Category Archives: General

Energy Efficiency: The key to competitiveness in a changed energy environment

UK businesses must alter the way they work to keep up with the competition, writes Tony Slade, Head of I&C Energy Solutions at RWE npower In recent years the subject of energy efficiency has forced its way onto boardroom agendas across the length and breadth of the UK. The reason is simple: energy prices are getting to a point where they could impact on the ability of UK businesses to compete internationally.

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Pensionable Pay and Auto Enrolment

Caroline Castle, from Torquil Clark, provides monthly guidance on auto enrolment topics that employers should pay particular attention to. For those employers who have already been running a pension scheme prior to auto enrolment, the term “pensionable pay”, will not be a new one. Prior to your staging date, as an employer providing a pension scheme for your employees, you had to determine the earnings on which pension contributions are calculated. You were able to decide what counted in the assessment of contributions. If your employees experienced great fluctuations in earnings, thanks to overtime, commission or bonuses, these could be … Read More »

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How do businesses founded during the recession differ from those that started up ahead of the economic downturn?

The 2014 annual DNA of an Entrepreneur Report from Hiscox, providers of IoD Professional Indemnity Insurance and IoD Office Insurance, has uncovered some significant differences between the two sets of business owners – firms founded in financially challenging times, aka Generation Recession businesses, are more likely to have a younger, female owner and are more focused on digital and social media. What’s more, the data, compiled from 3,500 small businesses in six countries, suggests this new breed of entrepreneurs are more likely to have hired staff in the past year and, despite the challenging economic conditions, they’re optimistic about success … Read More »

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Where Now for Retirement Income?

Malcolm Small, a Senior Advisor on Financial Services Policy at the IoD, reflects on the new pension rules. As the dust settles after the announcements in Budget 2014, it is becoming clear that the choices for consumers at retirement around how they might generate income have moved from huge and complex, to huge, complex and almost infinite. Recent announcements about the tax treatment of inherited pension funds have added fuel to the fire. Conversations with industry players and commentators have revealed some quite surprising conservatism and paternalism, suggesting that the whole purpose of pension saving is to produce a regular … Read More »

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How do your Zero Hours Staff fare with Auto Enrolment?

Caroline Castle, from Torquil Clark, provides monthly guidance on auto enrolment topics that employers should pay particular attention to. There has been a lot of news recently about “zero hours” staff and the uncertainty that this causes both the employee and the employer. These are employees who have a contract under which they work for a certain employer, but do not have a fixed number of hours or schedule for their working week. An employer can determine there is no work for the employee and the employee themselves can also decide they are unavailable to work during at a particular … Read More »

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The EU reform agenda – What is Labour’s?

Over the past 18 months since David Cameron first outlined his broad vision for renegotiating the UK’s place in a reformed European Union, discussion over how this might play out has occupied much of the debate surrounding the Conservatives’ future Europe policy orientation. Protecting the interests of countries outside the Eurozone, “repatriation of powers” and freedom of movement are just some of the issues that have been thrown into the mix.

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