Property & Finance
Guidance for reopening your business
By John Healy of Healy Insurances
It is heartening to see so many businesses reopen in recent weeks. I hope that the progress can continue so that we see the remaining hospitality businesses back in action shortly.
While there is a raft of information from Government and HSE sources, this week I will briefly outline some items to remember from an insurance perspective.
Contact your insurance advisor before you reopen: You may have reduced cover on your property or liability cover over the closure period and it is important to update this prior to opening your doors. Remember you may have staff on site in advance of reopening so it is vital that your policy covers them.
Review your Health and Safety Statement. This should be a living document and be available to review as needs be. Your COVID-19 safety measures should be included and all employees should sign that they have read and understand the statement.
Obtain Return to Work forms: Before any of the team return to work they will need to complete a return to work form and partake in any necessary training. These documents can be found at www.hse.ie.
Outdoor seating: If you are planning outdoor seating on public owned areas you will need to obtain a permit from Kerry County Council and your insurance policy will need to issue a specific indemnity to the Council. The Council will also require a minimum limit of indemnity of €6.5 million, which is standard practice for all State bodies. If this is your first time undertaking outdoor hospitality then you should include this in your Health and Safety Statement and do a full risk assessment.
Water systems: Put in place control measures to avoid the potential for legionnaire’s disease before your premises reopens.
Inspect plant and equipment: This includes lifts, ventilation and kitchen duct systems and generators. Ensure that your inspection certificates are up to date for any lifting plant including passenger and goods lifts.
Identify and display appropriate warning and safety signage for your premises.
Cleaning: Arrange the appropriate cleaning of your buildings and contents. External cleaning contractors should provide you with a method statement, proof of insurance and when finished written confirmation that the cleaning has been completed to the agreed standard.
The above is not exhaustive but there is a wealth of information available on www.hse.ie and www.hsa.ie for reopening. Finally, the very best of luck to all the hospitality businesses getting back to what they do best. All we need now is that heatwave!
Benefit-In-Kind tax rules overturned for company cars
By John Healy of Healy Insurances Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has announced a temporary change for company-owned vehicles following a backlash from drivers whose Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) taxes increased substantially […]
By John Healy of Healy Insurances
Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has announced a temporary change for company-owned vehicles following a backlash from drivers whose Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) taxes increased substantially in January.
While the move to a CO2 based Benefit-In-Kind system, which incentivises the use of Electric Vehicles and lower emission cars, a significant number of employees with vehicles in the typical emissions range experienced large increases in their income tax liabilities since the start of 2023.
To address the issue, the Finance Minister has introduced a relief of €10,000 to be applied to the Original Market Value (OMV) of cars in Category A-D in order to reduce the amount of Benefit-In-Kind payable (this is not applicable to cars in Category E).
In effect, this means that, for the purposes of calculating BIK liability, employers may reduce the OMV by €10,000. This treatment will also apply to all vans and electric vehicles. For electric vehicles, the OMV deduction of €10,000 will be in addition to the existing relief of €35,000 that is currently available for EVs, meaning that the total relief for 2023 will be €45,000.
The upper limit in the highest mileage band is amended by way of a 4,000km reduction, so that the highest mileage band is now entered into at 48,001km.
These temporary measures will be retrospectively applied from 1 January 2023 and will remain in place until 31 December 2023. It is proposed to introduce the measures at Committee Stage of the Finance Bill 2023.
From an insurance perspective, if a vehicle is owned by a company then the motor policy in place must be in the company name and have full business use cover known as Class 2 cover. It is customary that the policy is on an open driving basis, usually aged 25 to 70. The cost for a company owned car policy can be higher than privately owned vehicles.
Reduce the stress of downsizing
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY It is widely accepted that moving house is one of THE most stressful life events one will experience, but does it really need […]
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY
It is widely accepted that moving house is one of THE most stressful life events one will experience, but does it really need to be?
Embrace the change and look forward to new beginnings.
One particular cohort of home movers are those downsizing from their larger family homes, perhaps to a more manageable property with little/less maintenance. Here we look at potential ways of reducing the stress involved when downsizing:
Start the process as early as possible. Putting it off will add to the stress and result in a rushed job that is maybe not thorough enough. You only want to bring items you LOVE, NEED, USE and have SPACE for to your new property. Use this time as an opportunity to declutter – be ruthless. This is a fantastic opportunity to put some organisation into your life. Perhaps declutter prior to placing your existing home on the market – it may well add value to your home.
Don’t underestimate how much of a reduction is required pre-move. If the new property you are moving to is 50% smaller, then a quick estimate is that 50% of items in your current home need to be rehoused elsewhere.
Have an exit plan for the items leaving your home. Where are your local charity shops, do they offer a collection service? Is a skip required? A carefully planned exit strategy will make the move a lot more seemless. Have detailed measurements of your new home so you know which larger furniture items will/will not fit in your new property.
Take your time and do not try to do multiple areas simultaneously. Perhaps take it room by room and set yourself realistic targets.
Most importantly don’t panic. Allow yourself sufficient time, have a well-planned system in place and do not be reluctant to ask for help. Involving family members and relatives in the move will make the whole process a lot easier.
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