Managing costs

Falls in employee sickness levels stall

The long term downward trend in workplace sickness absence is stalling, according to a report, fuelling concerns that the Government should be doing more to reduce the cost of sickness to employers, taxpayers and the economy.

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Small businesses urged to consider alternative buying methods to reduce costs

Small recession-hit businesses faced with increased business costs may be able to save money through group buying, research carried out by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has claimed.

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Four in five SMEs affected by postal price hike

Four in five small businesses in the UK believe the change in postal rates - which came into effect on 30 April 2012 - will affect their business and the ways in which they communicate with customers.

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Businesses still struggling with late payment culture

Companies struggling with the effects of late payment are failing to take advantage formal procedures and are putting their business at risk, a new business report has warned.

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Four out of five companies offer flexi-working

Over 80 per cent of UK firms now offer employees flexible working options, a new study has found; although nearly 38 per cent of businesses only extend the privilege to senior members of staff.

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SMEs not celebrating lost Jubilee trade

Three quarters of small businesses admit they are unhappy about the number of additional bank holidays to celebrate national events such as this summer's Jubilee and last year's Royal Wedding, because they are concerned about lost trade, a business support group survey has found.

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Scottish SMEs cautious about zero waste plan

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland have welcomed the Scottish Government's zero waste strategy but remain concerned about potential compliance costs, according to a survey conducted by the Forum of Private Business (FPB).

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Inflation unexpectedly rises to 3.5%

Inflation in the UK rose in March to 3.5 per cent, up from 3.4 per cent the previous month, driven by higher food, clothing and recreation prices, according to the Office of National Statistics.

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Temporary agency workers drive business growth but lower wages

Using temporary agency workers can improve company performance but cause anxiety amongst permanent staff who receive lower wages for the same roles, a new study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has found.

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Big six energy deal to benefit households and businesses

An agreement between the UK's 'big six' energy companies, meaning they will be required to tell customers if they are overpaying and allow them to switch to a better deal , is to cut the bills of millions of consumers and businesses, according to the Government and business groups.

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