Jobs

What is the ‘Way to Work’ initiative, and how will it affect you?

by Madaline Dunn

At the end of January, the Department for Work and Pensions published its new plan to move “half a million people into jobs by the end of June.” The campaign is called ‘Way to Work’ and supposedly will “support people” back into work “faster than ever before.”

However, as positive as this sounds, the reality of the initiative is very different. Critics of the new campaign have called it “dangerous” and say that it “misses the point.”

So what exactly is the campaign all about and who will be affected by it? At The Salary Calculator, we’ll walk you through:

  • What the ‘Way to Work’ initiative is
  • Why the government has introduced it
  • What the impact of the scheme will be

What is the ‘Way to Work’ initiative 

The Way to Work initiative focuses largely on Universal Credit (UC) claimants who are looking for jobs and will be facilitated at UK Jobcentres by claimants’ Work Coaches. The initiative will see the introduction of new rules whereby claimants will have to expand their job search and apply for job vacancies outside of their preference zone at four weeks of unemployment. Currently, the period at which claimants must expand their search is three months. 

As outlined by Thérèse Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, the drive behind the initiative is to get people into “any job,” rather than a job that fits their skills set, qualifications, or interests. 

Now, under the new initiative, Universal Credit claimants will face tough sanctions if, after four weeks, it is deemed they have failed to make “reasonable efforts” to secure a job or if they turn down any offer. Claimants will ultimately lose part of their universal credit payment.

The amount of Universal Credit benefit claimants receive varies depending on their personal circumstances, but already, the TUC has outlined that it’s not enough to live on, especially in light of rising energy costs and the soaring costs of living. 

Why has the government introduced this initiative?

According to the government, the initiative is a response to the number of job vacancies in the UK, which is now at a ‘record high’ at 1.2 million vacancies, a figure that’s 59% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Speaking about the motivation behind the initiative, Coffey said: “As we emerge from COVID, we are going to tackle supply challenges and support the continued economic recovery by getting people into work. Our new approach will help claimants get quickly back into the world of work while helping ensure employers get the people they and the economy needs.” 

What will the impact be of the scheme?

Although the UK government argues that this initiative will help to fill vacancies and kickstart the economy, experts argue that the move is doomed to fail, and that coercion into jobs has been proven not to work. Regardless, with over 200,000 new claims per month, many people across the UK will find themselves impacted by this initiative. 

Elizabeth Taylor, CEO of the Employability Services Related Association (ERSA), outlined that a “one-size-fits-all” approach is ineffective, and the initiative, as a whole, is “at odds with the people centered methodologies that employment support providers apply.” Adding: “Individually tailored support which meets personal and local labor market needs must remain front and center of any quality employability provision.”

Taylor, writing in Forbes, says that rather than coercing individuals into jobs they aren’t suited to, providing “quality employment support” and finding ways to get people into the “right job” is not only better for the employer and the employee, but the economy as a whole, too. 

Likewise, Ruth Patrick, a senior lecturer in social policy at the University of York, states that pushing people to apply to any job, “underpinned” by the threat of benefit sanctions, is, in fact, damaging and “corrosive” to relationships between claimants and advisers. Patrick explains that this approach risks pushing people into “insecure and unsuitable employment.”

A review by a University of Glasgow team also found that overall, the kind of sanctions proposed by the UK government has detrimental effects on health and wellbeing, leading to material hardship, unemployment and economic inactivity. Moreover, while in the short term, sanctions can boost employment levels, job quality and stability are negatively affected in the long term. 

According to a statement by the Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP last week, there are now “positive signs of recovery,” with unemployment “continuing to drop,” however, for the time being, it looks as though the tough sanctions of the new Way to Work initiative are here to stay.

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Friday, February 25th, 2022 Jobs No Comments

None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

The great resignation: What is it and what does it mean for you?

by Madaline Dunn

The great resignation is the hot topic on everyone’s lips, with millions either leaving behind their old roles, or looking to in the near future. Much like the pandemic, it was unprecedented but bound to happen eventually.

This movement of people leaving their jobs en masse includes individuals from every demographic, too, reflecting a widespread frustration with traditional work and labour models.

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll walk you through:

  • What the great resignation is
  • What’s driving the great resignation
  • The pros and cons of the great resignation
  • How it will affect you and your work

What is the great resignation?

The great resignation, a term coined by business and management professor Dr Anthony Klotz in May 2021, refers to the current mass exodus from the workforce.

A study by recruitment firm Randstad UK recently conducted a survey of 6,000 workers and found that 24% of those polled were planning a job change within the next three to six months, 69% of which felt confident about their decision. Meanwhile, 16% felt anxious or concerned about finding a new role.

Employment Hero found that young people aged between 25 and 34 are those most looking towards a change, with a whopping 77% actively looking to leave their jobs within the next year. 74% of those aged 18-24 expressed similar sentiments. These were also the demographics that reported the most’ burn-out.’ Moreover, data published in i, showed one-third of millennials will seek out new employment if forced to return to the office full-time after the pandemic.

That said, those in more senior positions have also joined the great resignation. Executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, found that in December, 106 CEOs said goodbye to their senior roles, and in the final quarter of 2021, this was up 16% on a year-over-year basis

It comes as no surprise then, that in the UK in July, job vacancies were at an all-time high, crossing the threshold of one million for the first time.

What’s driving the great resignation?

The great resignation has a number of different causes. One aspect is that following nationwide government-sanctioned lockdowns; remote working became the norm for many people. This life readjustment gave people time for reflection, and when compared with office work, many found they were able to spend less time commuting and more time with their family.

Remote working is also a good move for the wallet, with fewer expenses such as travel and eating out. Likewise, many are also quitting in search of better work opportunities and higher pay. There has also been a rise in the number of people deciding to be their own boss, and go self-employed.

It’s also important to note that certain industries are seeing more workers leave than others. Specifically, leisure and hospitality, retail and healthcare are the industries that have seen the biggest departures.

Should you join the great resignation?

Of course, when mulling over whether or not to leave your job, there are many factors to consider, and as with anything, there will be pros and cons.

Leaving your job and seeking out new employment or a different kind of employment can help you access greater flexibility, secure a more healthy work-life balance, and enjoy the benefits of a bigger salary. Likewise, those looking to leave their job may have come to the realisation that their work is no longer fulfilling or aligning with their values. As such, finding a company that shares similar guiding principles can mean much more job satisfaction.

That said, quitting one’s job is not necessarily an option for everyone. When thinking about quitting, it’s important to assess key questions such as:

  • Am I in a financial situation to do so?
  • Do I know what you want to do next?
  • Do I require further training or education?
  • Am I looking to join a new field?
  • What are my family obligations?

How will the great resignation affect you?

The great resignation is very much a workers revolution, and many are arguing that employees are now in the driver’s seat. That said, it’s important to note that it’s still competitive out there, and in order to succeed, you need to be able to sell yourself, negotiate and network. Keeping your Linkedin fresh, making sure your resume is updated and conducting deep job searches will help you make the most of this opportunity.

However, not everyone is quite ready to jump ship just yet. For those who are comfortable in their position, you may have questions about how the great resignation will affect you at work. Well, a study recently conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management in the US found that out of those employees who decided to stay on when their co-workers left, 52% had taken on more responsibilities, and 30% found themselves struggling to get “necessary” work done. As a result, 55% are now questioning their salary, and whether it’s enough.

So, it’s fair to say that workers are feeling the knock-on effect of their co-workers joining the revolution. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for those who wish to stay in their current job, it’s important to be assertive if you’re struggling.

Speaking to The Guardian, Rahaf Harfoush, a digital anthropologist and the author of Hustle and Float, says in the aftermath of coworkers leaving, you should: “Look at your original role,” and assess how much you’ve taken on, then spell it out: “Here’s what I was hired to do; here’s how my time is allocated now. So either we need to reprioritise or we need to reallocate.”

Moreover, during this time, negotiating power is in the hands of employees, so it could be the right time to ask for a pay rise or a loyalty bonus.

 

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Thursday, February 3rd, 2022 Jobs No Comments

Social care tax proposed from April 2022

by Admin

The government announced yesterday plans to introduce new social care tax, intended to help reduce the costs incurred when a person goes into care. If the bill passes parliament, this will mean be an increase in National Insurance contributions of 1.25 percentage points from April 2022, to be replaced by a separate tax of the same amount from April 2023. The benefit of this additional tax, in England at least, is that care costs will be capped at £86,000 (less if you don’t have that much in savings / assets). Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own social care policies, but will receive additional revenue from the tax generated.

The plan has drawn criticism from many who see it is a tax paid by low- and middle-income employees to subsidise wealthy retirees. It also appears to be a break of a manifesto pledge not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT – the justification for which, put forward by the government, has been that the pandemic has changed things.

This BBC article has a clear summary of the changes in more detail, as well as a chart showing how much extra tax you’ll pay depending on how much you earn. The bill still needs to pass parliament, but when this and other changes from April 2022 are confirmed, The Salary Calculator will be updated with the latest rates so that you can see what a difference it will make to your take-home pay.

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Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 Income Tax, National Insurance, Savings No Comments

Pandemic-related changes to tax return schedules

by Admin

[Sponsored Post]

We appreciate that it’s difficult to stay on top of tax law at a time of such uncertainty. That’s why we’ve asked Mike Parkes from GoSimpleTax to break down the biggest support package of 2020, and how it could impact you in 2021.

Whilst the support from the government has been welcomed with open arms, by most, it is worth noting that these grants are taxable. Each grant should be reported on your tax return, as income, in the accounting period they were received. This means there may be tax and NIC due on these payments and therefore it may impact your tax liability due 31 January 2022.

The extension of the Self-Assessment filing deadline

Sole traders were also made exempt from a late filing penalty, provided that they filed online by 28th February 2021. However, this has proved somewhat confusing as self-employed individuals were still expected to pay their tax bill by 31st January.

Any individuals that failed to do so would be charged interest from 1st February on any late payments. This became even more costly if you delayed your payment on account from July 2020 (another COVID-19 response measure), as the two payments were both due on 31st January 2021 and each accrued interest.

Important change to be aware of

In a further curveball announced 19th February HMRC confirmed that the initial 5% late payment penalty on self-assessed tax would not be charged as long as the tax is paid, or a time to pay arrangement is agreed by 1st April 2021. The self-assessment timeline is now:

  • 31 January – Normal Self-Assessment deadline (paying and filing)
  • 1 February – interest accrues on any outstanding tax bills
  • 28 February – last date to file any late tax returns to avoid a late filing penalty
  • 1 April – last date to pay any outstanding tax or make a Time to Pay arrangement, to avoid a late payment surcharge
  • 1 April – last date to set up a self-serve Time to Pay arrangement online

If you’re unable to pay your tax bill in time, the government is advising you to pay in instalments. This enables you to spread the cost of your tax bill over a few months. Bear in mind that you must owe £30,000 or less and have no other payment plans or debts with HMRC. Your tax returns must be up to date, and you also have to sign up before 1st April 2021. It’s worth noting that you’ll have to pay interest too.

As there is currently no information concerning the rules for the fourth SEISS grant, we here at GoSimpleTax are urging all our users to submit their tax return immediately. After all, there’s a strong possibility that they could determine your eligibility, and you must do it in order to set up a payment plan.

About GoSimpleTax

GoSimpleTax software submits directly to HMRC and is the solution for self-employed, sole traders, freelancers and anyone with income outside of PAYE to log all their income and expenses. The software will provide you with hints and tips that could save you money on allowances and expenses you may have missed.

Try today for free – add up to five income and expense transactions per month and see your tax liability in real time at no cost to you. Pay only when you are ready to submit or use other key features such as receipt uploading.

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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 Income Tax No Comments

Job Support Scheme

by Admin

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Pro-Rata Calculator had the details of the Job Support Scheme added to it. This scheme was meant to come in to effect on 1st November but at the last minute it was put on hold and the Furlough scheme was extended. At the time, I left the Job Support Scheme on the calculator in case it might be useful for people to see what the effect of it might be in the future. However, it is uncertain whether this scheme (in its current form) will ever return – so I have removed it from the calculator in order not to add confusion. The Furlough calculator is still available.

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