3rd July 2014 – Business Meeting

SBCP involved our member businesses this quarter and held a second business meeting before the summer break.

Santander UK presented to delegates their Six Steps to International Growth.  Two representatives from the bank updated delegates on the bank’s activities – particularly their international business arm.  They talked through the Six Steps to International Growth which can support businesses looking to develop their international business.  These included ‘Growing, Exporting, Connecting Overseas, Coping with Growth, Setting up Abroad and maximising International Reach.  One of the tools that enable them to support businesses wishing to set up internationally is Santander’s Business Portal which gives customers the opportunity to find all the information needed to engage in business abroad.  Furthermore, their Trade Club provides customers with a community of importers and exporters which are all clients of Santander – this helps to provide connectivity to a global customer base.  More information can be found on www.santandertrade.com

Delegates then heard from Nick Kidby, Chiltern Consultancy, who gave an update on the Pensions Auto-Enrolment.  He provided the latest information from the Department of Work and Pensions and when, why and how auto enrolment was taking place.  Because of an increased life expectancy and costs of long term care, the government are encouraging those working to begin thinking for the future by starting a pension fund.  He talked about the different staging dates for different sized companies and  that many of the large companies have already a scheme in place, with companies of 250-350 employees required to stage this year and smaller companies staging in the next few years up to 2017.  Business owners and others are being encouraged to begin planning now.  For more information on Pensions and Auto-enrolment please visit: www.chilternconsultancyltd.com

Finally, we heard from SBCP member  – Ros Hammond from Employment Law in Action who provided the group with an important legal and policy update following recent changes in legislation.  She advised delegates on the increases to the National Minimum wage (which has now changed from £6.19 to £6.31 for adults), holiday and sick leave (only four weeks’ annual leave now carries over automatically). Ros went on to mention that the statutory rate for sick pay has risen from £86.70 to £87.55 and statutory maternity pay, ordinary and additional paternity pay, and adoption pay rose from £136.78 to £138.18.  Finally, she mentioned that the Children and Families Bill had also extended the statutory rights of all employees to be able to request to change their hours or work flexibly after 26 weeks employment.  It will also replace the current statutory procedure which contains a duty on employers to consider requests in a reasonable manner.  This legislation will become effective from 30th June 2014. For further information on Employment Law please visit: www.eliaction.com

If you would like any further information about our speakers or details of their presentations then please contact us.



Paul Woollard International Director for Santander