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Need To Know: Your Business Updates for May 2019


Welcome to the May 2019 'Need to Know' update. You'll find the latest key information on intellectual property, Brexit preparations, minimum wage and Making Tax Digital.

HMRC offers EU exit webinars for importers and exporters

HMRC are holding EU Exit webinars that will cover what UK businesses need to know to keep imports and exports up to speed, and identify the key steps to continue trading with EU businesses.

These webinars cover important actions that businesses trading with the EU must take now, including registering for a UK trader number (known as an EORI number) and understanding how to complete customs declarations for all future international trade.

To view the webinar click here:

Construction suppliers accused of colluding to keep prices up

The CMA has provisionally found that 3 major suppliers to the construction industry broke competition law by allegedly forming  a cartel to reduce competition and keep prices up. The CMA claimed this involved sharing confidential information on pricing and commercial strategy and coordinating their commercial activities.

Michael Grenfell, the CMA’s Executive Director for Enforcement, said: “These are 3 major suppliers of equipment used to keep construction workers safe. It is crucial that builders and their customers benefit from genuinely competitive pricing for this essential equipment.

“Everyone must follow competition law, which protects customers from being exploited and paying more, as well as encouraging companies to compete for business in other ways – through innovation, quality and service.

“The CMA uses its powers vigorously and robustly to root out illegal cartels.”

Intellectual Property training course: IP Master Class

Develop your knowledge and skills in IP such as trade marks, copyright, designs and patents with the UK Government IP master class training course.

This specialist intellectual property training course is a master class for anyone wanting to develop their knowledge and skills in identifying and managing IP such as trade marks, copyright, designs and patents.

This guide contains information on: why you should attend the IP Master Class, course agenda, venue, available dates and cost.

To read more go to

CMA recommends shake-up of UK audit market

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its final report with recommendations to address serious competition problems in the UK audit industry.

The CMA is recommending the separation of audit from consulting services, mandatory ‘joint audit’ to enable firms outside the big four to develop the capacity needed to review the UK’s biggest companies, and the introduction of statutory regulatory powers to increase accountability of companies’ audit committees.

The CMA’s recommendations, outlined in its final report, follow extensive discussions with audit firms, investors and major UK companies on its update paper – published in December. They also take account of the recommendations of a major report from the Business Select Committee, and the inquiry into regulation led by Sir John Kingman.

To read more go to;

Minimum wage underpayment on the rise, Low Pay Commission finds

A new report from the Low Pay Commission finds that the number of people paid less than the statutory minimum wage in the UK increased in 2018.

In April 2018 439,000 people were paid less than the hourly minimum wage they are entitled to, according to the report. 

Of these, 369,000 were workers aged 25 and over paid less than the National Living Wage (NLW): this equates to 23% of those paid at or below the rate. This is an increase of around 30,000 on the previous year’s level of underpayment of the NLW, or a 2 percentage point rise in the share of workers entitled to the rate. 

135,000 people were paid below £7.20 per hour (the 2016 introductory NLW rate). These estimates are subject to several caveats but are consistent with a trend of increasing underpayment since the introduction of the NLW in 2016.

LPC Chair Bryan Sanderson said: “Our analysis reveals that a worrying number of people are being paid less than the minimum wage. We recently celebrated 20 years of the minimum wage – it has raised pay for millions of workers, but it is essential that people receive what they are entitled to. 

“It is also vital for businesses to be able to operate on a level playing field and not be illegally undercut on wages.”

To read more go to

How to get permission to copy a creative work for which the right holder cannot be found

Orphan works are creative works or performances that are subject to copyright - like a diary, photograph, film or piece of music - for which one or more of the right holders is either unknown or cannot be found.

An orphan works licence; applies only for use in the UK, can be for commercial or non-commercial use, is non-exclusive (not restricted to a single licensee), can last up to 7 years and will be able to be renewed.

For more information go to

Penalty concern over Making Tax Digital registrations

Businesses that have already signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT but have still to file their latest VAT return must act quickly to avoid possible penalties if they encounter problems making VAT payments on time.

Businesses that signed up to the system from April 1 will be required to file their VAT return digitally – including for the period before April 1. This could cause problems for those businesses that did not have the required software prior to this date.

An HMRC spokesperson told Accountancy Daily: ‘MTD applies for periods from April, not before. Businesses are encouraged to file their last return through the old system before signing up to MTD but if they join early and then face difficulty complying we have committed to taking a light touch approach to filing and record keeping penalties.

“Naturally, sanctions remain possible in cases of deliberate non-compliance, and in order to safeguard VAT revenue, so if people do face problems filing their returns, they should make sure they still pay the VAT that is due.”

To read more click here