Government proposal for rolling in-year self-employed tax system

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), has responded to the government’s call for evidence on a new tax system for the self-employed. This system would replace annual self-assessment tax returns with a rolling in-year system. IPSE has said that although it welcomes the government’s concern with the tax experience of freelancers, there are still “unanswered questions” about the proposal that must be explored.

“First, many self-employed people’s incomes fluctuate substantially throughout the year – and while the current annual system accounts for these and ensures self-employed people pay the right rate, it is not clear how this would work with rolling in-year taxes. It is also not yet clear how this would work with late payments – which are a substantial problem for the self-employed.

Over the last decade there has been a rapid increase in the UK’s workforce working through their own businesses and becoming self-employed for many different reasons.

However, there are reports that the Treasury lose out on a significant amount of tax when you compare an employee doing the same work as a self-employed person, working on their own or through their own limited company.

What is the argument? The Treasury are losing out on tax as the self-employed are not subject to employer’s National insurance Contributions (NIC’s) as an employee’s income would.

The Chancellor is now trying to rebalance the loss of tax due to the continued increase of UK workforce working as self-employed.

Rolling out this new tax system is the best strategy to do this, as it seems. Whether this will work or not, only time will tell. No doubt that such an overhaul of the system will be extremely costly in itself.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact James Cohen directly on jcohen@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2257.

© 2021 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved.  GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

https://bit.ly/3d6ZiN7

UK’s Supreme Court: Uber drivers must be treated as workers

The decision could mean thousands of Uber drivers are entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay. The ruling could leave the ride-hailing app facing a hefty compensation bill, and have wider consequences for the gig economy. Uber said the ruling centred on a small number of drivers and it had since made changes to its business. In a long-running legal battle, Uber had finally appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds. Uber’s share price dipped as US trading began on Friday as investors grappled with what impact the London ruling could have on the firm’s business model. It is being challenged by its drivers in multiple countries over whether they should be classed as workers or self-employed. Last week the Supreme Court ordered that Uber drivers are not self-employed, rather they are workers.

This will have implications not only for Uber, but for the wider gig economy, which accounts for millions of people.

By being classed as a worker, rather than someone who is self-employed, an Uber driver will now be entitled to certain legal protections such as protection from discrimination and rights to rest periods.

The court also highlighted that in determining someone’s status, a tribunal should examine what is actually happening in the relationship and not just what is stated in any documentation.

So, calling someone self-employed in an agreement will not help if,  in reality, that person is a worker.

It is important, that employers review their contracts to ensure that they are accurate.

The law in this article is correct as of 23 February 2021.

If you have any employment law queries, please do not hesitate to contact David Nathan at dnathan@gscsolicitors.com or on 020 7822 2247.

© 2021 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

 

The Hong Kong migrants fleeing to start new lives in the UK

It is making this “generous” offer to residents of its former colony because it believes China is undermining Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms. In the end, Britain estimates that about 300,000 will take up the visa offer over the next five years.

This Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) (BN(O)) visa is a generous one as it does not impose skills or minimum income requirements.

Eligible applicants can work or study in the UK, apply for settlement after 5 years and British citizenship 12 months after settlement.

Some BN(O) passport holders who are currently residing in the UK under other visa categories may also benefit from switching to the BN(O) visa.

For any questions on Business or Private Immigration to the UK or if you require assistance with your existing application, please contact Head of Business & Private Immigration at GSC Solicitors LLP Hateem Ali on hali@gscsolicitors.com or +44(0)207 822 2209.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-55357495

© 2021 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved.  GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

Job cuts due to the pandemic

Premier Inn owner to cut 1,500 jobs
Whitbread who owns Premier Inns are to cut around 1,500 jobs as sales have more than halved due to the coronavirus lockdowns.
Norwegian cuts over 1,000 jobs at Gatwick airport
Budget airline Norwegian has cut 1,100 pilot and cabin crew jobs at Gatwick airport as the company has axed their long-haul network. The airline reported a £442m loss in the first six months of the year, and in August 2020 Norwegian announced they will need more financial support as direct result of the pandemic.

From an employment perspective, this presents many challenges. Furlough is still a reality, and levels of redundancies continue to be high (especially in sectors such as aviation, hospitality and retail).

It is important to get proper advice from a trusted legal advisor before, for example embarking on a redundancy process, or putting someone on furlough, or simply deciding to terminate an employee’s employment. They should be dealt with in accordance with the correct law and procedures, or the adverse consequences could be costly.

For those employers who are still looking to employ new staff, or for those employees who are starting new jobs, it is also important to ensure that the documents you are signing adequately protect you.

If you have any employment law queries, please do not hesitate to contact David Nathan at dnathan@gscsolicitors.com or on 020 7822 2247.

© 2021 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 https://londonlovesbusiness.com/premier-inn-owner-to-cut-1500-jobs/

https://londonlovesbusiness.com/norwegian-cuts-over-1000-jobs-at-gatwick-airport/

COVID-19: Supreme Court backs small firms over business interruption insurance claims

Insurers are being urged to pay up without delay after judges dismiss the industry’s arguments over the disputed claims.

Small firms are cheering a Supreme Court ruling that appears set to force insurers to pay out on disputed coronavirus business interruption claims worth at least £1.2bn.

The first step for a policy holder should be to take legal advice on liability. Instruct a solicitor to advise on the terms of your policy combined with your factual matrix.

Further steps thereafter could include obtaining forensic advise as to the value of the claim and also funding for potential litigation

If you have any questions or concerns about your business, contact Richard Curtin directly on rcurtin@gscsolicitors.com or 020 7822 2222.

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-supreme-court-backs-small-firms-over-business-interruption-insurance-claims-12188322

© 2021 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

What happens when Nawaz Sharif’s passport is cancelled?

The Pakistan government has announced that it will cancel former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s passport in a month-and-a-half on February 16 when his current passport expires – indicating that Nawaz’s passport will not be renewed.

On Wednesday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said: We have decided to cancel Nawaz Sharif’s passport on February 16.

Adviser to Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan said Nawaz’s stay in London will become illegal after his passport expires. The only option for the PML-N supremo, after his passport expires, would be to come back to Pakistan and appear in court to face the cases against him, Awan said.

While several ministers have made statements, it’s understood that Prime Minister Imran Khan will make a final decision on this matter in a few days and the opinion of Shahzad Akbar, PM’s advisor on accountability is likely to be taken because of his background in law.

GSC’s Head of Corporate & Private Immigration Hateem Ali comments for two Media channels, geo.tv and news.com.pk:

Speaking to Geo, Hateem Ali, head of immigration at the leading London law firm GSC Solicitors LLP, said former PM Nawaz Sharif can continue staying in London when and if his passport is cancelled – without claiming asylum.

The UK Home Office in any event allows those on medical visas normally up to 18 months on the grounds that he is receiving treatment in the UK, he said.

Ali said that Nawaz can “potentially extend this even further depending on the nature of the treatment and with the current global pandemic the UK immigration authorities can also take this into consideration and grant further extensions of stay if necessary”.

The immigration law expert said: Mr Sharif could claim asylum potentially if he wants to, although it is unlikely that he would do so. He has the ability to claim statelessness (assuming he has no other nationality) if his citizenship has been revoked and he is left with no other nationality.

Sources: https://www.geo.tv/latest/327345

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/767021-cancellation-of-nawaz-s-passport-won-t-affect-his-london-stay

© 2020 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

Relief for Businesses, pain for Insurers?

Following lockdown, a host of businesses had to close and many looked to insurers to cover their losses.

But many insurers disputed the claims, arguing policies were never meant to cover such unprecedented restrictions.

The test case was brought by the Financial Conduct Authority and had the potential to affect 370,000 mostly small businesses.

The insurers can appeal against the decision. Policyholders should hear from their insurer within seven days.

“Today’s judgement is a significant step in resolving the uncertainty being faced by policyholders.

“Coronavirus is causing substantial loss and distress to businesses and many are under immense financial strain to stay afloat.”

The Judgment handed down in the FCA’s case on Business Interruption Policies has now changed the game for both, insurers and businesses.

Under the new ruling many businesses that suffered losses (some substantial) due to COVID-19, will be able to make and claim under the Business Interruption part of their insurance policy.

This is because the  court ruled that the ‘disease’ and/or ‘denial of access’ clauses  in some business interruption policies should have meant they were covered.

 As with all court decisions of this kind, the wording of each policy could lead to different outcomes, so there are still likely to be insurers who reject claims made by their insured where the wording of the policy does not match the wording of the policies considered by the court when making its determination.

As the long term effect of this decision. There will still be some litigation over policies with certain wording, and I suspect insurance premiums may be increased going forward (someone has to pay for all these claims!).

If you have any questions on the above or litigation in general, please contact Michael Shapiro, Head of GSC’s Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution, directly on: mshapiro@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2246.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54158830

© 2020 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

Business Interruption Scheme update

A useful update from the FCA regarding the High Court test case concerning Business Interruption (BI) Insurance.

Interestingly, the update also indicates a list of insurers and their respective policy wordings which are being looked at.

The FCA has today published an update on our High Court test case concerning business interruption (BI) insurance. You can find more information about this announcement in our press release or on our dedicated BI insurance webpage.

As part of this, we have published our proposed representative sample of 17 policy wordings and other key documents which will form the basis of the test case. We are inviting policyholders, their insurance intermediaries, insurers, other stakeholders and their legal advisers to provide their comments on these documents by 3pm on Friday 5 June.

If you would like us to assist you with any issues in relation to Business Interruption Scheme for your business, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated team on helpmybusiness@gscsolicitors.com or  Michael Shapiro on mshapiro@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2246 or Hateem Ali on hali@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2209.

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKFCA/bulletins/28e64c8

© 2020 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

Major changes for British National (Overseas) passport holders

British National (Overseas) passports were issued to people in Hong Kong by the UK before the transfer of the territory to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

Presently, a BNO passport holder is usually granted 6 months leave to enter on arrival in the UK but does not have the right to study, live and work in the UK.

The British government has indicated that if China implements the proposed national security legislation, the UK will allow BNO passport holders to come to the UK and to apply to work and study for extendable periods of 12 months from within the UK together with a pathway to full British citizenship upon the completion on the required residency period.

The UK could offer British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong a path to UK citizenship if China does not suspend plans for a security law in the territory, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says.

There are 300,000 BNO passport holders in Hong Kong who have the right to visit the UK for up to six months without a visa.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52842303

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Hateem Ali, Head of Corporate & Private Immigration, directly on hali@gscsolicitors.com or 020 7822 2209.

© 2020 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

Intellectual Property: WIPO PROOF

Today WIPO – the World Intellectual Property Organization – launched a new service called WIPO PROOF to assist creators to evidence and prove the date at which certain assets were in existence. Whilst there are a large range of possible uses, this service may be especially useful in relation to copyright materials, providing authors with an easy and verifiable method by which to confirm that a work was in existence at a certain date.

The initial costs of the registration of each document are low and so this service should be available to a large number of creators.  However, the requirement to have a WIPO account in order to purchase the tokens that are used for the registration will be a barrier to individuals accessing the service themselves.

WIPO PROOF is an easy-to-use global, online service that rapidly generates tamper-proof evidence proving that a digital file existed at a specific point in time, and that it has not been altered since that time. The service creates a WIPO PROOF token, a date- and time-stamped digital fingerprint of the file or data, which can be used as evidence in a legal dispute. WIPO PROOF tokens can be purchased one at a time for a modest fee, or in bundles of multiple tokens at reduced rates valid during a two year period.

If you would like to know more about the system, please visit the WIPO website (https://wipoproof.wipo.int/wdts/) or contact Justin Goldspink on 0207 822 2244 / jgoldspink@gscsolicitors.com or Ross Waldram on 0207 822 2236 / rwaldram@gscsolicitors.com on any Intellectual Property-related issues.

© 2020 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.