Editorial for Newsletter #324Monday, November 17th, 2008
This week’s newsletter covers two weeks’ worth of news and discusses a wide variety of subjects, including a review of Ireland Budget for 2009.
Our longest and most detailed article explains new procedures for calculating the car benefit charge for employees in the motor industry who commonly take a different car home every night. If your car drivers are not in that situation, don’t worry about all the details – the existing statutory procedure continues to apply to them.
The next stages of the government’s points-based approach to managing migrant workers take effect at the end of November. If you have applied for work permits in the past and you still need to recruit from abroad, you should already have applied for a sponsor license – a process that involves a site visit from the UK Border Agency and stringent examination of your internal HR procedures.
The Special Commissioner decision in the case Mason v HMRC is very critical of HMRC and it will be interesting to see what the response will be. There could potentially be thousands of North Sea workers whose state pensions have been reduced as a result of this long-term NICs avoidance scheme. Does anyone know if the scheme still operates?
The recent decision by the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee to seek the total removal of the UK’s opt-out from the 48-hour week should have come as a surprise to no-one. As demonstrated by earlier European Parliament votes, a considerable majority of MEPs are at odds with those member state governments strong enough to insist that the opt-out remain and the Committee’s vote is a good indication of how the European Parliament will vote on the issues in December.
This week’s Employer FAQ considers the taxation of computers provided for the use of employees. HMRC’s guidance has changed in some respects since we last published this information, so do read the article carefully.
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