Crab Insight
Vol 2 Issue 10
July 2015



 

In This Issue:

Legal Update
What we are being asked about
Top Tip
Reputation Matters
Reputation Advocates
Reputation Academy
Forthcoming Events
In closing

Dates for your diary:

Cyber Security
21st July 2015
Bordon, Hampshire

Public Procurement
25th August 2015
Basingstoke, Hampshire

Special Event - Are you ready for the changes in consumer law?
15th September 2015
Hayling Island

 

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Rules 1-3 written in the sand
Photography by Hannah Mornement

Hello and welcome to the July edition of Crab Insight


Hope you are enjoying a fabulous summer and are able to make the most of all the lovely weather. We don't want to spoil the feeling of summertime wellbeing however it is worth giving a heads up on some things which are likely to affect many businesses in the coming months.

We have found that there is a general unawareness amongst business owners that the rules on selling goods, services or digital content to consumers are in a state of flux. There were some fairly significant changes last year that not everyone has caught up with as yet. Then, looking forward to the Autumn for just a while, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 comes into force (please see our top tip or for further information on the legislation please follow this link), along with Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR (please see legal update).

If you sell goods,services or digital downloads to consumers and want to ensure you are not going to get caught out by the changes you really should come along to our Special Event on 15th September.

On the subject of change the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is very likely to announce changes to the Sunday Trading rules in today's budget.

If you thought compliance with Data Protection law is complex now, just wait for the new General Data Protection Regulation. The European Commission have been carrying out a comprehensive reform of the EU's 1995 data protection rules to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe's digital economy.

They point out that there have been profound changes to the way data is collected, accessed and used. The new law will do away with the current fragmentation and costly administrative burdens, leading to savings for businesses of around €2.3 billion a year. It will help reinforce consumer confidence in online services, providing a much needed boost to growth, jobs and innovation in Europe. Watch this space for further information on the changes.
 

In the words of the song the times they are a changin' (with apologies to Bob Dylan). Nevertheless forewarned is forearmed so we do hope you still enjoy this edition of Crab Insight.

Legal Update

General Data Protection Regulation
The European Commission plans to unify data protection within the European Union (EU) with a single law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

It looks likely that consensus on the Regulation will be reached by the end of the year. As a Regulation and not a Directive, it will have immediate effect on all 28 EU Member States after a two-year transition period and does not require any enabling legislation to be passed by governments.

Given that the proposed financial penalties for non-compliance are severe, companies that start to take steps to address the proposed changes will be in a stronger position. The penalties are intended to be "effective, proportionate" and, most pointedly, "dissuasive". The figures being discussed in some cases amount to 5% of annual worldwide turnover.

If you want to know how this is likely to affect your business and start taking steps now to be compliant please get in touch using
this link which will open in a new window.


Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations
There has been a rumour that there is an exemption for charities when it comes to marketing their organisations and contacting the public to ask for donations. 

This is not the case and the responsibilities for charitable organisations are exactly the same as any other company under these regulations. This includes screening phone numbers via the TPS and ensuring they have the right consent for use of personal data.


Alternative Dispute Resolution
This was supposed to come into force in July this year, but has now been deferred until October to coincide with the Consumer Rights Act.

If you want to know how this is likely to affect your business please get in touch using this link which will open in a new window.


Sunday Trading
At present small shops in England and Wales can open any day or hour. There are no trading hours restrictions in Scotland. 

A small shop is one that measures up to and including 280 square metres. This area includes all parts of the shop used to display goods and serve customers.

Shops over 280 square metres, can open on Sundays but only for 6 consecutive hours between 10am and 6pm, but they must close on Easter Sunday and on Christmas Day. There are some specific exemptions as well such as airport, railway and service station outlets, farms selling mainly their own produce and exhibition stands selling goods.

What we are being asked about

Can I use the logo of a trade association on my website and marketing material?
If you are a member of a trade association or are registered with a regulator you may be able to display their logo on your website.

In some cases you may be required to do so as a condition of membership. Any such use will more than likely be controlled by a 'license'. In other words as the logo will be copyright and may be a registered Trademark the owner will permit you to use it in certain circumstances. The detail will be included in an agreement and it is important that you follow the terms of the agreement otherwise you could prejudice your membership of the organisation.


I own a franchise so I'm assuming that I don't need to worry about compliance and any changes in legislation, am I right?
With respect to certain laws for example data protection and consumer protection, you will have a duty to ensure your compliance. Of course you can rely on the franchise holder to do this for you, however you will still be expected to take reasonable precautions and exercise all due diligence to prevent an offence taking place.

So it would be wise to find out what laws you need to comply with and make sure that the processes offer a route to adequate compliance. To a certain extent it also depends on the terms of the franchise agreement, and some franchisers will exclude all liability, so it is really important to scrutinise the franchise agreement before signing it, to ascertain the extent of your risk exposure.
I'm a web designer so I design beautiful websites for my clients. I'm not concerned with legal nonsense, that is my clients responsibility, isn't it?
Yes and no. It is always the business owner's responsibility to ensure legal compliance. However a web designer does not want to take on responsibility by offering advice in areas they are unqualified to help with.

So it is wise to ensure that the agreement for a new website is crystal clear on what is to be provided as well as what is not going to be provided. Thus client expectations are not open to misinterpretation at a later date.

It is also unwise to provide 'generic' or borrowed 'website use terms and conditions' and or 'privacy notices' to help out. They may not cover your clients circumstances and may add a level of responsibility that you do not need to take on. They may also do a disservice to the client in that they may provide a false sense of security that data protection has been done.

If you are a web designer and would like to take advantage of our services for web designers to minimise your liability in these areas, please get in touch by following this link (it will open in a new window).

We are also able to provide a Website MOT to check on the compliance of websites. If you would like to talk to us about this service please get in touch by following this link (it will open in a new window). This service is usually £99 but for the first five respondents we will offer a quick check for free.

Top Tip

Do you have non commercial customers?

If you have consumers as customers you really need to be preparing for 1st October 2015 when the Consumer Rights Act 2015 replaces much of the existing law relating to consumer sales and unfair contract terms.

Together with the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 and the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (which amend the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008) the new Act sets out the basic rules which govern how consumers buy and businesses sell to them in the UK.

Please don't leave it too late to plan for the new legislation. It is always easier (and therefore much cheaper) to get things right first time rather than correcting mistakes once they have happened.

Reputation Academy members, if you need any help remember All You Have To Do Is Ask by following this link

If you need any help to plan for the implications please do not hesitate to get in touch by using this link which opens in a new window. 

We are holding a Special Event on Consumer Rights for more details please follow this link.

Reputation Matters

This month Reputation Advocate, Peter Clarke from PPG Proofreading shares the benefits of working with a proofreader.

"An Independent Pair of Eyes”

10 Business Benefits of Working with a Proofreader
 

  1. To create a GREAT first impression with prospective customers and enhance your reputation.
    Error-free written content will mean that your chances of securing new business are enhanced significantly.
     

  2. To create more time for you to run your business.
    Time spent reading and re-reading your own work means that other aspects of your business are neglected. A proofreader will give you that time back so you can get on and do things that really matter to you.
     

  3. To provide “An Independent Pair of Eyes” to review your writing.
    A proofreader will be able to identify errors more quickly than the author of the content.

 

  1. To help you to save money.
    The cost of a proofreader will be substantially less than the cost of your time spent reading and re-reading your own work.
     

  2. To save you from embarrassment.
    There’s nothing more embarrassing than one of your customers noticing an error and then publicising it. A proofreader will help you to ‘get it right first time’.
     

  3. To reduce your stress levels.
    A proofreader will give you peace of mind knowing that your writing will be accurate and ‘ready to go’.
     

  4. To add value to your team.
    A proofreader can be a virtual team member helping to make sure that your written content looks professional and is error-free.
     

  5. To reduce your waste paper volumes.
    Working with a proofreader will mean that you do not have to re-print materials that contained errors.
     

  6. To improve your confidence levels especially if you are dyslexic or English is not your first language.
     

  7. To provide a professional alternative to a spellchecker.
    A spellchecker will not pick up words that have been spelt correctly but typed incorrectly.

Reputation Advocates


We are delighted to introduce our Reputation Advocates if you need expert help for your business.

✔  They have been audited by Crimson Crab

✔  They have signed a contractual undertaking to comply with our Code of Conduct and

✔  They meet the standards in our Ethical Trading Policy

This means that we know they have a great approach to business which reflects the core principles that Crimson Crab stands for. In addition we are confident that they put their clients at the heart of everything they do to provide the best possible service, and will rectify things quickly if they do go wrong. 

You can find a Reputation Advocate by following this link.

If you think that your business would benefit from becoming a Reputation Advocate please get in touch by following this link.

Reputation Academy

Crimson Crab's mission is to provide friendly and confidential support to businesses and help develop sensible strategies, tactics and processes to minimise and manage the risks to reputation, time and profitability from trading law.

To find out more please follow this link.

Forthcoming Events

 


In conjunction with Southern Entrepreneurs


Cyber Security
This course will make sure you are aware of the risks, help protect your business and stay on the right side of the law. Find out more and book your place by following this link (opens in a new window)

Public Procurement
This course will help you seek out and capitalise on opportunities to provide goods or services to the public sector. Find out more and book your place by following this link this link (opens in a new window)


Crimson Crab Special Events


Consumer Rights 
The Government wants to give consumers more confidence - and legal back-up - to deal with bad service or shoddy goods.This special event will help businesses understand their responsibilities under the new legislation.

To book a place please follow this link (opens in a new window) or call Wendy on 02392 637190.

 

In closing

If there are any issues raised in this issue that you would like to talk to us about in more detail, please don't hesitate to get in touch by following this link. 

As always we would love to receive your feedback:
  • What would you like to see more of or less of?
  • Are there any reputational risks that you would like to see covered? 
  • Would you like a Special Event on any particular issue?
You can complete an on-line form by following this link, drop us an email using this link or call us on 023 9263 7190.
 
Please could we ask you to forward this copy of Crab Insight on to anyone that you think would benefit from the information. 

If you have been forwarded this email by a colleague, you can subscribe to our VIP list using this link and receive it every month for free.

Lastly, it would really help if you could take a moment to update your preferences using this link so that we can tailor our Crab Alerts to areas you are interested in.

Until next month
 

Don't worry, be Crabby savvy!!
 

and take care of your reputation.
 

Wendy and Rob

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