Lancashire businesses prepare for further changes to National Minimum Wage within the care sector following U-turn decision

National Minimum Wage (NMW) has been a key focus for the government for some time now and they have been pursuing sectors they believe do not comply with legislation.

Historically in the care sector, many employers paid a fixed amount to cover any overnight sleep-ins with an additional hourly rate paid for hours the employees was needed.

Two court cases – Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad – argued that most care workers on overnight shifts are constantly on call, therefore the employee should receive NMW for the entirety of the shift.

In October 2017, the government introduced a new compliance scheme for the care sector, allowing employers within this sector to review their pay arrangements in line with the above and pay any monies that may be due to employees without being publicly named and shamed.

Both cases have since gone to the Court of Appeal and the decision made a complete U-turn to not count sleep-in shifts as working time, the only time that counts towards national minimum wage is when the worker is required to be awake for working. However, if suitable sleeping facilities are not provided then minimum wage must be paid for the entire shift.

Therefore, the rulings have reverted back to how most employers treated the arrangements in the first instance.  HMRC have now updated their guidance to reflect the latest rulings.

“Due to the previous changes, I now pay my staff £85 a night and will continue to do so, if I make a U-turn and revert to the old rate then my staff will lose pay and leave.”

Lisa Kennery, payroll manager at Pierce, said: “The changes will certainly bring a headache to businesses, particularly in the care sector. Depending on how a business has been calculating pay for sleep-in shifts historically will determine how it will impact a business both financially and operational.

“Businesses like My Life-My Choice will have already changed their rates and paid the higher amount, costing the business thousands of pounds.”

For further information on how these changes may affect your business, please call Lisa Kennery Pierce on 01254 688 100 or visit www.pierce.co.uk

 

Budget boost for business investment

With the Budget 2018 announced just a few days before Halloween, there was much speculation about whether the Chancellor’s famous red Budget Box would be full of tricks or treats. As the last Budget before Brexit, it was highly anticipated by both business owners and individuals.

During Pierce’s annual Budget Breakfast event, which welcomes business leaders and clients from across Lancashire, Chairman John Green described Philip Hammond’s latest announcement as ‘the most small business friendly budget ever’ which had ‘enterprise at the heart.’

For me, the most welcomed announcement was the Chancellor’s helping hand to kick start business investment by increasing the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) from £200,000 to £1m. The increment provides opportunities for businesses to gain significant tax relief when they invest in plant or machinery.

During his speech, Hammond said the aim of the increase was to ‘stimulate business investment’ and it is a strategic move to help boost business confidence during uncertain times as Brexit creeps even closer.

In my experience, since the AIA was introduced a decade ago back in 2008, it has encouraged business owners to move forward investment plans and I’m sure that this announcement will encourage even further growth.

With the increased amount available from 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2020, I would urge businesses to look at their investment ambitions and maximise on this opportunity while they can.

The timing of the investment is critical, the expenditure must be incurred at the correct time and in accordance with the rules. Your accounting period end will influence the ideal timing.

Available to an individual, partnership or company carrying on a trade, profession or vocation, a UK non-residential property business or a furnished holiday let, the AIA covers plant and machinery, vans, lorries, equipment, building fixtures and computers.

For a full breakdown of the Budget 2018, visit our website. For more information about how your business can drive investment forward with the help of the AIA, call Mark Walmsley on 01254 688 100 or email  m.walmsley@pierce.co.uk

UK Income Tax Liabilities regarding Offshore Matters

New legislation has introduced a legal requirement for UK taxpayers who have undisclosed UK tax liabilities to income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax in respect of offshore matters to disclose the relevant information to HMRC by 30 September 2018.  This is known as the Requirement to Correct (RTC).

The penalties for failure to correct (FTC) start at 200% mitigated to a minimum of 100% of the tax.  There can also be asset-based penalties in more serious cases.

With effect from 1 October 2018, the Common Reporting Standard will be introduced under which 100 jurisdictions will exchange financial account information on residents’ investments offshore hence the need to report any undisclosed liabilities by the 30 September 2018.

When the legislation was first drafted it was thought it was intended to target deliberate tax evasion, such as routing undeclared UK income through off shore structures. However over the course of the last few months it has become clear that HMRC will be taking a more aggressive approach even in cases where an innocent error has occured.

In brief, a person must correct any offshore tax non-compliance, including failure to notify chargeability to tax or failure to submit a Return that should have been submitted.

The RTC covers tax years as far back as 2013/14 if a failure has occurred but the taxpayer has taken reasonable care, back to 2011/12 if behaviour was careless and back to 1997/98 if the behaviour is deliberate.

If you have any assets overseas, for example holiday homes, letting income, bank interest, then Pierce can help you prepare for the new legislation.

For further information, please contact Anne Wilson on a.wilson@pierce.co.uk or call 01254 688 100.

Awards success for Pierce

Accountancy firm Pierce is celebrating after its employees and clients achieved award success at Lancashire Business View’s Sub 36 awards and the BIBAs.

Payroll assistant Layton Smalley has been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Award at the Sub 36 awards. Layton, 19, recently completed his 18-month apprenticeship at the firm before being promoted to his current role.

Layton was nominated for playing a key role in the payroll team, providing vital administration support for the department, as well as assisting other team members with processing payroll and dealing with client queries.

Pierce’s client, English shoe company, LANX had a hattrick of shortlistings for

the New Business Award and the Innovator Award and Entrepreneur of the Year Award for its owner Marco Vaghetti.

Continuing the success, last week client Flavour Warehouse won two BIBAs after being named Manufacturer of the Year and Exporter of the Year.

Lisa Kennery, Payroll Manager at Pierce, said: “We’re delighted that Layton has been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Award. He is so committed to his job and works really hard so he truly deserves the recognition.

“We’re really proud of our client’s achievements too, both LANX and Flavour Warehouse are really innovative businesses.”

The Sub 36 awards will be held on Thursday October 18 at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

For more information about Pierce, please visit www.pierce.co.uk or call 01254 688 100.

Pierce’s payroll manager shortlisted as biggest influencer

Pierce is celebrating after their payroll manager, Lisa Kennery has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award.

Lisa has made the final eight for the biggest influencer category at the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals Annual Excellence Awards.

Lisa was nominated by Pierce’s payroll assistant manager Philip Johnson, after receiving unrivalled support from Lisa during his career at Pierce.

Philip said: “Lisa has not only played a key role in enhancing my knowledge needed for my professional qualifications but also in gaining the softer skills needed to develop my career. Since being at Pierce I have worked my way up from being an apprentice to assistant manager which is all thanks to the support, guidance and encouragement from Lisa.”

Lisa added: “It was such a shock to find out that I have been shortlisted for this award. It’s a great achievement and I’m thrilled that Phil nominated me.”

The 2018 Annual Excellence Awards will be taking place in Birmingham on Thursday October 11.

Luxury hotel appoints Pierce to support growth

Lancashire-based luxury hotel Stirk House has appointed Pierce to support its ambitious growth plans with expert business advisory and accountancy services.

Stirk House, a listed building which overlooks the Ribble Valley, has experienced significant growth in the past three years, increasing turnover from £1.4m to £2.4 million by branching out from guest stays and becoming a popular wedding venue.

The family run Clitheroe hotel has enlisted the services of Blackburn-based accountants, Pierce to provide auditing, tax planning and advice on access to finance.

Helen Kay, financial director at Stirk House, said: “In the last few years we have developed our core hotel business by taking a more pro-active customer approach and investing £750,000 into the building to offer bespoke wedding packages at an affordable price. This has helped us to increase the number of weddings we host per year from 18 to 180.

“Pierce is not only a dependable, expert partner – the team is pro-active, friendly and approachable which made them a great fit. With their help, we will be able to implement our business plans, get everything in place financially and grow the business further.

“Our future plans include investing into the leisure club and spa facilities and increasing the number of bedrooms.”

Nadeem Hussain, director at Pierce, said: “Stirk House is an iconic local hotel and a much loved heritage building – but at its heart lies a thriving, modern business with exciting plans.

“We will work closely with Helen and the management team at Stirk House to build on the incredible successes of the past three years, by underpinning their excellent business ideas with strategic business, accountancy and funding plans.

“We look forward to helping the business during this exciting next phase.”

For more information about the expert financial services offered by Pierce, please contact them on 01254 688 100 or visit www.pierce.co.uk.

Pierce treks the three peaks for local charity

Fourteen employees from Pierce joined forces to conquer the infamous Yorkshire three peak’s challenge, raising more than £1,300 for local charity Nightsafe.

The team of accountants and business advisors trekked up Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough completing the challenge in 13 hours 20 minutes in blistering heat.

All funds raised by Pierce will go to Blackburn-based charity Nightsafe which provides accommodation, meals and support for young homeless people in the borough.

The team comprising Lewis Withnell, Elizabeth Stebbings, Charles Hopkinson, Lisa Kennery, John Corteen, Philip Johnson, John Wilkin, James Briggs and Thomas Brassey,– are still seeking donations from clients and the community to help raise further funds for Nightsafe.

Team Leader Lisa Kennery said: “At Pierce we are passionate about the Blackburn community and very active in our efforts to create opportunities for all. The work Nightsafe does to help vulnerable young people is truly inspirational and we wanted to do whatever we could to raise funds to help them continue their vital work.

“The challenge itself was gruelling. Just as you feel the pride of scaling one peak you realise you’re just a third of the way through. It’s a real test. That said the challenge really pulled us together. We had fun along the way and our teamwork shone through as we encouraged each other every step of the way.

“As tough as the three peaks challenge was though – it’s nothing to the community challenges that Nightsafe works tirelessly to tackle. The funds raised will really help young homeless people aged 16-24 to provide them with food and accommodation. Just £2.00 provides a young person with breakfast and £25.00 pays for a night at a shelter so the money raised will make a huge difference to young people.”

Jan Larkin, CEO at Nightsafe, said: On behalf of everyone at Nightsafe, I want to say thank you to Pierce for all of their wonderful efforts, enthusiasm and generous support towards our charity.”

There is still time left to donate, so please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pierceaccountants. For more information about Pierce, please visit www.pierce.co.uk.

Removing your home address from Companies House Records available to the public

The Companies Act 2006 requires companies House to make certain information regarding companies available to the public in order to improve transparency, this was achieved via the beta service which was launched in June 2015.

The beta service allows documents to be viewed online at the click of a button, the service has proved popular and company records are now more accessible than ever before. This does however mean that if a Company Director, Secretary, Shareholder or Person of Significant Control has ever shown their home address on a company document rather than using a service address this will also be available to the public.

If a company officer or member no longer wishes this information to be available to the public it is now possible to have the information removed from the document. This is achieved by obscuring the address on the document so that anybody viewing the document will not be able to see the address and is known as suppressing the information.

To have your information suppressed you must provide an alternative correspondence address if you are still appointed to a live company and will need to pay a fee of £55 per document you wish to have suppressed.

You are unable to remove your home address if you have used it as the company’s registered office or on any documents prior to 2003.

Currently the application form required to suppress information is not available online and needs to be requested by contacting Companies House directly.

If you require any further information in respect of suppressing your information please do not hesitate to contact our company secretarial department on 01254 688100 or cosec@pierce.co.uk