Havering’s disabled workers made redundant hit by 50 per cent ‘millionaire’ tax
�Jobless disabled workers from Havering and Brentwood are among those left devastated after the holiday pay they accrued before being made redundant was taxed at the 50 per cent rate levied on millionaires.
Redundant staff from 24 Remploy factories, closed by the government last month were put on an emergency tax code in error, meaning they lost about half of their holiday pay.
Julie Haynes, 53, a former health and safety officer at the former factory in Long Reach Road, Barking, estimates her 60 or so colleagues lost �2,000 each on average.
The government is now working to recalculate their tax, but Remploy staff fear it could take months before they receive a rebate.
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Ms Haynes said: “It’s a bit of money we thought we would have while we looked for a job and it’s been halved.
“We’ve been put on the same bracket as millionaires. It’s bad enough we’ve lost our job. It’s a smack in the face yet again.”
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The blunder happened because the employees were issued with P45s before their final payments.
Their final package included their holiday pay and time in lieu, equivalent to one week’s pay per year of service, which were both taxed at 50 per cent, Ms Haynes said.
Remploy confirmed that “hundreds” of staff across the country who lost their jobs were likely to have been affected by the mistake.
A Remploy spokesman said: “Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are working on it. We have contacted all the people affected and are working to put it right as soon as possible.”
The factories were closed under government plans to use a �320million specialist employment support budget to help disabled workers find mainstream jobs.
The Department for Work and Pensions said the redundant staff would receive help from “personal case workers” to find new jobs. A spokesman said: “We have worked on the issue immediately. Everybody affected will have their redundancy pay and, therefore, money.
“We have spoken to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and to the personal caseworkers they will all get, who will help them fill in the forms and get the money back as soon as possible.”