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1813 Club and Premier Members


The unexpected cost of Covid-19 on company cars


An unexpected downside of the coronavirus pandemic is that the disease has hit the pockets of company car drivers. According to tax and audit firm


Crowe, company cars have spent the last year sitting unused on driveways – but their employee drivers are still being taxed for having them. And Crowe tax partner Richard


Bull believes it may be the right time to think again about company cars. Mr Bull, who is based at the firm’s Midlands office, said: “As we enter a new financial year, it could be a good time to look at your company car policy afresh. “The company car has always


been seen as a major management perk, but as most have been parked on the drive for the last 12 months, the benefit has been minimal.” Employees are still taxed on the


benefit in kind for whichever kind of vehicle they drive and many are unsure if the sums still work in their favour, he added. “When managers and directors


were covering many miles a year, there were clear benefits such as not having to pay for servicing,


companies, and low benefit-in-kind rates for employees. “Employers can pay for charging


points at their employees’ homes and there is no benefit-in-kind charge for the employee and the company gets a full tax deduction.


‘Employers should be asking whether now was the right time to go electric’


“The same 100 per cent write off Richard Bull: car perk is parked up


brakes and tyres as well as the company paying for fuel. “However, with the pandemic


having a significant effect on the use of these vehicles, as well as other factors, such as the Birmingham Clean Air Zone coming into force on 1 June 2021. There is much to reconsider with company cars.” He said that employers should


be asking whether now was the right time to go electric with 100 per cent first year allowances for


against company profits applies if the company installs charging points at work. If employees choose to charge their cars at work, they can do so, again without any benefit-in-kind issue. “We know from speaking to


clients that many company directors have been thinking about moving their fleet across to electric, and I think now is the time to move this topic to the top of the agenda.” He added that it was a complex


subject with factors such as environmental considerations and the company’s image and reputation, as well as financial issues all to be considered.


Action needed on sustainability


Family businesses in the UK risk falling behind other countries in their commitment to prioritising sustainability, according to findings from PwC’s latest ‘Global Family Business Survey’. While more than half (53 per cent) of UK family


businesses surveyed believe they have a responsibility to fight climate change and its related consequences, only a third (33 per cent) have developed and communicated a sustainability strategy compared to the slightly higher global average of 37 per cent. The survey reveals 79 per cent of respondents in mainland China, 78 per cent in Japan and 49 per cent globally report ‘putting sustainability at the heart of everything we do’ compared to 39 per cent in the UK. Neil Philpott, PwC Midlands family business leader,


said that UK firms needed to show more commitment to ESG (environmental, social and governance – or sustainability) by taking meaningful action. He said: “A commitment to a wider social purpose


has always gone hand in hand with family business in the UK, but there is growing societal pressure from employees and business stakeholders to demonstrate more meaningful action around sustainability and wider ESG issues. “Listed companies have started to respond, but our


survey shows that UK family businesses have a more traditional approach to social contribution such as contributing to the local community or philanthropy. “At a recent round table with Midlands family


businesses, there was a clear message coming back from business leaders, that while most recognised the


strategic importance to them, there was a real breadth in how developed their planning was, ranging from some with an integrated plan in place for their business, to others with a blank sheet of paper in front of them, challenged by where they should start. “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown UK family


businesses remain resilient in the face of a crisis, underlined by the efforts they have made to retain staff, provide extra help for employees and make financial sacrifices. “With society slowly moving towards some kind of normality, family businesses will look to build on their digital capabilities, while managing family dynamics and looking to invest in more sustainable business practices.”


Neil Philpott: More ‘meaningful’ action needed


In brief


St Paul’s Square-based corporate hospitality specialist Eventmasters is to sponsor the entire card at an evening event at Worcester Racecourse next month. The fixture – on 15 July -


will be named The eventmasters.co.uk Race Night and will include seven races. Eventmasters sales


manager Stuart Parsons said: “While this is the first event we have staged with the Racecourse, we hope it will become an annual event as we have had a terrific response from our clients with five of the seven races already taken.”


Midlands-based hospitality group Caviar & Chips is to create more than 50 new jobs as it recovers from lockdown. Caviar & Chips, founded by


Jonathan Carter-Morris and Marc Hornby four years ago, was originally a wedding catering company but has since expanded. It has bought a 16th Century


pub in Warwickshire, an 18th Century boutique wedding venue in Shropshire and the firm is now busy reorganising the 100 weddings it would have catered for last year.


Birmingham based Intercity Technology, has appointed Christina Pendleton to the role of ‘chief people officer’. Ms Pendleton has risen


through the ranks at Intercity, having joined the organisation as an HR adviser in 2014 before being appointed to the Board of Directors as head of people and engagement last year.


She said: “I’m very excited to be taking on this new role.”


Training provider In-Comm Training has launched a new campaign to boost the number of apprentices taken on by UK businesses. In-Comm Training has launched ‘Equip the Recovery’ to help more employers look at investing in apprentices by removing some of the barriers. The firm has committed to


creating an additional 200 positions for young or mature learners between now and September and is asking businesses to get involved by creating roles.


June 2021 CHAMBERLINK 37


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