May 2020


Customer Update: June 2020

Welcome to BrightPay's June update. Our most important news this month include:

Free Webinar: Important COVID-19 Payroll Updates & Return to Work Safety Policies

The government has announced the first steps to ease the coronavirus restrictions with a roadmap in place for lockdown measures to be slowly lifted. Understand how to adapt your payroll processes to accommodate for the schemes and subsequent updates.

Claim Guidance for Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Claim

Employers will need to make a claim for any COVID-19 related SSP they wish to reclaim through HMRC's Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme online service. This online service is now available to use and can be accessed here. A Claim Report is available in BrightPay to assist users in ascertaining the amounts needed for input into HMRC's Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme online service.

Furlough Scheme available until 31st of October

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has advised the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be available for employers for furloughed employees until the end of October 2020 and will introduce a new flexibility option under the scheme from August. This will apply to all regions and sectors in the UK economy.

Return to Work Safety Policies

With the emergence from lockdown becoming clearer, businesses will need to start to put plans and COVID-19 policies in place for their employees to go back to the workplace safely. It is advisable for all workplaces to adapt their workplace HR policies, procedures and practices to comply with the COVID-19 related safety guidelines.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Claim Report in BrightPay

BrightPay includes a new CJRS Claim Report. This report can be used to ascertain the amounts needed for input into HMRC's online service, including the gross furlough amount, employer National Insurance contributions, employer minimum pension contributions and total claim amount. For employers with over 100 employees, you also have the option to export the report to a CSV file, ready for import into HMRC's portal.

Posted byKaren BennettinCustomer Update

May 2020


How to Choose the Right Payroll Software for Your Accountancy Practice

It can be challenging to settle on the right payroll software for your business when there is so much to choose from. Here are some key points we feel must be considered when looking for excellent payroll software:

  • Batch processing - For an accountancy firm, batch processing is a must. The time-saving involved in running payroll procedures in a batch cannot be understated. 
  • Pricing - Pricing is a crucial factor to consider. The price doesn't have to be "cheap", but it should certainly be reflective of the value of the product. If it's also affordable on top of that, bonus. 
  • Delegating work - What if your payroll software allowed your employees to log in directly to it and request things like annual leave, or to access their payroll data? And what if employees could access a "self-service" section of the payroll software where they could download their payslips? The more your payroll software can delegate work, the more time you'll have on your hands. And time is money.
  • Auto-enrollment - Under the new pension laws, finding a pension scheme that matches all the required criteria can be challenging. Great payroll software should facilitate this procedure, integrating with NEST to provide easy auto-enrolment into qualifying pension schemes. 
  • Connects to accounting software - Your payroll software should connect to your cloud accounting software such as QuickBooks, FreeAgent, Xero and others. This way, the payroll journal is reflected in your accounts. 
  • Excellent support - Excellent support could be said to be the make or break of high-grade payroll software. Too many software companies have come onto the scene blazing, only to fail because their support was not good enough. Support should be handled by knowledgeable people who understand the product and can also communicate clearly with potentially frustrated clients. 
  • Secure - Security of payroll data is crucial to stay in compliance with data privacy laws. Saving payroll data on the cloud might be "convenient", but it also means that anybody with access to your password can access all your staff's personal data. The choice between cloud-based software and desktop software is always won hands-down by desktop software. 
  • Recognition - The HMRC should recognise the payroll software. Failing to use HMRC-recognised software might lead to you having to run the payroll entirely manually! There are strict rules for running payroll, and plenty to remember. If the HMRC has not recognised a payroll software, be wary. 
  • AwardsAwards are not vital when choosing payroll software, but they certainly make the choice sweeter! Awards from external bodies show that the software company has achieved standards higher than its peers, and that these standards have been independently verified. The more prestigious the award, and the more often it has been won, the better chances you have that the software will deliver more than what you need. Awards also prove that the team behind the software knows what it's doing. 
  • Always getting better - The best payroll software should get better every year. This not only adds value to your business but also inspires confidence in the company behind it. It shows that the product is continuously being worked on, that it is not stagnant. If the product is continually improving, your ROI as far as that software goes will also improve.

Written by Guest Blogger: Pearl Chartered Accountants

May 2020


Unemployment set to skyrocket despite the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If you had told me six months ago that a global pandemic would force us into lockdown, everyone would be working from home, people stopped hugging each other and that the government would be paying 80% of our wages I would have laughed at you and demanded a big gulp of whatever you were drinking. But, as the media likes to drive home every chance they get, these are unprecedented times that we are living in.

The uncertainty has been one of the most overarching aspects of the current crisis and, although everyone seems to be doing their best (especially HMRC with the CJRS) what if our best is simply not good enough?

Rishi Sunak announced last week that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended to October and that soon employees’ wages would be shared between the government and the employers. And while this was welcome news, it now turns out that this particular concession won’t be effective until August, whereas the rest of Europe are already sharing furlough with their respective governments.

The CJRS has been a very noble attempt to support the economy and has ensured that millions of UK citizens aren’t without a wage and that businesses stay afloat. But the sheer length of the current crisis and the damage it is doing to millions of businesses just simply may not be sustainable. Employees are required to completely remove themselves from work thus ceasing all activity and production. And with part-time work not allowed until August, this is another nail in the coffin for many job prospects and people’s job security.

Already unemployment is set to increase up to 9% and that is with the CJRS in its current form. There are also mutterings that those covered by the furlough scheme will, from August, need to have 40% of their wages covered by the employers or else support will be discontinued. But in August, it is most likely that social distancing measures will still be in full effect plus current travel restrictions and guidelines. How can a restaurant or theatre support 40% of their staff wages if they can only operate at 25% capacity? Never mind the blow businesses will suffer as people simply might not be ready to go out and socialise. Being allowed to go for a pint and actually doing it are two different things altogether.

On top of this, there are lots of issues surrounding manufacturing jobs with limited productivity and disrupted supply chains. There is also concern for employees who are able to work but may not wish to do so for health reasons. These people and jobs are all part of a growing number that are being revealed as vulnerable to being made redundant.

I don’t mean to be all doom and gloom; rather, we need to be pragmatic and realise that, despite not being at crazy levels of unemployment like other countries, we are nowhere near done and the measures currently in place will not sustain the workforce that existed pre-coronavirus. A second wave of unemployment seems to be imminent despite the government’s “best” efforts. Something needs to be done soon to address these concerns and protect not just the economy, but the people of the UK.

COVID-19 & Payroll

Interested in finding out more about COVID-19 and Payroll? Visit BrightPay's COVID-19 Resources Hub for the latest updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, HMRC’s Claim Portal, COVID-19 Related SSP and much more.

BrightPay's COVID-19 Hub COVID-19 & Payroll Webinar

Posted byAoibheann ByrneinCoronavirus

May 2020


Claim Guidance for Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Claim

HMRC has released further information for employers who are planning to submit a claim under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. HMRC have confirmed that the coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on 26 May.

Where employers are registered for PAYE Online and they have a Government Gateway User ID, the employer will require this for their claim. If the employer is not enrolled for PAYE Online, they will need to enroll now. If an employer has an agent that is authorised to operate PAYE Online for their client, the agent can claim under this scheme on behalf of the employer.

Employers will need the following for the claim:

  • Employer PAYE reference
  • Contact name or number
  • Bank account details – sort code and account number
  • The total amount of Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus related) that has been paid to employees in the claim period
  • Dates for the Statutory Sick Leave period – start and end dates
  • The number of employees being claimed for

The employer must keep records for the statutory sick payments they wish to claim from HMRC, to include:

  • The National insurance number for each employee being claimed for
  • Start and end dates for the period of sick leave an employee was off sick
  • The reason why the employee could not work
  • Details of the qualifying dates in the period the employee could not work

Claims for multiple employees and multiple pay periods can be submitted by an employer at the one time. The start date of the claim period will be the earliest pay period the employer is submitting the claim for and the end date of the claim being the most recent pay period on the claim. HMRC has advised that employers must keep the records for the SSP paid and claimed under this scheme for three years after the date they receive the payment from HMRC.

The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) Regulations 2020 legislation to provide for eligible employers to reclaim some, or all, of their Statutory Sick Pay has been presented before Parliament to take effect from 26 May 2020.

Regulations have also been laid in Northern Ireland – ‘The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinCoronavirus

May 2020


Furlough Scheme to be available until 31st of October

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has advised the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be available for employers for furloughed employees until the end of October 2020 and will introduce a new flexibility option under the scheme from August. This will apply to all regions and sectors in the UK economy.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was introduced for four months from 1st March by the government because of the coronavirus pandemic in order to give financial support to businesses and employees. Under this scheme all employers, regardless of size or business sector, can claim from HMRC a payment for 80% of the wage costs for employees that were furloughed up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee. If the employer can afford to top up the additional 20% of the employee’s wages they can pay the employee the additional amount if they wish.

There were suggestions that the furlough amount reclaimable would drop to 60% but it was confirmed the scheme would remain at 80% of the wage costs for employees that were furloughed, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. An option of flexibility for the CJRS will be introduced in August that furloughed employees will be able to return to work on a part time basis where the employer will be asked to pay a percentage of the employees’ wage costs. This will only be available for employers that are already using the furlough scheme. This new flexibility will help with businesses reopening and help boost the economy. More details will be available by the end of May.

The government intends to explore options for furloughed employees that wish to partake in training or learning new skills in the furlough period and will work in conjunction with the Devolved Administrations to ensure people across the Union are supported.

Chancellor Sunak advised that 7.5 million employees have so far been furloughed by employers, which is approximately 29% of the workforce in the UK. There are 935,000 employers availing of the CJRS and so far over £10 billion has been claimed by employers using this scheme.

COVID-19 & Payroll Webinar

Interested in finding out more about COVID-19 and Payroll? Join BrightPay for our free webinars where we discuss the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Furlough Leave, HMRC’s Claim Portal and COVID-19 Related SSP. Places are limited - click here to book your place now.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinCoronavirus

May 2020


How to introduce BrightPay Connect to clients

Introducing a new service to your payroll clients isn’t always as simple as we’d like it to be. Yes, you know that it would be great for their business and maybe they do too, but it’s likely that they’ll still need some convincing to get them over the line and on board. So, here are 3 things to keep in mind when introducing BrightPay Connect as a new payroll process.

What Does Your Client Need

Before you make your case to your clients, you need to be sure that you’re offering them the best service for their business. Every client is different in one way or another, and this means that a one-size-fits-all approach to their payroll just isn’t going to work. It’s also not going to give them confidence in your ability if they think you don’t understand their business, so doing your homework here will really pay off.

In order to get your client on board with your new payroll offering, it’s useful to think about what challenges they’re facing right now regarding payroll, and whether BrightPay Connect is a right fit for them. BrightPay Connect offers a whole range of additional HR benefits, so think about how these extras can save your clients time. Begin your introduction by showing your clients that they’re in safe hands because you fully understand their payroll challenges and you’ve got just the product to help them make their payroll processes even easier than it’s ever been before.

How Can You Provide Added Value

So now that you’ve established how BrightPay Connect can modernise your client’s payroll process, it’s time to pitch the benefits to them. For most clients, this is a simple case of informing them about the HR features they may not have themselves including:

  • Client payroll portal
  • Payslip library
  • Employee payroll app
  • Annual leave management
  • HR document upload feature 
  • Automated payroll reports

You can also present BrightPay Connect as a time saving opportunity by explaining to them that the cloud functionality frees them up to dedicate additional resources to other aspects of the business.

What’s The Bottom Line

Every client, whether big or small, is always trying to find new ways to cut costs, reduce administration and maximize profits (without cutting quality services). And in today’s climate, most businesses don’t have any choice in keeping their costs down as much as possible. So, one of the best ways you can sell your payroll services to your clients is by simply showing them just how cost effective it is.

BrightPay Connect offers highly competitive pricing options where users are billed based on usage. The usage subscription model is based on the number of active employees in the billing month. The more clients you have the lower your cost per employee, which means you can pass the savings along to them. You can also find ways to make it even more tempting to your clients, such as offering them a free trial period, or a special deal if they refer a new client to your bureau. This is totally up to you, but don’t be afraid to be creative with how you cost this service.

Book a demo of BrightPay Connect to see how you can help your clients with a new and improved payroll service offering.

Posted bySarah TyrrellinBrightPay Connect

May 2020


Thank you for your wonderful comments!

The BrightPay team have received lots of words of praise and thanks over the past few weeks. Here's a selection of some of the wonderful comments that have been sent in. We would like to thank everyone for their positive feedback, your kind words are very much appreciated and encourage us to keep going during in these challenging times.

Thank you. Stay Safe.