Small Businesses – leading the way to a family-friendly future.

September 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured Articles, Front Page


Mother (Photo credits:

By Fancydad

At a time when many women continue to face the dilemma ‘Family or career?’, Slater & Gordon commissioned OnePoll to carry out some timely research earlier this year by interviewing 1000 new mothers about their return to work.  The results are interesting but, sadly, they are also hugely predictable, with almost a third of those interviewed feeling penalised for their natural and legitimate ‘predicament’, and over half facing changing attitudes in the workplace after their pregnancies became known.  So much progress in equality, yet we fail at the most basic level.

The good news, which does come as something of a surprise, is that small businesses could be leading the way in family-friendly employment, according to a story in the Guardian Small Business Network this morning.  Take a bow, small-business owners; you’re daring to go where much of the corporate world will not.  Despite the legislation in place, which affords every expectant mother the right to maternity leave, the problems arise after the fact in far more subtle ways.  Career opportunities and advancement can become restricted, disparity in pay rates begins to creep in, and the fundamental responsibilities of childcare conflict with the regimented structure of the workplace.  For some, the issues are not so subtle, with 1 in 7 losing their job and many women facing demotion, replacement and reduction in hours.

Legislation in place requires all employers to be given at least 15 weeks’ notice of an employees due date, which offers a greater window for forward planning than unforeseen absences and sickness. Despite the ability of most employers to accommodate these legal requirements, David Evans, of law firm Cripps Harries Hall, voices concern over the continued problems faced by employees upon their return to work, and this is where small businesses are getting it right.

Perhaps it is due to the close-knit relationships in small firms, committed to a common goal that is more achievable by sticking together and supporting one another.  With many small businesses operating as family enterprises, the importance of family is the very crux of their business.  Corporations are often more removed from their individual employees; relationships are less personal.  On the other hand, small businesses are often more in touch with their employees and relationships are based on a greater degree of mutual respect, commitment and loyalty.  A business need not suffer from an employee’s absence if the maternity leave is managed properly. Rapid Formations, a leading company formation service provider believes this can be achieved by maintaining open and honest communication, keeping an open mind to the idea of flexible working and, ultimately, forward planning wherever possible.

Taking the advocacy of small businesses one step further, many women who faced adversity in the workplace as a result of motherhood have ventured into self-employment.  This can offer a welcomed alternative, allowing women to create a bespoke family-friendly workplace of their own.  With a wealth of start-up grants now available, there is flexibility of self-employment.

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Reflection Week

Reflection Week

We are almost into June 2013

It’s been 6 months and it’s now time to look around.

When looking at this years goals? Are you half way there?

Are you ahead? Behind? Or what?

Where do you need assistance?

 Dr. Letitia Wright

We are almost into June 2013

It’s been 6 months and it’s now time to look around.

When looking at this years goals? Are you half way there?

Are you ahead? Behind? Or what?

Where do you need assistance?

Are you willing to put in place the help you need or are you going to continue to TRY it on you own.

Have you neglected some things on your pursuit to your success? Some are so focused on business; their heath and family life is going to crap.

Some are so focused on family and personal health that their jobs and business suffer. While I do not believe in balance (I believe in synergy) the main idea is that your life has to work for you. You have to enjoy it. The work, the home and the self.

I love to travel however; I try to balance it with more time with the Dogs when I am home.

When my frustration levels with work get high, I make sure I balance with self- care, gratitude and relaxation and I think it’s paying off.

Next steps?

Put your exercise and relaxation routine back into your schedule

Follow up on dropped balls in business

Get at 360-degree check at work (your job may not be as secure as you think)

Check your 2013 goals and locate yourself on your own achievement map

Celebrate your wins; work out what needs to be worked out.

Post your ideas on what you need to do in the comment section

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Thinking of Continuing Your Education?

English: Springfield Mount - University of Lee...

English: Springfield Mount – University of Leeds Dept. of Continuing Education This was built as a seminary and was then taken over as an adult education center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thinking of Continuing Your Education?

by Sunil

You are never too old or it is never too late to go back to school to continue your education. The good news is that you can achieve this through evening classes, online courses or even by mail order series. Or you can go back to school the plain old traditional way by actually being present in a class on campus. The choice is entirely yours as soon as you make up your mind to continue your education to refine and hone your existing skills.

Why should you continue with education?

There are numerous advantages to continuing education and contrary to old school thinking, it is never too late to go back to school. Once the birds in your family have flown the nest, you will be left with plenty of time for yourself and this is the best time to hit the books and gain a new skill or update what you already have.

Better salary

If you earned your degree a long time ago, then chances are that people who are hired now are getting paid more than what you were hired for. Adding new skills to your resume that is beneficial to the organization is a good way to ask for a pay raise.

Most of the organizations have an allowance for employees who want to continue education in the field they are pursuing. The organization views it as a bonus for itself to employ an internal applicant with new skills rather than hire a new employee and spend money to train them. This will save them a lot of money in the long run to invest in existing employees’ continuing education.


When it is time for promotion, your newly acquired skills will direct the manager’s attention your way and might make you more desirable over another employee with lesser skills. Your new skills can also prepare you for promotion in a new area in the organization if you so choose helping you bring excitement and vitality into your career.

Stay abreast with current trends

The important reason why most adults choose to go back to school is so they can stay updated with the latest trends and information in their field. This is especially true if your career is in technology or healthcare which are two examples of fields that are constantly changing. In such an environment you cannot hold on to your job for long if you do not take the initiative to keep abreast of the changes in the field. Acquiring new skills and staying updated is equal to job security.

Increase One’s Market Value

Collecting degrees and related skills will increase you market value which will give you additional bargaining power when it comes to negotiating for perks, salary increases or a long coveted promotion. Having a higher education and being better qualified is a surefire way to securing your job in the organization.

If you are interested you can get more information about continuing your education here.

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