What can you do now to prepare for a potential change of government?

2 April 2024 / Insight posted in Enterprise series, Top tips

Our recent enterprise series webinar focussed on what a potential change of government could bring. The panel consisted of our tax, financial planning and employment law specialists, who highlighted the potential changes, risks and benefits change could bring. They also provided an insightful economic overview.

How to prepare for a potential change of government

  • Ensure your business and managers keep abreast of the news and any major political announcements so you know what changes could be made, when and if such changes are likely to be as we expect or something different.
  • Ensure that people managers are fully trained on managing the processes that are fertile grounds for claims such as disciplinaries, grievances, flexible working applications, whistleblowing and workplace conflicts. Getting these processes right now will help with any heightened risk of claims from unfair dismissal becoming a day one right that is open to a wider pool of people.
  • Consider whether you wish to:
    • put in place or update contracts and policies so that your organisation will be ready for a substantial expansion of employment laws if they come in;
    • be aware of changes that are potentially on the horizon and be ready to react as the laws come in.
  • Assess your risks as they stand and if your company operates one, add them to your risk register, in particular:
    • do you hire zero hours contracts or casual workers and therefore could you be affected by the expansion of unfair dismissal rights?;
    • do you have any potential equal pay issues relating to gender, race or disability that you could rectify now to avoid any future claims?;
    • are your contracts, handbook and policies as up to date as they can be so that if changes are introduced, they are either already fit for purpose with or you’re ready to adapt them quickly?
  • The pace of change of tax policy can be quick, particularly in the approach to and after a general election. If you have any uncertainties about your position and how future changes may affect you, take professional advice.
  • Try to avoid making decisions which are purely tax driven. Tax should be a consideration, but whatever planning is put in place needs to be practical and consistent in meeting your overall objectives.
  • If you have a sizable estate, start planning now to mitigate your IHT exposure – you are never too young. In most cases, the benefits of undertaking planning will pay for itself.
  • Make use of your annual pension allowances and exemptions, they are likely to change and probably not for the better.
  • Pensions are complex and the rules highly nuanced; you should seek professional advice before making any irreversible decisions, particularly as so little is known about any future government’s plans.
  • Review the structuring of any investments not held through an ISA, pension or other tax-privileged wrappers and consider options to manage exposure to capital gains tax following the reduction of annual exemptions.

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