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

Declaring rental income through the Let Property Campaign

Posted 26th October 2020 at 1:22 pm

Let Property Campaign

Airbnb accounts for the year to 31st December 2019 reveal that the company will share data with HMRC about the earnings of those who let out property via its UK platform in the years 2017/18 and 2018/19. It is anticipated that HMRC will use this data to open enquiries where the Airbnb information does not match the lettings earnings declared by the individual. With the deadline for opening an enquiry into a self-assessment return for 2018/19 being 31st January 2021, some Airbnb landlords could be in for a nasty Christmas surprise! Criticism has been levelled at Airbnb in regard to... Read more

Technological Trends for 2021

Posted 21st October 2020 at 7:52 am


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


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