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Discussion in 'Governors' started by redlady, Oct 5, 2013.
Is it legal for a GB to give a cash reward to a staff member?
I believe the answer may be no.
The School Teachers? Pay and Conditions Document 2013 and Guidance on School Teachers? Pay and Conditions states : "The Document does not provide for the payment of bonuses or so-called ?honoraria? in any circumstances."
Your question is I think too broad and general to answer.
Assuming you are an LA school and subject to STPCD it's probably more acurate to say that in most cases where a school wants to give a cash reward to a staff member it could probably find a legal way to do it within the rules in STPCD, but it can't just dole out wads of cash. As montiagh has posted, some things are specifically prohibited. It's going to depend on why the school wants to do it.
Whatever it does should be provided for in its Pay Policy.
Not sure what STPCD is? So would you be concerned by a thank you card with notes in it? Not a 'collection" but as a gift paid by school.
ok just worked out STPCD! This action was termed by the head as a gift
An envelope with cash would be "interesting" to HMRC as it would constitute pay in their view. And a gift of a different nature - a book token or a case of wine or whatever - would also be taxable as a benefit in kind. Failure to tell them would be unwise. And that's aside from anything to do with STPCD.
What exactly is the gift?
it's an envelope containing £20 notes
May I ask what the payment / reward is for and how many notes are we talking about?
...and for that matter how it is showing in the accounts?
To be honest i don't know...but I do feel uneasy about it.
redlady - It's probabaly going to be difficult to assist more without greater information. My gut feeling is that a cash reward would need thorough scrutiny to see if it was lawful or not.
The answer may be different depending on what type of school your are in. Are you an academy or maintained school?
The STPCD does allow for additional payments for participation in out of school hours learning activities [see para 40.1(c) but I am going to guess that the cash reward is not for that.
From your very brief details, it doesn't on the face of it sound correct and lawful, it just sounds like some money in a brown paper envelope.
montiagh's right, without some idea of the reason for this payment we can't really advise. At one point you described it as "Not a 'collection" but as a gift paid by school" which made me think it might be a leaving presnt for someone leaving the school, or going on maternity leave or something, but elsewhere you called it a "reward", which doesn't sound like someone leaving.
One relevant question, although you've already indicated you don't know the answer, is what funds the payment came from. The school may have 'voluntary funds' that it can pay it from, even if they're not permitted to pay it from public funds/delegated budget. I know a VA school where the Foundation, a charity, funds a farewell gift to long serving staff, that's entirely legal.
There are HMRC implications in any event. As a rule of thumb giving staff an envelope full of used £20s is unlikely to comply with the law unless it is genuinely voluntarily donated by staff from their own money but on what we know it's not possible to say definitely that something illegal has been done.
Thank you all for your Help. I'm going to take some legal advice - hopefully sort it out.
It would require more information about what the award was for and whether it was to a member of the teacher or non-teaching staff , to be definitive about this, but in general ?rewards? for staff should be covered by the school?s pay policy. If the school is a local authority maintained school then teachers? pay is covered by the School Teachers? Pay and Conditions Document , which is quite prescriptive in terms of how teachers can be ?rewarded. Academies are free to set their own pay and conditions, but should still have policies for determining ?rewards?. Any ?reward? given to a member of staff should be properly recorded and accounted for.