Expert Comment

Expert Comment Inflect

The election will bring political change to the South East

With the General Election scheduled for 4 July and Labour still enjoying significant poll leads over the Conservatives, the South East is looking set to be a key electoral battleground, and the national result could have significant implications for the region. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats are targeting seats in the South East, with […]

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CWJ Expert Comment

Reform of Holiday Pay

The basic right to annual leave is that a worker is entitled to 5.6 weeks’ leave each year. This is the equivalent to 28 days for those working five days a week. Subsequently, a part time worker is entitled to a pro rata amount of 28 days, according to the number of days they work. […]

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Expert Comment Kreston Reeves

Maximising Business Property Relief

At the start of 2022, there were estimated to be 5.5 million private sector businesses in the UK, of which 5.47 million businesses were in the small category (i.e. with 0 to 49 employees) – the very backbone of the British economy. But are these business owners maximising tax allowances available to them to ensure […]

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CWJ Expert Comment

Paternity Leave and Carer’s Leave

From 6 April 2024, where the expected week of childbirth or expected date of placement for adoption falls on or after this date, paternity leave will be able to be taken in two blocks of one week, rather than having to take two weeks leave consecutively. In addition, the leave can be taken at any […]

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Chambers of Commerce Expert Comment

Are we really running out of people?

In the last edition’s article, I made the case for how our economy would benefit from having more medium-sized businesses. One such benefit was the opportunity to provide work placements, internships or even higher-level apprenticeships as a means of growing and expanding the workforce. This, in itself, was as good a reason as any to […]

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Chambers of Commerce Expert Comment

A spring update

Here at Surrey Chambers, we are delighted to be launching, in partnership with Surrey Heath Borough Council, the Surrey Manufacturing and Engineering Network – a dynamic initiative aimed at fostering collaboration and growth within the manufacturing and engineering sector in Surrey. Our mission is to facilitate shared learning, create supply chain opportunities and offer business […]

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Chambers of Commerce Expert Comment

Boosting growth and promoting sustainability

Sussex Chambers has recently partnered with Reveela.com, a cutting-edge digital marketing platform. This strategic collaboration aims to help Chamber members gain a competitive advantage in both local and international markets by leveraging advanced digital marketing capabilities powered by new energy-reducing artificial intelligence, developed by Reveela Technologies and part funded by Innovate UK. Understanding the crucial […]

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Expert Comment Inflect

What does Labour’s ‘mission-based government’ mean for business?

With a General Election edging ever closer and the polls suggesting a change of government is on the cards, many businesses are starting to think more seriously about what a Labour administration means for them. Central to the Labour Party’s pitch at the election is the idea of its five missions – centred around economic […]

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Expert Comment Maxim

We need a different conversation about development

Nearly everyone criticises the planning system, but isn’t one of the biggest problems, literally, much closer to home? Are we looking at development, and specifically housebuilding, through the wrong end of the telescope and overlooking the positives? The reality is we all need a place to live, and it changes throughout the stages of our […]

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The Business Bar

What is the Whole Life Cost (WLC) of a vehicle and what should you consider?

In the ever-evolving landscape of business operations, the decision to change vehicles is a significant one that requires careful consideration. As businesses weigh the options, one crucial factor that often takes centre stage is the total cost of ownership or Whole Life Cost (WLC). This encompasses not just the upfront costs but also the operational […]

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Inflect

Offering flexible work can help you tap a latent talent pool

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics tell us that 8.68 million people aged 16-64 are economically inactive in the UK, while at the same time, there are more than 900,000 vacancies across the country.  Just 1.57 million of those economically inactive people are classified as unemployed, with the rest made up of […]

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Maxim

Trust will be the watchword for ’24

This year, securing trust and retaining their own reputation will be more important than ever for business and dare I say it, politicians. According to the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer, half the UK population trusts business, up 1% on the previous year, while only 37% trust the government, a fall of 5%. Worryingly, it also […]

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Chambers of Commerce

Entering the Sussex Chamber Business Awards

The Sussex Chamber Business Awards are returning for 2024 to highlight and celebrate the expertise, achievements and outstanding contributions that businesses and individuals continually make to the growth of the county. Here are some hints and tips on how you can make the most of your entry… The judges Your entry will be assessed by […]

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Chambers of Commerce

2024 Support

What could possibly challenge us in 2024? Facing a general election is likely to distract from the work needed to improve the economy and deliver support for businesses, who generate jobs, taxes and contribute so much to their local communities. There is a lot of support available for businesses, but it does not always reach […]

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Chambers of Commerce

Business needs to be more than just a livelihood

With political and regulatory uncertainty in abundance, it’s understandable that most businesses will have little appetite for investment or expansion.  However, this uncertainty will eventually pass, and the UK government, of whatever persuasion, will need to make its intentions around economic growth clear and unambiguous to unlock the UK’s trade potential. But the focus needs […]

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CWJ

Employee Complaints

In a recent case we dealt with, our client had received a bullying complaint from an employee who didn’t want any formal investigation or action to be taken. What are the risks here, and what should employers do in this situation? Much will depend on the seriousness of the allegation/misconduct in question and the type […]

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Kreston Reeves

SME Cash Reserves

Research from Allica Bank suggests that small and medium-sized businesses are holding an astonishing £273 billion in cash in low or no interest bank accounts. But just what should businesses do with cash reserves to make them work harder, asks funding experts, Abbey Watkins and John Walsham of Kreston Reeves.  Research from Allica Bank suggests […]

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The Business Bar

A promising horizon: Positive trends in the UK mortgage market

Over the last 18 months, the UK property market has been in a period of flux. However, the tide is changing, presenting a positive outlook for homebuyers. Several key factors contribute to this optimistic landscape, including a decline in inflation, a trend of lower fixed rates and a correction in house prices. As we delve […]

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Chambers of Commerce

COP28 Activities

COP28, UN Climate Change Conference – United Arab Emirates 2023, from 30 November to 12 December, is a key date for the international community to come together and set out how to meet the Climate Challenge as a planet. The British Chamber Network and members will be actively taking part in COP28 events and initiatives. […]

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Chambers of Commerce

Fostering Growth

As I write, we eagerly await the King’s Speech and my fingers are crossed that it’s one that will support business and business growth. There have been far too many impediments to growth over the past five-plus years and this could be an opportunity to start to turn things around, show signs of positivity and […]

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Crowe

Crowe UK continues to help organisations keep on top of international trade tax developments

Industry leaders from across Kent gathered at Crowe UK’s Maidstone office for the firm’s latest International Trade event where updates on a range of international trade developments were provided. The event was hosted by Crowe UK’s Head of Manufacturing –  Johnathan Dudley –  and included presentations provided by Crowe UK’s Customs team, Ian Worth, Jamie […]

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CWJ

Directors’ Duties and The Threat of Insolvency

With the UK economy facing an uncertain path on account of domestic and global upheaval, businesses continue to face challenges, and it is essential for directors to be mindful of their duties both generally and more particularly where there is the risk of insolvency.  The Insolvency Service has issued refresher guidance on the Government website […]

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Knights

Navigating the HR Risksat Workplace Gatherings

After a few years of disruption due to the pandemic, workplace gatherings are firmly back on the scene; whether it’s regular drinks after work, networking events, or an all-company party.     Everyone deserves to relax and have fun; however, employers should always plan ahead to ensure that they do not have an ‘employment law […]

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Kreston Reeves

Unlocking Commercial Mortgages

Despite the challenging economic environment business owners continue to seek a commercial mortgage to fund the purchasing, expansion, renovation or refinancing of commercial premises.  A commercial mortgage can allow a business owner to seize growth opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. But, as with all borrowing, there will be conditions attached.  Owning a […]

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Inflect

2024 Promises Another Year of Uncertainty When all Business wants is Stability

Whatever you think of the merits of HS2, it is unquestionable that the project suffered from stops, starts, redesigns and complications – all of which contributed to the spiralling costs. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Uncertainty increases risk and costs then rise as parties try to mitigate the risk or be compensated for accepting it.  The […]

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Maxim

Confidence Breeds Confidence

It was disappointing, but not surprising, that companies in the South East have reported lower confidence in their own business prospects, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. What can we do to turn this around given the challenging economic climate? Confidence breeds confidence, just like success breeds success. The survey […]

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Expert Comment

The Experts at MHA talk about the Autumn Statement  

Duncan Cochrane Dyet PartnerAuditduncan.cochrane-dyet@mha.co.uk In 2022 China built around 2,500 km of railway of which half were high speed tracks. HS2 was originally 330 miles, now reduced to 175 miles, and has taken 14 years to get to this stage. This is sobering stuff and illustrates the necessity of a long-term consistent strategy that cuts […]

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Crowe

Sharing growth is a popular way to incentivise employees

Share Incentive schemes are a popular and well-recognised way for employers to attract, motivate, incentivise and retain staff. A key advantage is that they can be set up with varying rights to incentivise growth, which is becoming increasingly popular with employers. However, the receipt of shares and/or share options are potentially subject to income tax […]

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Kreston Reeves

Could PAYE Settlement Agreements stop your employees from experiencing unexpected tax bills?

Businesses are suffering increased costs and employers are looking for various ways to reward their employees and keep them engaged beyond pay rises and bonuses. The issue however is that a lot of these alternative methods can be caught by the benefit in kind (BIK) rules. BIK’s need to be reported on a form P11D […]

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Knights

The Good Divorce

For too long, the options available to couples who needed legal support to navigate their way through a separation was limited to litigation and costly drawn-out court proceedings.    Over time though, the landscape for these couples has evolved and the legal support they require can now be tailored to match with their intentions to […]

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The Business Bar

The telecoms industry is changing – what does it mean for your business?

The telecommunication industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and the ISDN and PSTN networks, which have served us well for decades, are no longer capable of meeting the demands of today’s digital world. The need for faster, more versatile and cost-effective communication solutions has led to the decision to switch off ISDN and PSTN […]

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Chambers of Commerce

Ambitious action plan for skills

Creating a mechanism to deliver cultural and behavioural change in the local skills system is central to our Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), published in August following approval from the Secretary of State for Education.  The report and accompanying action plan outlines key priorities for the local area to help reshape the technical skills system […]

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Chambers of Commerce

Achieving nutrient neutrality

Back in the summer of 2020, local planning authorities in the River Stour catchment were told that any new developments that included an overnight stay must not increase the level of nutrients and nitrogen in the River Stour as it was having a negative impact on the Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve. This mainly covered the […]

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Chambers of Commerce

Future Skills Sussex 

The government’s Skills for Jobs white paper set out an ambitious employer-led approach aimed at making further education (FE) provision more responsive to local skills needs and, ultimately, local economic needs. As part of this approach, Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) were introduced as a key part of the government’s vision of an adult skills […]

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Inflect

The local authority funding crisis is coming to the South East

With news that the largest local authority in Western Europe has declared bankruptcy, many councils in the South East will be nervously looking over their shoulder.  It’s no great secret that local authority funding has been cut significantly since 2010, primarily as a result of a 17.5% real-terms cut in central government grants. However, what […]

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Maxim

Constructing a case for development

As we can see in this edition of South East Business, the construction industry is important to the region’s economy. There are some fantastic companies, but too often before a spade can be put in the ground, there’s the need to navigate the court of public opinion, and that requires good communication from the start. […]

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Crowe

Hidden VAT costs and common errors with business promotions

Crowe UK’s Rob Janering provides SMEs with expert advice on hidden VAT costs

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The Business Bar

Equality, diversity and inclusion is good for staff and for business

Within the Business Bar, Kent-based businesses spanning finance, recruitment, law, marketing and more come together to grow and adapt. Member Henry Doswell, principal solicitor at Doswell Law Solicitors, talks about how equality, diversity and inclusion is good for staff and for business… Taking equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) seriously in the workplace has huge benefits […]

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Inflect

The South East is becoming a political battleground

Expert advice from Harry Shackleton, a partner at strategic communications and business transformation consultancy Inflect Partners It was indicative that Keir Starmer, the Labour Party leader, chose to visit Medway to celebrate the May 2023 local elections results. With the governing Conservative party losing more than a thousand seats overnight, there were plenty of victories […]

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The Business Bar

IP telephony is the inevitable trend

Within the Business Bar, Kent-based businesses spanning finance, recruitment, law, marketing and more come together to grow and adapt. Member Gary Linin, director of New World Netcom, talks about how IP telephony is the inevitable trend… In 2020, the global pandemic forced businesses to adopt new ways of working and challenged us to reimagine the […]

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Tribeca

3 critical aspects of a business-aligned IT strategy for 2023

Tribeca Technology’s CEO and founder Mark Instance advises businesses on developing a business-aligned IT strategy for 2023 Despite recession concerns and the highest levels of inflation in 40 years, only 6% of businesses plan to cut their IT spending in 2023, according to Spiceworks Ziff Davis.  This is unsurprising since the Covid 19 pandemic is […]

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