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This week’s roundup includes news that UK employment hit a record high towards the end of 2018, Brexit-backing James Dyson is moving his business overseas and HMRC has been forced to apologise after incorrectly fining hundreds of taxpayers.  

UK employment total hits record high 

The number of people in work in the UK has reached a record high of 32.54 million, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show. 

Unemployment was flat, with a small increase of 8,000 between September and November for a total of 1.37 million. 

Average earnings excluding bonuses increased by 3.3% in the year to November, as wage rises continued to outpace inflation.  

Andrew Wishart, UK Economist at Capital Economics, said the figures were "reassuring, showing no sign of any hit to firms' hiring ambitions due to Brexit".

Dyson HQ to relocate to Singapore 

Brexit-backing businessman Sir James Dyson is to relocate the head office of the design and technology firm he founded from the UK to Singapore. 

This means the firm will no longer be a British-registered company and Singapore will become its main tax base. 

Sir James Dyson - knighted in 2007 for services to industrial design - has been widely criticised for being pro-Brexit but not being prepared to keep his business interests within the UK. 

However, Dyson CEO Jim Rowan has said: "The move is nothing to do with Brexit or tax, it's about making sure we are future proofed.There are huge revenue opportunities in Singapore, China is the poster child of that." 

OECD head: World would ‘roll with’ no deal Brexit 

The head of one of the world's leading economic organisations has cast doubt on claims that a "no-deal" Brexit would be an economic catastrophe, pledging that the international community would "roll with it". 

Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said that even the worst case scenario in Brexit would nonetheless prove manageable.  

However, while Gurria said that he still believed a deal and a smooth Brexit were the most likely outcome, he added that the OECDwould ensure there was as little disruption as possible. 

Gurria has told the press: "It's unfortunate that the UK is leaving the EU but that was the will of the British people so we take our bumps and we roll with it." 

HMRC error hits early-filing taxpayers 

Red-faced tax officials have been forced to apologise today for two embarrassing mistakes over late-payment fines – wrongly fining taxpayers and then denying this. 

Last weekend, HM Revenue and Customs denied fining taxpayers for failing to submit their self-assessment returns online - even though the deadline is still almost two weeks away. 

But on Monday HMRC admitted that over 600 people have been wrongly charged with bogus late-payment penalty charges.It has since promised to cancel the penalty charges and apologised for the error. 

An HMRC spokesperson said: "Due to human error in processing some online trust returns a small number of trustees or agents have been inadvertently issued with late filing penalties."