All the latest from the trade & industry
NEWS: BUSINESS & FINANCE
survey: UK economy
stabilises in second
The British Chambers of Commerce
(BCC) published its Quarterly
Economic Survey for Q2 2014 at
the beginning of July. The results,
made up of responses from 7,000 UK
businesses, show that the economy is
still strong and moving in the right
direction, with many key balances
higher than they were before the
recession. Many of the balances for
manufacturing and services are slightly
down on the quarter, but this is
following the unexpected surge seen in
the first quarter of the year.
Tribunal cases on
holiday pay could put
firms out of business
Businesses are facing the risk
of significant additional costs –
potentially billions of pounds – and
a threat to their very existence from
tribunal cases challenging the normal
calculation of holiday pay under the
Working Time Regulations (WTR).
That’s according to the CBI, the UK’s
biggest business group.
Holiday pay in the UK is currently
calculated on the basis of a “week’s
pay” – based on basic salary and
excluding payments such as working
allowances, expenses, overtime,
commission and bonus payments, all
of which refer to specific work done
by someone while performing their
A recent European Court of
Justice (ECJ) judgment redefined
holiday pay to include an allowance
for commission, despite the fact that
commission is paid on sales made and
the employee would not have delivered
those sales while on holiday.
The Employer Bulletin provides
pointers to new procedures and
initiatives which may be of interest and
contains direct links to more detailed
information allowing employers to
explore topics further.
For the current and previous two
issues of the Employer Bulletin visitwww.hmrc.gov.uk
Tackling late payment
Following a consultation in which a
clear majority of businesses called for
more disclosure to tackle late payment,
the government says it will require
larger firms to publish information of
their payment practices, and will also
act to remove legal barriers preventing
firms from accessing invoice finance.
The government will also
work with the Institute of Credit
Management to strengthen the
Prompt Payment Code and to increase
accountability of signatories. Where
legislation is required to implement
the package, it will be introduced
when parliamentary time allows.
Twenty-five employers who failed to
pay their staff the correct National
Minimum Wage (NMW) have
been “named and shamed” by the
government. The naming and shaming
regime was introduced in October
2013. Between them, the firms owe
workers more than £43,000 in arrears
and in addition have to pay financial
penalties totalling over £21,000.
The government introduced a series
of measures to tackle employers that
break national minimum wage law.
As well as being publicly named and
shamed, employers that fail to pay
their workers the National Minimum
Wage also face new penalties of up
to £20,000 - four times higher than
If liabilities on holiday pay are
backdated, individual firms may face
bills of tens of millions of pounds.
Some medium-sized businesses have
told the CBI that backdated claims
could push their otherwise profitable
businesses into insolvency, resulting in
significant job losses.
A new law is now in force which
extends the right to flexible working
arrangements to all employees.
The Children and Families Act
2014 received Royal Assent on
13th March 2014. This legislation
implements a number of government
measures designed to make the UK’s
employment practices more flexible
and family friendly.
One of the main changes brought
in as a result of the act is the extension
of the right to request flexible working
arrangements. Previously, the right
to work flexibly under the statutory
flexible working regime was only
available to parents of children under
17, or under 18 for disabled children,
or to those caring for an adult. Now,
the right will be available to all
employees with 26 weeks’ service or
To read more on this subject turn
to Business Journal on page 40 of the
June issue of Motorcycle Trader.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
publishes an Employer Bulletin six
times a year to give employers the
latest information on topics and issues
that may affect them.
It is in a handy, accessible format
that can either be downloaded and
viewed or printed in magazine format.