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Pension Matters Publication of Green Paper THE MUCH anticipated Green Paper was published on Monday 20 February. This is earlier than expected; we reported previously that it was likely to be issued following the March budget. As a direct consequence of SNIPEF’s lobbying, plumbers are specifically referred to in paragraph 406. And the paper presents an opportunity to address the issues SNIPEF has raised previously. This paper seeks the views of scheme members, scheme trustees, sponsoring employers and scheme professionals; we encourage members to respond. SNIPEF met the Pensions Minister in January when it was agreed that following publication of the Green Paper, we would meet with the Department of Work and Pensions to discuss the issues raised in more detail. This meeting is planned for early April and has grown in scope. It will now take the form of an important round table discussion attended by key players in the development of the Bill. Attending will be Des Healy, Private Pension Policy for the DWP, representatives from the Pension Protection Fund, Ian Blackford MSP, Pete Wishart MSP, Plumbing Pensions Ltd and SNIPEF. Information for members and advisors SNIPEF has a dedicated section of the website that contains a range of information regarding the Industry pension Scheme. Visit: http://www. snipef.org/members/ employment/iops.htm to access the following: • Copies of all News Updates issued to members by SNIPEF • Copies of correspondence between SNIPEF and the Industry Pension Scheme on matters relating to the employer consultation • Scheme Rules and amendments • Documents prepared by SNIPEF advisors • Triennial Actuarial Valuation Reports • FAQs Finally, SNIPEF has convened a new forum for the constituents (APHC, Unite the Union and SNIPEF) of the Industry Pension Scheme to discuss key issues including Section 75 Employer debt and the future of the Industry Pension Scheme. We are hopeful that this new Forum will ensure that the views of SNIPEF and its members will be more effectively represented to the Industry Pension Scheme in future and ensure that the Trustee will consider all options going forward in order not only to protect the interests of the Industry Pension Scheme members but also the best interests of all employers associated with it. • ‘employed’ or ‘dismissed’ could indicate an individual may be an employee. The words ’contractor’, ‘contract’ and ‘engaged’ could be used instead. • What would customers think? If an individual wears the organisation’s uniform and drives their branded vehicle, they may be more likely to be considered employees or workers. • What control do you have over the individual? If an individual is told when and where they must attend work, what they must do, what they will be paid for it, and signs up to comply with various rules, then the lack of control tends to indicate that they may be an employee or a worker. • Is the individual obliged to perform the work personally? If this is the case then, unless you can show that the individual is running their own business and you are a customer of that business, the individual is likely to be a worker or an employee. Self-employed people can often delegate some or all of the work to others. • Are you obliged to provide work for the individual? If you are not obliged to provide work and the individual is not obliged to perform the work when offered, this would tend to rebut the argument that there is an ongoing employment relationship. • How do you pay the individual? Self-employed often receive payment following an invoice at a fixed price for a job, whereas workers and employees may receive regular payments without having to invoice. • Does the individual perform work for other people or organisations? If the organisation is the individual’s only client, they are more likely to be deemed an employee or worker. • Who supplies the tools and materials? With some exceptions, employees generally expect their employer to provide and pay for the necessary tools and materials to do the job. • What is the individual’s tax status? If they pay their own tax they are less likely to be employees, but tax status is not determinative of the position because different rules apply to tax than to employment or workers’ rights. You can protect yourself by having clearly worded contracts that set out everyone’s obligations and expectations and by ensuring that the relationship is conducted in accordance with those contracts. Tribunals and courts regularly ignore contracts which they realise are a sham. Getting it right at the start of the relationship should not be too onerous or expensive; doing so can save costly and time consuming headaches months or years down the line. Andrew Brown can provide advice on a range of employment law issues and acts to large companies and small organisations. SNIPEF members are given competitive rates. Contact Andrew.brown@ andersonsthethern.co.uk • www.snipef.org 23


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To see the actual publication please follow the link above