14 September 2021
14 September 2021
This update covers:
- National Insurance contribution update
- Pension scheme: re-enrolment and re-declaration. Act now!
- Winding-up petition threshold increased
- COVID-19 guidance
National Insurance contribution update
National Insurance contributions (NICs) for employees and employers will rise by 1.25% as part of a new annual £12bn healthcare levy announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
All working adults, including those over the state pension age, will pay the levy, and the rates of dividend tax will also increase by 1.25% to help fund this package. Those who earn more pay more, with the highest-earning 14% of people paying around half the revenues.
From 2023, the additional payment will become a separate tax on earned income called the Health and Social Care Levy, which will be calculated in the same way as National Insurance and detailed on payslips.
Pension scheme: re-enrolment and re-declaration. Act now!
Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called 'automatic enrolment'. If you employ at least one person, you are an employer, and you have certain legal duties.
Auto-enrolment pensions started in 2012 for large employers and gradually phased in over the following years until 2018, when all small employers would have had to sign-up.
Employers must re-enrol their employees every three years. This is called re-enrolment. As of 1 October, it will have been three years since employers had offered Pensions to qualifying employees. All employers will soon receive a letter from the pensions regulator with a ten digit code that you will need to complete the re-enrolment.
Whether you have staff to put back into your scheme or not, you must complete a re-declaration of compliance to tell the pensions regulator how you have met your duties. Remember, re-enrolment and re-declaration are your legal duties, and if you don't act, you could be fined.
Winding-up petition threshold increased
Temporary measures are to be brought in to help smaller businesses get back on their feet and to give more time to trade back to financial health before creditors can take action to wind them up.
From 1 October 2021, the amount owed to a creditor wishing to issue a winding-up petition to a debtor business will rise from its pre-pandemic level of £750 to £10,000, while - during the same period - debts relating to commercial rent arrears built up over the pandemic will not be subject to winding-up petitions, even if they meet the £10,000 threshold.
Creditors will also be required to seek payment proposals from debtor businesses, who will have 21 days to respond before a winding-up petition can be issued.
New measures will be in force until 31 March 2022.
See Government announcement here
Coronavirus: Business closures and restrictions in Northern Ireland
Coronavirus: Safer businesses and workplaces in Scotland
Working safely during coronavirus in England
Workplace guidance for employers and employees in Wales
See all updates
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