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


Telephone: 07971 864 089

Considering making a member of staff redundant?

Some advice for employers

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.

Useful information on the redundancy process can be found on the ACAS website.




Guest Blog by Mandy Brook of Recruitment South East



74% of employees are searching for their next role at any one time! FACT

Are you putting your company out there as an employer of choice? It’s a candidates market, with 49 talent shortages UK wide, employers are struggling to find the right people for the right job more than ever..

We can help you improve your offering to your staff and potential new employees with up to the minute advice, benchmarking salaries, benefits, leadership skills, engagement skills. If you want to attract the best candidates, engage with them and keep them engaged then give us a call?

Recruitment South East is part of the RSE Group

We are a specialist recruiter based in East Sussex but covering the world through our group titles and delivering recruitment excellence across the South East & beyond. Our niche markets are engineering, manufacturing, construction, Leisure & tourism, security & insurance markets.

Our consultants are REC (Recruitment Employment Confederation trained), we understand the market from every angle having been employer, job hunter and recruiter. Looking for a job is an emotive process for the candidate and can be a frustrating, time consuming and costly process for the employer.

Talk to us – we have a solution whatever the need. You’d be surprised just how normal we are; you’ll get no hard sales here – just honesty, flexibility , someone that is proactive on your behalf and works hard to achieve the results you want, in the timescales you give us. Tel 01424 830000 email

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:


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

Pay in lieu of Notice – When does tax apply?

Making a payment in lieu of notice (PILON) is a way of ending an employment contract with immediate effect meaning that the employee will not work a notice period. An employer will make a payment of the amount that an employee would normally have been paid if they had worked the notice period.

Whether tax is payable on the PILON all depends on the contractual agreement between the employer and the employee and whether it is usual

practice for the employer to make this type of payment.

If under the terms of the contract, the employer has the right to make a payment in lieu of notice then the payment is made as part of the contract and taxable.  The same would apply if it was customary for the employer to make payments in lieu of notice when terminating an employee’s employment regardless of which party chose to give notice to end the contract.

If however, PILON is not covered in the employee’s contract of employment nor customary practice for the employer to make this type of payment, then PILON would be treated as damages for a breach of contract on the part of the employer and so would not be taxable.

Other payments made at the time of leaving such as holiday pay will be taxable as they are a contractual payment.

For more information on PILON please see:

Knowvember Workshops in Eastbourne

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.