Soundbites from COVID-19 Online Events
Updated as at 16th July
Louise Tarpy, Head of Software Developer Collaboration at HMRC and her specialist VAT and MTD colleagues joined BASDA members for our most recent onlind event last week. Whilst they indicated that they were very busy on COVID-19 related issues focus continues on BAU with a mandate to deliver.
To download the full HMRC deck click the presentation link to the right.
HMRC thank the industry for their support through this difficult period. They recognised that most developers have implemented their own customer support models, guidance and/or solutions. This has really helped mutual customers through this unprecedented and most challenging of times.
CJRS: The new scheme’s rules change each calendar month. Important: there is now a standard format for upload files. Files received that don’t meet the required format will be returned to customers which will delay claims. More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.
VAT reduction: From 15 July until 12 January 2021, the UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos.
Member question: Does that 5% have to be separated out in any way in any reporting in a VAT return? HMRC response: Not aware of requirement for separate reporting but links to schemes are within presentation.
The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme: During August, diners can get 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered. Businesses can now register for this scheme and HMRC encouraged all BASDA members to encourage their customers to do so.
Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA): Introduced from 1 Jan 2021, as announced at Budget. PVA allows VAT registered businesses to account for VAT on imports through their VAT return rather than at (or soon after crossing) the UK border.
Member comment: When it comes to passing information out it would be useful to see examples of domestic sale and purchase, current EU sale and purchase, non EU sale and purchase and show what the equivalent will be when PVA is introduced. When NI situation becomes clearer the equivalent scenarios. Good examples are worth weight in gold. HMRC response: Noted and will see what can be done relating to the information that can be shared. Will take that question away and update at the BASDA meeting with HMRC in August.
Member question: PVA – if a Brexit trade deal is not negotiated by 31 Dec will PVA be put back or will it happen on 1st Jan regardless. HMRC response: It is not dependent on anything else that is happening and it will happen regardless. It will be there and available to use from 1 Jan.
MTD: The vast majority of businesses and agents already interact with HMRC online. Believe that introducing MTDfB will have a significant impact in terms of error reduction across their business customers. The latest tax gap figures show that error and FTRC tax gap now stands at £9.4bn
- The PAYE tax gap has reduced from £4.1bn in 13/14 to £3bn in 15/16 following the introduction of RTI
Improving the standard of business records & the data that flows from them is critical – software products can help HMRC achieve that.
VAT Reverse Charge for Construction Services: Delayed until 1 March 2021 with an amendment to the original legislation : it is now a requirement for businesses excluded from the reverse charge because they are end users or intermediary suppliers to inform their sub-contractors in writing that they are end users or intermediary suppliers.
Updated as at 11th June
Chris Sheppard, HR Director, Colmers HR Solutions joined our recent online event. With over 30 years’ experience within HR Chris provides relevant, reliable and pragmatic HR advice on all aspects of employment law, recognising her SME clients have a business to run. She is often called in to support clients with a range of sticky situations, to develop a proactive approach to avoid them in the future. Using the principles of ‘DISC’ to assess personality styles she helps them develop and manage successful relationships. She is proud that no client she has advised has ever been taken to tribunal.
Chris presented to members about bringing team members back from furlough, in particular when they may be faced with a workplace where teams may have changed, processes may have changed and for many businesses, the way they actually conduct business and deal with customers have changed. What is recognised as goood (and indeed bad) practice? What role does communications play? What are the considerations for employers dealing with extended furlough and/or redundancies.
Chris has provided a member offer specific for BASDA – for details on her HR Bounce Back Support package please download the accompanying PDF.
For BASDA members that wish to contact Chris directly to avail of her HR consultancy services for your business the details are:
Please quote ‘BASDA’
Updated as at 28th May
Peter Hodgson, Managing Director of Sureteam joined a recent sharing COVID-19 experiences online event with BASDA members. Peter is an experienced Health and Safety adviser and a trainer certified by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. With an extensive background in Health and Safety and a vast wealth of experience in assisting others to become compliant Peter’s presentation was very appropriate in helping members address risk management challenges facing them as they consider returning to the workplace.
Peter has provided some useful links to various resources as well as information from Sureteam on an offer for BASDA members.
For BASDA members that wish to contact Peter directly to avail of his consultancy services for your business his details are
Please quote ‘BASDA’
GDPR guidance for workplace testing of employees – CLICK HERE
RIDDOR reporting requirements for Coronavirus cases within the workplace – CLICK HERE
General Health & Safety Guidance for Employers – CLICK HERE
Sureteam have a resources page specifically for COVID-19 – CLICK HERE
Updated as at 19th May 2020
For BASDA members that wish to contact Lisa directly to avail of her consultancy services for your business her details are
Ph: 07492 903 659
Please quote ‘BASDA’.
Soundbites from Lisa Jones, Headstrong Training
“Higher levels of stress and anxiety are being experienced by those home working. Greatest fear is uncertainty and it causes problems. We are all individuals and everyone will respond differently. Bearing that in mind is crucial.”
“Environment is most important. Everyone is in different situations with blurred boundaries between work and home and associated stress. Differentiate and make space once finished work – put laptop and papers out of the way to get respite.”
“Maintain a sense of order and control – on larger scale we cannot change the situation but we can control ourselves – do small tasks every day to create sense of internal order. This creates predictability and sense of agency over ourselves.”
“Routine and schedule as much as possible. The sense of order will help you feel you have achieved during the day.”
“Reward – give praise to ourselves and others and keep tasks small and achieve one thing at a time. This helps you feel better and more motivated/driven.”
“Reflect – take the time – ask specially what you may be stressed about. Break down smaller manageable things – what specifically feels stressful / break it down / check in with how you are feeling – recognising what your triggers are / what your stresses are?”
“Building resilience – learn to remain flexible when faced with stress.”
“Connection – the social and human connection is important. Ideally face-to-face to make that interaction so use technology during social distancing. Create the connection but caveat finding the balance i.e. doing the amount that is right for you.”
“Sleep, hydration, nutrition. Be mindful of what you are putting into your bodies.”
“Find the joy. Find moments of daily gratitude. Identify one thing a day to be thankful for and one thing achieved every day.”
“When moving teams back into the workplace communication is key. Keep lines open and be honest and transparent with your team. Each individual will be struggling at different times so have those open conversations with individuals about their fears and worries – break them down so that they can be properly addressed and managed.”
Updated as at 30th April 2020
‘Re-entry into physical workspaces will be challenging. Physical safety, social distancing, trying to recapture that sense of connection employees may not have had while working remotely will all need to be addressed.’
‘Most businesses will work on a phased approach to returning to work with plans taking place on how best to implement social distancing and how to integrate employees back into physical workplace.’
‘Some customers have adapted very quickly and adjusted to online and as a result, we are rethinking our delivery model.’
‘Furlough staff – importance of keeping in touch to ensure there is no feeling of negativity and/or resentment.’
‘Don’t force fun – take an organic approach to any online team events as colleagues work from home.’
‘Be sensitive to other people’s situations and respect where people are isolating. Critical not to enforce own views over others and be mindful of how other people are feeling as they may not be as comfortable as you are.’
‘It’s ok not to be ok. Isolation is very different from individual to individual and many may struggle with working from home. Work to have the right type of support in place.’
‘Finding these online events very useful. Being able to speak openly and knowing now that others are in the same position, having similar challenges and carrying out similar processes is reassuring.’
BASDA hosted an interactive online event for members on 16th April to discuss and share insights, learnings and challenges, and the impact on businesses and employees, relating to Covid-19. Members shared experiences and sought clarification on issues under the following topic areas:
- Business Continuity
- Furlough – as both a business and as a developer
- Working from home
- Mental Health & Wellbeing
Thank you to all that joined us and took part in a very engaging and informative session. Further online events are planned and we look forward to your attendance and contribution.
‘Proper Disaster Recovery planning takes account of both likelihood and impact to assess comparative risks and identify the areas you really should plan for that could finish you off and could actually happen. The nature, acceleration, and extent of this crisis was a surprise for pretty much everyone and however much planning has undertaken to anticipate such an eventuality under the auspices of BC/DR, it does not cover what actually happened.’
‘The larger challenge for our business has been the bandwidth and reliability of home broadband connection for team members, which is very difficult to manage in advance as a contingency and difficult to address after the fact indirectly through a hundred individual residential contracts, just as the whole world is trying to do the same.’
‘Our business had to consider and help our team with the location of where they are home working (i.e. bedroom or sofa). We also asked could the teamwork effectively on their home broadband and, if not, work with them on how to fix this. We helped financially towards the cost of it as a business.’
‘Arguably, being compelled to embrace working from home is liberating for the future in another way. It opens up recruitment options for any business that had previously been tied to local hires only or relocations and widens the pool of candidates in most roles enormously.’
‘Allowing flexibility has been key so that employees can split their day to work around being primary carer e.g. ability to flex time to care for children while the other parent works has worked quite well. That additional flex of time could be considered longer term.’
‘Customers may have trading issues and stop paying invoices which has an impact on a business. Length of time the current situation is in place answers the questions whether staff may be furloughed or not. Need to continually review the situation.’
‘Many companies have learned the difference between sporadic, partial homeworking across the organisation and sudden, 100% workforce working from home. This generates new bottlenecks in terms of IT support for minor complications which don’t even register when they trickle in one a week.’
‘Educating clients that work can be done remotely going forward. Will travel to client sites be necessary in the new world?’
‘Payroll software providers do fall into key worker status.’
‘Mental health and wellbeing of employees is now more important than ever. Creating social scenarios to keep in touch and communicate is important. Daily calls, monitoring and checking in on the team, using technology for social gatherings – social pubbing, team online exercise, etc. are proving helpful and important as part of businesses keeping in touch with employees.’