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Are You Ready for the Changes in Employment Law?

If you employ people in your business, you already have plenty of things to remember for their terms of employment. Well, since 6th April there are two more — and not being ready for them could land you in trouble. Changes to Flexible Working Rules The Covid lockdown finally put paid to the already dying traditional model of working, where everyone came into a workplace and stayed from nine till five. Depending on th
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Risks of Debt Among Financially Vulnerable People

The cost-of-living crisis is hitting us all, to some extent, but it’s hardly a surprise that the worst hit are the most financially vulnerable people. For many, the only way out seems to be taking on debt, which can lead them into a debt spiral it’s hard to break — and this is especially a risk over Christmas. Debt Patterns in 2023 Recent figures show that, on average, 22% of people in the UK have fallen
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Late Payments — What Difference Will the Autumn Statement Make?

Small businesses doing business with giant corporations have traditionally had no choice but to put up with accepting the customer’s payment terms — sometimes having to wait months before getting their money. This can leave their cashflow in a dangerous condition, even threatening their ability to continue trading. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, on 22nd November, addressed this issue. The measures he
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Do You Need to Pay HMRC First if You’re Insolvent?

If a company enters into any form of insolvency, whether it’s a company voluntary arrangement, a pre-pack administration or a restructuring plan, it’s likely that one of the major creditors will be HMRC. It’s often believed that any taxes owed have to be paid first, before any other debts have to be considered. However, the situation is far from simple. Some recent cases have supported HMRC’s claims, while others hav
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Buy Now Pay Later — Flexibility or Debt Trap?

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) has grown massively over recent years, with options to defer payment being offered for everything from clothing to groceries. Used responsibly, this can be an effective method of obtaining credit to give flexibility in budgeting. However, it can also lead consumers into spiralling debt. The government promised to introduce regulation for the sector, but recent reports suggest they’re consider
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Are We Producing a Financially Illiterate Generation?

While the current economic problems in the UK can’t really be laid at the feet of consumers, there’s no doubt that widespread poor financial management isn’t helping matters. This ranges from naivety in investment to a general “have it now, pay tomorrow” culture that’s fuelling debt. A recent survey suggests that this isn’t set to improve. The study, by Compare the Market and MyBnk, found that only 41% of young adult
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SMEs and Open Banking — A Booming Combination

One of the major financial innovations of the past decade has been the rise of open banking. This term describes the use of open APIs (application programming interfaces) to allow users more control over their banking. While uptake has been limited among consumers, it’s proved popular with SMEs. Recent research has shown more than 750,000 SMEs using it in the UK. What Is Open Banking? Open banking is the general term
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Improving Financial Outcomes — The FCA’s Three-Year Strategy

Most people would agree that the financial sector has been in dire need of more targeted regulation — and, on the whole, those companies that have always operated ethically would also agree. In a sector tarnished by everything from the LIBOR scandal to consumer scams, tougher regulations should allow firms already meeting or exceeding those standards to get a head-start. What’s the Background to the Strategy? S
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Supreme Court Ruling Offers a Lifeline to Small Businesses

Are you one of the many SME owners who have been forced to close your business, wholly or partially, during the Covid-19 lockdown? If you have Business Interruption insurance that covered closure due to disease, you may have been one of the policyholders refused payment by your insurer. However, there’s good news. A ruling by the Supreme Court on the 15th January has established that in most cases closures due
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You Might Be Surprised Who the Biggest Tax Dodgers Are

Tax evasion and avoidance are big news these days, and most of us associate them with the multinational corporations and super-rich celebrities we read about in the news. But HMRC recently revealed who the biggest culprits are — SMEs. SME Tax Evasion HMRC estimates that they’re owed a total of £5.2bn in evaded tax payments, and of course those are only the debts they know about. Tax evasion, unlike tax avoidance, is
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