A panel of experts examines the impact of new politicians on employee benefits

Westminster

“The Office of Tax Simplification has worked hard to make the taxation of expenses and benefits more straightforward; after much consultation we can suggest that voluntary payrolling has had a successful, albeit modest, roll-out. When you couple this success with several years of investment to boost HMRC compliance activities I would guess that the new Cabinet will continue the measures begun under the previous leadership. This will lead to policy measures that restrict use of salary sacrifice arrangements. Whatever the result for the employee, we can assume that the employer will face continued challenges in ensuring they comply with a raft of policy change.” Samantha Mann, senior policy and research officer, CIPP

“This government has seen a big change in personnel – almost everyone is new in position and many don’t have much of a track record in their policy portfolios. The big question is whether the Chancellor Philip Hammond makes any changes to the taxation of employee benefits in his economic policy ‘reset’ at the Autumn Statement. There’s always a pressure to raise money and there’s always speculation about whether salary sacrifice arrangements will survive. I think that this new government might be open to innovations about workplace benefits that could take pressure off the public purse, and that’s something I would be looking out for in the medium term.” John Rowland, executive director, Cicero Group

“It is too early to tell what importance this Cabinet places on employee benefits in the longer term. We have got used to recent pensions ministers like Steve Webb and Baroness Ros Altmann being fully grounded in UK employee benefits and pensions knowledge. We need to see Richard Harrington in situ and up to speed and hope that he has not been appointed on a revolving door policy which was a notorious feature of the last Labour government with their pensions ministers. It is far too vital an issue for that approach.” Vince Linnane, chairman, Moorlands Human Capital