The cost of staff absence to the UK economy rose to over £13bn in 2005 - and 66 million days were lost across the public services at a cost of £3.4bn to the taxpayer - according to a new survey of over 400 organisations. The latest annual CBI / AXA Absence Survey, published today (Monday 15 May 2006), reveals that absence levels were 30 per cent higher across public sector organisations than in the private sector.
Local employer recognised for age friendly policies Wick bar, The Alexander Bain, has been praised as part of a national campaign aimed at tackling age discrimination in the workplace. The Age Positive campaign has awarded JD Wetherspoon "Employer Champion" status, which means it joins an elite list of employers from across Great Britain who exemplify an open-minded approach to hiring staff of all ages.
The UK's leading business organisation has announced it will encourage the widespread adoption of smarter working practices, such as flexible working, mobile working, remote working and working from home. The CBI is supporting Work Wise UK, a three-year campaign, as it recognises the potential to fundamentally change the nature of work in this country for the better, and at the same time increase business productivity and competitiveness.
The National Business Awards for Scotland, sponsored by Orange, the annual national celebration of business excellence, is now open for entry. But time is ticking for companies wishing to enter as the closing date for entry is midday 25th May 2006.
A new Produce Fair is running every Friday at the Morven building at North Highland College in Thurso. Fresh local produce from such as eggs, baking and later in the season strawberries willbe on sale each Friday.
The Wick Music Shop shut last weekend and the owner and staff would like to thank all customers for their support over the last 6 1/2 years. The Thurso shop is still open for now to run down the stock and all CD's and Cassettes are all now half price.
The building enabling work for Caithness Horizons has begun, with the contract for the first phase of work being awarded by Highland Council to local firm MM Miller (Wick) Ltd. Caithness Horizons has held its first annual general meeting and is delighted to announce that directors Paul Cariss, the company's chairman, and Tina Wrighton of UKAEA have both been co-opted back onto the board.
On Thursday 27th April 2006 "New Look" opened its doors at the new retail park at Wick. New Look believes that everyone can enjoy fashion, no matter what your age, shape or size and are committed to making you look cool, funky and trendy all at the same time.
Thurso-based photographer John Baikie of Caithness Photographic has just been awarded an important qualification by the Society Of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. John, who has just set up a new wedding based business called Captiv8, has been awarded a Licentiate by the society, which is one of the fastest growing photographers association in the world.
Real Nappy Week is being celebrated by local firm Ella's House with the 10th Anniversary in 2006. The growth of a global phenomenon is being celebrated during the 10th annual Real Nappy Week from 24-30 April 2006.
A new business in Wick is set to have everyone running for cover. For Paul Steven, whose family owns AMS Motorcycles in Wick, has started up a paintball business on a five-acre site at Bilbster Mains.
Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004 By 30th April 2006 landlords letting properties in Scotland should either be registered or have submitted a valid application for registration. It will be an offence to let a property, (unless the property is exempt under the legislation) after this date without having either been registered or having submitted a valid application for registration.
Ten top tips for social enterprise companies will be offered at a busy conference in Strathpeffer next month. Entitled 'A Different Way of Doing Business', the event has been organised by a trail-blazing company set up to help communities establish socially beneficial businesses.
Helping businesses conserve biodiversity across Scotland The Business and Biodiversity Initiative provides businesses with free practical, on site advice on ways they can contribute towards the conservation and enhancement of habitats and species locally and nationally. Enhancing biodiversity can have a wide range of benefits to businesses, including improved employee satisfaction, improved image, reduced noise and visual complaints from neighbours and improved environmental credentials.
OOPS is a Caithness car bodywork repair business whose name aptly describes the problem. They then get on to fix dents, scrapes chip marks and a whole range of other accidental things thathappen to vehicles.
Schmidt wins major order for spreaders and ploughs to tackle Scottish winters Scotland TranServ, winners of the £27m a year highways maintenance contract for North-West Scotland, has chosen Schmidt to supply salt spreaders, snowploughs, snow blowers and road verge grass cutting equipment in one of the largest single orders for British highways products. Whatever the weather, Scotland TranServ will be endeavouring to keep traffic moving throughout the North West Unit from Wick and John O'Groats through Skye, Fort William, Oban, Argyll, Perth and Loch Lomond.
Employers in Caithness and Sutherland are to be given an opportunity to raise their awareness of employing and working with overseas nationals or those from culturally diverse backgrounds. The 'Cultural Awareness in the Workplace' workshop has been developed by 'Improve', the skills council for the food and drink sector, and will provide practical advice and guidance on topics ranging from legislation to a wider understanding of the growing number of religions and cultures and is relevant to all sectors of the business community.
Suppliers with experience in providing a range of advice services are being invited to tender for work with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The HIE network currently has contracts in place with four suppliers - Development Partners Ltd; ROC Plus Ltd; Alasdair Bruce Associates Ltd, and Business Partners (Scotland) Ltd - to provide advice to local enterprise company clients across the Highlands and Islands.
The following are funds approved up to the last day of the month. Please note that the sums relate to approvals, not payments.
Do you want to save your business money by going green? Are you finding it hard to keep up with the environmental legislation that affects your business? Do you want your business to be more environmentally friendly but have no idea where to start? Yes? Register for e-alerts on the NetRegs website and get news direct to your inbox on the latest changes to environmental legislation as well as innovative examples of good practice. News on forthcoming environmental legislation, like the new Water Environment Regime in Scotland, which comes into force on 1 April 2006, and the new Oil Storage Regulations are among the issues that will be covered by the e-alerts.