Do you run a food business or work in front of house or back of house in a catering setting ?

Do you run a food business or work in front of house or back of house in a catering setting ?

We have a CPD accredited online Level 1 & 2 food safety course in catering ideal for front of house staff & open food handlers on our site at .We also licence our content for use on your own learning management system. We can offer discounted bundles for purchases of more than 10 courses. Tweet us at   or email fsmonlinetraining@fsmatters.co.uk for free trial .

Twinings Tea Advertise their New Flavour in a Solavia Fine Glassware mug.

Solavia Fine Glassware are thrilled that Twinings Tea chose their mugs to advertise their new flavour, Strawberry and Raspberry. Their mugs are in the latest advertisement as well as being used in recent promotional content. The Angelo mugs are very popular due to their simple and classic design. They come in a set of 2 and cost £6. Solavia Fine Glassware is a Midlands-based glassware company, that specialises in exclusive handmade glassware and luxury crystal.

For more information check out Solavia Fine Glassware’s website, www.solavia.co.uk

Fast growing care provider officially launches in Coventry & South Warwickshire

 

A fast growing company which provides care and home services to children and adults in Coventry and South Warwickshire is celebrating its official launch.

The SureCare franchise for Coventry and South Warwickshire was opened in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Lindsley Harvard and Coventry’s Lady Godiva, Pro Porretta, on November 24th.

The franchise is run by Tervinder Bhangal and her husband. Previous to SureCare, Tervinder worked for Coventry City Council as a Social Work Team Manager for the Transition & Children’s Disability Team.

More than 20 staff have already been taken on by the company and they are looking for another 30 highly trained and experienced people to join the team over the next 12-18 months.

As well as providing care for elderly people and those with physical and learning difficulties, SureCare Coventry & South Warwickshire offers child care, overnight and live-in care plus respite care.

Tervinder said: “We are delighted to have opened a SureCare franchise in the area and the response from the local community has been really positive. People have told us that they have been crying out for a local company which provides quality services, particularly live-in care.

“We pride ourselves on running a service that gives people the best quality of life, supporting them to lead the life they choose.

“My aim is to be known for providing high quality, vetted staff to meet the care needs of both adults and children across all age groups. An emphasis will be placed on providing comprehensive supervision, training and mentoring in order to ensure quality, consistent and personalised care.

“We want to support people to continue to remain active and engaged in their communities by working in close partnership with key stakeholders in Coventry and South Warwickshire.

“In addition to live-in care, these services include personal care and support, childcare, respite and holiday care, dementia care and home services.

“The success of the business will be based upon providing safe and compassionate care to meet the needs of the most vulnerable group of people in our society.”

Gary Farrer, Managing Director of SureCare, says: “I am delighted to welcome Tervinder and her husband into the business. Like all our franchisees, she is passionate about wanting to provide the best possible care to our clients.”

The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr Lindsley Harvard, said: “It’s fantastic to see businesses launching that are not only bringing jobs to the city but providing services to the most vulnerable people. I wish SureCare every success in their business.”

 

www.surecare.co.uk

http://surecare.co.uk/places/surecare-coventry-south-warwickshire/

 

ABOUT SURECARE

SureCare is one of the UK’s most established providers of care and home services.

Established in 1994, the family owned company is led by Managing Director Gary Farrer, his son Josh, the company’s Franchise Sales Manager, and their experienced management team.

With its headquarters in Chester, the company has a growing network of franchises and branches across the UK providing a comprehensive range of services.

 

#Nuneaton woman invests last few pounds to get business off the ground

Unable to find a job, local businesswoman decided to take the plunge herself.

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A Nuneaton businesswoman who used her last few pounds to launch a marketing service is now working with clients across the country.

Hashtag Marketing Consultancy was founded by Ruth Warwick after she was made redundant while on maternity leave.

Unable to find a part time role at a senior level, she decided to take the plunge and used the last of her funds to set-up her new venture.

One year on, Ruth, aged 33, has developed a strong client-base and provides marketing solutions to companies from a range of industries based in the Midlands and across England.

The company offers services including marketing strategy and planning, website design and management, social media, PR, events, design and print, advertising and customer experience guidance.

Ruth said: “With a few pounds in one pocket – literally – and enthusiasm in the other, Hashtag Marketing was born.

“I was initially concerned about being able to sustain a regular income and how I would cope with the demands of a new business whilst keeping things running smoothly at home.

“I’ve found ways to manage my time effectively. You really do need to be motivated to run your own business, no one is going to do it for you. You need to set yourself goals and give yourself a reason to get out of bed in the mornings.

“People ask me what it’s like to have my own business and question if I find it lonely working for myself. The honest answer is yes, it can be lonely at times but there’s plenty of opportunity to engage with people whether that be clients, associates or other small business owners.

“The benefits of being my own boss, managing my own time and having the flexibility to work when and how I want to work far outweigh the remoteness that I sometimes experience.”

Ruth was helped to set-up the business by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce which provides free guidance to start-ups through workshops and one-to-one mentoring as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Ruth added: “The Chamber provided me with invaluable support when setting up the business and helped make it a success.

“They provided support with everything from sourcing new clients to looking after finances and filing accounts.”

Margaret Bull, a business advisor at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce who supported Ruth, said: “Ruth’s passion for her business along with our start-up support has helped Hashtag Marketing Consultancy go from strength to strength.

“Ruth now has built up a strong client-base, working with companies across the country, which will continue to grow in the long-term.”

 

Contact Ruth Warwick at 07525 068 843 or www.hashtagmarketingconsultancy.co.uk

hashtag

Welcome to Drains Are Us – Your Local Friendly Firm!

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Welcome to Drains Are Us – Your Local Friendly Firm!
Drains Are Us is a local independent family company offering quality drainage services with a fair deal pricing structure. Established since 1998, Drains Are Us has proven itself to be a firm whose customers can trust to be treated with honesty & integrity at all times.

Clients Include:

  • University of Warwick
  • Coventry City Football Club – Rioch Arena
  • Contracts undertaken for the Ministry Of Defence
  • Walkers Snack Foods
  • The National Health Trust
  • The Local Health Authurity
  • Sol West Midlands
  • Warwick Districk Council & Environmental Health

drains

Blocked drains are potentially messy, disruptive, upsetting and at worst a health hazard. Attempting to free a well-blocked drain is no task for the DIY ‘expert’. The good news is that help from Drains Are Us is only a telephone call away!

Qualified and experienced staff assess the situation, provide a full quotation and when given the authority to proceed, work cleanly, quickly and efficiently to restore your services to you. We will solve any drainage problem, large or small.

Our camera surveys often save the need for expensive excavation and the subsequent upheaval it can bring. We are one of a few companies able to provide this service, and our expertise in this area has gained us a lot of customers in both the public and private sectors.

Products & Services

  • Emergency Blockage Service
  • Hidden Drains Traced
  • C.C.T.V survey
  • High Pressure Water Jetting
  • Rootcutting and Descaling
  • Pipework Replacement and Relining
  • O.A.P. Discounts

Contact us on 01926 853111

#Warwickshire -based Solavia Fine Glassware wins the #SBS award from Theo Paphitis from BBC’s Dragons Den.

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Warwickshire based online business, Solavia Fine Glassware has received
a business boost from Retail Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis.   In June,  Solavia Fine Glassware, tweeted Theo about their business during ‘Small Business Sunday’ (#SBS) and was one of six weekly winners to be recognised by Theo. The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has 1700 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

solavia2

Solavia Fine Glassware is an independent family business specialising in handmade glassware. The company prides itself on excellent customer service whilst providing quality items, not only to individuals but also to businesses such as one of Gordon Ramsay’s London restaurants, Estee Lauder and Harrods.

The company is grateful to Theo and his team for promoting their business and as a result giving them the opportunity for greater brand awareness. They look forward to the benefits that #SBS may provide in the near future

For further information about Solavia Fine Glassware visit www.solavia.co.uk or call for personalised advice and customer assistance

 

TUDOR WORLD HALLOWEEN 2016

Stratford upon Avon’s most haunted building!

Tudor World museum sits in the dead centre of Stratford upon Avon and continues its long history of celebrating Halloween (one of the longest running in Stratford) with lots of activities for young and old alike. Yet it has long been known as a haunted building and much favoured by the local covens, well before the cult TV programme Most Haunted investigated the building and Derek Acorah become possessed by one of the spirits or even before author Terry Deary described it as “the most haunted house in England” on the Horrible Histories guide to Stratford. Sightings of ghosts and weird happenings have been seen recorded throughout the centuries, right up to the present day: including a little girl from the 16th century and a serial killer from the 18th century within the ancient building.

This year’s celebrations are therefore sure to be as ‘active’ and fun as ever! During the day the Halloween Quiz for children includes a brilliant black witch’s hat and at night a family friendly ghost tour for children with Mr G Buster and spooky tours for the adults through the building’s labyrinth of shadowy hallways, all by the lantern light of the Barber Surgeons. On All Hallows Eve itself braver members of the public can even be involved in a real séance and call out “is there anybody there?”

Are you brave enough to visit this famously haunted building at 40 Sheep Street, Stratford upon Avon, over the Halloween?

halloweenkingsley

Saturday 22nd to Monday 31st October from 10.30am a Halloween Quiz will be available for the children and includes a free witch’s hat on completion (subject to availability).

Saturday 29th October the family friendly ghost tour takes place at 5.30-6.00pm @ £13.50 for two adults and two children.  Places are limited and sold out early last year!

Saturday 29th October and Monday 31st October Ghost tours with the Barber Surgeons at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm @ £7.50 per adult (free badge for those dressed in costume!)

Monday 31st October the Seance Experience will occur, where members of the public can be involved in real séance (over 18s only) at 10pm until midnight @ £20pp, including light refreshments.

For more information visit: www.tudorworld.com or ring 01789 298070 for further info, to book or for interviews.

 

On All Hallow’s Eve, when the veil between this world and the next is said to be the thinnest, Tudor World in Stratford upon Avon, will be conducting a Halloween Seance. The Seance Experience will start at 10pm and end around the ‘witching hour’.

The evening will consist of various experiments and ‘calling out’ to the spirit. The evening ends with a gathering in the dedicated Seance Room. Once in the Seance Room, the room will be plunged into darkness and the participants will hold hands and ask spirits to appear! For the really brave, there is a ‘spirit cabinet’ for anyone who wants a ‘lone vigil’. The evening is a serious affair and nothing is faked, any ‘activity’ will be real.

Tudor World, once known as the Falstaff Experience has a long tradition of ghostly sightings and appearing on such shows as Most Haunted and in Terry Deary’s Horrible History book, in which he described the property as ‘The Most Haunted House in England’. The historic building, parts of which date back to the 12th century is said to have many resident spirits– from 1000 year old spirit who walk around wearing a hooded cloak and had red eyes, to an 18th century serial killer to a little serving girl from the 16th century and even the troops from the Civil War are said to march through near the time of the Battle of Edgehill in October 1642.

Over Halloween Tudor World will also be having a quiz, which includes an amazing witch’s hat prize for every child during the day, as well as spooky ghost tours at night.

For further info, contact Janet or John Ford on 01789 298070 or visit www.tudorworld.com.

 

 

 

The Gift of Time

eva-sitters

Time is something most of us feel we need more of. A Coventry-based babysitting agency, EvaSitters, has solved the problem for many of us. Babysitting gift vouchers are now available to buy for your friends and family, allowing parents to have time for other activities without worrying about childcare. The vouchers offer at least three hours of pre-paid evening babysitting to the recipient, so you no longer have to feel guilty about being unable to babysit for your family or friends! The ‘gift of time’ is a thoughtful present parents will appreciate on special occasions and all year round.

Most people will agree that childcare is a big cause of concern in today’s society, especially where both parents work. Evasitters’ staff are all interviewed face-to-face, screened thoroughly and paid by EvaSitters, so parents do not have to worry about all that. All good parents will agree that their children are their most valuable possessions, so they cannot afford to be careless about childcare. EvaSitters provides police-checked, experienced and caring babysitters to homes in Coventry, Warwickshire, Birmingham, Leicester and surrounding areas, even at short notice, with no membership, booking or registration fees.

Everyone knows that good, reliable childcare is priceless. Having a babysitter or nanny that really gets your children and ensures that they are safe and happy allows you to get on with life without guilt or worry. Although, parents will be willing to pay anything for such a reliable and necessary service, EvaSitters charges the same affordable hourly rate for any day of the week, and parents can get a discount with multiple bookings. For parents on the go, there is also an Evasitters phone app, available for free download from www.evasitters.co.uk .

The founder of EvaSitters, Dr Afiniki Akanet, a medical doctor, explains why she set up the company: “I wanted to provide an easy-to-book online babysitting service which allows parents, like me, to have time away from home when required, while also providing flexible well-paid work for eligible UK residents. Having no membership, booking or registration fees, allows parents to use our service regularly or occasionally without penalty. Because of the large amount of daytime childcare providers, such as nurseries and childminders, EvaSitters specialises in providing childcare after 6pm and at weekends.”

Settlement Agreements – What? When? Why? Who? What to watch out for !

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Settlement agreements (formerly known as compromise agreements) are a widely used methods of settling employment claims with an exiting employee. It gives both the employer and employee certainty going forward and enables both parties to move on after the employee exits. They are sanctioned by the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) and in particular s203 sets out the criteria that must be used in order to make the agreement valid and therefore enforceable. Under s111A ERA 1996 now they can be used more widely to exit employees without the need for a dispute to have already occurred as was formerly the case.

 

Is this a licence to exit employees as their face no longer fits or a genuine move to avoid costly litigation for both employees and employers alike?

 

What are they? They are a contract between an exiting employee and the employer that gives the employee an exit package in return for signing away their employment rights, excluding accrued pension rights and latent/unknown personal injury claims. It is a legal requirement that the employee obtains independent legal advice on the agreement with the employer paying for those legal fees.

 

Such agreements are so widely used now that many see them as simple with previous templates regularly used. They are however far from simple and previous examples should never be used as some of the following issues show.

 

When? Before you even broach the subject of giving an exiting employee a settlement agreement, you need to know the mere suggestion or offering of the agreement could, in certain circumstances give the employee a constructive dismissal claim. These circumstances have been limited via the insertion of s111A into the Employment Rights Act 1996 enabling confidential pre-termination settlement agreements, but this does not give blanket protection.

 

Specifically, s111A ERA 1996 gives employers protection from constructive dismissal claims when they enter into confidential discussions about the termination of employment. It will be a brave employer who enters into such discussions without first having taken employment advice. It is similar to “the without prejudice rule” but also very different. It’s applicability will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, hence the need for advice, but in general terms there must be no “improper behaviour” to render it fair and the employee must be given at least 10 days to consider the offer and take advice. The associated ACAS code details “improper behaviour” and gives examples of what may be considered as such.

 

Prior to the insertion of S111A offering a settlement agreement in circumstances where there was no genuine inter party dispute, where effectively the employer was saying “you are going no matter what”, gave rise to a constructive dismissal claim, subject to the qualifying period of employment to access future losses etc. Even if an employee does not have the 2 years qualifying service they could still bring a constructive dismissal claim, typically where they are seeking wrongful dismissal damages but also release from post termination restrictive covenants. Under s111A a settlement agreement can be offered where there is no dispute at all. Sometimes this can mean the settlement agreement appears to come out of the blue for the employee, which can bring with its own problems such as unreasonable expectations etc.

 

How? Often a formerly used agreement is reused for a subsequent employee. However did you know that often doing this enables the solicitor advising the employee on it to know the circumstances of the previously exited employee, risking a breach of confidentiality on the part of the Company. Each agreement, to be binding, must be tailored to the specific employee and their circumstances. Blanket claims lists, which we see all too commonly have been held to be uneforceable.  There must be a clause that refers to the specific claims that the employee is raising and then settling and it must cross refer to the appropriate in date legislation. Simply using an old agreement is likely to mean the employee’s specific claims are not addressed and render it unenforceable. Information may be left in the agreement used that refers to the last exiting employee thereby potentially risking the confidentiality of that last exiting employee as well as risking its enforceability.

 

Each set of circumstances where such an agreement is needed will be different and the employee will be different maybe having different priorities, such as a reference. They can be tailored to address specific problems too. For example, if you have a messy exit of an employee but want to address gossip amidst the workforce an agreed announcement that goes out can be agreed. The confidentiality clauses stop the employee from talking about matters but speculation is often rife, especially in acromonious exits and you don’t want employee’s to think the Company will always settle. An agreed anouncement allows you to control what is said to other staff, customers and suppliers and gives the employee something to say when asked why they left – leaving it open often does more damage than good.

 

The employee will also need to explain why they left to future employers, recruitment agencies and their family so a blanket confidentially clause is a practical nonsense. It needs to address such realities.

 

Is there an agreed reference? What if the person giving a reference leaves?

 

Has the notice pay been properly dealt with. Has pay in lieu of notice (a PILON) been taxed or not taxed properly? Have a number of payments been lumped together risking the whole payment being judged as taxable? Are contractual elements split out and treated appropriately for tax? An agreement to breach where there is no PILON clause still renders the notice payment taxable too, which is one that often catches people out. There are specific rules under s401-403 of ITEPA 2003 as to what makes a payment up to £30,000 genuinely tax-free.

 

Have you covered off the pension? Do you need to make a statement as to the leaving status of the employee in relation to shares or share options? What about expense claims not yet submitted?

 

Have restrictive covenants been dealt with in an appropriate manner? Are existing ones enforceable and are new one’s validly stated with separate consideration? This can be an ideal time to put in covenants if they were previously missed or the contract predated their inclusion. If there aren’t well drafted enforceable restrictive covenants then there is nothing to stop those exiting employees from setting up around the corner and poaching all of your staff, customers and work. If the employee’s claims include breach of contract then any restrictive covenants in a contract would fall away. The settlement agreement is a place you can put such restrictions in or restate existing ones to get them back in. As the employee takes advice upon the settlement agreement it also makes any stated restrictive covenants more robust with a greater chance of enforceability.

 

Who? As you know the employee needs to make sure they take proper advice on the terms and effect of the settlemement agreement, which is a requirement of s203 ERA 1996. Unfortunately lots of solicitors sign off settlement agreements without knowing very much about employment law, as it is seen as a quick rubber stamping exercise. It is far from that. The solicitor needs to advise on what claims the employee could have and to quantify those claims to then assess whether the payments the employee is receiving are fair or not. The solicitor needs to advise on the terms including the taxable status of the payments and possible tax liability. They will need to know the impact caused by the different stated reasons for termination and advise on the post termination restrictions. If the employee hasn’t had proper advice does that cause doubt on the enforceability of the agreement? Possibly. One option could be to provide an exiting employee with a list of known employment solicitors so you know there are going to an expert, which will make negotiating any final parts much more sensible for the Company too. In a mass settlement agreement exercise, perhaps with multiple redundancies where there are enhanced payments a solicitor can come into your offices and see multiple employees so you are not then renegotiating the same agreement with multipole different sets of solicitors.

 

Therefore you can see as a Company there are many issues to consider relating to settlement agreements.

 

For further details or if you have or need a settlement agreement please contact Natalie Roach Oak Employment Solicitors on 01869 277692 or Natalie@oakemploymentsolicitors.co.uk.

 

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