Winter 2009 Introduction by tyndale


									Quarterly Legislation Update

Winter 2009
Welcome to this winter edition, produced by Sheffield Chamber’s Policy and Representation team, and sponsored by
Chamber patron Irwin Mitchell. This update provides details of changes to legislation and regulations, and
consultations on proposed changes to legislation, as well as information on useful resources. Follow the weblinks for
more details. We would welcome your comments and suggestions for topics to be included in future issues – please
send these to Iain Smith, Policy and Representation Manager at

A happy new year to you all! Once again we are delighted to sponsor Sheffield Chamber’s Quarterly Legislation Update.
As Patrons of the Chamber, we are fully committed to supporting local businesses and hope that this Winter issue will be
useful in helping you keep abreast of legal issues affecting the business world over the coming months.

A leading fraud lawyer comments that Yorkshire businesses are likely to see an increase in fraud costing business
millions of pounds in lost revenue and reputational damage due to the current economic climate.

Dan Stowers, Partner in the Regulatory & Criminal Investigations Group (RCG) at Irwin Mitchell says: “We have seen a
significant number of new instructions to defend in criminal fraud cases.

“Businesses are being much more careful and vigilant over their financial management and are more aware of their
spending than ever before, leading to an increase in the amount of fraudulent activity being discovered.

“Our experience also suggests that in harder economic times more people have been 'tempted' to enter into fraudulent
activity. This will have a knock-on effect in a couple of years as it usually takes this long for fraud to be uncovered,
investigated and prosecuted.

“Many of the cases we are working on at present are arising from alleged offences that occurred one or two years ago
and even longer.

“The Irwin Mitchell RCG team has a strong reputation for defending in serious and complex criminal investigations and
prosecutions and is currently handling a caseload where the fraud is alleged to exceed £150m.

Cases dealt with by the team include those brought by HM Revenue and Customs, the Fraud Prosecution Teams of the
Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office.

Any individual or company wanting further information should get in touch with Dan Stowers at Irwin Mitchell on

                                                                                                           Nick Bates
                                                                                         Head of Commercial Litigation
                                                                                                   Tel: 0114 274 4250

Employment                                            Consultation: implementation of the European
                                                      Works Council Directive 2009/38/EC
Mr Darling’s Pre-Budget Report                        A consultation on draft regulations that aim to
These are interesting times for us all as we head     implement the recast European Works Council
towards a General Election some time in the next      (EWC) Directive in the UK. The Directive seeks to
six months. The party political debate is heating     improve the efficiency and number of EWCs. The
up and Alistair Darling has just set out his plans    Government aims to achieve this in a way that
for the next few months.                              balances the interests of employees and
                                                      business. Includes draft legislation and an impact
Click the link on the following web page to read      assessment. Published on 19 November 2009:
Helen Rana’s podcast response to the
Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report:                       Please give your response by 12 February 2010:         

The new right to request time to train                BCC helps delay Agency Workers Directive

This publication explains how the new right to        The Queen’s Speech confirmed that the Agency
train will work and how it can benefit businesses.    Workers’ Directive will not be implemented until
Aimed at employers and human resources                October 2011 – giving agencies, business and
professionals. Published on 13 November 2009:         workers a reasonable length of time to adapt to     and understand this significant change.
                                                      Some elements of the draft regulations have
                                                      changed since the government last consulted on
Fathers' working hours: parental analysis from        them in May, including tightening up the
the third work-life balance employee survey           comparator, taking some bonuses out of the
and maternity and paternity rights and                definition of pay, and allowing holidays in excess
benefits survey of parents                            of the statutory minimum to be given as pay. BCC
                                                      is currently analysing the latest consultation
This examines work patterns of fathers in terms of    proposals on the Directive.
working hours and use of flexible working guided
by the theoretical concepts ‘father as                For more on this issue or any other employment
breadwinner’ and ‘father as carer’. It presents a     regulations, please contact Abigail Morris at the
secondary     analysis     of    two    nationally    British      Chambers        of      Commerce:
representative employment datasets: the third
work-life balance employee survey and the
maternity and paternity rights and benefits survey
of parents.                                           Impact assessment: European Commission
                                                      proposal for a directive to implement revised
Its findings reveal that fathers seem to work         framework agreement on parental leave
longer hours compared with non-fathers,
supporting the theoretical 'breadwinner' model.       This report assesses the impact of the various
There was also support for an increasing caring       policy options for implementing the European
role that fathers may be adopting supported by an     Commission proposal on UK provisions. The
increase in the number of fathers working flexibly.   proposal aims to achieve more gender equality in
Published on 16 November 2009:                        labour market participation rates and allowing            women and men to achieve a better reconciliation
                                                      of their professional, private and family lives.
                                                      Published on 18 November 2009:
Final    impact     assessment:       regulations
prohibiting the blacklisting of trade unionists
This report, published on 5 January 2010,             Preventing   workplace     harassment and
assesses the economic impact on businesses and        violence: joint guidance implementing a
others of regulations which will prohibit the         European social partner agreement
blacklisting of trade union members and related
activities. Click here to read or download a PDF:     This provides practical help and support to            businesses and their employees, following a
                                                      Europe-wide agreement between employers’

organisations     and     unions.      The     CBI,
(Confederation     of   British     Industry),   the
Partnership of Public Employers (PPE) and the
Trades Union Congress (TUC) have come
together to provide guidance on harassment and
violence in the workplace. It has the support of the
Department, the Health and Safety Executive
(HSE) and the Advisory, Conciliation and
Arbitration Service (ACAS). Published on 17
November 2009:

Conduct of Employment Agencies and
Employment Business Regulations 2003:
Government response to consultation of
March 2009
This is the government response to the
consultation on changes to the regulations that
govern employment agencies and employment
businesses in Great Britain (URN 09/603).
Includes a brief summary of public responses to
the consultation and an updated impact
assessment. Published on 12 November 2009:

Environment                                           NetRegs has produced guidance for businesses
                                                      that manufacture or process generic chemicals
New standards for electrical equipment with a         and chemical products. This covers commodity
stand-by mode                                         chemicals, chemicals products or preparations
                                                      and speciality chemicals.
From 7 January 2010, new eco-design
requirements will apply to certain energy-using       Information on complying with the REACH
products (EUPs) that have a stand-by and/or off       (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and
mode. Tighter requirements will apply from 7          restriction of Chemicals) Regulation is also
January 2013.                                         available on the same page:
The rules will apply to any EUP which:
• is to be placed on the market within the EU
• falls under the list of EUPs in Annex I of          emicals/default.aspx?dm_i=2WX,30NZ,8LGNI,9H
    Commission Regulation (EC) No.1275/2008 –         HU,1
    see the appropriate link below
The EUP will also have to be:
• dependent on energy input from the mains            New targets for WEEE recyclers
    power source
                                                      Approved treatment facilities for waste electronics
• designed for use with a nominal rating of 250
    volts or less                                     and electrical equipment (WEEE) must now meet
                                                      new targets for the amount of WEEE that they
• made commercially available as a single unit
                                                      recycle or recover.
    intended for the end-user
                                                      If you recover and recycle WEEE you must meet
Click here for more details:
                                                      targets for the amount of the WEEE you recover
                                                      and recycle. You must include evidence of this in
                                                      your reports to your environmental regulator. The
                                                      targets depend on the category of EEE recovered
                                                      or recycled.
Industrial and vehicle batteries landfill ban
                                                      Read more here:
Regulations banning the disposal of waste   
industrial batteries to landfill or by incineration   9.aspx?dm_i=2WX,30NZ,8LGNI,9HHU,1#WEEEtargets
came into force on 1 January 2010.

To find out about recycling industrial batteries,
view:                                                 Is asbestos in your building?       Asbestos fibres can be very damaging to human
m_i=2WX,30NZ,8LGNI,9HHU,1#Industrialbatterie          health and the environment. Asbestos is toxic and
s                                                     does not break down easily. As a result it remains
                                                      in the environment for a long time.

Portable batteries                                    Asbestos was used extensively in construction
If you produce portable batteries you must keep       and building maintenance during the 1940s-1990s
written records of the total amount of batteries in   for its insulation and fire-proofing properties. The
tonnes that you produce per year, every year. For     use of asbestos has been banned since 1999. It
2009 your records must start no later than 5 May.     may be found in any building built or refurbished
                                                      before 2000, in the floor, wall, ceiling or roofing
If you produce more than one tonne of portable        materials, or in contaminated soils.
batteries per year, you must join a battery
compliance scheme (BCS) and start paying a fee        NetRegs has produced new guidance on
to the scheme for the cost of recycling separately    asbestos which is relevant to you if you:
collected portable batteries from 1 January 2010.     • work with asbestos materials
                                                      • are likely to come across asbestos during
More details are available here:                           your work       • have asbestos waste to dispose of.
                                                      If you work in construction, demolition or building
                                                      maintenance you are particularly at risk of
Environmental   guidance         for   chemicals
                                                      exposure to asbestos. This includes plumbers,
manufacturing businesses

electricians, plasterers, roofers, heating       and
ventilation engineers and surveyors.

For more information, see:

Carbon Reduction Commitment
If you have at least one half hour electricity meter,
you may have to comply with the CRC Energy
Efficiency Scheme, formerly called the carbon
reduction commitment. It comes into affect in April
2010. You may have to cut your carbon emissions
and trade allowances.

Find out if you’re affected with CRC guidance:

New environmental performance toolkits
The Environment Agency has produced a new
toolkit to help you make your business greener.
Use the toolkit to plan how you can reduce your
environmental impact, manage pollution incidents,
comply with your permit, create checklists and
train your staff.

The Environment Agency has developed an
environmental management toolkit for small and
medium-sized businesses in England and Wales.
The toolkit will help you manage your
environmental performance and comply with your
environmental permit. It may also help you comply
with other licences that require you to have
environmental management controls in place.

The toolkit is not an environmental management
system (EMS), but could help your business to
develop its own EMS. For further information on
EMS, see our guidance on environmental
management systems. See:

Company Law

Disclosure of loans to directors in company
accounts:     government      response   to
Government response to the consultation on the
disclosure of loans to directors in company
accounts (URN 09/1139). This relates to the
proposed amendments to section 413 of the
Companies Act 2006, which deals with
disclosures in the notes to company accounts of
advances, credits and guarantees for the benefit
of directors. It includes a list of respondents and
was published on 18 November 2009:

Regulations                                             play a much bigger role, bringing banking services
                                                        back to the heart of people's communities'. It
                                                        focuses on the banking and financial products
                                                        services that people would like from their Post
New legislative framework: the general
national market surveillance programme for
the United Kingdom 2010
                                                        Please give your response by 24 February 2010:
This is the first UK annual general national market
surveillance programme for legislation that
implements European Community harmonisation
legislation as required by Article 18(5) of             Consultation. The role and powers of the
Regulation (EC) No. 765/2008. It sets out how the       Consumer Advocate
government will enforce the requirements for
                                                        Consultation on the initial and future role of the
accreditation and market surveillance relating to
                                                        Consumer Advocate, including whether the
the marketing of products.
                                                        Advocate should be granted new powers. The
                                                        2009 Consumer White Paper explained that the
You can read or download the PDF, published on
                                                        Consumer Advocate will be appointed in 2010 to
23 December 2009, here:
                                                        be a part of consumer focus with a role to co-
                                                        ordinate work to educate consumers and to be a
                                                        champion for groups of consumers who have
                                                        suffered a loss at the hands of a business..
Solutions for business on track to deliver
100 scheme target                                       Please give your response by 5 March 2010:
The government’s programme to simplify and
streamline publicly-funded business support has         Government response: consultation on proposed
almost reached its March 2010 target.                   legislation to address illicit peer-to-peer (P2P) file-
The ‘Solutions for Business: a Foundation for the
future’ report published today sets out how the         This is a summary of the responses to the
Government is delivering on its 2006 Budget             consultation on addressing illicit P2P file sharing
commitment to reduce the number of business             (URN 09/1022) and the clarification (09/1211). It
support schemes from 3000 to no more than 100           also provides the government's response to
by March 2010.                                          these, with a rationale for legislation to address
                                                        online copyright infringement as part of the
The most recent information shows that less than        Government's Digital Economy Bill. Published on
200 schemes remain to be aligned to the                 20 November 2009:
Solutions for Business portfolio in order to reach
the target of under 100 schemes. The report also
sets out plans to ensure the March 2010 target is

From April 2010 a new Strategic Management
Board with the power to approve new and remove
old products will ensure schemes remain flexible
enough to react to business needs, while
delivering value for money.

Click here to read more:

Consultation: Developing the banking and
financial services available at the Post Office
The consultation follows from the Prime Minister's
announcement that he wants 'the Post Office to

Tax and VAT                                            depending on which Accounts Office they are
                                                       linked to:
                                                       • Shipley Accounts Office - 4 January 2010 to
Standard VAT rate returns to 17.5%                          29 January 2010.
                                                       • Cumbernauld Accounts Office - 25 January
The standard rate of VAT was temporarily                    2010 to 19 February 2010.
reduced to 15% on 1 December 2008 and it               2009-10 booklet issue will resume as normal after
returned to 17.5% on 1 January 2010.                   these dates.

For any sales of standard-rated goods or services      Customers who have a payment to make before
that you make on or after 1 January 2010 you           these dates who do not have a payslip (or payslip
must charge VAT at the rate of 17.5%. If you have      booklet) should use the online facilities to make
a cash business and calculate your VAT using the       payment. They recommend that payment is made
VAT fraction you must revert to the VAT fraction       online as this is the safest, quickest and most
of seven forty-sevenths from 1 January 2010.           secure method. You can also tell HMRC online
                                                       that no payment is due; again you do not need a
The change only applies to the standard VAT            payslip.
rate. There are no changes to sales that are zero-
rated or reduced-rated for VAT. Similarly, there       Further information on how to pay and to let
are no changes to the VAT exemptions. Any sales        HMRC know that no payment is due can be found
you make at these rates are unaffected by this         by visiting the page:
change.                                                How to pay PAYE/Class 1 National Insurance
There is a guide which tells you how to account
for the change to the standard rate of VAT and
explains where you can get further information         2010 Business Rate Revaluation
here:     The government has announced further details of
changes.htm                                            the post-2012 Revaluation business rate
                                                       framework, which can be found here:
Normal minimum pension age to rise to 55               overnment/pdf/1384557.pdf
from April 2010
                                                       As a result of the new multiplier, businesses will
As part of the pension reforms announced by the        pay 41.4p in the pound for large premises and
government in 2003, the normal minimum pension         40.7p in the pound for 2010/11. Following a
age will rise from 50 to 55 from 6 April 2010. After   consultation, the government has also decided to
that date, people will normally only be allowed to     try and protect businesses from large upfront
start receiving their pension payments from an         increases through a self-funded, five year
occupational or a personal pension scheme when         transitional scheme, under which rate increases
they are 55 or older. The exceptions are where         will be capped at five per cent for small premises
they have severe ill health problems or can start      and 12.5 per cent for large.
their pensions at a lower age that is protected by
the pension tax law.
                                                       Tariff Preference: Interim trade agreement
If you are between 50 and 55 and already               between the EC & Republic of Serbia
receiving pension payments, this change to the         Public Notice available to download on the entry
normal minimum pension age will not affect those       into force on an interim basis on 1 February 2010
payments.                                              of a new reciprocal preferential trade agreement
                                                       between the European Community and Serbia.
Click here for more details:   
pen-age.pdf                                            p/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pa
HMRC cannot issue Payslip Booklets for 2009-           7
2010 for a limited period
HMRC temporarily cannot issue PAYE Payslip
Booklets for the tax year 2009-10 because they         Using your own vehicle for work – information
are issuing the bulk of booklets for 2010-11. This     for employees
will affect customers between the following dates

This factsheet has been revised and updated and      are available from HM Revenue & Customs
can be read and downloaded as a new pdf              (HMRC) and software suppliers. These can be
document:                                            used to file Company Tax Returns including             accounts and computations online in the statutory
factsheet.pdf                                        iXBRL data standard.

                                                     The table is a guide to third party software
‘Spotlights’ – information on tax avoidance          suppliers that HMRC has tested and provided
schemes                                              evidence that they have developed software that
HMRC has published a new edition of ‘Spotlights’     can produce one or more element of a Company
which covers particular tax avoidance schemes.       Tax     Return,    including  Accounts     and
‘Spotlights’ has been widened to include             Computations, in the statutory iXBRL data
indicators of arrangements to be wary of because     standard.
tax avoidance may be involved. The intention is to
discourage tax avoidance.                            Click here to see the table:
Click here to read more:
                                                     Introduction of different Intrastat exemption
Draft legislation on the postponed charge on         thresholds
transfer of assets to non-resident company
                                                     From 1 January 2010, the single exemption
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen
                                                     threshold at or below which a UK VAT-registered
Timms, has announced the government’s
                                                     business does not have to provide Intrastat
proposed legislative changes to the corporation
                                                     information will change to two thresholds.
tax rules for capital gains of companies for
inclusion in the Finance Bill 2010. The changes,
                                                     Intrastat is the system for collecting statistics on
which have immediate effect from 6 January
                                                     the trade in goods between European Union (EU)
2010, will ensure that a postponed charge on
                                                     member states.
gains arising where assets of an overseas branch
are transferred to a non-resident company is
                                                     Currently, all VAT-registered businesses whose
brought back into charge at the appropriate time.
                                                     annual value of trade with other EU member
                                                     states reaches a certain threshold are required to
The changes will affect UK companies that
                                                     submit monthly Intrastat declarations.
transfer assets of an overseas branch to a non-
resident company in exchange for securities
                                                     The threshold applies separately for exports
consisting of shares or loan stock. In these
                                                     (referred to as 'dispatches') to other EU member
circumstances Corporation Tax on gains arising
                                                     states and imports ('arrivals') from other EU
from the transfer are postponed until the disposal
                                                     member states.
of the securities.
                                                     The threshold will:
Click here to read more:                             • increase from £270,000 to £600,000 for EU         imports
                                                     • decrease from £270,000 to £250,000 for EU
VAT Online
From 1 April 2010 all businesses with an annual      For more information, see:
(VAT exclusive) turnover of £100,000 or more
must file their VAT returns online and pay any       etail?topicType=1&type=REGUPDATE&itemId=1
VAT due electronically. Any business registered      084124507
for VAT on or after that date.

You can find out more about filing your VAT          Employer Supported Childcare
Return Online at VAT-online:                         HMRC has amendments their employer helpbook:      ‘How to Help Your Employees with Childcare
                                                     (E18)’. This helpbook provides updated guidance
                                                     to reflect recent changes to qualifying childcare:
Corporation Tax Online - software and online
HMRC has produced a table showing a range of
Internet filing enabled software and forms which     HMRC Scams

Read the warning message about the new HMRC
phishing scam in circulation. This page also gives
examples of other scams fraudulently purporting
to be emails/alerts from HMRC:

The Price Marking Order 2004: Government
response to the consultation on proposal to
amend the provisions concerning a change to
the VAT rate
This report gives the government response and
next steps for the consultation (URN 09/1367) on
the proposal to give businesses a 28 day period
to amend their prices when the VAT rate returns
to 17.5% on 1 January 2010. It includes a
summary of public responses to the consultation.

Published on 10 December 2009:

Resources                                             Implementing information and consultation:
                                                      evidence from longitudinal case studies in
                                                      organisations with 150 or more employees
WEEE     Regulations        2006:     Government      Employment relations research series no.105.
guidance notes                                        Report based on longitudinal case studies carried
This PDF provides guidance explaining the Waste       out between 2006 and 2009 in organisations with
Electrical  and    Electronic  Equipment   (WEEE)     150 or more employees. Analyses and accounts
Regulations 2009, who it affects and how they can     for the differing experiences of information and
understand and fully comply with their obligations.   consultation bodies in 12 private and voluntary
Published 4 January 2010:                             sector organisations with 150 or more employees            over a two year period between initial and final
                                                      research     visits  and    employee    surveys,
                                                      highlighting     the   key     factors   shaping
BIS sustainable development action plan:              developments.
1 August 2009 – 31 March 2011
You can read or download the first BIS                Published on 11 December 2009:
sustainable development action plan. The    
document highlights key policies and activity
across the department, which demonstrate its
support for sustainable development and               Simplifying trade across UK borders: a plan of
investing in a sustainable future, both in the UK     action
and globally.                                         BIS and HMRC's response to a mandate in last
                                                      year's pre budget report to review UK border
Published on 23 December 2009:                        processes and present policy recommendations            to improve these. Published on 2 December 2009:

Summary       of   government        departments
simplification plans 2009                             Digital Economy Bill: a summary
This publication gives a summary of the progress      This summary details the purpose behind the
that individual government departments are            Digital Economy Bill as introduced into
making towards delivering 25% net reduction in        Parliament, and gives a short summary of the
administrative burdens by 2010, since the             contents of the Bill at the date of introduction. The
beginning of the programme in May 2005. It            Bill includes measures to support or enable
focuses on progress over the past year, and also      actions set out in the Digital Britain white paper
reports on the government’s progress in delivering    (URN 09/1026) and the related implementation
wider simplifications and reducing regulatory         plan (09/1171). Published on 20 November 2009:
costs for private and public sectors. Published on
14 December 2009:                                     content/uploads/2009/11/Digital-Economy-Bill-A-            Summary.pdf

Implementing information and consultation:            Internet domain names: factsheet
developments in medium-sized organisations
                                                      You can read or download an overview of the
Employment relations research series no.106.          domain name system and the changes that the
Update on key findings from research on               Digital Economy Bill will bring in this factsheet,
information and consultation arrangements in          which was published on 20 November 2009:
medium-sized organisations. Draws on continued
research in six case study organisations with 100-    content/uploads/2009/11/Factsheet-
150 employees as well as initial case reports and     InternetDomainNames.pdf
employee surveys covering four case study
organisations in the 50-100 employees size band.
                                                      Family structure and work satisfaction. Can
Published on 11 December 2009:                        work-life balance policies foster happiness in            the workplace?
                                                      This publication examines how the overall job
                                                      satisfaction of workers in different family
                                                      circumstances is affected by the availability of

work-life balance (WLB) policies at the workplace.
Concentrates on workers in British establishments
and uses the three WLB employee surveys in the
empirical analysis. Findings suggest that both
male and female employees with family
responsibilities enjoyed higher levels of job
satisfaction in workplaces offering work-life
balance policies compared with those where this
type of support was not available. Published 16
November 2009:

How does the workplace affect quality of
This explores the association of workplace
characteristics with four aspects of employment
quality: job satisfaction, stress from work, the
degree of discretion at work, and perception of job
security. It uses data from the workplace
employment relations survey 2004. The findings
show that the workplace is a crucial mediating
factor in determining the quality of employment,
independent of occupation and other observed
individual characteristics. Published on November

Disability, health and access to training
This analyses the determinants of training for
disabled workers both at the individual and at the
firm level, using data from the 2004 British
workplace employee relations survey. Findings
suggest that employers’ decisions on training for
disabled people are based on estimates of the
severity of their impairment based on the
available information. Being disabled decreases
the probability of being trained, but it has a
negligible effect on the length of training.
Published on 16 November 2009:


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