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December 20, 2013

Also in the news this week – 20 December 2013

Many public wi-fi services not legally compliant

New research by Purple WiFi covering 3,349 venues around the world reveals that while 82% of wi-fi users believe the services they are using are legally compliant, most venues surveyed are not. 2,048 venues confirmed that they were either running completely open networks, so that anyone could access the network, or freely handing out a password. This leaves the network open to criminal use with no tracking.

Gender pay gap has increased

The gap between earnings for men and women who work full-time has increased to 10% from 9.5% last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In April 2013, the average gross weekly pay for full-time employees was £517, up 2.2% from £506 in 2012. But for men, full-time earnings averaged £556 a week, compared with £459 for women. The data also shows that the median pay gap between full and part-time workers was £4.75 an hour, which disproportionately affects women as they are three times as likely as men to work part-time.

Ecommerce key to driving sales

15% of companies have a website without ecommerce, yet these same companies have a catalogue to drive sales, according to a report by Catalogues 4 Business (C4B). However, the research found that 79% of companies said that having a website with ecommerce was important in driving sales. Ian Simpson, managing director at C4B, said: "Having a website with e-commerce is essential to sales. Over 30% of sales have been directly attributed to using catalogues as a sales and marketing tool and a further 29% saw their web sales were being driven from a catalogue."

Too many meetings cost time and money

British business people are losing over 26 days each year sitting in unnecessary face-to-face meetings, according to new research by Powwownow. That's over 9,000 meetings and three years in the average working lifetime. In addition, one working week is spent travelling to meetings every year. As a result, meetings are costing UK companies £15,979 per head every year. The average meeting of six people costs £394.80 once salary, cost of travel and time out of the office is taken into account. By comparison, a conference call of the same nature would cost £46.44.

Diary date: National Franchise Exhibition 2014

The National Franchise Exhibition is taking place at the NEC Birmingham on 14 and 15 February 2014. It promises to be a one-stop shop for potential franchisees, with free advice from experts and the chance to find out about franchise opportunities from many well-known brands. Visitors can plan their day in advance by booking appointments to meet specific franchise brands. You can register for The National Franchise Exhibition at: and get free admission using the code NFEBDD when booking, saving up to £15 on the door.