Employees can be expensive to run. If they are off sick, you lose their services while they are ill, yet still have to pay them.The official statistics say flu hit epidemic levels this winter. The disruption caused by staff illness can be terrible. But might the tax system offer some help?When an employee is off sick, the law requires that you continue to pay them, but it is up to you whether this is at their normal rate of pay, a percentage of this or just the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rate. Whatever arrangement you have with your employees, the tax system doesn’t offer to compensate you for paying your employee while they are not working. However, in some cases, you can claim a National Insurance (NI) credit.Where you pay an employee sick pay, the tax system allows you to claim SSP compensation. You do this by reducing the PAYE tax and NI payment you send to the tax man at the end of the month in which you pay SSP. The compensation is worked out using the tax man’s Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS), in the following way:1. Add together the SSP you have paid to all your employees in the tax month concerned a tax month runs from the 6th to the 5th of the following month.2. Add up the NI payable for the same tax month and work out 13% of this.3. If the amount at point 1 is more than the amount at 2, you can reclaim the difference.In our experience, company owners often overlook the fact that they, too, are within the SSP system. So when checking whether your firm qualifies for a compensation claim, ensure you take account of SSP entitlement for directors too.The tax system also has a specific exemption, which means you can pay for your employees to have private medical check-ups without the cost counting as a taxable benefit-in-kind (BiK). These are intended to pick up early health problems, so steps for treatment can be taken.You can also pay for your employees to have the flu jab, usually about £25 each and the tax man won’t treat this as a BiK. We think this is a relatively small price to pay if it saves losing one or more employees to the flu for several days. Even though tax and NI-free for your employees, your company can still claim the cost as a tax deduction against its profits. You must pay a doctor or pharmacy directly for the jab, as reimbursing an employee won’t qualify for the tax and NI exemption.
CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or videos on a mobile deviceOAKLAND — A little more than a month ago, in an anonymous poll of NBA players conducted by The Athletic, Draymond Green was voted the most overrated player in the NBA.I sure hope no Portland Trail Blazers were part of that “winning” tally.Because if they were, they learned a truth the Warriors — and apparently too few others around the NBA — already know. And they learned it the hard way: Green is a force …
Scientists sometimes just prove the obvious, like that men and women are different. If we can talk body without talking bawdy, there are some new discoveries about body works that should put a spring in your step today about how your body works.Muscle milk: Whether you’re brawny or scrawny, you care about muscle. The most assiduous bodybuilder, though, should thank a tiny little signaling molecule that makes that burn lead to a good flex. Next to a photo of big delts and biceps, Stephanie Pappas on Live Science explains:The secret lies with a chemical factor produced by muscle cells during work (such as during weight lifting) that signals muscle stem cells to multiply and take on the load. The substance, serum response factor (Srf), apparently triggers muscle stem cells — dormant cells capable of differentiating into muscle cells — to proliferate and become muscle fibers. More muscle fibers means bigger overall muscles and more strength.A researcher in France called this “unexpected and quite interesting.” Gym rats can hope that what works in mice will also work in men (women, too).Eye stash: Speaking of stem cells, there’s a good source of adult stem cells right in your eye, reported PhysOrg.In the future, patients in need of perfectly matched neural stem cells may not need to look any further than their own eyes. Researchers reporting in the January issue of Cell Stem Cell, a Cell Press publication, have identified adult stem cells of the central nervous system in a single layer of cells at the back of the eye.Amazingly, these cells are produced in the embryo and remain dormant throughout life; therefore, “You can get these cells from a 99-year-old,” a researcher at the Neural Stem Cell Institute in New York. The cells can be isolated and grown into other body cell types. “It’s kind of mind boggling.”Talk the dog: Your dog understands you better than you think. You can do a kind of mind-meld with your dog; Fido is already judging your intent before you tell him to fetch. How Hungarian scientists found this out is explained on PhysOrg. Apparently they track your eyes and read your intentions. Live Science described dog aptitude at about the level of pre-verbal infants, but added this strange Darwinian twist without elaboration: “The study suggests that dogs have evolved to be especially attuned to human communicative signals, and early humans may have selected them for domestication particularly for this reason, the researchers said.” Didn’t dogs evolve long before humans in the evolutionary timeline? Did the humans who selected them use intelligent design or natural selection?Walk the jog: Why do we find it more comfortable at a certain walking speed to switch to a running gait? Researchers at North Carolina State, publishing in PNAS, (73/pnas.1107972109 PNAS January 4, 2012), found that the calf becomes more efficient when switching to a run at about 4.5 miles per hour. The summary on PhysOrg explains:The high-speed images revealed that the medial gastrocnemius muscle, a major calf muscle that attaches to the Achilles tendon, can be likened to a “clutch” that engages early in the stride, holding one end of the tendon while the body’s energy is transferred to stretch it. Later, the Achilles – the long, elastic tendon that runs down the back of the lower leg – springs into action by releasing the stored energy in a rapid recoil to help move you.The study showed that the muscle “speeds up,” or changes its length more and more rapidly as people walk faster and faster, but in doing so provides less and less power. Working harder and providing less power means less overall muscle efficiency.When people break into a run at about 2 meters per second, however, the study showed that the muscle “slows down,” or changes its length more slowly, providing more power while working less rigorously, thereby increasing its efficiency.Blood back-talk: How does your body know to produce more blood cells? The blood cells tell the bone marrow, and the marrow talks back. Medical Xpress reported that scientists at UCLA heard the conversation:In a new study, they show that two-way signaling from two different sets of cells is necessary for bloody-supply balance, both to ensure that enough blood cells are produced to respond to injury and infection and that blood progenitor cells remain available for future needs.According to the subheading, “this balancing act requires a complex ‘conversation’ involving more parties than originally thought.” Presumably what they found in fruit flies has a counterpart in us humans.Hang on to your appendix when you can: Bill Parker thinks your appendix could save your life. Interviewed in a guest blog by Rob Dunn on Scientific American, Parker, a professor of surgery, explained that the appendix is not a vestigial organ, but a vital part of the immune system: it “serves as a nature reserve for beneficial bacteria in our guts.” Dunn cited recent evidence that people who have had appendectomies tend to get re-infected more easily.Amazing recovery: A student at the University of Arizona, in a coma since an October 19 car crash, had been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and other life-threatening injuries. According to Medical Xpress, his surgeon overruled staff recommendations to take him off life support when surgery was ineffective, and recommended keeping him alive another week. In the St. Nick of time, Sam Schmid woke up, and is now speaking and walking again. “It will be a special Christmas for the family of a 21-year-old University of Arizona student who was nearly taken off life support but is now recovering after waking up from a coma,” the Dec. 23 article said.If thou thinkest this is wondrous strange,And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.There are more things inside thyself, Darwinio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come;Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,How strange or odd soe’er thou bearest thyself,As thou perchance hereafter shall think meetTo put an antic explanation on,That you, at such times observing, never shall,With arms encumber’d thus, or this headshake,Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,As ‘Well, we know it evolved,’ or ‘It emerged or arose,’Or ‘Natural selection,’ or ‘It might have, perchance,’Or such ambiguous giving out, to noteThat you know naught of anything: this not to do,So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
A double storey classroom for delightedpreschool children. The proud and happy graduates of the firstCans4Skills development course. A container classroom renovated byBreadline for foreign nationals at theSoetwater refugee camp, set up after theoutbreak of xenophobic-related violencein May 2008.(Images: Breadline Africa)Janine ErasmusThe ingenuity of an African NGO is raising international awareness for the plight of Africa’s millions of starving people, and harnessing the power of the internet to drive its newest project.Cape Town-based Breadline Africa is an NGO that aims to give Southern African communities the means to break out of the trap of poverty. The organisation is involved in many community-based projects in three main categories – skills development, assisting youth and children, and health and nutrition.Breadline Africa launched its latest initiative in October 2008. Using the power of consumer generated media – posts made in all kinds of online media such as blogs, wikis, discussion lists and forums – the World Blogger Bake-Off is a global call to bloggers to join the fight against hunger in Africa by collectively raising R11-million ($1-million).Bake bread or give doughBreadline Africa’s partner in the World Blogger Bake-Off is Quirk eMarketing, responsible for the NGO’s e-marketing strategy. Quirk is known for its involvement in projects such as the recent Google Earth layer for South African Tourism.The World Blogger Bake-Off encourages bloggers from all over the world to get involved in Breadline Africa’s fight against poverty in various ways. These range from promoting the initiative by blogging about it, pledging and challenging fellow bloggers to do the same, hosting bread and cake sales in their areas to raise funds, uploading a bread recipe, and generally spreading the word amongst the online community.Non-bloggers may also become part of the campaign by uploading their favourite bread recipe into one of three categories – most nutritious, most unusual and best traditional recipe.The blogger responsible for the most money donated will receive an Amazon voucher worth R5 600 ($500) and will have a container kitchen named after them or their blog, while the most popular recipes in each of the categories will receive Amazon vouchers to the value of R2 800 ($250).Bread was chosen as the project’s theme because it is the staple food of millions of people in Africa and around the world. Many of these people live below the poverty line and have to endure the associated problems of unemployment, hunger, disease, violence and despair. By supporting charity projects run in the heart of communities, and helping them to reach a level of sustainability, Breadline also helps to reduce the need for welfare.Sustainable community projectsBreadline Africa works by gathering and disbursing funds to convert old shipping containers into functional, sustainable, community-uplifting projects such as soup kitchens, classrooms, and nursery schools. Not only do the containers provide an essential service in disadvantaged areas, but they also offer a platform for skills development in communities.With offices in both South Africa and the United Kingdom, the organisation acts a bridge between the needy in Africa and donors in Europe and the UK. Since its inception in 1993 it has supported over 130 projects in Southern Africa through annual grants. Breadline also participates in the Multi-Agency Grants Initiative, which aims to bring donor partners together to share resources and thus more effectively support community based organisations.Project manager Edna Titus says that the organisation sometimes struggles to find containers, as they are not that easy to come by and shipping companies are strangely unwilling to freely donate old containers, however battered, rusty and unusable they may be. This forces the NGO to use some of its funds for purchasing.“Shipping companies only seem to donate directly to communities,” says Titus. “This ties our hands somewhat because they often retain ownership of the container and that hampers us even from renovating it on the community’s behalf.”Old shipping containers are often found in communities masquerading as anything from telephone booths and hair salons to spaza shops. The Breadline difference is that they are completely renovated and are no longer merely cold, drab, windowless boxes. “We beautify the containers and make them user friendly,” says Titus, “and even their bright colours give the area a boost.”While community projects may use the containers for as long as they remain successful and sustainable, if they should fold the container reverts back to Breadline who will then pass it on to another worthy project. “But this happens very rarely,” says Titus. “We scrutinise our potential projects very carefully and choose the ones which we believe will succeed.”Skills developmentBreadline Africa also runs a very successful poverty alleviation and skills development programme called Cans4Skills, centred on the container renovation and working on the principle that people become independent by learning to help themselves.Skills development in South Africa is a cause espoused by many organisations as well as government, as it is one of the main factors in the country’s unemployment rate.Cans4Skills takes its name from the communities’ name for containers, and Breadline Africa uses containers, or cans, to provide opportunities for people in informal settlements to hone trade skills such as plumbing, bricklaying, woodwork and painting – practical skills which can be passed on for the benefit of the community. The company also teaches basic domestic tasks including cooking, ironing and using a washing machine.The containers are cleaned and spruced up with a floor, windows and doors and a coat of paint, transforming them into classrooms for those who cannot afford to attend a college or don’t have transport to get to one. Bringing the classroom to the people and teaching them in their own environment, says Titus, is an effective way of giving them a kick-start in earning an income.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] linksBreadline AfricaWorldwide blogger bake-offBlogger bake-off Facebook groupMulti-Agency Grants InitiativeQuirk eMarketing
Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Despite that, Cone was happy with the kind of shot the Gin Kings had in the clutch.“As it turned out, we got a good shot. Justin was able to get a good floater that could have gone in. That’s the problem, we could not set up and they [Meralco] could not set up their defense,” he said.Still, Cone could not wrap his head around his team failing to call for a timeout, noting that had they sued for time, Ginebra could have gotten a better shot.“We wish that we had a better alternative,” he said.The Finals is now tied at 2-all as the series shifts to Philippine Arena for the deciding games. Game 5 is on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Hugnatan relishes role as Meralco’s floor spacer in Finals series Tim Cone. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netFailing to go on the hill in Game 4 of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, Ginebra coach Tim Cone was left to rue the missed chances to call for time in the waning seconds on Friday.“We were trying to call a timeout but our players couldn’t see us,” he lamented.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 “That’s the problem with the league rule that coaches can’t call timeouts. The crowd was crazy and they can’t hear you. You are yelling, but the only guy who could call the timeout is the one handling the ball. The whole bench was calling for a timeout but it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t call a timeout.”The Gin Kings had the last 15 seconds of the game to plot a game-winning or game-tying play after Sol Mercado completed the chasedown block on Jared Dillinger on the other end.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHowever, the players sought the opportunity to make a play without convening even as Cone and LA Tenorio desperately tried to get the attention of their teammates to no avail.Joe Devance handed the ball to a cutting Justin Brownlee, who then went for what appeared to be the game-tying floater, but left his shot a little short as Meralco escaped with the 85-83 Game 4 thriller. Read Next
Florida Will Muschamp HatersWill Muschamp’s tenure as head coach in Gainesville got off to a decent start, but by the end of the 2014 season, Gators fans were campaigning for him to be replaced. Florida eventually cut ties with Muschamp after he won just 10 games combined in his final two years, and he wound up taking the defensive coordinator position at Auburn shortly after. A YouTube user by the name of SCS Productions decided to make light of the situation, adding hilarious subtitles to the popular interview between Jesus Quintero and comedian El Risitas. If you’re wondering, the original interview was conducted back in 2007, but it didn’t become Internet-famous until March of 2015.If you’re a fan of Florida’s mishaps over the past few years, you’ll have a hard time not laughing out loud.[YouTube]
CFB Over UndersSportsbooks have yet to release their over/under win totals for college football teams in 2016 – they should be released at the beginning of the summer – so we thought we’d set them ourselves. Who will win enough games to compete for this?Of course, it’s a bit early. Spring football has yet to take place, recruiting classes have yet to arrive on campus, transfers have yet to decide, etc. A lot is going to change between now and the start of the season in early September. Still, there’s a decent amount to go on. We know the schedules. We know which players are returning and which players are headed to the NFL. Recruiting classes have been signed. There are plenty of preseason top 25s out there. So, based on what we know right now, here are our over/unders for college football teams’ win totals for the 2016 regular season. These are not projections. They’re meant to be difficult and somewhat of a toss-up. Start With The ACC >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6
COLLEGE PARK, MD – OCTOBER 03: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines (L) jogs off the fiedl with his brother Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (R) following halftime of the Michigan and Maryland Terrapins game at Byrd Stadium on October 3, 2015 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)It was only a matter of time before Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to extend his reach across Ohio’s bordersAfter the NCAA overturned the ban on satellite football camps – one that some would argue was sparked by his decision to hold spring practice in SEC territory earlier this year – news broke Wednesday that Harbaugh and staff will now be featured during a June 9 camp in Warren, Ohio.Warren G. Harding’s assistant football coach Doug Sangregorio shared the news to Twitter Wednesday afternoon.Jim Harbaugh and Michigan staff to be featured at Warren Harding Elite football Camp June 9 https://t.co/ZqHsv1wgUi pic.twitter.com/m0UWous40q— Doug Sangregorio (@DougSangregorio) May 4, 2016To add to the drama, Harbaugh will be in Ohio at the same time Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is scheduled to be in Detroit, according to MLive.com.
CLEMSON, SC – OCTOBER 3: A general view of the Clemson flag during the Tigerwalk prior to the game between the at Clemson Memorial Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)Clemson meets Auburn for their season opener on Sept. 3, and this new Clemson hype-video makes clear that the Tigers are coming out strong.Created by Tigers fan Son of Clemson, “Sound The Alarm” sets the stage with dramatic music from the the Star Wars:Rogue One trailer, emphasizing the great anticipating and expectations of the 2016 football season. Will the Tigers be as powerful as the science fiction characters? Check out this Clemson hype-video, and decide for yourself.You can watch the hype-video below:The Tigers went 14–1 and 8–0 in ACC games in 2015, winning the 2015 ACC Championship Game against the North Carolina Tar Heels, 45–37. The 2015 season marked their first undefeated regular season since winning the national title in 1981.After defeating the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl, No. 1 Clemson lost to No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 national championship, 45–40. Both Clemson and Alabama finished the season 14–1. Will the Tigers get revenge in 2016?
The International League leading Columbus Clippers split a pair of seven inning games with the visiting Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Sunday in what turned out to be two very different contests. Columbus’ David Huff took his previously unblemished record to the mound in the first game of the afternoon, but the IronPigs were swinging hot bats from the start. Five of the first six Lehigh Valley batters reached base safely, including a run scoring single from Ronnie Belliard and a run scoring ground-rule double by Josh Barfield to build a 2-0 advantage before the Clippers even stepped to the plate. And that would be all the help IronPigs’ starter Eddie Bonine would need. “I think the first game you’ve got to give credit to their starter, Bonine,” said Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh. “I think it’s not so much about what we didn’t do, it was more about what he did.” What he did was go five innings on the hill giving up just one run on five hits before making way for his bullpen to close out the game perfectly with two innings of no hit baseball. The IronPigs offense added a run in both the third and fourth innings to secure the 4-1 victory. Huff dropped his first game of the season falling to 3-1 with Bonine improving to 3-3. The afternoon’s second contest saw plenty of early offense once again, however, this time it was the home squad doing the damage from the batter’s box. “I thought it was key the way we came out in game two, especially after struggling a little bit offensively in game one,” Sarbaugh said. The Clippers got on the board in the first thanks to a Cord Phelps run scoring double before a power surge ensued over the next two innings. Jerad Head and Luke Carlin belted home runs of the solo and two-run variety respectively in the bottom of the second before Wes Hodges and Phelps added three and two run blasts of their own in the third. Second baseman Jason Kipnis and first basemen Hodges led the way offensively for the Clippers with three hits apiece and combined for five runs batted in between them. Kipnis credited the team’s boost in production from game one to two to their change in mindset. “I think everyone started to loosen up on the day and it kind of clicked in that we had to go back to our approaches,” he said. “We just had to step back, look at our pitch selection that we were swinging at and I think once guys started to do that you started to see better at bats, harder contact and more runs scored.” That they did. The Clippers ran IronPigs’ starter Brian Bass from the mound after just two innings in which they tagged him for eight earned runs on nine hits. After the Clippers cooled off, the IronPigs took a run at the 10-0 Columbus lead with two runs in the fourth, three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth, but ultimately fell short as the Clippers took game two by a score of 12-6. Scott Barnes got the job done on the mound for Columbus giving up 5 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings of work to earn his second victory of the year. “He ran into a little bit of trouble in some innings where he wasn’t getting ahead of hitters,” Sarbaugh said of Barnes’ performance. “It was a good game for him and I think it is definitely something he can build off of…there were a lot of positives from Scott today.” With the split of the doubleheader, the Clippers move to 23-7 on the year and Lehigh Valley is now 16-14. The two squads split the four game series with two wins a piece. The Clippers will return to action on Monday night as they welcome the Charlotte Knights to town for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.