Visa boost for UK tech sector

Charlie Pring reviews positive changes to two of the UK’s tech related visas.

Rates of statutory maternity pay and sick pay frozen for coming tax year 2016-2017

The Government has proposed no annual increase in statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay or adoption pay. The current weekly rate of statutory maternity pay and other parental payments is £139.58 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate. Statutory sick pay rates will also not rise in 2016 but remain at £88.45 per week.

Decision brings clarity to the Fit and Proper test for Approved Persons

On appeal to the Upper Tribunal, the meaning and proper application of the FCA’s Fit and Proper test for Approved Persons was considered in detail by the Tax & Chancery Chamber, with a particular focus on the integrity element of this test. We review how the FCA has revised its approach in its Final Notice for Andrew Peter Wilkins.

Employment tax update

A summary of some of the main announcements in the Government’s Autumn Statement for employment and employee incentives can be found here. The Autumn Statement made a number of announcements relating to the work of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) and these have now been published. They include:

  • details setting out which of the OTS recommendations on employment status are to be adopted (17 of 28) and which are the subject of further consideration (6 of 28);
  • a cross-party working group is to be set up to consider employment status and the differences between tax and employment law. As previously announced, Julie Deane (Cambridge Satchel Company) is carrying out a review of self-employment in the UK; and
  • improvements should be made to HMRC’s employment status indicator by April 2016, with further changes in 2016/17.

It would appear that employment status will continue to be debated not only from an employment context but also from a tax perspective during 2016.