Age-Friendly Employer Pledge
The Age-Friendly Employer Pledge is an initiative run by the Centre for Ageing Better to help promote age-inclusive working practices.
The programme encourages employers to commit to improving work for people in their 50s and 60s and helps them take the necessary action to help older workers flourish in a multigenerational workforce.
More people are working later in life, but older workers often face prejudice and are overlooked. However, multigenerational workforces drive productivity and innovation.
The Age-Friendly Employer Pledge is a nationwide programme for employers who:
- recognise the importance and value of older workers;
- are committed to improving work for people in their 50s and 60s (and beyond); and
- are prepared to take action to help them flourish in a multigenerational workforce.
Signing up for the Age-Friendly Employer Pledge shows your commitment to older workers.
Coping with the rising cost-of-living
The recent rise in the cost-of-living has presented many of us with unexpected challenges. New research suggests that over 12 million people are now borrowing money for food or essential bills and half of them are doing so for the first time in their lives.
The results come as the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) launches a campaign to reach people who are struggling with cost-of-living pressures, which will run alongside the UK Government’s Help for Households.
It focuses on MaPS’ MoneyHelper service, which provides free money guidance from an expert in a range of different formats, such as online, webchat, WhatsApp and telephone.
If you’re already struggling, or worried things are heading that way, it can feel like there’s no way forward. However, the first step to solving money problems is knowing where to turn.
HMRC see an increase in fraudulent claims for R&D tax relief
HMRC state that they have seen an increase in fraudulent claims for Research & Development (R&D) tax relief. They believe companies in certain sectors are being deliberately targeted by third parties to make inaccurate R&D claims as an amendment to their Company Tax Returns. As a result of this, they are increasing their compliance enforcement activity.
As part of a “One to Many” letter campaign, HMRC have sent letters to company directors whose companies have made R&D claims in the past. The letter asks them to review their previous claims using a checklist to make sure that the information they have provided about their claim is complete and correct and, if there is an error, to make amendments as necessary.
Directors are prompted to review their R&D claims by using the following checklist:
- Have you read and understood the HMRC guidance on R&D?
- Have you considered the conditions for making an R&D claim? Are you happy that the project is seeking an advance in the field of science and technology?
- Do you understand what you’re claiming for?
- Who has helped with the supporting R&D report and are they qualified to do so?
- Have you read the R&D report, and do you agree with its contents?
- If you’re working with a third party to make a claim, have they answered your questions satisfactorily?
- Does this claim seem to be too good to be true?
Does your company have a shareholders agreement?
For limited companies, when it comes to making decisions, Company Law states shareholders who own more than 50% can pass a motion at a company meeting regardless of the views of other shareholders and if a shareholder(s) owns 75% or more of the shares they control the company outright and can veto the decisions of all other shareholders.
This may not suit all business situations, especially where you have two or more founders holding equal share capital or a group of owners with varying amounts of capital, some of whom are directors and some who are not, but who are all working together for the company’s success.
A shareholders’ agreement is entered into between all or some of the shareholders in a company. It regulates the relationship between the shareholders, the management of the company, ownership of the shares and the protection of the shareholders. They also govern the way in which the company is run.
A shareholders’ agreement can help define how a business makes decisions to the benefit of all owners and is recommended where:
- A small number of owners want to reach collective and fair decisions for the benefit of all;
- Some owners may want to be able to influence decisions that are particularly relevant to them; or
- Some shareholders may not be directors and cannot influence operations on a day to day basis.
Typically it is seeking to deal with the three “D’s” of death, disability and disagreement. It may also cover a variety of other significant areas for example, retirement and buy back of shares.
Our view is that a shareholders’ agreement is an essential document for any limited company and an equitably drafted agreement should provide comfort to all parties to the agreement.
Please talk to us if you need help in planning for an agreement, especially where there are several shareholders, a new company is being formed, a shareholder wants to sell their shares or pass them to their children, someone is nearing retirement, or the company has borrowed money from a shareholder. We can help with share and company valuations and putting the shareholders wishes into an agreement with a local solicitor.
Supporting businesses through the cost of living crisis
Escalating costs are a major challenge for businesses across Wales right now. That’s why Business Wales is working with their partners to bring together – all in one place – the practical resources and support needed to adapt and navigate the rising cost of doing business. On the website linked below you can find information on the range of support that may be available to help businesses cut costs and improve sustainability.
HMRC Employer Bulletin: February 2023
HMRC publishes the Employer Bulletin 6 times a year, giving employers and agents the latest information on topics and issues that may affect them.
The February edition of Employer Bulletin has articles on:
- reporting advances of salary;
- changes to Basic PAYE Tools and PAYE Desktop Viewer;
- student and postgraduate loan thresholds from April 2023;
- how to help employees with income tax relief for employment expenses;
- getting ready for the National Minimum Wage rate increase; and
- Martyn’s Law – public venue operator requirements.
Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition: round 8
Innovate UK is offering up to £2 million in loans to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late-stage research and development (R&D) projects with the best potential for the future. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.
Your project must lead to new products, processes, or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available or propose an innovative use of existing products, processes, or services. It can also involve a new or innovative business model.
You must be able to show that you:
- need public funding,
- can cover interest payments, and
- will be able to repay the loan on time.
The closing date to apply is 8 March 2023.