AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU'RE WELL CONNECTED

01444 259259

Sussex Chamber of Commerce Policy Updates

Sussex Chamber Policy Updates

Sussex Chamber To Launch 'Ditch The Plastic' In Collaboration With The Creative Group

Thursday 2nd August 2018

The Sussex Chamber of Commerce and The Creative Group (a full-service marketing agency based in Gatwick) are delighted to announce their latest collaboration with their ‘Ditch the Plastic’ campaign.

The two companies have worked together for many years and have once again come together for a common cause and are leading the way in raising awareness of the catastrophic effects that plastic pollution is having on our environment.

Headed up by CEO of the Chamber, Ana Christie and CEO of The Creative Group, Matt Turner, the two organisations will be organising several beach cleans across the region with the hope to expand to parks and villages in an effort to clean up Sussex’s award-winning natural spaces. As part of the initiative, the duo is calling for other organisations to do their bit and to get involved in this important initiative; with the two explaining that they are particularly keen to speak to organisations who are interested in partnering or sponsoring the events.

Ana Christie, Chief Executive of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a huge issue for the Sussex region and with this campaign we hope to encourage people to cut down on their plastic waste and in doing so clean up Sussex’s beaches and reduce the growing tide of plastic, washing up on our beaches every day.

Matt Turner, CEO of The Creative Group, added; “This is an issue that businesses, can no longer ignore. We need other organisations to get involved to help spread the word of this important initiative. Therefore, I urge the businesses across Sussex to help us make a real difference and get in touch to discuss potential partnership and sponsorship opportunities.”

However, they haven’t stopped there - in an effort to continue the good work, the two organisations have both also committed to reducing their plastic wastage in their office spaces and have already started putting measures in place, to encourage their staff to recycle any rubbish and to limit their use of single-use plastic.

If you’d like to find out more about getting involved, please contact:info@sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk or call 01444 259 259.



Automatic Enrolment and Ongoing Duties - What Employers Need to Know

Friday 2nd February 2018

Every employer has automatic enrolment duties. They need to assess their staff, put them into a workplace pension scheme if they meet certain criteria, write to them to tell them what they’ve done, and complete and submit a declaration of compliance with The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

To date, nearly 9 million people have been automatically enrolled in a workplace pension by more than 850,000 employers. And with hundreds of thousands more employers due to reach their duties start date by February 2018, the number of people automatically enrolled will continue to rise.

However, an employer’s workplace pension duties do not stop with declaring compliance. And with TPR conducting stop checks on employers across the country to make sure they are complying with their duties, it’s important you are aware what you need to do on a regular and ongoing basis to ensure you comply with the law.

Recent research published by TPRshows the majority of employers did not have any difficulty with ongoing duties. The analysis shows that automatic enrolment is ‘business as usual’ for employers, and that it’s easier than they thought it would be. Most micro employers said they spend around half an hour each month meeting their duties and two thirds did not use outside help. Those who did said it cost them around £42 per month to use an accountant or auditor to help them.

What are your ongoing duties?

You will need to pay regular contributions into the pension, monitor the age and earnings of your staff and enrol eligible staff, process any requests to join or leave the scheme, and keep and maintain accurate records. You’ll also need to re-enrol eligible staff into an automatic enrolment pension scheme every three years. Let’s take these in turn:

  1. Pay regular contributions into the pension

You need to calculate and pay the employer contributions to your staff’s pension scheme on an ongoing basis. In addition, you’ll need to calculate your staff contributions, make the necessary deductions from payroll and transfer their contributions to the pension scheme.

You’ll have agreed what these rates are and when to pay them with your chosen pension scheme. By law, you and your staff have to make minimum contributions into the scheme, and you should be aware that these minimum contribution levels are due to increase in April 2018 and April 2019 (see below).

Date effective

Employer minimum contribution

Staff contribution

Total minimum contribution

Current until 5 April 2018

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

6 April 2018 – 5 April 2019

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

6 April 2019 onwards

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

               

  1. Monitor the age and earnings of all your staff

You will need to monitor any changes in age and earnings of your staff so that you can identify if they become eligible for automatic enrolment. You’ll also need to check eligibility of any new members of staff on the day they start work. Should staff members become eligible (for example by turning 22, or by meeting the earnings thresholds), then you’re required to put them into a pension scheme and pay contributions to it. Your payroll software should be able to support you with this.

  1. Process requests to opt in, join or leave the scheme, and keep and maintain accurate records.

Opt in/join: If any of your staff write to you asking to join your workplace pension scheme, you must put them into it within a month of receiving their request. You will have to pay into the pension scheme unless they are aged 16-74 and earn less than £490 a month or £113 per week.

Opt out: If any of your staff choose to leave your pension scheme within one month of being put into it, you need to stop taking money out of their pay and arrange a full refund of what has been paid to date. This must happen within one month of their request.

Keeping records: You need to keep up-to-date records about your staff, including who you’ve enrolled and when, information about your pension scheme, and the contributions you are paying. You must keep these records for six years, except for requests to leave the pension scheme which must be kept for four years.

  1. Re-enrolment

Every three years, you’ll need to assess all your staff who either opted out of their workplace pension scheme or have ceased to become members, re-enrol them if they meet certain criteria, write to them to tell them what you’ve done – and then re-declare your compliance to The Pensions Regulator to let them know what you’ve done to meet your duties.

Further information on ongoing duties can be found on The Pensions Regulator’s website.

Useful links:
www.tpr.gov.uk/employers

www.tpr.gov.uk/ongoing-duties 


Message From National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

Monday 15th May 2017

Since the global coordinated ransomware attack on thousands of private and public sector organisations across dozens of countries on Friday, there have been no sustained new attacks of that kind.  But it is important to understand that the way these attacks work means that compromises of machines and networks that have already occurred may not yet have been detected, and that existing infections from the malware can spread within networks.

This means that as a new working week begins it is likely, in the UK and elsewhere, that further cases of ransomware may come to light, possibly at a significant scale.

Our national focus must therefore be on two lines of defence.

The first is to limit the spread and impact of the attacks that have already occurred.  Due to broad government and partner efforts, a variety of tools are now publicly available to help organisations to do this.  This guidance can be found on our homepage – ncsc.gov.uk – under the title Protecting Your Organisation From Ransomware: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/ransomware-latest-ncsc-guidance

We know already that there have been attempts to attack organisations beyond the National Health Service. It is therefore absolutely imperative that any organisation that believes they may be affected, follows and implements this guidance. We have set out two pieces of guidance: one for organisations and one for private individuals and SMEs which can be applicable regardless of the age of the software in question.  It will be updated as and when further mitigations become available and we will announce when updates have been made on Twitter (@ncsc) and elsewhere.

Secondly, it is possible that a ransomware attack of this type and on this scale could recur, though we have no specific evidence that this is the case.  What is certain is that ransomware attacks are some of the most immediately damaging forms of cyber attack that affects home users, enterprises and governments equally.

It is also the case that there are a number of easy-to-implement defences against ransomware which very considerably reduce the risk of attack and the impact of successful attacks.  These simple steps to protect against ransomware are not being applied by either the public or organisations as thoroughly as they should be.

Three simple steps for companies to undertake which are also set out on our website(https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware) and can be summarised as follows:

Protecting your organisation from ransomware - NCSC Site

www.ncsc.gov.uk

How does ransomware infect your system? Computers are infected with ransomware via a number of routes. Sometimes users are tricked into running legitimate-looking ...

 

1.       Keep your organisation's security software patches up to date

2.       Use proper anti-virus software services

3.       Most importantly for ransomware, back up the data that matters to you, because you can't be held to ransom for data you hold somewhere else.

Home users and small businesses can take the following steps to protect themselves: 

1.       Run Windows Update

2.       Make sure your AntiVirus product is up to date and run a scan – If you don’t have one install one of the free trial versions from a reputable vendor

3.       If you have not done so before, this is a good time to think about backing important data up – You can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else. 

In the days ahead, the NCSC, working closely with the National Crime Agency in support of their criminal investigation, and with international partners in both other governments and the commercial sector, will continue our round-the-clock effort to get ahead of this threat.  We would like to reassure the public that resources from the Government, law enforcement and public and private sector organisation are working together to manage further disruption from the current attack and to increase protection against any further attacks in the coming days. The country's security and law enforcement agencies are working round the clock to protect the public. Private sector efforts have made a very significant contribution to mitigate the cyber attacks so far and to  prevent further disruption.

We will provide further updates as and when appropriate.