Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Surrey Wildlife Trust Pine & Dine

On Friday 8th December 2017 the Ward Williams Financial Services team along with a few close colleagues from our Tax department, joined the Surrey Wildlife Trust and other companies on a festive away day to help remove invasive Scotts Pine from the heathland of Barossa, Camberley.

The importance of the maintenance of this rare heathland was explained to us - Lowland heathland is only found along the fringes of northern Europe and is protected under European legislation.  Surrey has over 3,500 hectares of this internationally important natural resource and the Surrey Wildlife Trust cares for 64% of it.

After a detailed security briefing, we all got to work sawing down trees and clearing scrub to make a home for wildlife that thrives in heathland.  We were able to bag the trees and take them home for Christmas or they were piled onto huge bonfires with the help of the lovely Surrey Wildlife Trust staff.

At lunchtime, we stopped to tuck into a hearty chilli, washed down with warmed spiced cider.  There was also the opportunity to toast marshmallows over the fire.

In the afternoon, we were able to get festive and make our own natural Christmas wreaths and the day was finished off with mince pies and more tea to warm up after a hard day’s work.

The day was enjoyed by all and we were able to clear a large area of heathland to restore it back to its natural state.

We would like to thank the Surrey Wildlife Trust for hosting such a well organised and enjoyable day and for all their hard work in looking after Surrey’s countryside.

You can find photos of the day here.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Pension contribution increases and temporary staff

The Pensions Regulator is reminding employers that they need to comply with their auto enrolment duties.

Automatic enrolment still applies to temporary staff this Christmas

With the festive season fast approaching, employers may be planning to take on temporary staff to help their business survive the rush. Automatic enrolment applies to these employees in the same way as permanent employees, even if they will only be working for a short time.

Employers will still need to assess temporary staff and auto enrol any eligible employees into a qualifying pension scheme. Once auto enrolled both the employer and employee must make pension contributions.

It is possible to apply postponement to temporary employees, which has the effect of delaying some of the auto enrolment duties, but TPR are warning this must be dealt with correctly.

Are you ready to increase contributions?

TPR are reminding employers that they need to be ready to deal with the increased auto enrolment pension contributions which apply from April 2018. Employers and their employees need to be aware of how the changes will affect them, including checking that the employer’s payroll software is compatible.

Guidance is included on TPR website on this issue. From 6 April 2018, the minimum contributions employers and staff pay into their automatic enrolment pension goes up to 2% for employers and 3% for employees. This increase has been planned since automatic enrolment started. Further increases in rates are scheduled for April 2019.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on wwfs@wardwilliams.co.uk.