August Newsletter

Welcome to our August Newsletter – a round up of What’s New and changes in tax and payroll

Auto Enrolment & Seasonal Staff

During the summer months, many of you will have taken on seasonal or temporary staff. Seasonal and temporary workers (including family members) who are aged between 22 to State Pension Age and earn over £192 per week (£833 per month) must be assessed to see if they qualify for automatic enrolment into your workplace pension. If you know that your staff will be working for you for less than three months, you can use ‘postponement’, during this time you will not need to put staff into your pension unless they ask you to put them into it.

The Pensions Regulator has an online tool for employers with seasonal and temporary workers.


When is a Trivial Benefit not a Trivial Benefit?

You may or may not know that you are able to provide your employees with as many benefits of £50 or less without having to pay Income Tax or National Insurance on that benefit (Capped at £300 per year for Directors). But, that benefit also has to meet other conditions in order to be classified as a ‘trivial benefit’ – these are:

  • It must not be cash or a voucher redeemable for cash
  • it must not be provided in recognition for work performed i.e given because your employee has agree to work on a specific project
  • it must not be part of a salary sacrifice arrangement or any other contractual obligations


New Starter Checklist – Student Loans

HMRC’s new starter checklist, now includes sections that enable your new employees to inform you if they are:

  • receiving a Postgraduate Student Loans
  • whether they are receiving Plan 1 or Plan 2 Student Loans

We would encourage you to use these Starter Checklists when you take on a new employee.


And finally, Statutory Maternity Pay …. a quick guide and some useful links

When an employee informs you that they are expecting a baby, you need to:

  • Ask your employee for a MATB1 Certificate, issued by their doctor, which will show you when their baby is due.
  • Establish if your employee qualifies for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
  • If you employee does not qualify for SMP you need to give your employee form SMP1 which sets out the reasons why they do not qualify.

HMRC have a really useful calculator to help you decide whether your employee is eligible for SMP.

In order to qualify for SMP, your employee needs to have:

  • Given you medical evidence MATB1 (as stated above) – if your employee does not give you medical evidence, they are not entitled to SMP
  • Have worked for you long enough
  • Earned enough – their average weekly earnings need to be equal to or higher than the lower earnings limit – currently £118 per week
  • Given you notice when they want their SMP to start (28 days notice is required)

Did you know – employees do not have to pay National Insurance to qualify for SMP and they do not have to return to work for you.

For Statutory Paternity Pay – your employee needs to supply you with a completed SC3 declaration form. As with maternity pay, if your employee is not entitled to SPP, you need to give them form SPP1 to let them know that they do not qualify.

If you would like us to run your payroll for you, please give us a call on 01908 227055 or drop us an email.