Today we are living in VUCA world and have been for quite some time – volatility , uncertainty , complexity and ambiguity is the norm as a result of the pandemic.
Everything in the financial markets is relative. Growth potential, rates of return and safety are all considerations which urge capital to flow to one region or asset class over another according to prevailing conditions in the markets. Given its ubiquity, the US Dollar often finds itself a bridge to these shifting winds - for better and worse. Through the opening quarter of 2021, there were significant changes in focus from an incredible charge in retail appetite to anticipation for reopening economies after mass vaccinations to burgeoning inflation expectations that have fed into central bank normalization hopes/fears.
On 1 July 2021, the VAT rules on cross-border-business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce activities changed. The rationale for these changes is to overcome barriers to cross-border online sales and address challenges arising from the VAT regimes for distance sales of goods and for the importation of low value consignments. It is envisaged that EU Businesses will be able to grow in a simplified, fairer environment within the European Digital Single Market.
As the country prepares to reopen in the coming months, a hot topic is the legality of requiring your staff to have the Covid-19 vaccination in order to return to the workplace. At present, there is no legislation that requires persons to vaccinate specifically for the purpose of returning to the workplace. There are a few exceptions where an employer can require staff members to vaccinate but these are limited to healthcare and possibly childcare environments.
There Is however, a framework you may follow to ensure your staff are safely following the best advice as per public health guidelines. The first step in this is to open the conversation with your staff members about their intention to vaccinate. This allows the employer to assess what percentage of employees intend on getting vaccinated. For employees who are unsure or do not wish to vaccinate, consider implementing procedures that best support the vaccination process. For example:
The June deadline for employers wishing to pay their Employee’s TWSS tax liability without a charge to Benefit in Kind (BIK) has been extended to 30 September 2021.
Revenue also confirmed that the concession applies where an employer pays the Income Tax and USC liabilities:
The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018 has updated the Organisation of Working Time Act to provide employees with a statutory entitlement to a “banded hours” contract in certain circumstances. It is contractual entitlement for employees to work within a set range of hours for the next 12 months, calculated by averaging out the hours worked during the previous 12 months.
There are certain sectors in which experience shows that employees’ contracts do not reflect the hours actually worked. By way of example, the hospitality sector would historically be seasonal in nature with employees potentially working full time during busy summer months, with limited hours during the winter months. Over the years, and prior to Covid, the “season” extended, and regularly employees would work full time on a year-round basis, but hold a contract requiring working hours at a much lower level.