Qualifying for Statutory Maternity Pay

Image result for statutory maternity pay do i qualifyIf you need to check whether or not an employee qualifies for Statutory Maternity Pay, SMP, they need to have been earning on average at least £118 a week, before any deductions, in the qualifying weeks depending on when the baby is due.

You can use the government website calculator here

For example, if the baby is due on 30th September 2019

When does the employee want to start their leave?  14 July 2019

Did the employee have a contract with you covering 29 December 2018 to 16 June 2019?  Yes

What was the last normal payday on or before Saturday, 22 June 2019?  21 June 2019

What was the last normal payday before Saturday, 27 April 2019?  26 April 2019

How often do you pay the employee?  Weekly

What were the employee’s total earnings between Saturday, 27 April 2019 and Friday, 21 June 2019?  £944

How many weeks’ pay did the employee get between Saturday, 27 April 2019 and Friday, 21 June 2019?  8 payments or fewer

How do you want the Statutory Maternity Pay calculated?  weekly starting 14 July 2019

Based on these dates and pay figures, the entitlement would be £106.20 per week, beginning on Friday 20th July and ending on Friday 11th April 2020

If you need any further help, please contact us here

Paying Trustees for Services

Trustee ExpensesMost trustees are unpaid, but all trustees can claim reasonable out-of-pocket expenses. 

A charity can pay a trustee for the supply of any services over and above normal trustee duties.

The decision to do this must be made by those trustees who will not benefit. They must decide that the service is required by the charity and agree it is in the charity’s best interests to make the payment and must comply with certain other conditions

Examples of services that may be provided by a trustee in return for payment under the power in the Charities Act include:

  • the delivery of a lecture
  • a piece of research work
  • the use of a trustee’s firm for a building job
  • the occasional use of a trustee’s premises or facilities
  • entering into a maintenance contract with a trustee’s firm Trustee expenses and payments (CC11) 12
  • providing curtains or decorating materials for hall premises
  • providing timber for a building
  • providing specialist services such as estate agents, land agents, management and design consultants, computer consultancy, builders, electricians, translators, and graphic designers

The power cannot be used to allow payment for auditing services as a trustee cannot legally act as an auditor for his or her charity

Recording the proposed arrangement in the charity’s minutes will not be enough to meet the conditions for an agreement. There must be a separate written agreement which must cover certain issues, but there is no set format. This will depend on the nature of the service being provided, and the level of detail needed to cover it.

More detailed guidance can be found here in document CC11

Selling or Leasing Charity Property

Image result for selling charity propertyThere may be various reasons for disposing of your charity land. You may, for example, want to relocate the charity to more appropriate premises or release some cash that you can apply to other projects.

Before you start, you and the other trustees must be sure that:

  • you have permission to sell or lease the property – either in your governing document or in the law
  • there is nothing in your governing document that prevents you selling or leasing the property
  • your charity actually owns the title to the property
  • the sale or lease is in the charity’s best interests
  • if the property is designated for a particular purpose, such as a recreation ground, that the sale or lease doesn’t go against this

It’s usually straightforward to sell or lease charity land and property – most charities don’t need Charity Commission approval.  You must try to get the best deal for your charity and follow any rules in the law and your governing document.

More detailed information can be found here

For free property advice, guidance and workshops visit the Ethical Property Foundation

Making Tax Digital

Image result for Making Tax DigitalMaking Tax Digital is a key part of the government’s plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and keep on top of their affairs.

HMRC’s ambition is to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. Making Tax Digital is making fundamental changes to the way the tax system works – transforming tax administration so that it is:

  • more effective
  • more efficient
  • easier for taxpayers to get their tax right

VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are now required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns for VAT periods that started on or after 1 April 2019.

HMRC provides a wide range of digital services and support for businesses and the self-employed.