Share schemes & incentives

Recruiting, retaining and motivating key staff in the gaming sector

Key to the success of any video games company is the recruitment, retention and motivation of employees who can help to make a success of the business they work for. In a sector where the battle for talent is fierce and where, particularly for early stage companies, paying competitive salaries is a challenge, employers need to identify low cost ways of attracting and incentivising key people.

The Autumn Statement – the impact on employment tax and employee share incentives

There were important announcements today in the employment tax and employee incentives arena. Specifically with regard to employee share ownership, the use of tax efficient employment structures, updates on Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) reviews and company cars. We’ll have to “wait and see” for the detail of these changes – more detail should follow in the draft Finance Bill 2014 clauses to be issued on 10 December. Read on for more detail of today’s announcements.

Employment tax governance – a new era?

Employer compliance has taken a back seat for HMRC to some extent in recent years, other than specific focused compliance activity in certain areas of risk. It now appears that HMRC recognises the limitations of its risk-based approach which has not been able to ’get under the skin’ of employer compliance issues.

Hands-off management does not preclude an employment relationship

The degree of control exercised by an engager has been a long-standing factor in determining employment status. In the recent case of Troutbeck SA V White & Anor [2013] the Court of Appeal has ruled that the absence of actual day-to-day control does not preclude an employment relationship. Instead, a much broader review of any agreement between the parties and the circumstances is required. This emphasis on taking “a step back” echoes the ruling in Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher [2011].
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