Lancashire firms warned about the dangers of preparing for school holidays

As the excitement among children for the six-week summer holiday builds, the enthusiasm may not be shared by parents and employers who are frantically trying to work out the logistics for childcare.

According to research from Direct Line for Business the six-week summer holidays cost home businesses alone £658 million a year. The increase in leave requests creates an annual problem for companies of balancing a happy workforce with meeting the needs of the business.

Simon Diggle, Associate Director at Pierce Chartered Accountants provides his top tips to businesses to efficiently manage staff during the summer.

Length of leave

Employers can allow workers to have three weeks off at any one time, but they will need to ensure enough staff members are available to cover them. If there isn’t, they have the right to refuse the leave-but businesses need to ensure that they are consistent when approving holiday leave. To prevent any disgruntled employees, businesses should have a policy regarding when holidays can be taken and how many people can be off at any one time.

Refusing holiday requests

Although employees have a statutory right to annual leave, the company can dictate when it can be taken. Employers can set the times for when workers take their leave, most commonly at Christmas with some Lancashire businesses still operating a summer shut down. Employers can prevent people taking leave during busy periods.

When childcare arrangements fall through

Sometimes childcare arrangements break down, when they do, employers have a legal right to provide reasonable time off for dependants. This is normally unpaid and would expect to last between one or two days. Employers could suggest the use of annual leave or special leave which the company may allow with pay.

Flexible working

Parents of children aged 16 and under can request flexible working during the summer holidays. This can consist of part-time, flexi-time, compressed hours, staggered hours, working from home or term-time only working.

Employers are obliged to consider this and can only reject the application if there is a good business reason. A new work pattern needs to be agreed, once confirmed, it will permanently change the terms and conditions of the employment.

Does travel delay=pay?

During the busy summer period, travel delays do happen and there are no legal rights for employers to pay for any missed days. The result of this depends on your contract, some businesses may have contractual arrangements in place for this and provide discretionary pay for travel disruption.

Planning is key

Planning ahead during the summer months is the key to business success. If members of your accounts team are off, ensure that invoices are still processed on time to prevent payment delays as this could damage your reputation and credit rating. If the person in charge of payroll is away, organise for someone else to manage it in their absence to guarantee that staff members will be paid on time.

Pierce puts Lancashire mumpreneur in the driving seat with PLUSH business

Pierce chartered accountants has helped to put entrepreneur and working mum Susie Wilson in the driving seat of a new business manufacturing luxury leather car accessories for kids.

The Blackburn-based accountancy and business advisory group provided tax and trademarking advice enabling Susie to launch PLUSH, which designs bespoke children’s car seats for use in exclusive marques, including BMW, Porsche and Mercedes.

Pierce has worked with Susie for a number of years while she was financial director at DH Stainless in Accrington and the partnership continued when she established her own venture.

Based in Clitheroe, Lancashire, PLUSH was launched at The London Motor Show 2017 in May. The company is currently in discussions with BMW Germany, Porsche and a number of luxury car dealerships about becoming stockists.

Susie said: “I have a BMW Z4 and when I was looking for a car seat for my six-year-old daughter, I realised there were no seats to match the interior in my car. I’ve always been car mad and have an eye for fashion and design so when I discovered the gap in the market, the idea for PLUSH was born.

“I use Pierce for my accounts but they have provided me with so much more than that – they are a source of help and a voice of reason. I am a chartered accountant so I have good financial knowledge but Pierce were able to help me beyond my expertise with advice on tax and trademarking.”

Jane Smith, associate director at Pierce, said: “Susie is very entrepreneurial and Pierce is really proud to be supporting her exciting new business venture.

“Our work with PLUSH covers accounts, providing specialist tax advice and trademarking support. Our expert team has a wide range of skills, meaning we can help start-up companies and SMEs with every financial aspect of their business.

“We look forward to seeing the success of PLUSH unfold in the near future as it is such a unique enterprise.”

Photographic Competition Winners

The 2015 Winner

1st Place - Robert Patefield - James Alpe Ltd

First Place – Mr Robert Patefield, James Alpe Ltd, Reedy Grass in Water.

We are delighted to present the winners and finalists of our 2015 Photographic Competition.

As always the standard was stunningly high and the judges had a very difficult time in choosing the final three winners.

The subject this year was Nature (close up).

Nicola Draper - East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

Second Place – Nicola Draper, East Lancs Chamber, Crab, Up Close and Personal.

Robert Singleton - 2015

Third Place – Robert Singleton, Southern Hawk Dragonfly

The Judges

We would like to thank our judges:

Mr David Haslam of NatWest

Mr John Everiss of John Everiss Design Limited

Mr Keith Miller

The Finalists

Please find attached a gallery of all the finalists. We thank them for a superb effort and a very high standard, we know that you will enjoy their images.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise


50th anniversary: 1966 – 2015

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise Magazine


When The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise were established in 1965, I could not have imagined how much they would grow in strength and reputation over the next 50 years. Read More

Why should I apply?


The closing date for entries is 30 September 2015 so start your application today by visiting GOV.UK


The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards, driving growth and innovation, and promoting exports. They recognise outstanding achievements by UK companies and could get your businesses noticed, above and beyond the competition.

The Awards have been operating in various forms since 1966, developing over the years into the current format comprising three categories of Award for companies and one for individuals.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are awarded to businesses for outstanding achievement in International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development.

The Award for Enterprise Promotion (QAEP) is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to promoting and enhancing enterprise among UK entrepreneurs and companies.


A corporate Award is valid for five years.

Successful organisations may fly the Queen’s Award flag at their principal premises and are entitled to use the Emblem on their stationery, advertising and goods. Commemorative articles can be given to employees.

Queens Awards Logo

Winning businesses have already enjoyed immediate and long-term benefits from the respected Royal endorsement such as worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, greater press coverage and a boost to staff morale.


The closing date for entries is 30 September 2015 so start your application today by visiting GOV.UK

For tips and advice on completing your entry, take a look at this YouTube video.  It will only take a couple of minutes


What are you waiting for?


The benefits of entering the Queen‘s Award

The reasons for companies to enter for a Queen’s Award are as many as there are companies – each has their own specific purposes in doing so and the great majority of them benefit from their success.

Even those companies who do not achieve a win on their first attempt can find it a valuable experience, giving them targets to achieve and an additional focus for which to optimise their efforts in becoming one of the best UK companies in their field.





Dragons Den seeks Local Entrepreneurs

BBC Dragons Den Looking for Local Entrepreneurs


East Lancs Chamber of Commerce news 

Do you need cash for your business idea?

Dragons Den gives you the chance to pitch your business to five of the most successful and commercial brains in the UK.

If you are an entrepreneur, with a fantastic business idea or product, and looking for investment and ready to enter the Den then we want to hear from you.

Meet the Dragons

From the left: Duncan Bannatyne, Kelly Hoppen, Deborah Meaden, Piers Linney and Peter Jones are looking to invest their own cash in ideas pitched in the Den. Find out more about the multi-millionaire investors.

Apply to enter the Den

If you’ve got a great business idea to put to our venture capitalists, here’s where you can apply to take your place in the Den.

There are two ways to apply:

1. You can either fill in the online application form here, which gets directly to the Dragons’ Den production team.


2. If you experience problems with the online application form through your browser, you can download the form here (111KB) and either email or post it as directed in the download.

As part of normal selection process we may approach entrepreneurs, or they may apply direct. In each case all applications are processed in the same way. To be considered all candidates need to submit an application form and these are then subject to the same casting criteria. Final selection for participation in the programme will be decided on a number of factors including the strength of idea, a robust business plan and projected turnover.

Please note: Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence by the BBC and individual data will not be provided to any other party. For further information, please read the BBC’s privacy policy. Unfortunately, due to the high number of applicants, only those people who are shortlisted will be contacted. However, we do consider all applications carefully. All information provided is subject to and will be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will not be used for any purpose other than assessing applicants to take part in the named BBC programme. We regret that BBC members of staff and their immediate families are not eligible to apply. All applicants must be aged 18 or over.

Video Interview with Peter Street

With thanks to The Telegraph and to Rachel Bridge please find Video Interview of Peter Street of The Cardboard Box Company :

 The Telegraph logo
Festival of Business Network Brought to you by Rachel Bridge, Festival of Business editor
LATEST Follow Rachel Bridge on Twitter  Rachel Bridge
Welcome to the Telegraph’s Festival of Business newsletter – the place for conversation, discussion and debate about everything SME.We are delighted to announce the six businesses which have been chosen as finalists for The Telegraph’s Festival of Business SME of the Year competition. They are: The Cardboard Box Company, Quiet Mark, Wishtrac, Affordable Art Fair, Bactest and Stockton Drilling.You can read a profile and watch a video of the first finalist, Peter Street of The Cardboard Box Company, by clicking here.The overall winner will be announced at The Telegraph Festival of Business which is being held in London on Tuesday 11th November. Attendance at the festival is free for qualifying delegates but you do need to register for place. You can do this by going to and clicking on the registration panel.


The Festival of Business programme has been specially designed for senior executives in UK companies with an annual turnover between £5m and £250m.


Please do feel to get in touch anytime with comments, thoughts and suggestions. You can email me on

“Every day is a David and Goliath battle with the big companies. We use social media to level up the playing field. Social media can be the stone to slay the Goliath.” Rich Clothier, managing director of Wyke Farms, an independent cheesemaker from Somerset which has been awarded the ‘Free Cheese Friday’ trademark after using it in a social media campaign.
SMEs should let working mothers set their own hours, says Frances Dickens, founder of Astus Group, a media barter agency. Firms will miss out on talent if they don’t make it easier for working mothers to return to the workplace, she says. Click here to read
How to succeed in America. Click here to read.
Britain’s ‘atheist church’ now pulls in crowds from Berlin to Ohio. Atheism is big business for the founders of Sunday Assembly, who have swapped hymns for pop and sermons for secular lectures, reports Rebecca Burn-Callander. Click here to read.


YouTube: Pierce Budget 2014 Presentation

We are delighted to launch our YouTube Channel today.

Following our 2014 Budget Presentation at The Dunkenhalgh Hotel our three YouTube star performers are:

Part One: John Green

Part Two: Anne Wilson

Part Three: Nadeem Hussain

The (as yet) unabridged content is below:

Filmed by Glasgows

View the Chancellors Budget Document in Full

2014 Chancellors Budget images

Extract from:

The government is taking decisions that will support businesses to invest, export, and create jobs – laying the foundations for sustainable economic growth. This Budget sets out the most radical reforms to saving for a generation, providing security for families to plan for their future. And it reduces taxes for hardworking people, while taking further steps to tackle tax avoidance.

The government’s long-term economic plan has protected the economy through a period of uncertainty and provided the foundations for the recovery. The economy is now growing faster than predicted and expectations for growth this year and next have also been revised up by the Office for Budget Responsibilty (OBR) – to 2.7% in 2014 and 2.3% in 2015. A record number of people are in work and the OBR now expects employment to reach 31.4 million by 2018. A deficit that reached 11% of GDP in 2009-10 is now forecast to fallen by half to 5.5% in the coming year and will be eradicated by 2018-19.

However, as the Chancellor outlined in his speech the job is not yet done, and further difficult decisions will be needed to continue reducing the deficit and debt.






LBV Red Rose Awards & Springhill Care

LBV Red Rose Awards 2014 & Springhill Care Group Limited

By:  Paul Warren

 Red Rose front-logo

For the second successive year I had the pleasure of attending the awards ceremony at the Winter Gardens Blackpool on Thursday 13 March,  this time as a guest of the Springhill Care Group Limited who had been nominated for four awards across different categories.

Celebration Springhill-care-Group-500x3331

The Springhill Care Group Limited were award winners in the Health and Care sector and in the Customer Service sector and many congratulations go to them and their team for their success and commitment.

All the nominated and shortlisted businesses should be congratulated on showcasing the best of Lancashire business which, after 40 years serving the business community in a professional capacity, never ceases to amaze me in terms of the depth and quality of what is available in the area.

We should indeed as a business community take pride in what we regularly achieve where our businesses consistently punch above their weight and can match what many city businesses can sometimes only dream of.

Credit should be given to the organisers and sponsors for bringing together such talent and quality and the opportunity to network and enjoy the success of business in our community.

Well done to everyone connected with and participating in the Red Rose Awards.

Paul Warren

Managing Director

Pierce Group Limited

14 March 2014

iPad mini prize draw – just complete the survey

iPad mini prize draw – just complete the survey

ipad mini

On behalf of

Taylor Patterson Financial Planning Ltd | Lanson House | Winckley Gardens | Mount Street | Preston | PR1 8RY | Tel: 01772 555073 | Fax: 01772 203688 | Web:

Tay Pat logo_new

Taylor Patterson is keen to understand how Auto Enrolment will affect businesses and are you truly ready, willing and waiting? To help gauge the regional impact we are asking people to take part in a brief survey by clicking here.

All survey respondents will have the opportunity to be entered into a free prize draw for an iPad Mini, to be drawn on 24th March 2014.

For each survey completed Taylor Patterson will also donate £1 to local charity

East Lancs Hospice.
For your chance to win an iPad Mini and help raise money for charity please complete our short Auto Enrolment survey Auto Enrolment survey


Thanks to MEN : Conference No8 gets creative


This gallery contains 4 photos.

Thanks to MEN and Shelina Begum: Thanks to Shelina Begum of the Manchester Evening News for the mention in her article below: Conference No.8 gets creative Companies from the creative and digital sector shared their skills and knowledge with professional … Continue reading