News in brief: mobile workforce; HR; growth

News in brief
News in brief


Businesses use telematics technology to contest fines

More than a third of businesses in the UK have used telematics tracking technology to contest either a speeding fine or a false insurance claim, according to research from RAC Business. The research found that 18% of companies have used telematics data to prove that a driver wasn’t at fault for an insurance claim and a further 17% have used the data to successfully appeal against a speeding fine.

Telematics has also seen an ongoing uptake among businesses, with more than a third of all UK companies (38%) now employing a telematics system in their fleet, according to RAC Business’ research. RAC Telematics MD Nick Walker said: “These findings point to clear benefits for fleet managers using telematics technology. Speeding fines and insurance claims can be difficult to contest and often result in fines being incorrectly imposed as well as leading to damaging increases in your insurance premiums.”

It is worthwhile knowing your options if you decide to contest a fine, and if you manage a fleet it could end up saving you a pretty penny!


Collinson Group launches duty of care solution

Collinson Group has launched 360 Assistance, which enables corporate clients to proactively manage their duty of care towards employees who undertake international business travel. 360 Assistance is a fully integrated medical and security advice and emergency response service aimed at corporates employing frequent business travellers, short-term assignees or expatriate workers.

Central to the offering is a Chip & PIN enabled membership card that can be remote-loaded with emergency cash or with day-to-day travel expenses to provide peace of mind for staff who may need money urgently. The employer controls the allocation of funds and all costs can be tracked for the purpose of expense management.

Businesses should have an Employee Assistance Programme in place for winter

According to employee benefit provider Busy Bees Benefits, an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is the best way to beat absenteeism, employee stress and workplace tension this winter.

EAPs help staff deal with mental and physical health as well as legal and financial issues. The schemes provide an online help system and round-the-clock telephone counselling services. Whether employees are looking for advice on managing their finances over Christmas, searching for their nearest flu vaccination centre or need counselling on stress-related illnesses, an EAP scheme can help.

As an employer you have a certain duty of care to your employees. It is important to know what this is, and how best to help them. In the long run, happy and healthy employees are an asset to your business.


Most SMEs are born global, not local

According to commercial insurer RSA, today’s small businesses are born global, not local. The business behaviours identified in the report The New Internationals demonstrate the global nature of even the smallest companies in the UK. Nearly three quarters (72%) of small businesses had a website in their first year, while around half (46%) used online banking and a quarter had overseas suppliers (26%), overseas customers (24%) and cloud storage (25%). A fifth (22%) of SME owners also travelled internationally on business in their first year.

However, the vast majority (92%) of SME owners believe they started out as a local or UK business rather than European or global, while four-fifths (82%) admit they are more concerned about local risks than global threats. This perception gap is leaving small businesses open to 'hidden' or 'shadow' risks (ie risks beyond their physical footprint that haven't been recognised or managed), and causing them to miss out on significant international growth opportunities. Top concerns related to international expansion include banking security and fraud (75%), cyber-attacks (69%) and economic turmoil (69%).

SMEs take steps to improve productivity

Two-thirds (62%) of small businesses have taken steps to improve productivity over the past 12 months, according to a new report launched by Albion Ventures, a UK-based independent venture capital investor.

Following several years of a widening productivity gap between the UK and other developed economies, the report suggests this trend may start to reverse: only 3% of businesses predicted their output will decline further by 2017, while 36% said it will remain the same. The report shows that productivity improvements have been pursued most aggressively by medium-sized businesses, of which 86% have adopted measures to boost output, compared to just 56% of small firms.

Understanding the global reach of your business is important to understand the risks you could encounter. Improving productivity and extending your global reach is all well and good, but do so at a considered pace.