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Business News Roundup – 28th May 2024

Business News England

Brought to you by DPC Accountants

Welcome to the DPC round up of the latest business news for our clients for 28th May 2024.

Please contact us if you want to talk with out team of experienced Stoke-on-Trent accountants about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!



Admitting a new partner into the partnership: What should you consider first?

Things to think about

For businesses that run as a partnership, there often comes a time where you need to consider admitting a new partner into the partnership.

Perhaps it’s a case of looking for someone who will pave the way for an existing partner to retire, maybe it’s a family business and there are plans to bring the next generation on board, or perhaps you have a key employee that brings value to the business and is looking to grow their role and status in the business.

Whatever the reason, what are some of the things you should consider before admitting a new partner?


Inflation rate falls in April

CPI continues to drop

Official figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics show that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) dropped to 2.3% for the 12 months to April 2024. This is down from 3.2% for the 12 months to March 2024.

The new energy price caps and resulting fall in gas and electricity prices were the main factors behind the decrease. However, rises in the price of petrol and diesel meant the rate did not fall as low as it might otherwise have done.

A fall in the inflation rate doesn’t mean that prices generally are falling, but rather that they are increasing more slowly. The news is encouraging though as the CPI continues to drop towards the Bank of England’s target of 2%.


New planning rules reduce red tape for farmers

Repurposing agricultural buildings just got easier

New planning laws that have come into force simplify the conversion of unused farm buildings into new homes, farm shops, and gyms. These changes aim to help farmers diversify and expand their businesses without the burden of submitting planning applications.

Farmers can now repurpose agricultural buildings and land for various new uses, including outdoor sports facilities, larger farm shops, and training centres.


Employee caught stealing customer data

Data theft prosecuted

A former management trainee at Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK Limited, Shairaz Saleem, has been fined after illegally obtaining customer data over a two-week period in 2019.

Concerns arose when Mr Saleem visited his workplace in West Yorkshire outside of his scheduled hours and an internal audit then revealed that he accessed 39 customer records from 25 different rental branches in just 32 minutes. 


Apple and Microsoft announce new product updates

New product innovations

Both Apple and Microsoft have announced updates to their product lines in recent weeks. Apple unveiled updates to their iPad Air and iPod Pro lines, and Microsoft have introduced Copilot + PCs as showcased by their new Surface Pro and Laptop.

These releases by both companies appear to underline the emphasis they are putting on the potential offered by generative AI.


Support with employee health and disability

Help provided

A new service has been launched to help employers and managers with employee health and disability.

The guidance contained in the service will help in supporting employees and to understand any legal requirements. There are also links provided to government and other organisations that are able to help.


Automated Vehicles Act brings self-driving vehicles closer to reality

Self-driving vehicles coming to UK roads

Self-driving vehicles are set to be on British roads by 2026 following the enactment of the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act.

Automated vehicles are expected to improve road safety by reducing human error, which is estimated to be responsible for 88% of road collisions.

The AV Act, which was first announced in the King’s Speech of November 2023, attempts to position the UK as a leader in self-driving technology regulation, that according to government estimates, will potentially unlock a £42 billion industry and create over 38,000 skilled jobs by 2035.


New £1m Manchester prize aims to promote AI innovation

Making use of AI’s potential

Ten UK teams have been named finalists for the inaugural Manchester Prize, which was announced last week by the Prime Minister at the AI Seoul Summit.

Each team will receive part of a £1 million fund to develop AI solutions over the next eight months, focusing on energy, environment, and infrastructure. Their projects include AI for solar energy integration, climate-resilient crop traits, waste flow analytics, and advanced battery manufacturing.


Training bursaries available for crafters

Up to £4000 Training bursary from Heritage Crafts

Are you wanting to start your journey into craft, or do you want to turn your hobby into a career? If so, you may be able to apply for a training bursary from Heritage Crafts.

In total, 27 bursaries are available depending on individual need with some ringfenced for black and ethnically diverse trainees, veterans, trainees in Scotland and Wales, and those working in decorative, rural and endangered crafts. Craftspeople from Northern Ireland are also being encouraged to apply.

The bursary of up to £4,000 can cover or contribute to costs.


Updated guidance for pregnancy and maternity protections

Preventing pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work

Updated guidance has been issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to help employers. The guidance provides advice on what employers can do to prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work.

The updates are due to the new flexible working laws that came into effect in April 2024, and they outline the changes that employers will have to make because of these laws.




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