News in brief: payroll; HR; marketing

News in brief
News in brief


Starting salaries for professional roles to grow by 3% to 2016

Starting salaries for professional occupations including finance and accounting, financial services, information technology and administration will grow by an average of 3% over the next 12 months, according to the Robert Half 2016 salary guide.

This is a higher increase than predicted in last year’s guide, which identified a 2.6% rise. It is also slightly higher than the average annual salary rise of 2.9% announced by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in September 20151 and well ahead of the current inflation rate of 0%.

Senior managing director at Robert Half UK Phil Sheridan said: “Businesses are actively seeking the skilled professionals they need to achieve their growth goals. With the growing supply and demand imbalance, salaries for specialised roles are expected to rise. Hard-to-fill roles are experiencing higher than average pay rises due to the increased competition for these candidates.”

Pensions regulator sees 33% rise in complaints about auto-enrolment

Research released by global law firm Clyde & Co on auto-enrolment has found that the number of whistleblowing reports made to the pensions regulator about auto-enrolment has jumped 33 % in a year.

Payroll and AE specialist at Sage UK Steven Watmore said that SMEs should prepare now for the changes to avoid legal ramifications. HMRC recommends 12 months preparation to get everything in order.

“While businesses must consider the administrative burden, they must also bear in mind the long-term impact on future cash flow and mitigate the risk of being penalised for non-compliance. The good news is help is at hand for firms navigating this complex process and it doesn’t need to be admin heavy. We are urging business owners to speak to their payroll provider early as they do not want to be caught out,” said Watmore.


‘Face-to-face’ marketing works best for SMEs

A study from Display Wizard on Britain’s most popular marketing tactics has found that a good old-fashioned one-on-one beats new age marketing platforms any day.

10,000 British business owners were asked which promotional channels win them business, and a massive 71% of all respondents revealed that face to face marketing makes them money.

“Events are a huge marketing opportunity because they can cast a wide net across attendees who may be attracted for many reasons, be it entertainment, education, networking, or career prospects. Your product can then be presented to a captive, targeted, engaged audience and the brand will become synonymous with the success of the event,” said Elliott Clarke of Clear and Loud PA Hire.


Many businesses looking to invest in staff

The latest Manufacturing Barometer produced for the Business Growth Service reports that 71% of respondents are planning to increase spending on developing their people in a bid to unlock the ‘productivity puzzle’.

This outstrips the desire from companies to achieve productivity gains through increased investment in new capital equipment and machinery (62%) or implementing computer software and systems (56%).

The issue of skills was a strong theme throughout this report, with 74% and 63% of manufacturers stating that the skills of their management teams and non-managers respectively supported their growth.


IPSE comments on deflation in the UK economy

IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, has reacted to the UK's Consumer Price Index, which fell to - 0.1% in September.

According to IPSE the slight deflation in the UK economy is good news for the self-employed community as lower prices keep business costs down. Freelancers’ daily rate of pay improved in recent months and continued low inflation levels should make them feel better off in real terms.

IPSE Economist Lorence Nye, said: “With most freelancers travelling considerably more for work than conventional employees, the fall in fuel prices and transport costs will be a welcome confidence boost for independent professionals. We remain far from the Bank of England’s target inflation rate of two per cent, so the Monetary Policy Committee should continue to take a cautious approach on the timing of raising interest rates.”

FSB comments on latest employment figures

The latest UK job figures show that 140,000 more people were in work and 79,000 fewer people unemployed in the period June to August 2015 compared to the period March to May. Commenting on these figures, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman John Allan said that while the job market continues to perform, SMEs must be aware of challenges that lie ahead.

Allan said: “While hiring growth appears to have picked up again following a slowdown in the first half of this year, members are aware of the challenges around the corner. Recent FSB research has found that although small businesses continue to increase headcounts, their confidence is not as strong as in previous quarters.

“This may partly be down to a range of upcoming policy changes: the higher than expected minimum wage increases; auto-enrolment deadlines; and changes to how dividends are taxed. These three key changes will create challenges particularly for business owners on modest incomes.”