Also in the news this week - 20 January 2017

Have your employees got the January blues?

We've survived Blue Monday, allegedly the most depressing day of the year; now new research from Kronos suggests the post-Christmas malaise can impact on staff motivation for far longer than a day. A poll of over 2,000 UK employees found that 37% of Brits predict they or a colleague will take unauthorised absences or fake a sickie in the first three months of the year - and 31% of those surveyed put this down to post-Christmas blues.

Self-employed now account for 15% of workforce

Positive jobs figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week also show that the number of self-employed people has increased by 133,000 in the past year. The self-employed now account for 15% of those in work. Freelance body IPSE welcomed the news but warned that Government policy must keep up with the changing nature of the UK workforce.

High street to be hit by insolvencies

Over 1,000 small businesses are scheduled to be wound up in January according to research carried out on behalf of insolvency practitioners Hudson Weir. It says 14.5% of these companies were operating in the retail and food and drink sectors. Another vulnerable sector is construction, the report says. According to Hudson Weir, only 41% of the UK businesses that started in 2010 survived to their fifth birthday.

Self-assessment time: the clock is ticking

Freelancers and micro-business owners are being urged not to delay when registering for self-assessment. Emily Coltman, chief accountant at FreeAgent, said: "Before you can submit your self-assessment tax return you must first register with HMRC and get your unique activation code sent to you by post. It's a relatively straightforward process but … if you leave it too late, you won't get your code in time to be able to meet the January 31st deadline."

  • Direct line to the person involved eased the process. Dealing with any monies were quickly administered.