Insight / Only nine FTSE 100 boards have board gender equality

Five years after the government set a target for 33% female representation on the boards of all FTSE 350 companies, just nine of the UK’s top companies have an equal gender split

Accounting / Restrictive employment clauses may be scrapped

The government is planning to crack down on restrictive employment contracts for low paid workers as well as reviewing non-compete clauses, which are popular in the legal and IT sectors

Tax / Move to make HMRC preferential creditor ‘ill timed’

Accountancy firms are warning that the reintroduction of HMRC’s status as a preferential creditor at the beginning of this month could have a significant impact on businesses’ ability to obtain finance, and risks compromising the economy’s recovery from the current pandemic

Insight / Pandemic sees listed companies chop dividends

Since the start of this year, 493 companies listed on London Stock Exchange have cancelled, cut, or suspended dividend payments, with a 10.8% hike in the numbers doing so over the past four months suggesting this trend is set to continue

Insight / CVA on the menu at natural fast food chain Leon

Business advisory firm Quantuma has been appointed by Leon Restaurants Ltd to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) as the high street fast-food chain reported a 70% drop in sales

Audit / FRC builds case for audit committee standards

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) says research carried out with audit committee chairs (ACCs) indicates a need to develop standards for audit committees in order to ensure a more consistent approach to promoting audit quality

Tax / Coronavirus: essential updates for accountants, tax advisers and auditors - Part 3

To assist accountants, tax advisers and auditors in dealing with the coronavirus crisis, all our related covid-19 coverage will be available here as soon as new announcements are made, plus expert analysis

Insight / Debt trap to fuel M&A and equity deals

Rising corporate debt must be tackled before it becomes a millstone, but uncertainty and limited refinancing options could lead a wave of distressed M&A or increased debt to equity swaps, warns Mayer Brown’s Trevor Borthwick

Insight / Four out of five businesses not Brexit-ready

With under a month to go until the UK leaves the EU, four out of five businesses do not know the full extent of Brexit risks and are not sufficiently prepared, according to a poll by EY

Insight / Debenhams to close with 12,000 jobs lost

Debenhams is to cease trading, with the loss of some 12,000 jobs, after administrators from FRP Advisory said all other options to save the 242-year-old retailer had been exhausted

Insight / ‘Wet’ pubs offered £1,000 Covid grant

There is to be an additional £1,000 grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3 who will miss out on business in the run up to Christmas because of the tighter restrictions on opening

Tax / Tesco to pay back £585m Covid business rates relief

Tesco is to repay all of the £585m of business rates relief the company received in respect of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it was ‘absolutely committed to doing the right thing’

Insight / Legal updates: December 2020

In this month’s round up, Gateley Legal’s Sophie Brookes examines whether Covid-19 had a ‘material adverse effect’ in Travelport, complexities over ‘no reflective loss’ principle, and updated Companies House guidance on People with Significant Control (PSC) regime

Tax / Total tax take for UK’s largest companies hits £84.1bn

The UK’s biggest companies paid £84.1bn in tax during the 2019/20 financial year, the largest amount for a decade, in the run-up to the start of the Covid-19 crisis, according to research by PwC for the 100 Group of finance directors

Insight / Deloitte appointed to Arcadia administration

Matt Smith and Dan Butters, together with other restructuring partners at Deloitte, have been appointed as joint administrators to the Arcadia Group Ltd, and various subsidiary companies, as part of a trading administration