Figures reveal 900 carers quit every day

Figures reveal 900 carers quit every day

Figures reveal 900 carers quit every day as the social care system face difficulty

Figures have revealed that in England last year, more than 900 adult social care workers quit their job every day. These growing staff shortages are putting vulnerable people at risk of receiving poorer levels of care, according to service providers.

The ageing population means more pressure is facing adult social care systems than ever before, and the chairman of the UK Homecare Association has written to the Prime Minister to say that the adult social care system (which applies to anyone over the age of 18) is on the brink of collapse.

In response to the ongoing crisis facing the sector, the Chancellor did announce in his Spring Budget 2017 that £2bn was being made available help ease the pressures – with £1bn of this funding being available from 2017/18.

A recent report by a charity have shown that there were more than 1.3 million people employed in the adult social care sector in England, and roughly 338,520 adult social care workers left their job in 2015/16 – this equates to 928 people leaving their roles every day and over half of these people never worked in the care sector again.

The care sector has twice the turnover of staff than any other profession in the UK (27%). Along with the £2bn fund, the Chancellor also allowed local authorities to raise council tax bills in order to fund social care services.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people aged 75 and over is expected to double by 2040, and without any reforms, there will not be enough people to care for an ageing population.

Scott Sanderson, Healthcare Partner at Hawsons, had this to say: “The population is getting older and living longer, there are simply not enough people employed in the adult social care sector to care for these people. With the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage set to increase year upon year, things will only get tougher for a sector that struggle to pay those wages.”

Scott continued: “The sector is in dire need for the Government to act on this and while the £2bn is welcome, it doesn’t change the fact that since 2010, there has been an estimated £5bn worth of cuts. The Government has stated that a total of 87,800 apprentices started last year and while this is good news and a step in the right direction, staff turnover is far too great at this moment in time.”

It is estimated that social care jobs have increased at an average of 3% since 2010 and Scott concluded that “this is great news for a sector and much needed with such a high turnover in staff and I hope to see the 27% in staff turnover decrease in the coming years.”

Scott Sanderson

Scott Sanderson Partner

Scott Sanderson began his career with Hawsons and trained as a Chartered Accountant, becoming a partner in 2015, specialising in the healthcare sector and small businesses. For more details and advice, please contact Scott on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.[/author_info]

Five ways technology could improve a small business

Five ways technology could improve a small business

How can technology improve a small business?

For small businesses, keeping up with all the latest technology can be a difficult task with the speed it moves at. From embracing augmented reality; to making use of 3D printing, we take a look at five ways different technologies could benefit your business.

3D printing

When 3D printing first entered the market, prices were sky-high and nobody really invested their time into it. Fast-forward a few years and 3D printing is mainstream and the prices are falling. It has never been easier to or cheaper to transform ideas into actual products.

Until recently, however, 3D printing has often required skilled digital designers who have a wealth of digital modelling experience. Now, though, tools have become available to make this much easier – such as being able to scan real-world objects into computers so designers can choose what they want to change, as opposed to modelling each object from start to finish.

Smart lighting

Although you may not notice, the lighting you are exposed to (whether this be at home or at work) has a major effect on your mental well-being. Studies show that fluorescent lighting can leave people feeling drowsy and agitated and until now, solutions to these kinds of problems were hard to come by.

However, smart lighting devices are allowing businesses to have more control over their work environment. These devices can be controlled over Wi-Fi using a smartphone or other devices and they’re much more than simply being able to turn lights on or off, you can dim the lights to meet your own requirements or even customise the lights to follow a set schedule (instead of fiddling with them all the time).

While some SME’s may not have the budget for their own technology department, it is more affordable to invest in these technologies in order to make work life easier and more convenient, making day-to-day operations also improve and as a result, saving your business time and money.

Wireless charging

Do you ever go to get your charging device and the wires are all tangled up? Well, this could be a thing of the past with wireless charging technology. Instead of finding a charger to plug in your phones, laptops and even office equipment such as lamps and printers, it will soon be possible to charge them in a more ease of access way via wireless solutions.

Mobile phones are leading the way in terms of wireless charging pads, by connecting them to power via a USB and place your phone on top of it for it to charge wirelessly and at speed.

Augmented reality

You could be forgiven if you thought augmented reality and virtual are the same, but in actual fact they are very different things. Virtual reality can take you to different environments while augmented reality displays real time information over the real world.

A good example of this is HP’s Aurasma, this tool allows you to create an app that can turn any object, place or image into an opportunity for augmented reality.

Augmented reality experiences facilitate the opportunity to bring ordinary objects to life with digital information by simply using your camera on your smartphone to scan objects. So, if your presenting a presentation, this can make the facts and figures appear to jump off the page, this then enhances the presentation and creates a lasting impression.

Sturdier screens

It is common knowledge that phone screens, laptop screens and tablet screens are all too easy to break, and dealing with and paying for repairs can be a huge inconvenience for small businesses, costly and bad for productivity.

This could also be a thing of the past with the new ‘gorilla glass’ soon entering the marketplace. Gorilla glass is designed to be damage-resistant and shatter-proof, but still offers brilliant screen quality as it is still thin and light enough for an excellent user experience.

Scott Sanderson, Partner at Hawsons, had this to say: “Over the past decade we have seen significant enhancements in technology which has led to increased operational efficiencies across our broad client base covering a variety of sectors, which is great to see.”

Scott Sanderson

Scott Sanderson Partner

Scott Sanderson began his career with Hawsons and trained as a Chartered Accountant, becoming a partner in 2015, specialising in the healthcare sector and small businesses. For more details and advice, please contact Scott on [email protected]awsons.co.uk or 0114 266 7141.[/author_info]

Care home 2017 Budget review and analysis

Care home 2017 Budget review and analysis

Care home 2017 Budget review and analysis 

The Chancellor Philip Hammond presented the last Spring Budget on Wednesday 8 March 2017. In his speech the Chancellor was keen to point out that he wanted the tax system to be fair, particularly in relation to the distinction between employed and self-employed individuals. In this article, we look at how the Chancellor’s Spring Budget impacts care homes.

In the Budget speech the Chancellor announced that he has requested a report to be delivered in the summer on the wider implications of different employment practices. Also, the Budget included changes to NICs and the Dividend Allowance.

In December and January the government issued a number of clauses, in draft, of Finance Bill 2017 together with updates on consultations.

The Budget updates some of these previous announcements and also proposes further measures. Some of these changes apply from April 2017 and some take effect at a later date.

Our summary focuses on the issues likely to affect you and your business.

Main Budget tax proposals

Our summary concentrates on the tax measures which include:

  • increases to the Class 4 National Insurance rates – Update 15/03/17 – Chancellor withdraws plans to increase NI.
  • a reduction in the Dividend Allowance from £5,000 to £2,000
  • changes to the timing of Making Tax Digital for smaller businesses.

Previously announced measures include:

  • increases to the personal allowance and basic rate band (a decreased band for Scottish residents)
  • the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy
  • changes to corporation tax loss relief
  • the introduction of an additional inheritance tax residence nil rate band
  • changes for non-UK domiciled individuals.

Main Budget announcements (care home specific)

  • £2bn investment in social care over the next three years
  • £1bn available in 2017/18
  • £100m to fund traige projects in A&E to help relieve pressure
  • Chancellor ruled out “death tax” – a 10% levy on estates to fund social care
  • English councils to receive £300m of discretionary relief to support those affected by increase in business rates
  • Businesses losing rate relief will see their increases capped at a maximum of £600

 

Care home 2017 Budget impact


Sigh of relief as Chancellor promises £2bn fund

The overall opinion coming out of the care sector is relief. Senior figures believe that the Government has finally listened to their pleas for funding. However, having praised the Government for making the funds available, they have also warned that the money will only be an effective use of tax payers money if the Green Paper on adult social care can deliver the reforms that are necessary for putting the sector on a stable footing, so care homes will no doubt be looking ahead to engage with the Government as policies begin to take shape.

The Chancellor also ruled out Labour’s so-called “death tax” in response to speculation that such a tax would be introduced. For a bit of background, the Labour Government proposed the “death tax” before the 2010 election and this consisted of a 10% levy on estates in order to fund social care.

Business rates

Another bit of good news is the £435m to support businesses that are affected by the increase to business rates. English councils will see £300m of discretionary relief to use locally and this will be available to charities. As well as that, those who will be losing rate relief will see their increase capped at £600, which is welcome news.

Scott Sanderson, Care home specialist and Partner at Hawsons, had this to say: “While the £2bn is welcome news and an important step in recognising the crisis that social care faces, the sector has still had roughly £5bn worth of cuts since 2010. We will await the Green Paper to see the Governments reforms and what effect this will have on the sector.”

More from our care sector experts

You can also find all of our latest care sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Scott Sanderson

Scott Sanderson Partner

Scott Sanderson began his career with Hawsons and trained as a Chartered Accountant, becoming a partner in 2015, specialising in the healthcare sector and small businesses. For more details and advice, please contact Scott on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.[/author_info]

Business rates increase 2017/18

Business rates increase 2017/18

Business rates increase 2017/18

As of 1st April 2017 business rates have increased. In this article we will discuss what business rates are, what has changed, what the government announced in the Budget in order to ease the strain of the increase and whether you can appeal the business rates assigned to you.

What are business rates?

Business rates are a tax charge on business properties such as pubs, offices, shops, warehouses and factories; you could say it’s a council tax for businesses. The amount of tax you pay depends on the “rateable value” of the property, this means that if the area has high house/rent prices, the higher the annual rateable value will be. To put that into perspective, companies roughly pay half of the value of their yearly rent in business rates.

It is estimated that business rates will raise an estimated £29bn in total in 2016/17. That is around 4.5% of the entire UK tax take and around 1.8 million businesses are liable.

The changes

Before the changes came into effect (Pre April 1st), if your property’s rateable value was less than £12,000 and your business only uses a single property, you could have claimed small business rate relief. However, that threshold has now increased to £15,000.

You will get 100% business rate relief if your rateable value is up to £6,000 – in other words you won’t pay any business rates. As of 1st April, if your property has a rateable value of £12,000 or less, you will be able to get 100% business rate relief.

To avoid clashing with the general election, the government postponed the last valuation from 2015 to 2017 (where they have now increased). On average, businesses who employ fewer than 10 people are expected to pay £17,000 to cover business rates under the changes.

The Budget

Due to the backlash the Chancellor faced following the increases, he announced in the 2017 Budget that the government will give £435m to support businesses that are affected by the increase to business rates. Therefore, any small business coming out of business rates relief will not pay any more than £600 more in business rates this year, than they did in the previous year. Also, local councils will be given £300m of that £435m to offer discretionary relief to those who are the hardest hit.

The Chancellor stated that he was unable to abolish these rates due to the taxes bringing in £29bn a year and a consultation is therefore set to focus on business rates.

Can you appeal against the new business rates?

Yes. The business rates that owners pay are determined by its rateable value, which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). You can then appeal the valuation or property details if you believe they are wrong. If you do wish to go ahead with appealing your business rates you have been set, you will need to make sure you have grounds for appeal and you can check here. You can then appeal directly to the VOA.

However, you will need to continue to pay your business rates until your appeal has been resolved but, if you are not able to agree on a rateable value, you can take your case to the Valuation tribunal. The Valuation Tribunal is a free service but you have to pay for your own costs.

Scott Sanderson

Scott Sanderson Partner

Scott Sanderson began his career with Hawsons and trained as a Chartered Accountant, becoming a partner in 2015, specialising in the healthcare sector and small businesses. For more details and advice, please contact Scott on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.[/author_info]

Law firms to report disparities between men and women’s pay

Law firms to report disparities between men and women’s pay

Law firms to report disparities between men and women’s pay

From April 6 2017, companies who employ over 250 staff are now legally required to publish four sets of figures annually; whether that be on their own or the Government’s website. These figures are aimed at reporting disparities between men and women’s pay.

The required disclosures are as follows:

  • Gender pay gap with mean and median averages;
  • Gender bonus gap with mean and median averages;
  • The proportion of men and women in each quartile of the firm’s pay structure and;
  • Proportion of men and women receiving bonuses

This new reporting requirement will be particularly interesting for both law firms and accountants. The guidance published by the Government Equalities Office states that partners can be used to determine employee headcount, but should not be used as part of the calculations, even where they would usually be considered employees. However, this only applies to equity partners and not salaried partners, who must be included in all of the calculations.

Those law firms and accountants operating from a traditional partnership or limited liability partnership model are not required to include partners since they share in profits instead of receiving employment remuneration.

Solicitors and accountants have welcomed the legislation. But some are predicting a dramatic increase in equal pay and discrimination claims.

Simon Bladen, Legal Specialist at Hawsons, had this to say: “I hope that overall this legislation serves its purpose and does increase reporting transparency across the board. Hopefully, as others have already suggested, it won’t be used as a basis for large group actions and is instead a genuine step forward in promoting equality in the workplace.”

Simon Bladen Partner

Simon Bladen is the partner responsible for looking after the firm’s legal clients and has worked at Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Simon on [email protected] or 0114 226 7141.[/author_info]

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