Friday, 13 January 2012

Beat the freeze with travel plans

Winter weather conditions could cause havoc when it comes to Shropshire employees getting into work. But John Mehtam, our employment law specialist, says there are solutions which could help ensure your business can continue, whatever the weather.

"In snow and ice, employees who drive off-road vehicles may not be concerned, but for drivers of smaller vehicles, you may need to look at alternative travel arrangements.

"If you have a contract to complete and you're relying on your staff to turn up, paying for another form of transport such as taxis might be the way forward. But normally the Taxman will treat any payment of home-to-work and back travel by an employer as taxable for the employee.

"So instead you may like to consider a more cost-effective car-sharing arrangement over the winter where the more confident drivers pick up their colleagues and bring them into work.

"You can offer the drivers an allowance as an incentive, but set this at a level that will cost you less than a taxi. The payment will be treated as extra wages and subject to tax and National Insurance as normal, but the drivers will still be better off."

John said if for some reason, the employee driving the shared car can't offer their colleagues a lift on any particular day, they will have to make their own way into work. "If this happens, and you pay for the employees who would usually share the car to travel home by taxi, in these circumstances it won't be counted as taxable income.

"In such difficult economic times, it's vital that company bosses consider all the options in order to keep their business operating so they can meet urgent deadlines and delivery dates. By developing a transport policy now, before the really bad weather strikes, your company will be better prepared and ahead of the competition when it really matters."