Vacancy – Qualified AAT / Part Qualified ACCA Student

Posted on:



We are currently seeking a qualified AAT / part qualified ACCA student to join our team. Burrow & Crowe have been working with owner managed businesses over the last 30 years ensuring they get the best service and becoming their trusted advisors.

The role will include the preparation of accounts and the relevant tax returns from a diverse base of owner managed businesses, as well as helping clients with their other accounting needs including bookkeeping, VAT Returns, payroll and auto-enrolments and management accounts.

We are a team that likes to get involved with helping our clients, and the role will be client facing.

Ideally the candidate will have experience in a small /medium sized independent practice, and will currently be involved in the preparation of accounts and relevant tax returns for clients.

Most importantly, the candidate will show the willingness to work alongside business owners to help them grow their businesses.

New Ruling on Holiday Pay Calculations!

Posted on:

Is overtime included in holiday pay?

 You may have read or heard in the news early in November of a decision made by the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) with the headline ‘overtime needs to be included in the calculation of holiday pay’. The decision is certainly an important one but, as is often the case, the headline does not necessarily reflect the complexities of the topic.

 

We are therefore writing to you to give our view of what issues you need to consider as an employer on this matter.

 

What Does Employment Law Require?

 Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended) most workers are entitled to paid statutory annual leave. This is 5.6 weeks (28 days) if the employee works five days a week. Part time workers are entitled to the same holiday as their full time colleagues on a pro rata basis. This basic entitlement can include public holidays.

 

These regulations are derived from the EU Working Time Directive (which requires workers to be given four weeks annual leave).

A worker is entitled to be paid in respect of any period of annual leave for which they are entitled, at a rate of one week’s pay for each week’s leave.

 

The EU Working Time Directive is silent as to how to calculate ‘one week’s pay’ but the Employment Rights Act provides rules. These have been generally interpreted as only requiring ‘guaranteed’ overtime to be included in the pay calculation. Guaranteed overtime is overtime which the employer guarantees to provide to the employee even if the employer has no work available at the time.

 

How have court decisions affected the calculation of holiday pay?

There have been a number of cases heard before the Court of Justice of the European Union which have stated that workers should be entitled to their ‘normal remuneration’ when on holiday. Earlier this year the Court considered the case of a salesman whose remuneration consisted of basic salary and commission calculated by reference to sales achieved (typically 60% of salary).

 

The Court held there was an ‘intrinsic link’ between the commission payments and the tasks he was required to carry out under his contract of employment. Therefore commission was part of ‘normal remuneration’.

 

We now have three cases which have been heard together by the EAT. In these cases, employees were required to work overtime if requested by their employers. The EAT referred to this type of overtime as ‘non-guaranteed overtime’. The Tribunal considered two main issues:

 

  • to what extent must non-guaranteed overtime be included in the calculation of holiday pay;

 

  • for what period of time can workers seek to recover underpayments of holiday pay from employers.

 

Inclusion of overtime

Following the principles set out by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the EAT has decided in the context of non-guaranteed overtime:

 

  • overtime payments must be taken into account in the calculation of holiday pay if there is a settled pattern of work;

 

  • if the amount of overtime varies but is regularly paid, overtime payments must also be taken into account on the basis of an average taken over a ‘reference period’ (the reference period was not defined by the Tribunal but the 12 week period referred to in the Employment Rights Act may be an appropriate basis).

 

Workers seeking to make back claims

Generally a claim for underpaid wages needs to be made to an employment tribunal within three months of the underpayment.

 

The EAT has decided, in the context of underpaid holiday pay, that this general rule also applies to gaps between payment for holiday pay. So a worker who makes a claim in December in respect of underpaid holiday pay in April and September would not be able to claim for April as there is a gap of more than three months between the April and September underpayments.

 

Further points to note

  • The judgement only applies to the amount of annual leave under the EU Working Time Directive (four weeks).

 

  • The Tribunal has allowed the parties involved in the cases leave to appeal.

 

  • The government has recognised the importance of the recent Tribunal decision and the Business Secretary, Vince Cable announced the setting up of a taskforce. This taskforce will discuss whether the business impact of the decision can be limited.

 

What should employers do?

As appeals may be made to the decisions, one could argue that nothing needs to be done at present. However, the Tribunal did note that any appeal against the principle of including non-guaranteed overtime payments in holiday pay is unlikely to succeed.

 

Therefore it would be prudent to:

 

  • review the variable elements in employees’ pay and whether these are regularly paid. Overtime and commissions are two examples – there may be other amounts. The fundamental test is whether these sums are intrinsically linked to the tasks required to be performed by the employee.

 

  • consider including these elements in holiday pay going forward. The additional payments do not have to be for the annual leave given in excess of the EU four weeks requirement.

 

  • review employment contracts to see if they require amendment.

 

Some employers may wish to defer changing holiday pay calculations until the government’s taskforce has made an announcement of the impact of the decision.

 

For specific guidance, employers can contact a helpline provided by Acas:

http://www.acas.org.uk/helpline

 

Alternatively, please contact us if you require any further information or advice on 0113 2591666.

Welcome to Callum

Posted on:

We are pleased to announce that Callum Lowe  has joined us here at Burrow & Crowe team. Callum is joining as a senior member of the  accounts team and is currently studying towards his ACCA qualification.

His current experience and expertise will further enhance our ability to provide a great service to our clients in this area. Callum is also experienced with the ‘Xero’ cloud accounting package so if you have any problems, we are always going to be here to help!

Welcome to Matthew

Posted on:

We are pleased to announce that Matthew Raby has joined the Burrow & Crowe team. Matthew is joining the accounts department as a trainee and will be studying towards his AAT exams in due course. He is currently focusing on his Xero accounting accreditation,  to ensure he is best suited to helping our clients with their book keeping needs.

Matthew is a local Horsforth ‘Lad’ who has just left school to join our team..

We were able to bring Matthew on board with the help of  Learning Innovation Team Training Ltd,  If you would like assistance in obtaining an apprentice for your company please contact Jay Luke or Steve Miller at Learning Innovations and Training Team Ltd

Important Changes to ISA’s

Posted on:

In order to encourage savers, the current £11,520 ISA limit is to be significantly increased to £15,000 from 1 July 2014.

Furthermore, the current 50% cash ISA limit of £5,760 is to be abolished so that any combination of cash and stocks and shares can be held within the ISA wrapper up to the overall £15,000 limit.

These products will be termed “New ISAs” or NISAs. The Junior ISA limit will increase to £4,000 from 1 July 2014.

 

Employee Loans Tax Free Increase

Posted on:

If an employer provides an employee / director with an interest free or under market rate loan, a benefit in kind charge is raised based on a notional interest rate (3.25% for 2013/14). However, where the loan is below the exempt limit throughout the tax year, this does not have to be reported.

As of 6th April 2014 the minimum level of borrowing has been increased to £10,000 (previously £5,000).

RTI – More HMRC Penalties

Posted on:

A new penalty regime for RTI comes in from 6 April 2014, to encourage compliance with the information and payment obligations.

Late filing penalties will apply to each PAYE scheme, with the size of the penalty based on the number of employees in the scheme. Monthly penalties of between £100 and £400 will apply to micro, small, medium and large employers.

Each scheme will be subject to only one late filing penalty each month regardless of the number of returns due in the month. There will be one unpenalised default each year with all subsequent defaults attracting a penalty.

Penalties will be charged quarterly and subject to the usual reasonable excuse and appeal provisions. There are several relaxations in this unpleasant penalty regime, and we can advise by reference to your particular circumstances

MEMBERS OF LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIPS (LLPs)

Posted on:

LLPs have become increasingly popular as a vehicle for carrying on a wide variety of businesses, although running a business as a limited company may well be the norm once corporation tax rates go down to 20% whatever the level of taxable profits.

An LLP combines limited liability for its members with the tax treatment of a traditional partnership. Individual members are deemed to be self-employed and are taxed as such on their respective profit shares as if they were carrying on a notional sole trade.

It has now been decided that deemed self-employed status is not appropriate in some cases. For example, individuals who would normally be regarded as employees in high-salaried professional areas such as the legal and financial services sectors are benefitting from self-employed status for tax purposes which leads to a loss of employment taxes payable.

The legislation may be amended (probably with effect from 6 April 2014) by simply removing the provision which deems individual members to be self-employed. This would mean applying the normal employment v self-employment tests. A consultation document proposed additional tests which may be easier to apply in certain scenarios.