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