Oct 2021


National Living Wage to Increase on 1st April 2022

In the Budget 2021 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced new National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) details in line with those recommended by The Low Pay Commission (LPC) and these new rates will take effect from 1st April 2022.


  Current Rates Rates from April 2022
23 years and over £8.91 per hour £9.50 per hour
21 - 22 years old £8.36 per hour £9.18 per hour
18 - 20 years old £6.56 per hour £6.83 per hour
16-17 years old £4.62 per hour £4.81 per hour
Apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who

are in the first year of apprenticeship

£4.30 per hour £4.81 per hour


The National Living Wage, the statutory minimum for workers aged 23 and over, will increase by 6.6% to £9.50 per hour. An employee's age and if they are an apprentice will determine the rate they will receive.

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPay/Wage

Oct 2021


Autumn Budget 2021 – An Employer Focus

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, presented the Autumn Budget 2021 to Parliament on 27th October 2021. The main points to be noted by employers are:

  • The personal tax allowance will remain the same, £12,570 for the tax year 2022-23.
  • The Higher Rate Threshold (HRT), when higher earners start to pay 40% tax, remains at £50,270.
  • The National Insurance Upper Earnings Limit (UEL) threshold will remain the same in 2022-23 and will remain frozen until 2026.
  • The new National Insurance Levy of 1.25% will come into effect from April 2022 via a temporary increase to National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for Class 1 (employee and employer), Class 1A, Class 1B and Class 4 (self-employed). From April 2023 NIC will revert back to 2021/22 rates where a new Health and Social Care (H&SC) levy will be a separate deduction for this 1.25% levy. The Health and Social Care levy will also apply to employment earnings of those over State Pension Age (category letter C).
  • For 2022-23 tax year company car percentages will increase from 1% to 2% for vehicles first registered before 6th April 2020 with 0kg/km rate. Vehicles first registered on or after 6th April 2020 will increase by 1%. The rates will be frozen then for the next two tax years 2023-24 and 2024-25.
  • The Employment Allowance remains at £4,000 for eligible employers where the Class 1 National Insurance Contributions liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous tax year.
  • The National Living Wage for workers aged 23 and over will rise to £9.50 per hour from 1st April 2022, this represents an increase of 6.6%.
  • The pay freeze for some public sector workers will end and pay rises will be given over the next three years.

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinNews

Oct 2021


Re-enrolment: Don’t let your software let you down

When it comes to pension re-enrolment, do you know which of your employees need to be placed back into the pension scheme, and when? Perhaps you do. However, it is much more likely that you rely on your payroll software to notify you when re-enrolment is due, ensuring you don’t miss any deadlines.

However, perhaps you should double check that your confidence in your payroll software isn’t unwarranted. Are you certain that your payroll software automatically notifies you when re-enrolment is due, or do you in fact, have to manually check for this information?

What is re-enrolment?

Every three years, employers are required to re-enrol certain employees. This involves assessing the employee’s eligibility for auto enrolment and re-enrolling them into a pension scheme. The employer will then need to complete a re-declaration of compliance to inform The Pensions Regulator (TPR) that their duties have been met. An employer must submit their re-declaration within five months of the third anniversary of the automatic enrolment staging date. If you have no staff to re-enrol, you will still need to submit a re-declaration of compliance.

How to choose your re-enrolment date:

The re-enrolment date is chosen by the employer and can occur anytime within a six-month timeframe of the ‘staging date’ or ‘duties start date’ three-year anniversary. It can be set three months before or three months after the anniversary date. Regardless of whether you used postponement at your staging date, re-enrolment occurs three years after your staging date, not your deferral date.

For example, if your duties start date was 1st April 2018, you can choose to re-enrol on any day between the 1st January 2021 and 30th June 2021. In this example, the deadline for completing the re-declaration of compliance would be 31st August 2021.

Employee Assessment:

  • Employees who are eligible for re-enrolment are:
  • Aged between 22 and up to the State Pension Age
  • Earn over £10,000 a year
  • Employees who have previously left the scheme or who have reduced their contributions to below the statutory minimum requirement for auto enrolment.

Employees who are not eligible can request to join the scheme.

BrightPay payroll software monitors any changes to an employee’s work status each pay period. As soon as you reach your re-enrolment date in the payroll, BrightPay will automatically assess the employees and will determine which employees qualify for re-enrolment. If employees meet the criteria, on-screen flags and alerts will appear to notify you that you now have re-enrolment duties to perform.

Employee notification:

After re-enrolling eligible employees into a pension scheme, they must be notified in writing of their re-enrolment within six weeks of their re-enrolment date. BrightPay will automatically prepare the employee’s enrolment letter. These letters can be printed, exported to PDF, emailed to the employee, or if you are a BrightPay Connect customer, the letter can also be automatically added to the employee's self-service portal.

Choose the best payroll software for re-enrolment:

Unlike other payroll software where you must check for re-enrolment duties, BrightPay Payroll automatically assesses employees and will notify you immediately when re-enrolment is due. This feature helps avoid last minute stress, back-dating pension contributions, and potential fines. To learn more about BrightPay’s full payroll functionality and how it can improve your payroll processes, schedule a personal demo and speak to a member of our team today.

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinAuto EnrolmentPayroll Software

Oct 2021


The hassle-free way to maximise profits from payroll processing

Accountants and payroll bureaus sometimes find that processing payroll takes a lot longer than they would like. Because of this, some accountants may be making little to no profit from offering payroll as a service. Nevertheless, it is a service expected by customers. If you aren’t making a profit from payroll processing, this could be down to not using the right payroll software. By switching to a payroll software that automates tasks you can transform payroll from a time-consuming manual process and into an easy process where certain tasks take care of themselves, saving you both time and money.

Not only can you make a profit from processing payroll but depending on what payroll software you use it can be an opportunity to maximise profits by allowing you to offer new services to your clients which you may not have considered before. When it comes to introducing your staff and your clients to new services, you may think you have enough on your plate and that it would take up too much of your time. However, BrightPay Connect, a cloud add-on to BrightPay Payroll software, has little to no learning curve, allowing you to immediately begin offering additional services to clients. Offering new features such as a self-service dashboard for clients, a mobile app for their employees or giving your clients access to new HR tools is a lot easier than you think.

In our upcoming free webinar “Optimising your payroll offering to improve profitability” you can find out all you need to know to stop payroll processing from being a loss leader and turn it into a money spinner. Register now.

In the webinar you’ll learn:

  • The benefits of integrated payroll and accounting systems
  • How batch processing can transform your payroll performance
  • How you can streamline client communications
  • Top tips for expanding your client base
  • Pricing strategies that work – what other practices are doing

Please note: This webinar is specifically designed for accountants, bookkeepers, and payroll bureaus.

Webinar Information:

The webinar takes place on 28th October at 11.00 am and is free to attend for all accountants and payroll bureaus.

If you are unable to attend the webinar at the specified time, simply register and we will send you the recording afterwards.


Register Now


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Posted byElaine CarrollinPayroll Software

Oct 2021


Payroll client platforms are the way of the future

Payroll bureaus have more choice than ever when it comes to which cloud portals to use. Understandably, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees when looking for the right payroll software for you and your clients. But choosing the right cloud client product you can make a world of difference to the payroll service you offer your clients, and the value they enjoy as a result.

The option of BrightPay Connect can enhance and improve your client relationship by automating many of the daily payroll administration tasks. With the introduction of any new service, accountants and bureaus should focus on what benefits BrightPay Connect can bring to your clients. We’ve compiled a list of the payroll, HR and cloud benefits of choosing BrightPay Connect.

BrightPay Connect Benefits For Bureaus

1. Cost-Effectiveness

Who doesn’t like a product that saves time, effort and money? Not only is BrightPay Connect the best way for bureaus to modernise payroll and access multiple clients from one platform, but it’s also very cost-effective. This means you can potentially pass the savings along to your clients for an even better value payroll service.

2. Multi-Company Platform

Juggling several clients at once, no matter what industry you’re in, is no mean feat. BrightPay Connect makes it easier than ever thanks to its automatically synchronized system that enables you to see all of your clients’ payroll summaries in one place.

3. Client Dashboard

Oftentimes clients will still play a significant role in their payroll process. In particular, clients like to be able to see their payroll information easily without having to request it from their payroll bureau and wait for it to be sent over. With BrightPay Connect, clients can easily log-on and view payroll reports, see updated data, receive notifications, view employee payslips, access the annual leave calendar and check on progress.

4. Client Entry Feature

With BrightPay Connect, payroll bureaus will have the ability to send a request to clients to upload their employee hours. Clients can enter the payroll data or upload a CSV file. The information included in the Payroll Entry Request (payments, additions, deductions and new starters) will seamlessly flow through to the bureau’s portal, ready for payroll processing.

5. Client Approval

If your clients want to be able to review and approve payroll before it’s finalised, the client approval feature allows them to do just that. You simply send them their payroll summary which they can approve or reject. When the client gives it the go-ahead, move forward with finalising the payroll, secure in the knowledge that the information included is 100% accurate and everyone’s happy.

6. Automatic Cloud Backup

Data security is a top priority for all bureaus and accountants. With BrightPay Connect’s cloud backup feature, you can rest easy knowing that your clients’ payroll data is in safe hands. The system backs up automatically every 15 minutes, as well as when a file is closed. If a mistake is made you can easily check through the backup history to restore an earlier, mistake-free version.

7. Branding Abilities

BrightPay Connect allows you to add your bureau’s own branding. This includes your contact details, company name and logo. The branding facility enhances the service you provide your clients and helps to promote your company and grow your business.

8. Better Reports

Payroll reports are an important part of any bureau’s service. With BrightPay Connect, you can make sure your reporting is as comprehensive and user-friendly as possible. Any reports that are set up on your payroll software are available to clients to access online. Additionally, your clients will be able to view reports and download them as a PDF or as a CSV file.

9. HMRC Payments

Clients can check what HMRC payments are due and paid, as well as your P30 reports which break everything down.

10. Annual Leave Management

BrightPay Connect isn’t just about payroll. It also includes some really helpful HR features that allow for annual leave management - both from the employers perspective and the employees. Employees can view their leave balance and request leave. Employers can approve or deny leave requests and view the company-wide leave calendar. And the best thing about this? Once a leave request has been approved it automatically syncs with the payroll software so everyone is getting paid the right amount.

11. Employee Self-Service

The clever and user-friendly employee dashboard allows your clients’ employees to view their P60, P45, or P11Ds in addition to their payslips and other payroll information. They can also download these files as PDFs and print them. On top of all of this, employees can access their annual leave dashboard too.

12. Employee Smartphone & Tablet App

Unlike some other payroll products out there, BrightPay Connect has an Android/iOS employee application compatible with smartphones and tablets. The benefit of this payroll app is in how it allows client employees to access all of their payroll and annual leave information mentioned above, anytime and anywhere at the tap of a finger.

13. Multiple User Functionality

One of the most unique features of BrightPay Connect is how it allows both bureaus and employers to add as many users as they like, with various access tiers. This means that some users can only view HR documents and approve employee leave requests, others can access payroll information, while others have the ability to view employers and employees that have been marked as confidential. Who has what access permission is up to you. This really allows bureaus and their clients to cater the system to their needs for a truly bespoke payroll process.

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

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Posted bySarah TyrrellinBrightPay Connect

Oct 2021


The tools you need to make hybrid working a success

The evolution and growth of hybrid working has been a silver lining of the pandemic for many employees and employers. Despite the challenges of working from home, hybrid working can offer a better work-life balance, fewer distractions, time and money saved commuting, and greater flexibility. Employers have also been able to see that it works; tasks can still be completed on time and to a high standard, regardless of location.

As restrictions have eased in the UK, how employers have approached the adoption of hybrid working has been varied. Grappling with how they’ll implement it, employers have been testing out different models; from allowing a number of set day at home, or an entirely opt-in model, to a model where it's suited to only certain roles. In the accounting sector, we’ve seen major firms embrace the new workplace options. Most recently in the US, we’ve seen PwC announce that 40,000 of its employees can work remotely. If bigger businesses continue to implement hybrid working options, it is likely that it will impact smaller and mid-sized firms, with growing competitiveness among them to offer remote options to employees.

How can smaller firms adopt hybrid working and truly make it a success? It can be challenging, not only to productivity but also to the company culture. It’s made even more challenging when businesses don’t invest in the tools required to work from home. Research published in September 2021 by Ricoh Europe shows that that only a third (36%) of employers say their organisation has provided the tools and technology to maintain employee productivity while working from any location. This is despite over half of employers understanding that investing in automation boosts productivity.

To help you prepare for the realities of hybrid working and what accounting and payroll software tools are available to help you and your firm, we’ve teamed up with BTC Software to deliver a webinar. BTC Software provides feature-rich accounting and tax software. In the webinar we will examine the changes which have occurred at work due to COVID-19 and highlight what can be done to establish the best way of working. Register for the free webinar here.

Webinar agenda:

  • Part 1: How COVID-19 has changed how we work
  • Part 2: Restructure of how we work post-pandemic
  • Part 3: What can accountants do to ensure they are digitally savvy to keep up with the new way of working?
  • Part 4: Q&A session

Please note: This webinar is specifically designed for accountants, bookkeepers, and payroll bureaus.

Webinar Information:
The webinar takes place on 26th October at 1.00pm and is free to attend for accountants in practice and payroll bureaus. If you are unable to attend the webinar at the specified time, simply register and we will send you the recording afterwards.

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Oct 2021


New guidance issued for those who receive Working Tax Credits or Tax Free Childcare

During the pandemic, those who received Working Tax Credits did not need to tell HMRC about any temporary short-term reductions in their working hours as a result of coronavirus i.e. if they were furloughed or simply had less hours (which would have previously rendered them ineligible.) Any reduction was treated as if they were working full time hours, which was a real nice move from the tax man.

Those who receive Tax-Free Childcare were not required to prove their income under the same relaxation of the eligibility criteria during the height of the pandemic. However, now that all coronavirus related benefits have ended and the country is “back open for business”, anyone who gets tax credits needs to inform HMRC if their working hours have not returned to pre-COVID levels. Likewise, those who get Tax-Free Childcare need to now prove their income.

You now must work a certain number of hours each week to qualify for Working Tax Credits. Those aged between 25 and 59 need to work 30 hours or more to qualify, while those over 60 need to work 16 hours a week in order to qualify. If you are a person with a disability or a single person with one or more children, you must also work 16 hours or more each week to qualify. For couples with one or more children, you must work at least 24 hours a week with one of you working at least 16 hours in order to qualify.

From the 25th of November 2021 if your hours have not returned to normal as shown in your Working Tax Credit claim and you haven’t notified HMRC then you may have to pay back any overpayments and face a penalty of £300 which, if you ask me, is like kicking a dog when it’s down - but anyway!

The good news is that if you’re no longer eligible for Working Tax Credits, you will remain entitled to Child Tax credits if you already receive it and have not yet made a claim for Universal Credit.

For Tax-Free Childcare, you need to earn an average of £142 per week to claim up to £2000 per year per child towards childcare costs. As previously mentioned, this was relaxed during the pandemic for those on furlough or claiming SEISS and for those whose earnings fell below the threshold. But now it is “back to business” again and you now must prove that you are eligible (as above) every three months when you wish to apply.

Furthermore, Child Benefit and Tax Credit customers who use Post Office card accounts need to be aware that from the 30th November 2021 these accounts will be closing and you will no longer be able to receive your payments into them. If you are affected by this, you must notify HMRC of your new account details, be it bank, credit union or building society. This should be done as soon as possible so as not to miss any payments.

For more information on tax credits you can use the following options:

  • using the HMRC webchat service, by going to GOV.UK and searching ‘tax credits general enquiries’
  • by tweeting @HMRCcustomers or posting on their Facebook page with general queries
  • by calling the tax credits helpline: 0345 300 3900
  • Ask your payroll or HR department who may be able to give you guidance.

Written by Aoibheann Byrne


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Posted byAoibheann ByrneinHMRC

Oct 2021


Easily Manage Attachment of Earnings Orders with BrightPay

What is an attachment of earnings order?

As an employer, you can be directed to deduct money from an employee’s pay. You will receive a formal notice, referred to as an attachment of earnings order, typically from a court, but can also be from the DWP Debt Management or from the Child Maintenance Group.

The order instructs an employer to divert money directly from an employee’s wages to pay back an outstanding debt. The order is issued because it is believed that the employee has failed or is likely to fail to pay the sums through other means. The money is sent to the court that made the order which is then forwarded to the employee’s creditor. Attachments can be issued for a number of reasons including unpaid fines and child support.

Deduct an attachment of earnings order using BrightPay

BrightPay Payroll has the facility to process a variety of attachment of earnings orders. This includes:

  • Council Tax Attachment of Earnings Order
  • Civil Judgment Debt Attachment of Earnings Order
  • Child Support Deductions from Earnings Order
  • View BrightPay’s full list of attachment of earning orders here

Fast and easy deductions:

BrightPay payroll software allows customers to easily add attachment of earnings to an employee’s payslip. In the employee’s profile, under ‘Additions and Deductions’, the user can choose from the different attachment orders available. Once selected, the description and relevant dates are added along with the amounts and status.

An AEO can either be a priority order or a non-priority order, which impacts the way deductions are calculated. If an employee has more than one order, priority orders will need to be deducted first. In BrightPay, tick the ‘priority’ box if the order is a priority order. The priority orders will be deducted in the order the employee received them.

Once it is set-up, BrightPay will continue to apply the Attachment Order on the employee’s payslip from the relevant period. To see how to apply an Attachment of Earnings Order click here.

What happens if you don’t comply?

Although attachment of earnings can be issued by different authorities, these authorities have the power to impose a fine. An employer that does not comply may be liable to a fine in the magistrate’s court, in the county court, or in the High Court. The employer must also notify the authority when the employee is no longer in its employment, or risk paying a fine.

Find out more about BrightPay Payroll:

BrightPay Payroll makes processing payroll quick and easy. Its comprehensive functionality, covering AEOs to auto-enrolment and CIS, provides a complete solution to your payroll needs. To learn more about BrightPay’s features and how they can benefit your business, book a free demo today.

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinPayroll Software

Oct 2021


Customer Update: October 2021

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

How is payroll impacted by the new national insurance levy?      

A 1.25% health and social care levy on earned income will come into effect in April 2022. BrightPay payroll software will be updated to apply the new rates to employee’s earnings accordingly.

Read blog

How to boost the efficiency of your payroll process (for employers)

Don’t let payroll be a task that you dread every pay period. Find out how the power of cloud technology allows employers to spend less time on payroll admin and more time on more important aspects of the business in our latest webinar.

Watch on demand now

Payroll success with increased profits (for bureaus)

Transform your payroll services and increase profits with BrightPay Connect. Discover six ways that cloud technology can integrate and streamline your payroll and HR processes in our latest webinar.

Watch on demand now

Set up BrightPay for multiple users 

Each BrightPay licence key can be installed and activated on up to 10 PCs. If shared access is required, the data location can be set to your server or cloud environment.

How hybrid working has transformed payroll forever 

In this guide, we discuss how COVID-19 has affected payroll and what long-term implications we should expect to see in the near future, including long-term hybrid working.

Get your free copy

10 tips for successfully switching payroll software  

In this guide, we discuss the challenges when switching payroll software providers and top tips to ensure you have a smooth transition.

A step closer to sustainability

Earlier this year at BrightPay we formed a ‘Green Team’ that will identify and implement opportunities that can improve the sustainability of our company. Follow us on our journey to keep up with our latest projects.

The roadmap out of lockdown  

Join our sister product Bright Contracts for their free webinar on 13th October where they will be discussing SSP & isolation, hybrid working, redundancy and many more hot topics.


Posted byHolly McHughinCustomer Update