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Changes To Legislation For Employers

April was a busy month for many, with long-awaited changes finally coming into effect on the 6th plus a few Budget surprises to take into account. The start of the 2014/15 financial year is a time for business owners to breathe the spring air and look to the future.

A number of significant changes for employers have taken place, meaning that every business with employees must re-evaluate their practices to make sure they are conforming to legislation.

The new Employment Allowance

Last year Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to introduce a new Employment Allowance designed to reduce the national insurance liability for businesses and charities, and to encourage businesses to expand and take on new staff.

Since April 2014 every business, charity and Community Amateur Sports Club in the UK has been entitled to claim up to £2,000 off their employer national insurance contributions (NICs) bill.

Employers must confirm their eligibility through their regular payroll process, to ensure that up to £2,000 is deducted from their employers' Class 1 NIC liability over the course of the year's PAYE payments.

The new Employment Allowance is delivered through standard payroll software and the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Real Time Information (RTI) system.

The Employment Allowance applies per employer and can only be claimed once, irrespective of how many PAYE schemes the employer chooses to operate. It is up to the individual employer to decide which PAYE scheme to claim it against.

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New rules on Early Conciliation

An alternative to an employment tribunal - Early Conciliation is designed to be fast and less stressful when resolving workplace disputes. This free service is available to anybody who wishes to lodge an Employment Tribunal claim.

From 6 May 2014 it will be necessary to contact Acas as a first step in the process. Their advice is aimed at resolving disputes as early as possible and reaching a settlement without a tribunal hearing.

Acas should respond to the potential claimant or representative within two working days of receiving the initial form. Once further details have been established the case will be passed to a conciliator who will contact both parties and talk through the issue.

Early Conciliation aims to resolve the majority of workplace disputes, including:

  • Unfair dismissal claims.
  • Workplace discrimination.
  • Redundancy payments or disputes around selection procedures.
  • Deductions from wages or unpaid notice/holiday pay.
  • Rights to time off or flexible working.
  • Equal pay.

After Early Conciliation is introduced, anybody who wishes to lodge a claim with an Employment Tribunal will have to provide an Acas Early Conciliation Reference Number.  Exemptions may apply.

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ESSENTIAL TAX DATES FOR MAY

From the beginning of May there will be some dates to keep an eye out for:

1 May
Start of daily penalties for 2013 online Tax Return not yet filed. Additional penalties may apply for further delay.

3 May
Submission date of P46 (Car) for quarter to 5 April.

31 May
Last day to issue 2013/14 P60s to employees.


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