News

Mar 26, 2021 - People may quit if forced to work from home, Rishi Sunak warns

The chancellor has warned bosses that staff may quit if they are not allowed to work from the office as the UK emerges from lockdown.

Rishi Sunak said that employees would "vote with their feet" and could consider leaving for a rival if made to work from home full time.

A number of companies have announced plans to close offices prompting fears for city centres.

But now the chancellor has urged firms not to abandon the office altogether.

Mr Sunak told the newspaper that home working is no substitute for an office environment with "people riffing off each other".

"You can't beat the spontaneity...

Mar 26, 2021 - Covid: February redundancy plans fall despite lockdown

British firms planned fewer job cuts last month despite many being forced to close by Covid lockdowns.

About 26,600 jobs were put at risk, one-fifth below January's figure and slightly lower than February 2020.

The numbers suggest that government support schemes have helped prevent the mass redundancies seen in the first lockdown.

The figures from the Insolvency Service were obtained by a BBC Freedom of Information request.

Employers planning 20 or more redundancies have to notify the government via the Insolvency Service by filing a form called HR1.

Because these filings happen at the start o...

Mar 26, 2021 - Let more refugees in if they’re good for the economy – report urges

The government should consider introducing visas for people both in need of humanitarian assistance and who can make an economic contribution to the UK, a new report suggests.

The Social Market Foundation argues there should be a way for migrants to enter the UK on “combined economic integration and humanitarian grounds”, rather than maintaining the rigid distinction between economic migrants and refugees.

The researchers point to a “hole” in UK immigration policy. People with both skills and humanitarian needs, but who don’t tick all the boxes for either a work visa or refugee status, end up ...

Mar 25, 2021 - When is a month not a month?

Time is definitely a relative concept, a new Upper Tribunal decision suggests, examining the issue of what constitutes a “month” for the purposes of the Immigration Rules on long residence.

The case of Chang (paragraph 276A(a)(v); 18 months?) [2021] UKUT 65 (IAC) involved an application under the ten-year lawful residence rule contained in paragraph 276B of the Rules, read in conjunction with paragraph 276A. People qualify for indefinite leave to remain under this provision after ten years’ residence in the UK, provided they’ve not been outside the country for more than 18 months cumulatively ...

Mar 24, 2021 - A first look at the “New Plan for Immigration”

The Home Office has published a new plan for immigration with the title, somehow both grandiloquent and banal, New Plan for Immigration. It is mainly concerned with asylum and people who enter the UK illegally (those two concepts being subtly mashed together) but there are also some miscellaneous proposals for tweaks to citizenship laws.

Bonus points for “safe and legal” arrivals

The word “illegal” or a derivative of it appears 74 times in the document, epitomised by the sentence “In 2019, 32,000 illegal attempts to enter the UK illegally were prevented in Northern France”. The idea is to cont...

Mar 24, 2021 - UK inflation rate falls to 0.4% in February

Sharply lower clothes prices and cheaper second-hand cars caused an unexpected fall in the UK's inflation rate in February.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate fell to 0.4% last month, down from 0.7% in January.

Economists had expected inflation to rise slightly, driven by increasing fuel and energy prices.

But the impact of rising fuel costs was offset by downward pressures in other areas, including travel costs and toys.

February is traditionally a month where clothing prices would rise. But ONS deputy national statistician, Jonathan Athow said: "The impact of the pandemic...

Mar 23, 2021 - UK launching four regional trade hubs to boost exports

The government is creating four regional trade and investment hubs to boost economic growth across the UK.

Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss said on Tuesday that the hubs would be located in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Darlington.

The aim is to boost exports by providing localised advice from export and investment specialists to firms.

The government says the new hubs will provide support and advice to help regional businesses to access major trade markets and boost exports, as part its efforts to boost pandemic recovery.

"I'm determined to use UK trade policy to benefit...

Mar 23, 2021 - Jobless crisis shows signs of easing but under-25s hit hard

The number of workers on company payrolls in the UK climbed by almost 200,000 in the three months to February, amid signs that the jobs market may be stabilising.

However, the number on payrolls is still 693,000 lower than last February, before Covid lockdown measures began.

It comes amid growing optimism that the vaccine rollout will lead to a faster-than-expected economic recovery.

The official unemployment rate now stands at 5%, down from 5.1% before.

Sam Beckett, head of economic statistics at the Office for National Statistics, told the BBC's Today programme there was still a lot of uncer...

Mar 23, 2021 - Belarusian man in “limbo” since 2003 wins permission to remain in landmark case

In R (AM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (legal “limbo”) [2021] UKUT 62 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal considered the extraordinary case of a Belarusian man who had been in the UK on immigration bail since 2003.

The fundamental question for the tribunal: where removal cannot be effected, does there come a point where permission to remain in the UK must be granted?

Background

AM arrived in the UK in January 1998 and claimed asylum. His application was refused.

According to the determination, AM provided misleading personal information about himself such that the Belarusian authorities r...

Mar 23, 2021 - Tax policies and consultations Spring 2021

The UK Government published a number of tax-related consultations and calls for evidence on 23 March 2021 on a range of tax administration and tax policy areas.

These measures are designed to help shape the next steps in delivering the Government’s 10-year tax administration strategy and will take forward policy development across a range of important tax issues, including business rates and environmental taxes, as well as a range of simplification measures.

Key announcements and publications are as follows:

  • A call for evidence on our Tax Administration Framework – exploring how to make t...