FRC to be replaced with new regulator

It was announced this month that the Financial Reporting Council is being abolished to make way for a new regulatory body for accountancy firms; the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority, which will also take over responsibility for the new corporate governance rules on employee voice introduced last summer. The change will come with new powers to directly enforce changes to accounts, without the need for a court order.

Minimum wage to rise above inflation

Following recommendations from the Low Pay Commission, the minimum wage in the UK is to rise from £7.38 to £7.70 an hour for workers aged 21-24 and the so-called National Living Wage for workers aged 25+ from £7.83 to £8.21. This is an increase of 4.9%, around three percentage points above recent inflation. The UK minimum wage is now among the highest in the OECD as a proportion of median earnings, but still below the levels recommended by the Living Wage Foundation as necessary to meet the cost of living - £9 or £10.55 in London.

CBI and TUC issue joint statement on Brexit

The heads of the CBI and TUC took an unusual step last week of issuing a joint statement declaring the UK to be facing a “national emergency” because of political failures to produce a solution to Brexit. Carolyn Fairbairn and Frances O’Grady wrote that “Decisions of recent days have caused the risk of no-deal to soar. Firms and communities across the UK are not ready for this outcome. The shock to our economy would be felt by generations to come.” While Brexit has been delayed beyond 29th March the UK remains on track to leave with no deal on 11th April.