Employers Class 1 NIC for Apprentices under 25 to be abolished

With effect from 6 April 2016, you may be interested to learn that you may no longer have to pay employer  Class 1 NICs for apprentices under the age of 25.

Currently employer Class 1 NICs are due for all employees aged 21 or over.

 

For the tax year 2016-17 it is proposed that the new NI category H will be used for apprentices who in addition to being under 25 are:

• working towards a Government recognised apprenticeship in the UK which follows a government approved framework/standard

and

• have a written agreement (between employer, apprentice and training provider), giving the government recognised apprentice framework or standard, with a start and expected completion date.

Employers NIC will be at a rate of 0% up to the new Apprentice Upper Secondary Threshold, which will be aligned with the Upper Secondary Threshold for the tax year beginning 6 April 2016.  Earnings above the Apprentice Upper Secondary Threshold (for 2015-16 £3,532 per month) will be at the full rate of 13.8%.

This does not affect the calculation of primary Class 1 NICs deducted from apprentices.

For more information see the HMRC website

AFH Payroll supports Eastbourne Youth Radio 2015

Eastbourne Youth Radio

Eastbourne Youth Radio is a project involving many of the schools in Eastbourne each year organised by the Eastbourne Education Business Partnership.

We have been a sponsor for a number of years and this year we are very pleased that we were able to support Stafford Junior School.

It is always a pleasure to support a school that involves many pupils to produce a varied and interesting program.

To find out more about Eastbourne Youth Radio or to listen online go to: http://eyr.org.uk where the recordings of the 2015 project should be available from early December 2015.

Spotlight on WPA Healthcare

Most employers know that they have a duty of care to their staff and are aware that if employees are using computers then they need to pay for eye tests.

We are always looking for ways to make sure that everyone who works at AFH are healthy, motivated and engaged.  When we discovered WPA Healthcare a few years ago, we were really pleased by the benefits that they offered to our team at a lower cost than we expected.

In addition to optical and dental cover, all of our employees have access to a confidential 24 hour line that can offers help with matters such as stress, legal, bereavement and medical issues.

In the last year one of the AFH team has received a payment for overnight stays in hospital, hospital car parking, eye tests and dental check ups. In addition, the cover provided by the WPA NHS top up policy automatically gives cover to members children under the age of 18 for no additional cost.

Importantly, it is very straightforward to make a claim and everyone at AFH has been impressed at the speed that the claim is settled usually in about a week.

If you haven’t thought about providing a small healthcare scheme to employees, we recommend that you have a chat with John Strudwick who is a WPA Healthcare Partner

Website: www.wpa.org.uk/johnstrudwick

Telephone: 07971 864 089

Changes to Thresholds and Tax Codes for 2015/16 – are you ready?

From 6th April 2015, the new tax year begins.  This years’ changes are listed below in a quick reference guide:

Headlines

The Personal Allowance has risen to £10,600, and the Basic Rate has reduced to £31,785.

Rate                            %                     Bandwith

Basic Rate                   20%                 £1 to £31,785

Higher Rate                 40%                 £31,786 TO £150,000

Additional Rate            45%                 £150,0001 and above

Changes to Income Tax Allowances

Personal Allowance                                  2014/15           2015/16           Change

Those born after 5 April 1948                       £10,000           £10,600          £600

Born between 6 April 1938 – 5 April 1948    £10,500           £10,600           £100

Those born before 6 April 1938                    £10,660           £10,660           -

National Insurance Contribution thresholds                                                         

                                                                    2014-15           2015/16

                                                                   £ per week   £ per week

Weekly Lower Earnings Limit (LEL)                111                  112

Weekly Primary Threshold (PT)                      153                  155

Weekly Secondary Threshold (ST)                 153                  156

Upper Earnings (UEL)                                    805                  815

Upper Profits Limit (UPL)                          41,865 pa        42,385 pa

Upper Secondary Threshold for U21s (*3)     N/A                  815

Employment Allowance (per employer)          2,000 pa          2,000 pa

*3 Upper Secondary Threshold (UST) introduced from April 2015 for employees under the age of 21.  The rate of secondary NICs for employees under the age of 21 on earnings between ST and UST will be 0%.

Class 1 National Insurance Contribution rates 2015-16

Employees (primary)                                  Employer (Secondary)

Earnings                  NIC rate                      Earnings        NIC rate

£ per week               per cent                     £ per week     per cent

Below £112                 0                                 Below £156     0

£112-155                     0                                Above £156    13.8

£155-815                     12

Above £815                2

Statutory Adoption Pay

                                                          2014-15           2015-16

Earnings Threshold                             111.00             112.00

Standard Rate                                     138.18             139.58

Statutory Maternity Pay

                                                          2014-15           2015-16

Earnings Threshold                             111.00             112.00

Standard Rate                                     138.18             139.58

Statutory Paternity Pay

                                                          2014-15           2015-16

Earnings Threshold                             111.00             112.00

Standard Rate                                     138.18             139.58

Additional statutory paternity pay        138.18             139.58

Statutory Shared Parental Pay

                                                          2014-15           2015-16

Earnings Threshold                             111.00             112.00

Standard Rate                                    138.18             139.58

Statutory Sick Pay

                                                         2014-15           2015-16

Earnings Threshold                             111.00             112.00

Standard Rate                                     87.55              88.45

Court ruling that Overtime should count in Holiday Pay

What does this mean for your business?

In November 2014, a landmark Employment Appeal Tribunal case ruled that employees have the right to claim for overtime to be included in their holiday pay if the overtime is regular or compulsory. The Tribunal has not clarified whether this could also benefit staff who work voluntary overtime.

The ruling was based on the supposition that UK had incorrectly interpreted the EU Wide working time directive, which was implemented into law as the Working Time Regulations in the UK in 1988. The current legislation in the UK states that holiday should be paid at the basic rate.  This has now changed as a result of these test cases.

It is anticipated that due to the impact this ruling could have on business that an Appeal on this ruling is likely.  If the ruling stands or is appealed unsuccessfully, then employers must include overtime when calculating workers’ holiday pay.  Employers need to consider how they will apply the ruling until any appeal process which may take a considerable length of time, has been completed

The judgement has created a time limit on how far back employees can backdate claims of overtime on their holiday pay, which means employees must make a claim within 3 months of taking their holiday or they lose their right to make a claim.

ACAS have produced useful guidance on overtime, commission and other payments to be considered when calculating holiday pay for employees.

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4109

Changes to HMRC requirements for employment Intermediaries take effect on 6 April 2015

The HMRC are responding to increased false self employment on the part of employment intermediaries acting on behalf of self employed workers who should legally be regarded as employed, and therefore attract the same rates of Tax and National Insurance as an employed person would do.

From 6 April 2015, Employment Intermediates must send details of workers they place with clients who are not:

  • Direct employees or,
  • Being treated as employees.

The HMRC has published Draft Reporting Regulations for which the consultation period has just ended (25 November 2014).

For more information about this change and the possible impact it might have to your business see the HMRC website

Shared Parental Leave – Some things businesses should know.

What is Shared Parental Leave?

New regulations which affect current maternity and paternity leave and pay take affect as of 1st December 2014, and will apply to parents if:

  • Their baby is due on of after 5 April 2015
  • They adopt a child on or after 5 April 2015

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and the Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) must be taken between the baby’s birth and their first birthday.

It effectively enables parents to make choices about how and when they take their SPL and gives them the opportunity to share the leave or the pay between them.

Some key points for businesses

  • If a baby is due on or after 5 April 2015 and born early, these new rules will be applied in the current 2014/15 tax year
  • It is the employee’s responsibility to check they are eligible for shared parental leave and/or pay and they must give their employer a written declaration confirming that they are eligible. An employer is not required to check or confirm the information given by the partner to determine whether the employee is eligible for shared parental leave and/or pay.
  • Parents have to meet the eligibility criteria to qualify for SPL and ShPP.  To view the eligibility criteria click here
  • If eligible once the Maternity or Adoption leave and pay are ended early, parents can
    • Take the rest of the 52 weeks of leave (up to a maximum of 50) as SPL
    • Take the rest of the 39 weeks of pay or Maternity Allowance (up to a maximum of 37 weeks) as ShPP.
    • NB the mother must take a minimum of 2 weeks maternity leave following the birth (4 weeks if working in a factory)

There are some formalities in terms of what information the employee must give the employer about their plans to take the SPL.

It is recommended that the employer has early informal discussions about their plans with regards to how they intend to take SLP so they can plan effectively for the period(s) of leave.

An employer cannot refuse a notification for continuous leave request. Each eligible parent can give up to 3 separate notices to book leave or to vary previously agreed leave although an employer may choose to accept more notifications from an employee.

Detailed guidance for employers is available through the ACAS website

 

Watch out for Phishing Scams

What is Phishing?

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive personal information such as usernames, passwords, bank or credit card details by masquerading as a reputable organisation through electronic communication.

Definition based on Wikipedia

What types of phishing scams are currently in circulation?

There are loads of different scams in circulation in any one time.  Whether these are purporting to be from “your” bank or more worryingly, there is an increase in deceivingly well presented email scams which purport to be from the HMRC.

HMRC scams have been around for a while, but new versions of scams are frequently being refreshed and re-circulated.  It is becoming increasingly hard for business owners to identify whether an email communication is genuine or not.

Thankfully, help in verifying genuine communication is out there, as is good advice to prevent you from becoming a victim of a scam.

The HMRC have a good online resource to show you current and previous versions of scams as well as advice on the type of unofficial communication you will never receive from them.  Click here for their advice page on scams.

Another good resource for advice against phishing scams and other forms of cyber crime is GetSafeOnline .  GetSafeOnline also provide advice on protecting your computer and data whilst working outside of the office, and compliance with Data Protection.

To report any fraudulent e-communication, contact Action Fraud

Employing Under 21 year olds?

Here is some useful information you need to know

Changes to National Insurance Contributions as of 6 April 2015

Some good news! If you employ anyone under the age of 21 years, Employers Class 1 secondary National Insurance Contributions will change to a rate of 0% up to the equivalent of the new ‘Upper Secondary Threshold’.  At the moment the rate is 13.8% so this is a cost saving that may encourage employers to employ more young people.

We recommend that you check that you have the correct date of birth for your employees stored in your payroll software to ensure that the correct NI rates are used from April 2015.

Useful guide on Employing Staff from the HMRC is available here

Children at work – did you know?

If you are employing a child between the ages of 13 until they are considered as legally having left school, you need to notify the Local Authority, which will be the local County Council or equivalent body.

Each authority publishes guidance on employing young people of school age. As an example to find out what the requirements are for businesses located within East Sussex and when they apply please follow this link to East Sussex County Council guidance.

 

 

 

AFH Payroll meets the Pensions Minister

Fiona Hill meets Steve Webb MPDuring May 2014, our MD Fiona Hill met Steven Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne and Steve Webb, the Minister of State for Pensions during their visit to a local business to find out how they had met their obligations for workplace pensions auto enrolment . Both Mr Lloyd and Mr Webb were very interested to receive feedback on both the positive aspects of auto enrolment as well as the challenges for a business.Fiona Hill meets Stephen Lloyd