Are you feeling SAD?

Posted 10th January 2021 at 1:23 pm

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects around 3 in 100 of us during the winter months, when a lack of daylight can cause a range of symptoms from mild fatigue through to severe depression. With Lockdown 3 currently curtailing our sunlight access even more than usual, it’s important to know the signs of SAD, and how you can treat it.   SAD is characterised by low mood which occurs around Autumn and Winter every year, and lifts as the days get lighter in the Spring and Summer. The symptoms can be very similar to generalised depression, but they only occur during... Read more

New Business Resolutions

Posted 6th January 2021 at 8:59 am


We’re all hoping that 2021 will be a better year, but we don’t really have much control over making that happen! So what positive steps can we take to make our businesses a little better this year?   Limit indispensability It’s very common for senior managers and business leaders to feel that they ‘can’t’ take time off because their businesses need them too much. However, that can be an indication of weakness in a business, either in its structure or in employee productivity. As we head towards a second year of the pandemic, anything could happen to any employee, so... Read more

Transport Trends for 2021

Posted 23rd December 2020 at 8:08 am


Everything in our lives has been affected by the pandemic this year, but one of the most seismic shifts has been in transport, where customer habits that were largely unchanged for decades have radically altered overnight. Not since the 1970s, when car ownership became the norm for most households, have we seen such such a change in people’s transportation routines.   Prior to the pandemic the government was pushing forward with plans to revitalise public transport, including the introduction of Clean Air Zones, as part of an initiative to cut net carbon emissions. While this is still a clear priority... Read more

A letter to Santa

Posted 16th December 2020 at 8:50 am


Dear Santa,   I hope that you and Rudolph are well. (I was worried about his red nose but it turns out that is not a Covid symptom.) I know I am 42 years old, but is there any possibility that you might be able to leave some presents under my tree this year? I have been really, really good in 2020. I haven’t been out in town at night getting into mischief with my girl gang, I haven’t polluted the environment with my car, and, Santa, I know you won’t believe this, but for the WHOLE of November I... Read more

After Covid-19: Engineering & Construction

Posted 9th December 2020 at 8:23 am


In the fourth and final of a series of sector-specific blogs, we look at the impact of Covid-19 on the engineering and construction sector, and what the future might hold for businesses operating in this area.   It is no secret that the engineering & construction sector has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. For a large proportion of the year, many of these businesses were unable to operate at all, and are now facing an uncertain future with cancelled projects, shortages of materials, and the challenges of operating within the confines of social distancing measures.... Read more

After Covid-19: Business-to-Business services

Posted 30th November 2020 at 4:17 pm


In the third of a series of sector-specific blogs, we look at the impact of Covid-19 on the business-to-business (B2B) services sector, and what the future might hold.   Business-to-business services are described by PWC as ‘seven disparate sub-sectors in one’ which employ 2.5 million employees serving all parts of the UK economy. Unsurprisingly the impact of Covid-19 on B2B businesses is heavily influenced by which sectors these businesses serve. For example, businesses providing services for essential retail (grocery), healthcare, and local government have done well, whereas those providing services for sectors that have had to shut down during lockdown... Read more

After Covid-19: Insurance

Posted 23rd November 2020 at 4:31 pm


In the second of a series of sector-specific blogs, we look at the impact of Covid-19 on the insurance sector, and what the future might hold for businesses operating in this sector.   The insurance sector employs 139,000 people across the UK, and PWC places them at a ‘Medium’ jobs at risk rating, due to lower cash flow during the pandemic. However, a high proportion of workers in this sector – 67% – can work at home, and only 30% normally come into less than 2m contact with co-workers, making this sector one of the more adaptable to new social... Read more

After Covid-19: Industrial & Manufacturing

Posted 16th November 2020 at 8:03 pm


In the first of a series of sector-specific blogs, we look at the impact of Covid-19 on the industrial & manufacturing sector, and what the future might hold for businesses operating in this sector.   The industrial and manufacturing sector employs 2.5m people across the UK and – pre-pandemic – was heavily reliant on global supply chains. PWC suggest that the Covid-19 crisis ‘will prompt greater consideration for dual – and near – sourcing, with a focus on localised supply chains that draw on suppliers traditionally tied to other industry sectors.’ This certainly seems like a sensible move that most... Read more

Furlough Fraud – Staying on the right side of the law

Posted 11th November 2020 at 8:27 am

furlough fraud

In response to an increase in the number of fraudulent claims against the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) in recent months, HMRC have published the potential penalties for employers that commit furlough fraud. Based on HMRC data, the furlough scheme has supported 9,600,000 employees, however around 27,000 employers are thought to have overclaimed by mistake and are being contacted by HMRC so that they can rectify any errors. In cases where furlough fraud was deemed to be deliberate, arrests have been made, including one individual and 8 accomplices from the West Midlands suspected of defrauding £459,000 from the scheme.  ... Read more

A very Covid Christmas

Posted 4th November 2020 at 7:11 am


It’s the first week of November and it’s still far from clear what kind of Christmas we’ll be having here in the UK. In common with many other recently cancelled religious festivals, we might have to resign ourselves to much more muted celebrations this year. One thing’s for certain though, Christmas gifts still need to be bought! Whether you’re shopping for clients, colleagues or family and friends, we have found the perfect selection of gifts to reflect the times we live in!   Food & Drink Food and drink is always a big part of Christmas, but this year it... Read more