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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.

Race Pay Gap: Employers’ reporting obligations may be extended

By Lisa Moore | The Wilkes Partnership Solicitors

A Race Disparity Audit conducted in 2017 found large variations in pay and opportunities between white British people and ethnic minorities. For instance, it was concluded that around 1 in 10 adults from a Black, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Mixed origin were unemployed compared with 1 in 25 White British adults. Against this background, the Government are currently in consultation over introducing the compulsory disclosure of information on pay gaps for employees from different ethnic groups. It is hoped that this may improve equal opportunities in the workplace which, in turn, is likely to benefit Britain’s economy. As part of the consultation, which is due to close on 11 January 2019, businesses...

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Tired of not being taken seriously?

By Clare Whalley | Meta4 Business Coaching

This year we celebrated 100 years since suffrage. Since women were granted the right to vote. This wasn’t all women. After 50 years of campaigning, in 1918 it was granted to 8.4 million, women over 30 – if they were married, occupiers of property… (At this point men were granted universal suffrage). A landmark nonetheless. We have come such a long way since 1918. We still have a way to go, the world still needs to catch up in many ways. For now, let’s talk business… Creating the right space for women to grow their business. Overall it’s a fact that men are twice more likely to be in business as women. However, according a recent survey by Aston University: ‘…comparing 2003-6 and 2013-16,...

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Insurance cover that company directors often forget

By Adrian Littler | CLA (Risk Solutions) Ltd

If you are running a business, you will have made sure you are insured if anything happens to your employees, premises, equipment and stock. Losing any of these could have a major impact on the financial survival of your business. What you may not have considered is a scenario where you could lose your own personal property or wealth. After all, your company is a limited company and therefore has limited liability so there is nothing to worry about. However, as a director of the company your liability is unlimited. If a claimant cannot get full compensation from your company, they are entitled to seek redress from the assets of its directors. Directors and company owners often make decisions...

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To Cloud or not to Cloud?....That is the question

By Peter Barnes | Technical Drive

Many of the companies we engage with are confused about the cloud, what it means, how it works, is it right for them and perhaps most importantly, is it secure? One Managing Director recently told me that he was thinking of moving his IT to the cloud. When I asked him why, his response was “because everyone else is!” His response shows that the cloud is definitely in vogue at the moment, but that’s not necessarily a good enough business reason to move your IT to the cloud. Had he said that he was thinking of moving his IT to the cloud because he wanted his employees to concentrate on increasing the profitability of the company and that he wanted to be able to work from anywhere with improved...

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Online Community Building: How to avoid common mistakes

By Gina Narramore | 4 Roads LTD

Successful online community building is a careful and considered process where it’s important to start small, measure and evolve. Too many organisations have a vision of monolithic proportion where they believe they can get thousands of members through the doors on day one who will be there months later. It’s all too common for mistakes to be made that become costly, both in terms of investment and wasted work hours, that derail the potential and create a member and internal stakeholder apathy toward the community. Here, we’ll look at some of the things not to do if you want to give your blueprint the best chance of success. Do Not: Assume everyone gets it This sounds ridiculous, doesn’t...

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Be like Sir Alex and keep pushing forward in business

By David Khan | Online Marketing Surgery

It’s been five and a half years since the greatest football manager of all time left the dugout – but his philosophy of staying abreast of new techniques and shaking up his assets every few years still rings true today. Former Manchester United chief Sir Alex Ferguson was famed for rebuilding winning squads every couple of years. Reputations meant nothing to the fiery Scot.  It didn’t matter if you had a glittering trophy cabinet or had won world honours. If you didn’t fit his plans for the coming season he had no qualms about showing you the door at Old Trafford. Sir Alex was undoubtedly a winner. He was always searching for the next trophy and plotting the next big win. The former Aberdeen...

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Employee engagement: the powertool to grow your business

By Juliana Geller | Hive360

Human capital is a key value creator, so employee engagement is now a clear measure of business success and the challenge is 2 fold: ATTRACT -UK unemployment rates are at lowest since 1975 at 4% -UK workforce is shrinking at the same time as vacancies are rising – according to the CBI -Job seekers becoming more discerning and engage with employer ‘brands’ RETAIN & ENGAGE -Today’s work force is more fluid and more likely to ‘job hop’ to build their career portfolio -Almost three quarters (73%) of millennials agreed they would be more motivated to work if it was recognised by personalised benefits in addition to salary – the same goes for 65% of Gen X and 57% of baby boomers. Why engagement...

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Outsourcing your IT: 5 things you need to consider

By Chris Roche | Acutec

Your IT is essential to the operation of your business. Whether you are a legal firm, manufacturing company, charity or hair salon you will rely on technology in some way. If you’re considering outsourcing your IT to make sure that your business has reliable support, then you will need to make sure the provider you choose ticks all the right boxes. When your IT is out of action your business comes to a standstill. Your invoices can’t be paid, your customer details become inaccessible and your staff can’t get on with their tasks. Your choice of IT Support provider becomes critical at this point. You want to be assured that everything will be back up and running as soon as possible. In this...

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Are you taking this seriously? Accountability in data protection law

By Mandy Webster | Data Protection Consulting Limited

Accountability means demonstrating compliance with the data protection principles. This article looks at what that means in practice, what should you do? how much should you do? It is important to be seen to do something. The fines tend to fall where the regulator finds "systemic compliance failures". Compliance activity will help protect your business against data breaches. Evidence of compliance activity can help to mitigate the effects of breaches. Organisations are expected to put into place comprehensive but proportionate governance measures. Data protection should be appropriate in the circumstances of the processing. This is a standard theme throughout GDPR. Ultimately, the governance...

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Is your attendance policy affecting employee productivity?

By Chris Roche | Acutec

Is your attendance policy affecting employee productivity?  Habitually absent employees are damaging your company’s profit and productivity. In fact, unscheduled absenteeism has been estimated to cost businesses more than £500 per employee per year. But that’s not all. Although the average UK employee loses just 5.21 working days due to sickness, excessive absences can lead to : - Decreased productivity - Strained employee relationships - Internal company conflict - Increased administration costs Most company attendance policies state that employees who abuse workplace leave will face disciplinary action. However, it’s difficult to track your employees’ hours and absences, especially in...

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