The Employee Benefit world is always changing.  What changes lay ahead and what do you have to do?

Pension Automatic Enrolment 

Increases to statutory minimums Automatic Enrolment seems to have been a success.  A report* by the Department of Work and Pension states that over 9 million people have been enrolled into a work place pension and with only 1 in 10 opting out.

However, the next success needs to be people saving more towards their pensions.  This will happen in April when minimum pension contributions increase. This will have an impact on most employees take home pay.

Early communication with employees is vital to ensure your employees understand this is happening and you must make these increases to remain compliant with The Pensions Regulator.

*Automatic Enrolment Review 2017: Maintaining the Momentum (DWP)

Government to end Fit for Work assessment service

Fit for Work is a Government funded scheme where employers could refer employees for free occupational health assessments once they had reached four weeks continuous sickness absence.

This Government funded scheme is being withdrawn on the 31st March 2018.  This could leave some employers without any fall back option to assess illness or injury of their employees and with no credible return to work plan.

We would recommend that employers who have used this scheme review their private provision of return to work assessments.  Appropriate action should be taken to review your current employee benefits by looking at early intervention services included in your existing Group Income Protection Policy, EAP and/or your Occupational Health provision.  Alternatively, should you not have these benefits, implementing these facilities so your business has a clear plan on how to deal with absence and return to work plans.

Childcare Vouchers

Childcare Voucher are a means for employed parents to reduce their childcare cost.  By using salary exchange to purchase vouchers through you Childcare Voucher scheme, employees save significant amounts of tax and national insurance on the value of the voucher.

We now have a date when the Government are going to phase out Childcare Vouchers and replace them with Tax Free Childcare.  Whilst Tax Free Childcare is open to a wider range of parents, e.g. the self-employed, it may not be as beneficial to your employees as the current scheme.

If your employees are already in the Voucher scheme, they can retain the right to remain in the scheme.  Employees who still want to partake in the Voucher scheme must have a deduction made from salary in the March pay period to qualify.  After this date, no new employees are able to join the Voucher Scheme.

Again, early communication with employees is vital to give employees time to consider the two options and allow time for employees to join your voucher scheme by March payroll cut off.

 

With these changes happening from April there is a lot for employers to consider and communicate to their employees. Reviewing current practices and employee benefits then communicating to staff is vital in keeping your work force both informed and engaged. 

We can provide a free no obligation review of your current practices and benefits. For details please contact us on 01883 332260 or at info@wingatebs.com

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