As 2010 draws to a close and we reflect on the economic climate, few things have really progressed from 2009 for small and medium sized businesses. Times are still tough, costs have to be minimised and maintaining or increasing profit margins still proves challenging.
This climate, coupled with the continued difficulty experienced by SME's in obtaining funding from traditional sources, means that other methods of raising funds have to be found. This has become increasingly common place in the field of mergers and acquisitions where there has been an increase in vendor finance, this is to say the vendor acting as a source of finance for the purchaser. Here at Marsden Rawsthorn we have observed this trend, particularly over the last six months, in a number of deals in which we have been involved.
The office Christmas party is a time to join in festive merriment with colleagues and to look forward to a relaxing break from work for those who enjoy time off over the Christmas period.
For some however, it is a time to drink excessively, lose all inhibitions, and spend the festive period regretting their embarrassing antics at the office Christmas party comforted only by the false hope that all will have been forgotten by new year.
Apparent divisions within the coalition government regarding employment law has been revealed through a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). The survey revealed that 87% of Conservative MPS surveyed believed legislation in employment law had shifted too far in favour of the employee, whereas 71% of Liberal Democrat MPS surveyed felt the opposite was true. BCC has voiced concerns over these differences, highlighting the importance of a stable government in aiding the UK 's economic recovery.
It has been reported that the Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust is introducing a new sickness absence policy as part of its drive to save £120 million over the next four years. The Policy was envisaged to come into effect on 1 October 2010. Under the terms of the new policy, hospital staff in Manchester who take more than 18 sick days, and/or take four separate periods of absence, will not be eligible for annual pay rises. According to a spokesperson for the Trust, the system will be discretionary and will not be applicable to staff with disabilities or long-term illness. Unite plan to take legal action on behalf of affected staff, arguing that the new policy will be in breach of their contracts.
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