About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

Training and flexible working are the keys to staff retention

Training and flexible working are the keys to staff retention

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Firms are more likely to improve levels of staff retention if they increase their investment in training, and introduce more flexible working practices, according to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and recruitment company Indeed. The survey, of over 1,000 businesspeople across all sizes or organisation and sectors, shows that just under half (42 percent) of businesses would invest in training and developing their staff in order to increase staff retention, while 38 percent would look to introduce flexible working practices, from flexible hours and remote working to job-sharing.

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Firms are reluctant to hire women if they suspect they plan to have children in the near future

Firms are reluctant to hire women if they suspect they plan to have children in the near future

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Nearly one in three UK bosses admit they have or would reject a female job applicant and might be generally reluctant to hire women if they suspect they ‘might start a family soon’. Although this form of employment discrimination is unlawful, 15 percent anonymously admitted that they had broken sex discrimination laws. The new research of 501 bosses, carried out by law firm Slater and Gordon, also revealed that one in four bosses has rejected or would reject a woman, simply because she was a single parent. A further 29 percent said they have discounted or would discount a woman for a job role because she had young children and 28 percent said they have or would because she was recently engaged or married.

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A quarter of London start-ups have considered relocating to deal with Brexit uncertainty

A quarter of London start-ups have considered relocating to deal with Brexit uncertainty

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It has now been more than two years since the UK voted in favour of leaving the European Union, and new research Studio Graphene in partnership with City Road Communications claims to reveal new information about how Brexit has impacted on London’s early stage businesses. Based on a survey of more than 100 founders of London startups, the study shows that since the EU referendum the vast majority of entrepreneurs have remained loyal to the capital, showing no sign that they want to move to help improve the growth prospects of their business. It also uncovered the way young companies are responding to the challenges posed by Brexit.

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Progress stagnates on gender diversity in senior roles at FTSE 350 companies

Progress stagnates on gender diversity in senior roles at FTSE 350 companies

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Achieving the government’s target of women making up a third of FTSE 350 board members by 2020 is beginning to look increasingly unlikely,according to executive training organisation The Pipeline’s annual Women Count report. It claims that there has been no progress over the last year in the number of women on executive committees and that 16 companies no longer have any women in ‘profit and loss roles’ which brings the total to 147, while eight companies no longer have any women on the committees at all. Yet the positive value for having greater gender diversity with women in executive positions is unquestionable, according to the authors.

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Freelancers and small business owners find it impossible to stop working on their holidays

Freelancers and small business owners find it impossible to stop working on their holidays

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Small business owners and freelancers are unwilling or unable to switch off from work during their holidays, a new study claims. The survey from cloud accounting company FreeAgent claims that over 90 percent of micro-business owners admit to checking work-related emails or doing work-related admin while they are on holiday – with nearly two thirds (61 percent) saying that they do so regularly. In the poll of nearly 600 freelancers and micro-businesses about their experiences of self-employment, 38 percent of respondents said they work more than 48 hours in a typical week – while 7 percent said that they typically work 64 hours or more per week. In addition, one in nine (11 percent) respondents will just take a week or less of holiday in 2018 – including 5 percent who do not expect to take any time off at all from their business this year.

London, Singapore and Seoul are the top smart cities in the world

London, Singapore and Seoul are the top smart cities in the world

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London, Singapore and Seoul make up the top three smart cities worldwide, according to new research from the Eden Strategy Institute. The 2018-19 study, in partnership with ONG&ONG Experience Design (OXD), involved 140 smart cities ranked across 10 measures; clarity of vision, leadership, budget, provision of financial incentives, support programmes, talent readiness, a people-centric approach, development of an innovation ecosystem, implementation of ‘smart’ policies and, finally, a track record of previous initiatives and projects. New York and Helsinki rounded off the top five cities, with Montreal, Boston, Melbourne, Barcelona and Shanghai finishing in the top 10.

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The talents of older people are going to waste because of discrimnation, claims government report

The talents of older people are going to waste because of discrimnation, claims government report

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The talents of more than a million people aged over 50 who want to work are being wasted because of discrimination, bias and outdated employment practices, claims a new report from the UK government. The report from The Women and Equalities Committee also concludes that Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) are failing to enforce the law on age discrimination and must be clearer that prejudice, unconscious bias and casual ageism in the workplace are all unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. Although the Committee concludes that the Government’s employer-led approach has its advantages, it does not present a strong enough challenge to discriminatory practices or attitudes.

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Businesses told to consider the interests of workers and other stakeholders in new code

Businesses told to consider the interests of workers and other stakeholders in new code

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The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published its new Corporate Governance Code in a bid to improve trust in UK business. The new Code will remain on the “comply or explain” basis mandatory for which it has been criticised in the past, but has been broadly welcomed by industry bodies. The code sets out a number of recommendations aimed at improving culture and trust in business, of which it suggests at least one be applied. They include having a director appointed from the workforce, a formal workforce advisory panel and a designated non-executive director. The Code will apply to accounting periods from January 2019 and is applicable to all companies with a premium listing.

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British businesses missing key productivity and skills boost by ignoring military veterans

British businesses missing key productivity and skills boost by ignoring military veterans

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Businesses are missing out on key opportunities to boost their skills base and productivity by not effectively employing well-qualified former military personnel, according to new information released by The Institute of Leadership & Management. According to The Institute, 86 per cent of veterans say business managers still don’t understand how military honed skills can transfer into boosting businesses on civvy street. Coinciding with both Armed Forces Day and the 100th anniversary year of the ending of World War One, The Institute of Leadership & Management has released its new report Tales of Transition (registration required), which claims to identify the barriers to helping ex-forces personnel enter the civilian workplace. The report also details the steps that business leaders can take to support the transition of around 15,000 people who leave the UK Regular Armed Forces each year.

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First planning application submitted at Haywards Heath business hub

First planning application submitted at Haywards Heath business hub

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The Commercial Park Group, a partnership between developer John Baker and leading building and civil engineering contractor Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, has submitted a planning application to redevelop 21-23 Perrymount Road in Haywards Heath to provide 65,000 sq ft of new offices. This scheme is the first phase of a wider project to create a new 400,000 sq ft business hub called Haywards Park formed of multiple office redevelopments on Perrymount Road.
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London’s poor connectivity is holding back commercial property occupiers

London’s poor connectivity is holding back commercial property occupiers

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Connectivity is more than just broadband speeds and 4G coverage. New research from property consultancy Cluttons claims to reveal the impact it has on everything from the properties we choose to live in, to the places where we can work and our overall happiness both at home and in the office. The research suggests that London is lagging behind other national and global hubs when it comes to good connectivity in both residential and commercial property, failing our needs both as residents and businesses.

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Half of girls are unenthusiastic about a career in STEM and technology

Half of girls are unenthusiastic about a career in STEM and technology

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New research suggests that whilst young women are increasingly aware of the availability of careers in technology, half hold a belief that they are ‘unexciting’ and more than two-thirds think that roles in tech are predominately linked to gaming and IT consultancy; according to research commissioned by Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) as part of their work to support digital education.

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