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To PAYE or not PAYE

At Autumn 2018 Budget, the Chancellor announced the Government’s intention to extend the off payroll working rules introduced for the public sector to most private businesses from April 2020. Businesses will need to implement processes not only to determine employment status but also to document and communicate the reasons behind the decision.

Roundtable event: Government Consultation - Single Enforcement Agency under the Good Work Plan

We are delighted to welcome representatives from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) who published this consultation to a roundtable event in our PwC Manchester office on Tuesday 1 October. This roundtable will allow you to share your thoughts and feedback with the Government and ask questions directly. It will also provide a forum to share and discuss queries with other employers.

What will your workforce look like in a global gig economy ?

'20 percent. 65 percent. Maybe 70 percent. Not sure, maybe 30% but could be higher.' These were some of the answers to a question posed to HR leaders of some of our biggest employers recently. The question - 'in 5 years time, what percentage of your workforce will be contingent.' The employment landscape is undergoing significant change as businesses face headcount pressures and skills gaps, while digital engagement platforms connect them with globally mobile workers on shorter term contracts - this could be people working remotely, or companies using different resource options on overseas projects.Historically used in the oil & gas sector, gig workers are now found in technology, media and telecoms sectors, engineering and construction and many others.

Impact of the revised off-payroll rules for the public sector from April 2020

The Government has published its final proposals for reforming the off-payroll working rules from April 2020 for the Private Sector and while the public sector legislation has fundamentally been mapped across to the private sector, there are some additional changes which Public Authorities will now need to incorporate in how they manage and comply with these new changes.

Event: People Matters Breakfast Seminars

Changes continue to happen at an unprecedented pace in the employment space. We know that the HR and Finance teams across employers are working hard to keep up to speed with these changes and what they will mean in terms of cost, operations and risk. With this in mind, we have organised a number of seminars for employers to help them get up to speed with these latest changes.

Protecting Vulnerable Workers: First the UK now Europe

The UK Government is working to slowly implement the ideas set out in its Good Work Plan issued in December 2108 on the protection of workers in the gig economy and others with non-typical working arrangements. There are new laws in place as from this month on the contents of payslips. Further legislation is coming into force in April 2020 around such areas as an entitlement for those falling into the statutory category of “worker” to receive a written statement of terms, and for the reference period for calculating statutory holiday pay to move from 12 to 52 weeks.

The business case for engaging contingent workers in 2019 goes beyond cost control

In today's economic climate, almost every organisation is under pressure to drive efficiencies and cost savings across the business. A particularly effective area of the business to do this is the contingent or external workforce. In a recent survey, our clients told us that 44% of their total workforce spend is on the contingent workforce and 62% believe that their contingent workforce enables them to improve the company's overall financial performance.

 

Payslips - changes from April 2019

From April 2019 UK employers are required to provide payslips (in either physical or electronic format) to all of their workers and also to record the hours on payslips for those workers whose pay varies according to the amount of time worked.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) issued guidance at the end of 2018 to provide employers with greater detail on the new requirements.

The risk to employers is that if a worker doesn’t receive a payslip or their payslip doesn’t include the required level of information then they may choose to bring a claim to an Employment Tribunal.

Contingent Workforce Survey

With the dynamics of the workforce changing at such a rapid pace, the measures that HR and the wider business uses to evaluate cost and effectiveness will need to evolve accordingly. To help organisations to assess the effectiveness of their flexible workforce arrangements, PwC is carrying out a Contingent Workforce Survey.

 

Equality for the non-employed workforce

In recent Insights, we have discussed the stream of cases involving the gig economy where individuals have successfully challenged their status and argued they are workers with increased employment type protections. The cases have generally been motivated by the individuals’ desire to establish entitlement to basic employment rights such as the right to paid holiday and to receive National Minimum Wage (NMW) and typically have not focused on rights relating to equality and diversity.

NMW - Government listens to concerns over salaried workers and salary sacrifice

In its long awaited response to the Taylor report, the government announced on 18 December 2018 one of the most significant, varied and numerous workplace reforms seen in the UK in over 20 years. In amongst the 51 recommendations published, the government has made explicit references to changes in National Minimum Wage, Employment Status and Holiday Pay.  This article considers a related consultation on National Minimum Wage legislation, issued by the Government on the same day.

Holiday Pay - Your Guide to the Proposed Changes

In its long awaited response to the Taylor report, the government announced on 18 December 2018 one of the most significant, varied and numerous workplace reforms seen in the UK in over 20 years. In amongst the 51 recommendations published, the government has made explicit references to changes in National Minimum Wage, Employment Status and Holiday Pay.

Holiday Pay - Your Guide to the Proposed Changes

In its long awaited response to the Taylor report, the government announced on 18 December 2018 one of the most significant, varied and numerous workplace reforms seen in the UK in over 20 years. In amongst the 51 recommendations published, the government has made explicit references to changes in National Minimum Wage, Employment Status and Holiday Pay.

NMW - Government listens to concerns over salaried workers and salary sacrifice

In its long awaited response to the Taylor report, the government announced on 18 December 2018 one of the most significant, varied and numerous workplace reforms seen in the UK in over 20 years. In amongst the 51 recommendations published, the government has made explicit references to changes in National Minimum Wage, Employment Status and Holiday Pay.  This article considers a related consultation on National Minimum Wage legislation, issued by the Government on the same day.

The Gig Economy: the Court of Appeal and beyond

In what must surely be the last development in a very busy week on the gig economy, the Court of Appeal yesterday delivered its judgment on the status of cab drivers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Court decided by a majority that the drivers held “worker” status and were not genuinely self-employed. The reasoning closely follows that seen in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in this and a number of other cases. So far, so predictable. However, the decision does have very interesting features demonstrating that we have by no means reached a position of certainty when the question of status arises.

The Good Work Plan: an early Christmas present

As an early Christmas present to us all, the Government has today issued its Good Work Plan setting out how it intends to implement the reviews undertaken earlier this year following the Taylor report. At the same time, it has published its response to a 2018 report from the Director of Labour Market Enforcement, Sir David Metcalf.

Do Trade Unions have a role in the workplace of the future?

In a judgment issued yesterday, the High Court rejected an application for judicial review made on behalf of a delivery company’s riders that they were “workers” for the purposes of statutory collective bargaining. The claim was brought by a new trade union, the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB). This is discussed further below, but this case is only one of many in which trade unions have recently been using the law as a tool on behalf of individuals in the gig economy.

Status: it's all in the name

It's been some years since law books had titles like "The Law of Master and Servant". Times change and we don't use those terms any more. But semantics are still important in the area of what in the US we'd call labor law: for example, what does it mean when someone is referred to being employed or self-employed? It's easy to think that a self-employed person pays their own tax and has no employment type rights. That is by no means the case and this confusion was apparent in some media reports of the Employment Appeal Tribunal Addison Lee decision issued last week. "Drivers held to be employees" was a typical headline. In fact, the drivers were held to be "workers" not employees. There is a significant difference in the consequences of being put into one or other of these categories. So what exactly is this difference?

Status - it's all in the name - Part 2

The first question sounds straightforward. After all, legislation was in force well over a hundred years ago relating to people classed as "servants". The courts have been handing down decisions on the issue ever since. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that in many circumstances, it can still be very difficult to categorise someone correctly. There seem to be more tribunal and court cases on the point now than ever. The result is that after all this time, businesses and individuals are faced with uncertainty and lack of clarity on this most basic of questions which affects both their tax and employment rights and obligations.

IR35 - making the best use of the next 17 months

When the Government announced its response to the Off-payroll working in the private sector consultation in the recent Budget, it came as little surprise that it opted to move forward with its “lead option”, ie the extension of the current public sector rules into the private sector.  However, having announced an April 2020 implementation date, the Government seems to have listened to the flood of representations calling for a sensible lead time for the changes.

Director of Labour Market Enforcement estimates 'Wage theft' of over £1.5 billion in the form of unpaid holiday pay

The Government’s response to the Taylor Review (The Good Work Plan) alongside Sir David Metcalf’s publication of his Labour Market Enforcement Strategy for 2018/19 and a number of recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decisions have all brought holiday pay right to the top of the agenda for employers across the UK over the last few months.

Breaking News: National Minimum Wage update

The latest list of National Minimum Wage (NMW) breaches was published on Friday 6th July by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It includes nearly 240 employers with total arrears of £1.44m and record fines of £1.97m. The increase in these figures reflects HMRC’s investment in its NMW enforcement activity over the past 18 months.

Reward & Employment Time to get ready for the journey ahead

The whiff of change is in the air for any business that relies on the use of a flexible workforce, whether self-employed or through a personal service company (PSC). As well as HMRC’s increased focus on National Minimum Wage (NMW) compliance, Government scrutiny and recent high-profile legal cases on worker status have brought the issue to the fore and momentum will only build in the months to come. Now is the time for businesses to act to understand the potential risks they face and how they can best be managed ahead of changes taking effect.

Off-payroll working in the private sector - change is on the way

The long anticipated consultation on the reform of rules governing off-payroll working in the private sector, often referred to as IR35, has now been published. In addition, the Government has published the findings from an independent research project that looked at the immediate impacts on public sector bodies of implementing the reform of off-payroll working in the public sector.

It is clear that the following areas could potentially add significant additional administrative burdens to employers in order to ensure they comply:

  • A process to accurately assess the employment status of workers.
  • A requirement to provide not only the status decision to the worker but the reasons for that decision.
  • An appeals process for dealing with worker disagreements.
  • A process to identify each intermediary in the supply chain and specific details of the worker.

 

Seminar: "Good Work" - the future of employment status in the UK

The Government announced in February its response to the Taylor Review on Modern Working Practices by issuing four consultations on the concept of what "Good Work". One of these consultations focuses on employment status, which could lead to fundamental changes to the employment landscape and the engagement of contractors. To support businesses in thinking through the impact of the employment status consultation on their plans to achieve an agile and flexible workforce, and provide a forum to give their views, we are hosting a roundtable discussion session in London.

National Minimum Wage – Common errors leading to non-compliance

In 2017 we saw unprecedented media attention around National Minimum Wage (NMW) compliance. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) which enforces the NMW regulations published the 13th list of NMW offenders in December, identifying 260 employers required to pay back £1.7 million to workers and £1.3 million in penalties. ‘Naming and shaming’ is automatic for any employer found to owe underpayments to workers of £100 or more in total...