Jan 2021


10 Benefits of using a Cloud Payroll Portal to Manage Employees Annual Leave

For employers, managers and HR departments, the task of handling your employees’ time-off requests can often feel more complicated than it needs to be. When requests are submitted manually or when the protocol on how requests should be made is unclear, it can often lead to problems. Delays in processing, lost requests or conflict over which employee is more entitled when there are overlapping requests are just some of the headaches that employers may have to endure.

COVID-19 has created many new challenges for organisations processing their employees’ annual leave entitlements. As more people are now working remotely, it is likely that organisations’ annual leave request conventions are no longer adequate.

Although we know that it is not always possible to keep everyone happy, having a leave request system in place that is transparent, fair and convenient can make life a lot easier for employers and management, while at the same time boosting employee morale.

An online solution that synchronizes with your payroll software

BrightPay Connect is an online, self-service solution that allows employees to request leave wherever or whenever suits them; be it from their desk or even in their own time through the BrightPay Connect mobile or tablet app. BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud add-on that works alongside BrightPay Payroll. Once a request for leave has been made, the relevant manager will receive a notification on their own BrightPay Connect dashboard. From the dashboard, employers can either approve or deny the leave request. Below, we’ve listed ten benefits of using BrightPay Connect to manage your staff’s annual leave.

  1. Through your dashboard, you can view a real time, company-wide calendar. Here, at a glance, you can see which employees are on leave, when they are on leave (employees can choose full days, half-days or even by the hour, if set up to do so) and the type of leave (e.g., sick, paid, unpaid, parental).

  2. The relevant manager will receive a push notification when a new leave request has been made. From the notification box they can then either accept or deny the request, making request approvals quick and easy. 

  3. Cloud integration means any approved leave requests will flow directly back to your BrightPay payroll software on your PC or Mac. This saves you time and cuts down on errors when entering employees leave for payroll processing. 

  4. Through the app, employees can view how much leave they have remaining which reduces the back and forth between employees and management/HR regarding how many days leave they have left. 

  5. You have the ability to grant access to your accountant, bookkeeper or selected colleagues. This means that in your absence you can rest assured any annual leave requests are being taken care of. There is also a full audit trail of leave that has been requested and who has dealt with that request.

  6. The calendar on your employer dashboard draws attention to employees whose absenteeism might otherwise go unnoticed. Likewise, the employee dashboard draws attention to the employee’s own absenteeism. Having past sick days visible to employees has been shown to reduce the employee’s overall sick days taken. 

  7. The employer has the ability to mark off any mandatory leave days for employees so there is transparency around which days must be taken as holidays. 

  8. If your leave approval works on a first come, first serve basis, by using BrightPay Connect you cut out any confusion over who requested the leave first. 

  9. Employees also reap the benefits of using a cloud payroll portal. Giving the employees the ability to request leave wherever and whenever they want gives them a sense of control and in turn feel more organised and less stressed. Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that when employees have more autonomy in the workplace this can increase employee motivation, job satisfaction and overall well-being. 

  10. Nowadays, many people either do not have or rarely use a desktop computer at home. Therefore, being able to access the BrightPay Connect app through your smartphone or tablet makes a significant difference for employees. The employee payroll and HR smartphone app is available for free on any Android or iOS device.

Book an online demo today to discover more about BrightPay Connect and the many other ways it can benefit your business.

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Posted byElaine CarrollinBrightPay ConnectEmployee Self Service

Jan 2021


New Proposed Statutory Payment Rates Announced for 2021-22

As there was no Autumn Statement or Budget from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the financial secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman announced a written ministerial statement in the House of Commons with details of the increase of the National Insurance thresholds. The 2020 Autumn Spending Review confirmed that the personal tax allowance and tax basic rate threshold would increase by 0.5%. This is based on the consumer price index.

This would mean that the personal tax allowance for 2021-22 would increase by £70 from £12,500 to £12,570 and the tax basic rate threshold for 2021-22 would increase to £37,700 from £37,500.

The annual National Insurance threshold for Small Employer’ Relief remains at £45,000.

Please see some rates details below:

Statutory Adoption Pay

2020-21  2021-22
Earnings threshold £120.00 £120.00
Standard rate £151.20 £151.97

Statutory Maternity Pay

2020-21   2021-22 
Earnings Threshold  £120.00  £120.00 
Standard Rate  £151.20  £151.97 

Statutory Paternity Pay 

2020-21   2021-22 
Earnings Threshold  £120.00  £120.00 
Standard Rate  £151.20  £151.97 

Statutory Shared Parental Pay

2020-21   2021-22 
Earnings Threshold  £120.00  £120.00 
Standard Rate  £151.20  £151.97 

Statutory Sick Pay 

 2020-21  2021-22 
Earnings Threshold £120.00 £120.00
Standard Rate £95.85 £96.35

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPay/Wage

Jan 2021


Customer Update: January 2021

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

Free Webinar: Optimising your payroll offering to improve profitability 

Many accountants would say that offering payroll as a service is not necessarily cost-effective and that it can be a very time-consuming process. But this doesn’t need to be the case. In this webinar, we explore various ways that accountants can automate payroll processes, and ultimately, become more profitable. 

Payroll in the Connected Era: How integration has transformed the world of payroll 

During this webinar, BrightPay will discuss the benefits of integrating your payroll and accounting software. We will also demonstrate how you can streamline the entire process from start to finish. Discover how you can free up time for you to spend on other tasks that really need your attention.  

Why employees love self-service apps (And you should too!)  

Today’s employees are accustomed to having information readily available. An employee portal can help fulfil that expectation with the added benefit of creating workflow efficiencies. The employee self-service app eliminates the burden of sending payslips, updating personal information, approving annual leave requests and answering leave balance enquiries for the payroll department. 

Find out more

HMRC announce more furlough changes for 2021 

HMRC have set out the detail of how the CJRS will operate from 1st February onwards, including a further extension to 30th April 2021. Join us on 2nd February as we recap upcoming changes to the furlough scheme and what these changes mean for your business. Plus, we will share some of the key lessons learned from processing payroll in a pandemic, and how it prepares us for payroll in the ‘next normal’.

Key payroll changes to keep an eye on in 2021 

If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that you never know what’s around the corner. All the plans and predictions we made for this year fell through our fingers with the pandemic and global recession. Here we look at three things that are likely to happen in 2021 which those working in payroll need to keep an eye on. It’s always good to be prepared! 

Posted byRachel HynesinCustomer Update

Jan 2021


New financial support announced for businesses to survive lockdown

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m Bill Murray in Groundhog Day - stuck in an endless purgatory of the same day repeating itself over and over again with no escape. Yes it’s another day, another lockdown and it feels never-ending. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (in which case, is there room for one more?) you’ll know that England is now in a strict national lockdown until mid-February. That means that all non-essential business, schools and universities need to close and we all have to stay at home.

What does this mean for businesses and employees now who are once again affected by this absolute fiasco? Well, it seems it’s business as usual if you will pardon the pun, as not much has changed. However, Rishi Sunk did unveil “more financial support” for businesses affected by the lockdown measures yesterday morning (note my use of inverted commas). Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will now be able to apply for one-off grants of up to £9,000 per property.
On top of these one-off £9k grants, a further £594m discretionary fund will be made available via local authorities and devolved administrations to support other businesses outside of these sectors who have also been affected by the lockdown.

There are already existing support packages in place though. These include grants of up to £3,000 for closed businesses, 100% business rates relief for hospitality, leisure and retail, and of course, everyone’s good ol’ pal furlough. While Rishi has been very quiet on further furlough support, the current scheme is due to run until the end of April as it is so this seems the government are still optimistic that we will be out of the woods by then with the rollout of the mass vaccination programme. Remember, you can apply for furlough at any time, even if you have never claimed under the scheme before.

Along with furlough, other notable absentees from Rishi’s measures included extending the business rates holiday (which ends in April), VAT cut, or an increase in statutory sick pay, despite calls from business leaders for such moves. Even with the new £4.6bn support package, is it enough?

With Englands’s lockdown due to be reviewed on February 15th and Scotland’s at the end of January we now enter another period of stasis. We can only hope that this really is the last time we have to endure this and hope that all the hard work that has gone into keeping businesses afloat and employees on the payroll over the past 10 months has not been in vain. Stay tuned for more updates over the coming weeks. And with that, I’m off to bake my seventy-sixth loaf of banana bread and have a cry into the tea towel.


Posted byAoibheann ByrneinCoronavirus