Minimum pension contribution rates to increase in April

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Minimum contribution rates under automatic enrolment are due to rise from 3% to 5% for employees and 2% to 3% for employers from 6 April 2019. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says its research suggests saving behaviour is sticking: the first increase in minimum contributions which took place last year has not prompted […]

“No Deal” Brexit Planning: Intellectual Property & Trademarks

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If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal this could have an impact on any EU Intellectual Property or Trademarks held by a business. At this point in time it is not clear if EU trademarks would be applicable in the UK post Brexit. If you own intellectual property rights […]

“No Deal” Brexit Planning: EU Employees working in the UK

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If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal the there may be considerations needed for your current and future workforce You may need to:. 1. Review all EU employees currently working in your business and ascertain whether they are applying for “Settled status” by 31 December 2020. See the Employer […]

“No Deal” Brexit Planning: VAT

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If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, the government’s aim will be to keep VAT procedures as close as possible to what they are now, providing continuity and certainty for businesses. However, there will be some specific changes to the VAT rules and procedures that apply to transactions between […]

Uber loses landmark case over workers rights

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Uber has lost a landmark case over worker rights, entitling UK drivers to minimum wage and sick leave. The Court of Appeal upheld a 2016 ruling, refuting the ride-hailing app’s claim that its drivers are self-employed. Earlier this week, the government said that it would look into workplace policies to help preserve gig economy jobs. […]

Iceland supermarket accused of breaching minimum wage rules

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A savings scheme to help lceland staff save for Christmas could end up costing the supermarket at least £21m, after it was accused of breaching minimum wage rules.The scheme allows low-paid staff to have a sum deducted from their weekly paypacket and placed into a separate account, to be returned on demand, usually at Christmas. HM Revenue […]

Skills to learn for the future of work according to the World Economic Forum

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Having a good memory or a strong command of maths may have once rated high on your list of professional skills. But now that devices handle those tasks, the World Economic Forum is urging workers to skill up for the future. Analytical thinking, initiative and ideation will overtake manual dexterity, time management and speaking abilities. Managers may […]

How are Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets taxed in the UK?

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In December 2018 HMRC published guidance on the taxation of cryptoassets. HMRC confirms that: Most investors will be subject to Capital Gains Tax on gains and losses.. It will be rare for investment in cryptoassets to be regarded as trading, although ‘mining’ is likely to indicate a trading activity. A capital loss may be claimed […]

Renewable power generation in the UK reached a record high in 2018

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A third of all energy generated in the UK last year was from renewable sources, according to climate research and news site Carbon Brief. Drawn from UK government data, the analysis found electricity generated from fossil fuels fell to a record low. The UK has cut its carbon emissions by more than 43% since 1990, but is still not […]

How you treat your employees will determine the fate of your company

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Business magnate Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, believes that employers should put their employees before their clients. “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients. Most businesses put customers first while employees are just secondary. Employees are the branches […]

Is there such a thing as too much teamwork?

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Open plan offices and the use of messaging apps have encouraged always-on, constant collaboration at work. But research from Harvard’s Ethan Bernstein suggests that we develop more, and better, solutions to problems when we take occasional breaks from the group so we can ponder on our own. Such intermittent collaboration strikes an ideal balance between […]

The Circular Economy Model: Reuse, Remanufacture or Recycle

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With August 1 marking Earth Overshoot Day, the point during the year that we will have consumed the ecological resources and services that Earth can regenerate in one year, it is clear that something has to change. The circular economy requires a significant shift in mindset, starting with the design process, which must ensure that […]

Brexit uncertainty hits future planning at businesses

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Lack of clarity around the Brexit process is hitting preparations for business after the UK leaves the EU, with only a third of finance professionals in large businesses reporting their organisation has started scenario planning and just 20% of those in small organisations, according to a poll. Around eight out of 10 of the respondents […]

HMRC update guidance on paying the Apprenticeship Levy

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HMRC have updated guidance on how to allocate the apprenticeship levy allowance across multiple PAYE schemes and/or connected companies and charities. Pay Apprenticeship Levy explains when the apprenticeship levy needs to be paid and how to report payments. The guidance has been updated at the section about ‘how to allocate your allowance’. The apprenticeship levy […]

Training Costs

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It is long established that training costs learning new skills is not tax deductible for self-employed.  This is because costs of learning new skills is deemed by HMRC to be capital not revenue expense. The government are now consulting on extending the scope of tax relief currently available for work-related training costs. As with all […]

Good Governance Is Good For Business

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Good governance is not about making the right decisions but about ensuring there is a good decision-making process used in the business. In a large enterprise, the management board will have a team who are charged with ensuring the firm adheres to the principles of good corporate governance as is expected of a large organisation. […]

Grow your business – Part 13 – RESOLVE COMPLAINTS

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If your customers have complaints that are appropriately resolved, they can become better customers than those who haven’t complained. Authorise your people to fix problems without any “run around”, just as they do at Ritz Carlton Hotels. Give your people the authority to send a customer a bottle of wine, flowers or whatever is appropriate […]

Grow your business – Part 12 – SURVEY YOUR CUSTOMERS

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Undertaking a survey of your customers should go beyond the issue of customer satisfaction. You want to enhance your understanding of your customers’ needs and wants, recognise your weaknesses and identify new opportunities to expand your business. Some customers may be reluctant to give you their real, unbiased opinions if you conduct your own survey, […]

Grow your business – Part 11 – OUTSOURCING

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More and more businesses are outsourcing various functions in order to focus on their main areas of expertise. Ask yourself these questions: What are we doing that is not one of our core proficiencies? What do we do that we don’t do well? What could we potentially outsource? As an example, many companies have outsourced […]

Grow your business – Part 10 – APPLY THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY

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Technology is a major driver of business profits. Here is a list of innovations you may want to implement in your business: 1. Document management systems (going paperless) 2. Electronic workflow 3. Multiple monitors 4. Portals 5. “Cloud” computing 6. Customer relationship management (CRM) software There are significant benefits to going paperless: Increase in productivity […]

Grow your business – Part 3 – Your Priorities

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The most profitable small businesses all have one thing in common:  The owners’ personal objectives are congruent with their business strategies. Our third tip in our Grow Your Business series is to look at what really matters to you.  You can then keep these priorities in mind as you plan your business. As a prompt […]

Grow your business – Part 2 – SWOT

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If Part 1 of this new series was the all time most obvious business growth tips, part 2 is one of the oldest.  A worthwhile thought process nonetheless. DO A SWOT ANALYSIS As part of your business planning process, conduct a SWOT analysis to help you identify your company’s: Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Use this […]