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News & updates 

Regular news and updates from the Chamber, our members, local Councils and other relevant business news will be posted regularly here. 

Don't forget, as a member one of your many benefits is being able to submit your press releases and news for inclusion here as well as on either the members or business news emails and social media. Please submit to 

  • 18 July 2023 11:28 AM | Anonymous

    Studio Hummingbird Transforms Outdoor Spaces into Breathtaking Gardens

    Studio Hummingbird, a garden design studio based in Worthing, is capturing the hearts and imaginations of homeowners with their exceptional ability to transform outdoor spaces into captivating and functional gardens.

    Led by the creative mind of Victoria Rumens, Studio Hummingbird is redefining the concept of garden design, offering a unique blend of creativity, innovation, and meticulous attention to detail.

    At Studio Hummingbird, the focus is on creating gardens that not only reflect the individual style and preferences of their clients but also evoke a sense of tranquility, harmony, and natural beauty. Drawing inspiration from the West Sussex coast and understanding the unique characteristics of each space, Victoria brings forth designs that seamlessly integrate with the surrounding environment, resulting in stunning and functional outdoor spaces.

    What sets Studio Hummingbird apart is their expertise in utilising cutting-edge 3D visualisation technology. Through these immersive visualisations, clients can witness their dream gardens come to life before a single plant is even planted. This innovative approach ensures that every aspect of the design is precisely tailored to the client's vision, while also allowing for informed decision-making and avoiding costly mistakes.

    Studio Hummingbird offers a comprehensive range of services, including garden design, landscape planning, plant selection, and project coordination. Whenever possible Studio Hummingbird recommends sustainable materials and promotes the use of native plants, water conservation techniques, and organic gardening principles.

    For those interested in experiencing the Studio Hummingbird difference, consultations are available to discuss design ideas, explore possibilities, and provide personalized recommendations. Whether it's a small urban courtyard or an expansive rural estate, Studio Hummingbird’s team will bring creativity, expertise, and passion to every project.

    Studio Hummingbird | Designing Gardens to Inspire | Worthing | |

  • 06 July 2023 11:19 AM | Anonymous

    Enhancing Your Brand with Garment Embroidery, Heat Transfer, and Promotional Products

    In today's competitive market, building a strong brand identity is essential for businesses to stand out. One effective way to do so is through the use of garment embroidery, heat transfer, and promotional products. These versatile techniques offer unique opportunities to showcase your brand, create a lasting impact, and engage with your target audience. In this blog, we will explore the benefits and applications of garment embroidery, heat transfer, and promotional products in enhancing your brand image.

    1. Garment Embroidery:

    Garment embroidery is a timeless art form that adds elegance and sophistication to apparel. Whether it's a corporate logo on a polo shirt or intricate designs on a jacket, embroidery adds a professional touch. Here are some advantages of garment embroidery:

    a. Durability: Embroidered designs are long-lasting, even after multiple washes, ensuring that your brand remains visible for a significant period.

    b. Customization: From font styles to thread colors, garment embroidery allows for endless customization options, enabling you to create a unique and memorable representation of your brand.

    c. Perceived Value: Embroidered apparel exudes a sense of quality and attention to detail, making it highly desirable among customers and employees alike.

    2. Heat Transfer:

    Heat transfer is a versatile technique that involves applying custom designs onto various materials using heat and pressure. It offers numerous benefits for brand promotion:

    a. Vibrant and Detailed Designs: Heat transfer allows for intricate, full-color designs, ensuring that your brand logo or message stands out vividly.

    b. Versatility: With heat transfer, you can apply designs to a wide range of products, including t-shirts, bags, hats, and more, offering flexibility in promotional campaigns.

    c. Quick Turnaround: Heat transfer is a fast and efficient method, making it ideal for projects that require a quick production turnaround.

    3. Promotional Products:

    Promotional products play a crucial role in establishing brand recognition and fostering customer loyalty. By offering useful and branded items, you can keep your brand at the forefront of customers' minds. Here's why promotional products are effective:

    a. Increased Brand Exposure: Promotional products act as walking advertisements, extending your brand's reach beyond traditional marketing channels.

    b. Tangible and Useful: Items like pens, mugs, and USB drives serve practical purposes, ensuring that your brand remains visible and useful in customers' daily lives.

    c. Cost-Effective Marketing: Compared to other advertising methods, promotional products offer a cost-effective way to generate brand awareness and customer engagement.

    Garment embroidery, heat transfer, and promotional products are valuable tools for enhancing your brand image. Whether you choose the elegance of embroidery, the versatility of heat transfer, or the lasting impact of promotional products, these techniques allow you to create a tangible and memorable representation of your brand. By investing in these promotional strategies, you can effectively engage your target audience, increase brand recognition, and ultimately drive business success. If you would like more information please contact

  • 05 July 2023 8:28 AM | Anonymous

    Safe in Sussex - New Training Offering for 2023/24

    Safe In Sussex are a charity who provides help and support to people affected by Domestic Abuse within West Sussex.  

    Through Refuge accommodation and outreach programmes, we work hard to support victims of abuse in their recovery and empowerment once free from an abusive relationship. 

    We’re committed to preventing domestic abuse by providing education and training on how to spot the signs of domestic abuse, and by promoting healthy relationships. 

    From September 2023 onwards, we will have a brand-new training offer for organisations, businesses and the wider community, which we will be rolling out over the next year. 

    The following training will enhance current knowledge but also provide new informative understanding for those who have not had any form of training before. 

    The following will be on offer from September 2023 

    Understanding Domestic Abuse 

    A dynamic Approach to Domestic Abuse 


    The following courses will additionally be rolled out from January 2024 

     ACE – Adverse Childhood Experiences 

    How Heavy is your backpack? 

     Understanding Coercive and controlling behavior 

    The invisible pain 

    These 3-hour training courses are flexible to meet the needs of the audience and will enhance the understanding of Domestic Abuse, includes Coercive Control and increases knowledge about the impact this has and equips you with knowledge of how best to support someone within the workplace experiencing/witnessing Domestic Abuse.

    These courses will be available Face to Face from the above dates. 

    I would be happy to answer any further questions you have about our new training offer and if these courses would be of interest to yourselves or if they would benefit any of the businesses you support. or 01903 958333 

  • 04 July 2023 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    Two Faced Twins win Best Art Gallery in Sussex!

    The twin artists known as the Two Faced Twins have won an award for Best Art Gallery in Sussex. The award, conferred by Muddy Stilettos, celebrates originality, creativity, and quality amongst independent businesses.

    The Two Faced Twins are Stella and Gemma, identical twin artists who create striking colourful artwork for contemporary homes. The Twins co-create each and every piece of artwork. Stella is the ‘Ink Genius’ and hand-illustrates captivating scenes. Gemma is the ‘Colour Queen’ and is responsible for crafting their characteristic colour-scapes . With each of their talents complementing the other, they create unique, vibrant artworks that leave viewers transfixed.

    The Two Faced Twins started out in 2017 and quicky built a following on social media as they experimented with ways in which they could co-produce art. This experimentation eventually led them to develop their modus operandi – the division of artwork into the two halves of lines and colours – and from this their unique style evolved.

    Their work typically involves everyday scenes reimagined in characterful lines and stunning colours, though their offerings also include stylised portraits of animals and icons such as Blondie and David Bowie. Many of their pieces feature recognisable landmarks in and around Worthing, such as Cissbury Ring, the Dome Cinema and, of course, Worthing Pier. Their portfolio has since expanded to other locations, including Littlehampton Harbour, Hastings Old Town, and Tower Bridge in London.

    Since the early days the Twins have gone from strength to strength. In July 2020 they opened their very own gallery on Worthing seafront. Centrally located on the promenade opposite Steyne Gardens, the Two Faced Twins Gallery has become a well-known and beloved feature of the local community. In this beachside setting, the Twins showcase and sell their artwork and homeware range, which includes cushions, clocks, and umbrellas featuring their signature artworks. Walking into the Gallery, visitors are met with a sea of colour that grabs attention and lifts spirits (for those living further afield, the Two Faced Twins website offers just as colourful an experience and features all the artwork and homeware available in the Gallery).

    In June 2023, their rise to prominence was recognised when they received the Muddy Stilettos Award for Best Art Gallery in Sussex. Facing stiff competition from other reputable galleries across Sussex, the Two Faced Twins won a decisive 50% of the vote. The award celebrates small independent businesses across the country, as voted for by the public. As winners of the Sussex regional award, the Two Faced Twins have now been entered into the National Muddy Awards alongside the other 27 regional winners in the Best Art Gallery category.  

    To mark the third anniversary of the opening of the Two Faced Twins Gallery, the Twins are hosting a free Summer Event at the Gallery on the 28th July 2023. The event will feature live saxophone music and refreshments. It will, of course, feature the twins’ characteristic artwork, including the unveiling of new artworks and homeware designs. The event starts at 7pm, and places can be reserved here.

  • 04 July 2023 9:46 AM | Anonymous

    Worthing Community Chest - Trustee and volunteering opportunities

    Worthing Community Chest is a registered, local, independent charity that enables local groups and charities to achieve community enrichment. Their Vision is to be the “go-to” funder and partner of new and developing community groups in Worthing. Together they improve, transform and enrich lives.

    They are looking to recruit skilled volunteers, trustees, and friends who help them to achieve their vision. By joining them, you know that your time and commitment will make an immediate impact on the Worthing Community.

    Take a look at their groups to get a feel for who they have funded in the past. The skills they are looking for are listed below

    Fundraising Innovation Meister:  You may see yourself on Dragons’ Den with your blockbusting ideas, but could you answer the Dragon’s finance questions? I promise that our trustees are kind. However, people have changed, and so has the way they donate to charity. We need an injection of Fundraising innovation (and implementation) that excites corporates and charity givers, so we can continue to enrich the Worthing Community. The beauty of giving your time to Worthing Community Chest is that all funds raised for grant giving, stay in Worthing. Time commitment: Minimum 1 hour per week as a volunteer, or as a trustee, one board meeting every six weeks, 6.30-8.30pm. Plus up to 6 hours commitment per month.

    Money Motivator (Treasurer’s Assistant):  Do numbers excite you? Does money motivate you? Do accounts activate you? If you are training to be an accountant, or looking for a career upgrade in finance, then Worthing Community Chest is the perfect platform for you to achieve this. The bonus is that you will be enriching the Worthing Community at the same time. Time commitment: We see this as a minimum commitment of one year. Board meeting every six weeks, 6.30-8.30pm. Plus up to 6 hours in working groups per month.

    Legal Legend: Does policy wording excite you? We are renowned for our simple and accessible grant process. However, as equal opportunities laws and other laws evolve, it is important we keep on top of things.  Therefore, we are in the process of updating all of our policies to be in line with current legislation. If you consider legality to be a life of luxury, then this could be the perfect role for you. Time commitment: We see this as a minimum commitment of one year. Board meeting every six weeks, 6.30-8.30pm. Plus up to 6 hours in working groups per month.

    Superpower Grant Teleporter (grants portal coder): We are looking to create an online grants portal system to teleport our grant applicants from application to successful awarding of grants, including the payment of their grants. The portal will ping our glorious groups with updates, or additional questions. We require help with this. Are you our Superpower Grant Teleporter? Time commitment: We see this as a voluntary role, however, if you would like to join our team of trustees as an IT expert, and be part of our board meetings, then we are open to this.

    Super Secretary: Although we tend to share the minute and agenda preparation, there are other administrative responsibilities, including DBS checks for our vista of volunteers, that require co-ordinating. Therefore, if you are excited by organising people and would like to join us in this role, please contact us.

    Networker or Toastmaster Extraordinaire:  Are you a social soul? In order to enrich our community, we need to share the news of our grand grants. This can be achieved by public speaking or representing us at events. Also, our when our groups have completed their community enriching events, we need help promoting this amazing work. 

    Please contact for further information.

  • 29 June 2023 11:14 AM | Anonymous

    Brighton enterprise wins Gamechanger Award

    A small enterprise owner based in Rottingdean Brighton has been voted the Entrepreneur of the Year at the Sussex Chamber of Commerce annual awards event held at the Crown Plaza Hotel. The awards recognise businesses across Sussex for being best in class, with adventurer and TV presenter Ben Fogle attending this year.

    Award Judges included Dee Mathieson MD and Tim Rose Vice President of Elekta, international leaders in medical innovations. Their detailed reviews explored online evidence and a personal interview assessment. They visited Clive Bonny at Strategic Management Partners in Rottingdean.

    The judges commented “Clive covered a wide breadth and depth of skills and expertise and a passion for ideas. Highly adaptable, he continually develops what he needs in order to serve his clients when he sees an opportunity to fill a gap. He can quantify success through objective data provided to us at the interview and multiple testimonials from satisfied clients. Clive has an impressive track record of inspiring and giving confidence to those setting up new businesses and his energy and generosity to share his wealth of expertise was what put him ahead of the others in this category”

    Clive, who has been providing business support services since 1990, says “this recognition deserves to go to my collaboration partners Mark Riminton, Lorraine Davies and Judith Badger at the University of Brighton, and to Matthew Pullinger and Richard Hall at the University of Portsmouth. They have referred startups and high growth innovators to me for many years, helping to protect and create hundreds of new jobs with new products and services. My advice to others is to create partnerships with business support organisations such as Universities and Chambers of Commerce. These collaborations leverage knowledge and skill sharing across the whole community, especially for low carbon innovations with high environmental and social value.”

    For more information   

    Clive Bonny 07973 799153  

  • 27 June 2023 1:42 PM | Anonymous

    George Square Financial Management - Interest Rate Update

    In response to The Bank of England interest rate increase I thought an update on the current financial situation may be useful.

    The big 5.0: UK Interest rates jump as inflation bites.

    Last week The Bank of England surprised financial markets by raising interest rates to 5%, a jump of 0.5% which is sharper than most had expected.

    The decision comes in response to a surprise inflation number earlier in the week that showed the rising cost of living staying at 8.7% in June, rather than falling to 8.4% as had been expected. Worryingly both wages and goods were rising together.

    Why has the Bank of England moved so aggressively?

    Central Banks, including our own Bank of England, raised interest rates to suppress demand in the economy and bring down inflation. Their primary goal is to keep prices stable because when they are not it can create the very difficult situation of falling economic growth and rising prices. Such a situation when it becomes entrenched is the most significant kind of economic problem - creating hardship that can last for years.

    So far, the Bank of England’s efforts to curb our inflation have proved less effective than others around the world. It is trusting that shock and awe might have more affect and also re-gain the confidence of financial markets who must believe they have what it takes to get the job done.

    Why is the situation worse in the UK than in other countries?

    In most major economies including the largest, the United States, inflation is falling fast. This enabled their Central Bank to pause interest rate rises in June and hint that there may only be one or two more before the job is done.

    Investors are increasingly confident that a full-blown recession there can be avoided and those companies most sensitive to inflation increases are on the rise again. Here in the UK though times are much tougher. This means that the market is betting our interest rates will carry on rising even as others come down, which is shown in the graph below.

                                                                                                    Source: Bloomberg, 20/04/2020 to 14/06/2023

    So why is it so much worse for us? This is a difficult question because it strays into political views for many people. Part of the answer is surely that the Bank of England did not act fast enough initially, and action taken too late is simply less effective than action taken early.

    However, there are more controversial reasons. Firstly, we were particularly vulnerable to higher natural gas prices in the first phase of the war in the Ukraine as a result of the energy importing, we undertake. In the United States for example the idea of energy independence has been agreed by all parties for decades and this insulated them. However, secondly most independent analysts agree that it is easier for both the Eurozone and the United States to cope with inflation in things like food prices because they are part of big single markets. Labour costs can diffuse across the region and goods can be moved free of tariffs to where they are needed. This forces down prices. Post Brexit we do not have this luxury in the United Kingdom, and this has made us vulnerable. We have also lost access to the European workers who helped control wage inflation in the United Kingdom.

    When will inflation come down?

    There are early signs that inflation is now falling with supermarkets for example reporting food price rises easing for the first time in more than a year. Some of our inflation is imported and linked to the price of raw materials and energy and this is falling. However, there is a very long way to go. It now seems likely that a recession is the price that must be paid to remove this inflationary pressure from the system. Whilst we can expect it to ease as the year goes on, it may be a number of years until it is fully resolved.

    Does this mean a recession?

    It is our view that the UK will enter a recession as a result of high interest rates and high inflation. However, we should not anticipate it to be a recession on a par with that seen during the Covid pandemic or after the Global Financial Crisis. Once the recession bites and domestic inflation pressure recedes, the Bank of England will be keen to rapidly reduce the cost of money and boost our flagging economy.

    What can the Government do?

    The hard truth here is not very much. There will be calls for action to help those with mortgages that are seeing rapidly rising interest payments. However, if the government were to cap those interest rate rises the Bank of England would likely not see the impact on inflation that it is seeking. It is likely instead that it will simply prevent any repossessions occurring for those who fall foul of higher interest rates. However, expect this decision to be taken all too slowly for those consumed by the worry of this situation. Other than that, the stark reality is that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak does not have any bright ideas and we should not deceive ourselves that there is an obvious alternative plan from Labour. The only sure-fire way to get down inflation is to raise interest rates, take the pain from those rises and wait. The best Governments can do is to try to insulate the most vulnerable from that pain without working against the Central Bank – a tough ask.

    What does this mean for my portfolio?

    The problems in the UK mean less than you might think for your portfolio. We invest using a globally diversified approach. This means that even when there is trouble in our home market, we can find opportunities overseas. It is also mistaken to assume that problems in our economy necessarily translate directly to our Stock Market which has very large exposure overseas itself. One significant area is whether this crisis forces the price of government bonds (gilts) down further. We think that gilts are already pricing in some pretty bad news and that ultimately, they will offer an opportunity for investors.

    Now bank accounts offer a good interest rate should I just own cash?

    There are two key reasons why ditching your portfolio in favour of cash may be a poor decision at the current time, even though bank interest rates now look at first glance more attractive.

    • 1.       The return on cash has not really gone up. Every investment we make must keep pace with inflation if it is to hold its value for us in future. A cash rate of 5% when inflation is at close to 9% is effectively losing 4% of its buying power each year. Your money is falling in terms of the true value it gives you in your life, even if you don’t see the number going down. By contrast, diversified investments in shares, bond and other assets have been shown over the long-term to be the only repeatable way to beat inflation and grow your buying power. The price investors pay for this is some volatility. The inflation will not be matched each and every year but is over the long-term.
    • 2.       The best returns are often made during and just after recessions. One of the challenges of trying to time when to invest in the Stock Market is that most often the best returns are actually made during recessions, and sometimes just after them. As soon as financial markets understand how bad a recession will be they ‘put it in the price’. Soon after this, recoveries can come fast, even though the real economy is still in trouble. Attempting to keep your money in cash and wait for a recovery often means you are missing this most beneficial time to be invested. Worse than that, those assets in cash will have fallen in terms of their buying power and then missed out on the returns that can re-capture it.

    We believe the soundest response, notwithstanding the individual circumstances, is to stay invested through difficult times and trust that over the long-term, problems do get solved. Interest rate rises are painful, but they are healing for the global economy. Ultimately, they drive inflation out of the system and allow the economy to re-build.

    The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down and you may get back less than invested. Changes in currency exchange rates may affect the value of your investment. This material may include charts displaying financial instruments' past performance as well as estimates and forecasts. Past performance is not an indicator of future returns. Capital at risk.

    All Rights Reserved The content of this material is a marketing communication, and not independent investment research. As such, the legal and regulatory requirements in relation to independent investment research do not apply to this material and it is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of its dissemination. The material is for general information purposes only (whether or not it states any opinions). It does not consider your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) legal, financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by George Square FM that any particular investment, security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Although the information set out in this marketing communication is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, George Square FM makes no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. George Square FM shall not be responsible for any loss that you may incur, either directly or indirectly, arising from any investment based on any information contained herein.

    George Square FM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

  • 22 June 2023 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    Join  Shoreham Port at their Sustainability Week 5th - 8th July

    Join our free talks & tours to discover how ports, charities & businesses are pursuing a greener future. Sustainability Week 2023 at Shoreham Port is made possible through sponsorship from HSBC UK & H2 Green.

    You can view the whole collection of Sustainability Week events via eventbrite here, or click on the event titles below to view specific events. All events are free to attend. We welcome you to attend any range of events that spark your interest!

    Thursday 6th July

    10:00-11:00 Riding Waves for Wellness: Surf Therapy in Brighton & Sussex with The Wave Project

    10:00-11:00 Powering the Future: Shoreham Port Green Energy Hub Update with H2 Green

    11:00-12:00 Behind-the-Scenes Walking Tour of Shoreham Port with the Shoreham Port team

    11:30-12:30 Sussex Kelp Recovery: Fronds of Hope for Rewilding Sussex Seas with the Sussex Kelp Recovery Project

    11:30-12:30 Navigating Port Decarbonisation with Renewables with ABL Group

    13:30-14:30 Sustainable Finance: Accounting for a Greener Tomorrow with HSBC

    13:30-14:30 Discover our Anchor Points: a Walking Tour with the Shoreham Port team

    13:30-14:30 Connecting the Dots: Exploring Sussex's Dolphin Community with Sussex Dolphin Project

    14:00-15:00 Behind-the-Scenes Walking Tour of Shoreham Port with the Shoreham Port team

    Friday 7th July

    10:00-11:00 Flowing Futures: Protecting Sussex’s Rivers with Sussex Bay

    11:00-12:00 Behind-the-Scenes Walking Tour of Shoreham Port with the Shoreham Port team

    11:30-12:30 Changing Rooms: Can fashion fit into a sustainable world? with Hannah Statham

    11:30-12:30 Scaling up Coastal Restoration in the Solent & Sussex Bay with UK Seascape Restoration Research Network

    Saturday 8th July

    10:00-12:30 Sustainability Week 2023 Big Beach Clean - Families welcome! with the Shoreham Port team, Sussex Dolphin Project & Big Blue Ocean Cleanup

    More information

    We ask that attendees ensure to allow plenty of time to get to where you need to be, for most events we would advise arriving 10 minutes before the advertised start time.

    How to get here: With sustainability in mind, we are a short walk from the train station at Southwick, right on the Stagecoach 700 bus route, and have a lot of room for cycles. If you choose to drive, there are a limited number of parking spaces available at Shoreham Port, including disabled spaces. Further information about parking will be shared closer to the event.

    Accessibility: When booking your ticket, please outline any accessibility requirements you may have – our team will reach out to you to see what reasonable adjustments can be made for you.

  • 20 June 2023 11:35 AM | Anonymous

    HR Cooperative Newsletter 'The Pulse - June 2023

    Are you doing all you could be to support working parents?

    Woman working from home - HR Advice on how to effectively manage your remote team.

    Parents have it tough these days, and not just when they’re trying to wrestle screens away from their children!

    More families than ever have both parents working – the cost of living means being a stay-at-home parent is unrealistic for most. Dealing with work commitments and home life can become a delicate balancing act. Not to mention the spiralling cost of childcare that many families have to fork out for.

    Although the government has plans in place to give more parents access to free childcare, these won’t come into force until September 2025. That doesn’t help anyone right now.

    Traditionally, some employers have shied away from hiring parents under the impression they’re unreliable, unfocussed, or uncommitted. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Times are changing, and businesses are seeing that the positives of hiring parents far outweigh the negatives. If you have the right company culture that is.

    So, what can you do to create a family-friendly business culture and attract and retain new talent in the shape of working parents?

    First, you need to be aware of the leave, benefits and entitlements that apply to parents. These can be relevant to anyone from the moment they’re expecting, to the time their youngest child turns 18. They also apply to cases of adoption, surrogacy, LGBTQIA+ families, and in cases of pregnancy or neonatal loss.

    You should also look at other ways you can support parents, by considering flexible working arrangements (which can apply to everyone, not only parents), and other perks you may be able to offer to help strike a good work/life balance.

    The more you do to support working parents, the more you’ll see in return. It’s likely you’ll see more engaged, motivated, and productive employees who are happy in their roles and will stay with you for years to come.

    Supporting parents can be simple if you understand the help that’s available to both your business and its employees. I’ve written a new guide that details everything you need to know about parents and the help available, as well as the laws you need to be aware of.

    I’d love to offer you a free copy.

    To download yours today, visit here. Or for more information or advice, give me a call.

    Latest news

    Drop in job vacancies puts productivity at risk

    The number of job vacancies took a dramatic fall at the beginning of the year. And fewer opportunities for employees could lead to a drop in motivation – and productivity.

    To combat this, employers need to place a focus on retaining their best people instead, with reward and recognition incentives.

    While recognition can come in the form of a simple “well done”, according to new research, 86% of employees would feel valued at work if they received a surprise gift voucher worth £150. 57% said bonuses and regular rewards help them feel more valued.

    When should a GP become involved in sick leave?

    A recent tribunal found a business guilty of unfair dismissal and harassment when an employer contacted an employee’s GP regarding her mental health history, without consent.

    To avoid a situation like this, it’s important you have an effective absence management policy in place. In cases of long-term sickness, conducting welfare meetings, showing care and concern for employees, and making reasonable adjustments to help them back to work is key.

    Never be tempted to act before consulting an HR professional if you’re unsure of the best steps to take!

    The number of employees signed off work has hit an all-time high post-Covid. The number of fit notes issued has risen by 11%. It’s possible this is due to an increase in mental health problems, Covid restrictions being lifted, and people moving back to offices.

    It’s Pride Month! Are you getting involved?

    If your business is doing things the right way, you’ll have a LOT of policies. Maternity policies, absence policies, we even have policies for internet use. And while you’ve hopefully got an inclusion and diversity policy, does it have a specific LGBTQIA+ inclusion section?

    If not, it’s time you made a change.

    While we’re fortunately seeing more acceptance of LGBTQIA+ communities, there are still occasions where LGBTQIA+ employees feel discriminated against, judged, or bullied simply for being themselves.

    As an inclusive employer, it’s your job to make clear the repercussions of bullying, harassment, or discrimination of any kind, but that’s not the only thing you can do to make sure this behaviour doesn’t happen in your business.

    Educate your employees with diversity training and awareness. Bring in LGBTQIA+ speakers or hold workshops that help everyone in the business understand the language to avoid in order to improve cohesion, but also to help them realise the difficulties that some LGBTQIA+ members face on a daily basis.

    If you have LGBTQIA+ employees, don’t forget to speak to them to see what changes they think are needed in your business, if any. Take their feedback, their suggestions, and listen to their concerns. Likewise, let them know what to do if they feel they’re being harassed, bullied, or discriminated against at work, or by colleagues outside of work. Make sure they know who they should report any issues to, and the process for dealing with problems.

    Inclusion and diversity is a big subject, but it’s important to ensure everyone is treated equally, fairly, and given the same opportunities. If you need any help or guidance on making the right changes in your business this Pride Month, give us a call.


    Can I decrease someone’s pay?

    This would be a variation of the employee’s contract of employment. However, if you and your employee agree to a reduced wage, it’s ok. Providing it still meets National Minimum Wage requirements.

    Can I legally hire someone on a zero-hour contract?

    Zero-hour contracts are legal, providing you abide by employee’s statutory rights, including the right to National Minimum Wage, paid holiday, and rest breaks.

    Can I make someone redundant while they’re on maternity leave?

    Yes. However, you can’t make someone redundant because they’re on maternity leave, and there’s a strict process you must follow to avoid unfair dismissal or discrimination accusations.

    See you next month!

    We hope you found the newsletter informative, look out or the next one in July. If you’d like to download a copy for your managers click here.

  • 14 June 2023 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    Barclays Eagle Labs are now open for nominations for Barclays Entrepreneur Awards 2023!

    The Barclays Entrepreneur Awards are back for their eighth year and now open for nominations - It’s time to get yours in!

    The Awards celebrate those entrepreneurs who are disrupting the status quo, driving innovation and supporting communities and the economy more broadly. Now is your opportunity to showcase your business, and others, who’ve shown the passion and skills to turn vision into reality.

    Search Barclays Entrepreneur Awards for more information.

    Nominations are open from Thursday 1 June and close 30 June at midnight. Terms and conditions apply.

    2023 Award categories;

    Start-up Award, sponsored by FreshBooks– for new businesses that are challenging the status quo

    Scale-up Award, sponsored by Propel – for established entrepreneurs who’ve experienced rapid growth

    Social Award, sponsored by Visa – for entrepreneurs delivering transformative social or environmental change

    Sustainability Award, sponsored by Smart Pension – for the positive impact of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) based entrepreneurs on the wider economy

    International Expansion Award, sponsored by Barclays – for high-growth businesses growing beyond the UK at pace

    Eagle Labs Innovation Award, sponsored by Eagle Labs – for entrepreneurs making an impact through digital innovation

    Barclaycard Payments Award, sponsored by Barclays Payments – for entrepreneurs and businesses that have overcome a significant challenge or had big business growth

    Games Award, sponsored by Barclays – for entrepreneurs and disruptive games companies who have shown real innovation and created games, products or services that have positively impacted the games industry or community.

    Nominate now!

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