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
• 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.
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
Employers, particularly SMEs can be prone to making costly mistakes when it comes to making staff redundant. This is largely due to a lack of awareness of the legal implications that govern redundancy.
This blogpost will hopefully provide employers with some key information to help their decision making process.
Redundancy is a process
There are many reasons why an employer may consider redundancy. This may be due to financial reasons, a reduction in work, the need to change structure. It is good practice for a business to consider their options prior to making a decision to make staff redundant.
Your next step is then to consider making a plan. The following steps ideally need to be in place:
Brief your managers and outline any training or support needs that may be required
Consult your staff. This is a legal requirement.
Choose the posts that need to be made redundant. The key word is posts, not individual people. Your approach needs to be fair and consistent with a clear decision making process.
A clear selection criteria for selecting the individuals that will be made redundant.
Giving notice of redundancy and pay.
Be mindful of rights during the notice period. This is enable staff to look for alternative work. If other vacancies come up within your organisation you may save on costs if there is an option for a member of staff facing redundancy to take up a new opportunity.
Allowing staff to appeal against the decision of redundancy.
Communicating the future business model to your staff. If you have had to make people redundant, a plan to share with staff about the future of the business should help underline the rationale behind the redundancies and help show the future of the business in a positive light.
It is very important for employers to remember when they are considering redundancies that it is the actual position and not the person that is being made redundant. Failing to get this principle right could lead to employment tribunal claims.
It is often a good idea to seek professional help from an Employment lawyer or HR consultant to ensure that the correct process is followed when considering redundancy within an organisation.
If you are a business the buzz around apprenticeships won’t have escaped you. There are a lot of good news stories in circulation which show how apprenticeships are benefitting businesses, particularly SME’s, and providing young people with the opportunity to learn new skills. Providing young people with a real route to a career through the Apprenticeship scheme is good news for everyone.
What may be less clear is how to get started if you are interested in taking on an Apprentice.
Businesses may be able claim up to 5 different grants to cover the initial costs of hiring an Apprentice, which includes £1,500 in the form of an Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16-24 year olds.
An Apprenticeship normally lasts for a minimum of 13 months and can last up to four years. This is an investment for a business but gives business owners a real opportunity to shape and develop their workforce.
It is worth noting that an Apprentice does become your employee and has full employment rights as would any other employee.
Apprenticeship schemes are facilitated through local colleges and independent training providers, and they can offer more advice and support to get you started. The Apprenticeships Website includes a search facility to help employers locate training providers depending upon the type of apprenticeship being offered.
AFH Payroll are proud to support this great East Sussex Charity who combine community minded recycling of furniture and clothes to in turn support homeless and unemployed people to get settled and back into employment.
Furniture Now! Was established in 2007 and CEO Petrina Mayson is at the forefront of driving forward the aims and objectives of the organisation.
With premises in Lewes, Eastbourne and Hailsham, the Charity has been rightly applauded for their amazing work locally.
At the recent Women in Business Awards earlier this month, Petrina Mayson was Highly Commended as Overall Business of the Year 2014, and also won Mentor of the Year 2014.
AFH Payroll are sponsoring the Crowborough Chamber of Commerce membership for Furniture Now.
AFH Payroll are a recycling point for Furniture Now! So local businesses can bring their toner cartridges, and mobile phones to us for recycling.
Recently Cohub opened to provide a collaborative working space for businesses based in and around Eastbourne. We have used their meeting room for meetings and have been impressed with the space and facilities they have in the town centre.
During November, Cohub will be running a series of Knowvember workshops at lunchtimes on a variety of topics. We have been asked to do a workshop and will be looking at some of the common areas HMRC look at to establish if someone is an employee or self employed.
For further details of the workshops and to make a booking, please click the image below:
We hope to see you at our workshop on 28th November.