health day. One in four people in the UK every year will experience a mental health issue which can include conditions such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Robin is telling his story to raise awareness of the vital role work had to play in his recovery to mental wellbeing.

Secretary of State for Transport visits Social Firm RBLI

The Rt. Hon. Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, was treated to a guided tour of Royal British Legion Industries’ new, high-tech road and rail signs printing and graphics area this week. The picture shows him with Tracey Crouch MP for Chatham and Aylesford and Neil Roberts, RBLI's Graphics Team Leader.

The visit to Aylesford marks the completion of the first phase of a modernisation programme and an investment of over £350,000 in new, leading-edge printer technology and a fully climate-controlled printing and graphics room.

The visit enabled Mr McLoughlin to see first-hand where new, state-of-the-art heritage and tourism signs are made. The vibrant and colourful signs, which are slowly replacing existing brown ones, often depict iconic images associated with their area, such as the historic Chatham Dockyard. RBLI is one of only four organisations in the country with the advanced technology able to produce the new style of sign.

Trading on the Internet

 Are you missing out on the £91 billion online selling revolution? Could your organisation build its sustainable income by selling products and services online?

Whether you sell a physical product, training or events, or have intellectual property that you want to develop into an online course or programme, this session covers the key steps to success and the mistakes to avoid.

The session costs £50+VAT. To book, please contact Marija on 0121 771 1411 or

See flyer below for more details