Report calls for employee benefits shake-up

The complex system for reporting and taxing employee benefits and expenses is ripe for a complete overhaul, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has concluded. Publishing an interim report on 8 August, the OTS said it now planned to focus on four core areas in the coming months – HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) administration of the system, including the P11D form, travel and subsistence,  accommodation Read more…

New guidance on personal data requests

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued new guidance for businesses and other organisations to help them deal with requests from individuals for their personal data.

The Data Protection Act gives everyone the right to find out what information an organisation holds about them by making a subject access request, allowing them to find out important information ranging from details on their credit history to data contained in health records. Once received, an organisation normally has 40 days to reply to the request.

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Online advice service takes off

Workplace experts Acas say that more than 50,000 people have used its new online advice service in just two months.

Acas Helpline online offers 24-hour free advice and guidance on rights at work and employment law. It provides an instant response to work-related questions or employers or employees can use the service so that they feel better informed before talking to an Acas helpline adviser.

Helpline online answers over 600 of the most frequently asked workplace questions on topics ranging from maternity and family friendly rights to absence and bullying and harassment.

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Survey seeks views on RTI

Tax experts are urging as many employers as possible to take part in an online survey around Real Time Information (RTI) payroll reporting.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched the survey to gather the experiences of employers – along with those of software and payroll service providers – in reporting payments to employees on or before the date of payment.

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£223bn in SME debt ‘unprotected’

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are exposed to serious levels of financial risk, with £223 billion worth of corporate debt currently unprotected, according to new research.

According to a study commissioned by Legal & General as part of its Every Business Matters campaign with professional advice search website unbiased.co.uk, 51 per cent of businesses have some form of corporate debt, averaging £144,980.

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UK leads way on inward investment

The UK has strengthened its position as the leading European destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), new figures show. The 2012-13 Inward Investment Annual Report published on 24 July by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), showed that the number of jobs and projects secured were both up on 2011-12. In the last financial year: the UK saw 1,559 investment projects secured – 11 per cent Read more…

£223bn in SME debt ‘unprotected’

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are exposed to serious levels of financial risk, with £223 billion worth of corporate debt currently unprotected, according to new research. According to a study commissioned by Legal & General as part of its Every Business Matters campaign with professional advice search website unbiased.co.uk, 51 per cent of businesses have some form of corporate debt, averaging £144,980. Read more…

Auto-enrolment passes one millionth worker milestone

The millionth UK employee has now been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension. The landmark figure was announced by the Pensions Regulator on 19 July, nine months after the largest firms began automatically enrolling employees into workplace pension schemes. The initiative is being introduced for all employers on a phased basis, with all UK employers brought on board by 2018. Charles Counsell, director of automatic Read more…