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TWP calls on employers to explore alternatives to salary as competition to retain and recruit top talent continues

17th March 2022

Many employers are facing challenges when it comes to employment costs, warns Surrey-based accountancy firm TWP, but there are alternatives to a regular salary that businesses should explore.

In April businesses will see their employment costs rise significantly as the 1.25 percentage point increase to National Insurance comes into force and the National Minimum and Living Wage rates rise.

On top of this, many businesses are currently competing to recruit the best workers and retain key employees – often increasing wages to secure the top talent.

While rising wages may be welcomed by many employees, given the other costs that many businesses face – not least the rising price of fuel and energy – increases in workers’ traditional salaries may not be the best or most tax-efficient approach according to TWP.

Image previewAndrew Goddon, Partner and Head of Taxation Services at the firm, which has offices in Weybridge and Cranleigh, said that any increase in a person’s regular wage will attract additional income tax for the individual, as well as a higher National Insurance bill for employers.

“There are several ways to reduce the amount of National Insurance and tax that is paid when remunerating a worker,” said Andrew.

“This could range from paying more into a pension tax-free, with their permission, to offering salary sacrifice schemes which pay tax and National Insurance rate as a benefit in kind.

“At the moment electric company cars are particularly tax-efficient and could offer a great incentive to an employee instead of a wage increase. Both lowering their tax bill and also reducing the costs of travel for them.”

He added that while dividend payments to employees who were shareholders were traditionally seen as a way of minimising tax and National Insurance costs, the 1.25 percentage point increase to dividend tax rates above the £2,000 annual allowance meant that these were slightly less attractive.

“The increased rate of dividend tax reduces the benefits of these payments, but they are still more tax-efficient and attract less National Insurance than a regular wage or salary, so they should be explored as part of a company’s wider tax-efficient salary plans.”

If you need assistance with managing your companies pay policies to ensure you minimise potential tax and National Insurance bills for the company and its employees, please contact TWP by visiting