Monday, 4 April 2011

Not just energy, its M&S Energy

NotJust energy, its M&S Energy

High street giant Marks & Spencer has confirmed it will now sell gas and electricity alongside its food and clothes as part of a new deal with Scottish & Southern Energy.
Shoppers will soon be able to buy their household energy in stores around the country and online, and will be rewarded with M&S vouchers for signing up, renewing their contracts and reducing energy consumption.
Scottish & Southern Energy ( said M&S Energy customers will pay the same price as the energy suppliers existing customers who have dual fuel and pay by Direct Debit – an average of £1,196 a year.
It has also been agreed that all the electricity going to M&S customers will come from Scottish hydro generating plants – providing ‘green’ appeal.
The energy deal will be available online and into 16 stores around the UK as of October 27, and will then be extended to 62 stores by the end of next month.
A spokeswoman for M&S said the idea was to take the confusion out of buying gas and electricity: “As a business we buy a lot of energy ourselves. It is complicated, so we are going to give people a choice they know they can trust. The service will also enable customers to reduce their energy consumption and their bills.”
The new energy offer is part of a push by M&S to broaden their market, selling a wider range of goods and services.
The retailer now sells a range of electrical goods and is trialling branded foods in 19 supermarkets in the north-east; and is also entering the global markets, with the opening of its first store in China two weeks ago.
Here in the UK though, M&S is facing increasingly tough trading conditions. Chairman Sir Stuart Rose recently reported a 6% downturn in sales and announced he was slashing planned investment to save cash.
SSE, the second biggest energy supplier in the UK behind British Gas (, has around 8.5 million customers, and plans to use the deal with M&S to grow its market share.
“It is a new channel to reach additional customers,” a SSE spokesman said. “We want to continue to grow. We expect to continue to grow.”
The M&S Energy offer rewards customers with a £15 voucher if they reduce their annual energy usage by 10%, and customers opting for paperless billing will get another £10 voucher. Dual-fuel customers switching to M&S Energy will also receive a £20 M&S voucher on signing and a further £10 voucher for each year they remain with M&S Energy.
The M&S spokeswoman said meter reading, bad debt collection and disconnections would be handled by SSE, which has set up a specialist M&S customer service team: “They are sector leaders when it comes to service. They reflect our brand values.”
Carl Leaver, director of International, Home & M&S Direct, said: “M&S Energy is an exciting addition to our range of services. The energy sector can be quite complex and we want to make it simpler for our customers. We also understand that the cost of living has risen for many customers and we hope to encourage them to save money by reducing their energy usage.”
Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE’s energy supply director, said: “I am confident that our partnership will deliver a market-leading product ... It shows energy supply in this country is constantly evolving with new products, services and ways of communicating with customers.”
Chris Eagle, commercial manager of said: “This new deal will certainly cause a stir in the energy market. With an added incentive of the reward vouchers, existing M&S customers may take advantage of the offer; and new customers will be attracted with the low prices.”

Full Article

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Employee grievances don't have to result in an Employment Tribunal

As soon as you employ just one person, not only do you take on the responsibilities of taxation, insurance and heath and safety, but under employment legislation employees have very specific rights in how they are handled in disciplinary situations.
If you have ever tried to make some one redundant, take disciplinary action through time keeping, absenteeism or gross misconduct, then you'll know without the right documentation and procedures in place to support your action it is all to easy to end up in a situation which can result in an employment tribunal.
This is where many businesses go wrong, many of us are too busy running our businesses to gather all the documents needed.

We are offering a full Employee Information Pack which includes

1. Absence Policy
2. Code of Conduct
3. Compassionate Leave and Time off for Emergencies
4. Data Protection Policy
5. Dignity at Work Policy
6. Disciplinary Policy and Procedures
7. Dress Code Policy
8. Driving Policy
9. Drug and Alcohol Policy
10. Email and Internet Policy
11. Equal Opportunities Policy
12. Ethical Statement
13. Flexitime and Working from Home Policy
14. Grievance Procedure
15. Heath and Safety Policy
16. Intellectual Property Policy
17. Maternity and Adoption Policy
18. Mobile Phone Policy
19. Parental Leave Policy
20. Paternity and Adoption Leave Policy
21. Smoking Policy

For a limited period the full Employee Information Pack above for £140.00 (normally £280.00)

Offer ends 4th April 2011
To buy or for more information please visit our site.

NotJust Law -  an exciting, new and fresh legal service. What’s different about NotJust law? We are devoted to making dealing with your legal issues easy and stress free. Our friendly and approachable Solicitors couldn’t be more different to the typical, stuffy image of solicitors. We’re the only legal service that has branches in towns and cities all across the UK so where ever you are, you can use NotJust law for your legal matter. There’s simply no comparison with traditional, old fashioned law firms – NotJust law is the future of legal services and we can’t wait to help you. Come and try us out today!, contact us online or give us a call anytime, day or night. You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is to use NotJust law for your legal matters – you might even actually enjoy the experience...!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

It's not just law students who are learning how to sue

It is no longer far-fetched for students to litigate against their universities if they perform poorly in a degree course

Law lecturers often joke about the fact that they are providing students with knowledge that could be used against them. If a law student slips on a wet floor, their instinctive reaction is likely to be a personal injury claim in the county court. And if they don't like their grades, well they can sue.
It may seem far-fetched to litigate against your university if you perform poorly in a degree course, but this week has seen another high profile attempt to do just that.
Andrew Croskery, a student at Queen's University Belfast, has brought a judicial review to overturn his 2:2 in electrical engineering, claiming that if he had received better supervision he would have instead obtained a 2:1.
Press reports suggested that to take a case of this nature to the high court is extremely unusual. But it has been done before.
Just last year Amanda McKoy, a midwifery student at Oxford Brookes, successfully argued that the high court was competent to interfere with the university's claim that she would not make a fit midwife because she had performed poorly on the course.
The court quashed Oxford Brookes' decision to withdraw McKoy from the course and her lawyers received £16,000 in costs.
More commonly though, enterprising students have sued their universities for breach of contract. In 1995 Joanne Clark, a student at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, sued over a finals paper about the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire. Her computer crashed the day before deadline and she lost all her work. She was awarded 0 and when she resat was awarded a third because it was her second attempt.
Her case went all the way to the court of appeal, which said that Clark had at least an arguable case and that she should have had the opportunity to do better.
In 2002 a law student at the University of Wolverhampton put some of his newfound knowledge of contract law to the test, also suing for breach of contract. Mike Austen, a retired airline pilot, said the university had given an "inflated" picture of the course in its prospectus and that the quality of teaching was not up to scratch.
"The most laughable was a CD-Rom which the university published with a student saying: 'I was offered Oxford, I was offered Cambridge, but it had to be Walsall'," Austen said at the time. Less laughable was the payout he secured from Wolverhampton – £30,000 in an out-of-court settlement.
In 2006 a Belgian PhD student claimed £3m from Oxford University for failing his thesis. George Van Mellaert said the examiners of his oral viva were "out to get him", that they grilled him for almost three hours and had great prejudice against him. He also claimed the examiners were inadequate and ignorant.
The court was less impressed with this claim, stating that "the claimant's thesis is a matter of academic judgment with which it would be inappropriate for the court to interfere".
I wouldn't be surprised if there are more of these claims to come. There has arguably never been a more dangerous time to do badly at university.
For example, teaching careers could soon be out of the reach of graduates with a third thanks to the prime minister's "brazenly elitist" stance on the subject, something which a recent study showed could wipe out as many as one in 10 current teacher trainees.
Competition for places at university plus the shortage of graduate jobs and the general economic climate are all going to increase pressure on students.
The courts have already said they are willing to entertain these kind of claims, and what better way to clear those students debts than with £30,000 plus in damages?

Article by Afua Hirsch

For all Legal matters - NotJust Law

Thursday, 6 January 2011

In it for fun, not just money

In it for fun, not just money

I don't think that many businesspeople start their business with the idea that they can make a lot of money. Most people feel that they can create something that is going to make a difference to other people's lives – that is how they start their businesses.

I started Student magazine as a teenager, nothing to do with being a businessman, I just wanted to run a magazine, have fun doing it and try to help campaign to stop the Vietnamese war. I wanted to do something that I thought would be entertaining and fun.

If it paid the bills at the end of the year, that was the detail, it wasn't something that interested me that much. When we went into the airline business, we certainly didn't think we could make a lot of money from it. We went into it because we hated flying other people's airlines, we thought we could create the kind of airline that I would like to fly, something to be proud of and that the people who work for the airline would be proud of. Something where people who flew on it could enjoy the experience. The business aspect was important just to make sure we made more money than we lost and could carry on to the next year.

I actually think the most successful businesses are the ones where people think like that. If you think 'where is the gap in the market for me to make a lot of money?' and spend your life like that the chances are you'll fall flat on your face. You have got to have a passion for what you are doing.

Article: Aug 2010 -

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