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CLIENT FOCUS: Q&A – Fred Thompson Clarus WMS

We met up with Fred Thompson (pictured below), Chief Technical Officer at Clarus WMS, who offer a solution to all your warehouse needs, to chat with him about his typical working day, business challenges as an SME, and exciting plans for the future.

Fred Thompson, CTO

1. What is your business?

I’m the Chief Technology Officer at Clarus Software, featuring ClarusWMS, a cloud-based Warehouse Management System (WMS) that enables modern logistics companies to run their warehouse effectively and to its maximum capability.

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Jon Davage, Head of Corporate and author!

Jon Davage

Jon Davage

Some of you may be aware that Jon Davage is head of our corporate team but did you know he has also contributed a chapter to a book?

Working with our clients, Guy Remond and Ian Brookes from The Start Up Factory, they developed an idea to share their experience of the journey from founder to exit in a tech-based business. They are also involved in Manchester’s first potential “unicorn” business Bankifi.

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Insolvency update – are businesses facing a tough few months?

Phil Farrelly

Phil Farrelly

The world of insolvency has been becalmed over the last 18 months as a result of Government support and restrictions on creditor action as part of its response to the Covid 19 pandemic which removed a number of the typical pressure points on directors.

As we head into a new phase of ‘living with the virus’, the support and restrictions are being withdrawn. The furlough scheme ended and some of those restrictions expired on 30 September 2021. From 1 October, the heat was back on or at least partially. There are still some restrictions on creditor action.

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Business Immigration offer

Neil Gouldson

Neil Gouldson

Address labour market shortages by becoming an Employer Sponsor.

Bermans specialist Business Immigration team provides professional advice to UK and international businesses and investors.

Since the UK exited the EU there has been substantial changes to the immigration rules and there is an opportunity to recruit people from anywhere in the world.

Read more details about the new UK immigration system here.

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A review of some interesting developments in employment law

Robert Maddocks

An update on some recent developments

Have your say on the flexible working proposals

The Government launched a consultation on 23 September 2021 regarding proposals to reform the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 to make flexible working the default position.

Currently, an employee has the right to request flexible working arrangements after 26 weeks’ service but the employer can refuse such a request for any of the following reasons:

  • extra costs that will damage the business
  • the work cannot be reorganised among other staff
  • people cannot be recruited to do the work
  • flexible working will affect quality and performance
  • the business will not be able to meet customer demand
  • there is a lack of work to do during the proposed working times
  • the business is planning changes to the workforce.
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The Future of Furlough and other employment issues arising from Covid-19

Adrian Fryer

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“Furlough Scheme”) has been a lifeline to many employers during the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing businesses to retain employees that would have otherwise faced redundancy, but the scheme is now winding down and the Government is encouraging employees back to work with the lifting of the last restrictions from 19 July 2021. The return to work and the winding down of the furlough scheme however mean that business will face new challenges.

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A final extension on Covid business protection law?

Phil Farrelly

On the 22 June 2021 the Government extended, perhaps for the last time, the Coronavirus Act 2020 restrictions on issuing winding up petitions until 30 September 2021 (which is also when the furlough scheme ends)  and landlord forfeiture/Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery until 25 March 2022.

It was assumed that other restrictions, such as the suspension of liability for wrongful trading, would also be extended but that was not the case and  that suspension ended on 30 June 2021. So from 1 July 2021 directors can be sued for wrongful trading in respect of trading after 30 June which increases the deficit to creditors.

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Casting a net over Liverpool

Niki Addison, Concert Networks Ltd

Niki Addison is Managing Director of Concert Networks, a connectivity and communications company based in Northwich (Cheshire) supplying businesses throughout the North West. Concert’s current focus is a connectivity project for the Liverpool City Region, which will see the roll out of a brand new £30 million, 212km full fibre network.

Businesses who are able to connect to the network for their internet connectivity will benefit from speeds of up to 1 gigabit. Niki talked to Bermans about the roll out and why projects like this are so important to the local economy in 2021 and beyond.

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