Business Diary: Just one present and correct

The statistics on the number of people doing their tax returns online on Christmas Day each year are always striking – even if you're not a big fan of the day itself, there are surely better ways to avoid the festive celebrations.

Still, some people have no choice but to work and with that in mind, the Diary salutes Tim Denison, the director of retail intelligence at Synovate, the market research company, who was the only person to send us a business email on Christmas Day. Naturally, Christmas Eve's footfall figures were the only thing we were interested in at 9.05am on Christmas morning.

How not to succeed at work

Our thanks to the legal eagles at Shepherd and Wedderburn, whose employment practice has compiled a top 10 ranking of cock-ups made by human resources departments over the past 12 months. But which bank, unnamed by the solicitor, was idiotic enough to try to make its head of marketing redundant while circulating a briefing document laying out its plans to replace him with a "younger, more entrepreneurial profile"? Naturally, the 42-year-old facing the chop took his employer to the cleaners.

Don't believe the hype is up north

As Britain seeks to rebalance its economy and battle its way to recovery, we should all be supporting initiatives that aim to give a leg-up to sectors that haven't always had much assistance. For that reason, we like the idea of the "Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield", an event planned for the spring to promote the idea of Britain as a world-class leader in hi-tech industries. Sheffield is home to many such industries, of course, and has every right to stake its claim. Still, the venue for the launch of publicity for the event early in the new year is a little odd: a bash will be held in Westminster.

Name calling to stop name calling

Bank of America, like many other big businesses, has often been the target of internet clever-clogs who register daft names for websites that then become a focal point for people who dislike them – ABCPlcsucks.com, say. It appears to have decided to make a stand against such japes, however. Just before Christmas, it bought no fewer than 439 domain names that might be an obvious sort of mirth for those with an axe to grind. That should put an end to people's fun.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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