Events: National coverage

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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.

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.

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.

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.  

Four Employment Law Changes October 2014

1. Antenatal rights for fathers and partners to take time off work

 Under the new shared parental leave it is proposed to allow the husband, civil partner or partner of the pregnant women the right to unpaid time off to attend up to 2 ante-natal appointments.

 2. Employment tribunals must order equal pay audits

Where an equal pay claim is submitted on or after 1 October 2010, and the employment tribunal finds that there has been an equal pay breach, it must order the employer to carry out an equal pay audit unless an exception applies.

3. National minimum wage increases to:
  • £6.50 for workers 21 and over
  • £5.13 18 - 20 yrs
  • £3.79 for 16-17 yrs, who are above school leaving age but under 18
  • £2.73 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.

These rates apply to pay reference periods beginning on or after 1st October 2014

What you need to know about Cyber Security

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has brought out a new booklet for small businesses to inform small businesses about cyber security.

Cyber security is about protecting your computer-based equipment and information from unintended or unauthorised access, change or destruction.

The internet brings huge opportunities and benefits. But it also brings risks.

But most online attacks can be prevented or detected with basic security practices for your people, processes and IT systems.

This guidance provides you with a good practice foundation. You don’t need to be an IT expert to improve your security. Taking some simple steps can help make all the difference.

Click here to download the booklet.

Doing Good Business - Marketing Your Social Firm

Thursday 30th October 2014, 9:30am - 1:30pm

Our free Leeds Interactive Workshop on Marketing Your Social Firm is presented by Stuart West, MBA Programme Director at the University of Derby.

The event includes a two hour interactive workshop that will give you insight into new ways to market your employment or employability social firm, and provide examples of marketing strategies that work.

It is a great opportunity to network with other social firms and get up to the minute news about Social Firms UK, and Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber.