These include doubling penalties for non-payment and disqualifying employers from being a company director for up to 15 years.
The government also announced plans to double the enforcement budget for non-payment and to set up a new team in HMRC to pursue criminal prosecutions for employers who deliberately do not pay workers the wage they are due.
Penalties for non-payment will be doubled, from 100% of arrears owed to 200%, although these will be halved if paid within 14 days. The maximum penalty will remain £20,000 per worker.
More and more office based workers are now working from home and the employers are focusing on Output rather than hours. For generations work has meant 8 hours per day at your desk but that’s changing.
Switching from office based to home based is best done in stages, starting with a couple of days home based and building up.
Increasing the numbers of UK employees working from home can cut costs by £3 billion a year for UK employers and employees and save over 3 million tonnes of carbon a year, according to a report released in May 2014 by the Carbon Trust.
Advances in technologies such as broadband internet, smart phones and cloud computing mean that many jobs can now be done effectively outside of traditional workplaces. This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of UK employees who work from home, with the total now standing at over 4 million out of a workforce of 30 million.
Investigating the potential environmental benefits of a further shift to homeworking, the new research concluded that, if adopted and encouraged by employers across the country, homeworking could result in annual savings of over 3 million tonnes of carbon and cut costs by £3 billion.
Over 40 per cent of UK jobs are compatible with working from home, but recent research by the Carbon Trust has found that only 35 per cent of companies have a policy allowing their employees to work from home. And where homeworking is offered by companies, between one-third and one-half choose not to accept it.
Homeworking reduces employee commuting, resulting in carbon, money and time savings. If office space is properly rationalised to reflect this, homeworking can also significantly reduce office energy consumption and rental costs.
It is estimated that UK employees save an average of £450 per year if they work from home for 2 days a week.
A UK employer could save around £280 per homeworker per year (according to Indicator).
Ian Foddering, Chief Technology Officer & Technical Director at Cisco UK & Ireland, said:
“By 2018, there will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices globally, as such, telecommuting will not only become commonplace but is already in the progress of fast becoming the most natural way for people to work and collaborate globally. Cisco has aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and suppliers worldwide, and telecommuting is helping us to achieve these goals.
“The average Cisco employee telecommutes 2 days a week, and those using our Cisco Virtual Office technology typically work from home 3 days each week. In total, this amounts to avoiding 35 million miles of commuting per year. Not only is this great for the environment, reducing Cisco’s CO2 emissions by 17,000 tonnes annually, but it’s also great for business, with an estimated $333 million per year made in productivity savings.
“Although some organisations may experience cultural barriers in adopting telecommuting, we believe our experience at Cisco demonstrates the real benefits to the environment, the business and the individual employee.”
Employers are also saving £6k by opting for Freelancers…
A survey by PeoplePerHour has shown that the self-employed segment of the labour market in both the UK and USA is growing at a rate of 3.5% per year – faster than any other sector. Should this growth continue for the next five years, researchers predict that half of the working population could be self-employed freelancers by 2020.
The survey also suggests that small businesses that hire freelancers instead of full-time employees could save £6,297.17 per annum. The survey shows that the average waste or spare capacity for each employee in a SMEs is 1.9 hours per day.
The research identifies a number of key drivers behind the shift from employment to self-employment, including “the availability of ubiquitous and inexpensive computing power, sophisticated applications and cloud-based services“. [Lawdonut]
According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics last week, self-employment is at its highest level since records began almost 40 years ago.
There are currently 4.6 million people self-employed, with the proportion of the total workforce that are making a living for themselves sitting at 15%, compared to 13% in 2008 and less than 10% in 1975.
A worker’s employment status, that is whether they are employed or self-employed, is not a matter of choice. Whether someone is employed or self-employed depends upon the terms and conditions of the relevant engagement.
Many workers want to be self-employed because they will pay less tax, this calculator gives you a quick comparison between being employed, self employed or taking dividends in a limited company.
HMRC have an Exemption (not an allowance) of £150.
If the employer provides two or more annual parties or functions, no charge arises in respect of the party, or parties, for which cost(s) per head do not exceed £150 in aggregate. Where there is more than one annual function potentially within the exemption, we do not expect employers to keep a cumulative record, employee by employee, of functions attended. But for each function the cost per head should be calculated. The cost per head of subsequent functions should be added. If the total cost per head goes over £150 then whichever functions best utilise the £150 are exempt, the others taxable (see examples at EIM21691).
The figure of £150 is not an allowance. For functions that are outside the scope of the exemption (see example at EIM21691) directors and employees, except those in an excluded employment, are chargeable on the full cost per head, not just the excess over £150, in respect of:
any members of their family and household who attend as guests.
The cost of the function includes VAT and the cost of transport and/or overnight accommodation if these are provided to enable employees to attend. Divide the total cost of each function by the total number of people (including non-employees) who attend in order to arrive at the cost per head.