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Welcome to our legal news and updates section, for further advice in these or any other areas please contact Head Office or your Local Office. Visit the payroll bureau for documentation.

HMRC - Authorising Your Agent

Before HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) can speak to your payroll service provider about your PAYE account, they must receive a 64-8 (Authorising your Agent) form, completed and signed by you and returned to your payroll service provider.

HMRC - Late Payment Penalties

HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) will issue a penalty to any employer whose PAYE payment has not cleared with them by the 19th of the billing month. In most cases, employers are issued with a bill quarterly in January, April, July and October.

National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage Rates

From 1st October 2016, the National Minimum Wage rates are:

  • Workers aged 25 and over - £7.20 per hour
  • Workers aged 21 to 24 - £6.95 per hour
  • Workers aged 18 to 20 - £5.55 per hour
  • Workers aged 16 or 17 - £4.00 per hour
  • Apprentices - £3.40 per hour

The national minimum wage rate is usually increased on 1st October each year.

Shared Parental Leave

New regulations on shared parental leave and pay following the birth or adoption of a child came into force on 1st December 2014. Working mothers will still be entitled to 52 weeks of Maternity Leave and 39 weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance if eligible. Paid paternity leave of two weeks is still available to the child's father or the mother's partner, although Additional Maternity Leave is being removed (being replaced by Shared Parental Leave).

An eligible mother can end her maternity leave early and, with her partner or child's father, opt for Shared Parental Leave instead of Maternity Leave. If they both meet the qualifying criteria, they will need to decide how to divide their Shared Parental Leave and Pay entitlement.

Parents can choose to be off work at the same time or to take it in turns to take leave. Shared parental leave applies to a baby born on or after 5th April 2015 or to a child placed or adoption on or after that date.

Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is now £88.45 per week as of 6th April 2015. Since 5th April 2014, the rules around Statutory Sick Pay have changed. Prior to this date, if your employee was off sick for four days or more and earned more than £110 per week, they were eligible for SSP. As a small employer, you were able to claim some of this payment back from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). You still have to pay your employee SSP but you will no longer be able to claim any money back from HMRC.

Statutory Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay

Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Pay is now £139.8 per week as of 6th April 2015.

Deciding the employment status of your personal assistant

We are often asked if a personal assistant should be employed or self-employed. It is important to get this right and it is not a case of ‘choosing’ what you prefer but they way in which your personal assistant will work for you. This link will take you to a very useful website which explains in a clear and simple way how you can work it out.

Automatic Enrolment into a Workplace Pension

Automatic enrolment (auto enrolment) is a new law which states that every employer must enrol workers into a workplace pension if they meet certain criteria (are 22 and over, earn £192/week or more and are below state pension age). Auto enrolment is being introduced in a 'rolling programme' and it applies to some employers earlier than others. Every employer is assigned a 'staging date' from which arrangements must be in place for employees. The Pensions Regulator will contact each employer with confirmation of the staging date and what they need to do next. Provision of a workplace pension scheme is a legal requirement and penalties will be imposed for those employers who do not make provision. Some payroll providers, such as Penderels Trust, are offering an auto enrolment scheme as part of the payroll service.

Employment Allowance

The £2000 Employment Allowance is to be extended to domestic employers (including employers of personal assistants) from April 2015. The allowance will reduce the employer's Class 1 National Insurance for each payroll cycle until the £2000 has been used up or the tax year has ended. If you use Penderels Trust payroll service, we will do this automatically for you.

Marriage Allowance

Married couples and those in a civil partnership will be allowed to share their personal tax allowance. If your income is less than £10,600 in the 2015-16 tax year, you may be able to reduce your husband, wife or civil partner’s tax by up to £212.

Marriage allowance is being introduced later in 2015. You can register online now at to get an email telling you when you can claim.

National Insurance Changes for U21s

As of 6th April 2015, employers with employees under 21 years old no longer have to pay Class 1 secondary National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on earnings up to the Upper Secondary Threshold (UST) for those employees.

Revised Terms and Conditions for Personal Assistants

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