May 2017


BrightPay UK - Customer Update

Cyber Security – Keep your payroll data safe against Ransomware

Ransomware is when your files are held for ransom. It is a type of malware that essentially takes over a computer and prevents users from accessing their data until such time as a ransom is paid. Learn more about keeping your payroll data safe.

Read full article here

Managing Annual Leave – How to stave off that annual leave headache

This webinar helps employers make sense of their legal obligations regarding annual leave. Attendees will learn how employers should be calculating holiday pay, how this should be processed on BrightPay, as well as practical guidance on managing annual leave.

Register here

Windows XP Support Discontinued

The technology that BrightPay utilises has been updated and improved. As a result of this improvement, BrightPay will no longer be able to run on Windows XP operating systems. This technological enhancement brings many performance, reliability and security improvements.

Read full article here

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.

Request a demo / Find out more

Auto Enrolment: What matters most in 2017?

This year we will see the largest number of employers reaching their auto enrolment staging date. Over 750,000 small and micro employers will need to enrol their eligible jobholders into auto enrolment pension schemes, helping them save for their retirement.

Read full article

Have you tried BrightPay Connect?

BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud and HR add-on which offers an online self service portal for employees, automatic cloud backup, annual leave management, uploading of employee documents (including contracts and handbooks) and much more.

Book a demo / Find out more

Understanding Your Employer Auto Enrolment Ongoing Duties

Auto enrolment is not a one off job and employers need to carry out a number of tasks on an ongoing basis. Automatic enrolment is a continuing responsibility for employers. Employers must complete the following tasks in order to remain fully compliant with the law.

Read article here

Bureaus: Review BrightPay on Accounting Web

Please share your views on BrightPay and you could win a prize. AccountingWEB are offering one lucky winner a £500 Amazon voucher, and 2 runners up with Amazon vouchers worth £250. The survey takes less than 30 seconds.

Start survey here

Posted byRachel HynesinCustomer Update

May 2017


Using BrightPay to Create Earlier Year Updates

A Full Payment Submission (FPS) informs HMRC of payments to employees and includes deductions that have been made. This should be sent to HMRC from your payroll software on or before each payday.  The end of year deadline to send an FPS submission is the 19th April. If any amendments need to be made to an employee’s totals after this date then you are required to submit this information in the form of an Earlier Year Update (EYU).

EYUs are used to correct information submitted in the previous tax year. An EYU simply reports the adjustment made to an employee’s totals in the payroll, as opposed to reporting re-stated year to date totals for the tax year to HMRC. EYUs for each tax year can be prepared multiple times as required, without limit, and will be accepted by HMRC for a period of 6 years.

Unfortunately for employers, not all payroll software packages have the ability to create EYU files and therefore cannot easily make corrections where needed after the tax year. In addition to using their existing payroll software, many employers double their workload and use HMRC Basic PAYE Tools to create and submit an EYU. HMRC have advised that employers should only use Basic PAYE Tools to complete and submit an EYU if their payroll software does not have this facility.

It is important to note that good payroll software packages can seamlessly create an EYU and facilitate the submission to HMRC. Compared with using two separate payroll systems, it is advisable to look for payroll software that can do this for you, for example BrightPay.

With BrightPay, if a mistake is made in the payroll the user can seamlessly roll back the payroll for employees on an individual basis. Once the correction has been made and the payslip has been finalised, BrightPay will enable users to create the EYU at the click of a button. Simply select the employees for whom you have made an adjustment and submit the EYU to HMRC.

Along with easy to use RTI functionality, BrightPay also allows users to automate their auto enrolment duties and has both CIS and P11D features. Book a demo today to see just how easy it is to use BrightPay.

Read more at >

Posted byRachel HynesinPayroll SoftwareRTI

May 2017


Hiring An Apprentice:

If you are considering employing an apprentice there are some things you should know:


  • An apprentice will be aged 16 or over
  • An apprentice must be paid at least the minimum wage for their age  
  • An apprentice must work with experienced staff, learn job specific skills and study for a work based qualification during the working week
  • An apprentice must work for at least 16 hours per week and will usually work for 30 hours
  • An apprentice must be paid for time spent training or studying
  • An apprentice must be provided with the same conditions as other employees i.e. paid holiday, sick pay and any benefits such as childcare voucher schemes.


If you employ an apprentice you may be eligible for an apprenticeship grant of £1,500 if you have less than 50 employees and your apprentice is aged between 16 and 24.  

If you are providing the training you can apply for training funding to cover some or all of the training costs.  Further information is available on the HMRC website.

Employers who have an apprentice will not be required to pay employers National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on their earnings if they are under 25, earning below £45,000 and on an approved UK government apprenticeship.  National Insurance category ‘H’ is to be used for apprentices under 25 in qualifying circumstances.

Posted byCaoimhe ByrneinHMRCNICPay/WageWages

May 2017


BrightPay discontinuing Windows XP support

The technology that BrightPay utilises has been updated and improved. As a result of this improvement, BrightPay will no longer be able to run on Windows XP operating systems. This technological enhancement brings many performance, reliability and security improvements, while also opening up new possibilities for BrightPay’s development team to add further functionality. Users will not notice any obvious difference using BrightPay 2017/18 compared to previous versions as all the changes are operating in the background.

Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP in April 2014. This means that Microsoft are no longer releasing upgrades for these systems. Although Windows XP machines may still work normally, it does mean that these PCs are more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.

If you are still using Windows XP, you should consider upgrading to a newer PC or operating system. Due to the greater security risks, more and more programmes and applications are discontinuing support for Windows XP. Internet Explorer 8 is also no longer supported. If your Windows XP PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 8 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats.

These security threats became a reality for many Windows XP users in recent weeks with more than 200,000 organisations becoming victims of the widespread ransomware attack, WannaCry. This cyber attack affected organisations across the globe, including hospitals, banks and government agencies. The majority of these victims were using outdated or older Windows operating systems, such as Windows XP and Windows Vista.

While we do apologise for any inconvenience this change may cause, it is the best decision for our customers’ security and user experience.

Useful links:

Posted byRachel HynesinPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade

May 2017


Keep your payroll data safe against Ransomware

Ransomware, like the name suggests, is when your files are held for ransom. It is a type of malware that essentially takes over a computer and prevents users from accessing their data until such time as a ransom is paid. The ransomware encrypts data on the computer using an encryption key that only the attacker knows. If you want to decrypt them, you have to pay. If the ransom isn’t paid, the data is often lost forever.

A ransomware attack, also known as WannaCry or WeCrypt, recently spread across the globe and is believed to have affected over 200,000 organisations. The cyber-attack struck banks, hospitals and government agencies in more than 150 countries, exploiting known vulnerabilities in Microsoft operating systems.

How to protect against a ransomware attack?

  • Think before you click – It is important to look for malicious email messages that are often concealed as emails from companies or people you regularly interact with online. It is important to avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in those messages, since they could unleash malware. However, unlike many other malicious programs, WannaCry has the ability to move around a network by itself. Once the virus is inside an organisation, it will hunt down vulnerable machines and infect them too.
  • Keep software up to date – Users should ensure that security updates are installed on their computer as soon as they are released. Last month, the NSA revealed software vulnerabilities in a Windows Server component which allows files to spread within corporate networks. Since then, Microsoft has released software patches for the security holes. Anyone who applied this patch more than likely was not affected by WannaCry. However, not everyone has installed these updates and so these users are susceptible to an attack. It is also important to note that the vulnerability does not exist within Windows 10, but is present in all versions of Windows prior to that, dating back to Windows XP. Support for Windows XP was discontinued in 2014, and so if you are using XP it is recommended to upgrade to a more secure system. It is important to keep all software packages up to date to maximise protection against attacks.
  • Keep backups of data files – Users should regularly back up their data, which will make it possible to restore files without paying a ransom. This can be done by saving files to a USB key, external server or a cloud sharing facility such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Individual software packages may also offer a backup facility, enabling you to automatically back up sensitive data, for example BrightPay Connect allows users to easily backup payroll data.

How can BrightPay Connect help?

BrightPay Connect allows employers to automatically and securely backup payroll data to a highly secure cloud server. Payroll data (including payslips, payroll reports, auto enrolment records etc.) is automatically backed up every 15 minutes ensuring that you will never lose your payroll data if you are the victim of an attack.

You may decide that you only want to use BrightPay Connect for payroll backups, however, the features listed below can also be availed of.

With BrightPay Connect, employers can invite their employees to their own self-service portal. Employees can login to their own personal account, be it on their PC, tablet or smartphone, where they can view payroll documents relevant to them, with a full history of payslips, P60s and auto enrolment documents. Employees can also request annual leave and view annual leave remaining through their portal.

Furthermore, BrightPay Connect provides users with an annual leave management facility and a document upload facility, where all information is stored within the same location. With the document upload, employers can upload employee contracts & staff handbooks, training manuals, employment documents and much more, which can be accessed by employers and employees on any device.

Find out more about BrightPay Connect with an online demo.

Posted byRachel HynesinBrightPay ConnectEmployee ContractsEmployee HandbookEmployee Self ServicePayroll Software

May 2017


Understanding Your Employer Auto Enrolment Ongoing Duties

Auto enrolment is not a one off job and employers need to carry out a number of tasks on an ongoing basis. Automatic enrolment is a continuing responsibility for employers. Employers must complete the following tasks in order to remain fully compliant with the law.

Record keeping:

Employers must continually keep records of their auto enrolment activities including names and addresses of employees they have enrolled, records of when the contributions were paid to the pension provider, opt in requests, pension scheme reference or registry numbers and information that was sent to the pension provider. These records must be kept for a period of six years. Opt out requests or notices must be kept for four years.

Ongoing employee assessment:

You must complete an employee assessment each pay period to monitor any changes to an employee's age and earnings. For example, if an employee turns 22 or their qualifying earnings increase then they may become an eligible jobholder. Payroll software should handle this automatically for you. Be aware, HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools will not cater for employee assessment. Additionally, new staff must also be assessed to see if they are eligible for enrolment.

Enrolling staff after the staging date:

All existing or new staff that become eligible will need to be enrolled into the pension scheme. As part of this, eligible jobholders will need to receive an enrolment letter informing them of how auto enrolment will affect them now that they have become eligible. These employees will have the right to opt out of the scheme within the opt out period.


Avoid Auto Enrolment Fines

Ultimately the responsibility of auto enrolment is with the employer. Employer payroll software will make auto enrolment must easier to manage these new duties on an ongoing basis. The Pensions Regulator will fine employers who fail to submit their declaration of compliance or comply with their duties. Make sure you avoid fines and fully complete all of the mandatory duties required.

Over 100,000 businesses now process their payroll through BrightPay. BrightPay is free for employers with three or less employees, £89 + VAT / per tax year for an employer licence and £229 + VAT / per tax year. Download a BrightPay 60 day trial to see just how user friendly it is.


Posted byKaren BennettinAuto EnrolmentEmployee RecordsPayroll Software

May 2017


BrightPay at the Excel in London

Last week, BrightPay attended Accountex, the UK's largest exhibition and conference dedicated to Accountancy Professionals.

It was great to meet so many existing and prospective customers.

Posted byPaul ByrneinPayroll Software

May 2017


Employer fined £42k for Non-Compliance of Automatic Enrolment Duties

Employer Johnson Shoes Company’s automatic enrolment staging date was 1st May 2014 and they had to file their declaration of compliance within the 5 months after the staging date by 30th September 2014, but they failed to do so by the deadline.

Johnsons were contacted by The Pensions Regulator several times advising them of their automatic enrolment duties and how to fulfil these duties. But Johnsons’ lack of action regarding their duties made The Pensions Regulator to use their enforcement methods.

TPR issued a Fixed Penalty Notice of £400 to Johnsons but Johnsons refused to pay this fine and asked TPR to review the penalty as they stated the pressures of work were the reason they did not fulfil their duties. As TPR had sent Johnsons several reminders in the year leading up to their staging date, giving Johnsons plenty of time to prepare, this excuse was not deemed to be a reasonable excuse by the TPR so the fine remained.

An Escalating Penalty Notice was issued which in Johnsons case was £2,500 per day due to the number of employees they have. This escalated to £40,000 total fine. As Johnsons also refused to pay this EPN fine The Pensions Regulator lodged a money claim with the County Court in order to recover the amount owed. In the end Johnsons were ordered to pay the £40,000 plus £2,000 in legal fees that The Pensions Regulator had to pay at the beginning of their claim, so total cost of £42,000 for Johnsons.

Johnsons are now fully compliant for automatic enrolment and their employees that are in the automatic enrolment pension scheme are in the same position as they would have been if Johnsons had been compliant at their staging date.

In a regulatory intervention report produced by The Pension Regulator it states this case shows that early engagement with the employer where non-compliance is identified is necessary. This cost to Johnsons could have been prevented if Johnsons had of being prepared for automatic enrolment and not ignored the communication from The Pensions Regulator.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinAuto Enrolment