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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.  

Nine misconceptions about social investment

CAF bust nine myths in a helpful Guardian article about social investment. They consider these nine preconceptions:

  1.  Social investment is a form of income for charities
  2. Loans are risky for charities
  3. Social investment is rigid and offers little flexibility
  4. Loan finance is unaffordable
  5. It is complex and difficult to understand
  6. The social investment sector is new
  7. It’s only suited to large organisations who have significant financial resources
  8. The investment process is burdensome
  9. The market is focused on London  

Third Sector Loan Fund Launches

The Fund invests between £250,000 and £3 million in charities and social enterprises across the UK. The Fund can support organisations across all social sectors, focused on improving the economic and social well-being of individuals, particularly those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.

To be eligible for investment, your organisation must demonstrate the following:

Calculating holiday pay

In addition to current legislation, a number of recent court judgments should be considered when calculating holiday pay. This may mean that the rules employers and workers follow to calculate their own holiday pay will need to be updated. ACAS are updating their information.

The Government Exchange

A one-day event matching small businesses with buyers from government departments and large government suppliers looking for small business contractors.

Government (local and central) spends £230bn per year on products and services. Government has set a goal that 25% of this spend should be with small businesses by 2015. Attend this event  on 8th December 2014 to understand the opportunities available to your company to sell to government or their largest suppliers.

The Accessible Britain Challenge Awards 2015

The Accessible Britain Challenge encourages communities to be inclusive and accessible. That means working with disabled people to remove the barriers that stop them participating fully in their community.

The UK’s 12.2 million disabled people make a positive contribution to employment and local economies. The Accessible Britain Challenge wants to share great examples of this so others can learn from them.

Who it’s for?

The Accessible Britain Challenge is for members of the community, eg:

  • local businesses
  • local councils
  • voluntary and community groups
  • disabled people’s groups

Supporting information

To support the challenge and share good practice, the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has produced:

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.