Subscribe to Business News

To stay up to date with the latest business news, please enter your email below.


Social Issues


The New Flexible Working Rules and What It Means For Your Business

After 26 weeks employment, all employees now statutorily have the right to request flexible working and as an Employer you are legally obliged to consider this and go through a consideration and handling process.

As an employer you may groan about the extra bureaucracy and administration costs, however you should now be putting a flexible working policy in place whether you like it or not.
Government statistics show (“lies, damned lies and statistics” I hear you shouting!) that offering flexible working practices will lead to economic benefits through improved efficiency and employee satisfaction. There are also many business advocates who say that allowing greater flexibility will help motivate staff , increase productivity and reduce the hassle of staff turnover which may actually reduce costs.

It is also not a fait accompli. Although your employees have the right to request flexible working practices as an employer you still has the right to refuse if you have a valid business reason. It is a right to ask and not a right to have.

If you do reject the request it must be for one of the following business reasons as set out in the legislation:

  • the burden of additional costs,
  • an inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff
  • an inability to recruit additional staff
  • a detrimental impact on quality
  • a detrimental impact on performance
  • detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
  • insufficient work for the periods the employee proposes to work
  •  planned structural change to your business

More details of the full request ,consideration and handling process can be found here.

Recent survey results by Citrix have shown that only 43% of  SMB’s support the decision and 21% believe this will have a negative impact time.  A survey by Fraser Young employment law specialists found 84pc of employers expect the new right to cause resentment among staff. More than half predict the change will adversely affect the day-to-day running of businesses.

My opinion for what it’s worth is rather than focusing on how many hours an employee has worked , put systems in place to ensure that their objectives are met ,focus on the quality of work and that your employees are actually enhancing your business. You may be surprised.


Does old fashioned etiquette and dress sense matter in the modern office?

I ask the question because (as you can imagine) I do have my own views and I’d love to hear yours. It’s interesting to find people turn up for interview in dirty shoes and scruffy attire and yes, even today those first impressions do count. Continue reading “Does old fashioned etiquette and dress sense matter in the modern office?” »


Running a business in a war zone…

Well ok, perhaps not a war zone, but I spotted a recent article on the BBC website, which made fascinating reading. I’ve abbreviated some of its points here, as I was just awestruck. Of course many of the globe’s people have little choice, but how in God’s name do they do so? Continue reading “Running a business in a war zone…” »


A Clampdown on Tax Avoidance in 2013

A Clampdown on Tax Avoidance in 2013It seems that the government are finally starting to react to the public outcry over tax avoidance and evasion. In the past, the government have been wary of upsetting the rich in the UK over fears that they would take their business overseas. Continue reading “A Clampdown on Tax Avoidance in 2013” »


Tips to Improve Home Security on a Budget

Tips to Improve Home Security on a BudgetMany households are now realising the importance of improving the security of their home, more so than say 10 years ago. However many people automatically think there will be a huge cost in implementing an effective security system. But, it turns out the cost of hi-tech home security components has come down in recent years. Continue reading “Tips to Improve Home Security on a Budget” »


Budget 2013 Help to Buy Scheme: Criteria and How it will work

Budget 2013 Help to Buy Scheme: Criteria and How it will workIn this post I won’t be professing the rights or wrongs of the new scheme but most people trying to get on the housing ladder or even moving up a rung will be pleased with the announcement of the Help to Buy and will be rushing to find out whether they meet the criteria and how the scheme will work. Continue reading “Budget 2013 Help to Buy Scheme: Criteria and How it will work” »


The Importance of Fitness at Work

The Importance of Fitness at WorkWhen I left the gym last night, I joked with a friend who said she was going home to a beer; that I was going home for supper and for me there was a direct correlation between how nice I was to my wife in the morning and the likelihood of there being supper on the table when I get home. Continue reading “The Importance of Fitness at Work” »


Be a little selfless this Xmas! #SelflessatXmas

Be a little Selfless This XmasI do hope you share or pass the message on in the spirit it’s intended as you never know, this Xmas we might be able to help a little with extra donations to charities.

It’ll soon be that time of year again and businesses are Continue reading “Be a little selfless this Xmas! #SelflessatXmas” »


A political hot potato…

A political hot potato....It seems “of the moment” to speak of one’s parents working class background and how hard they worked, but my Mom had three jobs (factory worker, waitress and cleaner) and needed them to earn enough money to feed us and keep us clothed after my Dad left. Continue reading “A political hot potato…” »


Struggle for hand dryer clarity – Is it just me?

Well today’s whinge dear reader is about the ubiquitous electric hand dryer – now you might think I’ve got to much time on my hands (sorry, no pun intended), but my point here cuts to the very heart of advertising (well ok, “the very heart” is a bit of an exaggeration) Continue reading “Struggle for hand dryer clarity – Is it just me?” »


Getting back to work after extended time off

So I’m lucky enough to have taken seven weeks off work! Yes seven – eat your heart out J. I won’t bore you with where my hubby and I travelled to, but what I would like to do is share with you some thoughts on the difficulties of getting back to work Continue reading “Getting back to work after extended time off” »


Economic Success of the London 2012 Olympics

Economic Success of the London 2012 OlympicsLike most all of the UK, I’m almost lost for words to describe the wonderful results and atmosphere of the London Olympics, but as an accountant and FD, I have to ask if we can translate the British athlete’s success into an economic boost for the UK. That for me now is the big question? Continue reading “Economic Success of the London 2012 Olympics” »


Work Life Balance, Job Satisfaction and Happiness – General Thoughts

Work Life BalanceIf you’ll allow me, I’d just love to start a conversation about work, stress and well being. So few people I speak with can say they love what they do (which is perhaps not surprising), but the subject raises lots of questions and points of view Continue reading “Work Life Balance, Job Satisfaction and Happiness – General Thoughts” »


Deprivation of Liberty Standards

Deprivation of Liberty StandardsDoLS or Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, in Health and Social Care settings means a whole raft of rules and regulations, tied up with Health and Safety surrounding how vulnerable people are kept safe without unwarranted restrictions. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) – Alzheimer’s Society Continue reading “Deprivation of Liberty Standards” »


Care Home or Home Care?

Care Home or Home Care?Independence is precious. Staying in the home which has been the centre of family life and holds so many memories is vital to emotional well-being. People hang on to their independence often long after they actually lost it in every true sense of the word. It can come as a shock to families to discover that their elderly person has not been coping Continue reading “Care Home or Home Care?” »