News and Events

New employers offered expert advice

New employers offered expert advice

Small firms thinking about taking on their first employee are being offered a helping hand in new guidance launched by employment relations specialists Acas. Its free Step by Step guides are designed to help small and medium-sized businesses get the best from their people and stay on the right side of the law. Acas chief executive Anne Sharp said: “Some employers want to grow their Read more…

Look overseas, SMEs urged

Look overseas, SMEs urged

A national initiative has been encouraging businesses across the UK to take advantage of high growth export markets. Export Week, which ran from 13-17 May, is designed to boost the number of small businesses that export and help meet a government target of getting 100,000 more British SMEs exporting over the next five years. It is also part of a broader campaign to increase the Read more…

SMEs get £70 million funding boost

SMEs get £70 million funding boost

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are set to receive a £70 million lending boost as part of government action to increase the availability of finance. Three new lenders – Market Invoice, URICA and Beechbrook Capital – will share more than £30 million of government funding to offer SMEs alternatives to traditional bank lending. They have committed to attracting additional funding from private sector investors, with Read more…

HMRC plans home visits service

HMRC plans home visits service

A home visit from the taxman could become a reality for some taxpayers under a new service to be piloted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). HMRC is planning to shut down its Enquiry Centre network in 2014 and provide face-to-face support when required to an estimated 1.5 million taxpayers who need extra help with their tax affairs. Announcing the move on 14 March, HMRC Read more…

Businesses face VAT crackdown

Businesses face VAT crackdown

Up to 50,000 businesses that have failed to submit VAT returns have been warned that their tax affairs could soon come under close scrutiny. More than 600,000 businesses submit VAT returns each month but a new campaign will see many of those attracting greater attention from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) from 28 February. The VAT Outstanding Returns campaign, announced on 9 January, is aimed Read more…

Green Deal gives green light to energy saving

Green Deal gives green light to energy saving

More than ten per cent of businesses are already planning to take advantage of a new scheme encouraging investment in energy-saving measures, according to research. The Green Deal, launched by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on 28 January, offers businesses and households the opportunity to pay for work to reduce their energy costs via their electricity bills. Under the initiative, a Green Deal assessor will 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 Read more…