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Technological Trends for 2021

Posted 21st October 2020 at 7:52 am

technology

While it’s far from certain how the rest of 2020 is going to pan out, we thought it might be nice to look into the future and consider what the world of technology might have in store for 2021! Writing for Forbes, the technology expert Bernard Marr identifies his predictions for the 5 most significant technology trends for 2021:   Artificial Intelligence (AI) We have blogged about the rise of AI several times over the last few years, and Marr predicts that this will become an even more significant tool in 2021, helping us to understand and overcome the Covid... Read more

Workplace Accidents: Don’t slip up!

Posted 12th October 2020 at 12:29 am

accidents

The Health and Safety Executive reports that slips, trips and falls were the biggest causes of non-fatal injuries in the workplace in 2018/19. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers are responsible for employees’ safety at work. This means that you should have risk prevention measures in place to lessen the likelihood of these accidents.   To reduce the risk of accidents like slips, trips and falls:   Make sure you have a written risk procedure for dealing with spills and other trip hazards, and ensure that employees are aware of its contents. Maintain good housekeeping practices.... Read more

When is your tax return due?

Posted 5th October 2020 at 10:01 am

The deadline for filing the 2019/20 self-assessment return online is 31 January 2021*. While this deadline may seem ages away, with the Covid pandemic ongoing, and the Brexit transition period coming to an end, it would be understandable if you had other things on your mind! However, 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 deadline, which means that now is a great... Read more

Managing conflict in the workplace

Posted 30th September 2020 at 7:42 am

conflict

Every business leader will encounter conflict in their team at some point, but this isn’t always a bad thing. Managed effectively, conflict can end up being a force for good.   As much as we all like to think we can act ‘professionally’, conflict is an inevitable aspect of working life. Personality clashes happen, managers get carried away on a power trip, workers have gripes about their workload compared to that of other employees. The CIPD estimates that over a third of employees have been involved in an interpersonal conflict at work during the past year. Realistically that percentage is... Read more

Pensions: Don’t forget to re-enrol!

Posted 23rd September 2020 at 9:12 am

re-enrol

Did you know that every 3 years you must put certain staff back into your pension scheme if they’ve left it? This is called re-enrolment, and it is an important part of your duties as an employer. Additionally, you need to go through this process EVEN IF you haven’t got any staff to re-enrol!   Every three years you must complete a re-declaration of compliance to show that you have met your duties in relation to your pension scheme. This is a legal requirement, and carries a fine for non-compliance. Your re-enrolment date falls in the three months either side... Read more

Is all publicity good publicity?

Posted 14th September 2020 at 10:43 am

reviews

SME’s often rely on word of mouth, internet presence, and social media interaction to generate sales and stand out from their larger competitors. But what happens when something goes wrong, and it’s a complaint that is being passed around rather than praise?   Is there really no such thing as bad publicity?   92% of consumers now read online reviews before making a purchase. This might seem like a good thing, and in fact you probably do this yourself before spending your hard-earned cash. But what’s to stop someone providing a malicious review of your product or service which then... Read more

Are you ‘fit’ for business?

Posted 7th September 2020 at 3:59 pm

fitness

Now more than ever, staying fit and healthy is essential for everyone. But for business owners there is often not the time or opportunity to look after ourselves properly. However, if we lose our good health, it will have an impact on everything we do, including our business success. So, how can we invest in our health while keeping on top of all the other things we need to do? Science suggests that we need a balance of pulse-raising, resistance, and flexibility exercises in order to stay in good condition. That means some kind of cardio / aerobic activity, some... Read more

Change in status for multi-purpose vehicles with crew cabs

Posted 2nd September 2020 at 4:21 pm

crew cabs

The Court of Appeal has recently ruled that three types of modified crew-cab vehicles are cars rather than vans for tax benefit purposes. With thousands of employees in the UK using these multi-purpose vehicles, the case has potentially expensive consequences for both employers and employees.   The background You may remember that there has been a long running dispute over the difference between cars and vans, which we wrote about here. (https://www.ergrove.co.uk/blog/coca-cola-v-hmrc/). It seems that this dispute has now been resolved in an Appeal Court case Payne, Garbett & Coca-Cola European Partners GB Ltd brought against HMRC. Coca-Cola had been... Read more

Keeping in touch with Remote Workers

Posted 24th August 2020 at 1:41 pm

remote

Given the threat of Covid-19 still lurking in the background, businesses may be looking at continuing with remote working well into the Autumn, if not into the New Year. The pandemic was upon us so quickly that a lot of companies’ remote working processes were set up ad hoc, but with the ongoing situation you might be looking for a more permanent solution for keeping in touch with remote workers. In this blog we look at five of the top apps for keeping in touch.   Slack The advantage of this app is that it is a one-stop-shop for messaging,... Read more

Single-use plastic: A Covid conundrum

Posted 17th August 2020 at 4:21 pm

plastic

Prior to the pandemic, countries around the world were making strides in eliminating plastic waste, primarily by discouraging single-use plastics.   Government initiatives such as the plastic bag charge, and plastic straw ban, were complemented by organisational initiatives such as certain coffee chains offering a discount for customers who brought reusable cups, or supermarkets redesigning their packaging to use less plastic. All this was helping to protect the planet from the harm of plastic waste. However, along came Covid-19, and suddenly the idea of ‘reusable’ plastics and their alternatives became, well, a bit icky! Even now that you can go... Read more