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Information Commissioner’s Office issues BYOD reminder

Posted by on 11:40 am in Business, Data Protection, Information, News | 0 comments

Information Commissioner’s Office issues BYOD reminder

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a New Year reminder to firms that they risk breaching data protection laws if they do not have clear guidelines for staff using their own devices to store work-related personal information. The ICO has published a guide for employers on developing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. Recommendations in the guide include ensuring devices are encrypted and password protected; making sure data is only transferred via approved secure channels; registering devices with a remote...

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Online retailers planning to expand into physical stores

Posted by on 11:38 am in Business, Business Planning, Marketing, News, Websites | 0 comments

Online retailers planning to expand into physical stores

One in six small and medium-sized online retailers plan to expand into physical stores in 2014, according to a survey by Royal Mail. Of the 400 online retailers surveyed, 15% also said they planned to trade via online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. Over half of respondents said competition for online orders is more intense than last year, with nearly 60% saying this is due to increasing numbers of online retailers. Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels, said smaller firms are “concentrating on exploiting as many...

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RTI to be relaxed for micro-business

Posted by on 11:34 am in Business, Finance, News | 0 comments

RTI to be relaxed for micro-business

Real Time Information (RTI) reporting requirements are set to be eased for micro-business owners, HMRC has announced. Until April 2016, HMRC has agreed that firms with nine or fewer employees that pay their staff weekly or more frequently can send information monthly or by the date of their regular payroll run, but no later than the last payday of the month. The relaxation only applies to firms that are already trading. The announcement follows an existing relaxation of the rules for firms with 49 or fewer employees, which have until 5th...

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Broadband grant scheme rolled out

Posted by on 11:31 am in Business, Information, News, Technology | 0 comments

Broadband grant scheme rolled out

Small and medium-sized firms in Belfast, Salford, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Derby, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newport, London and Manchester can apply for grants of up to £3,000 to install faster broadband services at their premises. The roll out of the Connection Voucher Scheme, which is part of the Government’s Urban Broadband Fund, follows a successful two-month market test in August 2013. The aim of the Scheme is to improve digital connectivity, create new business opportunities and encourage economic growth in UK cities. A further 12 cities...

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ONS report on e-commerce published

Posted by on 11:28 am in Business, Information, Technology, Websites | 0 comments

ONS report on e-commerce published

Total sales via e-commerce represented 18% of business turnover in 2012, down from 19% in 2011, according to a report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figures include sales made by Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Sales made via websites represented only 6% of total business turnover in 2012 and the ONS figures also revealed that the total value of website sales reached £164 billion in 2012, up from £92 billion in 2008. If you are looking for some help with e-commerce for your business, then contact us now. There...

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BIS report finds ‘problem with demand’ for mentors

Posted by on 11:24 am in Business, Information, News, Training | 0 comments

BIS report finds ‘problem with demand’ for mentors

A report published by the Department for Business (BIS) has revealed that only 5% of small businesses have used a mentor in the past 12 months. The ‘Demand for mentoring among SMEs’ report found that almost half of small firms who had used a mentor would not be interested in doing so again, and that 44% believed that mentors who provide support for free would not be of help to them. The report concluded that ‘there is a clear problem on the demand side’ if the objective of current Government policy is to increase the...

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IR35 investigations triple over past year

Posted by on 11:20 am in Business, Finance, News | 0 comments

IR35 investigations triple over past year

HMRC opened 256 new IR35 investigations into consultants and freelancers in 2012/13, up from just 59 in 2011/12, according to official figures. HMRC revealed that the majority of cases it had investigated concerned high-risk and “wilfully non-compliant” companies i.e. where all their contracts would fall within the scope of IR35. Robin Wythes, HMRC Employment Status Team Leader, explained that HMRC is now “trying to see IR35 from the view of the worker,” and that there is a need to make Business Entity Tests –...

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Temporary staff ‘must receive data protection training’

Posted by on 11:18 am in Business, Information, News | 0 comments

Temporary staff ‘must receive data protection training’

Employers must ensure that temporary staff who regularly process personal information receive adequate data protection training, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned. The warning follows recent data breaches at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, where letters including information about patients’ treatment were sent to incorrect addresses by temporary workers who had not received sufficient data protection training. Sally Anne Poole, ICO Enforcement Group Manager, said that while many firms take on temporary staff...

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Consultation on paperless self assessment launched

Posted by on 11:14 am in Business, Finance | 0 comments

Consultation on paperless self assessment launched

A consultation on paperless self assessment (SA) has been opened by HMRC as part of its Digital Strategy published in December 2012. The consultation, which closes on 27th December 2013, is seeking views on planned changes to legislation that will enable HMRC to provide a paperless service, sending communications to taxpayers electronically instead of by post. Only around a quarter of HMRC’s dealings with taxpayers are online, although the majority of taxpayers already file SA returns electronically. David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to...

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Small firms warned about mass malware campaign

Posted by on 11:11 am in Business, News | 0 comments

Small firms warned about mass malware campaign

The National Crime Agency’s (NCA’s) National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) has issued a warning about a new mass e-mail malware campaign. The e-mails, which are specifically targeted at smaller firms and consumers, appear to be from financial institutions, but carry a malicious attachment that encrypts files on the infected computer and any local network it is attached to. A £500 ransom demand in bitcoins is then made to unlock the files. The NCCU is urging firms not to open any suspicious-looking attachments, regularly back up files to...

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