SFA E-Zine – The Tuesday Edition
In this week's ezine we update you on a Sectoral Employment Order which will lead to pay increases for workers in the construction sector.
We bring you further details on the SME share option scheme, Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) which was announced in Budget 2018. Find out how you can feature in the next edition of SFA's Better Business magazine which has been nominated in the 2017 Irish Magazine Awards.
Each week in the SFA e-zine, we profile a different government support available to small businesses. In this edition, we focus on the JobsPlus incentive, which provides a contribution towards wages if hiring the long-term unemployed. Find out more about the Future of Towns Summit that took place in Sligo on 18 October.
Register to attend the next Business Bytes on 8 November which will examine how to structure your business tax efficiently for today and tomorrow and stop by the SFA stand at the Taking Care of Business event on the same day. Don't miss your last chance to book a seat at the SFA Annual Lunch taking place in the Mansion House on 10 November with guest speaker, Brent Pope. Plan ahead for the Christmas period with a webinar on 16 November covering holiday entitlements, adverse weather and company parties. Book a place on one of our November training courses on management skills and employment law, at the SFA AGM on 29 November and at the SFA Members Christmas evening on 14 December.
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: email@example.com or tweet: @SFA_Irl or visit: www.sfa.ie.
Sectoral Employment Order will lead to pay increases for workers in the construction sector
On 19 October, Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade, Employment & Business Pat Breen TD, signed into law an Order entitled “Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2017”. This Order fixes the statutory minimum pay, pension and sick pay entitlements for craftsmen, construction operatives and apprentices employed in the construction sector...
On 19 October, Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade, Employment & Business, Pat Breen TD, signed into law an Order entitled “Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2017”. This Order fixes the statutory minimum pay, pension and sick pay entitlements for craftsmen, construction operatives and apprentices employed in the construction sector.
The Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) gives legal effect to the terms of a Labour Court recommendation which the Minister accepted in July. The revised terms and conditions for the construction sector take effect from the date of the Order i.e. 19 October 2017 and will apply to almost 50,000 workers in the sector. The Order will result in pay increases in the order of approximately 10% in the construction sector. This is the first SEO successfully passed under the new legislative framework which came into force in August 2015.
The SEO provides for the following pay rates:
Category 1 Worker: €17.04 per hour
(General Operatives with more than one year’s experience working in the Sector)
Category 2 Worker: €18.36 per hour
(Skilled General Operatives, Scaffolders who hold an Advanced Scaffolding Card and who have four years’ experience, Banks operatives*, Steel Fixers, Crane Drivers and Heavy Machine Operators)
(*Banks Operatives are more generally known as banksmen)
Craft Worker: €18.93 per hour
(Craft Workers in the following trades: Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers)
(Apprentices in the following trades: Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers)
- Year 1: 33.3% of Craft rate
- Year 2: 50% of Craft Rate
- Year 3: 75% of Craft Rate
- Year 4: 90% of Craft Rate
Entrant Worker: €13.77 per hour
(General Operatives who are over the age of 18 years and entering the sector for the first time).
The SEO also includes recommendations in relation to sick pay, pensions and unsocial hours payments.
More information and a copy of the full SEO can be found here. If you require further advice contact Ciara McGuone, SFA Executive, on 01 605 1668 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contribution towards wages available if hiring long-term unemployed
Spotlight on the JobsPlus incentive from the Department of Social Protection, which offers employers up to €10,000 towards the wages of employees hired off the Live Register. This article provides information on the scheme and advice on how to apply...
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.
Regular cash payments to employers to offset the cost of employing someone who has been on the Live Register for at least 12 months. If the employee is under 25, they only have to be on the Live Register for four months to be eligible.
The amount provided is €10,000 over two years for each person who was unemployed for more than 24 months or €7,500 over two years per person who was unemployed for between 12 and 24 months. The employment must be full time (over 30 hours per week, over at least four days) and must relate to a new vacancy, rather than displacing current employees.
The incentive is paid monthly in arrears and is not considered as revenue/income for income or corporation tax purposes.
The scheme is designed to encourage employers to focus their recruitment efforts on those who have been out of work for long periods.
JobsPlus is run by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The first step is to complete an online application form on www.jobsplus.ie in order to be deemed an eligible employer.
You have the option of contacting your local Intreo centre for details of suitable candidates and of advertising your vacancy on www.jobsireland.ie
When you have conducted preliminary interviews and shortlisted candidates, you should advise the candidates to visit www.jobsplus.ie to find out if they are eligible for the scheme. They will receive a form by post confirming their eligibility and rate of payment for the prospective employer – the form will also include a section to be completed by you if you choose to employ them.
Once you offer the position to the candidate, they should close their jobseekers claim on www.welfare.ie or by going to their local Intreo/Social Welfare office.
More information about JobsPlus is available here.
If you are interested in applying, don’t forget:
- The scheme is open to all employers in the private, community, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors. It is also open to self-employed people who are looking to recruit
- If a candidate is under 25, they only have to be on the live register for four months to qualify
- Time spent on JobBridge and other activation schemes counts towards eligibility
- An employer can receive a JobsPlus contribution for multiple employees – the amounts mentioned above are per qualifying employee
- The incentive cannot be used to support existing employees or to offer additional working hours to employees that are on short-time or reduced hours
- Part-time employment and jobs which are short-term or seasonal are not eligible for the incentive
- The incentive cannot be backdated but if you have an employee who would have been eligible at the time of recruitment, you can apply now and receive the incentive going forward
- Employers must notify the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection immediately if the employee leaves or is let go and the JobsPlus payments will stop.
SFA's Better Business magazine
SFA magazine, Better Business has been nominated in the 2017 Irish Magazine Awards. Check out the digital version of the autumn edition and how to feature your business in the winter edition...
SFA are delighted to announce that our quarterly magazine, Better Business is a finalist in the Small Business Magazine of the Year category of the 2017 Irish Magazine Awards. Also congratulations to SFA member, Veterinary Ireland who is nominated in the same category. The winners will be announced on 30 November. At the 2016 Awards, Better Business picked up the Customer Magazine of the Year Award.
You can view the digital edition of the autumn magazine here which includes a feature on the craft brewing industry, information on the world of data analytics, a spotlight on female entrepreneurs, advice on settling wages, tips on running an event, small business priorities for Budget 2018 and much more. Also check out the new Better Business website here and follow Better Business on Twitter here.
SFA members can feature their business in the winter edition for free by submit a relevant news item (max 250 words) for consideration to email@example.com by 10 November. Also take advantage of a special discounted member rate for advertising by contacting Shane Kelly from the Ashville Media Group directly on 01 432 2234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SME share option scheme – more detail now available following Budget announcement
More details of the Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) announced in Budget 2018 are now available through the Finance Bill and other documents issued by the Department of Finance. The SFA is pleased to see that its two main criteria have been included in the scheme: the income tax, USC and PRSI liability has been removed and the scheme can be offered to key employees on a selected basis...
In Budget 2018, the Minister for Finance announced a new scheme called KEEP (Key Employee Engagement Programme), an incentive to facilitate the use of share-based remuneration by unquoted SMEs to attract and retain key employees. The incentive facilitates SMEs in providing key employees with a financial incentive linked to the success of the company.
This was a significant win for the SFA, as it had been one of our four lobbying priorities ahead of the Budget. Reacting to the announcement, SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens stated: “The introduction of a tailored employee share options scheme (KEEP) for small business is an important initiative, which has the potential to deliver improved management capacity, staff retention and productivity. Currently, only 6% of employees in Ireland are shareholders in the company where they work, compared to the EU average of 22%. Our members are keen to see the detail of the scheme and to start using it to help their businesses to grow and reward their key employees.”
More details are now available through the Finance Bill and other documents issued by the Department of Finance. The SFA is pleased to see that its two main criteria have been included in the scheme: the income tax, USC and PRSI liability has been removed and the scheme can be offered to key employees on a selected basis.
Some more details of the scheme that may be of interest to members:
- Qualifying company must be micro, small or medium (up to 250 employees) and cannot be regarded as a company in difficulty
- Qualifying employees must be full time employees or directors in the company, working at least 30 hours per week
- Gains arising to employees on the exercise of KEEP share options will be liable to Capital Gains Tax (33%) on disposal of the shares, in place of the current liability to income tax, USC and PRSI on exercise
- The incentive is available for qualifying share options granted between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2023.
A sample scenario provided by the Department of Finance offering a useful demonstration of the KEEP incentive is available on the SFA website.
Towns and villages are fighting back
Towns and villages in Ireland are very much alive! This is one of the key messages which came out out of the Future of Towns Summit that took place on 18 October 2017 in Sligo...
Towns and villages in Ireland are very much alive! This is one of the key messages which came out out of the Future of Towns Summit that took place on 18 October 2017 in Sligo. However, the event highlighted that key to success is the cooperation between the various stakeholders and a high level of volunteerism. Brexit poses a threat but can be overcome if effected regions and sectors are willing to act now.
Delegates from local authorities, town teams, local businesses associations and business groupings met in Sligo to learn and share resources in the fight to revitalise Irish towns.
Speakers at the event included:
- Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director, SFA - Brexit and the Irish town
- Catherine Curran, Assistant Principal Officer, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation - The framework for town centre renewal - Best practice and a practical step by step approach
- Simon Quin - Director and Visiting Professor, Institute of Place Management, Manchester Metropolitan University - The 4 "R's" of town centre renewal
- Richard Hamilton, Associate Director, Future Analytics Consulting - What makes a healthy town? A town planners perspective - town planning, revitalisation of vibrant and successful towns
- Kevin Traynor, National Director, The Coach Tourism & Transport Council - The role of coach tourism in Ireland and the opportunities available to rural communities as a source of employment and revenue.
- David McNulty, Director, Tourism Development International - Towns and villages - emerging tourism opportunities.
The programme and presentations from the Future of Towns Summit can be found here.
How to structure your business tax efficiently for today and tomorrow
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.
The next event will focus on how to structure your business tax efficiently for today and tomorrow.
- Date: Wednesday, 8 November 2017
- Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
- Venue: Ibec, 84-86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
There are many tax reliefs that may be available on the future disposal of your business. These reliefs, however, have numerous conditions, some of which are time related and require advance action.
In addition, there may be steps that you can take now to increase the value of your business for a future disposal.
An early review of your business from a tax and corporate finance perspective is crucial.
This event will answer questions such as:
- How can you structure your business tax efficiently today for a future disposal?
- What are the tax reliefs that may be available on the disposal of your business?
- What tax reliefs are available on the transfer of your business to your children?
- What considerations are important when valuing your business?
- What should you be doing now?
The seminar will be delivered by Catherine McGovern (Tax Partner) and Neal McGroarty (Corporate Finance Partner) from PKF O’Connor, Leddy & Holmes Ltd, an Irish firm of accountants and registered advisers. They will provide information and advice as well as working through some small business case studies.
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.
Last chance to book - SFA Annual Lunch 2017
- 10 November
- The Mansion House
The SFA Annual Lunch is the highlight of the small business calendar. It is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution that small businesses make to the Irish economy and society. Don't miss your last chance to book.
The SFA Annual Lunch 2017 will take place in the Mansion House in Dublin on Friday, 10 November, sponsored by Bank of Ireland. This is the perfect opportunity to bring together your invited guests, special customers, clients and valued employees to kick off the festive season.
The guest speaker will be Brent Pope. Brent will entertain guests with his easygoing and witty style, drawing on his experience in rugby, television and business. He will also share his perspective on wellbeing at work, which is attracting a lot of attention in small businesses of late.
Guests at the lunch will also hear from Sue O'Neill, SFA Chair, and Michael Lauhoff, Bank of Ireland Director of Business Banking.
Join over 500 guests, including small business owner-managers, politicians, senior government officials and media for the biggest business lunch of the year for small business.
Member rate of €750 + VAT for a table of 10 or €75 + VAT per seat - book your tickets online now.
Taking Care of Business
30 bodies and services including the SFA ready to give expert help to small businesses
A free one-stop-shop event for SMEs, ‘Taking Care of Business’, will take place on Wednesday, 8 November in the Printworks Conference Centre in Dublin Castle. This half-day event is for those who own or manage a small business or are thinking of starting a new business.
A range of State offices and agencies will give short presentations and will have staff on hand at exhibition stands to answer questions about key regulations and what assistance is available to your business. Areas covered will include:
- Tax, employment and Health & Safety obligations
- Legal requirements for setting up and running your business
- Supports from enterprise agencies
The half-day event will be opened by Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald TD and also addressed by Minister of State for Trade, Employment and Business, Pat Breen TD. Information stands will be open throughout, allowing you to speak informally with staff from each of the bodies attending. There will be three sets of presentations chaired by: Linda Barry, Assistant Director of the Small Firms Association; Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber and Dr Donal de Buitléir, Director of Public Policy.ie.
The SFA will also have a stand at the event so please stop by.
To find out more about this unique event and to register, please visit www.takingcareofbusiness.ie. Attendance is free but early booking is strongly advised as numbers are limited.
SFA Webinar - Planning for the Christmas period
SFA Annual General Meeting
SFA Executive, Ciara McGuone will deliver a SFA webinar on Thursday, 16 November from 2:15pm – 2:45pm focusing on public holiday entitlements falling over the Christmas period which can stress out even the most seasoned managers.
The webinar discusses how to handle staff attendance during bad weather and also how to avoid the common pitfalls during the Christmas party season.
Register online now for the webinar.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you can't make this time, you can still register for the session and we'll send you a link to the recording afterwards so you can playback in your own time.
SFA Members Christmas Evening 2017
The SFA AGM will take place on 29 November 2017 at 4:30pm in the SFA offices, 84-86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2.
The Director and Chair/National Council will present their reports and a number of members will be elected to serve on the SFA National Council. More details will be provided in due course.
Register online now to confirm your attendance.
The SFA Members Christmas evening will take place on Thursday, 14 December 2017 from 6.00pm-8.30pm at the SFA offices, 84-86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2.
The purpose of the evening is to give members an opportunity to network and develop business contacts in an informal setting.
Festive food and refreshments will be served. The evening is free of charge and feel free to bring along a friend or colleague but please pre-register all attendees online.
Foundations in Management and Foundations in Employment Law – Book now
The SFA is running two-day courses on management skills and employment law starting in November. The courses are delivered by trainers with extensive industry experience. Don’t miss your chance to develop these key skills for yourself and your staff...
Two upcoming courses, delivered by trainers with extensive industry experience, offer vital skills for the success of your business: management skills and employment law.
Foundations in Management
This course is designed for someone moving into a management role as well as for established managers who want to improve the effectiveness of their people management skills.
Topics covered include:
- The role of the manager
- Motivating the team
- Dealing with disciplinary issues
- Handling grievances
- Handling conflict
- When: 23 & 24 November (two-day programme)
- Venue: Ibec, 84-86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
- Cost: €370 per participant for SFA member companies, €420 for non-members
- How to register: Register online here or contact Alexandra Racheru on 01-6051675 or email@example.com
Foundations in Employment Law
This two day course is designed to equip owner/managers with the skills needed to handle HR issues and provide a sound understanding of employment law.
There are over forty pieces of employment legislation in Ireland designed to protect employees. Non-compliance with this legislation can result in large financial compensation claims awarded to employees by the Workplace Relations Commission or Labour Court. These awards can be anywhere from four weeks' to five years' pay.
- Contracts of employment – flexible, permanent, part time, fixed term and specific purpose contracts
- Discipline and dismissal – effectively ending the employment relationship if a member of your team has a conduct, performance or absence issue
- Equality legislation – understanding the protections that must be afforded to employees
- Protective leave – maternity, paternity, parental, carers, adoptive and force majeure leave
- Working time – hours of work, holidays, public holidays and rest breaks
- Grievance handling – dealing with conflict and bullying/harassment issues
Attendees also leave with the SFA's employment law guidelines.
- When: 30 November & 1 December (two-day programme)
- Venue: Ibec, 84-86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
- Cost: €370 for SFA members, €420 non-member rate
- How to register: Register online here. For queries, please contact Alexandra Racheru on 01 605 1675 or firstname.lastname@example.org