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Blogs

Check out our blogs section where Chamber representatives, members and high-profile business figures write about a range of topics. If you are a member and want to submit a blog, please click here.

Pre-Nup upheld when implications understood

By Aniqa Basharit | Sydney Mitchell LLP

Family judges will approach pre-nuptial agreements with greater respect following a landmark Court of Appeal ruling in a 'big money' divorce case. The Court agreed with Lord Phillips' opinion in Radmacher v Granatino that failing to honour such agreements, if reasonable and freely entered into, on the basis that the Court knows best would be both 'paternalistic' and 'patronising'. The case concerned a middle-aged former couple who had been married for over 20 years and had three adult children. Their matrimonial assets were valued at £273 million. Much of that sum was family money inherited by the husband, a Swedish national, who had increased his fortune by successfully investing in property. On...

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Can a dismissal without warning for serious misconduct ever be 'fair'?

By Kathy Halliday | VWV

The Facts Mr Barongo was employed as a medical sales representative with Quintiles Commercial UK Ltd (Quintiles) from 1 October 2012. Mr Barongo was subject to disciplinary proceedings in respect of two acts of misconduct which took place in November 2015. The first was for failure to complete an online training course before the deadline, and the second was for failure to attend a compulsory training course. A few months before the incidents took place, Mr Barongo had been placed on a performance review plan. He claimed that the reason for not completing the training was that he was concentrating on improving his performance, and therefore prioritising other matters above the training...

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Why poor sanitation ruins reputation

By Debra Lawrence | Lawrence Cleaning Ltd

Today we live in a germ obsessed society-with reports from Industry Facility Management Association (IFMA) that 69% of customers say that a dirty bathroom lowers their opinion of the company. We often over look personal hygiene of our staff unless bad practice is displayed right in front of us, and are often unaware of the harmful bacteria that surrounds us. Hygiene is a 24/7 practice, but unfortunately we don’t all have the same hygiene standards. Implementing better sanitation methods in your workplace can teach people what is required to help prevent the fast spread of germs and infection. For example the norovirus stomach bug affects between 600,000 and 1 million people per year according...

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The economy: Is there really a north-south divide?

By Sebastian Burnside | RBS

North South divides are a common theme of many analyses of the UK, not least when it comes to economic performance. But today the story of how Britain’s economy is doing is far more nuanced and many of those old maxims have been turned on their head. Take business confidence for example. Which region’s firms are most optimistic about growth in the next 12 months? Yorkshire and the Humber comes top of the table with very closely followed by the North West and with the North East in fourth position. London is the least optimistic English region. It is tempting to speculate that this some sort of Brexit-induced phenomenon, where regions that voted to leave the EU are happier about the future....

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Driving offences committed in the UK (2017)

By Manjinder | Kang & Co Solicitors Limited

Driving is something most people do every day and often take for granted however, there is a multitude of legislation, rules and regulations which must be followed if one wishes to retain their driving licence and continue to drive. Our lawyers have carefully considered 2017 Criminal Justice Statistics Bulletin (Published 17th May 2018), which records criminal offences committed in the United Kingdom from January 2017 through to December 2017. Our lawyers have focused on the Motoring Offences aspect of this report which reveals that in 2017 approximately 58,000 motorists were disqualified from driving. The 2017 Criminal Justice Statistics Bulletin reveals that throughout 2017 there were approximately...

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Grandparents rights - what rights?

By Andrew Wood | Enoch Evans LLP

This is often an issue that arises when parents separate and they are unable to make arrangements between themselves in respect of the children spending time with the parent they do not live with. As the relationship between the parents become less amicable the impact on the children can be considered as not only will they be spending a reduced amount of time with the parent they do not live with, if any time at all, but it is often the case that the children’s relationship with the wider family, especially grandparents, that suffers the most. At present, there is no automatic right afforded to grandparents to apply to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order specifying when they are to spend...

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Forget Brexit – Britain is booming

By Robina Shah | Optimus Law

Right in the heart of England is the UK’s ‘second city’ – Birmingham. It’s attracting record levels of investment domestically and from abroad. Billions of Dollars have been spent on infrastructure development and the country has the highest employment levels on record. It’s a familiar story in Britain – but one the press is reluctant to tell. Fiscally, the UK’s position has improved since the Brexit vote. The economy grew by 2% in 2016 and 1.8% in 2017. The doomsday predictions of a recession never transpired. The fall in Sterling has made exports cheaper and consequently, UK export growthreached a nine-month high in December 2017 as it continued to outperform Europe’s other largest economies....

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Employment law changes - what you need to do

By Sam Hulson | BIRCH HR

1. Gender Pay Gap Reporting – if you employ more than 250 staff, it is time to finalise your first gender pay gap report, upload the results to the Government’s reporting website and publish the information on your website. 2. Changes to the Rules on Taxation of Termination Payments – make sure that all payments in lieu of notice are treated as subject to both tax and NIC. 3. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – read up on the new recommendations by The Equalities & Human Rights Commission, including approved safeguards to have in place and also remember that men can be victims too. 4. The National Living Wage and Apprentice Rates have Increased – ensure that your workers and apprentices are...

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Essential guide to writing a winning award submission

By Stephanie Woodall | Klick Business Solutions

Klick Business Solutions have won several awards over the last few years. Winning these awards has given us great publicity and has been vital to our growth as a business. Not only raising our profile locally and nationally, also instilling trust to our existing customers. There is no better way to prove you are great at what you do than being recognised for it by a high profile, respected organisation such as the Chamber of Commerce or the local Business Hubs. There are currently so many awards out there that businesses can apply for, we wanted to share with you our top tips to help you along your way when writing your award submission. Tell the Story of your business in a Positive, Unique...

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Working Smarter: Business productivity review

By Emily Stubbs | Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce as part of the ongoing Growth Through People campaign. Growth Through People is a Chamber campaign aiming to help local firms boost productivity and grow through improved leadership and people management skills. This involves a month of up to 20 free events each year, including workshops and training sessions, along with thought leadership blog content such as this, GBCC podcasts and the publication of original research. Interested readers can find out more here. With productivity being the driver behind the Industrial Strategy and the buzz-word of the moment, the Government’s Business Productivity Review (BPR)...

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