Also in the news this week - 30 October 2015

30 October 2015


UK tax gap falls

The tax gap (the proportion of tax owed that has not been paid) for 2013-14 was 6.4% of tax due, down from 8.4% in 2005-06, according to figures from HMRC. The Corporation Tax gap has halved since 2005-06, from 14% to 7%. David Gauke, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: "There is understandable anger when individuals or companies are perceived not to be contributing their fair share, but we can reassure the public that the proportion going unpaid is low and this Government is dedicated to bringing it down further."

BFA drive to get more women in franchising

The British Franchise Association (bfa) has launched a campaign urging more women to consider the benefits of franchising. The bfa/NatWest Franchise Survey 2013 revealed that women were the sole or main operators of 30% of franchise outlets in the UK. The campaign will kick off at the Women in Franchising conference at Stratford Manor in Warwickshire on 17 November. Places can be booked on the bfa website.

Mindfulness at work

Employee wellbeing is top of the agenda for Stress Awareness Day 2015 on 4 November. UK workers take more than 15 million days off a year due to stress, depression and anxiety, and UK employers lose £26 billion each year due to stress, an average of £1,035 for every staff member. The event is promoting the benefits of mindfulness to reduce stress. Dr Sherylin Thompson, director of The BeingWell, said: "Giving all employees the skills to keep their minds fit, toned and focused builds resilience and strengthens performance across the workforce."

The power of emojis

Internet retailing has moved beyond the written word according to ParcelHero. Its research shows that people of all ages are using emojis to give feedback to ecommerce retailers on issues such as products and deliveries. David Jinks, ParcelHero's head of PR, said: "Our research shows 92% of the online population now use emojis. For many they are replacing text. Switched-on retailers will do well to echo this style in their messages to customers."

The gift-giving habits of employers

Alcohol, digital gift cards and small bonuses are the most popular presents given by employers to their staff at Christmas, according to a new survey. According to the poll by GiftCloud, the majority (53%) of British employers buy Christmas treats for their employees. The most common reason for these staff gifts are "to reward them for their hard work" (42%) and that it's "a nice way to show gratitude" (36%).