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Happy New Year: it’s take two or three for the tax and the legal

Happy new tax year, coming soon! As a new calendar year loses its new-ness, those of us working in people systems join the Finance professionals and HR folk in setting our new year’s resolutions for fiscal, financial and legal turn-of-the years in early April.

A happy part of my own spring season is to host client user group forums. We present our view of the implications of employment law and HMRC change ahead. Here I take some stock of that delegate debate for 2017-18 and it’s interesting to reflect back the consensus of opinion and concern.

Hard to be talking legal and taking a view that however hard the exit it’s not the Brexit that will hit us the hardest, but in HR technology I maintain that view. We are hearing about 3 key issues for new legal and tax years for those steering in HR systems, management information and payroll:

  1. Apprenticeship levy
    Granted there are some niceties around levy allowances, definitions of connected companies and the geographical applications, but note that the most significant bother with the systems administration of the levy at once strikes to be that of costing. We’ve a concern that governmental efforts to offer simplicity have led HRISdevelopers required to offer costing options only at organisational level – financial folks are wanting employee-level costing to pull through to the GL. Not yet have I seen an accurate solution, even from the best in UK HR and payroll software solution.
  2. Gender pay
    Details of the gender pay gap reporting are proving fascinating. I’m concerned about unsafe assumption from HR professionals as to the degree of decision-making around how to derive an apparently straight-forward 6-figure set. I recommend getting ahead and exploring your own organisational niceties, with a view to a close and careful brief to your BI professional. Register with us and look out for our paper on ‘Gender Pay Gap Reporting’, coming very soon.
  3. Off payroll working and IR35
    We missed in our legal update-writing for HRIS the question of off-payroll working and contractor status and that was an oversight. Gathering a roomful of HR and payroll professionals, many from the public sector, it’s a hot-to-burning topic. How long will the concept of on or off payroll as a binary choice hold out, Kate wonders, with a get-geeky head on. Note that gender pay gaps give us an example as to boundaries already blurred. You may be interested to know that we heard at user groups a unanimous view that organisations would be applying an informal policy that contractors would need to be sourced via clear third party intermediary companies or agencies – or simply not.As with all New Years, how resolutions and undertakings hold out in practice is yet to be seen. Join us for summer user groups and for continuing Insights and I’ll join you in working it all through.

Happy another New Year?!

[1] User Group forum for clients that use the MHR iTrent system. Please note that Phase 3 Consulting is independent from and not affiliated with the vendor, MHR.

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