Working in hot temperatures


ACAS have some guidance on ‘hot weather’ working. The guidance confirms that:

‘In the UK there is no maximum temperature that a workplace is allowed to be, rather advice from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) states ‘during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable’. What is reasonable depends on the type of work being done (manual, office, etc) and the type of workplace (kitchen, air conditioned office, etc).

The HSE offers further guidance on workplace temperatures including details on carrying out an optional thermal comfort risk assessment if staff are unhappy with the temperature – Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Temperature.’

The ACAS guidance also covers issues such as getting to work, keeping cool at work, fasting during hot weather, vulnerable workers and dress code during hot weather.

Internet link: ACAS website

Charity news


Annual returns

The Charity Commission, which is the relevant body for charities registered in England and Wales, has announced that its latest annual return is now available and can be found on GOV.UK.

All registered charities, in England and Wales, with an income of more than £10,000 and all Charitable Incorporated Organisations reporting on their financial years ending in 2016 must complete the online form within ten months of the end of their financial year.

Part of the data submitted is used to populate the Charity Commission’s online public register of charities, which is a key source of data about charities in England and Wales.

The Charity Commission would like trustees to be aware that the function to view and amend details about a charity’s trustees, contact addresses and emails is now separate from the annual return, so charities can update these details at any time. Charities will also be asked to confirm that this information is correct before submitting their annual return.

David Holdsworth, Chief Operating Officer at the Charity Commission, said:

‘We are delighted to announce the official launch of the 2016 annual return in both English and Welsh. This is a first for the commission and is also part of our commitment to becoming a truly digital by default regulator. We have worked closely with the sector to ensure we are providing easy to use services that help trustees comply with their filing duties.

Although charities have 10 months from the end of their financial year to complete their annual return, we urge them not to wait until then. We also encourage them to take a minute to make sure their information is up to date, and to use the built in customer feedback to tell us what they think.’

The commission is also taking this opportunity to remind trustees that filing their charity’s annual return on time is essential so that:

  • they are accountable to the regulator,
  • transparent in their activities for the benefit of the public, and
  • demonstrate compliance to their donors.

Failure to file on time can result in the commission taking regulatory action.

Northern Ireland

For charities registered in Northern Ireland the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the relevant body and returns should be submitted via charitycommissionni/annual reporting. This applies to registered charities, not to those on the deemed list which have not yet been entered on the register.

Scotland

Please note that for charities registered in Scotland the equivalent return, should be submitted to the Scottish Charity Regulator within nine months of their year end OSCR/online-services.

Fundraising

In other charity news the Scottish Charity Regulator has announced the adoption of a new model for fundraising regulation for Scotland. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the new Fundraising Regulator will oversee standards for fundraising and deal with complaints about charity fundraising.

In Scotland a new Independent Panel, with representatives from the public, fundraising professional bodies, charities, OSCR and the Scottish Government will fulfil this function. The aim is to have the panel in place by the autumn of 2016. In the meantime a Scottish fundraising complaints hub has already been set up.

Please contact us for further information on charity returns and accounts or any guidance in this area.

Internet link: News

Updated student loan deduction guidance


HMRC have issued updated guidance to employers on how to deal with student loan deductions via the PAYE system.

Employers should familiarise themselves with the guidance which has been updated to reflect the introduction of plan 2 loans which are repayable from a different threshold but at the same nine percent basis.

With effect from the 2016/17 tax year there are two plan types for student loan repayments:

  • plan 1 with a threshold of £17,495 (£1,457 a month or £336 per week)
  • plan 2 with a threshold of £21,000 (£1,750 a month or £403 per week)

The updated guidance includes the following advice on identifying the plan type:

‘Start making student loan deductions from the next available payday using the correct plan type if any of the following apply:

  • your new employee’s P45 shows deductions should continue – ask your employee to confirm their plan type
  • your new employee tells you they’re repaying a student loan – ask your employee to confirm their plan type
  • your new employee fills in a starter checklist showing they have a student loan – the checklist should tell you which plan type to use
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) sends you form SL1 ‘Start Notice’ – this will tell you which plan type to use

If your employee doesn’t know which plan type they’re on, ask them to contact the Student Loan Company (SLC). If they’re still unable to confirm their plan type, start making deductions using plan type 1 until you receive further instructions from HMRC.’

If you would like any advice or help with payroll matters please get in touch.

Internet link: Guidance

TPR latest pensions auto enrolment awareness


According to the latest research by the TPR, based on surveys carried out between February and April 2016, the understanding amongst small employers of their duties under pensions auto enrolment saw a significant rise from 68% to 81%.

Executive Director of Automatic Enrolment, Charles Counsell said:

‘More than 9 in 10 small employers are now aware of automatic enrolment, and there is now almost universal engagement from business advisers helping their clients to carry out their duties.

This is the first employers’ survey since large numbers of small and micro employers have begun to visit TPR’s website for help in meeting their duties. It’s great to see such positive feedback, with 79% of the employers who used our website finding all or most of what they needed.’

Other key findings from the employers’ survey were as follows:

  • Understanding remained largely unchanged for micro employers, rising from 56% to 60%.
  • Direct communications from TPR continued to be the main catalyst for employers to start preparing for automatic enrolment. Of those employers who stated that both TPR direct communications and advertising prompted action, nearly two thirds stated the advertising encouraged them to look again at the direct communications.
  • The vast majority (90%) of employers continued to express confidence in future compliance with automatic enrolment (93% in Autumn 2015).
  • The majority of employers continued to have positive perceptions of workplace pensions. However, automatic enrolment was still more likely to be perceived as a challenge among micro employers than among small employers.

The research can be found here employers’ research.

If you would like help with pensions auto enrolment please contact us.

Internet link: TPR press release

Lucas: Thoughts on my trip to Kilimanjaro


You may remember last month we helped Lucas Martin with his fundraising trip to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Lucas is back and we are pleased confirm that he raised to date £2895 for Childreach his chosen charity but its not just the money which Lucas raised it was also the time he spent with the Children he was hoping to help. Lucas has kindly sent us a short diary of his experiences out in Tanzania and in his own unedited words  here his what he had to say:

“We left the UK on the 13th of June, from Heathrow airport. After a long day of travelling we arrived in Moshi Town via Kilimanjaro International airport. The next day was a rest day where we explored Moshi Town and generally got ready for the climb, buying supplies, such as snacks. Day three of the trip was one of the most magical days of my life; we went to the school project that our money had helped build and maintain. We got to see the emphasis on small class sizes, and interestingly, the emphasis on personal hygiene, with large communal hand washing facilities. Hygiene in rural Africa is often a huge problem, as many people are not educated on the dangers of not washing your hands after the toilet or before you eat. The Childreach program aims to rectify this through education and making the process of washing hands fun for the children. The children put on a small assembly for us, with some traditional Tanzanian songs, including the national anthem. We then got a few hours to play with the children who ranged from the ages of 4-9. We played football and tig to name a few. The children loved every second of it, as did we. It can often be easy to criticise the effects of charity, and to be very cynical. This is all forgotten when you see the big smiles on the faces of these children when they are playing with you, and we all realised how far our money goes in such a disadvantaged region.

Then we got onto the climb. The climb starts at Machame gate which is at 1800m and is a 6 day trek in total.
The first section of the climb is to Machame camp and is through thick rain forest which took about 7 hours. Spirits were high here; it wasn’t too hard going.
Day 2 is to Shira camp, and for me other than the summit it was the most scenic part of the climb, through the last of the rain forest, until the vegetation becomes ‘heath.’
Day 3 was from Shira camp to lava tower, which is a huge build up of volcanic rock, and as a geographer it was very interesting to me. After a short stop at lava camp for lunch we carried on to Barranco camp, and this section of the hike we had the worst weather, with almost blizzard like conditions. This hike was known as acclimatization day, as we hike high to lava camp, but then Barranco camp is only as high as Shira camp on day 2. This is known as the ‘hike high sleep low’ method of hiking which is used for most peaks over 5000m.
Day 4 was the formidable challenge of Barranco wall, which is almost 400m vertical wall that you have to scramble up. This was one of the hardest days of climbing. When you get to Karanga Camp you are at 3,900m, and still get a mobile signal!
Day 5 was the last day before summit night. We walked from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (4,500m). When we arrived at Barafu camp, we had tea and slept until 11:30pm, where we pushed onto the summit.
Summit day was one of the hardest days of my life. 12 hours uphill, with the added bonus of altitude sickness, which made me throw up a few times on the way up! I got to stella point first, and in the Arctic conditions (-5) I was unsure if I even wanted to continue. But the guides helped push me along, and an hour later (only 200m took an hour!) I was stood at Uhuru point; the highest point on the African continent at 5895m.
Once we summited, we had the arduous task of coming back down, which in some respects is even harder, as it puts enormous stress on your knees and ankles, and by the time you get down on day 7 you are relieved, and never want to walk again!

Once we got back to Moshi town we rested and recuperated, and the next day, bright and early we went off on Safari!
We went in modified Toyota landcruisers, with fridges of beer (!!), plug sockets for charging phones and a convertible system, where we could stand out the top of the vehicle. We went to the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara, where we saw Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras and Baboons. After a night under the stars, with campfires and traditional tribal dancing at a local campsite we headed off to the Ngorongoro crater, where we saw the crown jewel of the African safari; Lions. We saw 2 females with 2 cubs each, and one solitary male. Here we also saw Hippos and a single Rhino. The only animal of the big 5 that we did not see unfortunately was the leopard.

After the safari was over we headed to the world renowned beach resorts of Zanzibar, which struck me as a very poor place, but with absolutely lovely people. We spent a few days relaxing on the beach, but unfortunately as it is the Southern Hemisphere winter the weather was mostly overcast and it rained. We did see some bright spells though, and the nightlife was fantastic.

Travelling home was a sobering experience. We transited through Istanbul Ankara airport at around 10am local time, and only 6 hours later, once we landed in Heathrow we got the news of the horrible terrorist attacks on the airport that we stood in.

A big thank you must be made for McGinty Demack for the amazing contribution, especially the t shirts and the flag, and I hope they have enjoyed working with me. I feel the partnership has really benefited the Childreach Projects in Tanzania, and hope we can work together in the future.

Lucas Martin

Lucas with CR and Children