SFA E-Zine – The Tuesday Edition
 

Dear Member,

In this week's e-zine we bring you information on the Workplace Relations Commission going live on 1 October, the SFA proposals for job creation, opposition to the 'living wage' concept and employment for ex-offenders. We also introduce the new SFA executive team and the next session of Business Bytes, and outline upcoming events and recent press coverage.


As always, we’d love to hear from you about any queries you may have, issues you wish to have raised with Government or other stakeholders and your ideas on how we can improve the business environment for us all. Please contact me directly at tel: 01-605-1602 or
e-mail: patricia.callan@sfa.ie or tweet: @SFA_Irl or visit www.sfa.ie.

Kind Regards,

Patricia Callan
SFA Director


NEWS
Workplace Relations Commission live on 1 October
 
The Workplace Relations Act 2015 will be commenced in full on 1 October 2015. It will introduce the most far reaching reforms of the employment rights and industrial relations institutions to date in Ireland...

The Workplace Relations Act 2015 will be commenced in full on 1 October 2015. It will introduce the most far reaching reforms of the employment rights and industrial relations institutions to date in Ireland. One of the most significant of these changes is the amalgamation of functions currently fulfilled by the Rights Commissioner Service, Equality Tribunal, Employment Appeals Tribunal, NERA and the Labour Relations Commission into a single new body to be known as the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Going forward the WRC will deal with all employment complaints in the first instance. An Adjudication Officer shall enquire into the complaint or dispute while giving the parties an opportunity to be heard and to present any relevant evidence. Cases heard by Adjudication Officers will be heard in private. Decisions may be published, albeit in an anonymised format.

The Act also established the Labour Court’s jurisdiction to hear all appeals from decisions of Adjudication Officers with the exception of the Equal Status Act which will continue to be to the Circuit Court. Hearings of the Labour Court will be in public and decisions will be published in full. There will be a further right of appeal to the High Court but only on a point of law.

For further information, please contact jonathan.callan@sfa.ie or tel: 01-6051668

SFA sets out proposals for job creation
 
This week, the SFA made a written submission to Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, setting out the small business priorities for the Action Plan for Jobs 2016. The SFA submission contains proposals for 28 concrete measures to promote job creation across all sectors and regions...

This week, the SFA made a written submission to Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, setting out the small business priorities for the Action Plan for Jobs 2016. The SFA submission contains proposals for 28 concrete measures to promote job creation across all sectors and regions.

The proposals cover a wide range of actions, primarily under the themes of ‘Driving entrepreneurship and start-up companies’, ‘Assisting indigenous businesses to grow’, ‘Improving access to finance for SMEs’ and ‘Delivering the potential of all regions’.

The written submission follows a face-to-face meeting with the Minister on 28 July. The key message delivered to the Minister at the meeting was that the Government must not take any measures that would increase the cost of employment, including increasing the statutory minimum wage or introducing mandatory pension or sick pay provision.

The full submission is available here

SFA to voice opposition to 'living wage' concept
 
On 30 September, the SFA will participate in the Living Wage Forum in Dublin Castle. The SFA Council has decided to adopt a position of opposition to the Living Wage, which we will be voicing at the Forum. In attendance will be industry leaders from a wide range of sectors, senior trade union representatives, academics and representatives from civil society...

On 30 September, the SFA will participate in the Living Wage Forum in Dublin Castle. The SFA Council has decided to adopt a position of opposition to the Living Wage, which we will be voicing at the Forum. In attendance will be industry leaders from a wide range of sectors, senior trade union representatives, academics and representatives from civil society.

This initiative is being promoted by Minister Nash and the trade union movement and community and voluntary pillar. They state that the “Living Wage” is an independently assessed and agreed measure of the income necessary to meet basic needs – housing, food, utilities, clothing, transport, health care, childcare and minimal recreation. They have proposed a living wage rate of €11.50 per hour. There has been no business or government input into the formulation of this rate.

The SFA rejects the living wage concept as neither viable nor appropriate. It would substantially increase employers' wage bills, without any productivity gains. It would unfairly shift the cost of public policy shortcomings onto employers, as they would be expected to compensate for the high cost of housing, childcare, transport and education, rather than tacking these problems head on and finding sustainable solutions.

It is important to note that the Living Wage is different to the minimum wage, which is the statutory pay floor beneath which no worker should fall. It is not something that the Government is planning to legislate for.

Members wishing to share their views on the living wage should contact Patricia Callan on 01-6051602/ patricia.callan@sfa.ie or Linda Barry on 01-6051626/ linda.barry@sfa.ie.

Employing ex-offenders
 
On 24 September, Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, launched the IASIO Biennial Report for 2013 and 2014. The report finds that IASIO has so far successfully assisted more than 14,000 offenders...

On 24 September, Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, launched the IASIO Biennial Report for 2013 and 2014. The report finds that IASIO has so far successfully assisted more than 14,000 offenders to access education, training, employment and resettlement support.  

The average cost per placement is €965 rather than the €75,000 bill of having someone in prison.  45% of placements so far this year have been directly into employment  with 54% going onto further training and education.

Since its establishment, SFA members have actively supported this programme, both in its previous incarnation as "The Linkage Programme" under Business in the Community (BITC) and now as IASIO, directly funded by the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service.  Many members have taken ex-offenders into their employment and have had a positive experience. We are continuing our organisational support and SFA Director, Patricia Callan, has joined the Board of IASIO as an essential link to small employers.  The Minister and funding bodies  have welcomed her appointment.

If you are interested in becoming involved in the programme, please e-mail: patricia.callan@sfa.ie or Tel: 01-6051602.  For more information about IASIO, visit www.iasio.ie

Introducing the new SFA executive team
Jonathan Callan and Louise Swail recently join the SFA Executive Team replacing Aisling Heaton and Alan Sherlock...
Jonathan Callan and Louise Swail recently join the SFA Executive Team replacing Aisling Heaton and Alan Sherlock.

Please direct your query to the SFA team, as follows:
  • Patricia Callan, SFA Director (Strategy and Overall Management, Lobbying & Media, Business and HR queries) Tel: 01-605-1602, Email: patricia.callan@sfa.ie 
  • Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director (Policy & Lobbying, "NOW" Magazine, Surveys, Business Queries, SFA Events, including SFA Annual Lunch, SFA Annual Conference and Business Bytes events), Tel: 01605-1626, Email: linda.barry@sfa.ie
  • Jonathan Callan, SFA Executive (HR and employment law specialist), Tel: 01605-1668, Email: jonathan.callan@sfa.ie
  • Louise Swail, SFA Executive (SFA National Small Business Awards, SFA Member Networking events, SFA Communications, SFA Marketing, Sales and Membership queries, SFA websites, SFA Social Media), Tel: 01605-1664, Email: louise.swail@sfa.ie
EVENTS
SFA Employment Law Conference 2015 - Limerick
 
Limerick - Thursday, 1 October 2015

You need to protect your business interests while ensuring that you are acting in line with best practice and are in compliance with the law.  Irish employment law is in a state of flux, with fundamental reform of employment rights bodies through the Workplace Relations Act.  Small business owners and managers continue to navigate this ever-changing landscape. This year’s employment law conference tells you what you need to know about upcoming changes in the law, learning from lessons in case law while providing a useful reminder of the pitfalls to avoid.  

Following a very successful conference in Dublin on 24 September, the SFA Employment Law Conference is on in Limerick on Thursday, 1 October in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick.  It is a full day event including all refreshments and a sit down lunch.  The cost to attend is €190 + 23% = €233.70.

There are a limited number of spaces still available, to book your place please email marie.keogh@ibec.ie or Tel: 01 605 1645.

Companies Act Webinar
 
Monday, 5 September 2pm - 3pm
On Monday, 5 September from 2pm to 3pm Kathryn Maybury, Managing Director of KomSec will deliver a SFA Webinar on the Companies Act.

The Companies Act 2014 is the largest piece of legislation in the history of the State. This SFA Webinar is intended to help Directors and Company Secretaries chop up the Act into manageable portions so that you can implement an effective “to do” list for your own Company. 

Kathryn Maybury brings her practical experience of running her own company secretarial practice for over 20 years to this Webinar. Kathryn represents members of the SFA on the Company Law Review Group which was responsible for drafting the Act. The CLRG is now engaged in dealing with the practical realities of implementing the Act and reviewing potential amendments that may be required even at this early stage.

Register for the webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Start Up Gathering 2015
 
5 - 10 October

Ibec/SFA is a proud supporter of the StartUp Gathering 2015. During the week we will be hosting over 20 free events in 5 cities (Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Waterford and Galway) from 5 to 9 October. These include Speed Networking, HR for Start Ups and Techbrew series for software entrepreneurs.

Events will be open to companies of all sizes, all sectors and at all stages of development and will form part of the wider event programme in each City.

Visit the Ibec website for more information and to book an event. 

SFA IN THE MEDIA
This Week's Press Coverage

The Employment Law Conference and the Living Wage Concept were in the media. 


Employment Law Conference

SFA Director, Patricia Callan was interviewed on KCLR FM in relation to the Employment Law Conference held in Dublin on 24 September. The Conference was also covered in the Evening Echo on 25 September. 

Living Wage Concept

Patricia Callan debated the Living Wage with Jimmy Kelly from Unite the Union on Newstalk Breakfast on 28 September.

RTE would like to speak to a business owner about the living wage concept, in advance of the Living Wage forum, about the challenges they would face in meeting a living wage rate of pay. It would be a TV interview for a report for television news, which would be intended for broadcast either on the day of, or in advance of the forum. It would involve filming the business owner in their company or place of work, filming some workers and activity in their business, and doing a short interview, from which a short clip would be used to run as part of a broader piece.


Please contact Patricia Callan at tel: 01-6051602 or e-mail: patricia.callan@sfa.ie if you would be willing to participate in the RTE interview.

BUSINESS BYTES
The what, where and how of grants, loans, tax savings and other government supports – FREE SEMINAR
 
Business Byte Image

SFA Business Bytes, with the support of Bord Gáis Energy, offer unparalleled access to a wide range of high quality training events which are entirely free of change to attend. 


SFA Business Bytes, with the support of Bord Gáis Energy, offer unparalleled access to a wide range of high quality training events which are entirely free of change to attend.

Small business are missing opportunities to avail of government supports for their business due to lack of information and confusion. Understanding what supports your business qualifies for, where to apply for them and how to avoid some common pitfalls could be the key to sustaining your business or taking it to the next level.


The next free seminar will cover the what, where and how of grants, loans, tax savings and other government supports:

Date: 14 October 2015

Time: 18:00-20:30

Duration: 2.5 hours

Venue: TBC Dublin city centre

This seminar will cover:

  • The Supporting SMEs online tool
  • The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland
  • Microfinance Ireland
  • The Credit Review Office
  • Job Bridge and Jobs Plus
  • The Family Income Supplement

 Damien English TD, Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, will launch the Business Bytes 2015-2016 season. He will be joined by experts from across government and state agencies who will engage with members on the details of the various schemes.

 

The seminar will last for approximately one hour with an opportunity to network with peers for an hour immediately after the seminar. Refreshments will be provided.

 

This event is entirely free of charge but you must pre register.