Latest News

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.

Work Programme closed to new referrals

The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed that the Work Programme will close to new referrals from April 2017. The £5 billion programme was launched in 2011 to help the long-term unemployed back into work. Figures published by the Employment Related Service Association have revealed that the programme has helped more than 824,000 people secure employment since 2011. The programme will be replaced by the Work and Health Programme, which will support the unemployed and those with long-term health conditions to find employment. The new programme will be open for referrals in autumn 2017 and will have a smaller budget of £130 million a year by 2019/20.

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Second round of Bright Ideas Fund

The Department for Communities and Local Government has announced a second round of the Bright Ideas Fund, which will be open to community groups that need investment to support their ideas for a community business. Successful applicants will receive up to £20,000 each, and £900,000 will be awarded overall. The application window will open on 19 April 2017 and close on 31 May 2017. A third round of the Bright Ideas Fund is scheduled to open in September 2017 and a fourth round is expected in February 2018.

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Statutory wage increases take effect

Changes to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) came into effect on 1 April 2017. The NLW for workers aged 25 and over increased from £7.20 to £7.50, and the NMW for workers aged 21 to 24 increased from £6.95 to £7.05. The rates for apprentices and workers in other age bands also increased. From 6 April 2017, the new apprenticeship levy will come into force across England for employers with an annual wage bill of more than £3 million. Employers that do not have to pay the levy will be able to access apprenticeship funding through a new funding model from 1 May 2017. Statutory sick pay will also increase to £89.35 per week from 6 April 2017.

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Yorkshire, Humber and North East Start Up support programme

We’re looking for people starting up projects creating social and environmental impact.

School for Social Entrepreneurs Yorkshire, Humber and North East will support 20 social entrepreneurs in Yorkshire, Humber and North East through the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme 2017, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, supported by Big Lottery Fund.

The programme provides free support for a year:

  • A grant of up to £3,000
  • A learning programme
  • Mentoring
  • A community of people starting up social and environmental projects

The SSE Yorkshire, Humber and North East Start Up Programme is part of a UK wide programme that will support 300 social entrepreneurs for a year.

This is the sixth year of this programme, and 95% of our students say we positively meet their training needs.

Candidates who are running established social and environmental-impact organisations can apply for our Trade Up and Scale Up programmes elsewhere in the UK. Full info

New financial guidance for charity trustees

The Charity Commission for England and Wales has issued updated guidance to help charity trustees comply with their financial duties. While these duties have not changed, the guidance has been revised to make it more accessible and clearer for trustees to understand. It covers the most common areas of managing a charity’s financial resources, including financial controls, charity reserves and employing staff. The guidance also provides signposting to other sources of support and information for trustees.

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Reforms to business rates appeals process confirmed

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has published its response to the consultation about reforming the business rates appeal process in England. In its response, DCLG has confirmed that the Valuation Tribunal for England will be able to change a valuation if the existing valuation is considered to be unreasonable. DCLG has also confirmed that reforms to the rates appeal process will come into force from 1 April 2017 to coincide with the revaluation of commercial property.

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Regulator plans auto-enrolment spot checks

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced plans to carry out spot checks of employers as part of its work to enforce automatic enrolment legislation. The checks will focus on sectors where TPR considers there is most risk of employers failing to meet automatic enrolment duties, such as in retail and catering. The purpose of the checks is to investigate any compliance failures, to help employers comply and to gather insight into good and bad practice. Employers will be given a “short period of notice” before checks take place.

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Acas updates guidance on types of employment

Acas has updated its guidance on the different forms of employment and associated legal entitlements. The latest version of the guidance places more focus on the self-employed and ‘umbrella’ companies than the previous version. Acas Head of Guidance, Stewart Gee, said: “A person who is self-employed or defined as a worker is likely to have different legal rights to someone else who is considered an employee. We know that people find this a confusing area of the law so we have updated our advice to provide some clarity on the various different types of ways that people can work and the employment rights they are entitled to.” Read more about the updated Acas guidance

Small firms unprepared for Making Tax Digital

Small business owners are not prepared for the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD), a survey by the UK200Group has revealed. From April 2018, business owners will have to file digital quarterly tax reports, as well as record their expenses using accounting software that can send updates to HMRC. However, the survey has revealed that 65% of small business owners do not use accounting software to manage their finances and 22% of respondents rely on manual record keeping. The Federation of Small Businesses has also estimated that complying with MTD will cost small business owners an average of £2,770 per year.

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Strengthening your Charity in a changing climate

This seminar will look at some easy wins as  far as protecting charities is concerned and look at future possibilities for funding.

Run by Wrigleys Solicitors on Thursday, 9th March at 8:45am till 10:30am . Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds. Free  of charge.

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