Our word of the month for October is Value. As we focus on HR management throughout this month, we believe having a team who know and feel appreciated can have a huge positive impact in many areas of your company. So make sure you show your staff that you value their work.
Claudia Crab’s October Focus
“If you are taken to a Tribunal and don’t have policies in place to cover such things as grievances and disciplinary matters – it’s too late and all you can do is damage limitation.” Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab
Make sure you deal with your greatest asset, the people who work for you, through appropriate Human Resources policies and procedures. Our sister organisation HR Wise provides a suite of documents which create a framework to facilitate good management including:
an employment contract (statement of particulars)
a staff handbook with a full set of procedures
access to an email support line
Top tip – Visit the HR Wise website for more information
Our focus this month is on outsourcing. The business practice of engaging an external party to perform services or create goods that traditionally were done in-house by the company’s own employees.
For example, a business may take the decision to outsource bookkeeping duties or the functions of human resource departments, such as payroll or recruitment, or health and safety activities as doing so may be more cost-effective than retaining an in-house specialist for each area or for a business owner trying to become an expert in each.
When used properly, outsourcing is an effective strategy to reduce expenses, and can even provide a business with a competitive advantage over rivals.
Whatever your outsourcing strategy you need to make sure that the company carrying out the work you require will not present additional risks to your business.
Claudia Crab’s September Focus
“To make sure you do everything possible not to get let down by someone else, do your diligence before selecting an outsourcing partner.”
Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab
Outsourcing can be used to reduce labour costs, together with the cost of overheads, equipment, and technology.
Skill and knowledge gaps can be filled using third party experts.
Outsourcing may also be used to focus on the core aspects of the business, trusting the less critical operations to outside organisations.
On the downside, communication with the outside provider can be hard, and security threats can escalate when multiple parties access sensitive and personal data.
What has been your biggest learning in recent weeks, and how will this change the way you present yourself to people?
Our word of the month for July is PROFILE, it’s all about how youwill present yourself so as to stand out from the crowd in a digital-focused world?
Crimson Crab is on your side and ready to help you meet the challenges ahead.
Claudia Crab’s July Focus
“A website is a shop window to the world – it is also a great way to showcase breaches of the law”
If you have a website you need to make sure that you comply with the law in the following areas:
You should identify yourself correctly and give an address at which you can be contacted, there are specific requirements for a registered business, (e.g. Ltd, PLC, LLP).
Businesses have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to help disabled individuals access their goods, facilities and services. The Equalities Act 2010 requires that websites are accessible to disabled people including Blind people. One way of meeting this responsibility is for website owners to comply with the WCAG 2.0 standard at Level AA the UK Governments recommended best practice for accessibility.
You need to make sure that you comply with the Data Protection laws (including the GDPR) for all contact forms and any personal data collection. You also need to make sure that you have an appropriate Cookies policy detailing the cookies used and their purpose (and for example use a pop-up or other means to obtain ‘consent’).
Provision of Services
If you provide any services on or offline you have to make sure you comply with the Provision of Service Regulations. They require service providers to make available contact details where information requests and complaints can be sent, together with other specified information. One way of complying is to include the required information on a web page and proactively provide the link to clients when discussing your services.
When using a website for e-commerce purposes then you still need to comply with the law that relates to a bricks and mortar outlet along with some special rules for an online business.
So there must be for example no unfair commercial practices and suitable control of sales of age-sensitive products (e.g. alcohol, tobacco, fireworks, knives, solvents, videos & games). If any products are sold to which safety legislation applies, for example, toys, bicycles, electrical goods the rules have to be followed, as they do when food of any type is sold.
The Consumer Contracts Regulations require that you provide certain information when selling online, and also require you to tell the customer about their right to cancel the purchase within 14 days (not 7 any more). Failure in this respect can mean that the customer can enjoy a much longer cancellation period (up to 12 months)!
You also have to be careful to comply with the requirements of Card Providers and you cannot make additional charges for using such payment methods.
There are also rules around the way that complaints are dealt with and the provision of access to Alternative Dispute Resolution and the European Commissions Online Dispute Resolution Platform.
Love your business – we do! As companies across the UK prepare for the ‘new normal’ we’ve just made our word of the month ‘Restoration’.
How are you going to restore your services while also taking account of and adapting to what was for most very difficult times?
Remember we are here for you, to help you meet the challenges ahead.
Claudia Crab’s June Focus
Personal Data Processing
“When it comes to data protection, small businesses tend to be less well prepared. They have less to invest in getting it right. They don’t have compliance teams or data protection officers. But small organisations often process a lot of personal data, and the reputation and liability risks are just as real.”
Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner
The Information Commissioner is the UK regulator for data protection and can impose substantial penalties for infringements. Data subjects also have a right to claim compensation if a company has caused the damage by a breach of the rules.
When you collect data you need to be transparent about why you are collecting it and how you will use it. This should be set out in an easy to find (and read) privacy notice or policy.
Where you share data with anyone else you need to make it clear with whom you are sharing it and why.
There are specific requirements and guidance if you outsource your data handling to a third party data processor. You must carry out suitable diligence and have written agreements in place which cover defined points.
If you use CCTV, cloud computing, cookies or engage in direct marketing, to name but a few, there is also specific guidance which must be followed.
Our top tip is if you process personal data, make sure you pay the data protection fee and give the correct privacy information to people, don’t forget employees and suppliers as well as customers and clients.
If you haven’t already thought about it there are some things that you will need to do to prepare your business for Brexit.
Especially if you:
import or export goods or services to the EU,
exchange personal data (including customers’ addresses, staff working hours or information you give to a delivery company) with an organisation in Europe (this includes using websites or services hosted in Europe & processing personal data from Europe), or
you use or rely on intellectual property (IP) protection (this includes copyright, trademarks and patents).
To put the record straight copyright is an automatic right. Therefore when you produce a creative work you own the copyright in it There are a few exceptions so for example if you have a contract of employment, the contract will generally state that when you are employed the employer owns the copyright of material you produce at work
Copying or adapting someone else’s work is a ‘restricted act’. An adaptation is a ‘derived work’. If someone adapts your work, you still own it. There is no acceptable percentage of changes.
You have every right to object if they publish such a work when you have not given them your permission to do so. You are also entitled to reclaim any money they make from selling your work. They could seek your permission to use the work as the rights owner, however, you will be able to charge a fee and/or royalties for this.