Eloise’s April 2024 News – April Fool, Spring Budget, Recruitment News, Temporary Worker Cover Service

Temporary Worker Cover Service

Hello and welcome to April

Yes, we’ve been having lots of rain, but it is warmer, and there are lots of glimmers of sunshine most days now. I’m told this is ‘false Spring’, but I’m very happy to roll with it.

What does Spring bring from a business point of view? It would be easy to summarise ‘nothing’ as the answer. But in fact, the change in season from winter to spring has a significant positive impact on most people. We’re literally coming out of the hibernation stage.

Spring brings a welcome change after the grip of winter, and its positive impacts can be felt in our moods, physical health, and even the food on our tables. All of this has such a positive knock-on effect on our work lives. Here are some of the main recognised benefits:

  • Mood Boost: Warmer weather and sunshine naturally increase levels of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to happiness and well-being. People tend to feel more energetic and motivated. This shows in productivity levels.
  • Increased Activity: With comfortable temperatures and periods of sunshine, plus longer days now the clocks have changed, people are more motivated to get moving. Whether going for walks, biking, playing sports outdoors, gardening etc, all of this activity is a natural mood booster and improves overall health. This impacts work motivation levels.
  • Vitamin D Boost: More sunshine means more opportunities to absorb vitamin D, essential for strong bones and a healthy immune system, plus good mental health. Thus, having an impact on positivity in the workplace.
  • Fresh Produce: Spring brings a change in the seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables available, coupled with the lighter evenings, people are more motivated to cook healthy, fresh goods. A more nutritious diet equals healthier people and less time off work.
  • Renewal and Growth: Spring is a time of symbolic rebirth in nature, and this can inspire a sense of new beginnings and fresh starts in people’s lives. It can be a great time to set new goals and declutter for a fresh perspective. This is true both in our personal and professional lives.

In a nutshell, spring brings with it an incredible boost to our physical and mental health, which positively impacts all aspects of our lives. Meaning now is a great time to push on with new ideas, ways of working, process changes etc.

April Fool’s

Temporary Worker Cover Service Vanilla RecruitmentI’ve had some failures when trying to prank my children for April Fool’s Day when they were younger, but I still try every year, at fourteen years old they just laugh and roll their eyes at me. I must say that I didn’t think there was as much on social media from the big companies this year as in previous years. It’s obviously part of their marketing strategies, so I imagine budgets were cut this year for a one-day event.

I’ve seen some great ones over the year that stick with me, tartan paint, square Mini Babybel cheese, lots including Big Ben and the London Eye, pasta farms, pizza drinks, cheese candles – a real food theme going on.

One of the biggest ones from this year has been Aldi’s Haggis-Dazs ice cream, which apparently Aldi customers are now actually campaigning to be introduced after Aldi went to the trouble of creating samples that tasters enjoyed.


Do you run any April Fool’s campaigns? I’d love to see them.

Spring Budget

The 2024 Spring Budget included a mix of tax breaks and extended support schemes aimed at helping SMEs weather the current economic climate. Here’s a breakdown of the key takeaways for small and medium-sized business owners, taken from the Mayfield & Co Chartered Accountants budget update (https://www.mayfieldandco.co.uk/news/budget):

  • Employees and NICs –

The government had already cut the main rate of Class 1 employee NICs from 12% to 10% from 6 January 2024. And they have now further cut the main rate of Class 1 employee NICs from 10% to 8% from 6 April 2024.

  • Extension of NICs relief for hiring veterans –

The government is extending the employer NICs relief for businesses hiring qualifying veterans for a further year from April 2024 until April 2025. This means that employers will continue to pay no employer NICs up to annual earnings of £50,270 for the first year of a qualifying veteran’s employment in a civilian role.

  • National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage –

The government has accepted in full the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission and announced increased rates of the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) which will come into force from 1 April 2024. In addition, from 1 April 2024, the NLW will be extended to 21 and 22-year-olds. The rates which will apply from 1 April 2024 are as follows:

NLW 18-20 16-17 Apprentices
From 1 April 2024 £11.44 £8.60 £6.40 £6.40

The apprenticeship rate applies to apprentices under 19 or 19 and over in the first year of apprenticeship. The NLW applies to those aged 21 and over.

  • Taxable benefits for company cars –

The rates of tax for company cars remain frozen for 2024/25. Future car benefit rates have been announced for 2025/26 to 2027/28:

  • For 2025/26, the rates for emissions under 75gm/km increase by 1%.
  • For 2026/27, the rates for emissions under 75gm/km increase by a further 1%.
  • For 2027/28, the rates for emissions under 75gm/km increase by a further 1%.
  • The charge for electric cars will rise from 2% to 5% over that period.
  • For cars with emissions of 75gm/km and above, there will be a 1% rise in 2025/26 only, subject to a maximum of 37%.

From 6 April 2024, the figure used as the basis for calculating the benefit for employees who receive free private fuel from their employers for company cars remains £27,800.

  • Company vans –

For 2024/25 the benefit remains £3,960 per van and the van fuel benefit charge where fuel is provided for private use remains £757. If a van cannot in any circumstances emit CO2 by being driven, the cash equivalent is nil.

  • Corporation Tax rates –

The government has confirmed that the rates of Corporation Tax will remain unchanged, which means that, from April 2024, the rate will stay at 25% for companies with profits over £250,000. The 19% small profits rate will be payable by companies with profits of £50,000 or less. Companies with profits between £50,001 and £250,000 will pay tax at the main rate reduced by a marginal relief, providing a gradual increase in the effective Corporation Tax rate.

  • Higher VAT Threshold –

Businesses now need to register for VAT only if their turnover exceeds £90,000, up from the previous £85,000 threshold. This reduces administrative burdens for some growing businesses.

  • Capital allowances –

The Full Expensing rules for companies allow a 100% write-off on qualifying expenditure on most plant and machinery (excluding cars) as long as it is unused and not second-hand. The rules were originally designed to be effective for expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2023 but before 1 April 2026. Similar rules apply to integral features and long-life assets at a rate of 50%. The government announced in the Autumn Statement 2023 that both allowances will be made permanent.

The government is to publish draft legislation for consultation to help consider any potential extension to include plant and machinery for leasing.

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is available to both incorporated and unincorporated businesses. It gives a 100% write-off on certain types of plant and machinery up to certain financial limits per 12-month period. The limit remains at £1 million.

  • Making Tax Digital for income tax –

The government has announced the outcome of the review into the impact of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) on small businesses and intends to proceed with implementation from April 2026. The government will also ensure taxpayers who join MTD from 6 April 2024 are subject to the government’s new penalty regime for the late filing of tax returns and late payment of tax.

  • Business Rates –

The small business multiplier will be frozen for another year, while the 75% Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief will be extended for 2024/25. The standard multiplier will be uprated in line with the Consumer Prices Index for September 2023. These changes will take effect from 1 April 2024 in England.

  • Freeports and Investment Zones –

Both regimes allow businesses in specific locations to benefit from a number of reliefs including Stamp Duty Land Tax relief, enhanced capital allowances, structures and buildings allowances and secondary Class 1 NIC relief for eligible employers.

As announced in the Autumn Statement 2023, the government will extend the window to claim the tax reliefs available in Freeport special tax sites from five to ten years. The extension to the sunset dates will be enacted by secondary legislation and have been confirmed as:

  • 30 September 2031 for special tax sites in respect of English Freeports
  • 30 September 2034 for special tax sites in respect of Scottish Green Freeports and Welsh Freeports.


  • Extended Recovery Loan Scheme –

Originally a pandemic support program, the government-backed loan scheme offering up to £2 million with a 70% guarantee has been extended until 2026 and renamed the Growth Guarantee Scheme. This can be helpful for businesses needing access to capital.

There is a lot for businesses to get their heads around and digest. The budget didn’t offer the initiatives for skills development that businesses were asking for, but there’s a growing recognition of this need. HR leaders should be prepared for potential future policies aimed at reskilling and upskilling the workforce.

Some business groups felt the budget could have offered more extensive support. While tax breaks and extended loan schemes are helpful, rising inflation remains a concern for many SMEs.

How do you feel about it?

Recruitment news

Looking at the KPMG and REC, Report on Jobs, for February, it marked a very slow month for recruitment. All the numbers were down across the industry for all sectors, for permanent and temporary jobs placements. Was this a surprise? No, there is economic uncertainly and there was a budget about to be announced. Everyone paused non-essential recruitment and held their breath for what was coming.

However, candidate availability rose sharply. And with inflation falling back to target levels earlier than expected what we need now is growth. Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive comments that:

“Following the Budget… , which didn’t address some of the key drivers of growth like skills, infrastructure, and reducing the cost of investment and employment, all eyes are on the Bank now. Lower interest rates will help build firms confidence to invest.

As we approach the General Election, businesses will be looking to politicians for commitment on this, and reforms of regulation that will support it from IR35, to regulating of the umbrella market and delivering flexibility to the apprenticeship levy.”

He also describes the temporary worker cover service market as the “unsung hero of the economic uncertainty”.

Some of the positives for employers from the latest report are:

  • Permanent worker availability continues to increase markedly
  • Slightly quicker upturn in temp candidate numbers
  • Softest increase in starting salaries for nearly three years
  • Temp wage inflation slips to three-month low

Now we have the knowledge of the Spring Budget, and with the surge in candidate availability, I expect to see a certain amount of employer confidence return, and an upturn in permanent recruitment figures.

Temporary Worker Cover Service

Talking about those ‘unsung temp heroes’… Easter means bank holidays and an increase in annual leave. And it’s also not long before we get the two bank holidays in May, and people booking annual leave either side to make the most of the longer time off.

This results in the possibility of your business being a few people down. Always remember that we have a fantastic Temporary Worker Cover Service available to help you out. We can work at very short notice, but it’s obviously a good idea to get temporary works planned in ahead of time.

If you’ve used our Temporary Worker Cover Service before, or you’d like to have a chat about how it all works, please drop Jodie a line. She’d be delighted to help you explore your options.

And that’s it for another month.

Lots of business information to process this month but don’t forget to make the most of the positive mental and physical benefits of Spring.

Have a great month.


Meeting room hire

Vanilla Recruitment News Jobs MarketWe have opened up our recently refurbished boardroom for hire. It’s a great modern space in the heart of Market Harborough, full of light and colour.

For just £15 per hour, you can comfortably seat 8 people, with the use of a large TV screen, and with free tea and coffee.

This is a fantastic space ideal for meetings, collaborative working and planning sessions, and presentations. It also lends itself to interviews or as a great-looking backdrop to an important Teams meeting.

With free Wi-Fi and within walking distance of Market Harborough town centre, and car parks, it’s a great choice to elevate your next gathering.

To find out more or to enquire about booking, please call us on 01858 898 058, or email us: [email protected]

Our temporary worker cover service temps do an amazing job for a wide range of clients in the area. They are some of the most flexible and hardworking people and we want to recognise that every month.

So, if you have a Vanilla temporary worker on assignment, or who has just completed an assignment, who you think has gone above and beyond or exceeded expectations in any way. You can nominate them to receive our Temp of the Month Award.

We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our four specialisms – MarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office

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Vanilla Recruitment Consultant – Accounting Staff Recruitment Agency