Our small business news section covers the latest reports, research, stories and updates on regulations that affect the UK’s small and medium enterprises.

Single Women Do More Unpaid Work

Single Women in their 30s do more unpaid work than anybody else, according to a report by the TUC. Just as we get into Work Your Proper Hours Day findings from the TUC indicate that 39% of single women in their 30s do unpaid overtime at work. By comparison only around 26% of men in their 30s do unpaid overtime. Analysis of official statistics show that British workers did a record £25 billion of unpaid work in 2007 with nearly 5 million workers putting in extra unpaid hours – that’s 103,000 up on the previous year. On average Britain’s unpaid overtimers put in an extra seven hours a week for which they would earn an extra £4,955 a year had they been paid for their hours. The variations between professions that do unpaid overtime is also varied with legal, medi... »

Redundancy – A Costly Solution to Economic Slowdown


Homeworkers Still Getting Work-Life Balance Wrong

2.1 million people working from home can’t be wrong, can they? Research from BT Business suggests that of the 2.1 million home-based small businesses in the UK nearly half are not managing their work-life balance. For many people working from home is often the main answer to achieving the work-life balance and yet this survey suggets there is still much difficulty in seperating work from private life. Further to indicating these difficulties the research shows the reasons why businesses were run from home varies from region to region in the UK. In the West Midlands home-workers based their businesses from home to capitalise on lower overheads. In Scotland the main concern is simply with achieving a better work/life balance and Londoners state that finding customers is their biggest w... »

A Third of Brits Want to be Boss

35% percent of UK workers aspire to being their own boss. Research from Business Link indicates that more than a third of British workers interviewed have considered starting up their own small business and 20% of them plan to make their plans reallity with the next year. Key among reasons for setting up on their own was the work-life balance with many workers believing they can better manage their family, domestic and business roles if they are working from home. Other factors for wanting to run their own business range from wanting to make more money (37%) to a simple lack of job satisfaction (15%) As many as 25% of the budding entrepreneurs said they wished to turn their home hobbies into valid commercial enterprises. Other figures show that nearly as many women as men are keen to take ... »

EU Opens to Small Business

The European Union opens up a one-stop-shop for Small Firms. The European Commission has launched a free business advice website for SMEs to use hoping that small business will adopt it as their central point for contacting business support organisations throughout the EU. Containg links to almost 600 resources the Enterprise Europe Network includes all the major SME support organisations, research institutes and innovation centres in the European Union. The aim of the European Enterprise Network is to help small firms find access to funding, launch products and expand into other EU countries. The EEN also includes links to upcoming business events and workshops throughout the European Union. “The new Enterprise Europe Network is a milestone in the Commission’s integrated polic... »

Employers Consider Green Leap Day

With an extra day in this leap year, Employers are being asked to consider allowing workers a day off on 29th February to tackle climate change and boost staff morale. Being a leap year there are 366 days this year and the 29th February has been earmarked as "Green Leap Day" by the National Trust. All of the National Trust’s 4,800 employees are being allowed to take the day off, with paid annual leave, to either work from home, or in their local community, as long as they make changes to their environmental footprint. The Trades Union Congress has backed the initiative and called for Green Leap Day to become a national day of environmental improvement. Encouraging staff to help out with school and community projects or tackle simple home tasks such as draught-proofing, insu... »

No National Minimum Wage for Exploited Farm Gangs

A multi-agency investigation reveals exploitation of migrant agricultural workers An investigation in Cornwall has found nine licenced gangmasters violating standards. The gangmasters, who employ migrant workers in agricultural roles, have violated a number of standards aimed at protecting the welfare and rights of agricultural workers. The investigation, Operation Westport, found that workers were not being paid the National Minimum Wage, their pay was below the Agricultural Minimum Wage and charges for accommodation were excessive. In one case workers were each being charged a £12 daily transport charge for a 3-mile journey and a number of vehicles, mainly minibuses, were not roadworthy. In addition the Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian & Bulgarian labourers were not supplied with he... »

Food & Petrol Prices Hit Inflation

Inflation figure up on food and fuel price rises »

Truckers Meet Darling to Halt Fuel Price Hike

Truckers meet the Chancellor over fuel price rises »

1 in 5 Crimes are Against Business

New initiative launched to help business fight crime. New initiative launched to help business fight crime. 1 in 5 crimes committed in the UK are against business, according to a report by the Federation of Small Business (FSB). However, only 1 in 8 of those incidents are reported to the police because business owners feel that they are a low police priority. The FSB, in conjunction with the Coalition Against Crime (CAC), have launched a joint campaign called Every Crime Every Time. The idea of the initiative is to report every crime committed against a business, no matter how trivial they may seem. Scottish Local Retailer magazine, which originally ran the scheme, has allowed the FSB to use the Every Crime, Every Time name and to extend the scheme throught the United Kingdom. Noting the f... »

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