Welcome to the unique
Business Village Networking experience

  • Opportunities to meet like-minded professionals
  • Give & receive referrals and business advice
  • No costly membership or subscription fees
  • Relaxed informal atmosphere
  • For established businesses and start-ups
  • Informative presentations
  • Breakfast - choice of cooked or continental
  • ...all for only £10 per week
This is what makes Business Village
. . . a meeting of minds - not just businesses
Business Village Meets
Every Thursday from 7.30 until 9 @ Campanile Hotel, Delta Business Park, Swindon
Register here for the next Business Village event

Members' Blog Feed

These blog posts are written by our members and syndicated from their own websites. Clicking a link will take you to their website.

Employment allowance

We have received a large number of queries regarding the changes to the NIC employment allowance that came into force on 6 April 2016. From that date, limited companies where the director is the only employee who receives earnings above the Secondary Threshold for Class 1 National Insurance contributions will no longer be able to[…] Read more »

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Is It Legal To Force Women To Wear High Heels?

A 27-year old woman has recently claimed that she turned up for work wearing flat shoes on her first day as a corporate receptionist for a City accountancy firm, only to be told that she had two choices – be sent home without pay, or go buy a pair of heels between two and four inches high.

Nicola Thorp says that she was laughed at by bosses, and has since set up an online petition which has attracted over 100,000 signatures. This means that the issue will be considered in Parliament for debate.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about these events isn’t that they happened (because let’s face it, sexism is often still a very real issue in workplaces), but that the business in question wasn’t actually breaking the law.

Employers in the UK are within their rights to dismiss a member of staff if they fail to adhere to ‘reasonable’ dress code standards, and different codes of dress for men and women are still permitted. Though the legislation doesn’t explicitly address high heels, and is open to interpretation, it’s not possible to say that the accountancy firm was flouting their legal responsibilities.

But let’s forget about the law for a second, and apply a little bit of common sense. High heels can be uncomfortable, even painful, and have zero impact on anyone’s ability to do their job. If you’re asking your female staff to turn up to work wearing anything other than a formal shoe, or if necessary, safety footwear, then now’s the time to seriously rethink your practices.

Ditch the outdated requirements, and bring your business into the 21st century. Not because they might soon become illegal, but because it’s the right thing to do.

If you’re concerned about the impact that old people policies and practices could have on your business, now’s the time to take action. We can review your full HR agenda, identify any potential issues, and make sure that you’re firmly on the right track. Get in touch today with The Human Resource, the small business HR consultancy, on 07884 475303 or email enquiries@thehr.co.uk for a no-obligation chat. 

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Brexit uncertainty and recruitment

Is the possibility of a Brexit vote on 23rd June making you uneasy that there are greater risks if you recruit into your business right now?

You aren’t alone.  There are signs that uncertainty about whether or not Britain will stay in the EU is dampening down recruitment levels.  “City hiring grinds to a halt as Brexit poll looms” screamed a recent Financial Times headline.  With opinion polls tight, surveys suggest that companies are delaying making hiring and investment decisions until after the 23rd June vote on Britain’s membership of the EU.

At the same time, you still have a successful business to run.  There may be threats just around the corner, but you still need to retain the ability to react quickly to them, and to be geared up to meet increasing demand without running your existing staff into the ground.

What are your alternatives to hiring more permanent staff? 
  • Hire a temp through a recruitment agency instead. This person would be the agency’s employee not yours and this can be a flexible, obligation-free way of covering the work without making a long term commitment.  
  • Take on a fixed term contract employee for a finite length of time until the impact of the referendum on jobs in your company becomes clearer, to work on a particular project.
  • Find a self-employed freelancer with specialist skills and experience to enhance the know-how in your company over a finite period of time, invoicing you on a day rate basis. 

Now would be a good time to think through your just-in-case strategies, especially if your business has a presence in other EU countries.  One of the basic principles of the EU is freedom of movement and at the moment there are no real restrictions.  Depending on the terms of the Brexit, in the medium term it’s likely to be harder to hire EU workers.

Even if the UK does break away from Europe, the process won’t happen overnight. There would be a two-year period to negotiate the mechanics of the withdrawal, and the exit itself is likely to take even longer.  For now, there are so many unknowns that there’s very little planning employers can do to mitigate the risks associated with the referendum and a possible Brexit. But a prudent employer will be cautious about entering into lengthy commercial agreements – in employment or otherwise.   

Newish to recruitment? – there’s more advice with the practical steps to consider here.  And to explore how to make the best recruitment decisions for your business, contact The Human Resource on 07884 475303 or email enquiries@thehr.co.uk.


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Dementia drop-in will help spread awareness

Word Worker press release: A drop-in event, where people can learn more about dementia and how to support those with the condition, is being staged in Stroud as part of National Dementia Awareness Week. The week runs from May 15 to 21 and on Thursday May 19 homecare provider DoCare is hosting the open event […]

The post Dementia drop-in will help spread awareness appeared first on Word Worker – making words work for your business.

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Businesses in hot seat at networking group

Word Worker press release: Business networking group Rekindle attracted yet more businesses when it trialled a new format. The group, which meets monthly at the Stratton House Hotel in Cirencester, used its April event to showcase some of its members’ businesses. Instead of just one presentation, eight company owners got the chance to speak. There […]

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Four new faces at RTS Group

Word Worker press release: Leading learning and development agency RTS Group is driving up its headcount and taking on four new staff. The new recruits at the Chippenham-based company, which specialises in developing automotive dealership staff, will be working in the teams supporting Mazda, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz. Simon Snowdon has been appointed programme and development […]

The post Four new faces at RTS Group appeared first on Word Worker – making words work for your business.

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Tom shows his caring side

Word Worker press release: Teenager Tom Kent has scooped the top spot at his company’s annual awards ceremony. Tom, 19, has been named Care Newcomer of the Year by Stroud-based homecare provider DoCare. His colleague Clarissa Guyett won the company’s Support Worker of the Year award. Both will now be entered in the prestigious Great […]

The post Tom shows his caring side appeared first on Word Worker – making words work for your business.

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the Environment or the environment?

We focus a lot on the Environment; we have targets to meet, numbers to report on and fines to avoid, all in a good cause. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not knocking it. Far from it because, whilst I am not a full-on Greenie, I have been doing green things from a time when […]

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Well done to our quiz winners

Well done to the winners of our quiz, the Swindon Museum of Computing. They romped away to beat off stiff competition from 19 other teams, and won a T-shirt and bottle of wine for their efforts. The event was in aid of Banks BHG’s charity of the year, Julia’s House, which is building a children’s hospice[…] Read more »

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