George Osborne delivered his autumn statement to Parliament yesterday (25/11/2015). His statement evidently proposes key employment changes, which raises questions, namely what are going to be the consequences, and how are these going to be implemented?
The latter question has been kindly answered by the Government in their Spending Review and Autumn Statement, which outlines how Osborne’s ambitions are going to be put into action. The paramount things to take away from this include:
- Apprenticeships levy.The levy is intended to be introduced in April 2017 with the aim of creating 3 million new apprenticeships throughout the duration of this Parliament.
- Reform of public sector employment. The two further consultations that were announced in this area are likely to review sickness absence in public sector worksforces and cross-public sector exit payment terms in order to attempt to reduce the cost of redundancy payouts and ensuring greater consistency between workforces.
- Modernisation of the courts and tribunals system. There is going to be a £700 million investment in the courts and tribunal system in order to modernise it and digities it to move to a completely online system. This aims to generate savings of £200 million a year from from 2019-20.
- Tax-free childcare scheme. An upper income limit of £100,000 per parent and a minimum weekly income level equivalent to 16 hours per parent (worked at the National Living Wage) is the criteria that must be met in order to participate.
- Helping sick and disabled people back to work. New employment initiatives and practices are going to be introduced among people with disabilities and health conditions in an attempt to achieve full employment. The government wants to continue the rise in the number of diabled people in employment by improving links between health services and employment support to enable people to return to work quicker and easier. The Fit For Work Service is going to be expanded, and a White Paper is going to be published in 2016, setting out reforms aimed at improving support for people with health conditions and disabilities, and exploring the role of employers in increasing the employment of disabled people.
- Taxation of employee benefits. The following were announced:
- Evidence will need to be provided on the current tax treatment of employer provided living accommodation.
- From the 6th April 2016, tax relief for travel and subsistence expenses for workers engaged through an employment intermediary will be restricted.
- Simplifications to the tax rules on employee share schemes will be implemented.
- the government is going to look further into salary sacrifice arrangements. (Source Practical Law Company at here.)
As for the consequences, we are yet to wait to see whether the listed intentions will go ahead and whether their implementation will be a smooth one.
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