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There has been a significant increase in the numbers of small firms that are looking at redundancies as a way of saving costs during the recession.

Employers are being advised that, as from 26 January, HM Revenue and Customs is sending out penalty notices to those firms that have yet to file their 2007/08 employer’s annual return.

Providing small businesses with automatic rate relief is not a practical option, the government has said.

The government has accepted a request from the Low Pay Commission to delay an announcement of its recommendations on this year’s rise in the national minimum wage.

With new figures officially confirming that the UK economy is in recession, analysts and business owners are predicting a long haul to recovery.

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