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What you need to know about Flexible Working

Flexible working

Every month we are delighted to feature a guest blog and this month Amanda Longden from The-HR-Company.co.uk writes about ‘Flexible Working’

As the traditional working hours between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm working are becoming more outdated, Flexible Working is a way of working that suits many employees’ and employers’ needs.  For example, having flexible starting and finishing times, part-time working, job share, or working from home. However flexible working rules and guidelines are different in Northern Ireland.

Technology allows more and more employees to work from home, thereby reducing commuting times, and improving efficiency.  The knock-on effect for the employer may also be seen in a reduction in the cost of office space.  Flexible working is increasingly seen as an important non-financial benefit, which can help with employee engagement, retention and productivity. Employers are also using ‘flexible working’ as a tool for recruitment and it’s proving to be an attractive proposition for enlisting and engaging new staff.

But flexible working isn’t just for those juggling work and family lives.  For the more mature workforce, people are working longer and individuals don’t always want to just bring their working life to an abrupt halt. They can phase themselves into retirement working reduced hours and continuing in the same role. Flexible working also enables individuals to stay healthier longer and so they can keep working. Financial rewards at pensionable age is a bonus and an organisation can continue to keep the loyal employee who has built up a knowledge base and an abundance of valuable experience working for the same organisation for many years.

Every employee has the right to request to work flexibly after 26 weeks of employment.  Employers must deal with such requests as soon as possible and in a ‘reasonable manner’. This includes

  • carefully considering the request, assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application
  • approving the request or holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee, allowing them to be accompanied
  • notifying the employee of your decision
  • offering an appeal process if the request is rejected

Acas.co.uk have produced a download for handling requests in a reasonable manner View here.  Download ‘Acas code of practice for handling requests in a reasonable manner’ (PDF, 175KB)

If an employer doesn’t handle a request in a reasonable manner, the employee can take them to an employment tribunal.

An employer can refuse an application if they have a good business reason for doing so, which must be on one of the permitted grounds.

At The HR Company, we will make sure that you have compliant policies and procedures, and keep your business up-to-date with current legislation and provide you with appropriate advice and support when you need it. For further information email amanda@the-hr-company.co.uk and view our website www.the-hr-company.co.uk



Q Cleaning Ltd – Christmas Offer


Every month we feature a guest blog from a BEC member. This month we are delighted to feature Q Cleaning Ltd and their Xmas Offer.

With over 15  years solid experience Q Cleaning behind us we can positively claim to be one of the regions most popular and effective contract cleaning services. A claim supported by the fact that most of our current clients have been with us for many years. Q Cleaning is owned and managed by an experienced cleaning professional who has assembled a strong team of reliable and diligent staff over the years who constantly uphold the company’s unrivaled reputation for exceptional service, terrific results, and notable value. Our experience covers every aspect of contract cleaning including many high-quality services ranging from weekly to ‘one-off cleans.

Q Cleaning Ltd Christmas Vouchers

Christmas is on the horizon and we’re reaching the dilemma again as to what to buy for our family and friends. Yes, we have all thought of vouchers and there are many to choose from as we approach the final run up to the festive season. This year we are offering a range of Q Cleaning Christmas Vouchers from one off cleans, to upholstery cleaning, carpet cleaning and full house cleans. The vouchers vary in price and would make a fab gift for a loved one or family and friends. Just imagine when we come to the Spring months and your house and carpets are in vital need of a ‘Spring clean’ they can use their voucher to request one of the fabulous cleans Q cleaning offers.

Contact us via our email hello@qcleaning-franchise.net or alternatively call us on 0800 294 9775 and we will send your vouchers to you.

Q Cleaning Franchises

If you are interested in Franchise Opportunities, Q Cleaning Ltd are also recruiting across the UK. If you would like to understand more about the franchise opportunity please contact us via our website at www. qcleaning-franchise.net.  Once we have received your details we will forward to you a franchise prospectus to your email address for further review.


Property Specialists will add significant value to any project



Every month we feature a guest blog from our BEC members. This month we are delighted to feature Debra Long, of the Property Mentor.

It is essential to source planning consultants, architects, and other experienced property specialists when undertaking a development, expansion or improvement project of any proportions as their input and experience are paramount to the success of your project. To identify those property specialists who will add significant value to any project, a well thought out approach is often necessary.

Online Property Portals

One of the finest resources to help you identify a planning consultant, architect or property professional for your project are the online property portals in your region.

To locate a geographically-specific online property portals, all you need to do is to use a search engine i.e Google, ‘Planning Portal’ trailed by the area, and county you live in. Once logged on, you’ll be able to observe historical planning application data for the category and type of project that you wish to embark on.

You can easily search for previous individual applications with a location address or reference number for the type of work that you wish to start on. Typing in a description of your planned project will allow you to discover a broad range of applications. This can also prove to be useful for finding local planning applications for specific projects, for example, Flat conversions.

Successful Planning Applications

Having the right team of professionals to hand to lend their expertise on the Project will lead to Project success. If this is the case, you’ll only need to search for successful applications. These applications will provide you with the  assurance of the skills and expertise of architects, planning consultants and property professionals who have provided adeptness to different projects.

Property Specialists Contact Information

You’ll also be able to view personal contact information within the property portal alongside an individual successful planning application. Listed here will also be every Property Specialist who has historically tended their expertise to different and diverse developments.

Documentation in the property portal can also be reviewed to identify various Property Specialists. Here, you’ll discover countless details about other Property Professionals who have been directly involved with projects, alongside a variety of written reports that each one has assembled.

Property Specialists of Different Disciplines

Property portals provide the ideal resource to find architects, planning consultants, property professionals of all disciplines who have demonstrated their prowess by successfully writing reports on any projects like those that you’re about to embark on. If you require the expertise of a range of different property professionals with significant experience of similar successful applications in your area, property portals provide the ideal resource.

If you are in need of an architect, then come along to the next TPM Wigan – Worsley property meeting which will be held on Wednesday 28th November at The Holiday Inn Express, Leigh Sports Village, Sale Way, Leigh, WN7 4JY

Manchester Architect Grant Erskine will be speaking about HMO’s, conversions and setting us a “beat the architect ” challenge alongside TPM expert service providers  Mathew Forshaw from Finton Doyle, Darren Simpson from Amathus FS, Andrew Williamson from HT Legal and Sharon Machon from Foxdog Properties.  Book at the link below and if it’s your first meeting use the promotional code Debra when booking on.


New leave allowance for bereaved parents

Every month we feature a blog post from one of the BEC members. This month we are delighted to feature a guest blog from Amanda Longden, MD of the-hr-company.co.uk

The Parental Bereavement (leave and pay) Act 2018 introduced by Kevin Hollinrake MP and supported by the Government, will be implemented and take effect in April 2020. https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-19/parentalbereavementleaveandpay.html

The Act provides for a minimum of  2 weeks’ leave for employees following the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. This means that any employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to paid leave at the statutory rate and other employees will be entitled to unpaid leave. The Bill goes substantially further than most other countries in providing this kind of workplace environment right for workers.

In alignment with the implementation of the Act, the government is also going to consult on the mandatory publishing of parental leave opportunities and suggestions that organisations with 250 employees or more should be required to publish their parental leave and pay policies online.

Employees who have suffered the death of a child will benefit from significant new paid leave allowances:

  • New laws will give employed parents two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under 18
  • Businesses will be able to claim back parental bereavement pay from the Government

While the Government expects employers to be sympathetic and flexible at such a testing time, there is currently no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents. Under the proposed new laws, for the first time employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18 will have the right to 2 weeks’ paid leave to allow them personal time to grieve.

The Bill will also allow parents to feel properly supported by their employer when they go through the deeply distressing ordeal of losing a child. Losing a child is one of the most devastating experiences that a parent can go through and it is vitally important that they are supported by their employer and not made to return to work before they are ready.

The-HR-Company.co.uk can support businesses with the operational and administrative HR support they need, whilst ensuring they remain compliant with employment legislation. We will make sure that your business has compliant policies and procedures, and we will ensure to keep your business up-to-date with current legislation and to provide the employer with appropriate advice and support when it is needed.

If you wish to find out more about the services the-hr-company.co.uk can offer – please visit our website or contact Amanda@the-hr-company.co.uk for further information.



The Benefits of Buying a Q Cleaning Franchise


Q Cleaning franchise

Every month we are delighted to feature a BEC guest blog. This month Danny Tyson of Q Cleaning Franchise tells us about the benefits of buying a Q Cleaning Franchise.

Buying a Q Cleaning Franchise can be a practicable solution and a viable alternative to starting your own business. Listed below are some advantages of purchasing a franchise with Q Cleaning Ltd.

Although a franchise based business may be slightly more costly than other local businesses the support and training a franchisee achieves instantly outweighs the additional cost. All the legwork has been proven and the customer satisfaction and peace of mind ensure the business is off to an excellent start. Evidence suggests that many franchises have a higher rate of success than many start-up businesses.

A Q Cleaning franchise offers the independence of a small business ownership supported by the benefits of an exemplary established long-standing business.

Although you may require business experience to run a franchise, with Q Cleaning Franchise we will provide the training and support you require to operate your business model.

At Q Cleaning Franchise you will be able to obtain support to secure finance for the franchise. You may discover it costs less to buy the franchise than start your own business of the same type. Q Cleaning franchises start at £9,995 including  VAT. The turnover in the first year can succeed over £40,000

Buying a Franchise from Q Cleaning Franchise you’ll find that you will have peace of mind knowing that you are buying from a company with longevity that has an established reputation and image, proven processes and work practices, access to marketing utilising the full marketing mix and ongoing support. We will also work with you to find out what is best for your geographical area.

If you would like to know more and are interested in purchasing a franchise from Q Cleaning franchise please contact us at hello@qcleaning-franchise.net or telephone 0800 294 9775. View www.qcleaningfranchise.net to register for a prospectus.


Create your Identity with Zipp, Design and Print

Every month we feature a BEC Member as a guest blogger. This month we are delighted to feature Zipp Design and Print Services based in Hyde.

Zipp is an established design and print company with many services to offer, from designing and printing logos, leaflets and t-shirts we also offer vehicle design and wrapping service. Design and print is taken very seriously as it is our passion and well, we just love to design!

The in-house team is full of experienced members ready to take on any design or print challenge given. Having an internal team ensures our customers that we are experts in many departments,  setting us aside from a number of other design and print companies.

Printing companies have a huge responsibility as brand identity is key to our success as well as the clients. When clients approach us in regard to designing artwork we consider the clients brand identity from start to end, providing them with the best design and marketing materials they will need in order to promote and advertise the company, product or service.

At Zipp Design and Print, we want to give small and large business owners access to the same high quality, custom printed products larger companies with bigger budgets have access too. Our team has access to state of the art technology that delivers professional quality printing, in small and large quantities, at affordable prices.

We have massively expanded our products and service range and have advanced our technology. Our offices and factory are located in the town centre of Hyde, Cheshire, and we are committed to helping promote your business, product or service with the best and we are confident you will be 100% satisfied with our products, design, and quality.


Zipp Design demonstrates our support by sponsoring charities and events. We are proud sponsors of the Manchester Giants basketball team. Other charities we have supported include Prostate Cancer UK, Reuben’s Retreat, The Christie and many more.

Check out our LinkedIn account @ Zipp Design and Print for more updates on the sponsorship work and updates on what the team has been up too!

Be sure to follow us on  Facebook @zippdesignprint, Twitter @zippdesignprint, Instagram @zippdesignprint

Website www.zippdesign.co.uk  For any enquires please contact Zipp Design and Print at sales@zippdesign.co.uk

Post Business Exit & Acquisition Success story


We often hear following the exit of a business owner failure stories of how a process went wrong.   This is not always the case because of the sensitivity of an acquisition, therefore, success stories are not written about.  Importantly, there is always a consideration for the changes that are underway and confidentiality. BEC Co-Director Kathryn Orange has written a blog on a success story focusing on Exit and Acquisition. Kathryn works with SME leaders and Investors that are looking for business improvements/growth and/or have acquired businesses.

The success story we wish to share was driven by looking at the organisations future goals and checking that the existing team structure was aligned for delivery of goals.


There was early recognition that a senior management team could not be created from the level 2 managers (an interim team was in-place to manage the transition).  The medium to long-term strategy was to create this new leadership team within an agreed budget.  A daunting task as the budget was to promote from within and not recruit externally (delaying plans and increasing costs).

So, what happened and why was it a success in the end?

We simply spoke to everyone confidentially, shared the vision, strategy, and plan whilst understanding their personal position (i.e. time to retirement, career aspirations etc).  Taking time out to listen and understand.  By doing this we identified that a number of the team members wished to retire/other and were comfortable to support the new plans and suggested great ideas.  By doing this we were able to upskill some of the management teams, extended the interim (where needed) and recruit a leader (to drive the new way forwards) and all within budget.

Success!  Yes, post Exit and Acquisition – it can be done.

In this success story add another 4 checks into the ‘Action Plan’
  1. Communicate early the short, medium plans and ask the teams by each level what they would like to see change (anonymously) – understand why?
  2. Consider the structure and capabilities of the team to see if anyone is ready to take the next level promotion (they know how the business works)
  3. Set new parameters of control (approval levels, who to go to etc)
  4. Create a challenges and opportunities list and prioritise it – there may be some quick wins.

BEC meets every month at Denton Golf Club, If you would like to join us for our next BEC business lunch book bexc.co.uk


Landing Your Dream Job


Every month we are proud to feature a guest blog from a BEC member. This month we are proud to feature Bennet Staff Bureau, based in Hyde

“Cocktail Taster required for Barbados Beach.  Free accommodation and ££££’s excellent!”

So, you’ve seen your dream job advertised, and you know that now is the time to make that change.  You also know that a role like this is going to attract a hoard of CV’s describing candidates who (possibly) have more cocktail tasting experience than you, (highly unlikely though ….)

How do you make certain that your CV shines like the Bajan sun and clouds out all the rest?

First and foremost – spell and grammar check!  This is imperative!! Even though your dream job may be hundreds of sun loungers away from a computer, you need to prove to your prospective employer that you care enough about his job to get your CV punctuation-perfect!!

Layout.  This sun-loving/cocktail shaking Adonis is going to be wading through loads of CVs, and reading paragraphs can be tedious (especially with the sun beating down on your flip-flops).  So

  • Bullet point duties you have undertaken!  Much more digestible to read.

Make sure to include any training you have done (that “course” you did on Benidorm beach).

But – keep it truthful!  Telling porkies only brings trouble sooner or later!

Try and keep your masterpiece to 2 pages long.

Finish with your interests and hobbies. You may share similar interests with your reader, like sipping Strawberry Daiquiri’s on a white, sandy beach watching the sun go down!

Good luck!!

For further information about job vacancies contact

Jo Needham FIRP, Commercial Team Leader, 0161 368 5511, jo.needham@bennettstaff.co.uk


It’s not just about Cleaning …


Q Cleaning


Every month we feature a blog from a BEC member. This month we are delighted to feature a blog from Q Cleaning.

How did Q Cleaning start? Over the years we have grown and assembled a robust team of reliable and diligent staff. Our experience covers every aspect of commercial contract cleaning and a variety of specialist areas. These  services include:

Communal Areas

It’s a well-known fact that office communal areas are often the most neglected. However, when you enter the office building it is the place where new and first impressions begin. Looking around you observe the surroundings and notice if various areas are dirty or untidy. Usually, you start at the floor and the eye works its way up. If an area is unkempt first impressions are rarely favourable. Over the years Q Cleaning has worked with many, public and private organisations to ensure that all the building’s communal areas, including the entranceway, corridors, lifts, and staircases receive the exemplary cleaning regime alongside the rest of the premises receiving adequate care and attention.

Did you know that over many years Q Cleaning has acquired a special expertise that enables us to provide the most diligent cleaning services at remarkably competitive costs?  Whether it is for public or private housing, commercial, industrial, health, education, leisure or public venues we are always happy to advise and discuss methods, schedules, and costs wherever it suits.

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

Our specialties lie in carpet and upholstery cleaning and we are often contracted by leading organisations. The venues include hotels, pubs, schools, retail establishments, hospitals, and theatres, alongside many of the large commercial businesses ranging from prestige offices to high-end showrooms.

By using modern treatment technology we can expertly deep clean carpets and upholstery, including the removal of spills and stains, efficiently and quickly to ensure that all rooms and offices are available for use as quickly as possible.

Our carpet or upholstery cleaning contracts are never the same. Bearing this in mind we always prefer to come along and inspect the location before we recommend the best cleaning method and equipment from our diverse range of options available.

Franchising Opportunities with Q Cleaning

We currently have franchising opportunities available with Q Cleaning offering an earning potential of over £60,000 in year 3. For more information view http://www.qcleaning-franchise.net

BEC Big Breakfast Early Bird Networking Event


BEC breakfast event

BEC Board are proud to announce the launch of THE BIG BREAKFAST NETWORKING event starting  Wednesday 25th April 2018 7.00am -9.00am
With the initial successful launch of BECs business networking lunches in 2016, the Board have been reviewing and evaluating the next step in developing the business networking sector of the BEC.

BEC Directors truly believe by introducing two fortnightly networking events per month, gives more choice and flexibility to widen the field of business opportunity for any entrepreneurial business owners.
With this additional benefit for members to passport between the two networking events for both lunch and breakfast gives greater exposure to their business and meeting likeminded people who want to do business.
Membership entitles you to take the opportunity to join BECs pre-lunch seminars as a panellist and share expertise in your business. Presenting your business knowledge to a wider audience of none members and members invited guests,  has proven to be a great success.

It’s BECs firm belief that in this changing world of work

we must encourage people’s entrepreneurial spirit to grow and inspire each other’s.
Our aim is to attract all types of businesses in bringing them together from new Start-ups Part-time Career Blenders, Self-employed, SMEs,  Insurance Brokers, Accountants, Book keepers Printers, Web designers, Stationery suppliers Garage Owners, Car sales  Will writers, Solicitors, Retailers. Estate Agents, Trades People, Electricians, Gas engineers, Carpenters, Plumbers, Locksmiths  Architects, Building companies, Letting agents, Florists, Human Resources, Health & Safety, Business Coaching have an exclusive place around the BEC table.

Widening your circle of contacts referring business by recommendation of people you “Know Like and Trust” as proven to be the best cost-effective way to do business and support each other by extending your sales team.
Take the initiative and book on to BECs  BIG BREAKFAST NETWORKING EVENT  via www.bexc.co.uk  Eventbrite. Meet the team for BECs official launch WEDNESDAY 25TH APRIL 7.00-9.00am venue Denton Golf Club M34 2GG.
Business networking Full English Breakfast and free car parking.  BEC looks forward to promoting you and supporting your business through our Excellence Through Experience professional support,