Benefits for businesses to consider throughout the year

As Spring turns into Summer (we can but hope), end of financial year deadlines may seem like either a distant memory or far off enterprise, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you are reaping available benefits and keeping things in check before next spring has sprung.

Employment Allowance

The Employment Allowance allows certain UK businesses to employ workers to reduce their annual National Insurance Contributions by up to £3,000, however new eligibility rules are due to be introduced in the 2020/21 financial year. From 6 April 2020, businesses with an Employer NIC bill of £100,000 or more in the previous tax year will not be able to claim the £3,000 allowance.

Companies can claim back the Employment Allowance up to four years after the end of the tax year in which the allowance applies. Since the allowance was introduced in 2015/16 claims for that first year will need to be applied for no later than the 5 April 2020.

You will need to submit a separate Employer Payment Summary (EPS) for each individual year’s claim when claiming for previous tax years that have now ended. 

If your business structure has changed in recent years, you may want to check your eligibility – for guidance speak with your dedicated payroll professional.

Apprenticeship levy

The apprenticeship levy was introduced in April 2017, to raise £3bn a year to fund better training after the government set a target of 3m new apprentices by 2020.

The levy applies to all employers who have an annual pay bill of over £3m annually, as well as those who are enrolled in the statutory apprentice scheme. Employers must contribute 0.5 per cent of their payroll towards the levy and they receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment.

Companies must inform HMRC how much apprenticeship levy they owe each month from the start of the tax year if their annual pay bill in the previous tax year was more than £3m, or if they believe it will be in the tax year. Companies who do not consider themselves to be eligible at the start of the financial year may unexpectedly find themselves reaching the limit later on – and would be wise to start reporting to avoid paying a lump sum at the end of the year.

Voluntary reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing

Benefits to your business don’t always come in the form of monetary allowances and rebates. The government have recently developed a framework for voluntary reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing. The framework can be used as a bespoke tool in encouraging employers to develop transparency around physical and mental health in the workplace.

Employers may find that taking the initiative in this area could: 

  • improve employee engagement and retention and thus performance and productivity;
  • reduce the number of stress related absences;
  • make room for better understanding of the experiences of disabled people and people with mental health conditions in their workforce;
  • access a wider pool of talent and skills through promoting inclusive and disability-friendly recruitment;
  • encourage a cultural shift towards increased transparency; and
  • better serve and connect with disabled customers and communities.

For more information on the issues covered above, please contact Simon Balaam.