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Deductions below NMW

Employers will no longer be punished where an employee's wage is reduced below the national minimum wage (NMW) because: the employer has provided goods or services or other facility of the amount of the reduction, and the employee agreed to this. But the employer will still be required to repay the amount by which the reduced wages fall below the NMW. This change, announced in Februa...
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UK cash system

The UK cash system needs statutory protection, according to the Access to Cash Review published on 18 February 2020. There are 2 million people in the UK who have no bank account and need cash to pay their way. Although payment by card now accounts for more retail sales than cash, there were still 11 billion retail transactions in cash in 2018. This is predicted to fall to 3.8 billion by 2028, ...
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Storm-hit homes and business help

On 18 February 2020, the government announced a package of measures to assist homes and businesses affected by flooding. The UK was battered by Storm Ciara on the weekend of 10 February 2020, and by Storm Dennis on 17 February 2020. Measures include: 100% council tax relief for three months, plus £500 hardship payment for every flood-hit home 100% business rates relief for three months,...
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New points-based immigration system

From 1 January 2021, migration to the UK will be based on an Australian-style points based system, the home secretary announced on 19 February 2020. This will treat EU citizens on the same basis as non-EU citizens. A worker needs to accumulate 70 points according to: professional skills and qualifications salary ability to speak English. In general, all migrants to UK will re...
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Seasonal workers scheme in farming

The government announced on 19 February 2020 that the number of workers farms may recruit on a temporary basis from outside the EU is to be quadrupled in time for the 2020 harvest. This change affects the Seasonal Workers Pilot. The number of such workers increases from 2,500 to 10,000. The Pilot will assist the government in deciding how to continue with the scheme. The scheme started in 2019....
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Chancellor urged to suspend new IR35 provisions

Many professional bodies are urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer to suspend the new IR35 rules due to be introduced on 6 April 2020. These require medium and large public sector bodies to decide whether a contractor or other non-employee worker comes within the scope of IR35 and should be taxed as a deemed employee. Some bodies believe that these new provisions will see up to a third of cont...
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When good employees go bad

On 19 February 2020, the Institute of Chartered Accountants produced guidance on "what to do when good employees go bad". There have been recent reports of highly-paid finance workers stealing food from a canteen or dodging fares on the London Underground, even though the amounts are trivial to the workers. The main points are: set clear boundaries as to what is and what is not tolerate...
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Coronavirus disclosure in accounts

The coronavirus is a risk that may need to be disclosed in the accounts. the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said on 18 February 2020. A likely example is where a business is dependent on operations or manufacturing in China. The FRC guidance can be downloaded from here. [20.02]  
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Tax codes for off-payroll workers

On 18 February 2020, HMRC confirmed that the tax code for a deemed employee under the new off-payroll working arrangements is 0T on a week 1 or month 1 basis, unless the deemed employee has completed a starter declaration form. It had been thought that such workers would have a BR tax code. From 6 April 2020, workers for medium and large private sector employers are subject to IR35 provisions i...
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