Hicks blog

UK R&D spending lowest in the G8

The government spends around 0.49% of GDP on funding research and development (R&D), prompting business groups to call for help to increase growth.

Private sector businesses hit record number

The number of private sector businesses has reached a new record of 5.4 million, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced.

Creating a highly engaged workforce

The survey points towards the fact that a flexible environment without too many restrictions can lead to a more trusting and productive workplace.

Stress-related absence increases

Stress-related absences from work are increasing, a survey by the CIPD has found.

National minimum wage increases

The adult rate of the national minimum wage (NMW) is set to rise by 20p to £6.70 on 1 October 2015.

Compliance costs SMEs

Inflation falls to 14-year low

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation fell sharply to 0.5% in the year to December 2014, from 1% in November 2014, official figures show.

Employees take advantage of flexible working

There is a high demand among employees for flexible working arrangements, research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research and Citrix has found.

Fewer SMEs using bank finance

The proportion of SMEs using tradional forms of finance fell in the second quater of 2014, according to research by BDRC Continental.