Monthly Archives: March 2018

  • As part of our series of short blogs about the General Data Protection Regulations and what impact they will have on employers, we look at whether employers need to update their data protection policy.
  • We recommend that employers review the documents they have in place in relation to data protection. It is likely that any existing data protection policies has been drafted with employer’s obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 in mind and therefore, will need updating or replaced.
  • We would recommend the following:
  • Privacy Notice – used to notify employees, workers and contractors about the personal data that you hold relating to them, how they can expect their personal data to be used and for what purposes.
  • Privacy Standard – to be used in place of a Data Protection Policy to set out the principles and legal conditions that you must satisfy when obtaining, handling, processing, transporting or storing personal data in the course of your operations and activities, including customer supplier and employee data.
  • Record of Processing Activities – to be used as a record of processing activities, including customer, supplier and employee data.
  • Data Protection Impact Assessment – to be used to evaluate the potential impact of high risk data processing activities, as required under Article 35 GDPR.
  • Our employment experts can assist with the review of your existing documents and replacing them with GDPR compliant documents.
  • GDPR is going to have a huge impact on the data stored and processed by employers about their employees and job applications. If you would like to attend one of our free GDPR: What are your obligations as an employer? Seminars, please contact us on employment@mlplaw.co.uk or call us on 0161 926 9969 to sign up.
This blog was taken from www.mlplaw.co.uk    
  • Staff absenteeism costs the UK nearly 30bn annually (CIPD absence Mgt Annual Survey for 2014), so when was the last time you measured the effect of staff absence on your business? How many sick days did your staff have in the last year?
  • The average figure per employee is 6.8 sick days, and the average cost of staff absence is around £ 554 per day, but can rise to over £2k per day depending on the role they play. On average that’s a whopping, £ 3,747 of loss your company has to anticipate per employee each year.
  • Here at Madson we’re happy to say our sickness is practically non-existent with only 1 sick day in the past year between the whole team. So how do we do it?
  • Firstly, we ensure that we recruit the right people into the right roles. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it, but you have to really understand what the business needs and what skills and personality will best fit the role to be filled. Get that right and your staff will never be off, they’ll never see work as work, but something that is so in tune with their skill set and personal beliefs, it’s a joy to be at the office.
  • Jobsworths don’t exist at Madson. Everyone is equally responsible for delivering our high levels of service to our clients and their customers. So stress levels are kept to a minimum, anyone can at any time ask anyone else, including the Directors, to help them and it will never be frowned upon. Knowing that everyone in the company has your back really takes the stress out of the working day.
  • Last, but by no means least, we have fun. Are your team having fun? Life’s too short for the time you spend at work not to be fun!
  • Our clients, of course, don’t have any of the above concerns as they outsource their administration, customer service, marketing and social media to us. They have a core team and we look after everything else. So they never have to worry about staff sickness, holidays, maternity, paternity, sabatticals etc. as we have it all covered. You have to admit that’s a pretty smart way of ensuring you’re not letting £3,747 per employee slip through your profit net each year!
  • So is your business ready for competition? Or is it too busy being sick and absent?
  • This blog was taken from www.bestbusinessenabler.com
  • Have you ever stopped and asked yourself this question before engaging a supplier for your business? The growth and prosperity of your business could depend on the answer.
  • We recently moved into the Cheshire countryside and moving home really opened my eyes to the terrible problems companies face when they engage sub-standard suppliers. Running the type of business that I do, I’m not a fledgling when it comes to ordering anything online and didn’t think twice about ordering conservatory furniture…..what could possibly go wrong? The short answer is delivery.
  • The furniture company did actually dispatch my order without delay it was only then the problems started. Their delivery partner was useless. Starting with a no show and then a whole week of no progress which finally left me with no option but to email the CEO of both the furniture company and the delivery company asking them why something so simple could go so horribly wrong. This led to my furniture being delivered within 24 hours of the email being sent.
  • Whilst waiting for my furniture to be delivered I researched the delivery company online and the reading was worse than the spoof reviews you sometimes see on Amazon. It was awful.
  • From the reviews it was easy to see that the delivery company is nothing short of incompetent and were letting down thousands of customers and hundreds of companies on a daily, well, in fact, on an hourly basis. The furniture company in comparison had excellent products and superb customer service, but it lost the value of all of this as soon as they handed their orders to their delivery partner.
  • I went back to the CEO of the furniture company and pointed out to him that the poor service both he and we, his customer, were receiving would soon see sales drying up. I pointed him to the online reviews. His customers were, quiet reasonably, stating that they wouldn’t order from his company again whilst they knew this particular delivery company would be responsible for getting their goods to them. I explained to him that his company name was being associated with this poor level of service and this could only be damaging for them.
  • Thankfully, the furniture company does listen to its customers and it’s now undertaking a review of its delivery suppliers.
  • It was shocking that the decision makers in this large company didn’t know how poor the customer experience was once the goods left their site. They were walking blind into a crisis, which thankfully should now be averted.
  • Take a look at your suppliers today. Do they have the same values as you? Do they care about your customer as much as you do? What are online reviewers saying about them? Who do you supply to? Do you care for their customers as much as they do? How happy are your customers with your supplier partners? The answers to these questions could be the key to the future success and growth of your business.
  This blog was taken from www.bestbusinessenabler.co.uk  
  • SMBA member, Charlie McIntyre will be holding his next sales courses on 27th March and a following course on the 10th of April at his offices in Sale. The courses are a full day, running between 9am and 4-30 pm.
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  • "This course is a practical look at sales methods proven to work and delivered in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. I promise I will not turn anyone into a slick pushy salesperson who annoys clients, rather I'll give you the tools and the confidence to get a bigger return when engaging with your customers." Charlie McIntyre
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  • Charlie is looking for anyone interested to improve their sales skills or boost their confidence in front of their customers.
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  • The Sales Structure course that gives the rules and shows how to control a sales call whether it is face to face or over the telephone. It includes: -
  • Planning - How to get the maximum return from your efforts Introduction - Getting in techniques and how to sell the call. Requirements - Questioning techniques, the difference between open and closed questions and when to use them. Benefits - Features and benefits of your products and services. Investments - Having spent money developing your company we look at how we get a return for it. Closing - Asking for the order at the right time and in the right manner. Evaluation - How was it for you and could we have done better. Admin - Monitoring results and performance to ensure maximum return.
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  • The course is shaped to suit experienced individuals who have had exposure to sales and could do with a refresher, or people new to sales or with no formal sales training that need to know the rules. 
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  • The course is inexpensive at £200 + vat per seat and if you know of any colleagues who would benefit from a boost in sales you can use the body of this mail to send out to any interested parties or ask them to contact me direct. I promise I won't turn anyone in to some slick patter sales person it is really all about communication skills to get a bigger return for your time and efforts and goes down really well with all sorts of businesses and professions.
  • If you would be interested in attending Charlie's course for either date, please contact him on 07940 517455 or email mcintyre_charlie@hotmail.com to book. Visit the website here; http://www.cmservicesltd.co.uk
  • The details of the incident involving ex-Liverpool FC player Jamie Carragher do not need repeating. Anyone with even a passing interest in football is aware of the circumstances which led to his suspension by Sky TV.
  • However, the incident raises a number of interesting points for employers, particularly the question of whether acts of misconduct outside of work can be treated as a disciplinary matter.
  • It is first worth saying that it is unlikely that Jamie Carragher is an employee of Sky; he is much more likely to be self-employed, particularly given that he also appears as a pundit for a number of other broadcasters. However, if for argument’s sake we assume he is an employee, could Sky dismiss him?
  • The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that it is entirely possible for employers to discipline employees for misconduct which takes place outside of work. This usually occurs where either (1) the misconduct occurs during a time which is an extension of work, such as an office party; or (2) the misconduct brings the employee into disrepute.
  • In Jamie Carragher’s case, the argument would be that his actions caused reputational damage to Sky. Whether or not this damage would justify dismissal depends on a number of factors, including the nature and seriousness of the reputational damage and whether or not there are any legitimate mitigating factors.
  • A full investigation and disciplinary process would also be required before reaching any decision and employers should avoid the temptation to jump to conclusions or rush to a decision, even if the incident on the surface appears to be very serious.
  • The issue of reputational damage would also need to be properly considered, since many employers have been criticised by the courts for relying on this factor when dismissing employers, even though  objectively no reputational damage could be shown.
  • This is of course an unusual case, and ordinary employers are much more likely to face this issue in the context of employees receiving driving convictions or committing minor criminal offences outside of work.
  • For a smaller business, reputational damage may be less of factor, with the focus instead being on the suitability of the individual to continue in the role in light of their misconduct. For example, a driving offence may make an individual unsuitable for (or unable to carry out) a driving role.
  • The key point is that employers should always conduct a thorough investigation and follow a fair disciplinary process before reaching a decision. The decision reached must also be consistent with other previous decisions, or be mindful of setting a precedent for future incidents.
  • If you are an employer concerned about how to deal with a disciplinary matter in your workplace, please get in touch with our Employment Law experts on 0151 433 6042 or employment@mlplaw.co.uk.
  • This blog was taken from www.mlplaw.co.uk
 
  • Bringing a claim against your employer can be daunting, so we have set out a simple 5 step guide to take you through the process.
  1. Eligibility
  • Before you consider bringing a claim, you must first establish that you are eligible to submit a claim against your employer. You’ll need to consider the following:
  • depending on the type of claim you want to bring, you may need to be an employee, or worker, rather than self-employed;
  • whether you have the required service to bring a claim. For example, if you want to bring an unfair dismissal claim you must have two years’ service, whereas for many other claims there is no minimum service requirement; and
  • whether you are still within the limitation period to bring the claim. For most claims, this is 3 months from the incident you are complaining about.
  1. Consider internal procedures
  • Before submitting a claim, you should first consider bringing an internal grievance against your employer in order to resolve your complaint. How to do this should be contained in your staff handbook.
  • If you decide to continue, and bring a claim anyway, any notes from the meetings can be used as evidence to support your case. Failure to pursue internal procedures may count against you in any subsequent claim and could affect the amount of compensation awarded to you.
  1. Contacting ACAS
  • It is compulsory that you contact ACAS before submitting any claim, as you will not be able to submit your claim unless you have a valid ACAS conciliation certificate. Your first contact with ACAS must be within the time limit for bringing your claim. Once you have contacted ACAS, this time limit effectively freezes, so you should not worry if you are close to the time limit when you start the process.
  • ACAS will ask if you want to participate in ‘early conciliation’, which is where an impartial representative from ACAS will try and settle the issue with your employer without the need for a Tribunal claim. Participation in early conciliation is not compulsory, however, it is highly recommended to try and settle a claim out of court if at all possible.
  • If ACAS do manage to negotiate a settlement with your employer, it is likely that you will be issued with a COT3 or settlement agreement where the employer will make a payment to you in return for you agreeing not to issue any claims against them. If the matter cannot be settled, ACAS will issue you with a conciliation certificate and you can then proceed with your claim. You will have a period of at least one month from the end of the conciliation period to submit your claim.
  1. Submitting a claim
  • Once the conciliation certificate has been issued by ACAS the ‘frozen’ time limit described above stops, and the clock begins to tick again. You should therefore make sure you are aware of any deadlines.
  • The next step would be to complete and submit the Employment Tribunal Claim Form, known as an ET1. Use of this form is compulsory, and as mentioned above, this cannot be submitted without an ACAS conciliation certificate.
  1. Considerations – costs and risks
  • There is no longer a fee to bring an Employment Tribunal claim, so you can now submit a claim for free. However, the process can be stressful and expensive (in regards to legal fees), so careful consideration should be given before pursuing any claim. If you are thinking about submitting a claim we would highly recommend you seek legal advice, so that the merits of your claim and likelihood of success can be assessed.
  • If you require assistance on any of the above, please get in contact with a member of the team by emailing employment@mlplaw.co.uk. Alternatively, please call 0161 926 9969.
  • Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @HRGuruUK for important employment law updates and news.
  This blog was taken from www.mlplaw.co.uk
  • When was the last time you walked into the shop and asked the shop assistant to guess what you wanted? You have to admit, you most probably haven’t. It’s just plain silly to have someone try and guess what you want when you could just tell them isn’t it? Which is why I find telephone customer service so frustrating.
  • I recently asked for a quote from a large energy supplier to do a small job on my home. At the top of the letter was the contact number, a free phone number. I punched in the number and then the guessing game began….have I called for reason number 1, 2, 3 etc. Why did this company not use specific lead numbers for its different departments? Surely this would eliminate the guessing and save me, 1 ½ minutes of time pressing endless buttons.
  • I finally got through to a lovely chap who asked me for my customer number, which wasn’t provided on the letter the company had sent me and he struggled to find me using my address. He then told me he needed to put me
  • through to the right team. We were now 9 minutes into the call and all I had been allowed to tell him was my name, address and that I had received a quote from them. At 15 ½ minutes I was still on hold and I ended the call I just couldn’t waste any more of my valuable time.
  • How much different would that call have been if, after calling the number at the top of the letter, I was automatically held in a queue for the quotes team, then when a member of the team answered they had been able to find me based on the quotation number they had provided to me and then been able to answer my question without having to put me hold or pass me through to a different department? You have to admit it would have been a much better experience and it would have been quicker too.
  • Their system made it as difficult as possible for me to do business with them. I have no intention of calling them again as I don’t have another 15 ½ minutes available to waste.
  • So what about your customers? Can they contact you easily? Can they have their query dealt with by the first person they speak to? Can they contact you in multiple ways and have a fast and accurate response each time? Can they contact the same member of your team should they wish or need to in the future?
  • If you can answer yes to all of these questions great! But don’t forget to test that your system is working correctly. Mystery shopping your own business can provide you with a huge amount of information that your customers may never tell you.
  This blog was taken from www.bestbusinessenabler.com  
  • The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has come up with a suggestion to help people keep their pension plans on track. It has called for savings targets to be put in place to help individuals save enough for a good pension for their retirement years.
  • According to their research1, 13 million people haven’t made sufficient pension provision and 78% of those aged between 18 and 64 don’t know how to go about finding out how much pension they will receive when they retire.
  • The PLSA is considering developing a new set of benchmarks that will help savers by providing target figures for them to aim for.
  • Retirement income targets are commonly used in Australia, and can help people become more informed about their pension by explaining how much they need to save to achieve different standards of living in retirement – such as minimum, modest and comfortable.
  • GETTING THE RIGHT ADVICE
  • Whilst most people know that they should save regularly throughout their working lives to accumulate enough to retire on, fewer people are aware of how much they might need to live on, or whether their current pension arrangements are on track to achieve their goals.
  • Research2 has shown that the average person in the UK thinks that they will need an income of £29,700 a year when they retire; what they are often not so clear about is that to achieve this level of income, they would need to have accumulated a pension pot of around £364,000 on top of a full state pension.
  • This is where getting advice can really help. We can provide valuable insight into how much your current pension savings are worth, what level of income you can expect to retire on, and what steps you can take to improve your standard of living in your later years.
  • So dig out your pension paperwork and annual statement and contact us now to arrange an initial meeting. There is no charge for this and it will be the first step to you taking control! Our office number is 0161 718 8328 or you can contact us at info@platinumifs.co.uk
  • This blog was taken from https://platinumifs.co.uk/
 
  • Delegating is a critical skill, without it your business is going to falter. You will fast reach a point where your business has outgrown your ability to juggle tasks in the number of hours you have available each day. In fact, you’ve most probably found yourself burning the midnight oil and then waking up before the early bird just to keep on top of things. We both know that’s unsustainable, in fact, all you’re doing is punishing yourself for being successful. You’re making yourself ill because you’ve succeeded. Let that sink in for a moment. Now ask yourself:
  • ‘Why Am I Not Delegating?’
  • The barriers you are likely to be giving yourself will be all or a mixture of these below:
  • • Nobody can do it better than me
  • • It’s quicker to do it myself than show someone
  • • I don’t know which tasks I should delegate
  • • I can’t afford another employee right now
  • There are as many excuses as there are minutes in the day but these tend to be the top culprits in stopping you taking your business to the next level.
  • Let’s look at each and find out whether they hold any weight:
  • Nobody Can Do It Better Than Me: Yes they can. in fact my business wouldn’t’ exist without my team. They look after our clients on my behalf. I have an Office Manager who has an overview of daily activity and performance and acts as a reference point for each of the account managers. It works like a dream and frees me up to concentrate on growing the business. Could I do all this better myself. No. My business would have stagnated, I’d be worn to a frazzle and I’m sure my clients would not be as happy as they are right now.
  • It’s Quicker to Do It Myself Than Show Someone: That may be so, but is it quicker to do it yourself every time? The answer is no. Take emails for example. Do you really need to be spending 3 ¼ weeks every year checking your emails? The shocking thing is that’s a conservative estimate. Next time you begin to plough through your inbox make a list of the types of emails you receive and how you handle them. Then delegate this task. I’m sure an extra month each year to concentrate on growing your business sounds a lot more interesting than answering emails.
  • I Don’t Know Which Tasks I Should Delegate You can have this problem solved in 10 minutes. Make a list of all the tasks that are outstanding and vying for your attention right now. Which of those tasks will help you get more customers or retain the customers you already have? Put a tick next to them. All the other tasks can be delegated. You can call this your to delegate list!
  • If you’re still unsure of the tasks you should delegate here’s a list to get you started:
  • • Administration
  • • Customer Service
  • • Accounts Admin
  • • Credit Control
  • • Data base management
  • • Email marketing
  • • Social Media
  • • Email management
  • • Diary management
  • • Answering your telephone
  • • Anything you don’t like doing or aren’t good at doing
  • I Can’t Afford Another Employee Right Now Employees are expensive, in fact, there are around 30k of hidden costs per employee in your business, not including their salary! It is a big consideration and does come with a fair bit of risk. Don’t worry it’s not all doom and gloom there’s a simple solution, outsourcing. Working with an outsourced provider will see your company save around 50% in overheads, protecting your cash flow and has the added benefit of rocketing your productivity too. You can start working with an outsourced provider from around £500 per month (6k per year), that’s cheaper and more experienced than an apprentice.
  • Delegating will:
  • • Give time to grow your business quicker
  • • Provide support for your existing customers
  • • Help you retain more customers and sell more to your existing customers
  • • Ensure that your systems and procedures keep pace with the growth of your business
  • • Keep your cash flow in tip top condition
  • • Keep on top of the general administration that is necessary but time consuming
  • • Eliminate distractions and, when implemented correctly give you at least 8 weeks extra a year to focus on the things that matter the most to you
  • • Give you and your team a better work/life balance
  • • Save you money as well as time
  • Ask yourself again, Why Aren’t I Delegating? It’s time to stop sabotaging your growth plans and instead start empowering yourself to achieve even more.
  • Looking for someone to delegate to? Get in touch. We’d love to help.
 
  • This blog as taken from https://www.bestbusinessenabler.com/
  • The continuing rise in property prices has also fuelled a sharp increase in homeowners extending their properties with a view to adding value. In the year to June 2017, 197,000 people in England obtained planning permission to improve their homes, with a further 23,700 adding extensions under permitted development rights1. The figures suggest that, on average, one homeowner was extending or improving their property for every five who were buying a home.
  • ADDING SPACE
  • How much value you can add by updating the kitchen, the bathroom or adding another bedroom, will of course, depend on a variety of factors, including the type and location of the property. Research by a major insurance broker2 shows that converting a single garage into a room could add as much as 20% to your home’s value, and building a loft extension could add around 15%.
  • A conservatory provides extra space, although it will restrict the size of the garden. Unlike an extension, it won’t usually require planning permission as long as it doesn’t cover more than half the area of the land occupied by the original house (your local council planning department can advise). Having one could add around 7% in value.
  • Basement digs have also become popular over the last few years. However, they are usually only undertaken where house prices are so high that the value they add covers the cost of the work.
  • AFFORDABLE WAYS TO ADD BUYER APPEAL
  • Even simple make-overs, like painting and decorating the exterior and tidying the garden, could result in a 10% rise in value.
  • If you don’t have the budget to completely renovate your kitchen, replacing the worktops, cupboard doors and flooring can make it more attractive to buyers. In the bathroom, a new suite can make a big difference, but if funds are tight, simply replacing taps, painting walls and cleaning the tiles can improve its appeal.
  • 1 Savills, 2017
  • 2 Towergate Insurance, 2017
This blog was taken from https://platinumifs.co.uk/