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Safeguarding staff overseas: How to make sure you are prepared for the unexpected

There is a world of opportunity out there and businesses are taking advantage of it. The most up-to-date travel figures show there was a 6% rise in international business trips in 2015 and a 30% increase in business travel expenses, according to the Office for National Statistics. And even with Brexit on the horizon, many British firms are embracing a ‘business without borders’ approach and exploring new markets. But what does this mean for your staff travelling overseas and how do you ensure you keep them safe and stay on the right side of the law when it comes to […]

great wall china

Doing business with China – what do you need to know?

It’s the second biggest economy in the world and continues to grow at a staggering rate. The number of middle-class consumers in China alone is predicted to more than treble to 480 million by 2030. UK-China trade is on the increase too having increased 2.5 times in the past 10 years and worth around £60bn annually. With these statistics, it’s unsurprising that in the wake of Brexit, many companies are turning their attention to the east and what it has to offer. But with huge cultural and structural differences to western countries, there is a lot to consider before making […]

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Opportunities in Asia: The mission to keep creative industries thriving after Brexit

UK creativity will thrive after Brexit – that’s the determined stance of those working in the sector. The industry, which includes film and television, theatre, video games and fashion, is worth £84bn to the British economy. Many of these areas have relied heavily on EU funding and the freedom to move between countries but in light of the EU Referendum, work is underway to ensure the creative sector doesn’t suffer. The creative sector is one of five being prioritised by the government in its Industrial Strategy Green Paper in a bid to address the risks to long-term growth as the […]

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What does an EU divorce mean for small businesses?

It’s the beginning of a new era. Article 50 has been triggered. After much anticipation, Theresa May has started the divorce proceedings from the EU. The process of negotiating that separation will now begin in earnest. But despite some fears the pound would receive a further blow and fall against currencies around the world, it has maintained a steady footing. So, what happens to British SMEs now as they try to ‘keep calm and carry on’? Professor Vikas S. Shah, a member of the UK Industrial Development Advisory Board and an entrepreneur with 20 years’ experience in business, said there […]

Are companies on the line if employees phone & drive?

This month there has been a clampdown on drivers using mobile phones at the wheel – with the number of penalty points now doubling to six, as well as a potential £200 fine and even disqualification. The issue of drivers using phones is widespread and it is hoped the changes will deter people from taking the risk. But what happens if your employee is caught using a phone at the wheel? According to Danny Clarke, operations director for employment law expert ELAS, companies need to be mindful of what guidance they give employees. “Do they allow staff to use Bluetooth […]

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Culture shock – why a country’s body language and customs mean the world in business

We’ve all done it. Visited a new country, not got up to speed on the cultural norms and then made a faux pas. But while a cultural misdemeanour gives you something to talk about with your friends, a lack of cultural awareness when visiting other countries, could cost you big in business.   Simon Taylor is a senior leadership consultant for Kaplan, with years of experience in international diplomacy having worked for the Ministry of Defence and as a lecturer at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy. Simon has many stories about navigating through the sensitivities of different countries. One such story […]

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7 things to consider when managing currency for business

The past year has been an interesting one for British SMEs. The EU referendum and the US election have taken their toll on currency markets creating fluctuations in the cost of overseas travel and expenses and buying and selling overseas. As of 15th February 2017, the pound is down 14% against the US dollar and 9% against the Euro compared with this time last year. For businesses, this means spending money overseas has become a lot more expensive. Business profits, cash flow and competitiveness can all be affected by exchange rate movements, meaning a keen eye on currency risk is […]

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Trump’s impact on currency markets, and when to buy dollars

It may seem like longer but it’s just over a year since Clinton and Trump first began to trade blows in the US Presidential Election primaries. And a lot has happened since then, in currency markets and world politics. Now that Trump is putting his first policies into place as 45th President of the United States, we take a look back at how the dollar has reacted to Trump’s journey to Presidency and how currency movements could affect you, your travel plans and your international payments in the coming year. Polling day anticipation In the run-up to election day the […]

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The right to disconnect: Is having ‘always-on’ employees good for business?

Picture this. You’re in a job interview and are questioned on your willingness to pick-up work emails outside of office hours. Eager to prove you’re a hard-worker, you say it isn’t a problem. One point in the bag, right? Wrong. In ‘burnout Britain’, you’d be forgiven for thinking that being ‘always-on’ is commendable, but could this attitude be frowned upon and even against the law in the UK in the future?   On 1st January, 2017, legislation came into effect in France dubbed ‘the Right to Disconnect’ which seeks to encourage a better work-life balance for workers. As a result, […]

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Trump power: What Brits need to know about doing business in the US

This time last year, you’d have been forgiven for thinking that the controversial Donald Trump would never have made it to the White House. But his campaign showed the power of getting your communication strategy right. So, what lessons can we learn from Trump to position UK firms on the front foot when doing business in the US?   Know your audience “Drain the swamp” and “build a wall”. While Trump was provocative and sensational, his slogans were built on issues the public were concerned about. “People looked for meaning in what both parties said and Trump’s pledges resonated with […]

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Keep your expenses form. I quit!

For two years, I was a frequent business traveller, flying around 800 miles a week. The company booked flights, hotels and parking on my behalf. I filled out an expenses form for smaller costs. It was all very easy. When the finance director went on maternity leave, an operations manager absorbed her role. It’s a family-run business and members of the senior staff often doubled up roles to fill the gaps, so a move like this wasn’t uncommon. Little did we know, an innocent, doubling-up exercise would make work really challenging.   One week, I was booked into different airport […]

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Can you claim compensation if your employee’s flight is delayed?

In August, research by the BBC revealed that air passengers using London Gatwick face the most flight delays in the UK. On average, passengers experienced delays of 18 minutes per flight. Consumer group Which? found that of one million flights, nearly half didn’t arrive on time, and more than 10,000 were delayed by more than three hours. If your employee is one of the unlucky passengers in limbo at the airport, can you claim for the inconvenience? FairFX spoke to Flight Delay Lawyer at Bott & Co Solicitors Kevin Clarke, and employment law specialist at Ramsdens Solicitors, Gareth Dando about […]