Here at SEE Ahead we like to trawl the internet, subscribe to newsletters and keep abreast of all the latest business news that affects our sector. Anything we find of interest we post here.
Abolition of Class 2 NICs delayed by 12 months
HM Treasury has announced that the abolition of Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) will take effect in April 2019 rather than April 2018. The delay is to enable HM Treasury to consult on the impact that abolishing Class 2 NICs will have on the low-earning self-employed. Once Class 2 NICs have been abolished, self-employed people with annual profits below the small profits threshold will have to pay Class 3 NICs in order to build up an entitlement to state benefits. Class 3 NICs are five times the amount of Class 2 NICs for 2017/18 (£14.25 per week compared to £2.85 per week).
£8m support programme for community enterprise
Co-operatives UK and Power to Change have launched an £8 million programme for community-based organisations in seven areas across England. The five-year programme will provide grants, support and practical tools to help local co-operatives and community enterprises to start up and grow. The programme will also investigate the impact of clusters of community-based organisations on improving local communities and addressing inequality. The programme will run in Bradford, Grimsby, Hartlepool, Leicester, Luton, Wigan and Plymouth.
Shortlist announced for the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2017
The shortlist has been drawn up for the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2017, which takes place in London on 23 November. Seagulls from Leeds are shortlisted in the environmental category and SEE Ahead wish them the best of luck for the Awards.
Charity trustees warned about phishing scams
The Charity Commission for England and Wales has urged charity trustees to watch out for phishing e-mails, phone calls and text messages, which are used by scammers to obtain sensitive information from trustees. This follows an increase in the number of phishing scams reported to the commission by charities. Where a charity has lost sensitive data or funds due to a phishing scam, they must report this to the commission as a ‘serious incident’.
Small-business cybersecurity guide
A cybersecurity guide for small businesses has been published by the National Cyber Security Centre. The guide provides hints and tips about how to prevent a cybersecurity attack and covers backing up data, malware protection, protecting mobile devices, using passwords to protect data, and ways to avoid phishing attacks.
GDPR helpline for small and micro businesses
On 1 November 2017, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will launch a telephone helpline for small and micro businesses, to help them prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The helpline will complement the ICO’s other GDPR preparation resources, including a series of ‘myth busting’ blog posts and a range of free-to-access online guidance. The GDPR will replace the Data Protection Act in May 2018.
Support for innovative start ups and small firms
Early-stage start ups and small and medium-sized firms can apply for specialist funding, coaching and business support to develop and commercialise innovative ideas as part of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. In particular, the SME Instrument will help eligible enterprises test their ideas, develop and execute a business plan or commercialise an innovative new product or service. Funding is available to support innovative ideas from most sectors, including the green economy, smart cities and social inclusivity. The deadline for applications is 7 November 2017.
Workplace pension duties for start ups now in force
Since 1 October 2017, all new business start ups have a legal obligation to provide a workplace pension as soon as they employ a member of staff. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched an online suite of information and tools to help start ups comply with their auto-enrolment duties. Darren Ryder, Director of Automatic Enrolment, said: “Providing a workplace pension is now the business norm and staff expect to be saving into a pension as part and parcel of their employment.”
ICO clarifies forthcoming data protection changes
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a new online resource to help organisations prepare for and comply with forthcoming changes to data protection law in the UK. The resource clarifies the differences between the Data Protection Bill and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and their key provisions. In particular, the ICO has warned organisations that the Data Protection Bill has not been introduced just to bring the GDPR into UK law, and that the Bill will introduce further provisions that do not fall within the scope of EU law.
Consultation on Annual Return for charities
The Charity Commission for England and Wales has opened a consultation on reforms to the Annual Return and the introduction of a new Update Charity Details (UCD) service. The reformed Annual Return and UCD service will go live in January 2018. The new service will enable charities to notify the Commission of changes to essential information, such as the charity’s contact details, throughout the year. The consultation will close on 24 November 2017.