Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Thu 18th, Jan

The launch this week of Transport for the North’s (TfN) consultation on its draft Strategic Transport Plan has met with a mixed reaction – not all positive! Whilst there has been some cynicism expressed around the deliverability of the Plan and funding in particular, the general view seems to be that at the very least it is a step in the right direction, bringing business and civic leaders together from across the North to develop an economic case for more investment in transport.

This is just one of a number of infrastructure related policies currently out for consultation including the new Major Road Network and the Strategic Roads Network. We discussed the latter with Highways England colleagues at our Transport Policy Forum last week as well as more local priorities to be delivered by the Combined Authority including the Key Route Network, which links primary destinations across the Liverpool city region.

It is tempting to get drawn into the wider strategic debate around transport infrastructure across the North, whether rail or road, but we should not ignore the importance of the decisions being made around our local transport network which impact on business on a daily basis, whether moving people or freight, and which also include strategically important schemes like the proposals for the A5036 to improve access to the Port of Liverpool.

It is also easy to dismiss consultations as simply window dressing but we know from our discussions with partners, including Merseytravel and the Department for Transport, that the voice of the private sector is often under represented and there is a genuine desire to engage more constructively with businesses, particularly at a local level.

Louise Ellman MP also joined us at the Forum to provide her unique perspective on transport issues impacting on the region. The key message from all our contributors at the Forum was unanimous – now is the time for business to get its voice heard! By being more engaged you have the opportunity not only to highlight your own business priorities but also to help support the case to government for more local as well as regional transport investment.

If you would like more information on any of the issues above or how we can work on your behalf through our Transport Policy Forum and the wider Chamber network, please contact me via policy@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

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Posted by Brabners

Fri 05th, Jan

The January transfer windows often see the market-place saturated with documentation (purporting to be sub-contracted mandated authorisation documents) linked to the marketing of foreign based players (the “Player”). As the Player, the contracted foreign agent (the “Foreign Agent”), the selling club (and possibly the third party economic rights holders) are based overseas, the draw of the English leagues presents opportunities for Intermediaries registered and governed by The FA (the “Intermediary”) to accept sub-contracted work (relating to the services defined in the representation contract between the Player and the Foreign Agent) to help the Player procure a transfer to a club in England. Often the Foreign Agent will not be registered with The FA therefore an Intermediary can provide an efficient solution to the Foreign Agent’s inability to conclude a transaction for the Player in England.

Whilst the opportunities appear to be plenty, and the scope to generate intermediary commissions / fees efficiently (for example by not having to invest time, effort and cost in developing a relationship with an English based player), there are a number of problems with this type of transaction. Some of the problems are linked to the following (which is not an exhaustive list):

  • a lack of understanding of the intermediaries regulations in the respective countries;
  • a lack of understanding of the process and checks implemented by The Home Office and The FA for granting a Governing Body Endorsement’ for issuing a work permit;
  • a lack of understanding of the registration rules and regulations of the relevant League and The FA;
  • a lack of understanding of the contractual scope and wider legal implications of the documentation which purports to be ‘sub-contracted mandated authorisation’ documents;
  • pressure to generate intermediary commissions / fees in a very time and opportunity limited market-place;
  • a desire on the parts of the Player and the Foreign Agent to retain as much control as possible (often granting non-exclusive authorisation to market the foreign player in England and / or to specific clubs);
  • a desire on the parts of the Player and the Foreign Agent to create as much opportunity for a move as possible (often granting duplicated (and allegedly ‘exclusive’) authorisations to numerous Intermediaries; and
  • far too many third parties involved in the transaction chain between the Player (the Foreign Agent) and the Intermediary.

If you are an Intermediary registered with The FA and have relationships with foreign based players and agents then the below checklist might assist you in assessing the merits of a prospective transaction and the risk involved with the contractual terms proposed by the foreign based player and agent.

These issues should be clarified between the parties and all supporting documentation obtained prior to committing to engage in any Intermediary Activity in England. The below represents an ‘ideal’ scenario but, in reality, the market-place will not allow all of the issues below to be dealt with as comprehensively as the Intermediary would like.

1.     Obtain a copy (preferably certified) of the Player’s passport. This will allow the Intermediary to be confident in his / her knowledge of the Player’s:

i)              Full name;

ii)             Date of birth;

iii)            Place of birth; and

iv)            Nationality (and if the Player has dual nationality).

2.     If the Player is an EU / EEA national then currently (awaiting any post Brexit rule changes) the Intermediary can proceed to the negotiation of the sub-contract terms.

3.     If the Player is a non EU / EEA national then further information must be obtained to assess the eligibility of the Player for a work permit:

i)              What is the current FIFA ranking of the Player’s national team?

ii)             How many competitive matches have been played by that national team in the last 24 months (12 months if the Player is 21 or under)?

iii)            What percentage of those games, in which the Player was available, has the Player played in (subject to FIFA ranking of the national team, the player must have played in between 45% - 75% depending on ranking)?

iv)            Can the above be confirmed by the national association of the Player (if not then attempt to obtain independent confirmation) and can supporting evidence be obtained?

v)             Does the prospective buying club have a current sponsorship certificate licence?

vi)            What is the proposed selling fee (full details of guaranteed and contingent payments)?

vii)           What are the Player’s salary and benefit package demands (net of tax)?

4.     Obtain a copy of the Player and Foreign Agent representation contract.

5.     Identify any third party rights in the player (full details and supporting documentation to be provided). Such rights must be extinguished prior to or as part of the transfer transaction.

6.     Identify any third party rights owner’s willingness to sell its rights and the desired transfer fee (full details and supporting documentation provided).

7.     Attempt to contract in writing with the Player and the Foreign Agent to deal with the following issues (in as clear terms as possible):

i)              The extent of the authorisation – exclusive or non-exclusive authorisation (ideally the Intermediary will want exclusive authorisation to market the Player within the jurisdiction of England, to all clubs, and for the duration of the transfer window);

ii)             A future obligation on the Player and the Foreign Agent to formally sub-contract all intermediary services in England to the Intermediary (or for the Player to formally enter into a representation contract with the Intermediary in England);

iii)            Identify clearly the desired intermediary commission / fees value and split apportionments between the Foreign Agent and the Intermediary;

iv)            Identify clearly all payment terms agreed between the parties; and

v)             Identify any and all terms relating to the post transfer representation of the Player and the future relationship between the Foreign Agent and the Intermediary.

8.     If the Intermediary is lucky enough to address all of the above issues, and broker a transfer of a foreign Player to an English club then the Intermediary must record the terms of his / her representation engagement with the Player and / or the English club and lodge it with The FA prior to engaging in Intermediary Activity. The Player and / or club and the Intermediary must also complete all the relevant declarations and documents required by The FA Regulations on Working with Intermediaries) prior to receiving payment.

Should you require any support with any of the issues discussed above then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Brabners Sports Sector Team.

Good luck! 

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Posted by Brabners

Fri 05th, Jan

It’s been on the radar for some time but today marks 3 months until the date by which private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees need to publish their gender pay gap information.

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, which came into force in April last year, require analysis and publication of the gender pay gap information based on six compulsory calculations that are aimed at exposing gender pay gaps by no later than 4 April each year. The first such report is required by 4 April 2018.

Where a gap exists (and in most organisations, it’s more than likely to, in April 2016 the ONS recorded the gender pay gap in the UK as a whole as being 18.1%) then employers should question the causes of the gender pay gap in their organisations and, it is hoped, will consider the measures they can take to narrow it.

Crucially, once employers publish their gender pay gap reports, it will also be existing employees, potential job applicants, customers, contractors, suppliers and clients that may question why there is a gap and what steps are being taken to address this.  In the government’s consultation response, the Young Women’s Trust was cited as reporting that 84% of women surveyed, aged 16 – 30, would consider an employer’s gender pay gap before applying for a job.

As at 21 December over 450 employers (including some public sector employers) have already published their information.

If you haven’t yet published the required information we can help by advising on compliance with this new regime, reviewing your draft reports, advising on tricky areas such as:

  • casual workers;
  • overseas employees;
  • pension contributions;
  • bonus payments; and
  • share options.

We can also assist you with drafting a narrative that explains any gender pay gap and details strategy for reducing it.

In some circumstances, seeking advice may also bring the benefit of legal professional privilege against information and draft reports/data that would otherwise be disclosable in legal action, such as Equal Pay claims.

Don’t delay- the clock is ticking loudly now for reports to be published for 2017 by 4 April 2018.

For further information, please contact: 

Susan McKenzie                           Lee Jefcott
Solicitor, Employment                   Partner, Employment and Pensions


Author: Susan McKenzie

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Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Fri 22nd, Dec

2017 has been monumental in our country’s political and economic history and 2018 promises to be another unpredictable period for business, albeit one with tremendous opportunity that the Chamber looks forward to supporting.

There is no doubt that the impending Brexit negotiations on trade will have fundamental implications, not just for our international traders but for those dependent upon the import of raw materials and goods. Ensuring our businesses are prepared for changes to customs practices and immigration will be integral to the Chamber’s goals in the New Year, hopefully avoiding the political noise and fanfares about the colour of a passport and focussing on the essentials of how we will trade goods and services and employ people with the right skills for the jobs we need to be done.

The return of the International Business Festival in 2018 once again gives us the opportunity to place Liverpool as a great destination to do business, whether attracting inward investment, pursuing overseas trade links or brokering trade between international partners. The festival accompanies a huge piece of work looking at how Liverpool City Region positions itself on the world stage and allocates its resources to achieve our shared global ambitions. We look forward to working with our Members to ensure businesses are positioned centrally to the development of such strategies.

We remain below the national average in skills attainment. More must be done to maximise the outstanding assets of our higher education institutes and the talent they provide, to support the development of our local economy. Similarly, our providers of apprenticeships and training have much to offer and our job is to ensure our employers have the ability to access such opportunities in a much clearer and simplified way. The voice of business is key to ensuring employer need within the work-based learning environment is clear.

Finally, the welcome progression of Northern Powerhouse investment in transport and digital must be maintained into tangible returns in 2018. The development of High Speed rail links from West to East in addition to North-South needs to accompany shorter term investments in road, rail and air transport infrastructure that prioritises access to and from the port, airport and motorway networks. We look forward to getting the views of business involved in the debate and will continue to lobby regionally and nationally to ensure our city region is not held back by an inability to move people and freight.

So there is much to look forward to. I’d like to thank all of our members and shareholders for their support through this challenging year. The Chamber’s provision of knowledge, advocacy and network services within the city region will develop substantially in 2018 and we enter the New Year confident that we can deliver the mantra of the Chamber’s founding members: that we meet and act for a common good and represent the commercial interests of Liverpool.

Have a wonderful Christmas. We look forward to being your agents, advocates, supporters and champions in 2018. 

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Following last week’s EU Council meeting

Posted by British Chambers of Commerce

Thu 21st, Dec

Dear Adam,

I am writing to update you on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU following last week’s agreement at the European Council.

Moving negotiations between the UK and the EU to a discussion about our future relationship is good news for EU citizens living and working in the UK and for all the organisations that employ them. It should also be welcomed by everyone in this country who relies on the expertise, services and support that EU citizens provide as valued members of UK society.

The Prime Minister has consistently said that protecting EU citizens’ rights - together with the rights of UK nationals living in EU countries - has been her first priority. EU citizens made a decision to live here without any expectation that the UK would leave the EU. The UK government wants them to be able to carry on living their lives as before.

We have taken a big step forward. EU citizens living lawfully here before the UK’s exit from the EU will be able to stay. The deal will respect the rights that individuals are exercising and the benefits they currently have. This will help EU citizens and organisations alike plan for the future.

The agreement will not only enable families who have built their lives in the EU and UK to stay together, it also gives certainty about healthcare, pensions and other benefits. It also includes reciprocal rules to protect existing decisions to recognise professional qualifications, for example for doctors and architects.

These commitments will be locked into a binding and reciprocal agreement with the EU. You can read the agreement here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/joint_report.pdf.

All EU citizens will need to apply to obtain status in UK law. A new, transparent, smooth and streamlined process to enable them to apply for settled status will start during the second half of 2018 and remain open for at least two years after the UK leaves the EU.

Communicating with EU citizens about the settlement scheme is a top priority for my department to ensure people are aware of what they need to do to secure their rights. Your support will also be crucial and I would encourage you to share the links above with your members. EU citizens can also sign up for regular official email updates here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/status-of-eu-nationals-in-the-uk-what-you-need-to-know.

As we move from withdrawal issues to discussing our future relationship with the EU, I shall shortly be publishing proposals for the UK’s future immigration system, and bringing forward an Immigration Bill as announced in the Queen’s Speech. I will continue to engage with the UK business community/higher education community as part of this process.

I hope this email provides reassurance to you and your members and I look forward to sharing further progress with you over the coming months. I welcome your contribution to ongoing engagement on both the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and also the development of our future immigration system.

The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP

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Posted by British Chambers of Commerce

Mon 11th, Dec

From April 2018, all rates will increase as follows

  • NLW (raised by 4.4%)  to £7.83
  • 21-24             £7.38; 
  • 18-20             £5.90;
  • 16-17             £4.20;
  • Apprentices £3.70

The NLW remains on track to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020. 

Here is The Low Pay Commission’s  Report on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) / National Living Wage. Here is the rationale for the recommendations made and the Government’s response

In our written and oral evidence to the Low Pay Commission, BCC called for a 2.7% cost of living increase so as not to drive people out of jobs and warned that firms were close to reaching a tipping point.   The LPC felt businesses still had more scope to reduce profits or increase prices. 

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Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Mon 11th, Dec

Friday's announcement of a deal to commence trade negotiations with the EU is an important step for the UK but is, in effect, merely a trigger to begin talking about the actual important things.

With a Brexit date rapidly approaching, the coming six months are critical to ensuring that clarity is provided to businesses about the post-Brexit arrangements for trade, customs, migrant workers and funding.

The dominance of Brexit within both the government and media agendas has diminished the focus upon the critical domestic issues that are impacting our businesses.

Our continuing focus is to ensure attention remains upon improving transport and digital infrastructure, skills and employability access and support and rebalancing the economy for the betterment of the North.

So let’s be relieved that the Brexit deadlock has been broken a little but let us not lose any sense of purpose in pursuing what our city region needs: better rail and road links, further improvements in digital and mobile accessibility, greater opportunities and funding to raise skill levels and resource and support to boost export trade.

It’s a long road, but we look forward to the challenge of enabling our city region to be the best place to start, locate or operate a business in the UK.

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Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Fri 01st, Dec

This week started with a red-eye train journey to Manchester for a joint meeting with the Minister for Rail, Paul Maynard, MP.

Representatives of government, rail operators and private sector businesses joined our colleagues from Greater Manchester and West and North Yorkshire Chambers to discuss the North’s priorities for rail improvements and investment.

As you would expect, the general consensus was that the North needs increased connectivity if we are to make any significant impact on improving the movement of people and freight, with Liverpool particularly set to benefit from connectivity to HS2 and, in the future, to Northern Powerhouse Rail. Maximising the port’s connectivity through improved access and boosting rail capacity for freight is integral to achieving the potential for our city region.

I was particularly encouraged by both the Minister’s familiarity with the region (he is one of that rare species of Northern MPs to hold a Ministerial portfolio) and the way in which he spoke so positively about Liverpool and the city region. It was also clear that he recognised the contributions of the three Chambers to the debate. He certainly understood the need to tackle the ‘rail-speak’ that dominates much of government rhetoric to make this crucial agenda more relevant to business.

A further meeting with the Minister will take place with British Chambers of Commerce next week where the positioning of rail connectivity within the context of the industrial strategy will be discussed and debated. We will be there to further promote the needs of Liverpool and the North so don’t hesitate to get in touch if there are any issues you want us to raise.

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Introducing The Brand Equity Wheel

Posted by Vision One Research

Wed 29th, Nov

Brand Equity is a construct  designed to reflect the real value that a brand name holds for the products or services it provides. Measuring Brand Equity is the ultimate measure of brand health because it drives sales, market share and overall profitability.

Introducing The Brand Equity Wheel

Vision One’s Brand Equity Wheel is one of the most forward thinking brand equity evaluation tools available – designed to help brand owners optimise their brand and success. The Brand Equity Wheel helps brand owners by focusing on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are widely known to have a tangible effect on brand health. The wheel is made up of 4 key areas (and 8 key metrics)

Brand Pyramid (or sometimes known as the Brand Funnel) is a classical brand marketing took ideal for evaluating brands and their strengths and weakness. The Brand Pyramid incorporates key metrics, including; awareness, consideration, usage and loyalty.

Brand Stature – Standing out from the crowd is essential for any brand. Brand Stature reflects both the strength and leadership of the brand in the market and its uniqueness using vision ones proprietary brand questions.

Brand Value – In line with current thinking on brand equity, we place a good deal of emphasis on the value (£) people attribute onto a brand. We seek to measure the financial strength of the brand and peoples disposition to pay more for it. However, another important aspect of ‘Value’ is how well the brand meets consumer needs.  We also assess how well the brand meets 25 rational and emotional needs.

Brand Delivery – Happy customers is the route to success for many brands. We assess how well the brand delivers against expectations (Customer Satisfaction) along with a Net Recommendation Score (NPS)

These fundamental four components of brand health can be further broken down into 8  factors which can be measured.
These measurements lead to an overall brand health score.

The Brand Equity tool uses some ground breaking approaches to provide unique insights into your brand.

Read more here...

 

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PrivilegeHR share their tips on how to retain chefs beyond Christmas

Posted by PrivilegeHR

Mon 27th, Nov

Recent research has highlighted a growing issue within the hospitality industry when it comes to the recruitment of chefs, with a staggering 93% of agencies reporting that there are not enough trained chefs in the UK to meet current demands.

Experienced HR Director and Founder of PrivilegeHR, Mary Ball shares her advice on how hospitality companies can source and retain quality chefs in the current climate amidst the widening gap between supply and demand.

The Christmas period can be a particularly stressful time for hospitality recruiters with restaurants taking more covers in December than any month in the year. With this soaring consumer demand, recruitment drives are in full swing but can this enthusiasm last into the New Year? There are a number of things that employers can do to ensure that they hire and more importantly, retain chefs beyond the busy Yuletide spell.

A common issue that continually plagues the hospitality sector is the lack of adequate training available for staff, particularly with chefs, a job that is incredibly skilled and detailed in nature. The Christmas season is notoriously busy when it comes to recruitment and companies often welcome in a large number of new staff, meaning that training time and quality can be compromised. It is absolutely essential that every member of staff receives adequate training and if this is offered as part of the advertised job package it will make the position more desirable from the offset, attracting employees who are keen to develop and progress.

Training should not just be offered at the start of a new contract but should be continuous as part of staff development. Learning opportunities make staff feel valued, demonstrating that an employee is willing to invest time and money into them which in turn makes staff more company loyal and more skilled at their job; a win-win situation for both parties. Employers could consider taking on young and ambitious staff who may not have years of experience but have the drive to learn and commit to your business. As an employer, if you invest into someone’s career then they are more likely to repay you with dedication.

Staff gratification plays a huge role when it comes to retention with many employees leaving a job after feeling undervalued or unmotivated and with so many staff on the books One way to achieve this is by offering staff bonuses based on performance or by offering a desirable contract which is attractive and competitive. Investing in your employees could save money in the long run as it means less time and money put in to re-recruiting.

Encourage employees to have a voice within the workplace and you could see significant improvement in overall work ethic and atmosphere in the kitchen, particularly when to chefs who are the very heart of your business. Albeit reputation and customer service will attract diners in to an establishment, the chef’s menu plays a crucial role so encourage creativity. Their input could help to shape a business and it is always healthy to get a varied perspective on services. Businesses hire chefs based on their expertise and experience so allowing them to draw on this and not only could your business thrive, but the employee will feel valued. Trust your staff to input their ideas and be vocal about their issues and this makes for an effective work place.

Finally, take the time to develop your staff beyond the job remit to help them to achieve their maximum potential in the workplace. Many employees place focus on the core functions of the job and for chefs this is predominantly being able to produce quality dishes however, the importance of interpersonal skills is paramount. If a chef can communicate effectively with a wider team of waiting staff and fellow chefs then this makes for an all-round more efficient workplace. Training skills such as these and basic administration produce well-rounded employees that can really make a positive impact on business and are more likely to develop to take on the role of training new staff as more come through the door.

For more information visit www.privilegehr.co.uk

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