Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Martin Leuw says "if PAYE ain't broke don't fix it"

I attended IRIS World 2010 in London yesterday and was introduced to Martin Leuw, CEO of IRIS.

Martin recently wrote a piece for The Independent, "The coalition needs to cut red-tape and fast", saying that both employment law and health and safety law need to be made simpler, because they put small businesses off hiring employees.

I couldn't agree more with that. I help look after HR at FreeAgent and while I can see why it's important to have a first aid box in the office and send several members of staff to learn first aid (my parents both owe their lives to trained first aiders), I can't see why it was necessary to buy a big shiny poster about health and safety law and Blu-Tack it up in the office. Surely it would have been enough, and far more environmentally friendly, to send round a link to the health and safety website for staff to read?

But the nub of Martin's piece, for me, is his concern about proposed plans to devolve the responsibility for running payroll to HM Revenue.

I run FreeAgent's payroll. It is my responsibility to make sure everyone takes home the right amount of money each month. I relish that. In my days in practice I saw just what a hash HM Revenue can make of things. I'm blessed if I want them getting their grubby little paws on running our payroll. And I'm sure I'm not the only payroll queen/king who feels like that.

Besides which, HM Revenue have enough to do, recovering all these billions of pounds in unpaid taxes that we keep hearing about.

So I agree with Martin on all counts. Simplify the system but don't mess with what already works! Please!

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