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Disabled workers made redundant in Barking hit by 50 per cent ‘millionaire’ tax

PUBLISHED: 17:42 19 September 2012

Taxed: Julie Haynes, a former Unite rep at Remploy in Barking, said the blunder was a new 'smack in the face' for her redundant colleagues

Taxed: Julie Haynes, a former Unite rep at Remploy in Barking, said the blunder was a new 'smack in the face' for her redundant colleagues

Archant

Jobless disabled workers have been left devastated after the holiday pay they accruded 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 around 50 per cent of their holiday entitlement.

Julie Haynes, 53, a former health and safety officer at the closed down factory in Long Reach Road, Barking, estimates her 60 or so colleagues lost £2,000 each on average.

The government is now working to re-calculate their entitlement but the Remploy staff fear it could take months before they get a refund.

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.”

The blunder happened because the employees were issued with P45s before their final payments.

Their final package included their holiday pay and lieu time, 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 who had been lost their job 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 employees would receive help from “personal case workers” who will assist them to find new jobs.

A DWP 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.”


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