The Sunday Telegraph’s Sam Meadows considers how tax laws are being enforced retrospectively, ruining the lives of people who legitimately believed they were engaging in lawful practice. He focuses on contractors who used employee benefit trusts, which were widely used for much of the 2000s but declared effectively illegal by HMRC in 2010. People are being bankrupted for schemes they declared to the taxman almost 20 years ago and for which they received expert advice. Meadows says: “The Government hasn’t so much moved the goalposts as pulled them from the stadium and set them alight.”

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 5

Posted 07/10/2018

SNP activists have called on the UK government to devolve powers over employment law to Scotland, so that bosses would be required to give abuse victims time off if they leave their partner. A motion was passed at the party’s annual conference in Glasgow saying the UK Government should either consider introducing such a law, or else hand the ability to do so to Holyrood. It came after SNP MSP Gillian Martin said that an “abused person shouldn’t have to hope her managers will be understanding” when ending a relationship. She told how New Zealand had introduce legislation requiring companies to give domestic abuse victims up to 10 days of leave from work, separate from annual holidays, if they leave their violent partner. Parts of Canada also have similar protections, she added.

Daily Mail The Scotsman, Page: 5 The Press and Journal, Page: 12-13

Posted 08/10/2018

HMRC has issued a further warning to self-employed people not to be duped by umbrella companies offering to boost their take-home pay by limiting their tax liabilities and paying them through loan or investment arrangements. HMRC said: “These types of arrangements are likely to result in you paying additional tax, interest and perhaps penalties, and are never HMRC approved.”

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 21/09/2018

The Mirror reveals that thousands of people are still owed refunds for money they paid to take their employers to court. The Government has returned just £6.6m of £32m it took in employment tribunal fees. Unison said: “Putting right this huge wrong should’ve happened faster.”

Daily Mirror, Page: 12

Posted 30/07/2018


An employment tribunal has ruled that 65 Hermes couriers are staff workers and not self-employed. The ruling means that they are entitled to employees’ rights, the minimum wage and holiday pay. The GMB union that bought the tribunal case in Leeds for the employees said the ruling will affect almost 15,000 Hermes couriers nationwide. Union general secretary Tim Roache said: “Bosses can’t pick and choose which laws to obey. This is another nail in the coffin of the exploitative bogus self-employment model.”

The Guardian, Page: 11 The Independent, Page: 63 The Sun, Page: 4 Daily Mirror, Page: 11 City AM, Page: 9

Posted 26/06/2018


Pimlico Plumbers has lost a legal battle in the Supreme Court over workers’ rights. The company was told that Gary Smith, a plumber who had been with the company for six years, was entitled to benefits such as holiday and sick pay, despite having been VAT-registered and paying self-employment taxes. The ruling means that an employment tribunal can now examine Mr Smith’s action against Pimlico as a worker, including a claim that he was unfairly dismissed. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said the case had exposed “how widely sham self-employment has spread”, and called on the government to crack down on the practice.

BBC News The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3 Financial Times, Page: 2 The Times, Page: 6 Daily Express, Page: 2 The Independent, Page: 64 The Guardian, Page: 5 Daily Mail, Page: 38 City AM, Page: 7

Posted 14/06/2018



The Guardian reports that Next is facing an equal pay claim from female shop floor staff. More than 300 workers have registered to take part in a claim filed at the conciliation service Acas, according to the paper. They say they are paid £7.50 an hour, an average £2 less than the mainly male warehouse staff who they view as doing work of equal value. The average salary difference for the group is about £6,000 and it is expected that 3,000-5,000 workers will sign up to the group claim, which could take it to £30m.

The Guardian, Page: 41

Posted 08/03/2018

Trade unions have warned that workers’ rights could suffer if Britain leaves Europe’s single market and instead joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership after Brexit. TUC general secretary Frances Barber said the trading pact “allows labour abuses, it puts public services at risk and it gives too much control to corporations.”

The Guardian, Page: 7

Posted 04/01/2018


Margot James, the business minister, has warned that employers are discriminating against fathers at work by refusing requests for flexible hours, forcing mothers to do more childcare. She told MPs at the Women and Equalities Committee that rigid attitudes are bad for fathers as they get less time with their families, while women also lose out in their own careers as a result. Ms James said: “One of the reasons employers are less generous to fathers is that they are not so sure of their legal obligations to fathers as they are to mothers. They think they can stand in the way more of what fathers need to do at home, and that is wrong.”

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 4


Posted 27/11/2017

Two thirds of British workers would prefer to start and end their working day earlier than the traditional 9am to 5pm, a new survey has found. YouGov said starting at 8am and finishing at 4pm was the most popular option, chosen by 25% of respondents. Another 13% said they would prefer to work 8.30am to 4.30pm, while 10% favoured 7am to 3pm.

BBC News The Daily Telegraph

Posted 14/11/2017