SFA E-zine - The Tuesday Edition
 

Dear Member, 

 

Welcome to this edition of the SFA e-zine.

 

In this week's ezine, we discuss the new sectoral employment order for electricians along with new pay rates for the construction sector for 2019 and 2020 which have been formally approved.

 

On Friday, the country will take to the polls, to vote in the Local and European Elections. The SFA encourages all members to make 24th May your business

 

We are delighted to announce new subsidised SFA Skillnet training programmes taking place in June. Topics include leading digital transformation for business growth, financial planning, CRM strategies, heath and wellbeing, and storytelling for executives.

 

Following input from members, the SFA recently made a submission on the CRU’s Proposed Decision on Irish Water’s Non-Domestic Tariff Framework. The purpose of the Framework is to generate a harmonised suite of tariffs for non-domestic water and wastewater customers, find out more below.

 

We bring you details of a recent report from the Seanad Public Consultation Committee supporting SMEs which calls for a range of actions, including the introduction of a new Junior Ministerial role, entrepreneurial education in primary schools and specific supports for female entrepreneurs.

 

After a successful event in Dublin last week, we are hosting a Business Bytes event in Cork on 29 May providing a HR update for attendees. Bookings are now open for our next Business Bytes event in Dublin on 12 June which will cover creating engaging content across social media platforms. We also provide a summary of 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 on tel: 01 605 1602 or e-mail: sven@sfa.ie or tweet: @SFA_Irl or visit: www.sfa.ie.

 

Kind regards, 

Sven Spollen-Behrens

SFA Director


SFA IN THE MEDIA
Recent press coverage
 
  • Start-ups
  • Construction and electrical contracting sectors minimum pay rates
  • Getting Local Economies Brexit Ready
  • Bad broadband

Start-ups


SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens provided tips for start-ups around insurance in an article in The Sunday Independent on 19 May.

 

Construction and electrical contracting sector minimum pay rates

 

The SFA issued a press release on 10 May in response to the increase in the minimum pay rates for workers in the construction and electrical contracting sectors. This was covered on RTE.ie on 10 May.

 

Getting Local Economies Brexit Ready

 

The SFA issued a press release on 7 May calling for greater supports to get local economies Brexit ready. This was covered in The Echo on 9 May.

Bad broadband

 

The SFA was referred to in an article in Irish Examiner on 8 May regarding poor broadband in rural areas. 

NEWS
New SEO for electricians and pay increases for construction workers to come in later this year
 

A new sectoral employment order (SEO) for electricians along with new pay rates for the construction sector for 2019 and 2020 have been formally approved. Read on to learn when these will be implemented and what the new pay rates are...


There is currently a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) for the construction and mechanical engineering building services sector. The terms and conditions of both SEO’s can be downloaded here.

 

Earlier this month Minister Pat Breen formally approved two recommendations from the Labour court which will:

  1. Create a new SEO for the electrical contracting sector
  2. Apply new rates of pay for the construction sector for 2019 and 2020

Both SEOs will now proceed to be considered by the houses of the Oireachtas in the coming weeks and if approved will be adopted into law. The SEO for electricians will come into force on 1 September 2019 and the new pay rates for the construction sector will apply from 1 October 2019 onwards.

 

In response to these new recommendations, the SFA issued a press release expressing its disappointment that this will significantly impact small businesses working in these industries and increase the cost of doing business as well as recruiting and retaining key people in these sectors.  

 

SEO rates for the electrical contracting sector

 

The following hourly rates of pay will apply to the indicated categories of employees who are employed in the electrical contracting sector from 1st September 2019 onwards:

 

Category of worker

Hourly rate from 1 Sep 2019

Category 1 (Newly qualified electricians)

€23.49

Category 2 (qualified electricians employed in the sector with effect from the start of their 3rd year of employment after qualifying as an electrician)

€23.96

Category 3 (Electricians employed in the sector with effect with effect from the start of their 6th year of employment after qualifying as an electrician)

€24.34

Apprentice electrician

Hourly rate from 1 Sep 2019

Apprentice Year 1

€7.05

Apprentice Year 2

€10.57

Apprentice Year 3

€15.27

Apprentice Year 4

€18.80

 

The recommendations also include unsocial hours payments, the terms for the pension and sick pay schemes.

 

New SEO rates for construction sector - 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020

 

Category of worker

Hourly rate

Applies to

Craftspersons

€19.44

Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers.

Category A worker

€18.86

Scaffolders who hold an Advanced Scaffolding Card and who have four years’ experience; Banks operatives, Steel Fixers; Crane Drivers and Heavy Machine Operators.

Category B worker

€17.50

Skilled General Operatives who have worked in the sector for more than 2 years.

New entrant operative workers

€14.14

To apply for 2 years to new entrant operative workers over the age of 18 years and entering the sector for the first time.

Apprentice electrician

Hourly rate

 

Apprentice Year 1

33.3% of craft rate

50% of craft rate

75% of craft rate

90% of craft rate

Apprentice Year 2

Apprentice Year 3

Apprentice Year 4

 

New SEO rates for construction sector from 1 October 2020 onwards

 

Category of worker

Hourly rate

Applies to

Craftspersons

€19.96

Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers.

Category A worker

€19.37

Scaffolders who hold an Advanced Scaffolding Card and who have four years’ experience; Banks operatives, Steel Fixers; Crane Drivers and Heavy Machine Operators.

Category B worker

€17.97

Skilled General Operatives who have worked in the sector for more than 2 years.

New entrant operative workers

€14.52

To apply for 2 years to new entrant operative workers over the age of 18 years and entering the sector for the first time.

Apprentice electrician

Hourly rate

 

Apprentice Year 1

33.3% of craft rate

50% of craft rate

75% of craft rate

90% of craft rate

Apprentice Year 2

Apprentice Year 3

Apprentice Year 4

 

For further information on SEOs or other pay issues, please contact Helen Quinn on helen.quinn@sfa.ie or 01 605 1668.

Make 24th May your business
 

On Friday, the country will take to the polls, to vote in the Local Elections and European Elections. The SFA encourages all members to make 24th May your business... 


In advance of the Local Elections on Friday, 24 May 24 the SFA launched a new policy paper entitled ‘Getting Local Economies Brexit Ready’.

 

Getting Local Economies Brexit Ready highlights, the growing concern amongst small business that not enough is being done by local authorities to address the continued competitiveness erosion of our towns and villages or to help local small businesses address the uncertainty of Brexit.

 

The SFA is calling for local authorities and candidates in the 2019 local elections to:

  • Ensure local authorities are Brexit ready;
  • Progress on local authority and commercial rates reform;
  • Framework for Town Centre Renewal to be adopted by all local authorities;
  • Local authorities to work alongside government to deliver key infrastructure projects including broadband; and
  • Continued support and investment for green initiatives.

We encourage you to access both the press statement and a pdf copy of 'Getting Local Economies Brexit Ready

 

Ahead of the European Elections the association is supporting Ibec’s ‘Be the Voice’ campaign.

 

The EU is central to our future success. The 2019 European Parliament elections are an opportunity to shape that future. An opportunity to put strong Irish voices into one of Europe’s key institutions.

 

The needs of business must be to the fore. Why? Because the success of businesses, large and small, will determine the ability of the EU to grow and prosper, improve job opportunities and living standards and generate the resources for public services and infrastructure investment.

We need more cooperation in areas where there is a clear collective benefit. This includes completing the single market, digitalisation and global trade. In other areas, such as taxation, labour market and social legislation, individual governments can best tailor policy to domestic needs.

 

The elections are an opportunity to strengthen Ireland’s influence in the European Parliament, in its political parties and on its policy committees. An opportunity to send out a strong, positive message about Ireland’s future at the centre of a dynamic, sustainable and prosperous EU.

 

Members can access both the press statement and a pdf copy of Ibec’s European Parliament elections 2019 campaign via this link.

June training courses announced just €95 per day for SFA members
 

We are delighted to announce new subsidised SFA Skillnet training programmes taking place in June. Topics include leading digital transformation for business growth, financial planning, CRM strategies, health and wellbeing, and storytelling for executives...


We are delighted to announce new subsidised SFA Skillnet training programmes for June. We have some places left on our May courses so do book soon if you are interested. The cost of open programmes is heavily subsidised for SFA members with a half-day programme costing €50, one day programme costing €95 and a two day programme costing €190

 

Course

Date/Dates

Location

Details and Booking

SFA Skillnet A Master Class in Sales

May 22

Bank of Ireland (Workbench Branch), Blanchardstown Corporate Park, Dublin 15

Click here

SFA Skillnet Leadership and Management Skills (Two Day Programme)

May 23 and June 13

Bank of Ireland (Workbench Branch), Blanchardstown Corporate Park, Dublin 15

Click here

SFA Skillnet Essential People Management Skills (Two Day Programme)

May 28 and June 11

Maldron Hotel Newlands Cross, Dublin 22

Click here

SFA Skillnet Understanding Business Tax Returns

May 28

Bank of Ireland Montrose, Dublin 4

Click here

SFA Skillnet Leverage your Brand to Sell Online

May 30

Ibec/SFA Offices, Dublin 2

Click here

SFA Skillnet Pitching to Win Business

May 30

Ibec/SFA Offices, Dublin 2

Click here

SFA Skillnet Leading Digital Transformation for Business Growth

June 5

Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Click here

SFA Skillnet Financial Planning for Growth

June 11

Bank of Ireland Montrose, Dublin 4

Click here

SFA Skillnet Affordable & Impactful CRM Strategies for SMEs

June 12

Bank of Ireland Montrose, Dublin 4

Click here

SFA Skillnet Creating a Culture of Health and Wellbeing in your Workplace

June 14

Ibec/SFA Offices, Dublin 2

Click here

SFA Skillnet Storytelling for Executives

June 25

Ibec/SFA Offices, Dublin 2

Click here

 

Please contact Geraldine Lavin, SFA Skillnet Network Manager, on geraldine.lavin@sfa.ie or 01 6051606 to discuss your training needs and to get assistance with your training analysis.

 

The SFA Skillnet is co-funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.

SFA submission on changes to water charges for businesses
 

The SFA made a submission on the CRU’s Proposed Decision on Irish Water’s Non-Domestic Tariff Framework. The purpose of the Framework is to generate a harmonised suite of tariffs for non-domestic water and wastewater customers...


The SFA made a submission on Irish Water’s Non-Domestic Tariff Framework, last September and this week made a submission on the CRU’s Proposed Decision on Irish Water’s Non-Domestic Tariff Framework. Our response highlighted our concern regarding the 10,000 connections that will not reach their enduring tariffs by the end of the three year transition period and the need for a comprehensive communications plan to inform non-domestic users, especially small businesses of the new tariff framework.


The submission reiterated the association's support of the introduction of non-domestic tariffs for both metered and unmetered connections on a national basis. It also outlined the need to monitor the efficiency of Irish Water.


View the full submission to the CRU.

Seanad Public Consultation Committee calls for series of measures to support SMEs as Brexit nears
 

The Seanad Public Consultation Committee has launched a report to support SMEs which calls for a range of actions, including the introduction of a new Junior Ministerial role, entrepreneurial education in primary schools and specific supports for female entrepreneurs...


Last week, the Seanad Public Consultation Committee published its report on Small and Medium Sized Businesses in Ireland. The report set out to contribute to the formulation of a national strategy proposal to support the fostering, growth and sustainability of Irish SMEs. An extensive research and public consultation process with key stakeholders (93 participants in total including the SFA) was carried out to identify the opportunities and challenges experienced by Irish SMEs.

 

This research underpins the development of recommendations provided throughout the report on the following key areas: fostering specific sectors in which SMEs play a significant role; developing a regional ecosystems approach; promoting female entrepreneurship; creating effective business ecosystem conditions; managing a changing macro-economic and political landscape internationally; and finally, formulating an Irish SME strategy.

 

Key messages arising from the report are:

  • The SME sector is the backbone of the Irish economy, as the main source of jobs and enterprises. SMEs operate across a large range of sectors. They are varied in their performance, they participate in global value chains, and their geographical spread is wide.
  • While there has been a clear national industrial policy of attracting inward investment in targeted high-tech and emerging sectors for over five decades, a coherent and comprehensive strategy on Irish SME development has been lacking.
  • Notwithstanding this, Ireland has made notable progress in providing a myriad of supporting programmes and instruments aimed at SME development, and has made significant achievements in innovation and skills development in this sector, compared with its European counterparts.
  • State-led initiatives and programmes tend to have a predominant focus on export-oriented and high-growth start-ups, which is not undesirable, but a balance is needed to support the growth and innovation capacity of SMEs in traditional sectors, as well as in rural and regional areas.
  • Given a more volatile international economic and political landscape, it is incumbent on the Government to formulate a comprehensive strategy that supports and fosters SMEs in a more targeted way, embracing the diversity of the sector across cities and regions in Ireland.

The following are some of the key recommendations presented in the report:

  • Introduce a dedicated Junior Ministerial role for SMEs to develop SME policy that fully embraces the diversity of the SME population and the challenges and opportunities this brings, particularly in the context of international developments.
  • Develop a national strategy on female entrepreneurship and aim to be a leader among EU countries in female entrepreneurship.
  • Adopt a regional ecosystems approach to enterprise and innovation policy, whereby hubs of activity are identified based on existing capabilities, and further strengthened by addressing the local challenges and opportunities present. As part of this, regions should be identified as specialist areas for targeted cluster or hub-building. For example, technology clusters of activity in particular cities or heritage hubs in rural areas, and there should be a coordination of efforts among locally based agencies/community groups.
  • Promote and encourage collaboration, cohesion and communication among the various organisations and bodies delivering supports and initiatives to SMEs. Formulating an SME strategy is not simply a question of meeting the needs of the economy. As revealed in the public consultation process, Irish SMEs are the socio-economic fabric of a local area, supporting local community development, investing in people, and sustaining employment across regions.

The full report can be downloaded here.

EVENTS
Employment law seminar
 
  • 29 May, Cork

The SFA Business Bytes events, which are entirely free of charge, offer small businesses access to expert information and advice and an opportunity to network with their peers. The series is supported by Bord Gáis Energy.

 

Following a successful seminar in Dublin last week, next week we will bringing our employment law seminar to Cork:

  • Date: Wednesday, 29 May 2019
  • Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Venue: Maryborough Hotel, Maryborough Hill, Douglas, Co. Cork

With so many changes taking place in today’s workplace an understanding of employment laws is now more essential than ever before. In these Business Bytes event we will cover the following to help your business approach these changes:

  1.  Contracts of employment and recent legislative changes to them;
  2. Need to hire but want to understand the different types of working scenarios available to your business from hiring part timers to remote workers; and
  3. What you need to know when hiring a self-employed contractor.

The presentation will be delivered by Helen Quinn, the SFA’s in-house HR and employment law advisor.  

 

The event is open to SFA members and non-members. It will last for approximately one hour with an opportunity to network before and after. Refreshments will be provided.

 

This event are entirely free of charge, but you must pre-register:

Creating engaging content across social media platforms
 
  • 12 June, Dublin

The SFA Business Bytes events, which are entirely free of charge, offer small businesses access to expert information and advice and an opportunity to network with their peers. The series is supported by Bord Gáis Energy.

 

In a world of social media attention spans have shorted and, increasingly, audiences have access to enormous amounts of highly specific, interactive digital content. Small business owners are now finding it increasingly challenging to connect with consumers in a meaningful way across varying platforms.

  • Date: Wednesday, 12 June 2019
  • Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Venue: SFA Offices, 84-86 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2

This Business Bytes seminar will look at how small businesses can develop a long-term content strategy delivered through digital tools, to tell their story and create experiences worth sharing with their customers.

 

The event will last for approximately one hour with an opportunity to network before and after. Refreshments will be provided.

 

This event is entirely free of charge, but youmust pre-register online.