SFA E-zine - The Tuesday Edition
 

Dear Member, 

 

Welcome to this week's SFA e-zine.  

 

With Christmas holidays fast approaching, in this week's ezine we have put together a list of those trickier FAQs around annual leave and public holiday entitlements

 

We bring you details of the Local Government (Rates) Bill 2018 which is proposed to modernise and consolidate commercial rates legislation in Ireland. Find out more about the Future Jobs Summit which took place last week in preparation for the rapid changes ahead in the world of work.

 

The CSO recently published its Business Statistics Overview, which outlines the key statistics for the Irish business economy in 2016. We link to a survey on Brexit from Enterprise Ireland and Deloitte which finds 68% of Irish CEOs have started to mitigate against potential impact of Brexit. Have your say on the establishment of a new independent Irish Banking Culture Board through a public consultation.  

 

Join us for some Christmas cheer at the SFA Members Christmas Evening taking place on 13 December. Also book your place at our next Business Bytes seminar on 9 January which focuses on workplace health and well-being. 

 

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


NEWS
FAQs for the Christmas break – annual leave and public holidays
 

With Christmas holidays fast approaching we have put together a list of those trickier FAQs around annual leave and public holiday entitlements…


Between Christmas day and 2 January 2019, employees are entitled to three public holidays and whilst many businesses close their offices for a week or longer, many operate a 24/7 business where employees will be required to work over the Christmas break. Other businesses have a mixture of full time, part-time or casual employees which can prove tricky when calculating what an employee is entitled to for the three public holidays.

 

We take you through a series of common and not so common FAQs on annual leave and public holiday entitlements for the Christmas week.

 

Annual leave FAQs

 

What is the statutory annual leave entitlement for full-time employees who work at least 1,365 hours in the leave year?

 

They are entitled to four working weeks or 20 days annual leave unless they joined the business within that leave year. If that is the case the annual leave is calculated on a pro-rata basis.

 

What is the best method of calculating annual leave on a pro-rata basis for employees who are part time and work less than 1,365 hours in the leave year?

 

It can be calculated in two ways:

  1. If the employee works at least 117 hours in the calendar month, they are entitled to one third of a working week that month
  2. Calculate 8% of the actual hours they have worked in the leave year. This is subject to a maximum of four working weeks per annum

We do not pay sick pay and an employee has requested to use their annual leave. Can they do this?

 

No. An employee must be fit to take their annual leave. If they go on annual leave and become ill during it and they produce a medical cert to verify they were ill, they are entitled to take those annual leave days at another time.

 

Is an employee entitled to accrue annual leave whilst on sick leave?

 

Yes, employees continue to accrue annual leave whilst on certified sick leave. It is capped at a maximum carry over period of up to 15 months from the end of any given leave year in which it was accrued. It is worth noting that the statutory leave year runs from 1 April to 31 March each year which may differ from your own company leave year.

 

Can I pay my employee in lieu of annual leave?

 

No, unless the employment relationship is terminated by either party. The employer has a legal obligation to ensure the employee takes their statutory annual leave entitlement within the leave year or if necessary within six months of the following year.

 

Are employees on maternity leave entitled to annual leave or public holidays?

 

Yes, employees on maternity, additional maternity, adoptive, paternity and parental leave continue to accrue their annual leave and public holiday entitlements.  Employee’s on carer’s leave continue to accrue annual leave and public holiday entitlements for the first 13 weeks only.

 

Public holiday FAQs

 

We are open on Christmas day and St. Stephen’s Day. Some staff are rostered to work one or both days. What is their entitlement for working on the public holidays?

 

Depending if they worked one or both public holidays, they are entitled to one of the following:

            - one or two paid days off within a month

            - one or two extra day’s annual leave

            - one or two day’s extra pay

 

We have a casual employee who works variable hours. They are not rostered to work on the public holidays, are they entitled to the public holiday entitlement?

 

Yes, but only if they have worked 40 hours or more in the five weeks ending on the day before the public holiday. If this is the case, they are entitled to one fifth of their normal weekly rate of renumeration.

 

The casual employee’s hours vary from week to week, how do I calculate their normal weekly rate of renumeration?

 

You can calculate the average working week based on the previous 13-week period ending on the day before the public holiday.

 

We have an employee who is taking unpaid leave for the month of December and January. Are they entitled to the public holidays during this period?

 

Yes, but only if the unpaid leave was authorised by the company and the bank holiday falls within the first 13 weeks of the unpaid leave. They can either receive the bank holiday payment or a day/s in lieu of it.

 

An employee is currently on certified sick leave for ten months due to an illness, do they still receive the public holiday entitlement?

 

No. An employee on certified sick leave is entitled to the public holiday up to and including 26 weeks. However, an employee who is out due to an occupational injury is entitled to public holidays up to and including 52 weeks.

 

If you would like more information on public holidays and annual leave you can download our guideline here or contact Helen at SFA on 01 605 1668 or at helen.quinn@sfa.ie or visit our HR and Employment Law advice section on www.sfa.ie

Local Government (Rates) Bill 2018 published
 

The purpose of the Local Government (Rates) Bill 2018 is to modernise and consolidate commercial rates legislation in Ireland. It will restate the power of local authorities to introduce and collect a charge (rate) that will be levied on each relevant property...


The purpose of the Local Government (Rates) Bill 2018 is to modernise and consolidate commercial rates legislation in Ireland. It will restate the power of local authorities to introduce and collect a charge (rate) that will be levied on each relevant property. This Bill also provides for the introduction of targeted rate alleviation (waiver) schemes to support specific policy objectives, provides the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, with the power to limit the annual rate on valuation determined by the local authority, establishes a database of relevant properties, and places the onus on the seller to inform the local authority of a transfer.

 

What does the Bill propose?

 

Among the measures included in the Bill are provisions to allow local authorities to:

  • Restate a charge (rate) to be levied on each relevant property of which the current occupier or owner of the property will be liable;
  • Form a basis for greater enforcement powers by local authorities in their collection of rates through the appointment of an authorised officer with the necessary powers to carry out certain duties under the proposed Act;
  • Provide for the establishment and maintenance of a database of information (to replace the rates book) to be known as the Database of Relevant Properties by the local authority concerned;
  • Provide for interest to be applied on any overdue rates (this is a new provision not contained in previous legislation);
  • Introduce targeted rate alleviation (waiver) schemes to support specific policy objectives including local economic and community plans, objectives contained in Development Plans and Local Area Plans, and national planning policies;
  • Provides for the abatement of rates for vacant properties; and
  • Provides that the onus is on the seller of a property to inform the local authority of the transfer.

The SFA welcomes the publishing of this Bill and the Minister’s commitment to modernise and consolidate rates in Ireland. The SFA has consistently called for reform in this area and for the delivery of more efficient and effective services that bring consistent value to the small business community.

SFA participates in Future Jobs Summit
 

Last week the government launched their Future Jobs strategy where they consulted with key stakeholders including the SFA to prepare for the rapid changes ahead in the world of work…


The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, officially launched the Government’s Future Jobs strategy at the summit on 22 November. This involved consultation between the Taoiseach, six government ministers and 160 stakeholders including the SFA, to plan for future job creation.

 

A recent OECD study estimates that there is a 46% probability rate that the average worker's job will be automated by the 2030s. This will pose significant challenges for the future of work if it is not addressed today.

 

Leo Varadkar stated in his speech that: “today’s school children will be doing jobs that don’t currently exist”. He also highlighted and emphasised the need for lifelong learning when he stated that:

 

It’s no good telling a man or a woman, who has driven a truck for the past thirty years, that there are opportunities elsewhere in the economy in something called ‘big data’. We have to prepare them earlier in their lives for that change, training them for opportunities in logistics or in the broader economy, embedding the idea of life long learning”.

 

Speaking on the rising productivity gap between high performing firms, many of which are foreign owned and the rest of the economy, in particular small indigenous firms, he stated that Foreign Direct Investment: “will continue to [be] the cornerstone of Irish enterprise policy, we need to more deeply embed this sector in our wider economy, and improve productivity performance across other companies. We need more home-grown companies growing jobs.”

 

Following on from the Taoiseach’s speech, Luiz de Mello, Director of the Policy Studies Branch at the Economics Department of the OECD, spoke about Ireland’s productivity. He highlighted that it is essential for growth but that it has dropped in Ireland from 2.5% in the 1970s down to 1% today. He also spoke of the low start up rate for new businesses in Ireland. This is currently lower than other OECD countries but the churn rate, which means those exiting from business, is also lower.

 

Julie Spillane, Director of Accenture The Dock, took the audience through technology, talent and emerging opportunities. She stated that 85% of jobs in the 2030s have not been invented yet and whilst technology is rapidly changing with big data, AI (Artificial Intelligence), the Internet of Things, the need for more human centric skills will be crucial in the future. She estimated that the average worker will have five different careers and twenty different jobs in their lifetime. She emphasised the importance of lifelong learning to meet these challenges and to develop what she calls the “growth mindset”. She advised that adaptability will be an essential key skill in the future of work. In closing, she stated that 15% of procurement from multi-nationals is provided for by local Irish firms and she advised that local firms must be in a position to provide the multinational with what they need but also to be in a position to provide goods or services on a global scale, not just locally if needed. 

 

Each of the six ministers chaired a breakout session and SFA attended the session on 'maximising the contribution of multinational enterprises to the Irish economy into the future'. Minister Pat Breen asked the SFA for their input on how we can increase spill overs between FDI and the domestic economy, what lessons can Irish SMEs learn from multinationals and how can we become more integrated into the value chain?

 

When each of the breakout groups convened, the outputs from each breakout session were shared to the wider group. The outputs included the following:

  • Increase productivity amongst SMEs and look at new ways on how this can be achieved
  • Prepare now for future technological changes
  • Create a culture of lifelong learning
  • Create a more inclusive and flexible labour market
  • Increase participation rates through flexible working arrangements for women, older workers and those with disabilities

The Taoiseach and the ministers each assured the audience that they are committed to this strategy and further consultation will take place with stakeholders. The future jobs strategy will focus on five themes which are:

  • Increasing Productivity, especially among Irish SMEs
  • Skills and Talent
  • Innovation and Technology
  • The Low Carbon Economy
  • Increasing Participation in the Labour Market

You can learn more about Future Jobs here and we will continue to keep you updated on developments as they arise.

 

If you have any thoughts or contributions on any of the points raised in this article please contact Helen Quinn on 01 605 1668 or helen.quinn@sfa.ie

Survey finds 68% of Irish CEOs have started to mitigate against potential impact of Brexit
 

Three in ten CEOs expect lower profits over the next three years as a result of Brexit according to a recent CEO survey from Deloitte and Enterprise Ireland...


Three in ten expect lower profits over the next three years as a result of Brexit

  • 95% of Irish CEOs think a ‘no deal’ Brexit would have a negative impact on the economy and 59% think it would have a negative impact on their business
  • 84% of respondents reported that they had plans to expand their business overseas in the next year

Deloitte and Enterprise Ireland have recently published the results of their joint CEO survey on the impact of Brexit. Almost seven in ten (68%) Irish CEOs have said they have acted to mitigate against the potential impact of Brexit, according to a survey of Irish business leaders issued on 22 November by Deloitte and Enterprise Ireland ahead of the CEO Forum. The main areas of mitigation action included scenario planning, changes to supply chain and engaging with government and other agencies.

 

95% of Irish CEOs have said a ‘no deal’ Brexit would have a negative impact on the economy and 59% think it would have a negative impact on their business. Furthermore, 45% said delays in the Brexit deal decision making process were negatively impacting business operations.

 

Four in ten (44%) said that Brexit had impacted their business over the past 18 months, while almost six in ten (56%) said it had not impacted. Of those who said it had an impact the majority cited a negative impact.

 

When asked what impact Brexit would have on their business over the next three years three in ten (31%) reported that they thought they would have lower profits, while 10% thought they would have slightly higher or higher profits. A third (34%) reported a negligible change and a quarter (25%) said they did not know or that it was not applicable. 

 

Nine in ten (93%) Irish CEOs said they are confident about their companies’ prospects for revenue growth in the next year.

 

Exports

 

Eight in ten (84%) Irish CEOs are planning to expand over the next 12 months. The Eurozone (27%), UK (21%) and North America (20%) were considered the top ‘new markets’ to offer opportunity to grow exports. When asked to identify the markets/countries, within the Eurozone, that offer the most potential/opportunities for their business, respondents listed Germany, France and The Netherlands as the top three.

 

Competitiveness:

 

The top challenges cited by CEOs included availability of skills, retention of talent and competitiveness.

 

Nine in ten (92%) are concerned that macro-economic issues would impact Ireland’s competitiveness and the top concerns were Brexit, US tax reform, currency fluctuations and Irish tax.

 

The Deloitte/Enterprise Ireland CEO survey was conducted over a period of six weeks with over 90 CEOs responding. The respondents included CEOs from a mix of private/public companies which range in size from SMEs to large plcs and MNCs.

Irish Banking Culture Board Survey
 

Have your say to help shape the purpose, structure and initial ways of working of a new independent Irish Banking Culture Board (IBCB) which is set to be established by Spring 2019...


The Establishment Office of the Irish Banking Culture Board are currently engaged in a process designed to shape the purpose, structure and initial ways of working of a new independent Irish Banking Culture Board (IBCB) which is set to be established by Spring 2019. It is their intention to give the public a voice in shaping how the IBCB should be constituted and how it should work.

 

A public consultation to inform the establishment of the IBCB is now open at www.yoursaybankingculture.ie. The online consultation provides an opportunity for the public to share opinions on the qualities and experience they deem most important for the Board’s membership, the priority areas that its work programme should focus on and how the body should engage with key stakeholders, such as bank customers, the wider public and Government.

 

The online survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete, depending on individual’s answers and closes on 10 December.

 

SFA members’ views can have a real and tangible influence on the purpose and structure of the IBCB and how it should carry out its work, so we encourage you to take part. The findings of the national consultation will be published in a report ahead of the establishment of the IBCB in Spring 2019.

Business in Ireland 2016 - Small and Medium Enterprises
 

The CSO recently published its Business Statistics Overview, which outlines the key statistics for the Irish business economy in 2016...


The CSO recently published its Business Statistics Overview, which outlines the key statistics for the Irish business economy in 2016.

 

The publication provides answers to many key policy questions such as:

  • the impact of SMEs on the Irish business economy;
  • the impact of foreign owned enterprises;
  • how concentrated is business economy value add creation in Ireland?; and
  • typical survival rates for new enterprises.

Looking at the impact of small enterprises (10-49 employees) on the Irish business economy the report found that:

  • small enterprises accounted for 6.8% of the total number of enterprises;
  • small enterprises accounted for almost 22.2% of total persons engaged in 2016; and
  • small enterprises accounted for 12.2% of Gross Value Added in the business economy in 2016.

The full report is available on the CSO website.

EVENTS
SFA Members Christmas Evening 2018
 
  • 13 December
  • SFA offices, Dublin

Join us for some Christmas cheer at the SFA Members Christmas Evening, sponsored by SBCI on Thursday 13 December in the SFA offices 84-86 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2 from 6pm. This is a light hearted evening where you can make new business connections and catch up with familiar faces.

 

On the evening Mark Downey, a Certified Voice and Presence Coach will share some key tips to get the best out of your voice to give a powerful speech or presentation.

 

Attendance is free but please register your attendance online. Feel free to bring a colleague or a friend as a guest and also register them online.

The wealth of business depends on the health of workers
 
  • 9 January
  • SFA offices, 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.

  • Date: Wednesday, 9 January
  • Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
  • Location: SFA/ Ibec offices, 84-86 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2.

The World Health Organisation has defined the workplace as an optimum place to promote health through collaboration and use of a continual improvement process to protect the health, safety and well-being of all workers. Companies of all sizes have an opportunity and responsibility to embed a credible wellbeing program into the workplace culture that will improve society. 

 

This health and well-being seminar will demonstrate how to implement effective wellness programs, collect and analyse data, measure your return on investment and further valuable information. No matter what size your organisation or industry is, you can benefit from attending this event.

 

The seminar will be delivered by David Casey, Wellness and Health Promotion Manager/ Dental Professional at DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland Ltd.

 

A member of the SFA team will give you a sneak preview of our Grow, Scale, Succeed campaign, launching January 10. Grow, Scale, Succeed will provide small business with a variety of resources to enable them to recruit and retain employees as well as embrace Smart Working which is the combination of technology with flexible working arrangements.

 

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 you must pre-register online.

TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Online GDPR training
 

Enrol your staff and managers on our newly designed online GDPR programme to ensure your staff are informed of their obligations under the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018 and GDPR...


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a ground breaking piece of data protection legislation, which came into force on 25 May 2018, has a significant impact on all organisations, as it enhances the data protection rights of employees, imposes specific obligations on employers and introduces severe financial penalties for non-compliance.

Enrol your staff and managers on our newly designed online GDPR programme to ensure your staff are informed of their obligations under the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018 and GDPR.

Benefits on online training:

  • Accessible
  • Cost effective
  • Scalable

This course will provide participants with the knowledge to:

    • Describe personal information and data subject rights 
    • Define consent 
    • Explain the role of the Data Protection Commission, Data Controller, Data Processor and the Data Protection Officer 
    • Determine accountability 
    • Conduct breach management and outline our role in the prevention of breaches 
    • Outline data subject access requests 
    • Understand the issue of privacy and its implications

Cost: €70 per license  

Key features

  • 30 minute duration
  • Interactive exercises
  • Short assessment
  • Certificate of completion

Consent:

This programme has been designed in conjunction with Dillon Production. Participant name(s) and email address(es) will be forwarded to Dillion Production for the sole purposes of setting up the login for this programme. If you are making a booking on behalf of someone else, please ensure you have obtained their consent to share their contact information (name and email address).

Book online now or contact the event organiser Raquel de la Pena Sarrion with any queries on raquel.delapena@ibec.ie or on 01 605 1667.