Important changes are coming into effect which may affect you as an employee or employer.
From 6 April 2017, a shift in legislation means that the tax exemptions for most benefits will be lost if provided under a salary sacrifice or flexible benefits arrangement. The only benefits to retain their salary sacrifice tax exemption will be Pensions, Childcare Vouchers, Cycle to Work scheme bicycles and Low Carbon Emission vehicles. This means that Employers will need to look at how they offer benefits such as Private Medical Schemes where perhaps family members are added via salary sacrifice, Gym memberships, Season Ticket Loans to name a few. Arrangements entered into pre 6 April 2017 will be honoured until April 2018 or until the scheme/arrangement renewal date – whichever date is earliest.
A hot topic currently is Apprenticeships.
From 6 April 2017, the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new Apprenticeship Levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers. All employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, will be required to invest in apprenticeships, regardless of whether they hire apprentices or not.
This means that for those Companies who do qualify to pay the Levy, they will be required to use the Apprenticeship Service for assessment and training of apprentices from April 2017. For those Companies who do not qualify for payment of the Levy, they will not need to use the Apprenticeship Service until 2018.