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Sun,05Jul2020

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Harlow Chamber News and AnnouncementsNews

Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin University

Do you have a business issue or challenge that you think our students could help you work towards solving?

Our newly launched live brief programme is an opportunity for you to present our students with a real-world problem and challenge them to come up with a fresh and creative solution or ideas that could benefit your organisation. The following sectors/areas are priorities for October 2020 delivery but we’d be equally keen to hear from you if you work within other areas for 2021 delivery:

• Theatre production

• Galleries or other organisations that put up exhibitions

• Advertising agencies

• Local shops

• Gaming companies

• Criminal law firms

• Wildlife conservation NGOs

• GP surgeries, NHS walk-in clinics

• Biochemical Information for employers about live briefs and the mutual benefit of these creative problem solving exercises for both students and business can be found online:

https://lnkd.in/ghWmeNu

 

Companies with a Car Fleet - Five changes you need to know about

Five changes you need to know about

A 0% benefit-in-kind tax rate on electric vehicles in 2020/21 is another persuasive argument for making the move to zero-emission motoring – but evidence suggests that nearly a third of fleet managers haven’t heard about this change.

At any other time, this would seem very surprising, but in recent months, people have had other things to worry about. To help fleet managers, and anyone else interested in company cars, get up to speed, here are the highlights of the most recent changes.

1. 0% company car tax (or benefit-in-kind tax) for electric vehicles

Cars with zero emissions registered in this tax year won’t be paying company car tax. Some low emission vehicles won’t either. And the rates stay low for the next few years too, at 1% for 2021-22 and then 2% until at least 2024-25.

2. Other WLTP changes to company car tax for new vehicles

With the WLTP test likely to produce higher results for many vehicles, the Chancellor has cut company car tax rates by two percentage points in 2020-21 and by one percentage point between 2021 and 2023. One consequence of this change is the 0% rate for electric vehicles, which we have mentioned above, as we felt it was significant enough to highlight on its own.

This was a long-expected change, but the Chancellor also announced the tax rates for the two years from 2023 to 2025 – and kept them at the same level as those for 2022-23. It’s good news for fleets as there’s now much more clarity for long-term planning, but it’s also worth noting that higher emission vehicles are likely to pay a significant sum.

The charge for the heaviest emitters (those above 170 grams of CO­per km) is 37% and even low emitting petrol and diesel cars are likely to be paying over 20%.

3. Plus new rules for vehicles registered before 6 April 2020

Cars registered in previous years won’t see their tax rates reduced this year, but the levels are frozen between 2021 and 2023 – and the more lenient NEDC figures will be used for the calculations as well.

4. Extra savings for electric vehicles

Cars with zero CO2 emissions have a £0 first-year road tax rate from 1 April 2020 (as do ultra-low-emitting vehicles using alternative fuels) – and electric vehicles costing over £40,000 are now exempt from the £325 road tax supplement that applies in every year after the first one. It could quickly add up to a big saving.

5. The Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG) isn’t dead just yet

Speculation suggested the Plug-In Car Grant would be allowed to fade away when its funding ran out in April. However, the Government is clearly throwing its weight behind electric vehicles and extra funding has been found to keep the grant going – though it has been reduced from £3,500 to £3,000 – and it now only applies to vehicles that cost less than £50,000.

Watch our upcoming webinar

Want to know more about these changes and the opportunities they offer your fleet? Join us at our free webinar on Thursday 9th July at 11am (GMT), with LeasePlan’s Head of Consultancy, Matthew Walters and Specialist Fleet Consultant, Caroline Sandall, where they will explore this topic in detail. Register now.

Border Controls from Jan 1st

Last week the government announced the approach to border controls on GB-EU trade in 2021 and it formally notified the EU that it will not accept or seek an extension to the Transition Period.In recognition of the unprecedented impact that coronavirus has had on all aspects of life, border controls are being introduced in stages, to give businesses more time to prepare. The stages are:

  • From January 2021: Traders importing standard goods will need to prepare for basic customs requirements and will have up to six months to complete customs declarations. Tariff payments can be deferred until the customs declaration has been made. Traders moving controlled goods such as tobacco and toxic chemicals will be required to complete a customs declaration. Businesses will also need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods. There will also be physical checks at the point of destination on all high-risk live animals and a proportion of low-risk live animals.
  • From April 2021: All products of animal origin (POAO) and all regulated plants and plant products will also require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation.
  • From July 2021: Traders moving all goods will have to make declarations at the point of importation and pay relevant tariffs. Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) commodities there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples.

This approach does not apply to the flow of trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland, or between Northern Ireland and GB.To support businesses with the new processes taking effect next year, the government has developed a new £50m package to boost the capacity of customs intermediaries – including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators – providing businesses with further support. This funding will support intermediaries with recruitment, training and supplying IT equipment to help handle customs declarations.Rules will also be changed to remove barriers for intermediaries taking on new clients. The government intends to remove the financial liability from intermediaries operating on behalf of their clients and allow parcel operators to continue declaring multiple consignments in a single customs declaration. This will help intermediaries increase their operations.Additionally, the government has committed to building new border facilities in Great Britain for carrying out required checks, as well as providing targeted support to ports to build new infrastructure. They are consulting with ports across the UK to agree what infrastructure is required.This announcement is another important step towards getting the country ready for the end of the Transition Period, but there is still more work to be done by both government and industry to ensure we are prepared for January 2021.

Landlords and health and safety in a post Covid-19 world?

  • How will landlords and health and safety have to adapt in a post Covid-19 world?

23 June 2020
 
How will landlords and health and safety have to adapt in a post Covid-19 world?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic uncertainty has swept the globe and has cause a number of markets and industries to struggle, none more so than the letting industry.

With social distancing rules and the uncertainty of the pandemic sending the UK into lockdown it became difficult for landlords to let out their properties due to restrictions on essential trips and the lack of disposable income people had to rent new property.

That being said, the lockdown in the UK has begun to ease and the lettings market should expect to increase once more in the coming months. With that in mind it is essential to understand how health and safety will change in a post Coronavirus world.

How will health and safety change post COVID-19?

Tenants’ safety should be a landlords’ number one priority and, as such, the government has put in place new protections for tenant’s regarding evictions during the Coronavirus pandemic. These protections state that, until September 30th 2020, most landlords will not be able to start eviction proceedings unless they have given their tenants three months notice.

However, there are other elements of advice and legislation, referring to the health and wellbeing of landlords and tenants’ that should also be followed amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

+ Private landlords and letting agents should not conduct viewings in properties where tenants are self isolating or have had symptoms of COVID-19 in the past few days. This ensures that the virus does not continue to spread and should a viewing occur where it is able to social distancing rules shall apply.

+ Any necessary visits to a property, for repairs, safety checks etc, shall be conducted in accordance with government guidelines on social distancing. These visits should also be done with minimal contact between people from different households in order to protect everyone involved

+ In order to ensure the safety of the tenant, landlords will make every effort to ensure that any gas and electrical equipment is kept safe and functioning. However, this may become difficult if a tenant is self isolating in which case the landlord is exempt from these responsibilities as long as they have taken reasonable steps to comply.

These are just a few of the examples of how rules and legislation has changed in order to ensure the safety of landlords and tenants in the post Coronavirus world and there are likely to be more alterations, making it essential that you keep up to date on the latest industry new regarding health and safety.

How will health and safety change in commercial real estate?

In regards to commercial real estate, it is a slightly different story. Under the Health and Welfare at work act 2005 it is the responsibility of both landlords and tenants to ensure that commercial properties being used as workplaces are kept up to standard and ensure that there is no risk to employees or customers. For a landlord this may involves restricting public access, sanitizing the premises and evacuating if necessary.

However, that being said, it is essential to review the lease agreement with a tenant in order to ascertain whose obligation it is to clean and sanitise a premises and an informal agreement may be a preferred solution if there is no clear answer.

Overall it’s no secret that health and safety will change and landlords will have to ensure that they are making it easy for tenants and themselves to comply with government legislation whether that involves sanitisation and social distancing or the letting and showing of property.

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