Monthly Archives: October 2015

Employment Staff, Disciplinary Procedures – getting it wrong can be expensive!

USE Business Risks UK.eps

Disciplinary Procedures – getting it wrong can be expensive!

When it comes to dealing with disciplinary matters it’s often the case that the inexperience of managers in many small/medium sized businesses, can lead to successful claims against them at Tribunal. That’s where having the benefit of access to an experienced HR Professional- such as our Ask the Expert service – comes into its own!

Please click on this LINK for full details


How to Crowdfund for a restaurant or leisure business successfully

How to crowdfund for a restaurant or leisure business successfully

By Emma Eversham+Emma Eversham, 28-Sep-2015

Crowdfunding – the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people – is arguably no longer the ‘alternative’ finance method for hospitality businesses.

Dorset-based, LITTLEWINDSOR LTD, launches free-range Pickled Quail Eggs

Dorset-based, LITTLEWINDSOR LTD, launches free-range Pickled Quail Eggs

Exciting pickled quail eggs are perfect as a pub and picnic snack

Beaminster, Dorset; 30 September 2015 – Littlewindsor Ltd, an
independent producer of quail eggs based in Littlewindsor, West Dorset
is excited to launch a pickled quail egg product, perfect for pub
snacks, Ploughman’s lunches and picnics.

Littlewindsor is expanding beyond the fresh quail egg market into a
range of pickled eggs, made from the highest quality free range quail
eggs for which the brand has become synonymous. Pickled in a special
recipe of vinegar, herbs and spices, the eggs have a sharp but delicate
taste which combines well with salty crisps and mature cheese.

Littlewindsor supplies pubs, specialty food shops, farm shops and
upmarket butchers across the South West and London with Littlewindsor
Pickled Quail Eggs which come in two jar sizes (100g and 190g), the
smaller jar being ideal for bar snacks. The 100g jars hold 5 eggs and
are sold in cases of 18 jars, costing £36.00 plus p&p. The 190g jars
hold 10 eggs and are sold in cases of 9 jars, costing £27.00 plus p&p.

The Pickled Eggs are sold and distributed directly by Littlewindsor,
through the company website (

“We are seeing tremendous interest in Littlewindsor Pickled Quail Eggs,
particularly from independent pubs and bars looking for new and
interesting bar snacks. The jars are easy to display and serve for
customers to enjoy over a pint and with a packet of crisps.” said Clare
Snelling, Director of Littlewindsor Ltd.

About Littlewindsor Ltd
Littlewindsor Ltd is an independent Dorset producer of high quality
free range quail eggs to the British market, providing the British
consumer with a locally produced fresh alternative to the majority of
quail eggs that are imported from France. The eggs are produced in a
sustainable and environmentally friendly manner where the welfare of the
birds and impact of the environment are our highest concerns. The
result is delicious quail eggs with deep yellow yolks and thick whites
encased in wonderful speckled shells. The company was borne from a
passion for the countryside on 18 acres of land in the hamlet of
Littlewindsor, situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in West
Dorset. Its home page is

Clare Snelling
01308 86 8 285

Employing people who don’t have a right to work in the UK, a nasty trap.

Specifically, this has to do with the penalties attached to employing people who don’t have a right to work in the UK, by Paul Chase

“Something must be done” is the perennial cry of those who don’t know what to do, but feel the need to give the impression they do, by doing something. The Immigration Bill 2015-16 is a prime example of this. It received its first reading in the House of Commons on 17 September and its second reading will commence on 13 October. Parts of this Bill have significant implications for any premise that has a premises licence for the retail sale of alcohol, or for the provision of late-night refreshment.

Specifically, this has to do with the penalties attached to employing people who don’t have a right to work in the UK. It is already the case under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 that all employers are required to carry out checks to ensure that potential employees are entitled to work in the UK. A maximum fine of £10,000 per illegal worker can be levied on employers who fail to carry out such checks, and it is a criminal offence to knowingly employ an illegal worker.

Please click on this LINK for the rest of the details.

Enterprise Inns launches segmentation strategy for its 5,200 pubs?


Enterprise Inns launches segmentation strategy for its 5,200 pubs: Enterprise Inns has launched an pub segmentation initiative at two conferences at the NEC, Birmingham. More than 250 of its operations team and over 200 suppliers attended the Enterprise retail and supplier gatherings, which began yesterday and conclude today (Friday). Hosted by group commercial director Paul Harbottle, the conferences revealed how a more sophisticated approach to segmentation would underpin the company’s five-year strategy, and help unlock the potential of its 5,200 leased and tenanted pub estate, as well as its growing managed house division. Click on this LINK for full details


National Minimum Wage rates increase today and other issues.

JG & Partners

National Minimum Wage rates increase today

Posted: 30 Sep 2015 05:00 PM PDT

A reminder that National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates increase today.

The main increases are as follows:

  • a 20p (3%) increase in the adult rate (from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour)
  • a 17p (3%) increase in the rate for 18 to 20 year olds (from £5.13 to £5.30 per hour)
  • an 8p (2%) increase in the rate for 16 to 17 year olds (from £3.79 to £3.87 per hour)

The NMW rate for apprentices increase by 57p (20%) from £2.73 to £3.30 per hour.

From April 2016, the government will introduce a new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and above, initially set at £7.20 – a further rise of 50p relative to the new NMW rate.

The combined effect of these increases will equate to a £1,200 per annum increase in earnings for a full-time worker or the current NMW.

England – Carrier Bag Charge goes live 5 October

Posted: 30 Sep 2015 05:00 PM PDT

A reminder that a 5p charge will come into effect on single use carrier bags in England next Monday.

The charge, which will be paid by customers, follows the introduction of similar levies in other parts of the UK. The purpose of the single use carrier bag charge is to reduce the number of bags given out, increase their re-use and reduce litter.

Notable differences between the charge in England and other parts of the UK include the following:

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (retailers employing less than 250 staff) are exempt from applying the charge.
  • Paper bags are exempt from the charge.
  • Further, the following types of bag are also exempt:
  • bags for life
  • bags without handles
  • woven plastic bags
  • bags intended solely for unwrapped food
  • bags intended solely for unwrapped goods contaminated with soil (e.g. loose seeds)
  • bags intended for unwrapped blades
  • bags intended for prescription-only medicines
  • bags intended to hold live aquatic creatures
  • bags intended for uncooked meat
  • bags distributed in places of transit (e.g. boats, trains and airports)

Retailers are free to use the proceeds of the charge as they wish (although they are strongly encouraged to donate them to “good causes”).

Gambling – New Consultation on Crime & Disorder and the LCCP

Posted: 30 Sep 2015 05:00 PM PDT

The Gambling Commission commenced yet another consultation on 30th September. This will run until 30th December and invites operators and members of the public to participate.

The focus of the consultation is said to be on “improving practices to keep gambling free from crime and being associated with crime”

A spokesman for the Commission stated;

“This consultation offers an opportunity for everyone to have their say on a series of critical questions. We expect that licensees will want to share their own experience and good practices in order to help keep gambling crime free.”

This consultation comes nearly ten years after the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005, and “draws on the evidence and experience that the Commission and the industry have gathered throughout that period”.

The consultation also states that it will cover the following three areas


  • proposed changes to the LCCP to improve regulatory tools to support good practices by licensees and tackle poor practice more effectively.
  • seeking views and opinion on some emerging areas in order to inform the GC thinking as it develops.
  • to consult on an update to guidance for remote and non-remote casinos The Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (third edition).


The consultation will not however revisit areas covered by the last LCCP consultation “at this time”

Guidance on the licensing of late night refreshment

Posted: 30 Sep 2015 05:00 PM PDT

The Home Office has today issued guidance on the licensing of late night refreshment to reflect forthcoming changes to the Licensing Act 2003 made by the Deregulation Act 2015. As a reminder, the changes will allow Licensing Authorities to exempt supplies of late night refreshment:


  • on or from premises which are wholly situated in a designated area;
  • on or from premises which are of a designated description; or
  • during a designated period (beginning no earlier than 23.00 and ending no later than 05.00).


This guidance, which can be found here, is not issued as part of the statutory guidance under section 182 of the 2003 Act but will be incorporated into the section 182 guidance when it is next updated.

In terms of the timescales of the changes, the covering note on the website states: “The provisions in the Deregulation Act 2015 that this guidance covers came into force on 1 October 2015; however the changes will not come into effect in full until November 2015 when the regulations prescribing premises types come into force”.

USE, October Tax Tips from Howard and Co

vat[1]USE, October Tax Tips from Howard and Co

Changes to NICs for the Self-employed

From 2015-16 onwards, the collection of Class 2 contributions will be through the self-assessment system. This means that Class 2 NICs can now be paid together with income tax and Class 4 NICs in one chunk on the 31 January following the end of the relevant tax year. In the past, most people have paid Class 2 contributions monthly by direct debit. Following the final payment in July 2015, HMRC have cancelled such direct debit payments, ready for the switch over to the new system of payment under self-assessment. However, those who wish to continue paying their contributions more regularly can set up a Budget Payment Plan (assuming they are up to date with their self-assessment payments) and make payments weekly or monthly by direct debit in advance of the payment deadlines. Further information on Budget Payment Plans can be found on the website here h ttps://

At the spring Budget 2015, the government announced its intention to abolish Class 2 NICs. Although few details have been announced to date, it appears that after the abolition of Class 2 NICs, the self-employed will continue to pay Class 4 NIC, but this will be subsequently reformed to include a contributory benefit test. The proposed changes raise a few issues – in particular, whilst abolishing Class 2 NIC will be a welcome simplification to the current system, it is essential that a self-employed individual’s contributory benefits entitlement is not eroded by the change. For example, for 2015-16, it is not possible for a sole-trader to pay Class 4 NIC unless their profits exceed £8,060; however, they can still make Class 2 NIC payments, even if their profits are below the small earnings exception threshold (£5,965 for 2015-16), and this, in turn, will retain entitlement to various contributory state benefits. For those who do not opt to use a Budget Payment Plan, the payment date for the 2015-16 liability (£145.60) will be due on 31 January 2017. Self-employed traders will need to budget for this lump sum payment accordingly.

Spotlight on Contractor Loan Schemes

According to recent guidance published by HMRC, contractors and freelancers have been bombarded by promoters who make claims that they can help individuals take home up to 90% of their income using a contractor loan scheme. Broadly, promoters have been using this type of scheme to reduce the amount of tax paid on income by making payments which purport to be ‘loans’ from a trust or a company. Normally, a contractor would receive the contract income directly and pay tax on it. These arrangements artificially divert the income through a chain of companies, trusts or partnerships and pay the contractor in the form of a ‘loan’. The ‘loans’ are claimed to be non-taxable because they do not form part of a contractor’s income. However, in reality the ‘loans’ are not repaid and the money is used by the contractor as if it were his or her income.

HMRC are adamant that these schemes do not work and are strongly advising contractors and freelancers to keep well away from them. Individuals who have been using the schemes are being encouraged to withdraw and settle their tax affairs as soon as possible to avoid substantial penalties and interest charges being incurred.

MRC have confirmed that this type of scheme must be declared under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance (DOTAS) legislation, which means that the promoter is required to pass the scheme reference number (SRN) to all the users who must declare it on their tax return.

HMRC have added a new module entitled Contractor loan schemes – too good to be true (Spotlight 26) to their Spotlight series, which covers various tax avoidance schemes that HMRC consider to have wide tax implications. The module, which can be found here or-loan-schemes-too-good-to-be-true/spotlight-26-contractor-loan-schemes-too -good-to-be-true, may be of interest to anyone using, or considering using, a contractor loan scheme.

Tax Credit Changes Approved

The government has recently confirmed that the draft Tax Credits (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2015, which were laid before Parliament on 7 September 2015, are compatible with the European convention on human rights. Following a lengthy parliamentary debate, the draft regulations have been approved and are expected to apply from 6 April 2016. The implication of these regulations means that most tax credit claimants will have their working tax credit (WTC) and child tax credit (CTC) reduced from April 2016, but the impact of these changes may have passed many people by.

Following the announcement in the Summer 2015 Budget, there has been much debate over the draft regulations and their impact. In particular, there is concern about how the introduction of the national living wage will affect the proposals; whether there are likely to be any behavioural impacts brought about by the proposals; and the degree to which the proposals are likely to impact upon the successful transition of tax credits to universal credit.

Two changes – the increase in the taper rate from 41% to 48%, and reduction in the income threshold from £6,420 to £3,850, will affect many existing claimants and mean that they are likely to see a fall in the amount of tax credits received.

Currently, tax credits are reduced (tapered) by 41p for every £1 that income rises above the following thresholds:

– For WTC only claims, the threshold for 2015-16 is £6,420
– For CTC only claims, the threshold for 2015-16 is £16,105
– For WTC and CTC claims, the threshold for 2015-16 is £6,420

Although not directly announced, these changes, combined with the freeze on some elements of tax credits, mean that the CTC-only threshold will also reduce as a consequence down to £12,125. Broadly, this means that people with incomes above the new thresholds will see their tax credits reduced lower down the income scale and at a much faster rate.

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has produced guidance and a useful table, which shows the maximum loss of tax credits, at various levels of income, from the changes set to take effect from April 2016. The table can be found here. -you

IHT on Main Residence Nil-rate Band and Downsizing Proposals

HMRC have published a technical note covering the proposals, announced in the Summer Budget 2015, to phase in a new residence nil-rate band (RNRB) from 6 April 2017 when a residence is passed on death to a direct descendant.

The proposed rate bands are:

– £100,000 in 2017-18
– £125,000 in 2018-19
– £150,000 in 2019-20
– £175,000 in 2020-21

It is proposed that from 2021-22 the band will rise in line with the consumer price index (CPI).

Broadly, the proposals mean that where part or all of the RNRB might be lost because the deceased has downsized to a less valuable residence, or has ceased to own a residence, the lost RNRB will still be available, providing certain qualifying conditions are met (see below). The intention is that an estate will be eligible for the proportion of the RNRB that is foregone as a result of downsizing or disposal of the property as an addition to the RNRB that can be used on death.

If the proposals are enacted, the qualifying conditions for the additional RNRB will be broadly the same as those for the RNRB, that is the:

– individual dies on or after 6 April 2017;
– property disposed of must have been owned by the individual and it would have qualified for the RNRB had the individual retained it;
– less valuable property, or other assets of an equivalent value if the property has been disposed of, are in the deceased’s estate (this includes assets which are deemed to be part of a person’s estate);
– less valuable property, and any other assets of an equivalent value, are inherited by the individual’s direct descendants on that person’s death.

In addition, under current proposals, the following conditions will also apply:

– the downsizing or the disposal of the property occurs after 8 July 2015;
– subject to the condition above, there will be no time limit on the period in which the downsizing or the disposals take place before death;
– there can be any number of downsizing moves between 8 July 2015 and the date of death of the individual;
– downsizing will also include disposing of part of a property (including land occupied and used as a garden or grounds) or a share in it;
– where a property is given away, assets of an equivalent value to the value of the property when the gift was made must be left to direct descendants;
– the value of the property will be the net value i.e. after deducting any mortgage or other debts charged on the property;
– the additional RNRB will be tapered away in the same way as the RNRB if the value of the estate at death is above £2m;
– the additional RNRB will be applied together with the available RNRB, but the total for the two will still be capped so that they do not exceed the limit of the total available RNRB for a particular year; and
– a claim will need to be made for the additional RNRB in a similar way that a claim is made to transfer any unused RNRB to the estate of a surviving spouse or civil partner.

The technical note, entitled Inheritance Tax on main residence nil-rate band and downsizing proposals provides further details of the proposals and gives some useful examples to illustrate how they will apply. Responses to the note, which are requested by 16 October 2016, will inform the draft legislation to be included in the Finance Bill 2016.

The technical note can be found here. -nil-rate-band-and-downsizing-proposals-technical-note/inheritance-tax-on-ma in-residence-nil-rate-band-and-downsizing-proposals-technical-note

October Key Tax Dates

1 – Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for the year ended 31 December 2014

5 – If a Tax Return has not been received, individuals and trustees must notify HMRC of new sources of income and chargeability in 2014/15

14 – Return and payment of CT61 tax due for quarter to 30 September 2015

19 – Tax and Class 1B national insurance due on PAYE settlements for 2014/15

19/22 – PAYE/NIC, student loan and CIS deductions due for month to 5/10/2015 or quarter 2 of 2015/16 for small employers

31 – Deadline for 2014/15 self assessment paper returns to be filed for HMRC to do the tax calculation. If a paper return is being filed also the deadline for tax underpaid to be collected by adjustment to your 2016/17 PAYE code (for underpayments of up to £3000 only)

The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature and no guarantee of accuracy can be given. It is not a substitute for specific professional advice in your own circumstances. No action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

Howard and Company is the trading name of GM Howard & Company Limited, a company registered in England and Wales. Reg No 5307665. Registered office, Unit 17, Park Farm Business Centre, Fornham St Genevieve, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS.