SFA E-zine – The Tuesday Edition
 

Dear Member, 

 

Welcome to this week's edition of our SFA e-zine.  With Easter this weekend we have some helpful information about working on Good Friday.

 

Last Wednesday a number of the SFA team took a road trip to Cork to launch our GDPR guide where Helen gave a great presentation to a packed room.

 

There has been a lot of positivity surrounding the Irish economy, and we have an overview of the two most recent reports published

 

We are always coming up with ideas to help support small business, this week we have some helpful information on getting to know your Local Enterprise Office as well as details on our training programmes, this week we look at Foundations in Management

 

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.

 

Wishing you all a lovely Easter break


Kind regards, 

Sven Spollen-Behrens

SFA Director


SFA IN THE MEDIA
SFA in the media
 
  • GDPR

SFA GDPR publication 

 

On Thursday 22 March, SFA Director Sven Spollen-Brehens was interviewed on Radio Kerry during their In Business show.  Sven spoke about how all businesses will be impacted by GDPR.

The interview can be heard here, Sven is on at 38 minutes. 

Our GDPR publication can be found here.

NEWS
GDPR in action from Cork
 

Last week we brought our ‘GDPR in action’ presentation to Cork where we received a warm welcome from 80+ businesses eager to get their GDPR plans in place. Read on to learn about what we shared at this Business Bytes event…


Last Wednesday the SFA team was in Cork to share its ‘GDPR in action’ presentation. The event was part of the monthly Business Bytes seminar series, which is kindly sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy.

 

Over 80 small businesses attended the event to learn about the principles of GDPR, understand what the legal bases are for processing personal and sensitive data and how GDPR would apply to their businesses.

 

The workshop went through a practical 15-point action plan that covered the following:

  • Assessing your risk level in response to GDPR
  • Assigning responsibility for GDPR
  • Recording personal data
  • Categorising personal data
  • Assigning one or more legal bases to personal and sensitive data
  • Setting retention periods
  • Managing consent
  • Updating consent notices
  • Updating privacy notices
  • Reviewing contracts with 3rd party suppliers
  • Managing data breaches
  • Keeping data secure
  • Training staff in GDPR
  • Preparing for data breaches and
  • Reviewing your GDPR compliance post 25 May

The slide deck from the event is available here.

 

Attendees received a copy of the new SFA GDPR publication, ‘Mind your business: Prepare for GDPR’ which SFA members can access of the SFA website here. The publication was created as a response to the needs of the small business sector in Ireland to help businesses get GDPR-ready. Using four case studies and key takeaways it provides businesses with a step-by-step guide to GDPR.

 

If you would like more information on GDPR or to discuss your requirements further, please contact Helen at SFA on 01 6051668 or at helen.quinn@sfa.ie or visit our GDPR section on www.sfa.ie/advice.

 

Confusion around Good Friday, is it a public holiday or not?
 

There is often some confusion around Good Friday. Is it a public holiday or not? Are employees entitled to a paid day off or not? Read on to learn more about the Good Friday confusion and public holiday entitlements…


There is a belief that Good Friday is a statutory public holiday. The source of this confusion is often that people assume that because the banks are closed on Good Friday that means it is a public holiday. However, this is not the case and that is why it is important to distinguish between public holidays and “bank holidays” and clarify that Good Friday is not a statutory public holiday entitlement.

What is the difference between a public holiday and a bank holiday?

A public holiday is a statutory entitlement, as set out in the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 and should not be confused with "bank holidays" such as Good Friday or Christmas Eve, which are not covered by the Act and to which there is no legal entitlement.

Are employees entitled to a paid day off on Good Friday?

No, as Good Friday is not a public holiday employees are not entitled to this. However, some employers in their contracts or through custom and practice have historically given employees a paid day off on Good Friday. In this situation, this forms part of those employees’ terms and conditions of employment and any changes to this need to be agreed in advance.


What are the official public holidays?

There are nine official public holidays:

  1. 1 January
  2. St. Patrick's Day - 17 March
  3. Easter Monday
  4. First Monday in May
  5. First Monday in June
  6. First Monday in August
  7. Last Monday in October
  8. Christmas Day - 25 December
  9. St. Stephen's Day - 26 December

 

When is an employee entitled to a public holiday?

All full-time employees are automatically entitled to avail of the public holiday. Part time employees must have worked 40 hours in the previous five weeks before they can qualify for public holiday entitlement.

 

Employees are entitled to one of the following:

  • A paid day off on the public holiday
  • A paid day off within a month
  • An extra day’s annual leave
  • An extra day’s pay

 

Where the employer fails to inform the employee which of the above options will apply within 14 days of the public holiday, the employee will be automatically entitled to a paid day off on the public holiday.

How to calculate an employee’s public holiday entitlement?

If the public holiday falls on a day the employee works or is normally rostered to work then:

  • The employee is entitled to be paid the equivalent of the hours they worked on the last working day before the holiday

 

If the public holiday falls on a day that the employee does not work and it is a day they do not normally work then:

  • The employee is entitled to the equivalent of one-fifth of their last working week


For further information on public holiday entitlements, you can check out our guideline. If you have any further questions on public holidays, please contact Helen Quinn on helen.quinn@sfa.ie or 016051668.

 

 

Two new economic reports with positive outlook for Irish economy
 

In its new quarterly report, the ESRI estimates that the Irish economy grew by 7.8% in 2017. Preliminary data for 2018 indicate that the economy looks set to experience further expansion this year.


Strong domestic sources of growth, along with improving international conditions, led to an expected growth rate of 4.8% in 2018. The ESRI also expects that these components will result in growth of approximately 3.9% in 2019, assuming that a European Economic Agreement (EEA) will exist between the UK and the EU.

 

The ongoing uncertainty concerning the UK Government’s stance on remaining in the EU Single Market and Customs Union is of particular relevance to the Irish economy. The ESRI estimates that the imposition of tariffs could increase the annual cost for the average household between €892 (increase in non-tariff trade costs) and €1,360 (tariffs plus other trade cost increases). Along with the estimated impact of a hard Brexit on Irish fiscal space, this represents another tangible example of how a hard Brexit would impact the domestic economy.

 

Forecasts for the international economy have been recently revised upwards in light of robust, well-distributed global growth. Contributing factors towards this improved outlook include the strong performance among major nations such as Germany, Spain, Canada and China. This, coupled with newly passed US tax policy adjustments, has resulted in IMF projections for global growth in 2017 rising by 0.1 percentage points to 3.7%. Global growth is expected to accelerate to 3.9% in 2018 and 2019. The Eurozone maintains its improving performance as record-low interest rates look likely to be maintained in the short run.

 

Gross Domestic Product in the UK is estimated by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to have increased by 1.7% in 2017 compared with growth of 1.9% in 2016. Since the Brexit referendum in Q2 2016, the Sterling to Euro exchange rate has depreciated by 12.8%, while there have been substantial levels of volatility in net investment; an immediate net outflow of funds in 2016 was followed by a significant inflow in 2017.

 

Click here to read the full ESRI report.

 

Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse March 2018

 

The Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse stood at 97.2 in March 2018. The index, which combines the results of the Consumer and Business Pulses, was up 1.9 on February and 6.0 higher than a year ago when the UK triggered Article 50. The Business Pulse led the way this month, though sentiment was mixed across the sectors. The recent bad weather impacted construction activity in particular, while Brexit was on everyone’s radar amid tensions over the terms of the transition period. On the consumer front, confidence was down a little in March but remains at a high level.

 

The Business Pulse rose for a third month running in March 2018, to 96.9 (this was a 21-month high, 2.7 higher than last month and 6.1 higher than a year ago). Sentiment was mixed across the sectors though, with the Services and Retail Pulses gaining ground but the Industry and Construction Pulses down. The March data also show that almost two in five businesses expect to spend more on investment this year compared to last year, with demand from customers, financial and technical conditions generally seen as supportive. While the UK vote to leave the EU remains a drag, the number of firms impacted by this decision and putting their investment plans on hold because of it is now at 44%, down from 53% this time last year.

 

The BOI Economic Pulse for March 2018 can be accessed here.

Get to know your Local Enterprise Office
 

Spotlight on the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), the ‘first stop shop’ for anyone with a business idea or micro-enterprises looking to expand. This article provides information on the LEOs and advice on how to avail of their supports. In 2017, 7,182 businesses were supported by the LEOs, creating 3,760 net new jobs. 

 


There are over 80 different government supports available to small businesses but many of them are not well known or understood. Each week in the SFA e-zine, we will profile a different support that could improve your business, giving you information and advice.

 

Local Enterprise Office

 

What?            

 

A ‘first stop shop’ for entrepreneurs, early stage promoters, start-ups and small businesses looking for information, advice and support.

 

There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) across the Local Authority network in Ireland. They replaced the County and City Enterprise Boards in 2014. The LEOs are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the European Commission.

 

The LEOs offer services to anyone with a business idea or already in business, including:

  • Business advice, including on local property solutions
  • Mentoring
  • Training courses, including a Start Your Own Business course
  • Grants, financial supports and advice on access to bank and non-bank funding
  • Networking opportunities

Why? 

 

The aim of the LEOs is to foster entrepreneurship and make it easier to start and grow a business in Ireland. They are your initial connection to the Local Authorities, Enterprise Ireland and all State agencies that can support you in your business.

 

In 2017, the LEOs supported 7,182 businesses, creating 3,760 net new jobs. A total of 30,373 people participated in business training programmes.

 

How?

 

To find your LEO, use the map or search function here. You can contact your LEO by phone, email or by arranging a visit in person. Each LEO website also contains a wealth of information.

 

Tips               

 

If you are interested in applying, don’t forget:

  • LEOs deal specifically with entrepreneurs and micro-firms with less than 10 employees
  • Strategic, administrative, technical and financial support can be accessed through the LEOs
  • Where the LEO cannot deal with your enquiry directly, it will provide a referral service to the appropriate agency
  • For more information, visit www.localenterprise.ie
EVENTS
Foundations in Management
 
  • 12 April,  SFA Offices

 


Programme Overview:

This programme aims to give managers, or those moving into management roles, the fundamental skills of effective management. Participants will learn how to improve their leadership and communication skills, how to deal with difficult staff while increasing motivation levels among those in the team.

The programme will give the participants the ability to deal with a grievance or disciplinary issue in an effective way, ensuring that no claims will be taken against the company.

Programme Outcomes:

On completion of the programme, participants will be able to:

  • Understand different leadership
  • Communicate effectively with teams and colleagues
  • Develop and improve key skills to supervise and motivate a team
  • Learn the essentials of dealing with grievance and disciplinary interviews
  • Distinguish between aggressive, assertive and passive behaviours and demonstrate ability to deal with it
  • Give effective feedback to the team and deal confidently with challenging situations

Approach:

There will be a number of activities and case studies used as part of the course to ensure that the key knowledge and skills are practiced.

The programme is delivered by experienced Ibec Executives who provide members with advice, consultancy and training on a daily basis. Programme participants are encouraged to express their views and experiences. The programme facilitates participant discussion to ensure a thorough understanding of the key points and their application. Real life case studies and exercises will be used to ensure a real practical understanding of each topic.

For all queries on the event, please call the event organiser:
Quelba Lima, Tel: +353 1 605 1619

You can book the course here

 

Finance and Accounting Made Easy
 
  • 20 April, SFA offices

Programme Overview:

Ibec have designed this programme to give managers with little or no knowledge of financial management a firm, but practical understanding of the topic.

Date:                   20th April 2018

Time:                  08:30 - 15:30

Duration:            1 Day

Venue:               SFA

Address:            84/86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2

 

Approach:

The presenters have thorough business management experience and as such aim to keep the programme practical and relevant to the participants’ needs. The programme is made up of a series of practical exercises and case studies to ensure that learning is put into practice. A flexible approach is used throughout the training programme and priority is given to the demands of the group.

To book this course please click here

For all queries on the event, please call the event organiser:
Quelba Lima, Tel: +353 1 605 1619

SFA Annual Conference
 
  • 24 May, UCD Science Centre

The Small Firms Association is the trusted partner of over 8,500 small firms in Ireland. The SFA Annual Conference is our flagship event and helps small business owners and managers to keep up to date with the latest trends in HR, management and innovation provides an opportunity to come together to make connections and learn from each other’s experiences.

We  will see 300 entrepreneurs, owner-managers, policy makers and media gather together to explore how to create competitive advantage in the current economic and business environment. A mix of keynote addresses and panel discussions will focus on how small businesses can stay competitive, gain access to and retain talent and GDPR.

To book your place please click here.

TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Foundations in Management and other upcoming training courses
 

Foundations in Management is just one of the SFA training courses coming up as part of our ‘Training that counts’ suite. All programmes are delivered by expert trainers with many years of industry experience.


At SFA, we’re here to help you create time for things that can make a real difference to your business, like developing management capacity and other skills for you and your staff.

 

There are a number of courses coming up as part of our ‘Training that counts’ suite of training programmes that may be of interest to you. They are delivered by expert trainers with many years of industry experience.

 

Foundations in Management

 

This programme aims to give managers, or those moving into management roles, the fundamental skills of effective management. Participants will learn how to improve their leadership and communication skills, how to deal with difficult staff while increasing motivation levels among those in the team.

 

The programme will give the participants the ability to deal with a grievance or disciplinary issue in an effective way.

 

On completion of the programme, participants will be able to:

  • Understand different leadership styles
  • Communicate effectively with teams and colleagues
  • Develop and improve key skills to supervise and motivate a team
  • Learn the essentials of dealing with grievance and disciplinary interviews
  • Distinguish between aggressive, assertive and passive behaviours and demonstrate ability to deal with it
  • Give effective feedback to the team and deal confidently with challenging situations

Date: 12-13 April (two-day course)

Time: 8:30am-3:30pm each day

Venue: SFA/Ibec offices, 84-86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2

Cost: €400 (SFA member rate)

Book here

 

Other upcoming courses

  • Finance and Accounting Made Easy (one-day course, 20 April)
  • Performance Management and Appraisal Skills (one-day course, 27 April)

One-day courses are charged at €220 and two-day courses €400 for SFA members. Courses can be booked at http://www.sfa.ie/events

 

If you would like any more information please contact Quelba Lima in the Ibec Training Unit on quelba.lima@ibec.ie or 01 605 1619.