Ban on passing on credit card fees

As of the start of 2018, retailers are no longer allowed to charge extra for taking payment by credit or debit card. This also applies to online payment systems such as Paypal, etc.

The immediate effect of this change was that HMRC stopped accepting tax payments on personal credit cards.

Retailers now have to decide whether to stop accepting credit and debit card payments, absorb the extra costs themselves or charge all customers more to recover the card transaction fees.

The new law only applies to consumers and so businesses can still be charged fees, but this should only be the amount it costs to process the transaction.

It is hoped that new technology will provide cheaper alternative methods of direct payment but until that happens anyone taking payment by credit or debit card are advised to factor these costs into their profit margin calculations.

Don’t forget to auto-enrol

All employers have to auto-enrol eligible employees into a pension scheme. From April 2018, the minimum contribution will increase to 5% of qualifying earnings, of which the employer must pay at least 2%.

The government has also announced the results of a review of how auto-enrolment is operated. It is proposed that auto-enrolment be extended to younger workers so that by the mid 2020’s 18 year olds will be included. They also propose that contributions will be calculated on total earnings rather than just earnings over the national insurance lower earnings limit of £113 per week.

National Minimum Wage Increases

The National Minimum Wage hourly pay rates increase in April 2018 as summarised in the table below. Employers are advised to review their pay rates as soon as possible to ensure that they are paying at least the minimum wage rates.

  25 and over 21 – 24 yrs 18 – 20 yrs Under 18 Apprentice
Current rate £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50
From April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70