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Help Reduce The Carbon Footprint And Cut Business Costs March 31, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Chamber HR, Environment, Top Tips.
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Green_leaf_detail We all have a duty to help in reducing carbon emissions as well as encouraging good work place practices that reduce waste and extravagance. The HR function should help lead the way by pro-actively encouraging the business and the workforce to adopt some simple measures to make reductions.

Here are some simple ways in which the business and the environment can benefit.

a.      Switch it off – Switch off unnecessary lighting – with the lighter days do we need that light or is it just for effect? Where lights are not needed for productive work or for health and safety reasons then make sure they are turned off. This will reduce costs and reduce the heat generated in an office

b.      Reducing monitor waste – Is that computer turned off? Don’t just let your laptop hibernate or your work station tick over, turn it off. At night when you leave the office do you check to make sure that both the hard drive and the monitor are switched off? The number of monitors that hum along on stand by eating up power all night is colossal. Turn it off!

c.      Turn it off last thing – Have an employee designated to check the building last thing to make sure that equipment that does not have to be switched on or on stand by is turned off. Make sure that the lights are turned down and heating is kept to a minimum.

d.      Temperature control – Ensure that all radiators have individual thermostats that actually work. This will enable the heat in a room to be adjusted for ambient temperature to suite the individuals working in that room. Make sure that they some sort of default maximum setting so that heating costs are reduced.

e.      Is that journey necessary? – Think before making a business journey, could it be done in a better way. Is it necessary at this time or can it be combined with another journey? Can video/telephone conferencing be used instead?

f.       Do you have to use a vehicle?- If the destination is close can you walk, could you cycle – is that practical? By allowing more time to go to close locations many may be in walking range. The benefit then is at least two fold – healthy exercise and cost reduction.

g.      Is that printed copy needed? – Why do we seem to have to print every thing that is sent when an electronic copy and back up would almost certainly suffice? The amount of paper that is wasted is considerable and with paper and print costs climbing thing before you print.

h.      Was that photocopy required?- How many of us take an extra copy just in case and what is the cost to business as well as to the environment? Try to think electronically. If a copy is needed for a meeting can it be sent electronically first and perhaps just one copy available at the meeting. Attendees could share information copies to reduce the number needed.

i.        Is that printer necessary?- a good way to help reduce printing costs is to cut the number of network printers and stop buying individual desk printers. Undertake an audit of the staff who really need a printer, they should be only the ones who have to print confidential information and even then only those who need to do it on a regular substantial basis. Think electronically and reduce costs.

j.        Stop web surfing- Many business costs are compounded by individual staff surfing the web for their own purposes at work. There is a considerable cost in lost time but many of these web searches result in reams of paper being used for helpful hints and advertising and holiday searches. Be firm, be fair but put an end to it. It’s costing the business money in many ways and HR must act positively to discourage this waste. Let the staff web surf from designated PCs only and make sure that they are not linked to a printer! The internet is for business use and so only needs to be accessible to a few people who need it to maintain the client service at acceptable levels.

These are just a few of the hints and tips that are available all across the business network. HR needs to help business cut costs and maintain margins as the credit crunch hardens. Think ‘is something really necessary, is there a better cheaper more environmentally sound way of doing something or providing some information?’ Prepare a policy and send it electronically to your staff. Explain the sense of reducing print costs both in hard and soft ware.

It is the role of HR to act in the best interests of the business look for savings, consider reductions and recommend positive steps.

For more information and assistance visit the ChamberHR website www.chamberhr.co.uk

Alan Hunt – Qdos Consulting Limited providers of ChamberHR

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HR In Hard Times November 27, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in British Chambers of Commerce, Chamber HR, Chamber Services, Services.
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scrapheapDuring these testing times, it’s almost inevitable that some companies will have to resort to redundancies.

So it’s vital to handle these issues responsibly from the start.

Don’t forget, your Chamber membership gets you free HR support and advice from Chamber HR

No employer should consider this measure before taking professional advice at the outset, indeed it should be before the outset.

In many cases professional advisors can help long before a redundancy situation has to be considered. Remember that in tough times although employees are a major cost burden, good motivated employees are also a positive asset to have on board to help you steer through the changing climate of the economic downturn. A well handled re-evaluation programme can help you focus on the profitable parts of your business, assist you with retaining essential staff and in a final resort look at measures to cut costs which can include restrictions on recruitment, reduced use of agency staff, short time working, lay off and maybe redundancy.

However, redundancy should be one of a range of options considered and usually only considered when all else has failed. Redundancy can lead to loss of skills and abilities within the workplace. It will almost certainly lead to loss of morale and faith and that in turn will lead to even more employees leaving, sometimes your best. So a well handled redundancy situation is not about just shedding jobs but about handling it in a sensible manner dealing with the challenges of keeping the workforce focused, retaining the best and shedding jobs as a last resort.

It is also about ensuring that when it is done it is carried out properly and avoids the high cost in terms of time and money that Tribunal claims can bring upon any employer, large or small.

One of the best ways to ensure that you handle the position properly is to take advantage of a specially prepared Redundancy handling consultancy provision that the advice service can offer. You can receive on site help as well as that all too crucial training for your managers. Training in, not only how to handle a redundancy, but how to avoid it where possible and if it becomes inevitable how to negotiate the shark ridden waters and emerge relatively unscathed at the other end with a sound group of rowers left in the boat with you.

Find out more about Chamber HR here.

Email our membership team if you can’t find you Chamber HR log-in details.

Your Views On The EU Urban Transport Green Paper December 12, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Chamber HR, Health / Lifestyle, Sponsors.
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The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is seeking your views on the EU Urban Transport Green Paper, published on 25th September 2007.  The EU, since it’s 2006 Review of the 2001 Transport Policy White Paper, has been consulting on EU action to support urban transport infrastructure.  This Green Paper will feed into the EU action plan on urban transport, which will be delivered in autumn 2008.

This Green Paper will report on issues such as safety and security standards, use and support of technology and the development of intelligent transport systems. This is an important consultation and with the input of your views, the BCC aims to produce a considered UK position in response and define the potential impacts of the Paper on UK urban transport policy.

More info on the Green Paper [Word Doc]

In order for Liverpool Chamber to give a response to BCC within their timescale, your comments to us would be appreciated as soon as possible and no later than 16 January 2008 please submit these on policy@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

Chamber Legal Can Help Your Business December 3, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Chamber HR, Chamber Services, Services.
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Liverpool Chamber members receive free access to a comprehensive legal expenses insurance package. This offers cover of up to £65,000 per annum on a range of legal expense issues.

Chamber HR is a recent addition to the existing Legal Expenses scheme. Provided by Composite Legal Expenses, Chamber HR enables you to keep pace and more importantly ensure compliance with the ever increasing stream of employment legislation.

Here are a few recent examples of how Chamber Legal has helped our member businesses:

  • A member with the assistance of the helpline conducted a selection process for necessary redundancies. Seventeen employees were dismissed by reason of redundancy. One former employee submitted a claim through the Employment Tribunal and claimed losses of £40,000. Chamber Legal Expenses is operating for the member to settle the claim and legal costs are currently reserved at £15,000 which if the business was not a member of a Chamber of Commerce they would have had to pay themselves.
  • A Chamber member received notification of a full tax investigation and notified the helpline immediately. Following acceptance of the claim our tax specialists have been liaising with HMRC in relation to their analytical review and responding thereafter to the queries raised by HMRC. Costs incurred to date exceed £2,000 with enquiries ongoing.

For more information contact The Chamber Legal Advice Line – 0870 220 8515.

Age Discrimination – Not Just Against Older People September 21, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber HR, Chamber Services, Events, Legislation, Policy, Services, Training.
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This weeks Chamber HR news looks at age discrimination and the fact that it’s not just the older members of society who can face it.

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 came into effect on 1st October 2006.

Regulations cover employers and employees, but extend far beyond to cover people in training, professional bodies, trade unions, office holders like directors, clergy, and many more – it’s not just for big companies.

Most people think of age discrimination in terms of discrimination against older people. It can apply where younger people are discriminated against. So, employers must be wary of framing advertisements which put off younger people as well as avoiding job advertisements which specify upper age limits.

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Make Sure Your Business Isn’t One Involved In A Dispute September 18, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber HR, Chamber Services, Legislation, News, Services.
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Did you know?

  • That a contract of employment is required for all employees
  • That if you do not have a compliant disciplinary and grievance procedure you may face a financial penalties in an employment tribunal
  • If an employer has five or more employees that they have a statutory duty to have a Health and Safety Policy.

As a member of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, you can benefit from a free dedicated telephone advice line supported by a comprehensive website to provide you the necessary documentation and advice you need to implement good human resource practice.

Each year there are in excess of 100,000 employment disputes that result in employment tribunals. Our service will enable Chamber members to seek free invaluable advice from experts early on in a dispute and could help prevent issues escalating to litigation.

The service known as ChamberHR provides members with unlimited telephone Human Resource and Health & Safety advice lines and access to over 150 downloadable documents, letters, policies and procedures. Included with these documents are a compliant Contract of Employment and a Health & Safety Policy. Businesses need to ensure that their employees have a Contract of Employment and if they employ more than five people, they have a statutory obligation to have a written Health & Safety Policy. Failure to comply could lead to financial penalties being imposed by an employment tribunal.

ChamberHR is also complimentary to the Chamber Legal Expenses scheme therefore offering additional peace of mind by subscribing to this scheme. As a result not only will you receive proactive advice through ChamberHR but also reactive insurance to cover the cost of representation and awards in respect of Employment Tribunal claims. Currently there is no ceiling on awards related to discrimination including Race, Sex and Age.

The ChamberHR service is provided by Qdos Consulting, who, are a long established consultancy company providing services to Accountants, Lawyers and Businesses.  For more information on ChamberHR or to obtain your log in and password details, please contact  Jenny Stewart at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce on  0151 227 1234 or email jenny.stewart@liverpoolchamber.org.uk.

Chamber Health & Safety – A New Free Membership Benefit Launches In October September 13, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber HR, Chamber Services, Legislation, News, Policy, Services.
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Everyone would agree that maintaining a safe and healthy working environment is important. Not only is it a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 but it is also commercially and morally the right thing to do. Work related injuries and illness cost money and increasingly contract tender conditions require that health and safety requirements are met.

As part of our determination to provide valuable services that members need, we at the Liverpool Chamber have arranged for members to have access to ChamberH&S from October 2007.

ChamberH&S has been developed by Qdos Consulting to provide members with a comprehensive health and safety solution delivered via a dedicated health and safety advice line and web site.

Specifically ChamberH&S offers:

  • A Compliant Health and Safety Policy.
  • Template organisational responsibilities and structures.
  • Downloadable health and safety arrangements.
  • Regular health and safety updates.
  • Access to over 150 downloadable policies, forms, documents, templates and fact sheets.
  • Unlimited access to a 24/7 health and safety advice line.
  • Locally delivered on site health and safety training and consultancy.

It mirrors the readily available ChamberHR offering and is complementary to the existing Chamber Legal Expense scheme, therefore providing additional legal compliance “peace of mind” to subscribing members in the health and safety arena.

Members will be able to access the service utilising the existing ChamberHR username and password via the ChamberHR Website www.chamberhr.co.uk or direct www.chamberhs.co.uk.

Over the next few weeks, prior to the launch, we will be publishing a series of articles regarding Health & Safety including:

  • Getting Started with H&S
  • Slips, Trips & Falls
  • Working At Heights
  • Organisational Arrangements.

We will also publish full details of the H&S Service nearer to the launch.

If you have not received your ChamberHR website log in details or you are a new members and would like to register to use the service please contact the membership team by email at membership@liverpoolchamber.org.uk or by telephone on 0151 227 1234.

Chamber HR News – Cigarettes, Drugs And Alcohol September 3, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Chamber HR, Chamber Services, Services.
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This week’s article from Chamber HR looks at creating and managing a drugs and alcohol policy for the workplace, as well as the ramifications of the ban on smoking in the workplace.

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Chamber HR News – Preventing Illegal Working August 17, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Chamber HR, Chamber Services, Services.
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This week’s article from Chamber HR looks at illegal working:

No one knows the true depth of the problem but undoubtedly there are tens of thousands of illegal workers within the three nations that comprise Great Britain.

Thousands avoiding, and being aided in their avoidance by unscrupulous employers and others within, creating a massive black hole in the aim to create a level employment field with full employment and health and safety protection.
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Chamber HR News – Handling Redundancy July 27, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber HR, Chamber Services.
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Over the last couple of weeks we have been looking at the most common areas that businesses are effected by when dealing with employment issues including being compliant with employment law and grievance & disciplinary. This week we review the unfortunate circumstances of dealing with redundancy.

The ChamberHR service is provided as part of your chamber membership and will provide you telephone advice and documentation on a number of employment issues. Andrew Bines from Qdos Consulting who provide the ChamberHR service will be contacting all members shortly to ensure that you can access the website and to answer any questions you may have regarding this service.

If you have not received your website log in details or you are a new members and would like to register to use the service please contact the membership team by email at membership@liverpoolchamber.org.uk or by telephone on 0151 27 1234.
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