BrightPay Blog


Dec 2017

6

Autumn Budget 2017 - Employer Focus

The main points to be noted by employers from Autumn Budget 2017, as announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond are:

  • The personal tax allowance will increase by £350 from £11,500 to £11,850 from 6th April 2018. This is in line with the government's goal to have the personal tax allowance at £12,500 by 2020.
  • The higher rate tax threshold will increase to £46,350 from £45,000.
  • As previously announced, there has been a delay by one year on the series of changes for NICs to be implemented. These changes will now take effect from April 2019. They include the reforms to the NIC treatment of termination payments, abolition of Class 2 NICs and changes to NICs treatment of sporting testimonials.
  • The planned increase in Class 4 NICs from 9% to 10% in April 2018 and to 11% in April 2019 by the government will no longer be happening.
  • There is an increase in the Company Car Tax (CCT) diesel supplement to 4% from 3%. The supplement will apply to diesel cars registered on or after 1st January 1998 that are not certified to the Real Driving Emissions 2 standard. It will not apply to diesel hybrids or other vehicles except cars.
  • From 6th April 2018 there will be no Benefit in Kind charge on electricity that employers provide to charge employees’ electric vehicles.
  • The Government has announced its intention to consult on the extension to the private sector of the IR35 reforms, introduced in the public sector earlier this year.
  • There is an increase of the lifetime allowance for pension savings, rising to £1,030,000 for 2018-19.
  • The National Minimum Wage details for 1st April 2018 were published.
  • HMRC's compliance team are monitoring employers that are claiming the Employment Allowance, as it has been reported that some employers are using avoidance schemes to avoid paying National Insurance amounts due.

 

 

Related Articles

 

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinEventsHMRC


Dec 2017

5

Customer Update - December 2017

5 simple scenarios to stop pension scams

A pension scam – when someone tries to con you out of your pension money – will often start by someone contacting you unexpectedly with one of many pension scenarios. If you find yourself in one of these scenarios make sure to act fast to prevent becoming a victim of a pension scam.

Read full article

 

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Does automatic enrolment apply to you?

It is essential that all employers understand that if they employ just one person, they have certain legal duties for automatic enrolment. After the 1st October 2017, new employers who employ their first member of staff will have to comply with auto enrolment from the day the new employee starts.

Read full article

 

Free Webinar - What does GDPR mean for your business?

All businesses process large amounts of personal data, not least in relation to their customers and their own employees. Consequently, the GDPR will impact most if not all areas of businesses and the impact it will have cannot be overstated. Places are limited.

Bureau Webinar: 6th February | Employer Webinar: 13th March

 

How to avoid harassment in the workplace

The recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein in the US have created somewhat of a snowball effect worldwide with thousands of women and men speaking out about their accounts of sexual harassment and assault, many of them being work related.

Read blog here

 

Cut down on payroll processing time with BrightPay Connect

Employers across the UK are automating the process of providing payroll and HR documents to employees, such as payslips, P60s, employment contracts and company handbooks. Annual leave management can also be simplified and automated giving you more time to focus on pressing business matters.

Watch video | Book a demo

 

Out with the staging date - in with the duties start date!

The ‘duties start date’ is the date that an employee first begins to work for a company. For those recruiting after October 1st 2017, it is important to be aware that as soon as their new hire begins working for them, their automatic enrolment duties will also begin straight away.

Learn more

 

Did you know BrightPay offers a free licence to micro businesses?

BrightPay offers a free employer licence to businesses with up to three employees which includes payslip and auto enrolment functionality? Also, our standard employer licence is just £99 + VAT per tax year. BrightPay has a 99% customer satisfaction rate.

Download free 60-day trial | Book a demo

 


More for bureaus -

Payroll for bureaus: From loss leader to profit centre

New technologies can positively impact the way bureaus offer payroll services. There are several exciting developments that are happening right now in the cloud. Be ready to offer a new level of payroll and HR services by embracing new-world online technologies.

Curious? Download free guide

 

Free CPD Webinar - The Future of Auto Enrolment

Auto enrolment has well and truly evolved since the rollout began in 2012. There are a number of changes coming over the next 12 months that payroll bureaus need to be aware of, including instant duties for new employers, increases in minimum contribution rates and automatic re-enrolment.

Register for CPD webinar

 

Accountants are making the big switch to BrightPay

BrightPay has been operating in the UK since 2012. Year on year, more accountants are moving payroll providers to BrightPay for several reasons. You may ask yourself, why are so many accountants and payroll bureaus moving to BrightPay.

Find out why | Book a Demo

 

The benefits of offering cloud payroll services

The payroll landscape is changing and many payroll bureaus are offering clients a certain level of cloud functionality that automates otherwise time consuming tasks. Online access to payroll information for your clients and their employees offers significant benefits for today's bureau which can will streamline many workforce management tasks.

Read full article

 

Posted byRachel HynesinEventsGDPR


Nov 2017

28

The benefits of offering cloud payroll services

Accounting firms and payroll bureaus are increasingly moving into the cloud to offer clients a more flexible and streamlined payroll service. Many believe that payroll isn’t a profitable service due to the complexity of the work, the manual administrative time required and the increasing number of mistakes when it comes to recording employee leave.

 

The actual process of running payroll is straightforward enough due to easy to use features in payroll software. But what about the administrative payroll and HR related tasks such as processing & sending payslips, managing & recording employee leave, lost payslips, backing up your payroll data, sending payroll reports to clients and updating employee records? All of these tasks can take a considerable amount of managerial time to process and correct where errors have occurred.

 

The payroll landscape is changing and many payroll bureaus are offering clients a certain level of cloud functionality that automates otherwise time consuming tasks. Online access to payroll information for your clients and their employees offers significant benefits for today's bureau which can will streamline many workforce management tasks.

 

Cloud Backup

Storing payroll information and data protection continues to be a challenge for payroll bureaus. With an automated cloud backup tool you will never lose your payroll data again. You don’t need to worry about manually backing up your payroll data. Where you payroll software is integrated with the cloud, your payroll data will synchronised to the cloud as you run your payroll or make any changes whilst maintaining a chronological history of your backups. You can restore or download any of the backups to your PC or Mac at any time.

 

Eliminate Paper & Postage Processing

The concept of a paper payslips that need to be downloaded and emailed or printed, enveloped and then posted in an outdated process. More and more, employees want their payslips to be accessible and securely stored online. Payslips and other payslips related documents such as P60’s, P45’s and employment contracts can be easily accessible on an employee self service online portal. With the cloud, payroll bureaus can avoid spending time printing, emailing and resending lost documents to employees. An online employee self service option allows employees to view current and historic payslips and access all HR employee documents.

 

Online 24/7 Accessibility

A cloud client and employee dashboard provides 24/7 flexibility and control of payroll information. Clients can access all employees payslips, payroll reports, amounts due to HMRC, employee contact details and can even approve annual leave requests. Employees can access their self service portal on their computer or via a mobile app to view and download payslips, easily submit holiday requests and view leave taken and leave remaining.

 

Increased Bureau Productivity

Cloud functionality allows for many payroll related tasks to be synchronized with your payroll software. Payroll bureaus radically save time as they no longer need to send payslips to employees, send payroll reports to clients, re-send lost payslips or manually process employee leave on the payroll software.

 

Annual Leave Management Tool

Annual leave approvals can be approved in the cloud and automatically recorded on your payroll software reducing errors and ensuring leave data is up to date at all times. Clients can view a company wide online calendar where they can easily approve leave while managing staff availability for their business. Employees can benefit as a cloud portal will calculate accurate leave balances in real time. Senior managers and supervisors can be given a high level access to approve holiday requests. 

 

Full integration with payroll software

Payroll software systems that offer a fully integration with the cloud is a must. Integrated payroll and cloud allows both tools in share and synchronise your payroll data in real time. An online payroll tool that links to clients data that is saved on your payroll software can directly communicate with each other ensuring all information is current and correct.

 

Embrace cloud payroll functionality

Using the cloud to automate many daily payroll and HR related tasks will improve efficiencies for payroll bureaus, employers/clients and their employees. BrightPay Connect is one such cloud solution that fully integrate with BrightPay Payroll offering:

 

  • Automatic cloud backup
  • Bureau / Client online dashboard
  • Online payroll reporting
  • Employee self service
  • Online leave management 
  • Safely store HR documents online
  • Update employee details
  • Affordability with discounts for multiple purchases
  • Easy of Use

 

 

 

 

Related guides / articles

BrightPay Connect - Guide to Profit for Accountants
Benefits of BrightPay Connect for Bureaus

 

Posted byKaren BennettinAnnual LeaveEmployee RecordsEmployee Self Service


Nov 2017

20

Additional annual leave for non smokers

A Japanese company is rewarding its non-smoking employees with an extra six days annual leave a year with pay.


This all came about when an employee from a marketing firm based in Tokyo, used the company's suggestion box to point out that his co-workers who smoked, worked much less than the non-smokers. The employee went on to outline how smokers took time away from their desks while the non-smokers had to hold down the fort.


In a clever twist, instead of punishing the smokers by deducting their pay or insisting that they make up the extra time, the company decided to reward the non-smokers by giving them an extra six days off a year with pay.


Chief Executive Officer Takao Asuka also feels that this might encourage some of the smokers to quit because of the incentive.

The Huffingting Post has reported that 30 of the 120 employees are eligible for the extra six days off, and four employees have already quit smoking since the policy was put in place.


Is this something that you would consider in your workplace?

 

Posted byNiamh ShortallinAnnual LeavePayroll


Nov 2017

16

Changes to Making Payments to HMRC

 

A few changes have been made on methods of making payments to HMRC:

  • The option of using Transcash service at the Post Office to pay HMRC will be withdrawn from December 2017
  • From 13th January 2018, payments to HMRC with a personal credit card will no longer be accepted

 

HMRC would encourage all their customers to use the following methods to make payments:

  • By direct debit
  • By business debit card online or by telephone
  • By online or telephone banking

 

These methods are more secure and can save the customer time and the expense of going to the Post Office or Bank.

 

Related Articles

 

 

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinHMRC


Nov 2017

13

If you think compliance is expensive – try non-compliance


As an employer, your declaration of compliance is a legal duty. If you do not complete it within 5 months of commencing your Automatic Enrolment (AE) duties, then you have not completed your legal requirements of Automatic Enrolment and may face fines. Even if an employer did not enrol any member of staff, a declaration of compliance must be completed.An employer can process their own declaration or authorise an agent to complete this on their behalf. The declaration is completed via The Pensions Regulator’s website. You can start the declaration now by clicking here.

Don’t delay or you could face prosecution – it is a criminal offence if an employer fails to put their employees into a pension scheme and/or provide false information in a declaration of compliance. The maximum punishment can be 2 years in prison if The Pensions Regulator proceeds with prosecution. The Pension Regulator’s checklist provides details of all the information you need when submitting your client’s or your own AE declaration.

 

What information does an employer need to provide?

You need your letter code and PAYE reference to access the online service. The letter code is unique to every employer and a 10-digit reference beginning with ‘1’. It is on all correspondence an employer receives from The Pension Regulator, you can contact customersupport@autoenrol.tpr.gov.uk if you do not know it or have never received it. To contact customer service you must provide:

  • Employer Name
  • Employer Address
  • PAYE Scheme Reference
  • Your Contact Details

An employer’s PAYE reference can be found on correspondence from HMRC when first registered as an employer or from their payroll software.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is ensuring that all employers fulfil their duties required by the Pensions Act 2008. It is essential that all employers understand that even if they employ only one person they have certain legal duties for Automatic Enrolment. And if they choose to employ a new member of staff after 1st October, 2017 those duties apply from the day the new employee starts.

Remember, Automatic Enrolment is a continuous duty for all employers, and does not end after the staging date or duties start date (if you don’t have a staging date).

Avoid penalties by understanding how to meet your duties:

  • Keep records of all AE activities for 6 years and opt-out notices for 4 years
  • Monitor staff ages and earnings - as staff become eligible they must be enrolled
  • Enrol employees and issues correspondence to them.
  • Pay contributions to their pension scheme

All responsibility ultimately lies with employers.

Related Articles

 

 

Posted byLorraine McEvoyinAuto EnrolmentPayroll Software


Nov 2017

9

Trivial Benefits in Kind

Instead of a taxable cash Christmas bonus, why not give your employees a seasonal gift – a turkey or a nice bottle of wine?

In order to provide these gifts – it must be ensured that the gift falls under trivial benefits in kind.

Trivial benefits apply where the benefit:

  • Is not cash or a cash voucher
  • Costs £50 or less
  • Is not provided as part of a salary sacrifice or other contractual arrangement
  • Is not provided in recognition of services performed by the employee as part of the employment, or in anticipation of such services

Accordingly, gifts that cost under the £50 limit would qualify. It is also possible to provide employees with a gift voucher (not a cash voucher) where the limit is £50 or less. They can only be provided as a gesture of goodwill be it at Christmas or other such seasonal occasions.

Employers no longer need to report such trivial benefits on P11ds or PAYE Settlement Agreements (PSA). However, if the gifts have a value in excess of £50 or cannot be counted as trivial benefit, then the gift must be reported on the form P11d and Class 1A NICS may be payable on the value of the gift.

£300 Annual Cap

There is an annual trivial benefits cap of £300 that is applied to directors or other office-holders of “close companies” (close company is a limited company that’s run by 5 or fewer shareholders) and to members of their families or households. The £300 annual cap does not apply to other employees.

 

 

 

Posted byAnn TigheinEmployment Update


Oct 2017

25

Further Changes to Student Loans from 6th April 2018

The Government has announced a change to the Plan 2 repayment threshold for Student Loan borrowers. The threshold that will come into effect from 6th April 2018 will be £25,000, a £4,000 increase from the current threshold of £21,000. 

It has previously been confirmed by the Student Loans Company that the student loan repayment threshold will rise to £18,330 for Student Loan Plan 1, taking effect from 6th April 2018. Student Loan Plan 1 is for pre-2012 loans.

The Plan 2 repayment threshold of £21,000 was to be fixed until the year 2021, but this has been changed following an announcement made by the Prime Minister about changes to the student finance system.
Summary of the Student Plan thresholds:

  • Plan 1 loans will increase by £555 from the current threshold of £17,775 to £18,330 in 2018-19.
  • Plan 2 loans will increase by £4,000 from the current threshold of £21,000 to £25,000 in 2018-19

This figure will apply to all current and future borrowers for whom employers make Student Loan deductions. In BrightPay 2018-19, the new student loan repayment thresholds for both plans will automatically be calculated and the appropriate student loan deduction applied.

 

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinEmployee Records


Oct 2017

25

Does Automatic Enrolment apply to you?

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is ensuring that all employers fulfil their auto enrolment duties required by the Pensions Act 2008. It is essential that all employers understand that if they employ just one person, they have certain legal duties for automatic enrolment. After the 1st October 2017, new employers who employ their first member of staff will have to comply with auto enrolment from the day the new employee starts.

So what do you do?

  1. If you already have an employee(s) and they commenced work with you before 2nd April 2017 you should find out what your duties are by using TPR’s duties checker. There are also video tutorials online to help with understanding how to process Automatic Enrolment (AE) in our payroll software BrightPay.

  2. If you’ve employed new staff between 2nd April 2017 and 30th September 2017 you can find out when your AE duties commence by clicking here.

  3. If you’re employing a new member of staff after 1st October 2017, you need to prepare early and find out what you need to do. Watch a replay of a recent webinar where we discuss New Employers and their Auto Enrolment Duties to assist with your preparations.

  4. When your duties start you must assess your employees to see if they meet the earnings and age conditions. If your employee needs to be put into a pension scheme, you need to carry out certain auto enrolment tasks to meet your legal duties. If you find that your employees are not eligible to be put in a pension scheme, you are still required to notify your staff that they have a right to join or opt in to a pension scheme and you must still complete your declaration of compliance.

  5. All employers have ongoing AE duties regardless of whether they have employees in a pension scheme or not. Every time you process your payroll, you are required to assess your staff’s earnings and age to see if they need to be placed in a pension scheme and if so, calculate how much you need to pay into this scheme. You must also manage requests to join or leave the pension scheme.

  6. As an employer, you need to think about what costs are involved with your legal duties. Alternative payroll software providers have AE as an additional charge to your payroll costs. HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools does not provide assessment of your employees or automatically enrol your employees into a pension scheme. With BrightPay, AE is included in our payroll software at no additional cost and provides a pre-assessment tool to get an overview of what AE will look like before an employer reaches their staging date.

 

 

Posted byLorraine McEvoyinAuto Enrolment


Oct 2017

19

Customer Update: October 2017

“What do you mean….Do I have a backup”? - A day in the life of Customer Support

One of the most common calls I get on the support line is from a distressed customer who tells me they have lost their payroll information. Reasons for the loss of this information are varied and could be anything from a laptop being stolen, a virus attacking the computer, holding files to ransom or fire or water damage to the computers in the office.

Read full article

What does GDPR mean for your Payroll Bureau? (Bureaus only)

Data protection and how personal data is managed is changing forever. On 25 May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force. The GDPR is a European privacy regulation replacing all existing data protection regulations. Register now for our free, CPD accredited webinar to find out how this new legislation will affect your payroll bureau.

Register for CPD webinar

Why is everyone switching to BrightPay?

We recently conducted a customer survey where we asked our customers just what they thought of BrightPay. The good news is, our customer satisfaction rate has improved from 99.1% (2016) to 99.8% (2017). We also received a number of testimonials from our customers.

Read testimonials

Have you seen BrightPay Connect in action?

BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud and HR add-on which offers an employee online self service, automatic cloud backup, annual leave management and more. We are offering BrightPay bureau customers one free BrightPay Connect 2017/18 licence.

Claim your free licence here | Book a demo

Auto Enrolment: New Employers, Phasing & Re-enrolment (Bureaus only)

What does the future hold for automatic enrolment (AE)? Over the next year we will see payroll bureaus dealing with new challenges when it comes to AE compliance. Watch our webinar on demand where we  discuss the future of automatic enrolment. Guest Speaker: Henry Tapper from the Pension PlayPen joins us.

Watch on demand

Do you need help with your employee contracts?

Our sister product, Bright Contracts enables users to create tailored, professional contracts of employment and staff handbooks. What was once a very expensive and time-consuming process can now be done on your PC.

Book a demo | Find out more

 

 

 

Posted byRachel HynesinCustomer Update