Ulster Society news

It is clear why sustainability matters. Added to its obvious importance are the climate action plans rolled out by governments, the global sustainability initiatives lead by agencies such as the UN and NGOs like the World Economic Forum. There is also the increased emphasis on sustainability among deciders of capital allocation, including investors, financiers, grant providers and donors, and the rising environmental awareness in society, which expects higher standards of ethics and governance from institutions. If, as a director, you occasionally feel overwhelmed by the volume of information regarding sustainability, then you are not alone. If you wonder how sustainability is relevant to your role and what difference you can make, take assurance from Socrates that “wonder is the beginning of wisdom”. How Sustainability is Relevant to Your Organisation Whatever an organisation does, regardless of its size, sustainability will impact: its legal and regulatory requirements, how it provides a service or produces a product, whether it retains or attracts talent, whether it is attractive to customers, or whether it is perceived as a viable prospect for banks or investors. The fiduciary duties of directors require them to act in the best interests of the organisation and have regard to other stakeholders. Addressing sustainability issues and looking after the organisation’s business are clearly relevant to these duties. Sustainability may be the ultimate disrupter for businesses. Even if an organisation does nothing to address sustainability issues it will still be impacted by them. For example; What is the risk of a change in regulations challenging current business models? What is the risk of more sustainable technological advancements displacing current products, service offerings or production processes? To what extent can carbon tax increases be passed on to the consumer? What impact will phasing out of oil and gas have on residual values of assets or cost of replacement in the future? Standing still is not an option if an organisation wants to manage the impact of sustainability. Directors, acting as the mind and will of an organisation, have a key role to ensure it is appropriately identifying and responding to relevant sustainability risks. How You Can Make a Difference If you are a director or a member of a board sub-committee wanting to raise the issue of sustainability (even if this is not currently seen as a priority), consider the following approach: Get informed: Find out more about the type of sustainability issues that impact your industry. Sustainability will affect regulatory requirements, consumer demand, availability of resources and all the necessary components of the ability to do business. You do not have to become an expert on sustainability, but a little knowledge or awareness can prompt the right questions. Find Allies: Engage with other board members. Discuss how sustainability impacts the business and how the board might address the issues. You may find that you have more support than you expect. Be Honest: It is important to be pragmatic and constructive as to the reasons why the organisation should address sustainability and how it does so. There may be some immediate measures the organisation can take (‘quick wins’), but more substantive measures may be required to be taken to achieve lasting long-term benefits. Collaborate: Lasting change cannot be achieved alone. If your organisation is not clear on what to do or what direction to take in relation to sustainability, consider collaborating with other organisations on similar journeys. Be curious: Ask questions about sustainability, explore alternatives and respectfully challenge traditional assumptions. Invite others to discuss the issues and embed sustainability objectives in the organisation’s strategy. Questions beginning with ‘What if?’, ‘How?’ or ‘Could we?’ will spark curiosity and give rise to more possibilities and sustainable solutions. Sustainability cannot be achieved alone.  Strategy and know-how shared among organisations and individuals will inform, create awareness and provide confidence for the journey ahead. Directors must be confident to ask advice and seek help from others. If we agree that we all have a stake in sustainability, then we all have a stake in finding solutions to the key risks of our time.   Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Governance Conference 2021 focuses on how boards can embed sustainability in organisations and takes place online on 22 April 2021 from 9:30am.

Apr 08, 2021

On 25 March, the Ulster Society ran a webinar explaining the role of Invest NI and providing an overview of the various supports available, including reference to the COVID-19 Emergency Schemes and Invest NI’s Recovery Plan and programmes. Speakers for this event were Jeremy Fitch of Invest NI, who will outline the role of Invest NI, and Gareth Quinn of Kairos Sports Tech who spoke about his experience of working with Invest NI to grow their business into new markets. A recording of this webinar is available to view on demand and for free HERE A copy of Jeremy Fitch's presentation is available HERE A copy of Gareth Quinn's presentation is available HERE

Mar 29, 2021

Speaker presentations from the recent Chartered Accountants in Business Webinar, Brexit: The Impact on Freight and the Look Ahead for the NI Economy are available to view below. Slides from John Martin Road Haulage Association, are available HERE Slides from Peter Summerton, McCulla Refrigerated Transport are available HERE Slides from Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank are available HERE additionally, a handout of Richard's UK Budget analysis is available HERE

Mar 16, 2021

A recording of the webinar providing an update from HMRC on the Agricultural Flat Rate scheme for VAT on 10 March is available to view on demand, for free HERE A pdf copy of the slides used in the presentation is available to download HERE

Mar 12, 2021

A recording of the webinar providing an update on the Trader Support Service (TSS) on 4 March is available to view on demand, for free HERE A pdf copy of the slides used in the presentation is available to download HERE A document summarising all of the questions submitted during the event, with answers completed by the speakers is now available to download HERE

Mar 08, 2021

On 4 February the Ulster Society held a webinar sharing thoughts and insights into how you/ your charity can continue to respond to the current crisis, deal with the serious challenges and plan for the future, post pandemic. A recording of the webinar is available to view, for free, HERE A copy of Michael Neill's presentation is available HERE A copy of Brian Murphy's presentation is available HERE During the webinar where speakers focused on:  • the current state of the sector • issues and challenges • sustainability planning • insolvency matters Speakers:  Gareth Kirk, CEO Action Cancer Michael Neill, Partner, A&L Goodbody Brian Murphy, Managing Partner, BDO NI Convenor: Dr Rosemary Peters Gallagher, Partner, Moore NI LLP 

Feb 05, 2021

On 28 January, the Ulster Society held a webinar examining the key changes reshaping how we work. A link to a recording of this webinar, along with some resources referenced in the presentation, are below. A Recording of the webinar is available to view, for free, HERE A copy of Slides from Dr Nicola Millard's presentation is available HERE A copy of a detailed paper by Dr Nicola Millard into the issues is available to view here: future-of-remote-working The White Paper to which Dr Nicola refers in her presentation is available HERE The Irish Government Remote Work Policy Paper referenced in the presentation is available HERE About this presentation: Automation was supposedly the force reshaping the future of work – turns out it wasn’t technology, but a virus which disrupted everything.  The Digital workplace is changing and there are significant implications for employees, offices, and skills people need in an increasingly automated, remote, globalized workforce.   This session covers: • The rise of Disruption, Diversity and Digital: lessons from the global remote working “experiment” – and how workplaces may evolve into the future. • The death of Dilbert, Dolly and Distance – what function do offices play if most of us can work from home? What are the implications of “living at work”? Is face-to-face contact important? • The rise of the Droid - is AI/ automation still going to transform the workplace? About Nicola: Once described as “human caffeine” on Twitter, Dr Nicola Millard injects a positive, people-centred expresso shot to innovation & future strategy. Half social scientist, half technologist, all academic, she uses techniques from disciplines such as design thinking, psychology, anthropology, computing, & business consulting to generate data, provocations and stories which can engage & create conversations from the board room, to the front line. No frothy coffee; just solid research. About Patrick: Patrick leads Grant Thornton’s People and Change Consulting offering on an all-Ireland basis. He specialises in delivering behavioural change through capability building, which can range from working on complex transformation projects right through to coaching senior Board members on a one-to-one basis. Patrick is a past President of Belfast Junior Chamber of Commerce and was Chairman of the Ulster Society during 2015/2016.

Jan 29, 2021

Brexit deal avoided dramatic disruption at borders, but fundamental changes remain for traders in these early days Customs checks, paperwork and checks still required for goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain Opportunity now for traders to get paperwork and processes in order to hit the ground running The traditionally quieter post-festive period gives traders much needed breathing space to get documentation correct and iron out any early problems so that they are prepared for the new post-Brexit reality when trading volumes ramp up in the coming weeks, Chartered Accountants Ireland has said today.   1 January brought new requirements for customs paperwork and checks on goods moving from mainland Britain into Northern Ireland, with the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol which sees Northern Ireland operate under different regulatory and customs rules to the rest of the UK. The Protocol is critically important in order to facilitate frictionless trade on the island of Ireland and means that the region must continue to strictly adhere to EU regulations on food standards, and animal and plant health as well as completing customs declarations on goods that arrive from Great Britain. Commenting Cróna Clohisey, Public Policy Lead Chartered Accountants Ireland said: “The reality is that while the UK and EU have concluded a free trade agreement, the Northern Ireland Protocol brings a whole host of new trading rules to crucially enable frictionless trading on the island of Ireland.Customs declarations are now required when goods are moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland because Northern Ireland must comply with EU customs and VAT rules at its ports.” To avoid delays and disruption, UK based businesses bringing or receiving goods into Northern Ireland must complete customs paperwork in order to move their goods.  Trade moving in the other direction is largely unaffected. “Businesses need to be aware of the changes that have been introduced. While we have seen reduced trade volumes passing through ports during the festive season and stockpiling efforts in the final days of the Brexit transition period, now is the time for traders to get the documentation correct, and iron out any early problems so that they are prepared when trading volumes ramp up in the coming weeks. “To help with this, the UK government has launched a free service, the Trader Support Service to help businesses navigate the new changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The tools are there to help and we urge businesses to avail of these”

Jan 07, 2021

On 18th December, the Ulster Society held a webinar to discuss the new processes for moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland once the UK transition period ends on 31 December 2020, and the UK has officially left the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union. This webinar is designed to help you to understand: What the Trader Support Service does (including what it doesn’t do), and how it will work as a customs intermediary service for trade What you need to do to be ready to keep your goods moving from 1 January 2021. Information on webinars and other educational resources within the TSS. A recording of the webinar can be viewed HERE A copy of the slides is available HERE The most recent bulletins from the TSS are available HERE and HERE Answers to some open questions asked at the webinar are available HERE

Dec 21, 2020

Commenting on the EU-UK Joint Committee agreement on 8th December Cróna Clohisey, Public Policy Lead, Chartered Accountants Ireland said:   “While it is positive to see the EU-UK Joint Committee reach an agreement in principle, the promise of the adoption and implementation of this agreement before the end of the Brexit transition period could be a “red herring” for businesses. The absence of an implementation mechanism does not give businesses adequate time to understand and prepare for the changes before they come into effect on 1 January 2021.    “This will make matters more complicated for traders and businesses, particularly those depending on the finer technical details of the agreement, and their practical application.    “These technical details need to be made available as soon as possible. We are still facing the prospect of a no deal Brexit, but technical detail on today’s agreement would go a long way to providing some reassurance to businesses.”   

Dec 09, 2020

Each year at our Charity Lunch, members generously donate thousands of pounds worth of toys to the Salvation Army and SVP's Family Appeal. This year, unfortunately our Charity Lunch cannot go ahead, but we are pleased to say that the Family Appeal is up and running. We hope you will still be able to support the appeal this year. Established in 1980 by The Salvation Army, the Family Appeal with St Vincent de Paul is the largest cross community Christmas appeal in Northern Ireland. As we all face a different kind of Christmas in 2020, your generosity will help families faced with making impossible choices. Whether you wish to donate £5 for a stocking filler, £10 towards a book so that a mum can read her child a bedtime story on Christmas Eve or £15 for a cosy Christmas coat, we are grateful for your donation and it will be split jointly between both charities. The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul are committed to ensuring that no child in Northern Ireland wakes up without a gift under the tree on Christmas morning and your support is crucial in helping us achieve this. Please donate HERE Thank-you and Merry Christmas! Maeve Hunt Chair, Chartered Accountants Ulster Society    

Nov 25, 2020

A virtual conference run by the Ulster Society in partnership with Danske Bank yesterday aimed to help local businesses to ‘bounce back’ from the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis. The ‘Bouncing Back Virtual Conference’ focused on the importance of leadership and resilience as businesses, advisers and their clients look to recover and rebuild the local economy. The half-day event was chaired by speaker and broadcaster David Meade and featured a range of speakers on the theme of leadership and resilience. First on the schedule was James McSporran, Learning & Development Consultant, who asked the question ‘What sort of leader do we turn into when things don’t go our way?’  In a fascinating presentation, James challenged delegates to honestly examine their mindset in adversity and how it might be causing more harm than good. Next up Vicky Davies, Deputy Chief Executive of Danske Bank spoke about how both the bank and some of its clients had addressed the COVID-19 health crisis – and the key lessons that she had taken from that. Following the coffee break Conor Houston, Houston Solutions Ltd took an overarching view of some of the main leadership challenges facing business and society, covering some major issues such as COVID-19, Brexit and Sustainability. Next, the conference welcomed Chartered Accountants Ireland President, Paul Henry who spoke about the support that the Institute has offered to members during the pandemic and introduced and Dee France, Member & Student Support and Wellbeing Manager at Chartered Accountants Ireland who talked about CA SUPPORT. The morning concluded with a panel of local business leaders and advisers talking about their experiences during the pandemic. Panel members who were quizzed by David Meade included Kieran Kennedy of O’Neills Sportswear; Miles Canning of athletic equipment supplier BLK Box; Marianne Hood, Chair of the Institute of Hospitality NI; and Brian Ambrose of Belfast City Airport. Maeve Hunt, Chair of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society said: “The challenges for business throughout this year have been plain to see. The qualities of leadership and resilience have never been needed more. Throughout this conference we’ve aimed to look to the positive and to examine ways in which businesses can successfully adapt and recover. “We’ve enjoyed a strong line-up of expert speakers, a panel of business leaders who have faced unprecedented challenges over the last year and taken some valuable insights from our partner Danske Bank. I hope that delegates have come away motivated and thinking positively about how they can take their business forward despite the lingering challenge of COVID-19. Guest speaker Vicky Davies, Deputy Chief Executive of conference partner Danske Bank said: “We’ve really enjoyed the ‘Bouncing Back Virtual Conference’ and hearing from some excellent local business people about how they have adapted and transformed their businesses over this difficult year. Despite tough times still to come, I believe that the stories we heard at the conference should give us all a sense of hope for the future.” Pictured are (from left) Vicky Davies, guest speaker and Deputy Chief Executive, Danske Bank; and Maeve Hunt, Chair, Chartered Accountants Ulster Society.  

Nov 20, 2020

On 16th November the Ulster Society held a webinar introducing HM Government's Trader Support Service (TSS). The webinar was delivered by representatives of a consortium selected by Government to deliver the TSS.  This session covered: What the Northern Ireland Protocol means for your business How to prepare for the changes that result from the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol What the Trader Support Service does (including what it doesn’t do), and how it will work as a customs intermediary service for NI trade What you need to do to be ready to keep your goods moving from 1 January 2021. A recording of this webinar is available to view on demand and for free HERE. A pdf copy of slides from the TSS presentation is available HERE A Q&A of questions submitted by the audience during the webinar is available HERE

Nov 18, 2020

Paul Henry, Director of Osborne King and President of Chartered Accountants Ireland has been named as Chair of CCAB for 2020/22. CCAB (The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies) is an umbrella group of the accountancy profession in the UK and has a combined membership worldwide of 408,000. Its core purpose is to promote sustainable growth in the economy through the accountancy profession. Paul Henry takes over as Chair from Mike McKeon CA, President of ICAS (the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland). During his two year tenure, Paul will lead the CCAB’s work in identifying and capitalising on the opportunities that the rapid pace of change in the business and accountancy world brings in 2020. Equally he will lead the CCAB’s response to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 for its members and the wider business community.  Commenting on his appointment, Paul said: “I look forward to engaging with as many members and stakeholders as possible in the coming months to help our profession to adapt to all the changes that affect us, from rapid technological advancements to increased regulatory requirements. This of course all takes place in the context of a business community worldwide that is facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its impact on the way we all live and conduct business.  “Another area of focus for me in the coming 2 years will be strengthening the reputation of our industry to ensure that we can attract the best and brightest individuals. The lifeblood of any profession is the young talent that chooses to join its ranks.” Paul Henry is a Director with Belfast based property consultancy Osborne King and has extensive experience of real estate, insolvency and corporate finance. A resident of Belfast, he qualified with Pricewaterhouse in 1989. Prior to his current role, he held positions with the Industrial Development Board, Enterprise Equity, PricewaterhouseCoopers and ASM Chartered Accountants.  He also served as Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society in 2014.  The CCAB was established in 1988 to coordinate the representation functions of the participant professional bodies in areas of common interest to the profession. It has a number of committees which respond to Government and regulatory initiatives in their respective areas.

Jul 07, 2020

Maeve Hunt has been elected Chair of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society at its 113th Annual General Meeting. The Ulster Society represents 4,700 local Chartered Accountants and is a district society of Chartered Accountants Ireland, the largest and oldest professional accountancy body in Ireland. Ms Hunt, who takes over as Chair from Richard Gillan, is Associate Director with Grant Thornton in Northern Ireland. She becomes the fourth female Chair of the Ulster Society and follows in the footsteps of her father, James Hunt, who served as Chairman of the Society in 1990. Addressing the Society’s AGM, held virtually for the first time due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ms Hunt said that the key priority would be to help the local economy to recover: “I know that in the year ahead, Chartered Accountants have a crucial role to play in terms of helping Northern Ireland to bounce back from the current health crisis. “Around the world, people are still coming to terms with the impact and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our key aim will be to support our members and their pivotal role in business and the public sector during these unprecedented times. “Bouncing back from this health crisis while dealing with the realities of Brexit will be the challenge of a generation. The skills and leadership of our profession are needed now more than ever. We will be there to give our support.” Ms Hunt said that in the year ahead the Ulster Society would seek to support, inspire and evolve: “As well as supporting members and the economy, we need to inspire the next generation to join our profession and we need to use our voice to inspire our political leaders to make the most of our restored Executive and a new Programme for Government. “As a professional body, we must evolve so that we find new ways to meet the needs of our members, so that we can help Chartered Accountants to meet the challenge of our times. We will be an effective voice for our members, and the wider business community in Northern Ireland. Together we have a key role to play in helping our economy to bounce back.” During her first speech as Chair, Ms Hunt acknowledged her father as an inspiration, having served as Ulster Society Chairman 30 years ago: “I’m very proud to be following in my dad’s footsteps. I’ve grown up watching his dedication and commitment, and I will be doing my best to demonstrate those qualities during my own term as Chair.” Ms Hunt trained as a Chartered Accountant with Hill Vellacott after completing a Law and Accounting degree at Queens’ University. She has a particular interest in the education of trainee Chartered Accountants and is a past pupil of Rathmore Grammar School in Belfast. Pictured after the Ulster Society’s Virtual AGM is new Chartered Accountants Ulster Society Chair Maeve Hunt, with her father James Hunt, who served as Chairman of the Ulster Society in 1990.

Jun 08, 2020

All members are invited to virtually attend the 2020 Annual General Meeting, taking place online on Monday 8th June. Details of how to join will be issued to all members who register to attend (see below) The meeting will commence at 1.00 pm.  Members can register to attend here  Apologies can be emailed to Karen Hewitt [email] Relevant Documents: AGM Attendee User Guide - updated 3 June 2020 FINAL. We highly recommend that any members attending the AGM read this user guide in advance. Ulster Society Annual Report and Accounts 2019 AGM Minutes 2019 AGM Agenda 2020

May 20, 2020

PHC has been working closely with the Ulster Society and Towergate Health & Protection to offer Ulster Society members preferential terms on a comprehensive range of healthcare products. It’s now up for renewal and new members can join and benefit from this valuable offer. PHC’s insurance is underwritten by AXA PPP, the second largest private medical insurer in the UK. Their whole philosophy is built around being different, responsive and agile to meet the often complex health insurance needs of their customers. They focus on providing high quality insurance to its customers and we’re extremely happy to be partnering with them again for the next contract year. Some of the benefits available to you if you elect for PHC health insurance include: Medical History Disregarded (MHD) underwriting, previous medical conditions are automatically covered under the plan when you join the plan between the 1st June and the 1st July. A pre-existing conditions exclusion will only apply for cancer. If you are receiving active treatment for cancer or have recently been diagnosed with cancer, private treatment will not be covered. Plans can be tailored to meet individual budgets. Avoid NHS waiting times for accessing medical treatment, a fast track appointment service is included as standard. Unlimited out-patient cover is included for consultancy fee’s, scans, and diagnostic tests across all plans. In-patient treatment and day case surgery are also covered in full. 24/7 access to a counselling support service is included across all plans. A comprehensive range of Private and NHS hospitals across the UK are available for treatment. Instant referral service for Musculoskeletal & mental health treatment. Your individual plan will be part of a ‘pooled’ arrangement with other members. All premiums and claims are pooled together to help determine your renewal premium. The Society is delighted to offer these terms to its members through PHC and if you would like to find out more on the available plans and prices, please contact Towergate Health & Protection as soon as possible.  To find out more, please contact Towergate Health & Protection by emailing info_health@towergate.co.uk or complete and return the Ulster Society Medical Scheme Application 2020 form

May 11, 2020

The Ulster Society recently ran a webinar covering the UK Government supports for businesses affected by Coronavirus, specifically the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Job Retention Scheme.  Talking about the supports were Mark Sterritt, British Business Bank; Robert McCullough, Danske Bank and Shirley Blair, A&L Goodbody. A recording of this webinar is available HERE. Many members submitted questions during the webinar, not all of which could be answered on the day. A list of FAQs on CBILS and the Job Retention Scheme are given below (info correct as of 15 April). Thanks to our speakers for taking the time after the webinar to answer these. FAQs        CBILS  - Answers from Robert McCullough, Danske Bank EFLG Scheme had such a low take up in NI. Do you see this being the same? Absolutely not. We are seeing a significant inflow of applications and drawdowns already. The EFGS scheme was seen as overly complicated and carried a risk premium priced to the client. The banks pick up the risk premium as part of this scheme. If a business has substantial cash reserves, even if currently business has been severely affected by Covid 19, do they still qualify under the scheme? The Business needs to confirm that it’s been affected by Covid 19 to avail of the scheme but in our experience a business will not borrow until it has to. ie use its own reserves first. There may be an argument that cash reserves were being held for another purpose and have had to be repointed towards Covid support and in that instance there is a case for taking forward Where the business already has a funding facility with repayment terms, how do the repayment terms of a CBILS fit around those? Your lender will take account of those commitments when considering the business future repayment capacity. CBIL terms in Y1 are generous with grant funded interest and the opportunity to avail of capital holidays to try and ease the pressure on business and if that doesn’t work then some form of restructure may be more appropriate. Where existing facilities secure all business assets what form of security is being taken / looked for by the CBILS providers? The scheme sets out that all available security should be taken and then supported by a CBIL guarantee which covers the bank to a value of 80% of any outstanding debt once all security proceeds have been recovered. So if all available security has been utilised then the business should still proceed in seeking a CBIL loan using the government guarantee If a business has cash reserves that will take it through the initial 6 to 8 week period, should it delay applying for a CBILS at this stage? It would be prudent to at least have given some thought to what the requirements might be and certainly communicate your position to your lender in order that any subsequent application has no surprises and will probably flow through the system quicker. When all business restarts it is likely that working capital will be stressed until revenue flows and at that stage there will be further funding requirements - should businesses be building that requirement into a CBILS at this stage? Ideally yes, but just try to use best judgment and the bank will by sympathetic to the lack of clarity around future revenue streams. In event of default on CBIL loan, does bank utilise existing security held before calling on 80% guarantee?  Yes – those are the rules of the scheme. It is effectively a shortfall guarantee Job Retention Scheme – Answers from Shirley Blair Should the 80% gross be worked out on total gross or post salary sacrifice salary? Post salary sacrifice salary though it is open to the employee to waive the benefit and restore their salary to the higher level I have become aware that some staff that have been furloughed have been working from home, even though they have been advised to the contrary. How does that affect my company claiming under the job retention grant? The Scheme makes it clear that no work can be done. It's likely that if a company is aware that employees are doing work whilst they are intended to be on furlough, they should not claim under the Scheme for that employee. Depending upon the circumstances, that may then become a disciplinary issue for the employee. I have clients with essential businesses (e.g. food shop/ petrol stations) getting staff requests to be furloughed, eg. place me on furlough, my child has bad asthma.So family members who haven't received the letter advising them to shield.The employer does have work for these employees.Can employers take comfort in furloughing these employees? Furlough is not limited to redundancy situations. The Guidance states that employees with caring responsibilities can be furloughed. Are the average monthly earnings for the period prior to the date employee was furloughed? Yes Re JRS, the guidance suggests that compulsory commissions are included. What is the difference between a compulsory commission and a regular commission? No current guidance so this area remains unclear What does the guidance say about making up the pay beyond the 80% of some employees rather than others, particularly that of directors.   Nothing other than the making up of pay is at the employer's discretion. Normal employment law principles apply so employers must make sure not to offend any discrimination legislation and comply with the usual duties around reasonableness. The guidance says that directors can be furloughed and can carry out work to fulfil their stautory obligations. They should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate revenue or provide services to or on behalf of their company. Where does issuing fees, collecting cash, completing VAT returns and operating PAYE fit here? Can a director be involved in these activities and still be furloughed? A director who is furloughed can only undertake work to fulfil a duty or other obligation arising from an Act of Parliament relating to the filing of company's accounts or provision of other information relating to the administration of the director's company (para 6.6).  This is a very narrow interpretation of directors' duties. For people on Furlough do you have to pay them 100% of their pay for statutory holidays Governmental guidance is awaited Do staff earn annual leave entitlements if they are furloughed?  Governmental guidance is awaited Can you bring a member back to carry out administrative work for a week and furlough them again?   At present this may be possible, provided that the employee is furloughed in blocks of 3 weeks Can public sector / local government use furlough scheme?  Yes Can the furlough scheme be used for an individual employee who has dependents who need to 'shield'? Yes, if the employer and employee agree For employees on national living wage is it 80% of the NLW at 28/02/20 or of the current NLW from 1/04/20? The NMW/ NLW is not relevant to the calculation Can sole directors furlough if they cease working albeit doing minimal director duties A director who is furloughed can only undertake work to fulfil a duty or other obligation arising from an Act of Parliament relating to the filing of company's accounts or provision of other information relating to the administration of the director's company (para 6.6).  This is a very narrow interpretation of directors' duties. When I come to processing wages do I put through normal pay amounts for each employee and file my RTI or do I put through zero for each employee? Guidance awaited Can an employer pay the other 20% so that employee doesn’t lose out at all financially? Yes Can a furloughed employee engage in paid work for another company and be paid a commercial rate from new employer, as well as the furloughed pay? Yes, provided there is nothing that restricts that in the original employer's terms and conditions with that employee  Our company continues to trade as normal. However, some employees have had to self-isolate due to government advice. Can they be furloughed or are they due SSP? Self-isolating employees are only entitled to SSP for the duration of the self-isolation. Once that ends, they may be entitled to furlough  Under furlough, can staff be used as security duties which is NOT part of their normal work. In the case of an hotel, it needs people on-site to protect the premises for obvious reasons. An employee can do no work for their employer whilst on furlough If a furloughed worker can do voluntary work, does this mean general voluntary / charity work or can they do voluntary work for their employer? They cannot do anything that would generate revenue for their employer Can an employee take annual leave 1 day a week to make up full pay? Currently no guidance  How do you define someone whose pay varies? Is it regular overtime? Even though it isn't mentioned on their contract? There must be a contractual obligation to pay (whether implied or express is currently unclear) Re: employee consent if they were put on furlough as a necessity before it was clear that written consent was needed, can we now get them to retrospectively agree even they have started on furlough? No current guidance If an employee is on sick leave and contacts to say now available for work again and wants to be put on furlough – does the employer need a fit note or a return to work interview or other support to agree?  No current guidance requiring this, but it may be prudent to  

Apr 20, 2020

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