The internet is a bit like crossing the road - If you don’t take precautions you may be ‘hit by a bus’ – New research by not-for-profit organisation getsafeonline.org has revealed that, despite the fact that the vast majority of Brits (84%) recognise that it’s our own responsibility to be safe online, we are often not taking the most basic of precautions.
Because of the jobs they do, members of the Armed Forces community & defence civilians need to be particularly careful when they are online. Not only do they have to make sure that they don’t share information they need to keep safe, but they also need to make sure they tell their friends & families to do the same thing. People can find out more about online security for the defence community on the Think before you share online page of GOV.UK.
Some of the biggest online safety sins involve passwords. In fact, almost half of the 2,000 UK adults surveyed (47%) don’t always log out of websites or apps when they’ve finished using them. This is made worse by the fact that only 42% of adults use passwords or PINs on their mobiles.
Start off as you mean to go on with children’s healthcare - Much more needs to be done to improve UK children’s health, the Chief Medical Officer has said in a frank assessment of the state of the health of the nation’s children. The CMO’s latest report calls on government, the whole health service, social care & education professionals to take action and make improvements now. It highlights a strong economic case for doing more, sooner.
Best practice for advocates - The first edition of the Local Government Ombudsman’s new bulletin for children & young people's advocacy organisations is now available. By sharing some of the common issues from their casework the LGO aim to keep children & young people’s advocacy organisations informed about their work. They can then properly signpost people in need of help in the right direction.
Ofgem is taking some action despite what many pundits & politicians imply - New Ofgem rules have come into force meaning energy suppliers are banned from increasing prices on fixed term tariffs. They are also banned from automatically rolling householders on to another fixed term offer when their current one ends. These new rules are the latest stage of Ofgem’s reforms to reset the energy market so that it is simpler, clearer and fairer for consumers.
‘Dying to loose weight’ - Following the recent deaths of young people after they have taken the ‘fat burning’ substance 2,4-dinitrophenol, known as DNP, the Food Standards Agency is urgently warning the public not to take any tablets or powders containing this ingredient. DNP is an industrial chemical. It is not fit for human consumption.
However, 'fat-burner' capsules, tablets & powders containing DNP appear to be marketed at the body-building community, and those wishing to lose weight, as a quick way of burning fat. When consumed, DNP can be extremely dangerous to human health, possibly leading to coma & death. Anyone who believes they may have taken DNP should seek medical advice immediately.
Data Matching is not just about catching Benefit ‘cheats’ - 4 out of 5 registered voters will have to do absolutely nothing in order to appear on the electoral register when the new system begins next year. Between July & October this year, all 380 local authorities and joint valuation boards in England, Scotland & Wales undertook a dry run of the ‘data matching’ process, a key plank of the switch to individual registration.
The test involved matching the records of around 46m people on the electoral register against DWP data, using the process, IT and people who will do it for real next year. If the records on the register and the DWP database match, in 2014 those electors will remain registered to vote without having to take any action. Analysis of the data shows that 78% of people across the country will be matched in this way.
Paper deadline has financial sting for non-compliance - There are just days left to send your 2012 to 2013 paper tax return to HMRC, if you want to beat the 31 October deadline and avoid a penalty. Paper tax returns received on or after 1 November will result in a £100 penalty – even if there is no tax to pay or the tax due is paid on time. If you’re not able to submit a paper return by the end of the month, you can avoid a late-filing penalty by sending your return online by 31 January 2014.
Press release & links Annual CIPD Survey Reveals Average Absence Level Back up to 7.6 Days Per Employee - The number of employers making changes to working patterns in a positive move to try and reduce long-term absence levels has increased by 20% in the last year alone, according to figures released today by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.
The annual CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence Management survey reveals that, after a small decrease reported in last year’s survey, absence is back up to the levels observed in 2011 and 2010, at an average of 7.6 days per employee. Absence levels are highest in the public services sector (8.7 days per employee per year) and lowest in the manufacturing and production sector (6 days per employee per year). Absence levels tend to increase with organisation size, regardless of sector.
Click here to find out more and download the full 2013 Absence Management Annual Survey Report.
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