New scheme to help staff at small businesses access well-being support
Ministers are providing £8 million to deliver the new In-Work Support Service across Wales over the next two years.
The service will provide free access to therapeutic support for employees of SMEs or the self-employed. Support will be available for people who are absent or at risk of becoming absent from work with mental or physical ill-health, with the aim of helping them to remain in or return to work. The scheme will also be available to third sector employers.
Therapeutic support will be provided for common musculoskeletal conditions, including physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropody and podiatry. Mental health support will also be offered, including counselling and stress management.
The new scheme will operate across the whole of Wales for the first time, enabling up to 7,000 people to potentially be supported.
Higher payment rates announced for farmers creating woodland
The Welsh Government is calling on all farmers in Wales to help tackle the climate emergency by planting trees as higher payment rates for woodland creation were confirmed last month.
Climate Change Minister Julie James and Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales Lesley Griffiths confirmed payment rates will be uplifted to pay 100% of 2023’s actual costs as part of Wales’ drive to plant 86 million trees by the end of the decade to combat the climate emergency.
Cyber Security Business Awareness Event – Cardiff event
Cyber risks pose significant hazards for all types of businesses, but it is undeniable that small and medium sized (SME) businesses are probably more exposed given the fact that they might not have the know-how and means to protect themselves against such risks. Cyber risk insurance can be utilised as a risk management tool by SMEs, but this is a relatively new product, and there is evidence to suggest that SMEs either do not purchase adequate cyber cover to protect their business interests or the types of insurance cover purchased do not provide adequate cover.
Several members of the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law (Swansea University Law School) are engaged in a research project, “Cyber Risk Insurance: Building Resilience” (funded by Research Wales Innovation Fund), aiming to elaborate how businesses could maximise the cyber insurance cover that they can obtain from the market and thus utilise cyber risk insurance as an effective risk management tool against. To that effect, for the last 2 years researchers have been engaging with cyber insurers, brokers, cyber security firms, trading associations and SMEs in Wales (and beyond) hoping to answer the burning question of how cyber risk insurance could be utilised in a more efficient manner for the benefit of businesses- especially SMEs.
Free Cyber awareness events are currently being held at various places throughout Wales to help improve business owners’ knowledge and awareness of Cyber risks and actions they can take to keep themselves safe. The next event will take place on 28 June 2023 in Cardiff.
Good cash flow management is essential for business success!
With the present economic uncertainty, managing your business’s cash and understanding the flow are now vital tools in maintaining resilience and being able to adopt flexible strategies for success.
Cash flows reflect all the cash that is flowing in and out of a business. Owners can look at the direction of the cash flows for insights about the health of specific products or services and overall market patterns.
Some types of business are more likely to run into cash flow problems, while other types appear to be more resilient. If you are a business owner, you might be wondering which category your business falls into. No matter how inventive or simple your business model is, you can still have problems with cash flow. Here are our thoughts on managing the flow of cash in your business:
The first stage of understanding and predicting how funds flow is to perform a health check on your accounts. Look at your latest profit and loss statement and check that your income is sufficient to cover your expenses. If your profit is falling behind your expenses and cash flow is slowing down, you might need to take action. Prepare a funds flow statement so you know where the money goes.
Next create a yearly budget; look where cash could become tight and identify months where you can save to cover off the quieter times. Look at those quieter months and think about flexible work scheduling, new products or services or other activities to tide you over.
Finally make sure you collect your money from those who owe you quickly. Reward customer loyalty by offering early bird discounts. Set credit limits and payment terms to ensure customers follow the rules. If you take on new customers, make credit checks. Penalise late payers and request up front deposits or payment.
We specialise in helping businesses plan forward and adopt flexible strategies so please talk to us about preparing a cash flow statement and an annual budget to help you reach your goals.
Self-Assessment threshold change
From tax year 2023 to 2024 onwards, the Self-Assessment threshold for taxpayers taxed through PAYE only will change from £100,000 to £150,000.
Affected individuals do not need to do anything now as the Self-Assessment threshold for 2022 to 2023 tax returns remains at £100,000. They will receive a Self-Assessment exit letter if they submit a 2022 to 2023 return showing income between £100,000 and £150,000 taxed through PAYE and they do not meet any of the other criteria for submitting a Self-Assessment return.
For the 2023 to 2024 tax year onward taxpayers will still need to submit a tax return if their income taxed through PAYE is below £150,000 but they meet one of the other criteria for submitting a Self-Assessment return, such as:
- receipt of any untaxed income,
- partner in a business partnership,
- liability to the High Income Child Benefit Charge, or
- self-employed individual and with gross income of over £1,000.
Deaf staff and staff with hearing loss
It is important to make sure your workplace is inclusive of deaf people and people with hearing loss.
If you don’t, you are excluding a large number of people: for example, 1 in 5 people of working age have hearing loss which may have an impact on their communication, productivity and wellbeing.
The RNID (Royal National Institute for Deaf People) is an independent charity supporting the 12 million people in the UK who are deaf or have hearing loss or tinnitus.
They can help with:
- Online hearing checks,
- Supporting deaf staff with and staff with hearing loss,
- Workplace assessments, and
- Accessible recruitment.
Latest HMRC tax webinars
Listed below are several live HMRC webinars that will give the self-employed an understanding of key taxes that affect them and also help employers with payroll. The webinars are free and last around an hour.
Webinars for the self-employed
Residential property income for individuals – an introduction
Thu 15 Jun at 1:45pm
Thu 22 Jun at 9:45am
Residential property income for individuals – expenses, and deductions
Wed 14 Jun at 9:45am
Thu 22 Jun at 1:45pm
Car expenses for the self-employed
Wed 21 Jun at 9:45am
Wed 21 Jun at 1:45pm
Business expenses for the self-employed
Wed 21 Jun at 11:45am
Thu 22 Jun at 11:45am
How to apply the VAT reverse charge for construction services
Tue 27 Jun at 1:45pm
Capital Allowances for the self-employed
Wed 28 Jun at 1:45pm
Thu 29 Jun at 11:45am
Record keeping for the self-employed
Thu 29 Jun at 1:45pm
Expenses and benefits for your employees – company cars, vans, and fuel
Thu 15 Jun at 11:45am
Expenses and benefits for your employees – travel
Fri 23 Jun at 9:45am
Expenses and benefits for your employees – phones, internet, and homeworking
Tue 27 Jun at 11:45am
Advisory fuel rate for company cars
The table below sets out the HMRC advisory fuel rates from 1 June 2023. These are the suggested reimbursement rates for employees’ private mileage using their company car. Where the employer does not pay for any fuel for the company car these are the amounts that can be reimbursed in respect of business journeys without the amount being taxable on the employee.
1400cc or less
1600cc or less
1401cc to 2000cc
1601 to 2000cc
Where there has been a change, the previous rate is shown in brackets.
You can also continue to use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply. Note that for hybrid cars you must use the petrol or diesel rate. For fully electric vehicles the rate is 9p (8p) per mile.
Please contact us if you need any further clarification.
Small Business Saturday 2023
Small Business Saturday is once again highlighting 100 small businesses, one a day for 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday 2023.
For the last ten years, the 100 have not only received exposure on Small Business Saturday’s social media channels and in the local and national press, but also joined the Small Business Saturday team in London at receptions in Downing Street, House of Lords, and the Treasury Drum with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Applications close on 30 June 2023. Successful applicants will be notified by email in August.
New Patents Service
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published a document which sets out what you can expect over the next 12 months as we count down to the launch of their new digital patents service.
The IPO states that 2023 is the year that change starts to happen and transformation becomes real. With one year to go until the new One IPO service launches for patents, this document outlines what you can expect over the next 12 months. It includes a timeline for the rollout of the new service, the features you can expect and the changes that are coming.
How much holiday leave are employees entitled to?
Paid annual leave is a legal right that an employer must provide. Holiday pay is worked out according to the kind of hours someone works and how they’re paid for the hours.
- full-time workers,
- part-time workers,
- agency workers,
- workers working irregular shifts, and
- casual workers including those on zero-hours contracts.
Workers are entitled to a week’s pay for each week of statutory leave that they take.
You can calculate holiday entitlement for a full year and part of a leave year (if the job started or finished part way through the year) using this calculator: Calculate holiday entitlement – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
For further information on holiday entitlement see: Holiday entitlement: Holiday pay – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Network of fake companies shut down following Bounce Back Loan fraud
The Insolvency Service has successfully secured the winding-up of 11 companies for their part in a scheme which orchestrated systematic fraud against UK taxpayers during the covid-19 pandemic.
Between them, the companies claimed £500,000 through the Bounce Back Loan scheme. The companies claimed to be registered at various offices in Berkshire, Lancashire, London, and Shropshire, however the Insolvency Service investigation could not identify trading premises for any of the businesses, nor establish that they had ever traded.
Nine of the companies were found to have claimed the maximum available £50,000 through the Bounce Back Loan scheme, with one company even claiming two loans. Investigators found a host of links between the various companies, including the use of common addresses, with funds being moved between them before ultimately being transferred to entities registered in Hong Kong.
The companies were identified by investigators due to their links to five other companies that had previously been wound up by the Insolvency Service in 2021 and 2022. These had themselves been responsible for fraudulently claiming £250,000 between them in Bounce Back Loans and £350,000 in Small Business Grants.
The Official Receiver was appointed liquidator of the 11 companies closed down by the court at the hearing on 22 May 2023. The Official Receiver is working to trace the funds and those responsible, with a view to recovering the money.
Cyber-attacks – protect your business!
Last week we learnt that more than 100,000 people have been warned their personal data is in the hands of cyber-criminals as a result of a continuing mass hack.
The BBC, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Boots are among the companies whose staff have been affected by the MoveIt data breach and even more organisations are expected to issue staff warnings, as the extent of the breach is discovered.
If you have not implemented cyber security in your business then now may be a good time to consider the UK government “Cyber Essentials” to help protect you against a whole range of the most common cyber-attacks.
Cyber-attacks come in many shapes and sizes, but the vast majority are very basic in nature, carried out by relatively unskilled individuals. They’re the digital equivalent of a thief trying your front door to see if it’s unlocked. The advice is designed to prevent these attacks.
Warning issued by the Insolvency Service on scams
The Insolvency Service has issued a warning to investors and its customers regarding a recent increase in fraudulent activity, including recovery room scams, and fraudsters impersonating genuine Insolvency Service employees, in the form of emails, phone calls and letters.
Recovery room scams usually follow an investment scam, where victims have already lost money. Victims are cold called by fraudsters who pretend to be from a different company. High pressure tactics are then used to obtain upfront charges/fees, described as, for example, tax, solicitor fees and administrative fees. This can result in losses that can be greater than the initial investment loss.
To legitimise their contact, recovery room fraudsters will send fake letters with the Insolvency Service logo, spoof the Insolvency Service’s telephone numbers, provide fake Insolvency Service telephone numbers, use a fake email address like those officially used by the Insolvency Service, impersonate a legitimate employee of the Insolvency Service, and refer investors to social media accounts of Insolvency Service employees.
The Insolvency Service will never ask for an upfront fee to get your money back that you have lost in a previous investment. If contact appears to be from the Insolvency Service, or a company purporting to be acting on behalf of the Insolvency Service, asking for an upfront fee, this is a scam.
Separately, fraudsters are impersonating legitimate employees of the Insolvency Service by contacting individuals using fake email addresses and letters.
This activity is in no way affiliated with the Insolvency Service and recipients are being advised to exercise caution and familiarise themselves with the official telephone number and domains used by the agency.