Employment Law: An Introduction for Small Businesses

Employment Law: An Introduction for Small Businesses

Whilst employment law may seem like a complex and daunting topic, the issues are actually fairly simple for business looking to employee its first employee. As a business who is new to employment issues, you are only likely to run into a few specific areas in the early stages. This article covers the basics of employment law from the point of view of a beginner. We cover all the areas of law you are likely to encounter including contracts of employment, discrimination issues, sickness and sick pay and how to dismiss employees safely. If you need more information, see our employment law section, which includes in-depth articles on all of the topics we touch on here and much more. What do I need to know about employment contracts? Employment contracts are the agreement between you and the em... »

What Rights do Employers Have During Notice Periods?

What Rights do Employers Have During Notice Periods?

What are employers’ rights during notice periods? It can be a difficult question for smaller employers, with notice periods often feeling like employment ‘limbo’ for employers and employees alike. Here we identify some of the key rights you are entitled to as the employer once a notice period has been issued, either by you or the member of staff… When giving notice of dismissal or redundancy to staff First off, can an employer fire someone when they’ve already given notice? Or if the employer has already served them notice? It’s a question that many small business owners ask, as they are without the flexibility to manage or afford long notice periods. For example, if an employee has worked for five years they are entitled to statutory notice of five week... »

How to Attract the Best Talent to Your Start-up

Discover how to compete with the big corporations to win top employees who will help your business grow Business is booming, your little start-up is growing into an empire and to move it forward you need to employ new talent. But how do you attract this talent to join your team in such a competitive market? What can you offer that sets your start-up apart from other businesses to ensure you get the best and brightest recruits? The obvious answer might be a big salary, although this is something not necessarily achievable for smaller businesses. While the wages have to be fair, there are other and often more important elements that will make your company a desirable place to work. A business that offers career progression The best new talent will have their eyes on career progression, so de... »

Two Thirds of Small Businesses Predict Ambitious Growth

Emergence of ‘threshold’ businesses is driving force in business growth A new report by Albion Ventures revealed that 62% of small and mid-sized firms anticipate to grow over the next two years – with only 3% of businesses expecting to decrease in size. 33% of firms are hoping to recruit with only 2% looking to reduce headcount and a third of businesses plan to raise finance this year with the number looking for development capital rising to 27%, whereas the percentage looking solely to fund working capital has dropped 25%. The report also revealed a decrease in businesses using traditional finance options, with firms relying less on asset-based leasing, invoice discounting and credit cards, and those seeking bank funding falling 14%. Broken down by region, the report showed th... »

Growth Pushes Small Business Confidence to Highest in 22 Years

Small business’ profits, exports, and employment predicted to grow as survey reveals increases across all sectors Lloyd’s ‘Business in Britain’ survey shows that business confidence is at its highest in 22 years, with companies witnessing a rise in sales, orders and exports in the first half of the year. The report revealed that overall sales and new orders have increased by 8% in small and mid-sized businesses, with sales rising to 41% and orders to 42%; and that over half (52%) of the survey’s respondents reported an increase in new business. The percentage of exports also increased from 33% to 38%, with overseas sales within Europe rising 5% to 21%. Businesses anticipate that the numbers will continue to grow; expecting stronger profits, sales, exports and orders for the second half of ... »

Web service answers Business questions

Web service answers Business questions

Business directory FreeIndex has launched a free online tool offering small firms personalised business advice from a panel of industry experts. To use the service, businesses are required to register on the FreeIndex website. They can then post a question on the website and a FreeIndex business expert will provide an answer within 24 hours. Seven areas are covered by FreeIndex experts, which include business development, sales and marketing, internet and IT, finance, legal issues, employment and premises advice. As well as getting advice from industry specialists, other businesses registered on the site are able to contribute their tips and comment, and users can search through past advice topics. “With 5,000 new businesses joining every four weeks we wanted to offer something extra... »

Childcare Vouchers

Childcare Vouchers – on the ascendant Designed to help working parents, childcare voucher schemes have seen a sharp rise in their profile in the benefits arena since vouchers became tax free in April 2005. Childcare vouchers are an alternate means of paying for childcare. Vouchers are provided by employers to staff and are a simple tangible way in which employers can assist employees with their childcare costs. Employers of choice have become aware of the importance of adopting family friendly policies to attract and retain staff in what is now a highly competitive job market. Staff loss through soaring childcare costs has become a major issue for industry. Losing a key member of staff can, however, impact more heavily on a smaller organisation. Recognising the difficulties being fac... »

Adoptive Parents – Rights to Leave & Pay

NEW – From April 2009, the standard rate of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) and Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) in the UK increased from £117.18 per week to £123.06 per week. The Government is committed to helping working parents. Rights to leave and pay for adoptive parents have been introduced for employees whose children are placed with them on or after 6 April 2003. »