The right to request flexible working:
The right to request flexible working has now been extended to all employees as of 30 June 2014. Flexible working (which can mean anything from an adjustment in working hours, working times, or a change to allow work from home for example) was previously only open to employees who had responsibilities to care for a child under the age of 17 (or 18 in the case of a disabled child) or for adult relatives such as a spouse, civil partner or partner or other relative (mother, father etc). This has now changed and all employees who have been employed for at least 26 weeks can ask their employer for flexible working arrangements. It should be noted that this is still a right to request which means that employers are not required to grant the proposed changes. As previously was the case employees will still need to make a written request for flexible working, but the rigid statutory procedure that used to apply has now been removed, along with the employee’s statutory right to appeal the employer’s decision..
Full guidance can be viewed http://www.rec.uk.com/news-and-policy/press-releases/the-right-to-request-flexible-working
REC JobsOutlook: 8 out of 10 employers plan to create permanent jobs:
Employer intention to hire permanent staff remains at a record high, with eight out of ten (81%) planning to create more permanent jobs in the next quarter, according the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)’s JobsOutlook survey of employers.
In addition to this, more than half of employers (51%) are planning to take on more agency staff in the next three months. The monthly tracking survey also reveals that the proportion of employers saying they need new staff to meet increased demand has risen from a quarter at the turn of the year (25%) to over a third (34%).
More than six in ten employers (61%) report they have not reduced the cost of their workforce at all in the last 12 months, either via redundancies, reduced pay or hours or headcount freezes, which suggests there is a relative period of business stability in UK plc.
REC Head of Policy Kate Shoesmith said: “Business confidence continues to grow and it is excellent news to see employers planning to hire more people on permanent contracts for the rest of 2014.”
Full article see: http://www.rec.uk.com/news-and-policy/press-releases/rec-jobsoutlook-8-out-of-10-employers-plan-to-create-permanent-jobs
Local Business News: Big chunk of Bluewater centre sold for £696m:
A 30 per cent stake in the Bluewater shopping centre has been snapped up by a major British developer.
The cost, which includes surrounding land, is a cool £696 million.
Land Securities has announces the acquisition, but assures Kent shoppers they won’t initially “notice any changes”.
It is, however, considering plans to combine empty units.
A spokesman told us: “Hopefully shoppers will notice that there will be fewer voids but we have not put any date on these actions because they are not yet firm plans.”.
Full article: http://www.businessforkent.co.uk
Smaller firms at 6 year high:
The number of smaller firms is reported to have reached a six year high of more than two million, according to new research. The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) said the biggest growth has been in England with marginal increases seen in Wales. Professional, scientific, and technical industries have seen the biggest increases in SMEs, followed by information and communication, health, property, education, agriculture, education and manufacturing.
Full article: http://www.kentonline.co.uk