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New Consumer Rights !

 

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 became legislation at the end of last month and is the most significant change to consumer law for over 30 years as it replaces existing legislation with which everyone has become so familiar. Consumer law is notoriously complicated and hopefully the new Act will make it easier for everyone involved to understand their rights and obligations. 

Consumers will now have a clearer route to follow if they feel that the goods or services they have bought fail to do what was promised.  Businesses will have clarity as to which terms and conditions can be considered unfair and on their obligations for repair, replacement and refunds. 

In addition to consolidating and clarifying existing legislation, the Act has also modernised consumer law by including provision relating specifically to digital content that is supplied to consumers. 

Businesses dealing with consumers will need to ensure their terms and conditions comply with the new requirements by October 2015 to avoid being in breach.

The Trading Standards Institute via their Business Companion website have published a number of helpful guides to the new legislation for businesses and which can be accessed by clicking on the following link.

http://www.businesscompanion.info/en/news-and-updates/consumer-rights-act

 

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Learn from the Mistakes of Mr Selfridge !

Not often Company law makes it onto prime time TV, but this week's episode of Mr Selfridge was a great example of why if you have a Company with more than one shareholder you should always check out your articles of association. If he had put into his a restriction on transfer of the family shares, they would have had to have been offered to him first on sale  and nasty Lord Loxley wouldn't now be on the Board of Directors  -though that would have had much less dramatic effect of course !

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Big changes on their way for Companies and their Directors

Last week we attended a Companies House Focus Group where the representatives from Companies House were able to give us the heads up on the progress of the Government's new Bill for Small Business and Enterprise which is going to bring in the biggest changes in this area since the Companies Act 2006.  The Bill is currently going through the Commons and it looks like it will come into Law before the Election.

One of the biggest changes is anticipated to come in October 2015, when it will become an offence for a company to have a corporate director.  This will be followed in January 2016 when companies will be required to disclose in their registers and at Companies House "persons of significant control".  This means that anyone who has 50% or more control over a company must be disclosed in the records even if they are not a shareholder/director.

We have attached a factsheet from Companies House and we will let everyone know when the new Bill becomes law and the implementation dates are finalised. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/405278/bis-14-1132-sbee-bill-companies-transparency-fact-sheet.pdf

 

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What is one of the most frequently asked questions at dinners parties and social gatherings when you meet someone for the first time?

 

Answer: What do you do? And who do you work for?

This is a very personal question for most people in that it is one of the ways we define who we are in the world.

Many employers may feel this has no real importance to them. I was struck recently when I met a number of organisations who had set up joint venture companies for operational and back office employees to transfer to and deliver services to the parent company. They were surprised at the amount of interest and time they were required and perceived this as an unwanted diversion from what they were trying to achieve. Given how we like to be seen in the world perhaps this should not be such a surprise.

Work is such a big part of most people’s lives it is human nature to want to be proud of what you do and the organisation you work for. When making big changes in any employer taking this sense of pride away and/or ignoring it will be at your peril.

Feeling good about your job, employer and how you contribute to its success is a key to having a high performing and motivated workforce.

I am reminded of a saying I heard 25 years ago and is still true today for all employers, ‘you get the employee relations you deserve’  

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Are you thinking of selling your business?

Nobody likes paying large legal bills but not getting the right legal support can cost you a lot more cash and time in the long run.

Getting advice and your approach clear from the outset saves time later and gives you the best chance to get the deal you want.   

Discussing a possible sale with your legal adviser is an important first step and many business owners put this off to their cost:

  • You can ensure you protect your business before releasing information to a potential buyer.
  • If a Business Agent is helping you to find a buyer, their terms of business can be checked and you can ensure that you fully understand the payment terms and avoid unpleasant surprises later.
  • You can discuss and be prepared for the pre-contract enquiries (‘due diligence’) you will almost certainly receive from the buyer’s solicitor.  These enquiries can be extensive and very time consuming to answer.  Preparation is the key in ensuring that the information is available quickly. 
  • You can receive advice before signing Heads of Terms.  This document outlines the main terms of the deal and, although not legally binding, it can be difficult to renegotiate Heads after they are signed.

Clare Sheerin, Legal Consultant,

Bradbury Sheerin Associates

Experts in Legal and & HR support to businesses

http://www.bradburysheerin.com/#welcome

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Deal with your peoples’ poor performance before it affects your business !

    As a New Years resolution for your business, this is perhaps one of the hardest to face in to, but is also likely to have one of the biggest returns.

    Whilst a disruptive or difficult employee’s behaviour might not afford your business the sort of damning spot light recently shone on Korean Air (courtesy of the so called “nut rage" incident) it still causes negativity and ill feeling within the team and a reduction in productivity and “goodwill" that so many of us rely on.

    Ask yourself- are you witnessing any behaviours in your business that you really are not happy with, no matter how much you tell yourself it will “blow over" or get better of its own accord? 

    If, as I suspect it is, the answer is yes, as the business leader, it is your role to face this head on.  I can assure you that the rest of the team will respect you more for doing so.

    Whether it is continual poor time keeping, an abrasive telephone manner or a constant negative attitude, these behaviours left unchecked by you means that you are effectively telling everyone else that this is OK. 

    Similarly, if someone on your team is not performing at the level that s/he is required to do so,  and you are not having words about this, then you have set your performance standard at this unacceptable level.

    Talking to someone about their performance or behaviour is not normally something to look forward to; it can however result in a win/win outcome.  Perhaps your poor time keeper needs to amend their working hours to deal with domestic circumstances but had been too afraid to ask.  It could be that your office “mood hoover" was totally unaware of their behaviour and makes a concerted effort to make amends.

    It's YOUR workplace and you and your team are entitled to be happy in it.  To this end, don't ever underestimate the role model that you set.

    With more “difficult conversations" under our belts than we care to think about, our HR Consultants are well placed to provide a helping hand in seeing through this particular New Year's commitment to your business 

     

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    2015 New Year Resolutions for your Business

    The New Year is a great time for taking stock and making plans and here are Bradbury Sheerin's top 10 suggestions.

    Legal 

    🔹 Make this the year that you protect the IP in your business. 

    🔹 Contract on your terms and not those of your suppliers and customers. 

    🔹 Have those important conversations with your fellow business owners about planned and unplanned sales of the business or your share in it.

    🔹 Consider whether you could expand your business through joint venture, partnering or licensing.

     

    HR 

    🔹 Deal with your people performance before it affects your business performance.

    🔹 Look after your staff so they look after your business and the bottom line.

    🔹 Create a  plan to retain your talent as your business grows.

    🔹 Facing a challenging year  - appoint a business coach ahead of the game to enable you to succeed. 

    🔹 Recruit for attitude and train for skill. 

     

    We know that sticking to resolutions are tough; however those that seek support are 10 times more likely to succeed than those that don't... Make 2015 the year that your business is a success story.

     

     

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    New Legal and HR Consultancy launched

    The HR and Legal Teams of Bradbury  Associates and Sheerin Associates have come together to form a new consultancy Bradbury Sheerin . 

    We are all really looking forward to working  together with our existing and new business clients .

    Watch out for our Legal and HR 'Top Ten Tips ' coming soon and see our website for more information about us !

     

     

     

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