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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.

Recession-Proof Your Business November 19, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Events.
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ultimate-business-class-logoFREE Workshop – Thursday 11th December 2008 – 4.00 to 7.00pm

Liverpool Chamber’s Ultimate Business Class is holding a free workshop to help you strengthen your business. In these testing times, we aim to give you the support you need to see them through.

The workshop will cover a range of topics to help you work smarter

1.   Introduction – the current business climate

Planning – ‘ start with the end in mind’

2.    The ‘human effect’- the changing demands on individuals, and how this can affect your business

3.    The Business Appraisal model – general awareness and ‘barometer’ of where your business stands in today’s climate

4.    ‘Recession-proof’ your business:

  • survive
  • consolidate
  • move forward
  • grow your business

5.    Cash management

6.    Managing change in small business

7.    Close – after-hours networking and refreshments

With
Geoff Stevenson – Ultimate Business Class
Catherine Glazebrook – Real Growth Ltd

Jenny Esau – Credit Management Group

To attend please email Geoff Stevenson with your details and number of delegates.

Liverpool Chamber of Commerce,
No 1 Old Hall St., Liverpool L3 9HG

NI Cut – Is Cameron Right? October 20, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in News.
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Conservative leader David Camereon has today propsed a 1p cut in National Insurance. The move is designed to help small businesses with four or fewer employees. He says it could save them up to £600.

From the BBC article:

Mr Cameron … said he wanted a six-month VAT holiday for small and medium-sized firms and called on local authorities to pay small businesses within 20 days for their services, rather than 30

For Labour, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Yvette Cooper said she was confused over how the Tories planned to pay for the national insurance cut.

She told BBC Radio’s Five Live increasing tax elsewhere in the business system “seems to me like putting taxes up”.

But what do you think? Let us know in the quick survey below.

If you’d like to discuss this in more detail, why not leave us a comment?

Credit Crunch Shouldn’t Be A Health Hazard October 16, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Chamber Services, Health / Lifestyle, Services.
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Westfield Health can provide Liverpool Chamber members with health plans and cover to ensure staff remain healthy and happy. This reduces time off work through sickness and stress. This in turn ensures your company keeps operating at optimum levels.

The UK economy is facing its worst crisis for 60 years, according to Chancellor Alistair Darling. But what can businesses do to help minimise the impact on their company and their staff?

Many people are feeling the financial strain at the moment and are cutting back on luxuries and being ruthless with their budgeting. Many are increasingly looking for ways to help them cope with the pressure of paying for everyday healthcare.

Most unexpected health bills spring from visits to the dentist or optician.

Lately, for example there has been a decline in free immediate NHS treatment and an ongoing rise in costs.

But the credit crunch not only has an impact on whether or not people can afford medical treatment, but also on the type of treatment they need. Recent findings from the Mental Health Foundation revealed that people are becoming more isolated and anti-social due to financial worries. This can have an adverse effect on mental health.

One of the ways people can budget for health bills during tough economic times is to purchase a health cash plan.

(more…)

UK ‘Now In A Worsening Recession’ October 7, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in British Chambers of Commerce, Business, Policy.
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The publication of the British Chambers of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey for Q3 2008 paints an increasingly gloomy picture of Britain’s business.

The domestic economy is under immense pressure for the second quarter in a row, with the survey results showing that the UK is now in a worsening recession.

Key results from the survey show:

  • Domestic balances, sales as well as orders, have moved deeper into negative territory, for both manufacturing and services
  • All firm sizes, in both sectors, show negative Q3 domestic balances, a disturbing and unusual situation
  • Manufacturing export balances plummeted in Q3
  • Collapse in confidence across sectors
  • All confidence balances, turnover as well as profitability, fell to record lows in Q3, for both manufacturing and services
  • Cashflow balances remain negative in this quarter
  • Recruitment dip across sectors
  • Investment balances in plant and machinery moved into negative territory for both sectors

BCC Director-General David Frost said:

“We are clearly in a very difficult economic period but it is important that we retain a sense of proportion. Many parts of the business community continue to perform well.

“Confidence is critical and it is vital that businesses are shown leadership. The BCC will be showing such leadership in the coming months.

“The Government needs to say that business taxes will be cut. The Bank of England need to cut interest rates immediately and politicians need to get behind our businesses in these challenging times. ”

Read more on the BCC website.

Read a summary of the QES Q3 on the BCC site [PDF]

This story on the BBC

What do you think needs to happen? Let us know in the comments.

Are We Facing A Recession? July 8, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in British Chambers of Commerce, Business.
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With the British Chambers of Commerce reporting that Britain’s SMEs are predicting economic doom, what’s the opinion of Liverpool’s businesses?

Have you seen the warning signs in things like spiraling fuel costs, cash flow problems, the struggling property market and rising inflation?

Or are you confident that SMEs can remain the backbone of the British economy and weather this particular storm.

Read the BBC press release and QES results here.

Let us know your thoughtsby leaving a comment, or alternatively give a yes/no answer on the Chamber’s home page poll.