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December 07, 2012

Also in the news this week – 7th December 2012

Multi-tasking Brits do online Christmas shopping at work

A study conducted on behalf of the Daisy Group has found that we are spending as much as an hour a day browsing online for Christmas gifts while we are at work. Two thirds of those polled say that a bit of Christmas shopping makes a nice break from the daily grind, while 39% are confident their boss knows what is going on. Three in 10 say logging on at work to do the Christmas shop is the quickest way to get things done. Inspiration is also forthcoming from colleagues it seems, with half of those polled saying their co-workers have chosen gifts for their partner, 48% have sorted out gifts for mum while 21% have chosen dad's present.

CIPD calls for more flexibility for older workers

As more than half (56%) of workers over 55 plan to work beyond the state retirement age, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has put the case to the House of Lords Public Service and Demographic Change select committee of the business benefits of employing older people and the need for more flexibility to meet their needs. Dianah Worman, diversity adviser at CIPD said: "CIPD research shows that older workers are increasingly looking to extend their working lives and by 2020 it is predicted that 36% of the working population will be aged over 50." The CIPD has produced guidance for employers – Managing a healthy ageing workforce.

UK SMEs urged to export

Open to Export, the new digital export advice service from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and hibu (formally Yell), has released a new infographic called Why UK Businesses Should Export. It highlights the funding that is available for exporters from the Government, as well as outlining the benefits that overseas trade can offer UK businesses – including the link between exporting and increased turnover.

New to self-assessment? Register with HMRC now!

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is calling on all Self Assessment newcomers to register for its online services well in advance. Those who are preparing to send a tax return online for the first time must do so by 31 January 2013. But HMRC is warning that the initial registration process can take up to seven working days to complete, as your Activation Code has to be received by post. You can register at www.hmrc.gov.uk/signup and, once you've received the Activation Code, you can complete your tax return online.

Two-thirds of businesses "unaware" of the Equality Act

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has published the results of a survey asking more than 1,800 organisations about the impact that the Equality Act 2010 has had on their business. Most of those surveyed were small or medium-sized enterprises. It found that two-thirds of those polled were unaware of the Equality Act, and smaller businesses said they found it difficult to get good quality information on equality issues. However, only 6% of employers had experienced complaints or grievances.