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Employment Allowance

February 24, 2020 by JSO

EMPLOYMENT ALLOWANCE IS CHANGING – Act Now!

 As you will be aware the Employment Allowance was introduced in 2014 and currently allows eligible employers to claim up to £3000 per year off their Employer’s NI contributions.

From April 2020, the rules regarding claiming the Employment Allowance are changing.  Employers will now only be able to claim in each year if their total secondary Class 1 NI liability (Employers’ NI) in the previous tax year was under £100,000.  There are also some administrative changes which all employers will need to consider.

Please see the links below, which you will need to refer to:

https://www.gov.uk/claim-employment-allowance

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/changes-to-employment-allowance

The two main administration changes are:

 

  • The Employment Allowance will now have to be claimed each year – relief will no longer be carried forward to the new tax year as it has been to date.
  • From April 2020, the Employment Allowance will be classed as “state aid” for which there are thresholds in place which may prevent you from claiming the full allowance.

Feb 2020 EMPLOYMENT ALLOWANCE CLAIM 2020 – form  In order to claim the Employment Allowance on your behalf, Just Simply Organised will need confirmation of your eligibility and would ask that you print and complete the form on this link, scan it and return it to us prior to the end of March 2020, as we will need this in place before we can process your first payroll in April 2020. We will not be able to claim the Employment Allowance in 2020-2021 without this statement.

You may need to refer to your accountants to check the position of any grants or loans that you already have in place to establish if they fall under de minimis state aid rules.

All content provided in this blog is for information purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Parking at the Oast House

February 13, 2020 by JSO

Parking at Just Simply Organised Ltd – The Oast House, Hodore Farm

 

We have new neighbours moving into the offices on the ground floor of our Oast House, which means a small change to the parking arrangements here for our visiting clients.

 

Please park in one of first three spaces nearest the building when you arrive to drop off bookkeeping work or come for a meeting.  It will probably mean double-parking behind one of the JSO cars already there.

 

Our new neighbours will be using the left-hand side of the car park as you drive in.

 

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Statutory Sick Pay

January 27, 2020 by JSO

Statutory Sick Pay

 

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) an employee must fulfil the following criteria:

 

  • Have an employment contract (once an employee accepts a job offer, they are deemed to have an employment contract; it does not have to be a written contract)
  • Have been sick for 4 or more days consecutively
  • Earn an average of at least £118 per week in 2019-2020 (or the Lower Earnings Level applicable for the year)
  • Give you the correct notification (as laid down in your terms of employment or contract)
  • Give you a Fit Note if they are off for more than 7 days

 

Statutory Sick Pay is the minimum that you have to pay an employee who is absent through sickness.  Some employers choose to pay their employees full salary for a certain amount of illness during the year.  Again, this should be clearly set out in your employment contracts.  In this instance, it is good practice to show any applicable SSP and then make up to the usual salary.  Just Simply Organised can help with this when we run your payroll – you just need to let us know the dates that the employee was sick and unable to work and we can calculate the SSP due and show on their payslip, making up to the full salary if required.

 

Holiday continues to accrue while an employee is off sick and you can come to an agreement for them to take some annual leave during their period of sickness if they wish.  It is also possible that an employee on annual leave could fall ill, in which case SSP rules apply.

 

Please be aware that the continuous sick pay period does include weekends and bank holidays. It is worth noting that if an employee is off sick, then comes into work for a short while but has to go home unwell again on that day, the day where they did some work (this could be as little as a few minutes) does not qualify for SSP.

 

To protect both the employer and the employee, it is worth having a comprehensive sickness policy as part of your contracts.  Due to the complexity of the rules concerning SSP, Just Simply Organised would always recommend seeking professional HR advice.

 

The maximum duration of SSP payable is 28 weeks; if an employee has a long-term health problem and their entitlement to SSP is likely to end before their sickness does, then you will need to give them form SSP1 on or before the beginning of the 23rd week of absence.

 

https://www.gov.uk/employers-sick-pay/eligibility-and-form-ssp1

 

Likewise this form is used if an employee does not qualify for SSP within 7 days of their absence.

 

Linked periods of sickness

 

If an employee is regularly off sick, the absences may count as “linked” for SSP purposes, even if they are not all for the same illness.  To be linked, each period of absence must:

 

  • Last for 4 days or more
  • Be 8 weeks apart or less

 

In this instance, the employee would no longer be eligible for SSP if they have a continuous series of linked periods lasting for more than 3 years.

 

Employees receiving SMP do not receive SSP; there are special rules for pregnant women and new mothers.

 

This gives you an overview of Statutory Sick Pay entitlement; Just Simply Organised would always recommend that you seek some specific HR advice if you have any employees with long term health issues or periods of sickness or have any other queries regarding your employees’ eligibility for SSP.

 

All content provided in this blog is for information purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Christmas Bonuses, Gifts and Parties

December 2, 2019 by JSO

Christmas Bonuses, Gifts and Parties

Are you considering paying your employees a bonus in their December payroll?  Bonuses are a good incentive and thank you to hard-working employees, but should you slip them £50 cash in their pocket?

The answer to this question is most definitely “no”.  All bonuses, commission, overtime, tips etc. MUST be paid through the payroll.  Tax, NI and Auto Enrolment pension contributions do need to be paid on this income in exactly the same way as normal salaries.

Can I treat my staff to a gift?

You can, but you do need to determine whether the gift  could be resold or exchanged for cash or if it could be deemed a trivial benefit and will, therefore, be exempt from tax.

What is a trivial benefit?

A trivial benefit is an unexpected gift for no particular reason, other than the boss being in a good mood today!!

HMRC rules state that a trivial benefit has to meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • it cost you £50 or less to provide
  • it isn’t cash or a cash voucher
  • it isn’t a reward for their work or performance
  • it isn’t in the terms of their contract

 

Why not give a turkey as a gift this Christmas?  Providing it does not become a regular gift each year, it could be a trivial benefit.  We will write more on trivial benefits at a later date; keep an eye on future blogs from Just Simply Organised.

 

Staff Christmas Party a good idea?

 

There are times when a party for your staff can be completely exempt from tax and National Insurance, providing the following rules are adhered to:

  • £150 or less per head
  • annual, such as a Christmas party or summer barbecue
  • open to all your employees; sadly not partners

 

If the company decides to pay for partners, it will be a non-allowable expense.

 

Confused?  Not sure of the rules?  Why not call Just Simply Organised for help with all of your bookkeeping and payroll requirements?

 

 

All content provided in this blog is for information purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Christmas Opening Hours

November 20, 2019 by JSO

Christmas Opening Hours          

Just Simply Organised will be closed for our annual Christmas break from 12 noon Tuesday 24th December 2019 to Thursday 2nd January 2020 9.00 am.

Please see the below important information regarding the processing and filing of payrolls in December.

If your payroll stays constant each month, it will be processed during the week commencing 9th December; if you have any adjustments or additions to make to your salaries in December, please could we have the information before this date. Please remember that any bonuses, etc. must be processed through the payroll and cannot be paid separately.

If you advise us of your payroll requirements each month, please can we have the information as early as possible in the month and no later than 10am on Friday 20th December*.   This will ensure that we have sufficient time to process, email you for confirmation and file before the Christmas break.  We will prioritise sending payslips to all clients so that the figures are available for paying employees and reports will follow as soon as we are able.

*We can take a limited number of payrolls for processing on Monday 23rd December; please contact us to book in your payroll for this day if required.  No payrolls can be processed on 24th December.

If these deadlines pose a problem for you, please do let us know so that we can accommodate your payroll and file with HMRC on time.

Can we take this opportunity to wish all of our clients a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

Thank you for your help and assuring you of our best attention at all times.

Making Tax Digital Update

November 8, 2019 by JSO

Help Us to Help You with accurate MTD VAT returns

From October 2019, any businesses which were previously deferred from having to comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT will have to file their returns in line with the new rules.  At the outset of MTD, HMRC announced a deferral period for business which fell into certain categories (see the link below):

www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-tax-digital/overview -of-making-tax-digital

Switching to digital accounts feels like an unnecessary hurdle for many small businesses.  Just Simply Organised are bookkeeping specialists and are more than happy to transform your box of paperwork into accurate, reliable accounts, enabling the filing of comprehensive VAT returns, which are fully compliant with MTD rules. MTD does not only mean that returns have to be filed digitally, it requires that clients have a full digital record of all transactions.  We can help you with the transition from manual spreadsheets to digital accounts, taking away that admin burden and allowing you to get on with running your business.

It is very tempting to think that photos of receipts and invoices will suffice, but do remember that HMRC still ask for hardcopy paperwork in the case of an investigation.  Even if you use software where you can transfer photos of receipts directly into the software, you often still have to log in and make the relevant entry manually and the photo is kept alongside this entry; just taking the photo is not enough – the relevant bookkeeping entry still has to be made.

Once we are filing your VAT returns under HMRC’s new Making Tax Digital regulations, it is important that we have all paperwork for the quarter.  When we file your VAT return, we have to sign a declaration which confirms that the submission is a true and accurate account of all of the transactions in the relevant period.  Just Simply Organised cannot do this if we are aware that we are missing some paperwork and, therefore, have no choice but to post the missing item to director’s loan or drawings as appropriate.  This means that the item will not be an allowable expense for tax or VAT purposes.

It is, therefore, very important that you are able to let us have all invoices and receipts which are dated in the quarter; please note that it is the actual date of the paperwork, not when the item was paid that is important.

We are increasingly finding that businesses are using other payment platforms such as Amazon, Paypal, Ebay etc. for business purchases.  We will need all of the paperwork relating to these online transactions, which must be in the name of the business, if a Limited Company, or the owner of the business in respect of a sole trader or partnership.  We are repeatedly having to request that clients revert to the supplier to obtain a revised VAT invoice in the correct name. Why not take a little time today to set up accounts in the business name with the platforms you use most often?

Please help us to help you by letting us have all of your paperwork for the period and responding to any queries as soon as you are able.  Thank you.

All content provided in this blog is for information purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Top 3 questions from employees regarding Auto-Enrolment (Workplace) Pensions.

November 1, 2019 by JSO

 

The top 3 questions that employees are asking their pension companies are:

 

  1. What is re-enrolment and what does it mean if I have been re-enrolled?
  2. How do I track down my lost pension savings?
  3. Where can I find out more about my Online Pension account – viewing my annual statement, updating my details and nominating my beneficiaries?

 

If your employees are asking you these questions, Just Simply Organised can help.  We are an experienced payroll bureau providing full payroll and Auto-Enrolment pension services to our clients.

 

All employees need to be encouraged to engage with their pension company via their online account so that they can administer their own pension account and keep track of their retirement savings.  1 in 5 people have lost track of a pension and it is important that employees recognise that it is their responsibility to administer their Auto-Enrolment pension pot, just as they would any other financial commitment that they have.

 

While Auto- Enrolment is the employer’s responsibility, Just Simply Organised have a pro-active approach to encouraging employees to engage with their Auto-Enrolment Pension, providing links to relevant website information via messages issued with their payslips, which are securely emailed to each individual employee.  We can also provide employer resources which can be displayed in the workplace to further employee involvement in their pension pot.

 

Please click on the attached link to find out more about tracing lost pensions.

 

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/trace-lost-pensions-and-request-pension-forecasts

 

 

Be ready for the regulator’s inspections

The Pensions Regulator has been vigilant with their required inspections in recent months. With an unknown London-based company being fined £350,000 for not meeting their pension duties* – employers will need to be ready.

Darren Ryder, The Pensions Regulator’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, commented on the fine: “This case also demonstrates it’s vital to carry out both ongoing duties and re-enrolment correctly. We will take action to ensure that not only are staff put into a pension, but they continue to receive the correct contributions on an ongoing basis, that those who opt out are re-enrolled correctly, and given their right to start saving.”

It’s the employer’s responsibility to carry out their duties and provide the regulator with the evidence they require, but you don’t need to do this alone.  Just Simply Organised can help with this.  If we run your payroll and Auto Enrolment Pension, all of the required records are available.  If you are notified of a forthcoming inspection, please contact us in advance and we can provide the necessary information so that you have it all to hand.

 

*Source: The Pensions Regulator’s press release: Employer handed six figure fine for workplace pension failures

 

All content provided in this blog is for information purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Do any of your employees qualify for statutory sick pay?

June 11, 2015 by Lyn Lulham

Do any of your employees qualify for statutory sick pay?

  • Have they been absent for 4 or more days?
  • Have they started working for you yet?
  • Have they notified you within the terms of their contract?
  • Are they earning at least the lower earnings level of NI?

All of the above criteria must be met for an employee to qualify for SSP. However did you know that if an employee is absent due to illness and is then absent again within 8 weeks, these periods of illness are treated as linked? Even if they are not for the same illness, the SSP rules still apply.

For more information on SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) or our payroll solutions, feel free get in touch with us. Alternatively for more detail on SSP and linked PIW’s (Period of incapacity to work) visit our client area page.

JSO Networking Events

September 18, 2013 by Lyn Lulham

We were pleased to host a free Networking Coffee morning at our offices on 10th September – and it was such a success that we will be holding them bi-monthly from now on! The feedback from attendees was fantastic and we’re thrilled that everyone found the event so beneficial.

The coffee mornings are a great way to meet other like-minded local business people in an informal and friendly setting. We will have a special guest at each session, as well as home made cakes, tea, coffee and hot chocolate.

The next Networking Coffee morning is coming soon! Keep an eye on our blog for more details.

The new Pensions Law affects your business – Part II

August 27, 2013 by Lyn Lulham

Last week, Part I of our Pensions Law blog introduced you to the new Automatic Enrolment legislation that is being introduced in stages over the next four years for all businesses that have at least one UK worker in the UK with a minimum of £9440 per annum in qualifying earnings. We discussed the mandatory staging dates as well as gave you some insight into choosing a pension scheme for your company.

Keep reading for Part II, and remember, automatic enrolment doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming for your business. JSO have teamed up with an IFA so that we can best advise our clients at the appropriate time and we’ll also deal with all of the extra data processing that is required.

Registering with the Regulator

You are legally obligated to register with the Pensions Regulator and provide them with certain information about auto enrolment within your business, including the number of people you’ve enrolled, how many people were already in a pension scheme with you and which scheme you’ve chosen for your business. You must provide exact numbers and details and this must be done within four calendar months of your staging date or you could be fined.

How to Make Contributions

There are several different types of contribution schemes but most will require an employer to pay a minimum of 8% of the employee’s qualifying earnings – this includes at least 3% from the employer and in many cases, 1% of Government tax relief.

Opt-out and Opt-In

Employees do have the right to opt out of the pension scheme chosen by your business and if this is within one month of enrolment, they must be paid back any contributions deducted from their pay. Likewise, employers are obligated to put certain other workers, besides eligible jobholders, into a pension scheme if these employees ask – more information will be available about this soon.

It is important to remember that employees’ decisions to opt in or opt out should be made without influence from the employer.

Record Keeping

Complete and accurate records must be kept about your workers and their pension scheme for a minimum of six years in most cases. Records can be kept electronically or on paper but must be legible and available if regulators ask to see them. You will also need to keep information on the ages and earnings of each of your employees.

Communicating the Changes to Staff

It is important that you inform your employees about all of these changes and how they will be affected by them – it’s the employer’s duty to provide the right information at the right time and to ensure that it is complete and correct. The information must be provided in writing, which can include email. As the information will most likely include personal data and details, you should write to each worker individually. There will however be certain updates that you can provide generically, for example, joining packs or information about employees’ rights to opt in.

If you would like to discuss how the changes are going to affect your business, call us now.

Remember, we will take all the time, effort and confusion OUT of automatic enrolment for your business – telephone us now on 01892 770612.

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