Quality is the key to success in care home provision

Ensuring the provision of quality care for the UK’s ageing demographic is a significant priority for society.

We are living for longer but that does not mean that we will live our later lives independently of the support of others. Care homes, or support enabling people to live independently in their own homes, will become increasingly vital.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the body charged with ensuring the highest possible standards among care home operators and care providers.

It sets standards that must be adhered to and encourages providers to strive for continuous improvement.

For that, we should all be grateful. But recent events have proven how difficult care provision is, with many large care companies experiencing operating difficulties due, in part, to the cost of providing what is an inherently expensive service if done properly.

Care homes exist within a complicated funding environment; residential care could be paid for by a local authority or by a private individual.

Whatever the funding model, the fact remains that care homes are generally privately-owned businesses with the same powers at play as any other enterprise.

However, the vulnerable nature of their customer base makes them unlike any other business.

The UK is blessed with many exemplary care homes, but the latest research from the CQC  shows room for improvement.

“It appears to be increasingly difficult for some providers to deliver the safe, high-quality and compassionate care people deserve and have every right to expect,” Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC, told the Daily Telegraph.

But there are examples of “good” and “outstanding” care homes across Lancashire and the North West, a number of them operated by Pierce clients, including Springhill Care Home in Accrington, and Altham Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington.

Supporting companies operating in the care sector requires special expertise and Pierce is proud of its experience in that regard, supporting care providers in seeking development capital, merger and acquisition advice or succession planning.

The values of those care providers who will support society in future reflect our own.

Providing a quality service now and in future will be key in satisfying both the business needs of a care home and the exacting standards set by the CQC, loved ones and local authorities alike.

Providing care for our elderly is perhaps one of the most important investments any of us will make. We would be only too happy to share the wealth of our experience with people already operating within the sector, or considering it as a business opportunity.

Lancashire firms warned about the dangers of preparing for school holidays

As the excitement among children for the six-week summer holiday builds, the enthusiasm may not be shared by parents and employers who are frantically trying to work out the logistics for childcare.

According to research from Direct Line for Business the six-week summer holidays cost home businesses alone £658 million a year. The increase in leave requests creates an annual problem for companies of balancing a happy workforce with meeting the needs of the business.

Simon Diggle, Associate Director at Pierce Chartered Accountants provides his top tips to businesses to efficiently manage staff during the summer.

Length of leave

Employers can allow workers to have three weeks off at any one time, but they will need to ensure enough staff members are available to cover them. If there isn’t, they have the right to refuse the leave-but businesses need to ensure that they are consistent when approving holiday leave. To prevent any disgruntled employees, businesses should have a policy regarding when holidays can be taken and how many people can be off at any one time.

Refusing holiday requests

Although employees have a statutory right to annual leave, the company can dictate when it can be taken. Employers can set the times for when workers take their leave, most commonly at Christmas with some Lancashire businesses still operating a summer shut down. Employers can prevent people taking leave during busy periods.

When childcare arrangements fall through

Sometimes childcare arrangements break down, when they do, employers have a legal right to provide reasonable time off for dependants. This is normally unpaid and would expect to last between one or two days. Employers could suggest the use of annual leave or special leave which the company may allow with pay.

Flexible working

Parents of children aged 16 and under can request flexible working during the summer holidays. This can consist of part-time, flexi-time, compressed hours, staggered hours, working from home or term-time only working.

Employers are obliged to consider this and can only reject the application if there is a good business reason. A new work pattern needs to be agreed, once confirmed, it will permanently change the terms and conditions of the employment.

Does travel delay=pay?

During the busy summer period, travel delays do happen and there are no legal rights for employers to pay for any missed days. The result of this depends on your contract, some businesses may have contractual arrangements in place for this and provide discretionary pay for travel disruption.

Planning is key

Planning ahead during the summer months is the key to business success. If members of your accounts team are off, ensure that invoices are still processed on time to prevent payment delays as this could damage your reputation and credit rating. If the person in charge of payroll is away, organise for someone else to manage it in their absence to guarantee that staff members will be paid on time.

Pierce puts Lancashire mumpreneur in the driving seat with PLUSH business

Pierce chartered accountants has helped to put entrepreneur and working mum Susie Wilson in the driving seat of a new business manufacturing luxury leather car accessories for kids.

The Blackburn-based accountancy and business advisory group provided tax and trademarking advice enabling Susie to launch PLUSH, which designs bespoke children’s car seats for use in exclusive marques, including BMW, Porsche and Mercedes.

Pierce has worked with Susie for a number of years while she was financial director at DH Stainless in Accrington and the partnership continued when she established her own venture.

Based in Clitheroe, Lancashire, PLUSH was launched at The London Motor Show 2017 in May. The company is currently in discussions with BMW Germany, Porsche and a number of luxury car dealerships about becoming stockists.

Susie said: “I have a BMW Z4 and when I was looking for a car seat for my six-year-old daughter, I realised there were no seats to match the interior in my car. I’ve always been car mad and have an eye for fashion and design so when I discovered the gap in the market, the idea for PLUSH was born.

“I use Pierce for my accounts but they have provided me with so much more than that – they are a source of help and a voice of reason. I am a chartered accountant so I have good financial knowledge but Pierce were able to help me beyond my expertise with advice on tax and trademarking.”

Jane Smith, associate director at Pierce, said: “Susie is very entrepreneurial and Pierce is really proud to be supporting her exciting new business venture.

“Our work with PLUSH covers accounts, providing specialist tax advice and trademarking support. Our expert team has a wide range of skills, meaning we can help start-up companies and SMEs with every financial aspect of their business.

“We look forward to seeing the success of PLUSH unfold in the near future as it is such a unique enterprise.”

Peoples Pension Auto Enrolment News

Peoples Pension Auto Enrolment News

From:  Lisa Kennery

The People’s Pension is launching a new full support automatic enrolment pension solution for small businesses on 23 November. The solution has been developed based on extensive research with small businesses and their business advisers and financial advisers.

What they’re offering

Peoples Pension Logo

Patrick Heath-Lay, Chief Executive Officer at B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, said:

“We’ll be charging a one off set up charge only, and will not be charging employers for ongoing support.

The People’s Pension launches the ‘complete package’ for small employers

peoples-pension-footer

November 5, 2015 News

The People’s Pension has announced today that it will go live with an enhanced service and support package for new and existing customers on Monday 23 November.

  • Option to ‘Simply comply’ with a fast track route to legal compliance
  • Or to ‘Simply tailor’, putting employers and advisers in control for a bespoke experience
  • Enhanced payroll support and extended opening hours with dedicated employer and adviser teams
  • We’ll even tell the regulator employers have complied

It will offer all new employers joining the scheme the complete package to meet their auto-enrolment (AE) needs – and has been specifically designed to support small employers as they start to stage from January 2016.

New employers will be able to choose between two routes. The first, ‘Simply comply’, will guide them through a fast track process designed to help them comply as quickly and easily as possible. The second, ‘Simply tailor’, offers employers a more bespoke experience to cater for the individual needs of their workforce.

Both routes will offer a number of different payroll options, both manual and automatic. There’ll be a range of online tools and assessment options available – and The People’s Pension will even tell The Pensions Regulator that an employer has complied. Customer service hours are set to be extended too, to 8am-10pm from January 2016, to provide an extra helping hand at sign up.

The enhancements to the scheme’s award winning service and support follow extensive research with small employers and their advisers on what they need from a workplace pension provider. They also build on not-for-profit provider B&CE’s experience of providing pensions to small construction employers for more than three decades.

Patrick Heath-Lay, Chief Executive Officer at B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, said:

“Workplace pensions can be alien to people outside the pensions industry. Our research and 30 years of experience working with small employers tells us that they want simple solutions and a great deal of support in meeting their auto-enrolment duties. Our doors will remain open to everyone who wants to come to us, regardless of their size and their sector.

“That’s why we’ve developed a simple, hassle free and high support solution for busy people who just want to run their business, not get bogged down in pensions. Simplicity is the key. We’re here to help small employers navigate the auto-enrolment galaxy.”

Employers with a staging date of January 2016 onwards who sign up with The People’s Pension from Monday 23 November will pay a one off set up charge of £500 + VAT for all the support they’ll need for the life of the scheme. Employers with a 2015 staging date who sign up from Friday 1 January onwards will also be charged.

There will be no ongoing charges for employers, and the low annual management charge of 0.5% for members will remain. Employers signing up through an intermediary will pay a reduced charge of £300 + VAT.

Heath-Lay continued:

“We’ll be charging a one off set up charge only, and will not be charging employers for ongoing support.

“Our focus is on putting savers first. We don’t believe in frontloading member charges to cover the cost of supporting employers.

“That’s why we are introducing this charge. We want to make sure that we can keep delivering award-winning customer service and support to new and existing customers, and keep our member charges low.

“We know that small employers feel daunted by auto-enrolment. For the one off set up charge, we will make complying with the law easy, straight-forward, and stress free for small employers.”

-ENDS-

Protect Your Business

Protect Your Business – Free Business Crime Conference

The event is free to attend although you need to register.

 

Protect your business

Information from :

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce · Red Rose Court, Clayton Business Park · Clayton-Le-Moors · Accrington, Lancashire BB5 5JR · United Kingdom

 

FREE BUSINESS CRIME CONFERENCE

This free conference brings you the latest information and practical advice to help you protect your business, your employees and your property.

The event has been developed in partnership with key business support organisations and will be opened by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Clive Grunshaw, who is committed to engaging with the business community to tackle the impact of crime on the local economy

 

TOPICS INCLUDE

  • Cyber crime and fraud and how to deal with it if it happens to your business.
  • Crime prevention advice from Lancashire Constabulary and what you can do to better protect yourself, your business, your property, your staff and your data. Business Crime Survey outcomes.

WHY ATTEND?

  • Ensure your business is well protected.
  • Learn about new innovative approaches being developed to tackle the emerging threats to businesses.
  • Work in partnership with other organisations to tackle business crime.

Network with other business owners, business support providers and event organisers.

 

WHEN AND WHERE

10 November 2015: 9.00 am – 1.15 pm

The Best Western Leyland Hotel, Leyland Way, Leyland, PR25 4JX

The event is free to attend although you need to register.

Lunch will be provided.

 

Fit for Work

Fit for Work

How employers can prepare for Fit for Work

News compiled from http://fitforwork.org/

By: Lisa Kennery

GPs and employers throughout England and Wales can now refer their employed patients and employees who have been, or are likely to be, off sick from work for four weeks or more for a voluntary occupational health assessment.

Fit for Work is now available for employers up and down the country, meaning that they can refer staff who have been off work sick for four weeks or more to the service. The service is aimed at supporting workers in SMEs to plug the gap in occupational health advice and support provision – as around 70% of employees in England and Wales don’t have access to occupational health and advice.

Fit for Work is predicted to cut sick pay costs to business by £80 million, to £165 million a year. This means that it is something businesses can’t afford to miss out on taking advantage of. Those wanting to use the service often find it good practice to include Fit for Work in their in-house HR policy, and build it into their procedures for dealing with sickness absence.

Employers wanting further advice about referring employees on long-term sickness absence can call the Fit for Work advice line on 0800 032 6235 to speak to a dedicated advisor.

Employees who consent to being referred to Fit for Work will be invited for a telephone assessment by a Fit for Work occupational health professional. This assessment aims to identify all potential obstacles preventing employees from returning to work (including health, work and personal factors). Where appropriate, a Return to Work Plan will be agreed between the advisor and employee.

While aiming to plug the gap in occupational health advice and support for SMEs, Fit for Work can also work alongside existing occupational health provision as it focuses on many different aspects preventing an employee’s return to work, including social and financial factors.

Desk and Lamp

The occupational health professional will identify obstacles preventing the employee from returning to work. A Return to Work Plan will be agreed providing recommendations tailored to the employee’s needs, which can replace the need for a fit note.

How to prepare for making Fit for Work referrals

  • Clarify what existing support you already have in place for employees on long-term sick leave and update your HR policy to accept the Fit for Work Return to Work Plans. (For help with updating your absence and HR policies, see the CIPD guidelines.)
  • Invite eligible employees in for a discussion about Fit for Work, and refer employees (with their consent) using the employer referral form.
  • Spread the word about Fit for Work within your organisation or on your website using some of our online resources (see the employer toolkit for a collection of useful materials available for your use).

Press Releases

New return-to-work service opens to employers today

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Each year around 865,000 employee absences in England and Wales last for four weeks or more1. 74% of employers in England and Wales feel that if they had more external…

New return to work service goes live to help GPs, employees and employers across England

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A new support service, designed to help working people who face long-term sickness absence return to work more quickly, is now available across the whole of England. The free and…

Employer Roadshow

The scheme is set to affect employers up and down the country, with businesses now beginning to refer their employees to Fit for Work. The events, to be held across England and Wales, will be looking at what these changes mean from a policy and business perspective.

Events will be taking place in:

If you are interested in attending, please email your name and the event you wish to attend to fitforwork1@munroforster.com (for England) or eoghanmortell@workingwordpr.com (for Wales).

Suitable for:

Business Membership Organisations, Business Member Organisations, Employment Relations Specialists, Employee Representatives, MDs / CEOs, Trade Unions, Health and Wellbeing Boards, Occupational Health Specialists

 

HIVE Event Invitation

HIVE Event Invitation – to all businesses in Blackburn with Darwen

Hive event-invite1

Calling all of the borough’s businesses!

You are invited to join us on:

Thursday 8th October 2015 (registration from 10:00am)

For the launch of BwD Hive C.I.C

A new Community Interest Company designed to further the objectives of the original Hive business leaders’ network, and ensure that all businesses within the borough, large and small, have the opportunity to play their part.

Any businesses wishing to register their interest in attending the Hive event on Thursday, October 8 can do so via the Hive website here http://bit.ly/1KcMeP5

With the help of Hive, business is buzzing in the borough.

Hive Event

New investors are in town too and we’re delighted to confirm that our keynote speaker at the launch will be Creative Director and fashion designer Patrick Grant.

A passion for clothing, craftsmanship and British brands led Patrick to Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons which he took over in 2005.

In 2009 Patrick re-launched the historic British sporting and military tailoring house of E. Tautz.

In 2013 he launched Hammond & Co in the UK in partnership with Debenhams.

In 2015, Patrick took the helm at Blackburn-based Cookson and Clegg.

As a borough with a proud textile and manufacturing heritage, C&C have been producing clothing in Blackburn since 1860 making them one of the longest serving UK clothing manufacturers.

Patrick is a regular on the BBC both on television and radio, including the major documentaries Savile Row, Harris Tweed, and The Perfect Suit, and the on-going BBC2 Series The Great British Sewing Bee.

To register your interest in attending, please contact us here. Don’t forget to join the Hive network too if you’re not already a member.

About HIVE

Hive was first launched in 2012 with the aim of turning Blackburn with Darwen into a world-class business area.

Since then, 250 local organisations from micro to multinational have pledged their support; we’ve had recognition of Hive’s role in improving the local business environment (Enterprising Britain Awards, 2014); we’ve hosted leading figures from within industry and we’ve celebrated the very best of business via the inaugural Hive Business Awards.

Despite a new CiC structure, the aims of Hive remain the same and are underpinned by the town’s famous motto of arte at labore – by skill and hard work.

With a proud history of manufacturing and making, we want to continue to raise the profile of Blackburn with Darwen, locally and across the wider UK, as a great place to do business; we want to attract more investment; we want to create new and long-lasting partnerships amongst local business leaders which help the borough to prosper and improve opportunities for residents – especially our young people.

Any businesses wishing to register their interest in attending the Hive event on Thursday, October 8 can do so via the Hive website here http://bit.ly/1KcMeP5

Khalid Saifullah, Chair of the Hive Network and Director of Star Tissue UK

 

 

Carrier Bag Charges – Retailers Responsibilities

Iceland carrier bags

Carrier bag charges: retailers’ responsibilities

Iceland has opened a new store in Accrington and this has reminded us that there is a matter that needs to be brought to the attention of retailers –

Carrier bag charges begin in England on 5 October 2015 as part of the policy to reduce waste.

From:

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Charges for single-use plastic carrier bags and Waste and recycling

Applies to:

England (see detailed guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

Find out when large retailers need to charge at least 5p for plastic carrier bags and the fines for not doing so.

Contents

  1. When you must charge
  2. When the reporting year runs
  3. Bags you charge for
  4. Returnable multiple reuse bags
  5. Bags you don’t charge for
  6. What retailers have to do
  7. Sending records to Defra
  8. Who inspects retailers
  9. When retailers will be fined
  10. See more like this

Carrier bag charges begin in England on 5 October 2015 as part of the policy to reduce waste.

If you’re a large retailer the minimum price is 5p for most single-use plastic carrier bags. If you’re a small or medium-sized business you don’t have to charge, but you’re free to do so voluntarily.

If you’re already charging 5p or more for bags you don’t need to charge an extra 5p.

When you must charge

You must charge if you employ 250 or more full-time equivalent employees (in total and not just in retail roles). The number of full-time equivalent employees is the number of total hours contracted to work by all employees divided by the number of hours worked by a single full-time employee. A full-time staff member who worked all year counts as 1 employee. Part-time and seasonal staff, and those who did not work the full year, are counted as fractions of 1 employee.

You must charge if you:

  • sell goods in England
  • deliver goods to England

People with fewer than 250 full-time equivalent employees don’t have to charge. If your store is part of a franchise or symbol group (sharing a brand and products) you only count employees in your business. You don’t count the franchise or symbol group as a whole.

For example, if you own 10 stores in a symbol group and have more than 250 employees in total, you’ll have to charge for carrier bags. But if you’re part of a symbol group and own 2 stores with 15 employees, you don’t have to charge.

When you count employee numbers

You capture how many full-time equivalent employees you have at the start of each reporting year.

When the reporting year runs

The reporting year runs from:

  • 5 October 2015 to 6 April 2016
  • 7 April to 6 April from 2016 onwards

Bags you charge for

A bag is considered as such if it has an opening and isn’t sealed. You must charge at least 5p a bag for carrier bags that are all of the following:

  • unused – it’s new and hasn’t been used previously for sold goods to be taken away or delivered
  • plastic
  • with handles
  • 70 microns thick or less

Charging for delivery bags

You should consider offering customers bagless deliveries, as you must charge for plastic bags used for deliveries and online sales. You don’t have to charge for sealed packaging as this isn’t covered by the charge.

The number of bags used isn’t always known until delivery takes place. This means you can charge for an average number of bags for multi-bag deliveries, as long as 5p or more is charged per bag overall.

Charges apply to both home deliveries and click-and-collect (or similar) collections.

Returnable multiple reuse bags

A returnable multiple reuse bag must be all of the following:

  • sold for 5p or more
  • replaced free of charge if returned to you
  • 50 to 70 microns thick – you can count thinner bags as reusable as long as they’re thicker than your single-use bags and the handles are at least 50 microns thick
  • at least 404mm (in either width or height) by 439mm

You can’t count the following in your bag’s dimensions:

  • gussets
  • handles – unless they’re on wavy top bags

Bags you don’t charge for

You don’t charge for plastic bags that are:

  • for uncooked fish and fish products
  • for uncooked meat, poultry and their products
  • for unwrapped food for animal or human consumption – for example, chips, or food sold in containers not secure enough to prevent leakage during normal handling
  • for unwrapped loose seeds, flowers, bulbs, corns, rhizomes (roots, stems and shoots, such as ginger) or goods contaminated by soil (such as potatoes or plants)
  • for unwrapped blades, including axes, knives, and knife and razor blades
  • for prescription medicine
  • for live aquatic creatures in water
  • woven plastic bags
  • for goods in transport, such as at an airport or on a train, plane or ship
  • considered as sealed packaging for mail order and click-and-collect orders (regardless of handles)
  • returnable multiple reuse bags (bags for life)
  • used to give away free promotional material
  • used for a service but there’s no sale of goods, such as dry cleaning or shoe repairs

A bag can contain multiple items from this list and not incur a charge. However, if the bag contains other items then you must charge. For example, you wouldn’t charge for a bag containing an unwrapped blade and unwrapped loose seeds, but adding a box of cornflakes means you’d have to charge.

Super biodegradable bags

There are no exemptions for biodegradable bags at present. However, the government is considering an exemption to encourage development of a new, genuinely biodegradable, more environmentally friendly bag. This would be introduced as an amendment at a later date.

Defra has commissioned a review of existing industry standards for biodegradability of lightweight plastics. It will review whether there are standards that could be used to introduce an exemption from the charge and, if so, how the exemption would be carried out. Defra has to submit the report to Parliament by 5 October 2015.

What retailers have to do

For every bag that you charge for, you must:

  • charge at least 5p a bag (including any VAT)
  • make every effort to ensure that you’re charging for self-checkout bags
  • keep a reporting year’s records for 3 years from 31 May in the following reporting year (eg you must keep the records for 5 October 2015 to 6 April 2016 until 31 May 2019)
  • send records to Defra on or before 31 May following the end of the reporting year

You must also record for the whole reporting year:

  • the number of bags supplied
  • the gross and net proceeds of the charge
  • any VAT in the gross proceeds
  • what you did with the proceeds from the charge
  • any reasonable costs and how they break down

Reasonable costs

Reasonable costs include new costs incurred to comply with the legislation. This might include:

  • the cost of changing till systems
  • training staff
  • communicating the policy to staff and customers
  • getting expert advice
  • administering donations to good causes

You can’t include existing costs, such as the cost of the bags. You’re likely to see reasonable costs significantly reduce after the first year.

Dealing with the proceeds

Once you’ve deducted reasonable costs, it’s expected that you’ll donate all proceeds to good causes.

Carrier Bag Charges Wales has examples of how good causes have benefited from the proceeds of the Welsh charge, and expected reductions in carrier bag use.

Sending records to Defra

You must send the following details to Defra once a year:

  • the number of bags you distributed
  • the amount of money you received from selling bags
  • any VAT you had to pay from the money you received
  • what you did with the proceeds from bags
  • details of the ‘reasonable costs’ you had to pay to provide bags

This information will be made public.

You must send these details for each reporting period by 31 May the following year. For example, for the period 5 October 2015 to 6 April 2016 you must send your details by 31 May 2017.

You must send your name and email to PlasticBagCharge@defra.gsi.gov.uk. If you send your name and email before the deadline you’ll get advice on how to report, and get reminders about when to report.

Responding to public enquiries

Members of the public can request copies of carrier bag records. You must provide copies within 28 days.

Getting records of enforcement action

Your local authority publishes a report on its website for the preceding recording year on or before 31 May, and keeps the report until 30 May of the next reporting year. It will publish the number of cases and sanctions it served or opposed, along with objections and appeals.

If you trade across different regions of the UK, you can apply for a Primary Authority agreement. This means you can choose to deal with just one local authority rather than deal with the authorities in each area you trade in.

Who inspects retailers

In most cases it’s the local authority where your shop or store is based that makes sure that the law is being followed.

However, for home deliveries the relevant local authority is the one where the goods are:

  • dispatched from, if sent and delivered within England
  • received, if delivered from outside England

Local authority inspectors can visit stores at reasonable times and make test purchases. They can question staff and demand relevant documentation if they believe a breach has taken place.

When retailers will be fined

Your local authority must publish details of fine levels and circumstances on its website. It can fine you if you:

  • don’t charge at least 5p for the appropriate bags
  • don’t keep records
  • don’t supply records
  • mislead on how you’re complying with the law

Local authorities can:

  • issue a non-compliance notice with steps you must take to correct a breach
  • impose a fixed penalty
  • impose a discretionary penalty
  • order you to advertise that you’ve broken the law, what their penalty was and how you are now complying
  • recover the cost of the investigation from you if you breach the law

Both fixed and variable fines are:

  • reduced by 50% if you pay within 28 days
  • increased by 50% if you don’t pay within 56 days

Local authorities can’t impose a variable fine if a fixed fine has already been levied for the same issue (unless a non-compliance notice has been issued).

Publicity if retailers break the law

Local authorities can impose non-monetary requirements, such as making you publicise that you’ve breached the law.

Failure to comply can lead to a fine of up to £5,000, in addition to any other penalties.

Fixed penalties

Breach Penalty
Not charging for bags appropriately £200
Not keeping records £100
Not supplying records £100

Variable penalties

Breach Maximum penalty
Not charging for bags appropriately £5,000
Not keeping records £5,000
Not supplying records £5,000
Giving false or misleading information to, or otherwise obstructing or failing to assist the local authority £20,000

Appeals and objections

You can object within 28 days of being issued a penalty notice.

You can appeal a penalty if you feel it was wrong, unreasonable or based on an error. You can also appeal if you feel that the non-monetary requirement is unreasonable or if the variable amount penalty is too high.

Back to contents

Published:

23 March 2015

From:

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Part of:

Charges for single-use plastic carrier bags

Waste and recycling

 

Increase in Insurance Premium Tax

Insurance Tax  shutterstock_238624636

Association of British Insurers (ABI) response on the increase in Insurance Premium Tax and cuts to corporation tax

 

 Huw Evans

Huw Evans, Director General of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), responds to the increase in Insurance Premium Tax and cuts to corporation tax announced in the 2015 Summer Budget.

On the increase in Insurance Premium Tax, Huw Evans said:

“Insurance Premium Tax is a tax on people and businesses at the point at which they buy a general insurance product. So it’s very disappointing to see a more than 50% tax increase being imposed on consumers, especially when the insurance industry and Government has worked so hard in recent years to bring down the cost of essential insurance.”

The ABI calculates that the new rate of IPT will add £9.48 to the average annual household insurance policy (buildings and contents combined) and £12.25 to the average annual comprehensive motor policy.

On Corporation Tax, Huw Evans said:

“Further cuts to corporation tax are good news. They will continue to make the UK a highly competitive destination for insurers and savings providers and enhance London’s position as the insurance capital of the world.”

 

Derek Rigby

Derek Rigby of Sagar Insurances said:

Sagar Insurances logo

The increase in IPT has been roundly criticised by Business and the General public alike. Our initial thought was in a similar vein. However if the increase means that Insurance buyers review more closely their Insurance spend and work with a Professional Insurance Broker who will not only provide superior service but competitive pricing then all is not lost.
For instance at Sagar Insurances despite a huge increase in  on line competition the retention rate for our Personal Lines team is constantly around the 95% mark. This would tend to support our view that for many consumers price is not the overall factor when looking at their Insurance renewal. Excellent service and advice, superior Claims Handling must also be a consideration.

 

 

Advisory Fuel Rates from 1 September

Advisory Fuel Rates from 1 September 2015

GOV.Uk image 2727733_orig

Advisory Fuel Rates (AFR) for company car users, when you can use them, and how they are calculated.

These rates apply from 1 September 2015. You can use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.

Engine size Petrol – amount per mile LPG – amount per mile
1400cc or less 11 pence 7 pence
1401cc to 2000cc 14 pence 9 pence
Over 2000cc 21 pence 14 pence

 

Engine size Diesel – amount per mile
1600cc or less 9 pence
1601cc to 2000cc 11 pence
Over 2000cc 13 pence

Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for this purpose.

  1. Current rates

Current rates start from 1 September 2015.

  1. When you can use the mileage rates

The rates only apply when you either:

  • reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars
  • require employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel

You must not use these rates in any other circumstances. If you use them correctly you will not need to apply for a dispensation to cover the payments you make.

2.1 Reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars

If you pay a rate per mile for business travel no higher than the AFR, for the particular engine size and fuel type, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will accept there is no taxable profit and no Class 1A National Insurance to pay.

You can use your own rates which better reflect your circumstances if, for example, your cars are more fuel efficient, or if the cost of business travel is higher than the guideline rates.

If you pay rates that are higher than the advisory rates and can’t demonstrate the fuel cost per mile is higher, there is no fuel benefit charge if the mileage payments are solely for miles of business travel. Instead, you will have to treat any excess as taxable profit and as earnings for Class 1 National Insurance purposes.

2.2 Require employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel

If you have correctly recorded all miles of private travel and used the correct rate (or anything higher) to work out the cost of fuel used for private travel that the employee must repay to you, HMRC will accept there is no fuel benefit charge.

The advisory rates will not be binding where you can demonstrate that employees cover the full cost of private fuel by repaying at a lower rate per mile.

  1. How rates are calculated

Rates are calculated based on fuel prices and adjusted miles per gallon figures.

  1. Previous rates

Previous rates are available to check from 1 March 2011.

These rates only apply to employees using a company car.

These Advisory Fuel Rates (AFR) are calculated from the fuel prices in the tables below.

Petrol

Engine size (cc) Mean MPG Applied MPG Fuel price (per litre) Fuel price (per gallon) Pence per mile AFR
Up to 1400 53.74 45.7 114.6 520.9 11.4 11
1401 – 2000 43.52 37.0 114.6 520.9 14.1 14
Over 2000 29.03 24.7 114.6 520.9 21.1 21

Diesel

Engine size (cc) Mean MPG Applied MPG Fuel price (per litre) Fuel price (per gallon) Pence per mile AFR
Up to 1600 64.91 55.2 112.0 509.4 9.2 9
1601 – 2000 55.52 47.2 112.0 509.4 10.8 11
Over 2000 45.42 38.6 112.0 509.4 13.2 13

LPG

Engine size (cc) Mean MPG Applied MPG Fuel price (per litre) Fuel price (per gallon) Pence per mile AFR
Up to 1400 43.0 36.5 59.4 270.0 7.4 7
1401 – 2000 34.8 29.6 59.4 270.0 9.1 9
Over 2000 23.2 19.7 59.4 270.0 13.7 14

Notes

Mean MPG – miles per gallon – from manufacturers’ information, weighted by annual sales to businesses (fleet audits average, 2011 to 2013).

Applied MPG – adjusted downwards by 15% to take account of real driving conditions and lower fuel economy for older cars.

For LPG, MPG is assumed to be 20% lower than for petrol due to lower volumetric energy density.

Figures are shown to one decimal place. Figures ending in .5 are rounded downwards to the nearest whole penny for the AFR when the precise figure is less than .5 and upwards to the nearest whole penny for the AFR when the precise figure is .5 or greater.

Department for Energy and Climate Change latest petrol and diesel prices (17 August 2015), LPG (UK Average) from Automobile Association (AA) website (July 2015).

Guidance

Advisory Fuel Rates 1 March 2011 to 31 August 2015

Updated 27 August 2015

Contents

  1. AFR 1 June 2015 to 31 August 2015
  2. AFR 1 March 2015 to 31 May 2015
  3. AFR 1 December 2014 to 28 February 2015
  4. AFR 1 September 2014 to 30 November 2014
  5. AFR 1 June 2014 to 31 August 2014
  6. AFR 1 March 2014 to 31 May 2014
  7. AFR 1 December 2013 to 28 February 2014
  8. AFR 1 September 2013 to 30 November 2013
  9. AFR 1 June 2013 to 31 August 2013
  10. AFR 1 March 2013 to 31 May 2013
  11. AFR 1 December 2012 to 28 February 2013
  12. AFR 1 September 2012 to 30 November 2012
  13. AFR 1 June 2012 to 31 August 2012
  14. AFR 1 March 2012 to 31 May 2012
  15. AFR 1 December 2011 to 29 February 2012
  16. AFR 1 September 2011 to 30 November 2011
  17. AFR 1 June 2011 to 31 August 2011
  18. AFR 1 March 2011 to 31 May 2011

Detail

These rates only apply to employees using a company car.

HM Revenue and Customs review rates quarterly on 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December.

You should check to make sure you understand when you can use the rates.