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Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of what's been happening on the forums.
The discussion about the state of the retail economy powered on (follow the thread link below to read the latest) as legacy retailers like Toys R Us closed their doors this week. As one user pointed out, the crash of major chains isn't all bad for our community of small independent businesses.
Here are our favourite queries of this week:
With Carillion in liquidation, Toys R Us in administration and Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons announcing thousands of job cuts, the retail economy’s looking a little shaky.
Is this the tip of the iceberg for another 2008-esque financial crash, antropy writes, or are things just a bit slow and likely to improve soon?
Mr D: Companies going under is nothing new, been happening for probably centuries. The weak, the unlucky, the overstretched, the under-marketed, the poorly positioned, the unwilling to change -- they may well be the ones who go under. Buyers still wanting the same items turn to other companies, strengthening jobs in those companies and maybe even resulting in those companies taking on more staff to cope with increased demand. Nothing lasts forever.
Page: Ecommerce is the most cruel of businesses and a lot of thinning out is starting to happen -- this was always going to happen eventually and it's now starting at a serious level.
marcus_bond: We think protecting cash and cutting costs is our best strategy over the next 12 months, and as a small business, that's about our only advantage compared with larger companies... we can move quickly.
Margaret, Employment & HR
Is it normal for a company to deduct some of your pay towards your holiday pay? As Margaret says, her friend is paid weekly and the company deducted £13 from her first pay and told her it was for her holiday.
Scalloway: I've only come across this where the holiday pay is being held for paying out later. It's not a normal procedure and it must not reduce pay below minimum pay rates.
kulture: Just to be 100% clear about this. Your friend must be paid at least the minimum wage. If this deduction takes it below minimum then it is illegal.
Newchodge: Agencies do have the right to pay rolled up holiday pay. This is when the holiday pay is paid with standard wages (usually @ 12.07% of wages) so that if the agency worker works irregular hours, days or weeks, their holiday pay has already been paid. For this to happen, the payslip should specify what the wage is and what the holiday pay is. Some agencies do this and then withhold the holiday pay until holiday is taken, when the money is given to the agency worker. This seems a completely unnecessary action.
HomesWarehouse, General Business
One of HomesWarehouse’s tenants paid four months in advance for a property and has since decided to leave. It’s been agreed that the advance rent will be returned – but the advance was originally paid by his parents, who the tenant’s since fallen out with.
“Who do I legally return the rent to? The contract is in the tenant’s name but the rent was paid from a bank account of the parents. Both have requested that the funds are paid to them…”
Weblink Plus: I don't know the specific legality, but I would've thought sending it back to the account it came from was the right thing to do.
KAC: Unless you have any agreement with the parents, your contract is with the tenant. How the deposit was paid is not your problem. Your liability is to the person with whom you entered into a contract.
Obscure: Legally speaking, the parents didn't pay the money to you; they paid it to the son. The son arranged a loan and, regardless of which account he arranged for it to be paid into, he has an agreement with his parents and a debt to them. You don't.
CVUK, Sales, Marketing & PR
CVUK receives a lot of spam through his online contact form, most of which comes from mobile and tablet. He’s thinking about putting a Captcha on the mobile form, but he’s worried it might dissuade a number of potential users.
NickGrogan: How much is an enquiry worth to you? How long does it take to deal with spam?If you know the answer to those questions, you know if you should use Captcha.
Leo Salazar: I see Captcha as a clear cost/benefit calculation for the user. In other words: if they think the content is valuable, going through the rather small inconvenience of checking a Captcha box won't stop them.
Mike Hayes: I would actually go a step further and say to stop most spam, you probably don't need to use a complicated captcha -- a simple question (e.g. “What colour is grass?”) can stop a large portion of automated bot spam without causing issues for your customers.
That's all for this week -- have a great weekend!
Wonderful article. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.
Thanks, great article
Useful article - useful
This is a great article, something I was wondering about as I am a recent startup CIC and have been working on building partnerships in the NE - was concerned that a cold email to an organisation who may be a good partnership (at little, or usually no, cost to them) might be seen as spam.