A wrap of the week's small business news from FSB's Westminster Press, Policy and Public Affairs Office. To sign-up for Weekly Brief emails, please use this link.
LATEST ADVICE & OPPORTUNITIES
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Seven days until self-assessment deadline
A reminder that the deadline for submitting self-assessment tax returns is fast approaching on 31 January. According to HMRC, there were more than five million taxpayers who were yet to complete their self-assessment returns as of a couple of weeks ago. Guidance on filing returns is available from HMRC.
Latin America & Caribbean roadshow 2020
If you want to get the latest on the business environment and export opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean, then the Department for International Trade is running a roadshow to showcase the benefits of trade with the region. Find out more here.
Festival of Learning
The Festival of Learning is a celebration of lifelong learning in England which aims to highlight its benefits and encourage more people to take part in education initiatives. An employer award will be handed to an organisation with an outstanding commitment to learning in the workplace during the festival. Nominations are open for the award until 12pm on 11 February 2020.
THE SMALL BIZ WEEK IN REVIEW
Fantastic news as fresh figures from the ONS reveal that our self-employed community is now five million strong for the very first time! The latest employment figures also show that 76.3% of those aged 16 to 64 were in paid work between September and November 2019, a new record high.
FSB launched a new report alongside the Trade Policy Observatory assessing what small businesses are looking for when it comes to trade after Brexit. The report finds that the US is the number one destination of choice for UK traders for the next three years, while the EU as a bloc was the most critical single market for traders.
A Parliamentary Bill was laid that will give parents facing the loss of a child the right to two weeks' statutory leave. Mike Cherry said that "this first step towards making statutory leave a reality for those facing the tragic loss of a child is vital. Anyone suffering such terrible circumstances should have the full support of their employer and time away from the workplace." Read more in the MailOnline.
Ahead of the latest intervention from the Migration Advisory Committee on the UK's future immigration system - expected next week - new FSB figures reveal concerns among small firms regarding a proposal to extend the £30,000 salary threshold that applies to Tier 2 UK visas to all skilled non-UK nationals after Brexit. More than eight in ten small businesses employing mid or high-skilled staff in roles with salaries below £30,000 say they could not raise salaries in order to recruit workers from overseas.
News that the big five business groups and a number of trade associations have written to government urging them to hear business concerns about the future system is covered today by The Times, Daily Telegraph, City AM, BBC News and Sky.
From the Corridors of Power
Lord Mendelsohn's Private Members' Bill on enhancing the powers of the Small Business Commissioner and taking action on late payments had its first reading in the Lords on Tuesday. The second reading will be announced in due course.
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