201612.08

Employment Law – Autumn Statement Highlights

Within the Autumn Statement there are a number of changes to employment law of which employers should be aware. These include:

New Limits for Salary Sacrifice Schemes

From April 2017, a number of salary sacrifice schemes will no longer attract tax and National Insurance (NI) advantages. The benefits provided through salary sacrifice schemes that continue to qualify for tax and NI relief will be limited to enhanced pension schemes, childcare, equipment provided under the cycle to work scheme and ultra-low emission cars. However, arrangements under salary sacrifice schemes that are already in place will be protected until April 2018.

Removal of ‘Employee Shareholder’ Status Tax Advantages

Since its introduction in 2013, ’employee shareholder’ status (ESS) has allowed employee shareholders to relinquish a number of employment protections, such as redundancy pay, in return for a minimum of £2,000 of shares in the employer’s business. Currently, ESS shares qualify for Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax reliefs up to a lifetime allowance of £100,000. However, with the frequent use of ESS shares in tax planning schemes, the Government intends to abolish reliefs for ESS shares for agreements made on or after 1 December 2016.

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