Supporting mental health at work

2817455C-98F1-4E72-9769-8E9C7D242422Information from ACAS

Employers have a ‘duty of care’. This means they must do all they reasonably can to support their employees’ health, safety and wellbeing.

If an employee has a mental health issue, it’s important their employer takes it seriously. For example, it’s a good idea to talk to the employee to find out what support they might need at work.

There are many types of mental health issue. An issue can happen suddenly, because of a specific event in someone’s life, or it can build up gradually over time.

Common mental health issues include:

  • stress (this is not classed as a medical condition but it can still have a serious impact on wellbeing)
  • depression
  • anxiety

Less common ones include:

  • bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia

Creating a supportive environment

It’s helpful if employers create an environment where staff feel able to talk openly about mental health.

For example:

  • treating mental and physical health as equally important
  • making sure employees have regular one-to-ones with their managers, to talk about any problems they’re having
  • encouraging positive mental health, for example arranging mental health awareness training, workshops or appointing mental health ‘champions’ who staff can talk to

Employers can find out more about promoting positive mental health at work, including:

  • understanding mental health 
  • creating a mental health strategy
  • educating the workforce 

More information can be found here

What happens if you do not report payroll information on time

D55F3A85-4C8C-4000-8482-9D1DEE8C5C44When penalties are charged

You can get a penalty if:

HMRC will not charge a penalty if:

  • your FPS is late but all reported payments on the FPS are within 3 days of your employees’ payday, however employers who regularly file after the payment date but within 3 days may be contacted or considered for a penalty
  • you’re a new employer and you sent your first FPS within 30 days of paying an employee
  • it’s your first failure in the tax year to send a report on time (this does not apply to employers who register with HMRC as an annual scheme)

How much you pay

What you pay depends on how many employees you have.

Number of employees Monthly penalty
1 to 9 £100
10 to 49 £200
50 to 249 £300
250 or more £400

If you run more than one PAYE scheme, you can be charged penalties for each.

How we estimate what you owe

HMRC may raise a specified charge based on an estimate of how much we think you should pay if you do not:

  • submit your FPS on time
  • tell HMRC, by sending an EPS, that you have not paid any employees

This is based on your previous PAYE payment and filing history. You’ll be able to see any specified charge by looking at your PAYE account online.

A specified charge does not replace the need for you to send your FPS or EPS. Only submitting the missing FPS or EPS for each month will:

  • replace the charges with the amount that is due for each month
  • support an appeal you make against a late filing penalty

If you send updated year-to-date figures in your next FPS instead, the specified charges will remain in place. However, your accounting record will be adjusted to reflect the year-to-date figures given in the later month.

If you get a penalty

HMRC sends penalty notices every quarter. A notice will include:

If you pay the penalty within 30 days of getting the notice you will not be charged interest.

You can appeal if you think:

  • the penalty is not due
  • the amount of the penalty is wrong
  • you had a reasonable excuse for sending your reports late

Reasons you can give for grounds of appeal are:

  • data on the returns was incorrect
  • death or bereavement
  • filing expectation incorrect
  • filed on time
  • fire, flood or natural disaster
  • ill health
  • IT difficulty
  • missed correction or easement
  • no longer have any employees
  • no payments to employees
  • theft or crime
  • other – only use this option if your reason for appeal does not fall into any of the categories in the online system

More information can be found here

Insolvency and Redundancy Payments

Insolvent jpegPreviously, if your employer became insolvent, and you were therefore made redundant, you used to have to go to an employment tribunal to claim all redundancy payments, but now you can apply direct to the government’s  Insolvency Service for the money that you are owed.

How to claim for redundancy and other money you’re owed by an employer

To apply, you must complete the online application. The Insolvency Service will then assess your claim and pay you the money you’re entitled to.

Separate payments are made for different parts of your claim, such as redundancy pay, holiday pay and arrears of pay. You will then be sent a letter each time that the Insolvency Service makes a payment. This means that you may get several different letters from the Insolvency Service.

Further Government Guidance

If you were made redundant on or after 6 April 2021, your weekly pay is capped at £544. If you were made redundant before 6 April 2021, these amounts will be lower. This means if your gross weekly pay was more than this, we have capped each one of your payments.

If you are owed more than the maximum we can pay, you can register as a creditor in the insolvency for any outstanding money you’re owed.

Further details can be found here

Employment Contracts

Employment Contract jpegAll employees have an employment contract with their employer. A contract is an agreement that sets out an employee’s:

  • employment conditions
  • rights
  • responsibilities
  • duties

These are called the ‘terms’ of the contract.

Employees and employers must stick to a contract until it ends (for example, by an employer or employee giving notice or an employee being dismissed) or until the terms are changed (usually by agreement between the employee and employer).

Accepting a contract

As soon as someone accepts a job offer they have a contract with their employer. An employment contract does not have to be written down.

A contract between an employer and an employee or worker is a legally binding agreement. This could be a ‘contract of employment’ or a ‘contract of service’.

A contract can be agreed verbally or in writing.

What an employer must provide in writing

Anyone legally classed as an employee or worker has the right to a written document summarising the main terms of their employment.

Those legally classed as workers do not have the right to written terms if they started the job before 6 April 2020.

The legal term for this document is the ‘written statement of employment particulars’. It includes information such as pay and working hours.

This document is often referred to as the ’employment contract’. But by law, the employment contract is broader than just these written terms – for example, employment law is also part of an employee’s contract but usually the law will not be written in full in the document.

Contract terms

The legal parts of a contract are known as ‘terms’. An employer should make clear which parts of a contract are legally binding (for example, an employer must pay employees at least the National Minimum Wage)

More detailed information can be found here on the ACAS site, and here on the Government website