Our latest SJD Insider newsletter was published at the start of May, containing a variety of interesting industry articles. We thought you might like to know more about these latest hot topics, so please read on for an overview or download the full newsletter here.
Gender pay gap reporting
New industry legislation means that businesses and charities with over 250 employees are legally required to report gender pay gaps – which must be calculated using a variety of statistics, and then published as a written statement. The UK’s gender pay gap is currently at an all-time low of 18.1%, according to government figures, and it is estimated that eliminating the gap altogether could see annual GDP grow by £150 billion by 2025.
Understanding ISA rules
According to recent research by Opinium, over 50% of all UK adults do not currently understand the rules around ISAs – which allow individuals to save money free of income tax. Amongst the various findings of the report, only 20% knew the current annual allowance is now £20,000 – up from £15,240 in 2016/17 – and less than a quarter realised you could transfer money from previous tax years into a current ISA.
Public sector IR35 changes
Limited company contractors in the public sector have experienced important changes to IR35 legislation at the start of the tax year, meaning they are no longer responsible for determining their own IR35 status. With these new rules, public sector organisations, or intermediate agencies who pay the contractors, are now responsible for deciding whether the work falls within IR35 – and if so then they must deduct income tax and National Insurance.
Digital skills shortage
According to a recent British Chambers of Commerce survey, a lack of digital skills is affecting business productivity and growth in the UK. While 84% of firms think IT and digital skills are more important than in 2015, 76% report a digital skills shortage. To combat this, the government has created a digital training strategy designed to help people gain these skills, and also plans to create five international hubs in emerging markets to connect UK companies and local tech firms.