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  • An american software firm Three Square Market announced that they had plans to use what is termed as ‘near-field communications’ or NFC technology not to track packages but to track their staff. NFC is commonly used in microchips for contactless credit cards. To be fair to Three Square Market, their plan is to implant microchips about the same size as a grain of rice into the hands of willing employees (it’s important to point out that all the employees are volunteers and nobody has been coerced into complying). They say it will help them pay for food in the company canteen, open doors, log into their computers and even use office equipment such as photocopiers with the wave of a hand. This workplace Jedi mind trick may seem completely harmless at first glance, but unsurprisingly it’s caused an absolute furore in the States and around the world. The impact of microchipping humans opens up a huge can of ethical worms and raises some fundamental questions such as the impact on your personal privacy, the consequences of refusing to be microchipped by your employers, and what happens once you leave a position with the microchip still in you. Employers already have the right to keep an eye on their staff during working hours and using other data gathering methods such as CCTV, vechicle trackers etc. However, this data is subject to strict legislation and there are EU and UK guidelines and laws to state exactly how their data is collected and stored. Is it legal to microchip your staff? Is it moral ? That’s a whole other question.
  • I want to sound you out on something. I am starting to pick up the first real concerns  from employers around   the status of job applicants and employees who are European Union citizens in the immediate post-Brexit period You're probably aware that to address the employment status of EU citizens in the post-Brexit period, there is a  "Settlement Scheme"  which will be fully open by 30 March 2019.  Overall there has been an expectation that there would be a clear direction from central government, which would then manifest itself in clear advice from Department of Enterprise and Industry, through professional bodies, and also from Invest NI - but advice has been scarce and to this point not actionable.  Also business have not had to address where they can source low skilled labour as there has been a supply over the last twenty years (albeit patchy in places). But now there would seem to be a need to match support of experience of movement of people - (which I have in a previous life) more specific advice on immigration law and status and risk. So - my question is do you have EU/ other foreign workers who would be impacted, and would you benefit from such advice? There is also a further stream about UK workers being able to work in EU  - logistics industry locally has been quite vocal on this subject ...
  • This year's IR35 rule changes in the public sector have resulted in a reduction in the available talent pool and wage inflation. The tax rules are expected to be introduced into the Private Sector by 2018. To-date there is a clear upward movement on rate requirements from contractors when pricing new public sector assignments, as well as for those with ongoing assignments that fall inside IR35, of up to 25-30%*.  If the same impact was replicated in the private sector, the costs of managing contractors / consultants will increase, we would face skills shortages - all this would have a direct impact on our international competitiveness - hence impacting not just profitability but crucially organisations viability. Will this expected move be a complete disaster for businesses and contractors alike? * Green Park Consultancy