Recent figures have shown that 27 percent of employees admit to shopping for daily deals online when they should be working.
The survey conducted by market research experts OnePoll on behalf of MyDealPage.co.uk a one page directory site which lists all the deals from the big name voucher sites, found that more than a quarter surveyed admitted to searching for deals during working hours. Perhaps surprisingly, more men than women are shopping for deals whilst at work, with the age bracket of 25 to 34 accounting for over a third of those browsing voucher sites in the workplace. Human resource expert Charlotte Gallagher of specialist outsourced consultancy P3 People Management, which counts leading national companies amongst its clients, commented; “Businesses must have clear and consistent policies and codes of conduct on internet usage that they update regularly, outlining any consequences for a breach. “It’s important to find a balance though, as whilst many working hours can be lost to the internet, some studies have also indicated that a short period of web-browsing can refresh staff, so companies need to consider guidelines that suit the particular business; perhaps allowing a set amount of time per employee per day, or at break times, and then enforcing it by monitoring their activity, which may be social media, shopping or handling personal business such as banking.”
For online shoppers, daily deals sites offer huge discounts, with the average saving being 61 percent of the retail value, but most deals are only available for a very short time-period; usually between one and five days. Figures taken from more than 30 leading deal sites found that from January to June this year, a total of £118.2 million was spent across the UK on daily deals, averaging a staggering £649,450 per day. New pension laws pose the greatest new legal challenge to UK-based Finance Directors and their organisations, according to new research by The CA magazine in partnership with law firm DLA PI.
In a survey of nearly 300 members of ICAS, the professional body of CAs (Chartered Accountants), Financial Directors and Chief Financial Officers were asked to name one piece of legislation, recent or forthcoming, which poses the greatest challenge to them and their organisation. A third of UK-based FDs (32 percent) cited pension legislation, followed by health and safety laws (17 percent) and The Bribery Act (17 percent). Other employment issues such as changes to maternity and paternity rights accounted for a further 18 percent.
Starting from October 2012 employers will begin to automatically enrol eligible workers into a qualifying pension scheme and contribute to that pension. People who are automatically enrolled will also contribute to the scheme and get tax relief. New measures include allowing companies to defer automatic enrolment for up to three months and simplifying the scheme certification process. The survey also underlined the importance of the FD/CFO community to the UK’s legal profession. More than half claim to have responsibility for purchasing legal services. When it comes to selecting that legal advice, FDs rank technical and sector expertise over all other criteria, including partner and firm reputation, location and price.
Over the next twelve months, employment and benefits are likely to be the main reason for buying legal advice (cited by four in ten FDs), followed by real estate (33 percent), M&A (32 percent), litigation (30 percent) and restructuring (27 percent). Simon Rae, Managing Partner, DLA Piper in Scotland, said: “Among the many obligations that finance directors face these days, legal requirements continue to figure prominently. The consequences of turning a blind eye to these are well documented as is the fact that ignorance is no longer a defence. A number of issues have the potential to keep finance directors awake at night. However, having the right specialist advice and policies in place and a close eye on the related risks can lighten the load.”
Robert Outram, editor of The CA, said: “Despite a series of campaigns aimed at cutting ‘red tape’, the obligations placed on company directors, and the potential sanctions that could follow if those obligations are not met, warrant being taken very seriously. It is not surprising that pensions auto-enrolment, which will ultimately affect employers of all sizes, is high up on the FDs’ ‘to do’ list.”