All Domains

2021 - April

ENFORCEMENT - 29.04.2021

Enforcement action resumes

Now that coronavirus-related restrictions are starting to be eased, inspectors are heading out again. Who is on their radar?

ENERGY LABELS - 29.04.2021

New energy labels for appliances

There are changes to the energy labels that detail how efficient appliances such as fridges and dishwashers are. What has happened and could it make a difference to your next purchase?

LEGISLATION - 29.04.2021

Green legislation weaker after Brexit

The UK has weakened its environmental protection legislation in the aftermath of leaving the EU, according to a new assessment. What has changed, how will it affect your operations, and what should you be aware of?

WATER - 29.04.2021

Business park fined for riverside wall disrepair

In a very rare case, the owner of a Bristol business park has appeared in court for allowing a riverside wall to collapse into the watercourse. Why was the company at fault?

OIL - 29.04.2021

Committing to safe oil storage

If oil leaks from plant or storage on your premises, it can cause significant environmental damage. It’s therefore important to do what you can to prevent it and prepare to respond to an oil spill. Our policy fits the bill on both accounts.

SEWAGE - 29.04.2021

What to do about sewage overflow

Water companies discharged raw sewage into rivers in England more than 400,000 times in 2020. But it’s not just the utility companies that need to keep an eye on what they are releasing into waterways. What precautions should you take?

RECYCLING - 29.04.2021

Recycling your hard hats


Safety and the gig economy

Protests and challenges to employers involved in the gig economy have been in the news. How do health and safety regulations apply to this sector?

FALLS FROM HEIGHT - 29.04.2021

Worker fell into inspection pit

Inspection pits in the motor vehicle repair industry are less common than they used to be, but are still in use in some premises. If you have one, you must control the risk of falls. What happened in a 2021 case?

CORONAVIRUS - 29.04.2021

Ten steps to reopening safely after coronavirus lockdown

With the easing of coronavirus restrictions, many businesses are starting to get back to a relatively normal operation. However, you need to do so with caution. We’ve compiled a ten-step plan to keep you on the straight and narrow. What does it include?

VEHICLES - 29.04.2021

£1 million fine for vehicle contact fatality

After a young waste operative was killed on his recycling collection, the employer was prosecuted and fined more than £1m. What happened, and how can you minimise the risks of accidents when working close to vehicles is unavoidable?


What machinery guarding checks are required?

One of our subscribers recently received a visit from an HSE inspector who criticised the firm’s lack of routine checks of machinery guarding. If you were in this position what action would you need to take?


Working with rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has published a factsheet for employers on how to help staff who suffer from rheumatism and other chronic musculoskeletal disorders. What does it advise?

GAS SAFETY - 29.04.2021

Using compressed gases in catering and leisure

The British Compressed Gases Association has published a new guidance document aimed at those who use gas cylinders in the catering and leisure industries. When might you find this useful and what’s covered?

HSE - 29.04.2021

Fee for intervention


The power of “without prejudice”

Prior to entering into a settlement agreement, you’ll likely have negotiations with the employee or their legal advisor. Why should every settlement offer that you make be marked “without prejudice”?


Calling colleague “Arthur” wasn’t gross misconduct

A firefighter who was dismissed for gross misconduct because he called a gay colleague “Arthur” has won his tribunal claim and been awarded over £12,000. Where did the employer go wrong?


Menopausal employee loses discrimination claim

An employee who claimed that she was dismissed because of her menopausal symptoms has lost her discrimination claim despite the tribunal agreeing that she was disabled under the Equality Act 2010. Why did the claim fail?

REDUNDANCY PAY - 29.04.2021

Furlough and redundancy payments

Where a furloughed employee is made redundant, is their notice pay and any statutory redundancy pay (SRP) entitlement calculated using their normal rate of pay or their furlough pay?


Vaccine adverse reaction and sick pay rights

It’s possible that an employee may experience a reaction after having a COVID-19 vaccine. If they require time off work for this reason, are they automatically entitled to paid time off?

CORONAVIRUS - 29.04.2021

You don’t look the same after lockdown

With the lockdown lifting, your staff are now returning to the workplace. However, you’ve noticed that one employee doesn’t look the same - they’ve let themselves go quite a bit. Why should you raise this with them?

RECRUITMENT - 29.04.2021

Hire an armed forces veteran, save up to £5,500!

From 6 April 2021 any employer who hires an Armed Forces veteran can have a holiday on some of their employers’ NI contributions. How long is the holiday for and which veterans are eligible for this new scheme?

TRIBUNAL AWARDS - 29.04.2021

Injury to feelings awards increased

PROBATION - 29.04.2021

Q&A - maximum probation period?

CORONAVIRUS - 29.04.2021

HMRC warns of SEISS email scam

The fourth SEISS grant has only just opened up for claimants, but already HMRC has issued a warning about an email scam doing the rounds. What should you look out for?

CORONAVIRUS - 26.04.2021

SEISS: fourth grant claims gateway open

The online gateway to apply for the latest round of grants is now open. When should applications be made and what’s different this time?

LETTING RELIEF - 23.04.2021

Does your client’s guest house qualify for letting relief?

Since April 2020 there have been restrictions on when letting relief on the disposal of residential property can be claimed. One of your clients is selling their guest house and has asked for advice regarding potential relief. What can you advise?

CORPORATION TAX - 23.04.2021

Using stock-take to cut a client’s tax bill

For retail companies, the end of year stock-take is crucial to getting the corporation tax calculation right. It’s unlikely that you will be involved directly in this exercise, but how can your advice potentially save your clients money?

INHERITANCE TAX - 23.04.2021

Tax-efficient will planning with residential property

Your client has a significant property portfolio which provides them with their sole source of income. They want to gift shares in some property to their daughter but retain the income. Can they do this without triggering the reservation of benefit rules?


New claim required for £6 per week exemption

PROPERTY TAX - 23.04.2021

Defer CGT payment on property

Since April 2020, clients have been required to pay any tax due on disposals of land or property within 30 days of completion. But can they defer the payment until later?


Off-payroll working from 6 April 2021

The long-delayed extension to the off-payroll working rules finally took effect from 6 April 2021. What are the crucial things that clients who provide services through an intermediary, or engage workers that provide services in this way, need to know?

LOSS RELIEF - 23.04.2021

Advising clients on the loss relief extension

Budget 2021 announced a temporary extension to the carry back loss relief rules for both companies and unincorporated businesses. Why is the extension not as generous as it might first appear, and which clients might be better not using it?

CORONAVIRUS - 23.04.2021

Vaccine-related sickness absence

If an employee is off sick due to coronavirus vaccine side effects, what is the legal position? Do you have to pay them?


Witness attendance at disciplinary hearings

One question that’s often asked is whether witnesses should attend disciplinary hearings and, if they do, whether they can be cross-examined where the evidence conflicts. What is the position here?


Shared parental pay and sex discrimination

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that it isn’t discriminatory to pay a man on shared parental leave (SPL) less than a woman on adoption leave. Why is this?


NI cut for employing Armed Forces veterans

An NI contributions holiday for those who employ Armed Forces veterans came into force on 6 April 2021. For how long is this relief available?

TERMINATION - 23.04.2021

Terminating a senior executive or director

Dismissing a senior executive or director can be much more complex than an “ordinary” employee. What specific considerations are there beyond those that apply to all other employee dismissals?

VAT - 22.04.2021

HMRC issues VAT penalty nudge

HMRC has warned businesses that took advantage of the coronavirus VAT deferral scheme last year that a key penalty deadline is looming. What’s the story?

CORONAVIRUS - 22.04.2021

SEISS round four launched

HMRC has published details on the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. You’ve heard that not everyone who qualified for the SEISS before will be eligible this time. Who’s entitled and who’s not?

PAYROLL - 22.04.2021

Using salary sacrifice for a cost-free pay rise

The door on tax saving by salary sacrifice has finally closed. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use salary sacrifice. In fact, it can provide a cost-free way to give your staff a pay rise. Is this something you can take advantage of?


Digital tax for companies - what’s the agenda?

HMRC is consulting on Making Tax Digital for Corporation Tax (MTDfCT). But as your company is already following the MTD rules for VAT (MTDfV) purposes, isn’t that job done?

EXPENSES - 22.04.2021

Home-to-work travel during lockdown

Two of your employees, working from home because of the pandemic, visited the office each week to check security and collect post that hadn’t been redirected. You paid their travel costs but do you need to report this to HMRC?

INHERITANCE TAX - 22.04.2021

Increase your net estate by giving to charity

Your will currently includes a few bequests to charities. When discussing it with your solicitor she said that increasing your donations could lower the inheritance tax (IHT) bill and so might leave your beneficiaries better off. How does this work?


HMRC - new cryptocurrencies guidance

CONSTRUCTION - 20.04.2021

Costly multiple SSIP assessments

When Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) was introduced, it was intended to reduce the burden and costs of contractor assessments. Is it working?


Untrained worker struck by disc cutter

A construction company has been heavily fined after a self-employed worker was seriously injured whilst using a petrol powered disc cutter. Why was the firm held responsible?

DRIVING - 20.04.2021

Novice drivers at greater risk

Inexperienced drivers continue to be over-represented in fatal and serious road accident statistics. What are the latest figures and how should this influence your management of driving activities?

CHEMICALS - 20.04.2021

Errors during chemical spill clean up

A global engineering company has appeared in court after four employees were exposed to a hazardous gas during a chemical spill clean up and suffered significant ill health. What were the circumstances of the case?

CORONAVIRUS - 20.04.2021

Update your coronavirus policy

If you put in place a coronavirus health and safety policy in 2020, it might well be out of date given the frequent changes in legislation and official guidance. Use our template to ensure that yours is still relevant.

LIFT MACHINERY - 20.04.2021

Lift machinery safety requirements

The Safety Assessment Federation has published a short guide on the safety and security of lift motor rooms. As a result, you could receive a safety wishlist from your lift engineer. What are they likely to request?

CORONAVIRUS - 20.04.2021

Coronavirus ventilation guidance updated… again

Hot on the heels of its previous guidance on ventilating enclosed workplaces, the HSE has published a revised version. What new advice is included and what should you take into account?


Ramadan employment law issues

The 2021 holy month of Ramadan began on 12 April and is due to end on 12 May. If you have Muslim employees, what are the employment law implications?

VAT - 16.04.2021

VAT penalty overhaul confirmed for 2022

Budget 2021 confirmed that the government is pressing ahead with a change to the way penalties for VAT returns filed late will be charged. Should you be worried?

STUDENT LOANS - 15.04.2021

Student loans - what’s new this tax year?

Given the significant amount of money loaned to students undertaking degree level study, repayments are a lifetime commitment. Employers have a key role to play in collecting the repayments. What are the main considerations?

PENSIONS - 15.04.2021

What’s new with pensions?

As another new tax year gets underway, it’s timely to get yourself up to speed on changes to auto-enrolment and workplace pensions generally. What are the key changes to be familiar with this time around?


Post Office card account to close

TAX REFORMS - 15.04.2021

Tax day heralds change ahead

MINIMUM WAGE - 14.04.2021

Sleep-in shifts and the national minimum wage

There’s been legal uncertainty over whether a worker must be paid the national minimum wage (NMW) for the entire duration of a “sleep-in” shift. This issue has now been considered by the Supreme Court. What did it decide?

REDUNDANCY - 14.04.2021

When does the redundancy notice period start?

You’re just about to notify an employee that they are being made redundant. When an employee is given notice of redundancy, does the redundancy notice period start the very second you tell them or at a different point?

CONTRACTS - 14.04.2021

A temporary “act up” or a permanent promotion?

You need an employee to temporarily act up to a more senior position due to another member of staff being absent. If this arrangement goes on for several months, could the employee argue that it’s actually a permanent promotion?

HARASSMENT - 14.04.2021

Comments about weight and diet were harassment

An overweight police officer whose boss advised her to “lose weight” and “stop drinking gallons of Coke” has won her claim for harassment at the tribunal. Why were these comments problematic?

RIGHT TO WORK - 14.04.2021

Updated right to work guidance


£11,600 for writing to employee’s GP

An employee who resigned because her employer wrote to her GP has been awarded over £11,600 by the tribunal. What must be obtained before any contact is made with an employee’s GP?

CORONAVIRUS - 14.04.2021

Return to work is a “serious and imminent danger”

It’s been suggested that employees could potentially dodge an employer’s return to the workplace instruction by saying that it would present a “serious and imminent danger” to their health. Can they rely on this statutory protection or not?


The first questions to ask at a disciplinary hearing

At the start of a disciplinary hearing the chairperson should ask the accused employee certain introductory questions before turning to the specific allegations. What are those questions and why are they so important?

MINIMUM WAGE - 14.04.2021

Minimum wage record-keeping period raised to six years

New regulations have extended the national minimum wage record-keeping period from three years to six from 1 April 2021. Does this also apply to existing records?

MATERNITY - 14.04.2021

Arranging cover for an employee’s maternity leave

Once an employee informs you that they’re pregnant, you’ll need to start to make arrangements to cover their one-year period of maternity leave. What are your key options for arranging cover?

HOLIDAYS - 14.04.2021

No right to carry over payment where holiday taken unpaid

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that a worker has no right to carry over payment where they were permitted to take annual leave but were not paid for it. When might this situation occur?


How to avoid race discrimination in recruitment

Now that you must obtain a sponsor licence and pay the Immigration Skills Charge to employ EEA nationals arriving in the UK from 2021 onwards, can you refuse to employ them on the basis that it’s too expensive?

MINIMUM WAGE - 14.04.2021

Sleep-in staff not entitled to minimum wage for whole shift

The Supreme Court has held that sleep-in care workers were not entitled to the national minimum wage for the entirety of their shifts. What are the implications?

CORONAVIRUS - 12.04.2021

Can staff now return to the office?

With the lockdown rules having been further relaxed from today, 12 April, what’s the current position in England on reopening offices and holding in-person business meetings?

RAISING FINANCE - 12.04.2021

New recovery loan scheme launches

With the coronavirus loan schemes having ended on 31 March 2021, UK businesses can now apply for a new Recovery Loan Scheme. How will this work?


Investigating a company using filleted accounts

Most small companies only submit filleted accounts to Companies House which don’t include a profit and loss. How can you assess the financial risk of doing business with a company by looking at just its balance sheet?

CONTRACTS - 12.04.2021

Can you rely on a force majeure clause?

Many businesses have been disrupted by the pandemic leading to suppliers failing to meet demand. What are the implications for your company if it’s unable to meet its contractual obligations - will a force majeure clause help?

EXPENSES - 12.04.2021

The tax rules that relate to HSE inspection fees

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently visited and has sent an invoice for its so-called intervention fees. But is this actually a fine and, if so, will the amount be tax deductible?

CORONAVIRUS - 12.04.2021

Keeping up with coronavirus changes

The pandemic has seen rules changed, deadlines relaxed and wide-ranging alterations to annual to-do lists with which you’re so familiar. What’s the current position?

COMPANY CARS - 12.04.2021

Poor mileage records lead to tax bill

Generally, it’s not tax efficient for the business to pay for private fuel as it results in a fixed and hefty tax bill. Avoiding this is easy in theory but less so in practice as a recent case shows. What’s the story?

CORPORATION TAX - 12.04.2021

Loss carry back extension

In a bid to provide further aid for businesses struggling during the pandemic, the government has extended the period trading losses can be carried back for tax relief. Can your company take advantage?

SPREADSHEETS - 12.04.2021

Creating your own functions in Excel using LAMBDA

Excel has hundreds of built-in calculations, but it doesn’t have functions for every possible calculation. To overcome this, Microsoft has created LAMBDA to allow you to create your own functions and store them in Excel. How do you do it?

PAYROLL - 12.04.2021

End of 2020/21 reporting

TAX APPEALS - 12.04.2021

Are formal appeals worth the effort?

The company is in a dispute with HMRC that’s been dragging on for ages and appears to be going nowhere. Is a formal review something to consider or is it a waste of time and money?

CORONAVIRUS - 08.04.2021

Recovery Loan Scheme launched

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) announced in this year’s Budget opened for business on 6 April. What does it offer, who’s eligible and how can you apply?

BUDGETING - 08.04.2021

The one-page business plan

An annual budget plan is more important than ever, yet completing one probably fills you with dread. But it doesn’t have to be long and complicated. Could you cut back the template to just a page?

COMPANY TAX - 08.04.2021

Company has insufficient cash to purchase its own shares

Our subscriber wants to sell her shares and retire from the company. The trouble is the other shareholders can’t afford to buy her out and, while the company could purchase its own shares, it doesn’t currently have the cash. What’s the solution?

DATA PROTECTION - 08.04.2021

Data subject access requests - everything with their name?

When a person makes a data subject access request (DSAR), they can ask to see all their personal data which you hold. Does this mean that you must provide them with a copy of every document that includes their name?

COPYRIGHT - 08.04.2021

Copyright trolls targeting SMEs

Using what appears to be a “free photo” on your website, or streaming a movie can end up costing your business thousands of pounds if copyright protected material is used without permission. What’s to know and why are SMEs particularly vulnerable?

PERSONNEL - 08.04.2021

Do you need to register a modern slavery statement?

In March 2021 the Home Office launched its new online registry for modern slavery statements. Will small and medium-sized businesses be legally required to submit a statement and, if not, should you consider doing it anyway?

ENVIRONMENT - 08.04.2021

Should you offset carbon to get to net zero?

New research shows that more and more SMEs are thinking about a net zero plan. Is this something you should consider too, and if so, should it include carbon offsetting or is this cheating?

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