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Adopting “Cloud Technology”: What are the considerations for SMEs?

Adopting “Cloud Technology”: What are the considerations for SMEs?

“The Cloud” continues to be the buzzword that generates passionate discussion amongst the business community; from debate on how the adoption of new technology can improve business processes, to the concern that surrounds data security and the potential cost of adoption. As with all investments in new technology, your decision to implement must make strategic sense. New technology should provide you with the technical expertise to Read more…

Will the CIF drive UK innovation investment?

Will the CIF drive UK innovation investment?

In January 2013, the UK BioIndustry Association released a report on its proposed Citizens Innovation Fund (CIF) entitled ‘The case for unlocking the patriotic potential of the public’. Although the title sounds like no more than an attempt to buy into the patriotic zeitgeist flowing after a year which included the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the London Olympic Games, the ideas it contains are based Read more…

Extra help for young entrepreneurs

Extra help for young entrepreneurs

Thousands more young entrepreneurs are now eligible for government loans to help turn their business ideas into reality.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced on 3 January that funding for the government’s Start-Up loans scheme would be increased by £30 million to £110 million over three years.

The scheme, previously open to 18 to 24-year-olds, has also been opened up to more young entrepreneurs, with the upper age limit raised to 30.

Start-Up Loans provide range of support to get business ideas off the ground, including access to a business mentor as well as funding in the region of £2,500.

Read more…

Get it right on reference numbers, HMRC says

Get it right on reference numbers, HMRC says

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that it is contacting some customers if they have sent a payment without a reference number or with an incorrect one.

HMRC said 22 January that it might be phoning or writing to customers who had sent it a payment by:

  • Bacs Direct Credit
  • Faster Payments by online or telephone banking
  • CHAPS

    Read more…

New measures set to reduce employment tribunals

New measures set to reduce employment tribunals

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson has announced plans to reduce the number of workplace disputes reaching an employment tribunal.

The plans, which were published on 17 January, include:

  • introducing a 12-month pay cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal. There are no plans to change the overall limit of the cap, which currently stands at £72,300
  • developing government guidance on the issues that should be considered when deciding and negotiating the level of a financial settlement in settlement agreements. Employment relations body Acas is also drafting a new Code of Practice on settlement agreements for employers and employees at the government’s request
  • making template letters available to encourage the use of settlement agreements. Read more…
Consultation time cut in redundancy rules changes

Consultation time cut in redundancy rules changes

The government has announced changes to the rules on larger scale redundancies that will cut by half the consultation period required. Under the measures announced on 18 December, the current 90-day minimum period that applies where 100 or more employees are to be made redundant will be reduced to 45 days.

The great problem of rules

The great problem of rules

What do Starbucks and Jimmy Carr have in common? It sounds like a bad joke you may have received in your Christmas cracker but the serious answer and potentially greater moral question it poses is that neither have been found guilty of illegal tax evasion. When I was younger I used to play some rather complex tabletop games and one topic caused arguments over all Read more…

Seeing the wood for the trees

Seeing the wood for the trees

It can be easy to ignore a problem and hope that it goes away – but eventually, it becomes evident that you have to roll up your sleeves and deal with it! If your problem is cleaning the bathroom (even after having all the family in the house over the Christmas period) then that’s not too bad, but it can be a different matter entirely Read more…

Taxpayers celebrate Christmas…by filing online

Taxpayers celebrate Christmas…by filing online

More than 1,500 people took a break from turkey and tinsel on Christmas Day to file their tax returns online, according to new figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). HMRC said 1,548 people filed tax returns online on Christmas Day, a 40 per cent increase on 25 December 2011 when 1,100 people did so.