Chambers Ireland Weekly Digest: 27th November 2017

  1. The AIB Women in Enterprise Masterclass

AIB are launching a new education and mentoring programme, ‘AIB Women in Enterprise’, aiming to raise awareness and provide access to key skills and guidance for female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Tomorrow, Tuesday 28th November will be the first of four half-day masterclass events, featuring practical advice and hands-on tools for business development.

Register today at http://entrepreneursacademy.ie/aibwomeninenterprise/  or email sarahlyn@entrepreneursacademy.ie Places are limited so register today to avoid disappointment.

Event Details: Tuesday 28th November 2017, 2pm – 6pm (registration from 1.30pm, networking reception following the event) at Hilton Dublin Airport, Malahide Road, Dublin.

  1. Order your company’s Christmas cards with An Post and help ALONE support older people

This Christmas, ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has partnered with An Post for its ‘Do One Thing’ Christmas campaign. The campaign allows companies to make a donation to ALONE while ordering high-quality Christmas cards which can be personalised with a logo or personal message inside.

By purchasing a pack of 100 or 500 Christmas cards online, companies can help support older people who are experiencing loneliness this Christmas. At a cost of €250 a company can purchase 100 personalised Christmas cards, including postage and a €120 donation to ALONE. For €1,250 a company can purchase 500 personalised Christmas cards, including postage and a €650 donation to ALONE. Companies will receive their stock of cards within three working days, delivered by An Post.

The donations will go directly to ALONE services. The organisation provides friendship, support, social events, and housing to older people. ALONE services ensure that no older person is left isolated and lonely. To order your company’s Christmas Cards and help ALONE today go to www.alone.ie/christmas

  1. Enterprise Ireland “Be Prepared” Brexit Funding Support for SMEs

Enterprise Ireland are offering grant funding for SMEs interested in developing a sustainable action plan to consolidate themselves in preparation for the business challenges which may arise from Brexit. The “Be Prepared Grant” offers eligible SMEs up to €5000 in support funds to cover consultancy, travel and travel expenses associated with researching the direction of their action plan. This plan would likely include looking into moving into new markets and market segments. Before applying, candidates can complete a Brexit Scorecard available from the Enterprise Ireland website, where the online application system can also be found.

To access the Brexit Scorecard, the online application system and more information about eligibility for the grant, visit the dedicated Enterprise Ireland webpage here: https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/funding-supports/Company/Esetablish-SME-Funding/Be-Prepared.html

  1. Report on the Irish Chamber Network Delegation Visit to Brussels

Earlier this month, Chambers Ireland and a delegation of representatives of local Chambers engaged in series of meetings in Brussels over two days focusing on promoting the voice of the Chambers network amidst the ongoing Brexit negotiations. The delegation met with officials from the European Commission as well as a number of Irish MEPs and more. The meetings were a constructive opportunity for local Chamber representatives to voice the concerns of their members and to be given greater insight into the current stages of the negotiations and the EU’s work to ensure Irish interests are prioritised.

Please find attached an overview report on the meetings. Should you have any questions regarding the report and the meetings, please contact emma.kerins@chambers.ie

  1. Brexit Update November

Carol Lynch, partner with BDO, is the Chambers Ireland nominee to Revenue’s Customs Consultative Committee and has kindly put together an update for the Chamber Network on the possible customs implications of Brexit, based on negotiations as they have unfolded to date and based on the UK Government’s recent White Paper on customs.

With Brexit negotiations having begun last week, please find attached a short article which includes an overview of negotiations to date and recommendations for business. This will be a useful update for your members.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Emma Kerins, Chambers Ireland International Affairs Executive by email at Emma.Kerins@chambers.ie or by phone on +353 1 4004303.

  1. InvestHorizon Final Conference and Workshop in Brussels

The EU funded project ‘InvestHorizon Programme’ will be sharing its project findings on facilitating sustainable and impactful growth for innovative start-ups across Europe at a final conference on Wednesday, 29 November in Brussels, Belgium.

The project focuses on boosting investment awareness and readiness amongst innovative SMEs and improving the sensitization of investors and innovation intermediaries across Europe to these growing SMEs.

The conference will involve a half-day workshop to communicate the programme’s impact and to share lessons learnt among stakeholders.

If you think that this event would be of interest for learning more or learning how to make SMEs/start-ups attractive for investment and achieving sustainable growth, you can register for the event here and read the event programme here.

  1. EUROCHAMBRES – Supporting SMEs against Corruption – Save The Date

ACTS, the Anti-Corruption toolkit for SMEs are organizing a ‘Supporting SMEs Against Corruption’ day in Brussels on 7 December 2017 to celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day 2017.

Members of the Chambers Network are cordially invited.

The event is being developed in partnership with Eurochambres and the Belgian office of the International Chamber of Commerce.

The event, which will be held in English, will be inaugurated by Kris Peeters, Belgian Vice Prime Minister for Employment, Economy, and Consumers, and concluded by Denis Ducarme, Belgian Minister of Middle Classes, Self-employed, SMEs, Agriculture and Social Integration.

Speakers from different Members States including representatives of the UN, the OECD, the European Parliament, the European Commission, EUROCHAMBRES, ICC and other organisations will address the audience in different panels:

  • SMEs against corruption & policy making
  • Belgian and other EU initiatives to support SMEs
  • The Anti-Corruption Toolkit for SMEs

For registration and contact details, please find the attached a PDF labelled “20171207 SUPPORTING SMES AGAINST CORRUPTION”.

  1. Impact of Brexit on EU Citites and Regions – Seeking Your Views

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) with the support of our colleagues in Eurochambres are looking for input from of local and regional authorities, chambers of commerce, or other stakeholders at regional and local level on what they feel the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU will be on their own cities and regions.

It is extremely important that the Irish perspective is included in this EU-wide information-gathering exercise.

The survey itself is quite brief and should take no more than 3-5 minutes to complete. Please feel free to complete yourself, share via your social media channels and circulate to your members. The deadline is the 15 Dec 2017. Should you have any questions regarding the below, please contact emma.kerins@chambers.ie

https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/ImpactUKwithdrawal

  1. National Water Resources Plan Consultation One

Irish Water is developing the first National Water Resources Plan (NWRP) that will outline a roadmap towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly drinking water supply over the next 25 years. 

Irish Water is now seeking feedback on the SEA Scoping Report – it can be viewed and downloaded at www.water.ie/nwrp.

Submissions or observations in relation to the level of detail of the information to be included in the report may be made by Friday 22 December 2017 by contacting the following email or postal addresses:

Email: nwrp@water.ie

Post:   National Water Resources Plan, Irish Water, Colvill House,
             24‐26 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, Ireland.

  1. Pendulum Summit 2018 – Ticket Offer

The 2018 edition of the annual Pendulum Summit is taking place over the 10th and 11th of January 2018 at the Convention Centre in Dublin.

The Summit specializes in bringing together world-renowned speakers to present compelling masterclasses to attendees focused on five areas key to linked to personal and professional growth; self-empowerment, authentic relationships, leadership & team performance, business excellence and professional & wealth elevation.

The roster of speakers for the 2018 summit will include Sir Richard Branson, Baronness Mone of Mayfair OBE, NYTimes bestselling author Marci Shimoff and more.

Pendulum Summit is offering special rates and complimentary seat upgrades on tickets to Chambers Ireland members.

To avail of this offer, please see below:

Special Rate 1: Premium Plus Ticket @ €800 (normally €1000)

Benefits include:

  • Tickets are ‘flexi’ tickets – You can attend both days orattend one of the days and transfer ownership to a friend or colleague for the other day
  • Premium plus section seating (seats located to the front of Premium section – subject to availability)
  • Access to all speaker masterclasses and more

Click here to book your place. Enter promo code chamber

Special Rate 2: Platinum Plus Ticket @ €1050 (normally €1200)

Benefits include all of the features of the Special Rate 1 ticket, as well as:

  • Access to Advanced Registration Networking Event
  • Access to Fast Track Registration at Summit
  • Access to Platinum Room during lunch

Click here to book your place. Enter promo code chamber

  1. EU Report on Benefits to Business of Trade Deals

Following on the Chamber visit to Brussels earlier this month where we met with officials from DG Trade, a new report has been published profiling the benefits of EU Trade deals for businesses all over the EU. This horizontal report is the first of its kind and sheds light on what happens after trade agreements are negotiated and have entered into force. The publication is another step towards a fully transparent and inclusive trade policy, in line with the Commission’s commitments set out in the EU’s 2015 ‘Trade for All’ strategy. Overall, EU agreements are shown to lead to more EU exports and growth, with major export increases to the following countries:

  • Mexico (+416% since 2000)
  • Chile (+170% since 2003)
  • South Korea (+59% since 2011)
  • Serbia (+62% since 2013)

More information on the report can be found at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1753. DG Trade would also like to hear more from Chambers about how their members are benefiting from existing trade deals or how they might benefit from new deals (Canada, Japan) and proposed trade partnerships (Mexico, Mercosur, Australia, New Zealand). We ask that you engage with our members and if interested, to invite them to send their positive trade stories to emma.kerins@chambers.ie

  1. Doing Business and Investing in Brazil- A message from President of Brazil Michel Temer

Our colleagues in the Embassy of Brazil in Ireland have asked that we circulate the attached message from the Brazilian President , Michel Temer, which details recent political developments, reforms and opportunities for business.

Please circulate to your members or any interested stakeholder who may have business interests in Brazil.

Should you have any questions concerning the attached, please contact emma.kerins@chambers.ie

  1. Peninsula – Paternity Leave and Paternity Pay Entitlements

First introduced in September 2016, fathers in Ireland are now entitled to apply for Paternity Leave following the birth or adoption of a child. What are your legal obligations when it comes to the Paternity Leave and Paternity Pay entitlements of your staff? Peninsula have collated an overview of everything you need to know… 

Paternity Leave is governed by the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016. It is a period of two weeks leave from work following the birth or adoption of a child. This is a statutory entitlement. The leave must be taken within the six months following the birth or adoption of the child.

Relevant employees and self-employed persons are entitled to this leave. The list includes the father of the baby, the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the mother or the parent of a donor-conceived child.

Where the child has been adopted, the nominated parent of a same-sex couple (the other parent will be taking the adoptive leave), or the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the adopting mother or sole male adopter will be entitled to the leave.

Employees are entitled to this leave regardless of how long they have worked for the employer and irrespective of what type of contract that they are on. The employer is under no obligation to pay the employee during this period of leave unless they have contractual policies or customs and practices which state otherwise.

The employee will be entitled to Paternity Benefit so long as they have made sufficient PRSI contributions. Where an employer has topped up the salaries of employees who are on maternity leave, the question can arise as to whether they need to top up the salaries of employees on paternity leave?

The Workplace Relations Commission has recently stated that maternity leave is afforded a very high standard of protection and it is very different to paternity leave. They went on to state that it would not be discriminatory to top up salaries during maternity leave and not to top up salaries during paternity leave. This is the first decision of its kind and is still somewhat of a grey area.

Relevant employees must notify their employers of their intention to take paternity leave no later than 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the leave. The two weeks must be taken consecutively.

The employee is also obliged to provide medical certification of the due date of the baby or confirmation of the birth of the baby. Where there has been an adoption, the employee must provide a certificate of the placement of the child. Employers must keep records of employees’ paternity leave for 8 years.

If you have any questions in relation to paternity leave entitlements, please contact Peninsula’s expert employment law advisors on the 24 Hour Advice Service on 01 855 5050

  1. The EU Asia Business Link – Promoting Business opportunities in Asia for SMEs within the EU

The EU Asia Business Link is a coordination platform which aims to increase the visibility of EU initiatives in Asia so that EU-based companies and business organisations can identify and benefit from these initiatives to enter into and develop commercial relations with Asian markets.

The project is managed by EUROCHAMBRES and communications agency GOPA Com, who work together in close cooperation with key stakeholders in Asia and in the EU.

The website of the platform provides the latest updates on news and events across different business sectors on EU-Asia business developments.

For more information on the platform and what opportunities are available for your business, please visit the EU Asia Business Link website here: http://www.ealink.eu/

  1. Update on Investment Projects from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation in the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce

The Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry have notified Chambers Ireland of several new investment projects currently in development, mainly in the area of construction.

They include a biofuel manufacturing plant, a clinical medical centre, a liquefied natural gas plant, an electro-metallurgical plant and more.

Details of the various projects can be found attached to this newsletter as a downloadable zip file, “CCI RF’s Projects 2017.09.zip”.

If interested, please contact the Russian Federation Chamber representative Sergei Averin, who  is happy to get in touch with any network members who would like further information, via the below phone and email contact details:

T: +44 (0) 20 7931 6455 | Mob: +44 (0) 7983 628297 | Email: averin@rbcc.com http://www.tpprf.ru

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