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Did someone mention the C-word? Oops that was us! Everyone has a tale to tell about a Christmas party and an embarrassing antic a “friend” got up to. It can feel like a minefield for an employer who needs to decide how to celebrate Christmas with their team. Our blogs guides you through the minefield.

What should an employer consider when deciding how to celebrate? Firstly not everyone celebrates Christmas, maybe due to religion or other influencing factors, so being considerate of employee’s preferences can ensure the celebration is inclusive. There seems to be an unlimited number of options on how to celebrate Christmas – a meal, an entertainer, a themed party, shared party, Go-Karting, fancy dress, or drinks in the office after work.

Before you decide how you are going to celebrate think about the following factors: Alcohol, Dietary Needs, Timing, Accessibility, Work Needs and Interests. We want to help you get it right, visit our website to read the full version of our blog >> The Christmas Party How to Keep it Professional

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By the time most of you read this, the person I was talking with this morning will be 90 years old.  I’ll call her Ann.  Over a cup of tea I asked her a question:

“Why do you think some people are more resilient than others at managing life’s challenges?”

Ann’s answer was very interesting and I’ve captured her responses here:

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Suffolk Police is issuing a warning to Suffolk businesses following reports of a telephone scam.

A business owner in central Ipswich reported being contacted by a man purporting to be from Suffolk Constabulary, asking for money.

The caller asked the business for a payment of £299 to sign up to a discount initiative, which he said was set up in order to give discounted prices on goods and services to police officers and staff.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman says: "We would ask business owners and employees to be vigilant and aware of this approach, as Suffolk Constabulary does not contact businesses and ask for money to participate in discount schemes."

Businesses are asked to make employees aware and to report any incidents or attempted incidents directly to Action Fraud on their official website:

http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

Further crime prevention advice and details of your local Safer neighbourhood Team can be found of the Suffolk Police webpage www.suffolk.police.uk.  

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Trustee Vacancy – Chair of the Board of Directors

Foundation East is a mission driven mutual society operating in the East of England. It promotes social and financial inclusion by providing affordable loans and support to businesses.

Foundation East has been operating for over 12 years and in this time, has made a measurable difference to businesses, to communities and to individuals. 

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It’s a hot topic in the news right now about the hidden charges and extra costs customers are facing when hiring a car or van.

Customers are often swayed by the low rental prices hire firms will advertise, only to be hit with additional charges upon return of the vehicle, often resulting in doubling or trebling the cost of the hire itself.

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If you tuned into the BBC this morning, you’ll have heard or watched as some of the corporation’s best-known presenters talked about their own salaries – and the gaping gender disparity between remuneration for male and female stars.

The furore over who earns what at the BBC follows the publication of pay scales for those who are paid more than £150,000 a year.

While the bumper salaries handed to the likes of Chris Evans (up to £2.5m) and Gary Lineker (at least £1.75m) caused a stir, the real controversy has surrounded the pay gap between men and women.

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Calling all businesses - did you know you can access 30 minutes of consultancy from 13 different business sectors as an ISSBA member?

Last year we launched the ISSBA Assist scheme, which allows any ISSBA member to reach out for support to one of our panel of experts.

Whether you need some pointers on a legal matter or have an SEO issue that needs some clarity, our team of specialists are on hand to support you and your business.

ISSBA Assist is an exclusive membership benefit to our members, which means that as soon as you join - even if you are in the process of creating your business - you can access these valuable resources. There is no obligation to go on and purchase services from the ISSBA Assist specialists, so you really have nothing to lose.

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Many software vendors now allow you to use their software for a monthly subscription, rather than having to pay for it up front. So, is this a better way to buy software or should we still pay the upfront fee and own it forever, or as least as long as it’s useful?

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As a busy line manager, just getting the day job done can be a challenge without the added distraction of team members who just aren’t pulling their weight. Wouldn’t it be great if your team took the initiative and sought to resolve some of these issues themselves?

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Finding, gaining and retaining talent is key for businesses to succeed, particularly in today’s world. We share our top HR advice and insight into why you might be losing yours.

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Three years ago Carole Burman set up MAD-HR to bring affordable HR support and advice to businesses of all shapes and sizes in East Anglia and beyond.

Now with the sensational Charlotte Bate by her side, MAD-HR has grown to offer a range of training and coaching – on and offline, as well as the strategic HR planning for business growth and change that Carole has established since day one.

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In 2015, Nicola Thorp, an administrator temp was sent home from a job. Not because of her ability to perform her tasks but because of her refusal to wear 2 – 4 inch heels. Her response was to campaign for legislation to be tightened in relation to “sexist” dress codes: a campaign which gained considerable public support and a petition with 152,400 signatures.

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“Yeah right” ….. That’s what you thought wasn’t it? “What crisis? I have a good pension!”

Do you? How sure are you?

We only have to look at the recent plight of BHS employees in the UK to know disaster could be waiting for us around the corner.

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Unpopular proposals to hike the fees paid by bereaved families have been put on hold until after the General Election.

The Government had planned to sharply increase probate costs next month to raise around £300 million a year towards running the courts and tribunal service. However, following Prime Minister Theresea May’s decision to call a snap election, the Ministry of Justice has announced there is not enough time to push the reforms through Parliament.

The issue will now be a matter for the next Government. The delay will come as a welcome reprieve to many, with the so-called changes dubbed a ‘stealth death tax’ by critics.

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You will know when you have a great HR strategy when your HR practices and responsibilities are aligned to the organisation’s goals and mission statement, resulting in growth and achievement of your business plan. 

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Fleximize, the Ipswich-based alternative business lender, will host a comedy night and charity auction for local business owners on Thursday 11th May at Greshams Ipswich. The event has been organised in support of Ipswich Housing Action Group (IHAG), which provides vital assistance to homeless people in the Ipswich area.

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Fleximize, the Ipswich-based business loans company, has announced it has closed a new financing facility of £16,300,000 from Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments Limited, a specialised investment fund.

 

 

The initial round of funding will allow Fleximize to substantially increase its lending capacity, and propel it towards its goal of lending over £100 million to SMEs by 2019. It will also help the company further develop and diversify its product offering, and continue to deliver its mission of first-class customer service by advancing its proprietary technology platform with the introduction of dedicated areas for brokers and direct clients.

 

 

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Gotelee Solicitors are pleased to announce their new Chief Executive, Charles Rowett.

Charles will succeed Alistair Lang who is retiring at Easter after three years with Gotelee. Charles is no stranger to Suffolk having lived in the Woodbridge area for over twenty years and he held various executive roles locally in Gist-brocades UK and Hutchison Ports as well as in financial services and management consulting. Most recently he has been CEO at Yorkshire Cancer Research, the largest independent cancer charity in England. He commented, “I’m delighted to be coming back to Suffolk and to joining Gotelee at such an exciting time. The firm has an outstanding reputation in the region and there are enormous opportunities to build on the excellent work of Alistair and the Partners in a market that is changing rapidly.”

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Employers can ban workers from wearing Islamic headscarves or any other “political, philosophical or religious sign”, Europe’s top court has ruled.

But to ensure the decision doesn’t constitute discrimination, it must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to “dress neutrally”, according to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The court ruled that limits on visible religious wear were permitted under EU law as long as they apply across the board — meaning any ban would have to include items such as turbans, Jewish kippahs or crucifixes as well as Islamic headscarves.

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