Mandatory MOT testing to be reintroduced from 1 August

Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted, Roads minister Baroness Vere has announced today (29 June 2020).

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

MOT tests are important for road safety and ensure that vehicle parts, including tyres, seatbelts, brakes, lights and exhausts, are in proper working order.

Drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a 6-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:

“As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

“Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

Only some garages remained open to conduct essential services during the coronavirus outbreak, but now over 90% are open across the country. Testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing.

While exemptions are still available for vehicle owners with an MOT due date before 1 August, it is vital that drivers still take their vehicle to be checked if they notice something is wrong in the same way that they usually would.

If drivers are vulnerable or self-isolating they should contact their local garage as many are offering pick-up and drop-off services, so drivers can get their car checked without having to visit a garage.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has also issued guidance to all MOT testers about safely conducting tests in line with the latest government advice.

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“End of MOT extension will make the roads safer,” says IAAF

Motorists will no longer be able to extend their MOT for six months from 1st August. The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) welcomes the news, arguing that it will not only significantly increase road safety but will have a much needed boost to the automotive sector overall.

The IAAF previously stated that delaying MOTs for a six-month period causes “huge challenges” for the sector, as it inevitably results in thousands of dangerous vehicles in operation, posing huge safety risks. The federation believes the announcement will ensure this number is significantly reduced.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “The entire automotive aftermarket needs this news and it will have a positive effect on many businesses. As people begin to head back to work, the number of cars on the road will inevitably rise, with more people set to avoid public transport and rely instead on personal mobility.”

The IAAF is now urging the industry to encourage drivers who have previously made the decision to extend their MOT to bring their vehicle in as soon as possible.

Williamson added: “We’ve already been hearing from members who have experienced concerning issues first-hand, whereby customers have been driving around in vehicles that are a threat to the safety of the driver and the general public.

“Most importantly, this move will reduce the number of motorists driving un-roadworthy vehicles and will benefit the aftermarket as more cars are brought in for essential testing, service and repairs.”

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Coronavirus: MOTs for lorries, buses and trailers

Lorries, buses and trailers have been given 3-month exemptions from needing an MOT, as tests were suspended because of coronavirus. This means that the deadline to get your MOT has changed.

You can now book a lorry, bus or trailer MOT to take place from 4 July 2020 when tests restart. The deadline to get the test done depends on when the MOT was originally due.

There are different arrangements for car, motorcycle and light vans MOTs.

How the exemption works
Your lorry, bus or trailer will automatically get a 3-month MOT exemption from the date it was originally due.

Vehicles and trailers originally due an MOT:

  • in March or April 2020 have been given two 3-month exemptions
  • in May, June, July or August 2020 will only get one 3-month exemption

You will not get a paper exemption certificate.

What you need to do
The table shows the date your vehicle must pass its MOT by, based on when it was originally due.

Month MOT was originally due Date your vehicle must pass its MOT by Reason
Mar-20 30-Sep-20 Your vehicle has been given two 3-month exemptions
Apr-20 31-Oct-20 Your vehicle has been given two 3-month exemptions
May-20 31-Aug-20 Your vehicle will get one 3-month exemption
Jun-20 30-Sep-20 Your vehicle will get one 3-month exemption
Jul-20 31-Oct-20 Your vehicle will get one 3-month exemption
Aug-20 30-Nov-20 Your vehicle will get one 3-month exemption

You can check your vehicle or trailer’s MOT history to see when the exemption has been applied. This will be usually be done at the start of the month the MOT was originally due to expire in.

If your vehicle tax is due
You can tax your vehicle straight away if your vehicle tax is due. The MOT exemption will allow you to tax your vehicle.

Transporting dangerous goods
If you have been issued a 3-month MOT exemption, and you do not get your vehicle tested you must apply for a waiver to continue transporting dangerous goods.

What to do if you have not had an exemption
Email the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) if your lorry, bus or trailer did not get an MOT exemption and your MOT expired.

You need to include your:

name
phone number
address
vehicle registration number (number plate), vehicle identification number or trailer ID
test expiry date

Test exemption error
[email protected]

Make sure your email has the subject heading ‘Test exemption error’.

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COVID-19: How to treat certain expenses and benefits provided to employees during coronavirus

HMRC has produced guidance for employers on taxable expenses and benefits when they are paid to employees because of coronavirus and how to report them to HMRC.

This guidance is about Income Tax treatment only. National Insurance contributions treatment may vary depending on the individual benefit or expense.

The guidance covers:

  • Living accommodation
  • Lodging expenses
  • Volunteer fuel and mileage costs
  • Employees using company cars
  • Employees using private cars
  • Paying or refunding transport costs
  • Paying travel and subsistence expenses for employees travelling to temporary workplaces
  • Free or subsidised meals
  • Company car ‘availability’
  • Employee Car Ownership Schemes (ECOS)
  • Salary sacrifice
  • Employer provided loans
  • Employees working from home

How to report to HMRC
Any expenses or benefits which are related to coronavirus can be reported on your PAYE Settlement Agreement.

If you are currently payrolling benefits in kind, you may continue to report expenses and benefits through your payroll as long as you’ve registered with HMRC before the start of the tax year (6 April). You may also continue to report expenses and benefits through P11D returns.

HMRC expects all P11D and P11D(b) returns to be completed online by 6 July 2020 for the tax year 2019-20, paper options are available for employers unable to file online.

Full details can be found on the HMRC website page.

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Maternity and other parental pay: changes made to the calculation of Average Weekly Earnings for furloughed employees

If your employee was on furlough and you paid them with help from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) during any part of the relevant 8-week period, there are slightly different rules about how you calculate their Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) if they are due to start a period of family-related statutory pay on or after 25 April 2020.

This is to ensure your employee’s:
• eligibility for Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Shared Parental Pay, or Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay; and
• earnings-related rate of Statutory Maternity Pay or Statutory Adoption Pay are not affected if their earnings are lower than normal as a result of being furloughed.

These different rules will only apply where the employee’s period of family-related statutory pay begins on or after 25 April 2020.

If your employee was on furlough for part or all of the relevant 8-week period, the earnings used to calculate AWE for that period will be the higher of:

a) What they actually receive from their employer; or
b) What they would have received from their employer had they not been on furlough

Where it is not clear what the employee would have received had they not been on furlough, a helpful starting point is likely to be the reference salary which is used to determine how much you claim through the CJRS. However, you should also consider any bonus payments, commission payments, or other payments which would have qualified as earnings and which the employee was due to receive in the relevant period.

If you are claiming your employee’s wage costs (the lower of 80% of their reference salary or £2500 per month) through the CJRS but you are topping up their wages to full pay at your own cost, no change will be required as the employee’s earnings will not be lower than they would have been had the employee not been on furlough.

Similarly, no change will be required where, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, you and your employee agreed a reduction in their pay during the relevant period outside of the Government’s CJRS.

HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools
Basic PAYE Tools (BPT) has been updated to version 20.2 to include further guidance on Statutory Payments in the ‘Calculators’ section.

To update or check for updates you should select “Check now” in the update section of ‘Settings’ in the top right-hand corner of the tool. New customers can download BPT from GOV.UK.

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New guidance for employers from the Pensions Regulator: what you need to know

Whether you offer your staff a defined benefit (DB) or a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, go to The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) COVID-19 hub, where you’ll find all its guidance for employers in one place.

Automatic enrolment
Your automatic enrolment and re-enrolment duties still apply as normal, whether your staff are still working or are being furloughed as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. You also need to keep paying the correct contributions.

The Pensions Regulator has added guidance on how the changes to the CJRS affect pension contributions, how to calculate contributions for part-time furloughed workers and technical guidance for larger employers and their advisers (e.g. salary sacrifice arrangements). You can also find out what to do if you’re struggling to pay your pension contributions.

Employers with DB pension schemes
If you offer your staff a DB pension scheme read TPR’s latest guidance, which includes information on how to work with the scheme’s trustees if you need to temporarily reduce scheme deficit repair contributions You can also find the recently-published Annual Funding Statement which sets out how you should approach your next scheme valuation.

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