News

5 Significant Legislative Changes Coming Into Force on 6th April

Beginning on 6th April, UK businesses will have several new pieces of legislation that they will have to comply with unless they wish to incur fines and penalties. To ensure that your business is aptly prepared, here are the five most significant pieces of legislation coming into force:

  1. Gender pay gap: Qualifying companies (250 or more employees) will need to publish the details of their gender pay gap on their websites and to the government on an annual basis. The first publication is due in April 2018 and must contain six specific pieces of information. You can review the requirements by clicking here.
  2. Apprenticeship levy: All companies with a pay bill of more than £3 million each year will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy. The levy will be set at 0.5 per cent of their total pay bill, minus a £15,000 levy allowance from the government.
  3. Modern Slavery Act reports: All companies that produce goods and services with an annual global turnover of at least £36 million must make a financial statement within six months of the end of the first financial year. For more information, consult the government’s practical guide, located here.
  4. National living wage change: The national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) will increase to the following amounts:

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5 Million Homes at Risk of CO Poisoning

Five million UK households are at risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions from hiring illegal and unqualified gas engineers, according to Gas Safe Register. Some areas are worse than others—96 per cent of the gas jobs in Leeds were found to be unsafe this year. Here’s how to keep your family safe when employing gas engineers: (more…)

How the Spring Budget Affects Your Finances

On 8th March, Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his Spring Budget to Parliament. Will this budget help or hurt your finances in 2017? Read on to find out.

Car Insurance

Lord Chancellor Elizabeth Truss increased the ‘discount rate’ (or Ogden rate) that changes the way personal injury compensation payments are calculated. Insurers estimate this will boost motor premiums by £70 a year. Industry insiders estimate that, as a result, younger drivers could pay £1,000 a year extra, as they are statistically more likely to be involved in serious accidents. (more…)

Apps and Smart Appliances May Pose a Significant Cyber Security Threat

Despite the fact that 79 per cent of surveyed UK organisations have some type of cyber defences, 57 per cent of those organisations have experienced at least one cyber attack within the last 12 months, according to a recent survey from multinational defence and security company, BAE Systems. On average, these cyber attacks cost organisations £330,000. However, that figure does not include the cost of business disruptions or the loss of reputation.

These numbers are so high because hackers have more routes than ever to breach your defences—including mobile apps and smart appliances. Whilst mobile apps—such as Slack, Evernote, WhatsApp and Dropbox—may help your employees complete their tasks more efficiently, your IT department may not approve them for official use due to the potential security threats that they pose. Some apps—such as those that are cloud-based—are often granted access to the mobile’s camera, location, data and contacts, which means that a cyber criminal could hack the device through an app and spy on your organisation. (more…)

March 2017 Government Report: ‘Cyber Threat to UK Business is Significant and Growing’

‘The Cyber Threat to UK Business’, the first joint report by the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA), presented a rather disheartening outlook for the digital safety and security of UK organisations. In fact, three months after it became operational in October 2016, the NCSC has had to address 188 high-level cyber attacks, including Russian state-sponsored hacks.

Whilst most UK organisations will likely not be targeted for state-sponsored attacks, each business was subjected to 230,000 cyber attacks in 2016, according to internet services provider, Beaming. In addition to noting the high volume of cyber attacks experienced by organisations, the report also identified current trends in cyber threats, which include the following: (more…)