Member Since: 18th Mar 2002
I’m a specialist in Payroll systems with over 25 years’ experience, and am a Chartered Member of the CIPP. I concentrate on the legislative aspects of payroll processing in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
Legislation Manager MHR
22nd Feb 2019
The consultation is specifically about the issues described in the article, not the wider implications of NMW/NLW. The government believes the broader impacts can be analysed using information on the nature of the workforce gathered separately, for instance by the Office for National Statistics.
Two of the issues, salaried workers payment frequency and salary sacrifice, seem to be to be areas where change is overdue.
The stipulation that to be considered 'salaried' you have to be paid either weekly or monthly is particularly odd. It's hard to see why payment frequencies between those extremes shouldn't be allowed. Indeed, it's quite possible that the current situation is an unintended consequence of the way the Regulations were drafted.
In the case of salary sacrifice the current rules work against the interests of the lowest paid, who can't take advantage of the NI savings from, say, a pension salary sacrifice in the way that higher paid colleagues can. This also means their employers miss out on this benefit.
It will be interesting to see what change, if anything, comes out of the consultation process.
10th Jan 2019
Maybe the difference between this saving scheme and pension deductions is that the savings scheme money never leaves the control of the employer, while the pension money does. In any case, deductions required under auto-enrolment would presumably be covered by the exception for deductions required by legislation.
2nd Jan 2019
The issue of the "Christmas club" is intriguing, and any legal challenge will presumably hinge on whether these amounts are 'for the benefit of the employer' or not. HMRC seem to be saying that they are, because they go into a company bank account, while Iceland contend that they're not, given that the employees don't have to participate and can access the money at will.
The legislation around this is deliberately tight, in order to prevent unscrupulous employers nominally paying minimum wage but then imposing mandatory charges for processing payroll, heating the building, breathing company air or similar, in order to claw some of the money back.
The argument is basically about how far this prohibition on the company getting some of their employees' pay back extends.
21st Nov 2018
The plan is certainly to remove the LEL, not the trigger. However this would itself cause issues because employees earning close to the trigger value, who currently contribute very little, would see a proportionately large increase in contributions. For example from next year someone earning £10,500 will pay £218 in contributions on pay in excess of the LEL. If contributions were on all their pay this would rise to £525. Employers would also see an increase, albeit a smaller one since their contribution rate is lower.
2nd Aug 2018
Yes, we do seem to be getting threats that we'll be treated less favourably than all the other non-EU countries. Take air travel. The European air traffic control system deals perfectly well with all the flights between the EU and every other non-EU country in the world. However it's reported that we're being threatened that we might be ostracised and no air traffic into or out of the UK will be allowed after Brexit (as it's pretty well impossible to get anywhere from the UK without entering EU-controlled airspace).
2nd Aug 2018
Yes, but wouldn't it be a sad indictment of our political leaders if the only way to obtain a German car was to ship it from China or the US because we weren't allowed to get it direct from Germany. People voted (or at least thought they were voting) to leave the EU, not to stop trading with Europe.
1st Aug 2018
All the uncertainty is leading to a lot of scare stories, which may or may not be based in reality. The trouble is, individually they all sound plausible and hardly anyone is saying with authority that any of them definitely won't happen, so they continue to gain traction.
If you believe them all, Brexit could cause food and fuel rationing, the armed forces on the streets delivering what little food there is, the unavailability of medicines, the end of air traffic into and out of the UK, a queue of lorries half way from Dover to London and loads more besides, up to and including a breakdown of government and the introduction of martial law.
Now, I can't imagine that all (or even most) of this will actually happen, but the dithering and indecisiveness we see from the government provides a fertile breeding ground for such "year zero" theories.
Someone needs to get a grip, and soon. Whatever your thoughts on whether Brexit itself is a good or bad thing, it's certain that no-one voted for ration books and the sick going without medicines! If the government allows Brexit to be too painful, people will rebel at the next election. Labour government, anyone?
24th Jan 2018
I suspect the real reason for this is that the quiet coach represents a large proportion (33%) of the total first class seating (as there are only 3 first class coaches), while there are 5 standard class coaches so the quiet coach is only 20% of the total.
First class is popular on this route, especially at peak times, and this has led to people buying first class tickets and then finding that the only available seating is in the quiet coach - not ideal if you actually need to make phone calls during the journey.
Later this year, when the new 'Azuma' units start to be introduced, many of the trains will be much shorter than now (because 12 of the 65 trains will be only 5 coaches long) and having a whole first class coach dedicated to quietness would be impossible.
3rd Jan 2018
We'd deal with it, like we did last year when the Scottish Parliament changed its mind about the 40% threshold for the current tax year, on the 21st of February. It might involve a lot of stress and midnight oil but that goes with the territory when you work in an area which is very legislation-driven.
2nd Jan 2018
I think all commercial payroll products will be ready for the start of the tax year - changes to rates and thresholds are something all developers deal with every year at around this time.
The impact might not be entirely limited to new values in tables, though. A consequence of the change is that next year there are three "D" tax codes, but only in Scotland! So we have codes SD0, SD1 and SD2 for Scottish taxpayers, but only D0 and D1 for the rest of the UK. Therefore system validations will have to change to allow for this.
Let's hope that there are no difficulties getting parliamentary approval, though - the change of mind over the 40% threshold for the current tax year caused everyone a load of extra work we could have done without!