On 22 April 2020, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) updated their list of business rules that have been temporarily relaxed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The updated list (from the list first published on 08 April 2020) includes additions in respect of the following:

  • Companies House enforcement procedures
  • The Statutory Residence Test relaxation for people coming into the UK for COVID-19 activity
  • Bus and lorry driver compulsory Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) relaxation and
  • UK airline navigation charges deferral

Not all of the above will have direct reference on all employers or payroll and HR functions.  Whilst every employer is different, I think that the below may be the most appropriate to all payroll and HR professions:

  • Annual Leave (carrying over unused leave)
  • Filing accounts and annual statements (the 3-month extension from Companies House)
  • Gender Pay Gap Reporting (suspension of the deadline)
  • Right-to-work checks (adjustments making it easier for employers to conduct them)
  • The Statutory Residence Test relaxation (for people coming into the UK for COVID-19 activity)
  • Taxable expenses (advice on the equipment, services or supplies that are and are not taxable if employees work from home)
Northern Ireland?

For employers, be very careful about following guidance from BEIS.  They deal with issues that are related to Great Britain.

Whilst some of the issues they mention in their document may apply UK-wide (such as taxable expenses), some do not apply to Northern Ireland where there are devolution considerations.  For example, the carrying over of 4 weeks of annual leave does not apply in Northern Ireland as their Working Time Regulations have not been amended.

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