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Category Archives for Member’s Blog

Balancing the Bump – Baby comes first, boss comes last?

Allie: Nurseries and friends are not always keen to have a sick child.
Get to understand the company policy and attitude to family-friendly working and time off should your child be unwell. Good communication and contingency plans are vital. Team work can also play a vital part if you have a hands-on job such as nursing or retail, where covering shifts for each other can be part of the solution.

Annabel: From a boss’s point of view, this can be a very frustrating time. One the one hand we all know how difficult it can be when someone at home, particularly a child, is ill. On the other hand, the boss has deadlines and workloads to balance, and needs to have some idea what is happening. There are a lot of imaginary ‘rights’ and imagined ‘no go’ areas.

Allie: A mother’s instinct is to be with her child. “My child comes first” is something all mothers think. However it is easy to confuse the child’s needs with your own, and end up deciding that you must be with your child at all times.

Annabel: One of the things that mystify me is that women who were keen to have equality and did not want to be discriminated against as mothers or potential mothers often respond to their child’s minor illnesses by saying “I must be there because I am a mother”. If you have a partner, your boss is going to want some understanding of why you are in the front line and not them. They have an equal right to time off for dependants leave, etc.

Allie: The type of jobs both parents have is a consideration. It may be that one parent has more work flexibility than the other so that person will take the ‘hit’.

Annabel: The legal situation is a long way from what most parents imagine are their ‘rights’. Employees are entitled to apply for unpaid dependants leave if they need to:
(a) provide assistance on an occasion when a dependant falls ill….
(b) make arrangements for the provision of care for a dependant who is ill…
(c) To deal with an incident involving their child at school

Allie: So what does providing assistance actually mean and how much time off can a parent take?

Annabel: The idea of dependants leave is that it is short term unpaid emergency leave. It is not designed to enable a parent to stay home and care for a sick child, so much as to arrange for the care. Not more than a couple of days are normally allowable

Allie: Not everyone can afford to take unpaid time off. The parent who earns the least is likely to be the person who takes the most unpaid dependants’ leave. Many women do take time off to take care of their children, saying that they themselves are sick. But this puts her in the position of lying in order to claim sick pay – which is a sacking offence for most employers.

Annabel: Most employers struggle with covering sick leave as well as dependants’ leave. Very few organisations have enough staff to cope well when a few are absent. Depending on what your job is, you may want to talk to your boss about temporarily changing your hours of work (so you and a partner can share looking after a sick child), working from home (but be clear about when you are working and when you are looking after your child), making up the hours later (a form of flexi time), or even using some of your annual leave.

Do you have a query that you’d like Allie or Annabel to answer? Follow this link and post your question for them – http://balancingthebump.com/contact/
Posted by on 18/11/2011 10:38:22

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Balancing the Bump – Successful Juggling

Annabel: One of the most difficult things about being a working parent is juggling your commitments. For some people this turns into a nightmare combination of deadlines and stress that puts their health and jobs at risk. But unreliable staff makes things very difficult for a boss. However sympathetic your employer may be, the business has a job that needs to be done.

Allie: If we are going to have achievable goals and reduce stress, we need to learn good time management skills and to make realistic commitments.

Annabel: In a lot of organisations the men and women who climb the corporate ladder are working really long hours and are available to their company 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Many new parents are at a time in their lives when they simply do not want to do this. Some take the opportunity to move into jobs that are less consuming, so that they can have better work-life balance.

Allie: When you reduce your hours, you need to agree with your boss (in writing) what your new role and responsibilities will be. Play your part in ensuring that your boss has realistic expectations of what can be achieved in your reduced timetable, and don’t over-commit in the job description.

Annabel: Statistics show that women do well at equal opportunity until the children come along, and then they fall behind. It may be that motherhood, rather than gender is what makes the difference. There is an enormous difference between what the most family friendly organisation can do, and the worst. Check out http://www.topemployersforworkingfamilies.org.uk and look at last year’s winners and this year’s shortlist.

Allie: Working parents often feel excluded from opportunities for promotion or high visibility projects because they are not in the pub or round the coffee machine when people are talking about what might happen. You need a strategy to overcome this. Allocate some work socialising in your time management plan. And make sure, in your appraisals, that your manager knows you have not given up on getting ahead.

Annabel: There is no specific protection for working parents. Whilst the Equality Act and its predecessors provide protection for women where a requirement such as full time working is something they are less likely to be able to comply with, or part time workers (regardless of gender), there is no overall right to prioritise your family and hold down a high powered job. For many parents, the arrival of children is a time when they have to work out how to maximise their income and yet provide for children. Usually, the highest earner continues and the lower seeks flexible working or alternatives. Women still earn on average 80% of what men earn, so often it is the woman whose career suffers. For some women this is a great opportunity to spend time with their children and enjoy family life, but for others this can be a difficult sacrifice to make.

Do you have a query that you’d like Allie or Annabel to answer? Follow this link and post your question for them – http://balancingthebump.com/contact/
Posted by on 18/11/2011 10:37:18

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My November challenge – From Concept to Product Launch in 30 Days – Day 1

Each day from now (10th November 2011) Until 10th December 2011, I will post an additional blog of my activities in putting together, creating the product and marketing an online product launch.

I’m going to be honest and frank and report my successes, my temporary challenges, my learnings, my growth, my frustrations and exhilaration as I build and launch a product.
The Concept

The idea is to launch an online product, related to NLP/success, which will sell for around £67. Right now I have not defined or outlined the product. This is a fresh, blank canvass idea.

Why am I doing this and sharing it with you?

I am making this very public as following through to completion on a product has become one of my personal challenges. I absolutely know there are some limiting beliefs and values conflicts which get me close to completing something and then I go into sabotage mode and manifest some very creative stuff for not completing.

I am so aware that this has manifestd big time since my partner’s death and ‘I think I should’ have worked out what my unconscious clearly wants me to see by now.

Though I have done some work, I acknowldge that I haven’t quite cleared it as I have recognised the seeds of self sabotage sprouting in the last couple of days when some amazing opportunitis have arisen.

From a self-coaching and clearing perspective I’m working on this daily for the next 30 days too.
I’m Very Tired of Being Here

Have you ever had that feeling?

This issue has really bottomed out for me now and I really want to move forward and let it go.

I have trained for two years to put this in to practice. I have all of the skills, knowledge and technical know how. The only thing that has stopped me is me.

Completing this exercise will be life changing for me in many ways, so I hope you’ll join me and support me on this journey.

So where do I begin? – with the end in mind

The Goal

It is the 10th December 2011 and I am looking at the stats results for my NLP caffeine product launch. From a zero starting point 30 days ago I have sold ten plus units of an online product that I have created, marketed and sold online. I have utilised direct response marketing, social media, blog, video promotion, and affiliate marketing in my online marketing strategy and I have measurable feedback from each step in my campaign as well as a blue print for future campaigns. I am so thrilled with myself and excited about the next part of the campaign.

First Steps

So what are the first few things that I should do?

Decide and define my niche and audience
Clearly identify their issues, problems and what they are looking for, what do they want?
Decide how my NLP related solution could resolve those issues, offer value beyond expectations – what do they get?
Decide what bonus products I can and want to offer.
What Guarantee will I offer
Price points
Plan out the product away from the computer – I already have a product planning Blue print and marketing blue print. It includes some basic stuff such as
Type of product
Prices
Flow of delivery
Automation
One-to-one involvement
The story
High level launch plan – decide strategy
Decide key dates and milestones
Lower level funnel and detail plan

By When?

My aim is to have identified niche/audience, their problem and solution (product idea) by the end of tomorrow and to report that in my new blog.
Your Personal Invitation

If you would like to join me on my daily journey please email me at heather@heatherbond.me and I will send you the link to the blog.
Or you can request to join this group on Facebook
30 Day Product Launch Challenge

And yes that does mean I’ll be hosting 2 blogs for the next 30 days – aren’t you lucky to have free access to such valuable content (I really have and am trainng with the best) 🙂

I look forward to meeting you at the new blog site or group page. Wish me luck!

Posted by on 11/11/2011 08:36:09

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My Book Launch Success

Just wanted to say thank you to those who attended my Book Launch BIRTH MADE EASY and especially to Jackie Groundsell and Clare Parker. It was so lovely to see you there and to have you supporting me!

Waterstones, Croydon sold 37 books on the day and so they are going to keep 5 copies in store. I am thrilled.

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It’s the economy stupid!

I have looked with surprise at the debate around changing the unfair dismissal qualification period from one year to two. Is the unfair dismissal qualifying period really what drives small businesses away from employing people?

Fear of employment law (which is used by many to sell employment law insurance) does not seem to tie in with what employment law actually says. And, as for the change to a 2 year qualifying period, it seems that only about 1% of existing claims would have been affected by this change – not a big difference to employers – click here http://tinyurl.com/statistic-ud.

But employees who have struggled into new or first time employment would have a two year wait for a full set of employment rights – a very big difference for them.

So, is the “employment law problem” really driving unemployment? I had a look through our current and recent files.

• Under one year’s service: only a small number of issues – and these are mostly related to discrimination claims (which are not affected by the changes)
• Individuals with more than two years’ service – 95% of our case load!

So, what is holding small businesses back from recruitment? Could it be the real issue is … money? Let’s have a look at how employment affects cashflow.

Our example client gets some new business worth £120,000 per year revenue – result – champagne all round. But our client is selling at narrow margins in order to compete in the recession, so their gross profit is just 20% – or £24,000 for the year.

In order to ensure continuity of supply, our client has to pay their own suppliers on time. And in order to support the new account, they need to take on a part-time worker as there is no slack in the existing workforce. Brilliant – a person off the dole queue. Let’s say that costs them £6,000 per year (including NI, to keep the example simple), and that they are not going to have other costs supporting this business – they can use their existing premises and overhead. So they should make £18,000 trading profit on their extra turnover of £120,000 – a 15% return before fixed overheads which is not great but not bad, except …

Let’s assume their orders from the new client are evenly spaced across the year. Let’s also assume that the big customer does not pay for 90 days (ask any small business about doing business with a big one!). Because our client has to pay their supplier on delivery and their worker at the month end, by the time they get paid their £10k for the month 1 shipment (in month 4), they’ve paid their supplier for four month’s shipments (4 x £8k = £32k) and the costs of 4 months of the new employee (£2k).

So, although their accountant tells them that in the 4 months they’ve made a profit of £6k on this account, in cash terms they are £24k worse off (£34k total paid out to supplier and part-timer, £10k in from customer).

Now, we all know the banks aren’t lending, so how do you handle it? They can’t not pay their supplier, or they have nothing to sell to their customer. So, at the very least, you can’t take on more staff since you have no way of paying them.

Of course, if the wonderful new customer would pay on time – in the same month that the goods were sold – the whole situation is transformed. Now our small business can pay their supplier, pay their staff and have money in the bank at the end of the month.

Fear of employment law is real, but what is far more real is fear of not being able to pay the staff you take on; fear of not being able to get finance or credit. Of course, my example is a very simple model, and our imaginary client is not trying to pay rent, rates, utilities and other staff, nor does it have a bad debt problem from other clients. But the example supports a clear and simple point.

It’s not employment law that is the barrier to businesses taking on staff. We need to find a way to ensure businesses can finance their trade swiftly and effectively and have enough confidence to take on staff believing they can pay them.

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy.
Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060 Website: www.irenicon.co.uk
You can follow Annabel on Twitter – http://twitter.com/AnnabelKaye

Posted by on 14/10/2011 16:29:26

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Modelling Excellence – Interview with Dr David Shephard

This week I had the amazing opportunity of interviewing David Shephard of The Performance Partnership about how you model success in others so that you can create it for yourself.

He gives frank and open answers and I feel it’s definitely worth a watch, and I know I’m biased.

Why not check it out at Interview with David Shephard

If you’re interested in NLP you can check out my web site at www.excellenceaddicts.com
Or give me a call on 020 8133 8161 for a chat

 

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Agency workers – alarms and excursions

 

With the Agency Worker Regulations (coming into force on 1st October 2011), 40 pages of Regulations have 50 pages of guidance to explain them! Even so, people can still get confused, and become convinced that they have to do things that are not required.

 

The long-term carer, supplied by an agency to my mother, to help look after my father has been advised by his manager that the Agency Worker Regulations means that he must swop assignments every 12 weeks.

 

Of course, the Regulations say nothing of the sort. And the agency’s concern, that there would be some problems if the carer was on long term assignment, is a huge misreading of the Regulations as my mother has no other employees, let alone ‘comparators’, whose terms of employment might influence what the carer’s terms should be

 

So, after a phone call to the agency, the situation is now sorted out – and my father will not be faced by unnecessary rotation of his carer. But this is not an isolated case, and through my father’s carer I am aware of other agencies who are also misreading the Regulations.

 

I am also hearing rumours that temps must be taken on as permanent employees after 12 weeks (not so). Many clients think they can simply swop the agency the temp works for and keep the same temp (some kind of ‘ring’). This is also not true as there are anti avoidance provisions.

 

Before you listen to rumour or read the endless regulations and guidance, you might appreciate our free short guide to the regulations – get your copy here www.koffeeklatch.co.uk.
Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy.
Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060 Website: www.irenicon.co.uk
You can follow Annabel on Twitter – http://twitter.com/AnnabelKaye
Posted by on 20/09/2011 10:32:02

 

 


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Mixing!

What do you get when you mix together a Stylist, a Consultant in winning tenders, a LinkedIn Consultant, a hair and make-up boutique MD, a practitioner & consultant in personal safety, an expert librarian, a safety software developer, a VA, excellent food, inspiring speaker, great venue?

Take a pinch of entrepreneurship….

A successful 1230 TWC Cornhill business meeting!

Today was the launch of 1230 TWC Cornhill and the first challenge was to find, the so discrete members only, Eight Club Bank venue! But find it they did and were so able to benefit from the many cross synergies and connections at the meeting.

Additionally, Guest Speaker Sev Necati impressed upon us the importance of personal safety awareness and shared some useful tips. We look forward to Sev joining us at other 1230 TWC meeting locations.

I look forward to seeing everyone again on Wednesday 5 October, if not before. And as a new group we are happy to hold the 1230 TWC Bring a Girlfriend offer open.

See you soon

Posted by on 08/09/2011 01:37:26

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Pleeeeze!!! Not Another 90 Day Challenge!! Posted on September 3, 2011

Yep! I accepted a 90 blogging challenge!
Write a blog and post it every day for 90 days.

90 Day Blogging Challenge!

So why would I accept the challenge?

Well getting into the habit of blogging has been on my ‘To Do’ list for almost two years!! Shocking really, isn’t it?
So this is my invitation and opportunity to do something about it.

(Check out the full blog at http://www.heatherbond.me)

What have you been promising to do and putting off? Is it time?

What have you been putting off?

I understand the value of blogging and what’s more, writing has always been a passion of mine. But because I liked it I didn’t give myself permission to do it. After all I’d just be wasting my time and for what purpose?

So What’s My Purpose and Intention For This Blog?

So there is a purpose to my blogging now and I’ve chosen to share some of Skills, tools, lessons and stories I’ve gathered in my life so that you can create more freedom, exquisite happiness, love and absolute calm in yours. And hopefully, help you avoid some of the enormous challenges that I seem to have chosen for myself.

I’ll share warts and all, the highs and the lows, the successes and the outright failures.In full Technicolor, with my heart thrown in.

My heart thrown in!

So Why Should You Care?

You’ll get practical stuff for all areas of life – yes including business and leadership. I love leadership, especially self-leadership.

You could actually find a post will help you change something you’ve been resisting for two years or longer.

Your beliefs and view of the world could be shifted,

It may be just what you need to hear on that day.

Sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re not alone.

You’ll learn of the power of words in all areas of your life.

You’ll have an invitation to explore, play and review your life through practical tips, shared experiences and laughter.

You’re Reading this for a Reason

You’re reading this for a reason. I don’t believe in coincidence and my SEO ranking is not that great yet, and yet you found me!

Hi! Lovely to meet you! And thank you for taking the time to stop by.

There is something here for you. A gift of a word or the gift of knowing that my intention is to help you to create the future of your dreams now!

Let’s Begin…

What one thing could you commit to changing over the next 90 days?

Are you willing to join me? I’ll hold your hand every day as I move through the three things I’ve chosen to change because it’s time for me.

Is it your time?

Ponder.
Get curious.
Get excited.

What would it be like if…

Until tomorrow, play and have fun.
Remember this is your story you’re writing.

http://www.excellenceaddicts.com
http://www.heatherbond.me

Posted by on 04/09/2011 11:57:20

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Balancing the Bump – Deciding on whether to return from maternity leave

Annabel: One of the things employers find difficult about maternity leave is the fact there is no obligation on a woman to let them know if she is not going to return. A woman can have a year’s maternity leave and then say “Oh, I am not coming back” and there is nothing an employer can do.

Allie: Iit is a difficult decision for the employee, especially in the current economic climate..

Annabel: Childcare in the UK is expensive and nursery places get booked up in advance. The average cost of 25 hours nursery for a child under two in England is £5028 (http://www.daycaretrust.org.uk/pages/childcare-costs-surveys.html), but the highest cost of day care was £14,300 for 25 hours a week.

Allie: Add up the cost of childcare, travel, lunches, and clothes for work, and weigh it up against the cost of your take home pay, travel time and your health and well-being. For women earning less than £12,000 a year this can simply be impossible (unless free or highly subsidised childcare is available) http://www.workingmums.co.uk/working-mums-magazine/all/page_4/2509116/families-struggling-with-childcare-costs.thtml

Even if you are earning a good deal more than minimum wage, this is a good time to start thinking about whether your current position is helping you towards your future career plans.

Annabel: Employers can take the opportunity to review a position. A flexible working request may arrive towards the end of maternity leave and it is a good idea to work out whether you could get the job done on fewer hours, or with altered duties.

Allie: If you don’t return to full time work while your children are small, you can keep your skills up to date: through additional training or qualifications, getting involved with local community projects or networks. Some of my clients have offered their skills to local employers in a similar business and act either as a virtual assistant or as a ‘consultant’ where they can be called on for help. Women are very innovative. One woman went from a banking position to creating all the birthday and celebration cakes for the local schoolchildren in . This can be the moment when many women start their own business.

Annabel: Many employers put ‘non-compete’ or ‘restraint clauses’ into their contracts. If you are thinking about starting your own business you should read your contract to make sure that you do not breach any term of your contract. Even if there are no specific clauses you should be careful that you are not using confidential information that belongs to your employer or mailing lists.

Allie: There are so many unknowns and variables when having a child. You may not wish to return to work but then, should your partner lose their job, everything changes. No wonder we try to keep options open! It can be really difficult to work with the baby’s needs, your partner’s needs (if you have one), your boss’s needs and your own. Don’t forget your partner can have paternity leave now. According to the Fawcett Society every additional one month’s paternity leave increases a woman’s lifetime earning potential by about 7%.

Annabel: Employers can get confused by the status of conversations around leaving a job or not returning. Some misinterpret “I might not be able to come back” as “I am not coming back”. You should be very clear about when you are considering options and where you have made up your mind. It is a good idea to confirm by email or letter what you have said and explored.

Allie: If you don’t start talking until the last minute and then need answers quickly and decide on the day of your return not to come back, this can seem to your employer as if you are being difficult and obstructive. If you need their support you need to plan in enough time for them to respond. It may be this is your moment to strike out on your own and set up your own business – many women have done so around having a first child.

Are you thinking about becoming self employed? Follow this link for a free download on things to consider.

Posted by on 01/09/2011 16:42:16

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