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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Termination payments and benefits: introduction

Sections 62, 225, 394 and 401 ITEPA 2003

An employment may end for many different reasons: dismissal, resignation, death, the end of a fixed term, retirement and so on.

When an employment comes to an end, an employee often receives a package that includes a variety of different elements. Examples include unpaid salary, damages, a payment in lieu of notice, a payment for a restrictive covenant, compensation for loss of office and the provision of a non-cash benefit after termination. The correct label is not always applied to each.

There is a logical sequence to follow when looking at a termination payment or benefit.

The first task is to identify each element within the package. For example, you may only know that £x has been paid and enquiries are needed to establish exactly what that £x has been paid for. Or it may be described as a redundancy payment but in fact includes some of the examples above. Payments and benefits may be paid under various legal obligations or may be ex-gratia.

Finding the facts may involve interviewing those involved as well as seeing all the documents and notes of meetings.

EIM12810 explains how to proceed once those facts are clear.

For a list of common questions about termination payments and benefits, see EIM12830.

Note: the benefits code (see EIM21007) does not usually apply after termination of employment.