IR35: Off pay-roll working rules extended to the private sector
We recently reported that HMRC will be applying the ‘off pay-roll working’ IR35 rules, currently in place for the public sector, to the private sector from April 2020. From that date, all medium and large private sector businesses that engage individuals through personal service companies will be responsible for determining if the individual should be considered an employee for tax purposes. If so, the business (and not the employee) will be responsible for accounting for income tax and NICs. You can find more information here. If you need any a help or advice, please contact Christine Jackson, a partner in our commercial team.
National Insurance Contributions Bill
On the assumption this Bill reaches the statute books in the fullness of time (due April 2020), any amount over £30,000 of a termination award will be subject to employer’s NICs but will remain exempt from employee NICs. This brings the NIC treatment of termination payments in line with their income tax treatment. HMRC has issued further guidance which you can read here.
Modern Slavery subject to Home Office spring clean
The Home Office has written to 17,000 businesses announcing that it will be auditing relevant businesses to ensure that they are complying with the Modern Slavery Act. All businesses with turnovers of more than £36m must publish a Modern Slavery Statement on their website; at present it is estimated that only 60% of relevant businesses are compliant. You find more information here.
Lower rates of shared parental pay not discriminatory
The Court of Appeal has recently ruled in two cases where claimants, both men, argued that it was discriminatory not to pay enhanced shared parental pay in line with enhanced maternity pay. The Court of Appeal dismissed both claims on the basis that maternity leave and enhanced maternity pay were designed to protect the health and welfare of women who had given birth. Therefore it is not discriminatory to treat men differently as no direct comparison can be made, in this context, between the sexes. Both claimants are seeking to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Case Update - Subject Access Requests
A recent provider of employment advice (A) (acting on a tribunal claim) advised its client (B) that B need not respond in any way to a subject access request (SAR) issued by the disgruntled claimant. A suggested that B could rely on an exemption under the DPA 2018. How wrong they were. The claimant’s solicitor rightly rejected A and B’s incorrect use of the exemption, and when B challenged A, A retorted that it doesn’t advise in relation to data protection matters. Learning the lesson the hard way, B is now considering alternative options with regard to the service A provides (or as it happens, didn’t provide).
Via our YEAR service, clients of Wright Hassall can access the wider firm’s expertise so, if you are faced with a SAR, we have a separate team that uses the latest technology to wade through the hundreds, often thousands of records that show up in any searches. Furthermore, the SAR team has considerable experience in applying the correct exemptions, in handling discussions with the regulator, the ICO, and in smoothing the pain that such a request can cause. Risking an ICO investigation by denying a data subject their legal rights is really not worth it. For more information about SARs, emergency breach incident management or complying with Data Protection legislation under the new regime, one year on, please contact a member of our Data Protection team.