How the UK 2011 budget affects charity sector employers

29 March 2011
How the UK 2011 budget affects charity sector employers

Several issues emerged for charities from George Osborne's budget. Here we break down the main headlines.

Scrapping of dual discrimination under the Equality Act. Individuals will not be able to bring discrimination claims on the grounds they have been discriminated against because of a combination of protected characteristics, such as being an American woman (race and gender) or a gay Christian (sexual orientation and religion), for example. This was due to come into force in April 2011.

"Majority drive" to revise EU regulations and directives that are burdensome.In particular legislation around paid maternity leave and information & consultation could be affected.

Recommendations on Lord Young's review of health and safety law to be fully implemented.
A register of health and safety consultants has already been published online - and a 20-minute risk assessment is available to complete for office based workers.

No extension to the right to request time off for training to organisations employing less than 250 staff.
A comparable right was introduced for larger organisations last year to give staff a statutory right to request time off to pursue training.

Exemption from new domestic regulation for the next three years for all businesses employing fewer than ten people and all genuine start-ups, from April 2011.

Merging of income tax and national insurance contributions.
The government will consult on this. Some commentators anticipate this will signal the end of benefits associated with salary sacrifice arrangements.

Increase to Approved Mileage Payments.
Staff and volunteers claiming travel expenses will benefit from a 5p increase on petrol - from 40p to 45p per mile.

Tax allowance increase.
The amount people can earn tax free will go up by 1,000, to 7,475 from 1 April. It will increase a further 630 in April 2012 so that no one earning under 8,105 will pay income tax.

Automatic State Pension Age increases.The coalition would like to introduce an automatic mechanism for future increases in the State Pension Age based on regular, independent reviews of people's life expectancy.

Consultation to remove the "unworkable" requirement that employers take reasonable steps to prevent harassment of staff by third parties.

Source: Directgov, XpertHR

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