Blog

Fund your new hires through Kickstart

Posted 19th October 2021 at 11:30 am

Employers of all sizes can apply for Kickstart funding to create jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit. Employers can spread the job start dates up until 31 December 2021, with funding available until 30 June 2022 if a young person starts their job on 31 December 2021. The funding covers: 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or National Living Wage where applicable by age) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months. Associated employer National Insurance contributions Minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions   In addition, a further £1500 funding per job is available... Read more

Time to start thinking about tax!

Posted 11th October 2021 at 4:27 pm

The deadline for filing the 2020/21 self-assessment return online is 31 January 2022*. While this deadline may seem ages away, especially at a time when you may be dealing with supply chain issues, staffing shortages, and other ongoing fallout from Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s important not to let your tax return slip your mind. HMRC will not forgive you for a late filing. Even if your return is only one day late and/or there is no tax to pay, they will still charge you a penalty. You can avoid a fine by submitting your return well before the... Read more

VAT rate reduction for hospitality, accommodation & attractions

Posted 5th October 2021 at 10:16 am

VAT

The reduced VAT rate of 5% ended on 30 September 2021. In place now is an interim rate of 12.5% which lasts for 6 months, with the standard rate of 20% returning in April 2022. In common with the previous reduced rates of VAT, this new reduced rate also applies to businesses in those sectors that use the flat-rate scheme.   This measure is expected to continue to stimulate the economy by encouraging people to go out for meals or order takeaway, stay in a hotel or holiday let, or visit certain attractions. It is also expected to support the... Read more

End of Temporary Insolvency Measures

Posted 28th September 2021 at 9:27 am

insolvency

The Insolvency Service has announced that new targeted measures to support small businesses will be introduced, once temporary measures brought in to support businesses from insolvency during the pandemic are phased out from 1 October 2021.   Companies in financial distress as a result of the pandemic have been protected from creditor action since June last year, through the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020. This was to ensure that viable businesses affected by the restrictions on trading during the lockdown periods were not forced into insolvency unnecessarily. As the economy returns to normal trading conditions, the restrictions on creditor... Read more

University v Apprenticeships: What’s the best route to employment success?

Posted 20th September 2021 at 12:57 pm

apprenticeships

Everyone has had it tough over the last couple of years, but 16-18 year olds have found their entire future thrown up in the air by Covid 19. Do they go to university and risk being cut off from family by lockdown measures? If they go will they have the full university experience, or will they end up stuck in a room alone staring at a screen? And when they graduate, post-pandemic and post-Brexit how will the jobs market look? Would they be better just to get onto the career ladder now via an apprenticeship? How will that affect their... Read more

Grants and support schemes for businesses

Posted 14th September 2021 at 9:26 am

grants

In this blog we look at three new schemes that have been recently announced to support businesses to develop and grow across various sectors.   Cyber Runway This support scheme is designed to help grow the cyber sector, and could help innovative cyber start-ups, small businesses and scaleups to launch and grow their businesses. Cyber Runway will see entrepreneurs and businesses across the UK get access to business masterclasses, mentoring, product development support, networking events and backing to trade internationally and secure investment so they can turn their ideas into commercial successes. The Cyber Runway programme is funded by the Department... Read more

Employers named and shamed for paying less than minimum wage

Posted 1st September 2021 at 2:55 pm

wage

Following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, 191 businesses were recently named for breaking national minimum wage law during the period 2011 to 2018. The majority of these offences were caused by individual incidents of wrongful deductions or for failure to pay correct overtime, but a significant proportion of the businesses named had failed to pay the correct apprenticeship rate, meaning the apprentices were consistently underpaid from the outset. “She does not deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors” A total of £2.1 million was found to be owed to over... Read more

Best Buys for Back-to-School season

Posted 25th August 2021 at 5:49 pm

best

You don’t have to be a student or a parent to get those back-to-school vibes at this time of year. The shops are full of new products labelled with ‘back to school’ offers, so there’s sure to be something to tempt you. Whether you’re looking for a new water bottle, some fancy new stationery, or a lovely big bag to keep all your bits and pieces in, we’ve put together some of our best back-to-school shopping picks to help you start September in style!   Best Lunchbox: Do you like to take a variety of different foods for lunch, and... Read more

Closing the deal

Posted 17th August 2021 at 10:11 am

sales

Your firm might have a database full of potential leads, your products and services could be the best in your market sector but if you can’t close a sales deal, then your business development and marketing efforts will be wasted. The key to making a sale is to focus on the customer and putting their needs first.   Do your research No matter what industry you are in, knowing the decision maker is key to closing a sale. In many cases, the decision maker will send someone else to go out and verify all the options that are available. You... Read more

Protect your business against fraud

Posted 10th August 2021 at 9:52 am

fraud

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have experienced an increase in the level of fraudulent activity. Many firms have moved their business activities online and with more employees now working from home, there are increased opportunities for fraudsters to target them.   Example: Invoice Fraud Invoice fraud is on the rise and while not a particularly new scam, it can be catastrophic for businesses who fall victim to it. Invoice fraud occurs when a fake email address is used to contact a business, pretending to be one of the firm’s suppliers The emails tend to mimic those that the firm usually... Read more