BrightPay Blog

Oct 2017


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.

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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

Oct 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.

1. You have received a cold call offering a free pension review.

Hang up! Scammers will often impersonate government-backed organisations in order to swindle you out of your savings. These organisations will never offer you a free pension review.

2. You have been offered advice about your pension.

Pension scammers can act as Financial Advisors. Be sure to check the FCA list of approved advisors. If the advisor is not on that list then they are not regulated and you are not protected.

3. You have been told you need to act fast to secure a ‘limited time offer’.

Don’t be rushed into making a decision about your pension. Scammers will try to rush you, offering ‘discounts’ that are likely to be time sensitive. Take the time you need to ensure the legitimacy of the deal. This may mean ‘missing out’ but could be the difference between keeping your pension fund secure and losing all your savings.

4. Your friend has recommended an investment to you.

You might trust that your friend is financially wise but this confidence in your friend can translate to you being scammed. Always do your research on a company. Don’t take someone else's word!

5. You have been offered an unbelievable deal.

Be cautious of unregulated investments that offer exclusive or exotic sounding investments, often described as ‘overseas’. Many of these investments claim ‘guaranteed returns’. If you think something sounds too good to be true - it probably is.

Posted byCailin ReillyinAuto Enrolment

Oct 2017


The Benefits of BrightPay Connect for Employers

BrightPay Connect offers an employee self-service portal that provides employees with online access to their personal records and payroll details. Having a self-service portal in place directly benefits all employees, from line managers and HR to employees across an organisation. Here we take a look at the key features of BrightPay Connect and how having an online portal benefits the employer.

Features of BrightPay Connect for Employers:

  1. The employer dashboard gives an overview of employer details, any outstanding amounts due to HMRC, upcoming calendar events (e.g. annual leave, paternity leave) and a list of notifications, including any outstanding requests that employees have made using the self-service portal.
  2. The online portal allows employers to go paperless by uploading all HR documents including employee contracts and handbooks, disciplinary documents, company newsletters and training material to one secure online location.
  3. Going paperless allows digital access to payslips and other payroll documentation such as P60s and P45s. These will be automatically available to employees on their BrightPay Connect online portal.
  4. Employers can easily manage all leave for their employees including annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave and paternity leave through BrightPay Connect. The employee calendar allows employers to view the number of annual leave days remaining for each employee and how frequently an employee is on sick leave. Once an employee requests annual leave, employers can authorise or reject the request with changes syncing back to BrightPay payroll.
  5. BrightPay Connect enables employers to tailor user access, thus protecting sensitive HR information and employees’ privacy.

Benefits of BrightPay Connect for Employees:

The employee self-service portal will save both employers and employees time. The online dashboard enables employees to complete HR related tasks such as requesting leave, updating their personal contact details and viewing online documentation. Employers can then approve requests at the click of a button. This will reduce the administrative time for the employer and the employee, increasing payroll efficiency.

Once an employer has processed their payroll through BrightPay, payslips can be made available on BrightPay Connect instantly, with automated email notifications sent to each employee. This is cost effective for the employer and also saves time printing and distributing payslips. Employees can easily access their historic payslips at any time, which saves time if the employee needs six months of statements to apply for a loan or mortgage.

Employers can notify employees of policy changes, available training courses or any other important company announcements by uploading HR documents. This improves internal communication between managers and employees. Employers can also view who has received and viewed these updates and who hasn’t.

Watch our new BrightPay Connect video to see how our online add-on can improve your payroll processing.



Book a BrightPay Connect demo today.

Posted byLauren ConwayinEmployee HandbookEmployee Self ServiceEmployment ContractPayroll Software

Oct 2017


Does your business need BrightPay Connect's Employee Self-Service Portal?

What is BrightPay Connect's Self-Service Portal?

BrightPay Connect offers an employee self-service portal that provides employees with online access to their personal records and payroll details. Employees have secure access to their own personal, password protected, self-service portal from any computer, tablet or smartphone.

BrightPay Connect allows employees to make changes to their own personal contact information including their address, contact phone number, emergency contact details and more. Employees also have the ability to complete administrative tasks, such as applying for leave, viewing leave taken and remaining leave.

Additionally, employees are able to view and retrieve their historic payslips and other payroll documents such as their P60, P45 or P11d, all of which can be exported to PDF and printed. Employers can upload HR documents including an employee handbook, company newsletters and training materials, all of which can be available to employees on the self-service portal.

Benefits of BrightPay Connect

BrightPay Connect offers significant time-saving benefits for employers who want an easy-to-use payroll and HR software package. Benefits of the self-service portal for the employer and employee include:

  • Enables employees to complete HR related tasks such as requesting leave or updating their personal contact details. This will reduce the administrative time for the employer and the employee increasing payroll efficiency.
  • Employees have full visibility of how much leave has been taken and how much leave is remaining.
  • Employers can easily approve or deny annual leave requests directly through their online portal with changes syncing back to BrightPay payroll, simplifying HR processing.
  • The employee calendar clearly shows which employees are on annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, etc. This will allow employers to easily manage staff leave requests and rotas.
  • Reduces the distributing time to send paper or email payslips with the accessibility of e-payslips automatically available on BrightPay Connect.
  • Employees can access their historic payslips at any time, eliminating employee requests for payslips for mortgage applications or loan approvals.
  • Internal company newsletters can be uploaded to the self-service portal, improving internal communication between managers and employees.

Find out more about the Employee Self-Service feature on BrightPay Connect with an online demo.

Posted byLauren ConwayinAnnual LeaveEmployee HandbookEmployee RecordsEmployee Self Service

Oct 2017


Brexit - There’s an elephant in the room!

Brexit is becoming the “elephant in the room” for many companies waiting for government updates and its implications on how the new deal will work out. Many HR and payroll professionals are no doubt anticipating how such a huge shift in the political scene will change existing legislation.

However, while it’s easy to get distracted by how Brexit will change the current HR and payroll landscape in the future, there are more current, pressing concerns at hand.

Remember these key Legislative Compliance Payroll Updates:

Data Protection Changes

It is now confirmed that the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will affect all UK companies. Businesses will need to start future-proofing their procedures and policies before the data protection changes come into effect in May 2018.

Non-compliance by businesses could lead to fines of up to £20 million or 4% of a company’s annual global turnover in the prior year. Bringing your company’s policies in line with the approaching changes will ensure a smoother transition and avoid any penalties for non-compliance.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

If a business, either private or voluntary, has more than 250 employees it needs to be aware of legislative changes regarding gender pay gap reporting. The new law came into effect on 5th April, 2017 with employers required to publish their first report on 5th April, 2018 relating to their data from 2016/17. The results must be published on the employer’s website and a government website. Failing to do so will result in enforcement proceedings.

You can find more information on what the EU is doing regarding Gender Pay Gap Reporting by clicking here.

Pay Rate Changes

New rates for the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage came into effect April 2017. The Living Wage rose to £7.50 for employees aged 25 or over and who are not in their first year of apprenticeship. The National Minimum Wage rose to £7.05 for employees aged between 21 and 24, it increased to £5.60 for those between the ages of 18 and 20 and lastly, it increased to £4.05 for 16 to 17 years old.

Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Pay has risen to £140.98 per week. It is a company’s payroll department that have the responsibility of ensuring the above increases have already taken place since their implementation dates last April.

Overseas Workers

Last April, salary thresholds for foreign employees increased. The Tier 2 (general) salary increased to £25,000 for experienced workers and Tier 2 (intra-company transfer) rose to £30,000. There was also a reduction to £23,000 for graduate trainees with the number of places rising to 20 a year for each company.

Changes to the immigration rules means that businesses who sponsor foreign employees on a Tier 2 (general) visa now must pay a skills charge of £1,000 per employee. For companies with less than 250 employees, the charge is £364. Both charges are on top of normal visa application fees.

Case against Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

A recent judgement by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) confirms that payment for normal voluntary overtime must be included in the calculation of workers holiday pay.

Be Prepared, Be Proactive

Payroll Managers should be proactive and aware of the above current legislation. Key changes are on the way once Brexit finally arrives but it is so important to keep an eye on developments and focus on current issues at hand, making allowances for existing legislative changes.

Posted byLorraine McEvoyinEmployment Update

Sep 2017


What do you mean…. “Do I have a backup?”

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.

The first question I’ll ask on a call of this type will be “do you have a backup?”. Honestly, I can’t tell you the number of people that say “No” to this. People are also mistakenly under the impression that we have a copy of their payroll data. Unfortunately this is never the case, we do not have access to the employer’s payroll information so this can add to the customer's stress levels as you can imagine!
We would always stress the importance of taking a backup of your payroll information.

You would have your computers and office equipment insured against anything happening so why would you not do the same for your data? Think of your backup as your information’s insurance policy, after all it is almost irreplaceable or at the very least a major inconvenience to try and rebuild your payroll.

In a lot of cases, the call to our customer support line comes too late for us to be of any real assistance and the only advice we have to give is to start over and process payroll from the beginning again.
We never think anything like this will happen to us, but take it from me, it does, so go ahead and take out that insurance policy and backup before it is too late!

The following links will guide you to taking a backup in your software or book a demo of BrightPay Connect our latest cloud add on that offers an automated online backup feature :

Posted byDonna WalshinPayroll

Sep 2017


42 Year Low in UK Unemployment

The UK's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1975, according to official figures which also show a growing gap between price rises and wage growth. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in the three months to July, down from 4.4% in the previous quarter and 4.9% a year earlier.

The employment rate, which measures the proportion of people aged 16- 64 in work, hit 75.3% - the highest since comparable records began in 1971. In total, there are 32.1 million people at work in the UK, according to the figures, or 181,000 more than the previous quarter.

While that performance suggests the labour market is continuing to shrug off uncertainties and other headwinds in the wake of the Brexit vote, the figures also highlighted a worsening squeeze for family budgets. It is also reported that average wage growth remained static at an annual rate of 2.1% over the same three months. With inflation coming in at 2.9%, the real value of wage growth is falling.

Posted byCaoimhe ByrneinEmployment UpdatePay/WageWages

Sep 2017


Latest Advisory Fuel Rates for Company Cars

For company cars, HMRC has released details regarding the latest Advisory Fuel Rates. From the date of change, employers may use the old rates or new rates for one month. Employers are under no obligation to make supplementary payments to reflect the new rates but can do so if they wish. Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for this purpose for the fuel rates. 

The changes are to engine size from 1401cc to 2000cc and to LPG engine over 2000cc. To view the latest rates click here

The rates are as below:

 Advisory fuel 

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinEmployment Update

Sep 2017


GDPR - what businesses need to know

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.

Current data protection legislation in the UK dates back to 1998, predating current levels of internet usage and cloud technology, making it unsuitable for today’s digital economy.

The GDPR will apply to any personal data of EU cititzens, regardless of whether it is stored within or outside the EU. Most, if not all companies, process a level of personal data, whether it is customer details or employee details, therefore businesses need to be aware and plan for the new legislation.

What is Personal Data?

The GDPR substantially expands the definition of personal data. Under GDPR, personal data is any information related to a person, for example a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, their personnel file, or a computer IP address.

High Penalties

Ignoring the new legislation is ill advised as there are tough new fines for non-compliance. Companies or organisations found to be in breach of the legislation will face fines of up to 4% of annual global revenue or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater.

GDPR & Brexit

The UK will not have departed the EU on 25 May 2018 and will still be an EU member state. The GDPR will consequently become domestic law and compliance will be mandatory.

Key Changes

Some of the key changes included as part of the GDPR include:

Consent must be clear, distinguishable from other matters and provided in an easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.

Breach Notifications; where a breach occurs, the Information Commissioner’s Office and affected data subjects must be notified within 72 hours of the breach coming to light.

Data subjects will have additional rights, including:

  • Access Rights: data subjects may obtain from a data controller confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed, where and for what purpose.
  • Right to be Forgotten; data subjects will have the right to request that their personal data be erased, or ceased to be processed.
  • Data Portability: data subjects will have the right to receive the personal data concerning them, and the right to transmit that data to another controller.

To Do

If you haven’t already started planning for GDPR click here for guidance on how to prepare.

Sep 2017


New Student Loan Plan 1 Thresholds for 2018-19

It has been confirmed that the student loan repayment threshold will rise to £18,330 for Student Loan Plan 1 for the new tax year 2018-19 by the Student Loans Company. This will come into effect from 6th April 2018. Student Loan Plan 1 is for pre-2012 loans and the current 2017-18 threshold is £17,775. This new threshold will apply to all borrowers who have a Plan 1 loan for whom employers make student loan deductions.

For Student Loan Plan 2, which is for post 2012 loans, there will be no change to the current threshold of £21,000 in the new tax year. There is no change to the student loan repayment threshold for postgraduate loans, which is also £21,000.

In BrightPay 2018-19, the new student loan repayment thresholds for Plan 1 will automatically be calculated and the appropriate student loan deduction applied.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinNew FeaturesPayroll Software