Taylor Review of Employment Practices

The Taylor Review recommends changes to employment practices to provide more employment security and working conditions, particularly those working in the ‘gig’ economy.

The review recommended the creation of a new category of worker known as a dependent contractor. This would provide additional rights and benefits to those who are currently classed as self-employed, but who work for businesses that have a controlling and supervisory relationship with the worker. These benefits would include sickness and holiday pay and the minimum wage. The business would also have to pay national insurance contributions for these workers.

Making Tax Digital – new timetable

Making Tax Digital (MTD) will introduce extensive changes to how taxpayers have to record and report information to HMRC. Under MTD businesses will be required to maintain their records digitally using either accounting software or apps. They will have to report summary information to HMRC quarterly and an end of year statement through their digital tax accounts.

Unincorporated businesses were going to be the first to have to report under MTD but the government has announced a delay in its introduction. From April 2019 businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 will have to keep digital records and only for VAT purposes. Businesses will not have to report under MTD for other taxes until at least April 2020.

These changes mean that businesses and landlords with turnovers under the VAT threshold will not have to move to the new digital system.

These changes are to be welcomed but businesses with turnover the VAT threshold need to be checking whether their accounts software will be able to cope with the new reporting requirements.

New Data Protection Regulations – Be Prepared

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on 28th May 2018. This replaces the existing data protection legislation and preserves existing rights but will provide new rights and enhanced protection for individuals. Failure to comply with the provisions of the GDPR may lead to greatly increased fines so any company processing personal data needs to be aware of the changes.

New data subject rights include the right to erasure, requiring a company to delete the personal data it holds. This data could include personnel records, computer data, CCTV, electronic access records, etc.

Individuals will also have the right to rectification of any inaccurate personal data.

Under the current regulations an individual can make a subject access request to find out what information a company holds them to verify whether it is lawful and correct. Under the GDPR the right to charge a fee for this information is abolished and the time to provide the information reduced to one month.

The GDPR allows companies to refuse to respond a such a request where it is manifestly unfounded or excessive, however they should seek legal advice before making such a decision.