Perhaps one of the more surprising announcements made by George Osborne during the Budget last week was that a new national minimum living wage will be introduced from April 2016. The national living wage will be set at £7.20 per hour and is expected to increase to £9 by 2020. It will be payable to those aged 25 and over.
Being involved in a distressed business is invariably stressful for all involved. Time is often at a premium and for directors and shareholders, the issues can sometimes seem overwhelming. Lenders and creditors may be supportive or may be hostile. It is always necessary to understand and balance competing interests.
In Scotland, personal insolvency may be constituted by either Sequestration or by the signing of a Trust Deed, which ideally should become protected. Sequestration is the equivalent of bankruptcy in England, whereas a PTD (Protected Trust Deed) mirrors the informal aspect of an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement).
Insolvent liquidation is a process by which the affairs of a company are placed in the hands of an insolvency practitioner with a view to the realisation of the assets of the company for the benefit of creditors. Almost invariably, liquidation is a step towards ending the existence of the company.
Balancing the competing interests and obligations of all of the stakeholders in any business is not easy. It is common for disputes to arise between the people or organisations who invest their time, money and effort in businesses – whether as directors, shareholders, partners, members or managers – and these disputes arise regardless of the size, success or nature of the business.
Good corporate governance protects and enhances shareholder value. Once perceived to be of concern only to public listed companies, both that perception and the reality of the situation have radically changed. It is true that public listed companies are expressly subject to regulation directly focused on them, including the Combined Code and the Listing Rules of the UK Listing Authority.
This week, the Chancellor delivered his summer Budget and announced some key items which have the potential to significantly affect pensions savings in the UK. With his announcement on the change to the tax relief afforded to high earners and the publication of a consultation which could result in far-reaching consequences for the way in which tax relief on pensions is applied generally, the Chancellor has again put pensions at the forefront of the Government’s plans to help reduce the UK’s deficit.