Avoiding disputes Tip #7 - your actions today could be scrutinised by HMRC over the next 5 years.

My quick tip today about avoiding disputes is really about the longevity of the scrutiny that can be placed on the decisions that we're making in businesses today, and over the coming weeks and months.

The HMRC will hold records, and will check records, for a 5 year period - which is quite a long period of time. Obviously at this stage a lot of employees are incredibly worried about their jobs (understandably)

and a lot of employers are very worried about the ability to retain those jobs.

In the short term, it's fairly unlikely that many employees are going to want to raise issues or “whistle blow” regarding any poor practice that their employers are carrying out because they've got that uncertainty about their employment. But as we go through inevitable processes where jobs are made redundant, then employees are less likely to be concerned about putting their head above the parapet because why would they if we're telling them that their job has gone, therefore any issues that we’re creating now, any rules that we’re not adhering to as regards claiming furloughing, etc then they are likely to come out as employees are made redundant.

Then, as we think longer term when we (hopefully) get into a level of normality over the coming years, any other disputes or any other issues in the workplace may well encourage employees to be sharing information with HMRC about anything that we've not quite done right regarding the current furloughing perspective and the money that organisations are claiming. So again, chances of whistleblowing, etc may increase as time goes on.

Which all brings it down to not being complacent now, not being unfair to people and making sure that we check that we are doing things right and we're not asking employees to work whilst they're on furlough, etc.

So I would advise people not to think too short term as regards these issues

and not be complacent about a lack of disputes in the short term.

Hope that helps and if you need any advice or information about mediation then give us a call.


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