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Welcome to the November 2019 Newsletter from Certax Accounting

November 1, 2019

In a new report, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) stated that businesses are failing to meet investors' expectations for clear financial reporting in regard to climate-related issues.

Meanwhile, employers are urged to ensure they are fully compliant with their payroll obligations. Chancellor Sajid Javid's recent pledge to raise the National Living Wage (NLW) over the next few years was one of a series of recent reminders to employers that they must be increasingly careful to meet the employment rights of their employees.

 

Investors call for clearer climate-related financial reporting

Companies are failing to meet investors' expectations for clearer financial reporting on climate-related issues, according to a new report published by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

The FRC says that it is up to companies to 'close the gap between current reporting and investor expectations'. It has also warned that investors' requirements will increase as economies increasingly transition towards low carbon and climate-resilient futures.

Commenting on the report, Sir Jon Thompson, CEO of the FRC, said: 'Investors are rightly demanding more information and greater transparency from companies on the challenges posed by climate change.

'As societal and investor expectations evolve alongside the regulatory environment, it is clear companies need to rapidly increase their transparency and improve their reporting to meet this demand. The FRC itself recognises the need to play a more active role in this space, and this report is an important step in recognising climate change as a priority and building on the FRC's activities.'

The FRC says it is providing guidance on how businesses can improve their reporting and disclosures. By 2022, the UK government expects all listed companies and large asset owners to disclose in line with the recommendations set out by the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

 

Employers urged to ensure compliance with payroll obligations

Chancellor Sajid Javid has pledged to raise the National Living Wage (NLW) to £10.50 within the next five years and lower the qualifying age for the NLW from 25 to 21.

The Chancellor's announcement was just one of a string of recent reminders that employers need to be watchful of meeting employment rights.

Getting minimum wage obligations right can be challenging for employers and failure to pay the minimum wage correctly can lead to penalties of up to £20,000, plus the cost of repaying the underpayment.

The government's recent 'Good Work Plan' consultation examined a proposal to create a new single enforcement agency to regulate employment law and clampdown on labour market abuses.

This would aid enforcement in cases where workers do not receive their legal entitlements. According to the Resolution Foundation, 10% of workers do not currently receive a payslip, while a further 5% of workers receive no paid holiday entitlement.

Workers are entitled to a payslip that can help them calculate whether they are receiving the right level of pay, pension and holiday entitlement, and check Pay as You Earn (PAYE) deductions.

In addition, failure to offer staff workplace pensions under auto-enrolment rules can end in prosecution, with up to two years' imprisonment and unlimited fines possible.

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