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Franchise firm lands BFA backing
Web design company eBusiness UK has become the first company in its field to be awarded membership of the British Franchise Association (BFA). The company established its franchise model in 2007 and currently boasts operations in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with others in the pipeline. ... more

Firms warned on driving risks
Company owners are being urged to provide staff with kit to help them drive more safely and educate them about the need to drive sensibly on work trips. Andrew McGavin, the founder of, which contains details of reported incidents of dangerous driving, is warning that fewer than half of all business owners have policies in place to protect their employees and themselves ... more

New guidance on tackling stress
New guidance on how managers can prevent and reduce stress in the workplace has been released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Investors in People (IIP). The research is part of a three-year project to identify how companies can tackle stress at work and sets out a 12-point competency framework including acting with integr... more

Recruiters blast interview technique
Over 40% of recruiters were dissatisfied with their own interview process when they got their current job, according to an industry survey by Perriam & Everett. The survey found that over a third were looking for more structure at the interview stage, with one respondent saying: “Get over the chat over a cup of coffee; put me through my paces.” ... more

Firms struggling with staff absence
Many companies are struggling to manage levels of staff absence, according to a survey by HR firm Jaluch. The poll of businesses in the south of England revealed that 45% have seen a rise in cases of employees calling in sick in the last 12 months, with 20% blaming generous company sick pay policies as a disincentive for people to return to work. ... more

Euro zone rates rise to 4.25%
Euro zone rates The European Central Bank has increased interest rates in the Euro zone from 4% to 4.25% in a bid to tackle rising inflation. Inflation in the Euro zone economy has now hit 4%, taking it to the highest level since records began in 1996. rise to 4.25%... more

Slump in disposable income
Rises in the cost of living means UK consumer spending power is now 15% lower than it was five years ago, according to research Ernst & Young. The study found that the typical family had less than 20% of its income remaining after bills and tax, compared with 28% in 2003, suggesting businesses selling non-essential items can expect some tough times ahead. ... more

Sharp fall in equity withdrawal
The number of people extending their mortgages to generate extra disposable income has fallen, according to the Bank of England. The data reveals the amount of housing equity withdrawal fell from £7.4bn in the last quarter of 2007 to £5bn in the first quarter of 2008. ... more

FPB backs fuel tax campaign
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) is joining a campaign to force the government to abandon plans for a 2p rise in fuel duty from October. The Freight Transport Association and other haulage bodies have been campaigning against the move, which comes at a time when oil has hit a record $146 a barrel. ... more

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