The thought of lockdown round two will have given many partners flashbacks of the difficult economic conditions experienced during the spring and summer of 2020. However, from recent surveys there are strong indications that there is much more market optimism than most might think.
As we are approaching the round-up of 2020, businesses should ensure that considering the IR35 Off-Payroll Working changes from April 2021 is high on the to do list for when we are all back in January. While April may still seem some time away, to ensure compliance with these changes, time should be spent sooner rather than later to implement appropriate processes and procedures for managing contractors going forward.
Maintaining high levels of client service during a pandemic when your entire employee base is working remotely may have filled most partners and professional service firms with dread 12 months ago. But fast forward several months and this thinking has certainly changed.
Not long to go now until we actually find out what Brexit might look like. New Year celebrations may well include us raising a glass to us just “getting this done”, especially since we probably all have a little “Brexit Fatigue”.
Towards the back end of 2019 and as we entered 2020, the majority of UK manpower and recruitment (“MPR”) businesses were firmly focussed on ensuring their business models were Brexit ready. However, as 2020 unfolded, and the impact of COVID-19 shook the global economy, attention quickly turned to resilience, cash flow management and damage limitation to ensure survival and for businesses to come out of the other side of the pandemic.
2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of ‘unprecedented’ challenges and change, for individuals and businesses across all sectors, particularly in Q1 and the start of Q2.
When entering 2020 we were fully expecting the year to largely be focussed on two topics: sustainability and growth funding. To a large extent, both topics have still been highly prevalent, albeit funding often being required to strengthen cash flows rather than to pursue ambitious growth.
2020 has been a hugely difficult year for many, particularly in respect of concerns about health, wellbeing and financial security. The Office for National Statistics estimated in September that the UK economy was around 20% smaller than at the end of 2019, bringing unprecedented headwinds for the UK’s businesses. The pressures on Public Sector bodies and third sector organisations have varied; needs have been considerable, combined with “lockdown” making delivery challenging, whilst funding from usual sources has declined significantly.
If the answer is yes, let me ask a second question. Have you ever had a professional tax advisor check your tax codes? Now is the time.
At the beginning of 2020, we were expecting this to be another strong year for the Scottish Tech scene, and in particular the Edinburgh ecosystem. Record levels of investment were forecast, and we hoped to see that next generation of young ambitious companies coming through. We're sure the showcase Tech investor event in Scotland, EiE, would have been their best attended in its history, rather than a virtual event as it turned out to be.
As seen in Energy Voice, AAB's Callum Gray reflects on the last 12 months of activity in the Energy sector.
As a result of leaving the EU, the UK will experience a number of changes and one area which will be impacted is that of National Insurance. Negotiations are still ongoing however the below is what we know so far.
The public spending requirement to deal with the consequences of COVID-19 has been without precedent and there is debate about how to rebuild public finances. The pandemic has exposed ever widening inequalities in society and calls for a tax on wealth are being pushed up the political agenda. An initial paper about whether to introduce a wealth tax has recently been published.