Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

As the season of good will approaches, many of you will be organising your annual staff parties.  Christmas parties are a great way of motivating and thanking staff for all of their hard work over the year. Staff parties should be happy, positive events which staff look forward to and enjoy. Rachel Smith-Twigger, employment law specialist at Stephen Rimmer LLP shares her top tips on how to ensure your Christmas party is the friendly affair it should be:

Be inclusive


Christmas parties are not normally associated with celebrating the Christian faith. But if the reverse is true, beware! You could discriminate against non Christian workers unless you also celebrate their religious holidays. Be considerate and try to adopt an embrace all approach.Ensure there is a wide variety of drinks and food to cater for all requirements. Consider whether the entertainment could offend and whether you also need to offer a celebratory focus for your non Christian members of staff.

Risk Assess

Risk assess your party ahead of time. An event closely linked to the business is likely to fall within the remit of health and safety so make sure you notify workers of potential hazards in advance and consider issues such as transport and accessibility for your less able staff.

Make sure staff behave

Claims for harassment against employers extend to complaints by employees that they have been harassed by their colleagues. Lewd comments, over familiarity or forcing colleagues to dance are all acts capable of amounting to harassment so do provide training and policies on equal opportunities which specifically encompass the subject of staff parties. Issue a ‘work related event’ policy setting out the standards of conduct expected and reminding employees that alcohol should only be consumed in moderation. Ensure that senior personnel maintain the same standards and ‘lead by example.’

Unauthorised Absences

Ensure that equal opportunity policies are distributed to all employees and operate a system recording this has been done. Write to employees ahead of parties emphasising that unauthorised absence following staff events will be dealt with by way of disciplinary action. If an employee reports in sick the morning after, properly investigate first before settling on disciplinary action. Treat all employees consistently in order to reduce the risk of constructively unfair dismissal and / or discrimination claims.



Final year Business students from the University of Brighton invite you to a Business Seminar where they will showcase their ideas on:

  • What it takes to turn a hobby into a business.
  • How Businesses can identify talent in their existing workforce.
  • Distinguishing personality types.

Best ways to identify your and your employees’ strengths and weaknesses.

Keynote speaker Jane Ollis will discuss the pit-traps and difficulties currently facing small businesses and will share her expertise in making effective use of info, spotting signs of danger and making the most of opportunities for businesses.

This free event will be taking place on Monday 8th December from 5 pm onwards at the University of Brighton, Priory Square Building, Hastings.

You can book your place by emailing Hastings-Exchange@brighton.ac.uk.



We got in touch with Southeastern trains about their services from Hastings over the festive period.  Here’s everything you need to know about train times over the Christmas period, check it out.

Monday 15 – Sunday 21 December

Normal service

Monday 22 & Tuesday 23 December

Normal weekday service, however engineering work at London Bridge means trains to Charing Cross will be unable to stop at London Bridge between 07:54 and 09:01.
Some peak trains will have fewer carriages, and a small number of trains will be diverted to Cannon Street and Blackfriars.

Wednesday 24 December

Normal weekday service, however engineering work at London Bridge means trains to Charing Cross will be unable to stop at London Bridge between 07:54 and 09:01.
Some peak trains will have fewer carriages, and a small number of trains will be diverted to Cannon Street and Blackfriars. No trains will run after 22.00.

Christmas Day

No trains will run

Boxing Day

Only high speed trains from Ashford will run

Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 December

Normal service

Monday 29 December – Wednesday 31 December

A Saturday service will run, with additional services to and from Cannon Street during the morning and evening peak.

Some evening Charing Cross trains will not call at Waterloo East on Wednesday 31 December.
Extra late night / early morning trains will operate for New Years Eve revellers on Wednesday night / Thursday morning.

New Year’s Day

A Sunday service will run

Friday 2 January

A Saturday service will run with additional services to & from Cannon Street during the morning and evening peak.


The Let’s Do Business Group will be holding a learning lunch on Wednesday 26th November and will feature an Employment Law master class.hr

Finding the right staff, keeping them and ensuring that they fully contribute is one of the major issues facing most businesses today. You’ve  all heard the horror stories of what can go wrong!

If, for example a relationship with an employee turns sour – how do you protect your business?

The  learning lunch is held in partnership with Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors, giving you the opportunity to gain a better understanding of employment legislation, plus the chance to network with like-minded businesses and professionals over lunch.

What you’ll learn:

  • Recruitment
    • Legal issues
    • Process
    • What happens if you get it wrong!


  • Performance Management
    • Following policies and procedures
    • Investigation
    • Warning and Consultation
    • Fairness


  • Appraisals
    • Mutual benefits both to you and your employees
    • Preparation
    • Managing appraisal
    • Objectives

This event will be free to attend and includes a buffet lunch and refreshments.

Book your place:

Email info@ldbgroup.co.uk or call 01424 205 500.



Posted by: In: Business, Jobs, News 17 Nov 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: , ,

Due to continuing expansion , McPhersons are to recruit three new Client Accounts Seniors. This additional support will allow the team of directors to spend more time in an advisory capacity, helping to add value to their clients’ businesses.mcphersons-logo

Says Ainsley Gill, “Clients no longer expect their accountant to report on what has happened. They want real time information and advice today. Information that will help shape their business, reduce risk and increase profits.”

In addition to the new positions, McPhersons have been joined by Lee Bowden as an Accounts Manager, who brings a wealth of experience helping SMEs of all kinds. Other recent additions include a tax trainee, an accounts trainee and a payroll assistant – all helping to enhance the client experience and maintain a high service quality.

On Monday, Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, joined Labour parliamentary candidate Sarah Owen in Hastings to launch’s Labour’s major new plan to end the scandal of cold homes.


Sarah Owen introduced the Shadow Secretary of State by highlighting the doorstep issues that were raised by individuals and families living in sub-standard housing.  She described the circumstances of a local woman who works part time to support her young family but has to raise them in a cold, damp home,

“As the weather gets colder more people across Hastings and Rother will struggle with paying to heat their homes.  So it was great that Labour’s Energy and Climate Change team led by Caroline Flint MP chose to launch our national plans for improving energy efficiency to an audience of local renewable energy businesses and residents in Hastings.  As well as tackling climate change, these practical solutions will help insulate over 5 million homes nationwide and result in reduced fuel bills for thousands of people in Hastings & Rye.”

Building on Labour’s energy price freeze pledge, Caroline announced a major drive on home insulation and set out plans to deliver long-term, permanent savings on energy bills and warmer homes for millions of people. The plans will mean that at least 5 million UK homes are upgraded over 10 years, saving the average household over £270 a year from their energy bill.

She revealed new figures, showing:

  • Energy bills in the least energy efficient properties are over £1,000 a year higher than homes with good insulation.
  • Two-thirds of households in fuel poverty live in the worst insulated properties.

The Energy Efficiency Green Paper sets out the steps a Labour Government will take to end cold homes:

  • Provide personalised home energy reports for half a million homes a year.
  • Deliver free energy efficiency home improvements to at least 200,000 low-income households a year.
  • Offer up to a million loans for home improvements that are interest-free in the next Parliament, for households that are able to help meet the costs.
  • Set a new target for landlords to get cold and leaky properties up to a decent standard.
  • Designate energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority.

Speaking at Sussex Coast College Hastings, Ms Flint said,

“Britain is facing an energy bill crisis, with millions of people struggling to heat their homes. Labour has already set out radical plans to freeze energy prices until 2017, saving the average household £120, and fix the energy market for the future, with a tough new regulator to curb rip-off bills.

“But one of the main reasons our energy bills are so high is that our homes are some of the least energy efficient in Europe – leaking heat from their roofs, walls and windows. That’s why Labour has set out plans to freeze energy bills, reform the energy market and upgrade at least 5 million homes over 10 years. Our plans will mean cheaper bills and warmer homes for millions.”