May 2022

20

2022/23 student loan plans and repayment thresholds

There was an increase to the thresholds for student loan repayments for the 2022/23 tax year. When an employee’s annual income is above the repayment threshold, they will have to repay their student loan. An employee’s repayment threshold will depend on when and where they went to university and from which country they received their loan.

The amount an employee can earn before they will need to start paying a percentage of their income towards their student loan will depend on which loan plan they fall under. Loan plans include plans 1, 2, 4 and postgraduate.

 

To work out which plan an employee should be on, please reference our charts below:

English Students

Where the course was attended When the course was started Undergraduate/Postgraduate Loan plan
Anywhere in the UK Before 1st September 2012 Undergraduate 1
Anywhere in the UK On or after 1st September 2012 Undergraduate 2

 

Welsh Students

Where the course was attended When the course was started Undergraduate/Postgraduate Loan plan
Anywhere in the UK Before 1st September 2012 Undergraduate 1
Anywhere in the UK On or after 1st September 2012 Undergraduate 2

 

Scottish Students

Where the course was attended When the course was stared Undergraduate/Postgraduate Loan plan
Anywhere in the UK On or after 1st September 1998 Undergraduate or postgraduate 4

 

Northern Ireland Students

Where the course was attended When the course was stared Undergraduate/Postgraduate Loan plan
Anywhere in the UK On or after 1st September 1998 Undergraduate or postgraduate 1

 

EU Students

Where the course was attended When the course was stared Undergraduate/Postgraduate Loan plan
England or Wales On or after 1st September 1998, but before 1st September 2012 Undergraduate 4
England or Wales On or after 1st September 2012 Undergraduate 2
Scotland On or after 1st September 1998 Undergraduate or postgraduate 4
Northern Ireland On or after 1st September 1998 Undergraduate or postgraduate 1

 

Postgraduate Loan

For English or Welsh students, they are on a Postgraduate Loan repayment plan if they:

  • Took out a Postgraduate Master’s Loan on or after 1st August 2016

Or

  • Took out a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan on or after 1st August 2018.

For EU students, they are on a Postgraduate Loan repayment plan if they started a postgraduate course on or after 1st August 2016.

 

Student loan repayment threshold increases from April 2022

Loan Plan 2021/22 2022/23
Loan plan 1 £19,895 £20,195
Loan plan 2 £27,295 £27,295
Loan plan 4 £25,000 £25,375
Postgraduate loans £21,000 £21,000

 

Figures from Gov.uk.

 

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Posted byElaine CarrollinHMRC


Apr 2022

11

The 22/23 tax year: Key dates for employers

The 2022/23 UK tax year begins on 6th of April, 2022. For employers, there are a range of need-to-know dates and important deadlines you must be remember each year to ensure you stay compliant, and avoid any penalties from HMRC.

To make things easy for you, below, we have compiled a list of payroll and self-assessment tax return deadlines for employers and the self-employed. 

Payroll dates and deadlines

6th April

As the new tax year begins, with it brings a number of changes. Follow the links to read about important changes for the 2022/23 tax year such as the new National Insurance Levy and new NLM and NMW rates.

 

19th April

You have until the 19th of April to submit your Employer Payment Summary (EPS) for the previous tax year to inform HMRC that you have completed your final submission for the year.

 

31st May

You must give any employees who were on your payroll on the last day of the previous tax year (5th April) a copy of their P60 by the 31st of May.

 

6th July

For each employee you provided with expenses and benefits for the previous tax year, you must submit your P11D forms online to HMRC and give your employees a copy of the information on your forms, by the 6th of July. By this date you must also submit a P11D(b) form to HMRC to declare the total amount of Class 1A NICs you owe on expenses and benefits provided for the year.

 

19th July

If paying by cheque, any Class 1A National Insurance owed on expenses or benefits for the previous tax year must reach HMRC by the 19th of July.

 

22nd July

If paying electronically, any Class 1A National Insurance owed on expenses or benefits for the previous tax year must reach HMRC by the 22nd of July.

 

19th October

If you have a PAYE Settlement Agreement, you must pay all tax and Class 1B National Insurance owed by the 19th of October, if paying by cheque.

 

22nd October

If you have a PAYE Settlement Agreement, you must pay all tax and Class 1B National Insurance owed by the 19th of October, if paying electronically.

 

5th April 2023

The last day of the tax year is the 5th of April and your final Full Payment Submission (FPS) should be made on or before the final pay day of the tax year.

If you choose to payroll your employees’ benefits for the 2023/24 tax year, you must register online on or before 5‌‌‌th ‌April‌‌‌ ‌2023.

 

Self Assessment tax return deadlines

31st July

Your second payment on account for the current tax year must be paid by the 31st of July.

 

5th October

If you’re self-employed or a sole trader, not self-employed, or registering a partner or partnership you must register for Self Assessment by the 5th of October.

 

31st October

Paper Self-Assessment Tax Returns must be received by HMRC by the 31st of October.

 

30th December

Deadline for Online Self Assessment Tax Return if you are eligible and want it collected through next year’s PAYE tax code.

 

31 January 2023

Online Self-Assessment Tax Returns must be received by HMRC by the 31st of January.

Pay any tax you owe for the previous tax year and your first payment on account towards your bill for the next tax year.

 

To switch to BrightPay before the new tax year, book a free consultation with one of our migration specialists today. Or, to see the software in action, book a free online demo today.

 

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Posted byElaine CarrollinNews


Apr 2022

6

6 payroll mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Payroll is an essential aspect of any business and one which is important to get right. Whether you are running payroll for the first time as a new business or if you have decided to begin to run your payroll in-house, having previously outsourced to a payroll bureau; here are six mistakes to watch out for when processing payroll.

 

1. Not complying with HMRC

When you run payroll, you need to report payroll information to HMRC. You may be charged penalties if you do not report the correct information to HMRC or if you do not submit the information on time. It is necessary that you use a HMRC recognised software that can report PAYE information online and in real time, known as RTI. Using a HMRC recognised software is needed for:

  • Recording your employees’ details.
  • Working out your employees’ pay and deductions.
  • Working out any statutory pay your employees’ may be entitled to.
  • Working out how much you owe to HMRC.

 

2. Not complying with GDPR

When processing payroll, you are dealing with a lot of personal information. Using a GDPR compliant payroll software means you and your employees can rest assured that all personal data is stored and managed in a safe and secure manner.

 

3. Not complying with automatic enrolment

It is a legal requirement for employers to enrol eligible employees into a workplace pension scheme which both the employer and the employee will contribute to. There are certain auto enrolment duties that employers must carry out in order to be fully compliant. Some of these duties are once off actions and others are ongoing duties which involves monitoring changes in your employees age and earnings. Every three years, employers must carry out the re-enrolment of any staff who may have left the scheme.

 

4. Not backing up payroll data

When running payroll, it is highly recommended that you always keep a backup of all payroll data. It is also advised that this back up is saved somewhere other than on the hard drive of the computer you use to process payroll. Using a cloud platform or an external device to back up data is the safest option to ensure you never lose valuable information, should something happen to your computer.

 

5. Having inexperienced or untrained staff run payroll

While using the right software has made processing payroll easier than ever before, it is still not something that should be assumed is easy and straightforward to do. When staff running payroll are inexperienced or untrained, you are leaving your business open to problems like employees being paid the wrong amounts, penalties for non-compliance, time wasted correcting errors and overall damaging your reputation as a business. It is also important staff keep up to date and informed with any changing HMRC legislation or employee entitlements.

 

6. Inefficiency and human error

Your efficiency when running payroll will depend greatly on the level of automation used. Automation cuts down on the repetition of uncomplicated tasks. Automation not only saves your business time and money by allowing you to process payroll quicker, it also does so by reducing the possibility of human error. A payroll software must be used to automate payroll processes.

 

Solution:

You have two options when it comes to ensuring none of these mistakes are made by your business when processing payroll.

Option One: Outsource your payroll to a professional.

Option Two: Choose a payroll software that ensures all these mistakes are easily avoided.

 

While outsourcing your payroll duties to a professional might seem like the simplest option, it may not be the most cost effective one. You can save money while having the same peace of mind that your payroll is correct by running your payroll in-house with the right payroll software.

BrightPay is a multi-award-winning payroll software that automates payroll processing. The software is constantly performing tasks in the background, which helps streamline your payroll workflows. BrightPay’s integration with HMRC, accounting packages and pension providers automates payroll tasks while also ensuring that you can easily stay compliant.

BrightPay will automatically assess new employees for auto enrolment each pay period and inform you of which employees need to be enrolled. Our software will then continue to monitor staff and inform you of any changes in eligibility, giving you peace of mind that all your auto enrolment duties are taken care of. BrightPay even automatically prepares customised letters which employees must receive, informing them of their auto enrolment rights.

When it comes to the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR), BrightPay Connect, our cloud extension, helps you stay compliant by offering a secure online portal for employers to share payslips with their employees as well as other HR documents. Our newest feature, two-factor authentication, adds a second layer of security for employers logging into BrightPay Connect. A security code will be sent to the user via email or text which needs to be entered to log in to the employer dashboard, lowering the risk of data breaches.

While there will be a learning curve with any new software, BrightPay’s user friendly interface and intuitive design makes that learning curve a lot less steep. BrightPay’s website has a comprehensive library of support documentation that takes you step by step through payroll processes. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, BrightPay’s support team can be reached by phone or email; offering BrightPay customers free help and guidance when they need it.

Other useful resources that can be found on our website are our guides and ebooks, video tutorials, blogs and webinars. Previous webinars can be watched on demand from our website. We also host weekly live webinars which anyone can join for free.

Why not book a free demo today and discover how BrightPay can help you avoid payroll mistakes and make processing payroll a breeze.

Posted byElaine CarrollinPayrollPayroll Software


Mar 2022

28

BrightPay and AccountancyManager join forces

It has been an exciting six months since BrightPay merged with Relate Software to become Bright Software Group or “Bright”, as we are now known. Things haven’t slowed down since and we are delighted to announce that Bright has now acquired AccountancyManager, the UK’s leading onboarding and practice management software. The cloud-based software slots in nicely with Bright’s payroll, HR, bookkeeping and post-accounting software products. This is an exciting opportunity for the individual brands to exploit our operational synergies and develop the best products to serve payroll bureaus, accountancy firms and SMEs across the UK and Ireland.

Click here to find out more about Bright.

Who are AccountancyManager?

AccountancyManager (AM) is an award-winning practice management software that shares the same ultimate goal as Bright; to improve accountants’ day-to-day activities by automating time-consuming tasks, helping them to achieve a better work/life balance and grow their businesses. Founded in 2017 by James Byrne and Alex Hawke, AccountancyManager quickly grew and today is used by thousands of accountants and bookkeepers across the UK and Ireland.

A Bright future for AccountancyManager

James Byrne, co-founder of AM will continue as a shareholder in the combined group and will remain involved with the business as an advisor to the combined board. Kevin McCallum, CEO of AM, will become Chief Operating Officer of the new, combined group as well as continuing to manage AM, working closely with Bright CEO, Paul Byrne.

Here’s what Kevin McCallum, incoming COO of Bright, has to say about the merger: “AccountancyManager joining Bright makes so much sense for many reasons, but for me, the shared values and customer-centric approach are the most compelling. I’m excited to be joining Paul and the wider Bright team in building out the scope and scale of our business and supporting more and more accountants and their clients.”

By partnering with AccountancyManager and combining products and strengths from both businesses, Bright can provide a greater offering to our customers, with scope and backing for further innovation and development. This is an exciting moment in Bright’s journey to delivering a one-stop solution for businesses and accountancy firms. Together we will aim to provide a best-in-class software suite with a clear value proposition to drive efficiency and reduce errors, all with increased flexibility from working with a cloud offering.

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Posted byElaine CarrollinNews


Mar 2022

23

The payroll and HR connection (and how to use it to your advantage)

In a Censuswide survey of 251 HR and payroll managers, 76% of businesses admitted to failing to pay their employees correctly or on time on one or more occasion. In the 2019 survey it was also revealed that, on average, employees had been paid incorrectly or late four times in the previous twelve months. This failure can sour employee relations and employees may feel they are unable to trust their employers.

Successful businesses are built on relationships and when there is a breakdown of trust, relationships are damaged, and your business may suffer consequently. When a concern arises for an employee, it is often the HR department that they first turn to – including questions and issues to do with pay. Whether or not you think that payroll should be the responsibility of HR personnel, businesses can benefit from integrating the two functions.

BrightPay Connect is a cloud add on to BrightPay’s payroll software that streamlines payroll and HR processes: meaning less work for employers and more peace of mind that your employees pay will be accurate. BrightPay Connect can also help improve communication between you and your employees. Effective communication within organisations has become more important than ever since the COVID-19 outbreak has forced many of us to work remotely.

BrightPay Connect gives you access to an online employer portal from which you can manage employees in many ways. An unlimited number of users can be added, meaning the portal can be accessed safely and securely by any colleagues you wish to allow access. Listed below are eight features of BrightPay Connect and how these features can benefit employers, HR departments and payroll processers.

1. Payroll records

Instantly access your employee’s payslips and payroll documents, run your own payroll reports, and view amounts due to HMRC anywhere, anytime through your secure online portal.

Remote Payroll

2. Employee self-service

Invite your employees to an online self-service portal and employee app where they can access their payslip library, request annual leave, access HR documents and update personal contact details. Find out more. Employees can download the employee app on their smartphone or tablet giving them instant access to their payroll information on the go. The employee app is available to download for free on any Android or iOS device.

Furlough Calculator

3. Employee records

Employers and managers can keep track of their employee’s basic personal details, which can be updated by employees. This ensures that you have the most accurate and current details on file for your employees.

Batch Processing Payroll

4. Employee calendar

The real-time employee calendar allows you and your colleagues to see, at a glance, who is on leave, when, and whether they are on annual leave, unpaid leave, parenting leave or sick leave.

Payroll Integration

5. Leave management

Employees can submit holiday requests with a few simple clicks. Managers will be notified of the request and can view the holiday calendar online before approving, ensuring that you always have sufficient cover.

Online Payroll Portal

6. Secure Cloud Storage

When it comes to payroll, data security is extremely important. Payroll information is stored on Microsoft Azure, which is one of the safest ways to store personal data securely.

Pay Employees Through BrightPay

7. Company messaging

Whether it is an important memo, the company newsletter, or details of a staff party, the notification system will transform internal communications. All employees can be kept up to date on what is happening in the workplace, regardless of where they are located.

Batch Processing Payroll

8. HR Documents & Resources

You can share documents and resources with individuals, teams or the whole company at the touch of a button. Track who has viewed circulated documents and who has not.

Pay Employees Through BrightPay

Book a BrightPay Connect demo today to learn more about these features and how they can benefit your business. Related articles:


Feb 2022

16

What to include on a payslip and how they should be shared with employees

By law, employers must provide all employees with a payslip for each pay period. As well as giving employees a rundown of their earnings and any deductions there might be to their pay, payslips may be required as proof of income when applying for a mortgage or other loans. Payslips should be provided to employees either before or on the day they receive payment and are usually generated within the payroll software. According to ACAS, payslips must include:

  • Total pay before deductions
  • Total pay after deductions
  • Amounts of any variable or fixed deductions
  • A breakdown of how the wages will be paid if more than one payment method is used

Below is an example of information you may find on a payslip:

 

How should payslips be shared with employees?

Employees’ payslips should be provided to them as at least one of the following:

  • A hard copy
  • Attached in an email
  • An online copy

Giving employees a printed copy of their payslip is becoming less common. As well as the fact many businesses are digitising their paper processes, a payslip contains a lot of sensitive employee information, and a printed payslip could easily fall into the wrong hands. When emailing payslips, it is important that the payslip is password protected. More and more businesses are choosing to opt for sharing payslips with employees online. Not only do they save on paper on ink, but they are also more secure and can be easily retrieved when needed.

How can I provide employees with online payslips?

Some payroll software providers include an option to share employees' payslips through an online portal. BrightPay payroll software has a cloud add-on, BrightPay Connect, which includes an employee self-service mobile app where employees can view and download all new and historic payslips. Once a payslip becomes available, the employee will receive a push notification on their phone. If they do not have access to the app, they can also access their employee portal online from any device.

Sharing employees' payslips through an online portal such as BrightPay Connect is the best way to avoid payslip data breaches and insure you are in compliance with UK data protection laws. It also means that employees will always have access to all their past payslips and won’t need to come to their employer to request them.

Can you produce payslips using Basic PAYE tools?

You can use Basic PAYE tools (BPT) to produce payslips for your employees. However, the payslips produced will not include all the details which you are required to provide by law. By using a payroll software such as BrightPay, the payslips produced will contain all the information required by law, while also being customizable with the option of including additional information.

To find out more about how you can share payslips with employees online, book a free online demo of BrightPay Connect today. If you’re not yet using BrightPay Payroll Software, book a free migration consultation to speak to a dedicated migration specialist to help you through the set-up process.

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Feb 2022

15

The Updated Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

28/02/2022 Update: The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will close on 17‌‌‌th ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022 and employers have until 24‌‌‌th March‌‌‌ to submit any new claims for absence periods up to 17‌‌‌th ‌March‌‌‌, or to amend claims you have already submitted. You will no longer be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for any COVID-19 related absences that occur after‌‌‌ ‌17‌‌‌th ‌March‌‌‌.

As of 25th March, there’ll be a return to the normal SSP rules, meaning it will be payable from the fourth qualifying day an employee is off work, regardless of the reason for their sickness absence.

BrightPay users should be aware of this change and select the normal SSP option when recording any sickness related absences from 25th March, regardless of whether or not it is COVID-19 related.

On 21st December 2021, it was announced that the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) would be reopened in January 2022 for small and medium sized businesses across the UK. The scheme has been reintroduced as support for businesses impacted by the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The updated SSPRS allows eligible employers to claim back some of their Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs for employees who are eligible for sick pay due to COVID-19. Businesses can also claim back SSP retrospectively for employees for any qualifying days on or after 21st December 2021.

 

Who can claim

The 30th of November, 2021 is the date used to establish an employer's eligibility for the SSP Rebate Scheme. To qualify to claim back SSP the employer must:

  • Have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 30th November 2021
  • Have had fewer than 250 employees on 30th November 2021, across all PAYE payroll schemes

 

Which employees can you claim for

Employers can claim back SSP for employees who qualify for SSP and who cannot work because they are off sick or self-isolating due to COVID-19 on or after 21st December, 2021 up until 17th March, 2022.

To claim back SSP for an employee they must meet the following criteria:

  • The employee must be classed as an employee and have done work for you under their contract
  • Must be sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days)
  • Must provide you with a “fit note” after 7 days
  • Must earn an average of at least £120.00 per week for the 2021/22 tax year

 

Employees qualify as being off due to COVID-19 if they:

  • Have COVID-19
  • Have symptoms of COVID-19 and are self-isolating
  • Are living with someone with symptoms of COVID-19 and are self-isolating
  • Are in a support bubble with someone with symptoms of COVID-19 and are self-isolating
  • Have been notified by the NHS that they've come into contact with someone with COVID-19
  • Have been notified by the NHS that they need to self-isolate before surgery

 

How much can be claimed

  • Employers can claim back up to 2 weeks SSP for each employee, which is in-line with the recommended 7 to 14 day isolation period.
  • The SSP statutory weekly rate for 2021/22 is £96.35
  • The maximum number of employees a business can claim for is the number of employees which were registered on the employer’s PAYE scheme on November 30th, 2021.
  • SSP is paid only for the days an employee normally works

 

How to make a claim

  • If you haven’t already, you must enroll for PAYE Online.
  • Sign into the Gov.UK online service using your Government Gateway user ID and password that you got when you registered for PAYE Online to make your claim.

 

How your payroll software will cater for the SSPRS

BrightPay Payroll Software has recently upgraded their software to cater for employers making claims for employees who were off work due to COVID-19 on or after 21st December, 2021. Our Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme tool has been designed to assist users in ascertaining SSP reclaimable amounts for entry into Gov.UK’s online service for claiming back SSP.

The SSPRS will close on 17‌‌‌th ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022 and employers have until 24‌‌‌th March‌‌‌ 2022 to submit any new claims for absence periods up to 17‌‌‌th ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022, or to amend claims you have already submitted. You will no longer be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for any COVID-19 related absences that occur after‌‌‌ ‌17‌‌‌th ‌March‌‌‌.

 

Find out how to use BrightPay’s Coronavirus SSPRS claim report tool. To learn more about BrightPay, book a free online demo now and see the software in action for yourself.

If you’re looking to switch to BrightPay, we offer dedicated migration specialists to help you through the importing and set-up process. You can book a free migration consultation here.

 

 

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Posted byElaine CarrollinCoronavirusSick Leave/Absence Management


Feb 2022

14

What the New Health and Social Care Levy means for employers

On the 7th of September 2021, the government announced a new 1.25% Health and Social Care Levy. The objective of the levy is to fund investment in the NHS, health and social care. This new plan for health and social care will lead to a permanent increase in spending.

In 2020 and 2021, government borrowing was at an all-time high, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, it has been decided that increased taxation would be the most responsible way to fund these investments in health and social care.

 

What does this mean for employers?

The scheme is set to come into effect on 6th April 2022 and will mean that employees’ National Insurance contributions will increase. As an employer, if you pay Class 1, Class 1A or Class 1B National Insurance contributions, you’ll need to start paying the 1.25% increase in contributions from 6th April 2022. These changes will not affect employees who are above State Pension age and are not an employee or self-employed.

From April 2023, NICs rates will return to 2021-22 levels and the 1.25% levy will become a separate new tax. You will need to pay the separate 1.25% levy, and this will also apply to the earnings of individuals who are working and are above State Pension age.

See the gov.uk website for guidance on the Health and Social Care Levy.

What does this mean for payroll?

Your 2022/23 payroll software should be updated to cater for this increase. HMRC are also asking payroll processors to include the following message on the payslips of those affected by the increase:

‘1.25% uplift in NICs, funds NHS, health & social care’.

They are asking that this note be added so that employees understand the increase and what it is helping to fund. Users have the ability to remove this messaging, if they wish to do so.

From the 2023/24 tax year, when the levy becomes a separate tax, it will need to be shown on payslips as a new item. Your payroll software should be updated for the 2023/24 tax year to cater for this.

 

How do I add the HMRC message to payslips?

If you are a BrightPay customer, this message will be automatically added to the payslips of affected employees. If you are not a customer of BrightPay, depending on the software you use, this message may need to be added manually to payslips by the payroll processor.

While the 1.25% levy will show as a message by default on the payslips, it is optional. This option can be unticked under > Print Payslips > Options in the Payroll section of BrightPay 2022-23

Free Migration

If you’re looking to switch to BrightPay, we offer dedicated migration specialists to help you through the importing and set-up process. You can book a free migration consultation here.

 

 

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Posted byElaine CarrollinHMRCPayroll


Feb 2022

9

Case Study: Why this family run firm remains loyal to BrightPay

Fernhill Accountants are a family run accountancy firm located in Farnborough, Hampshire and have been in business since 2013. When they first started off, owner Judy Dean looked after the accountancy and taxation side of the business while her daughter Lucy later joined to take care of marketing and customer service. Fernhill Accountants’ clients are primarily micro businesses, and they have a mix of sole traders and limited companies. One of Fernhill Accountants’ first clients was a Community Interest Company (CIC), and since then they’ve built up their CIC client base. Fernhill Accountants offer bookkeeping, accounting, taxation and payroll services to their clients.

A software that grows with the business

Fernhill Accountants didn’t initially offer payroll services to their clients but when one of their CIC clients asked if they would do it, they agreed. As they were not sure if the payroll side of their business would work out and not wanting to commit resources too quickly to it, they started off by using HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools. However, using Basic PAYE Tools to process payroll was time-consuming and because the functionality was so limited, tasks such as auto-enrolment were taking far longer than they should. “The functionality just wasn’t there. With the pensions and auto-enrolment duties coming in, it was all taking too long,” This is when Judy decided she needed to start looking for payroll software that would meet all their requirements.

Judy began researching the different payroll software available. This is when she first became aware of BrightPay. After looking into the various features of BrightPay and weighing the benefits up against other payroll systems, Judy felt confident that BrightPay could take care of her payroll needs. Reading BrightPay’s reviews on AccountingWEB reaffirmed her decision.

The importance of telephone support

Another payroll software provider which had been mentioned to Judy and which she had considered was Moneysoft. However, what helped her make the final decision was the fact that Moneysoft didn’t provide any customer phone support at that time, while BrightPay did. “One of the big reasons we went with BrightPay in the end was because you have telephone support,” Judy told us. Judy preferred speaking directly to a payroll specialist because from experience, phone support often solved problems quicker than email. And so, happy with all the information she gathered, Judy made the final decision and started using BrightPay for the 2017/18 tax year.

Time saved through integrations

Since Judy started using BrightPay to process payroll she hasn’t looked back. Straight away Judy noticed how quick and easy BrightPay was to use.

BrightPay includes direct API integration with a number of accounting packages. For Judy, BrightPay’s integration with accounting software Xero was important to have. “The integration with Xero has been great. It has saved me a lot of time. Thanks to the integration I can just send it over and adjust it if I need to – it’s so easy. I’ve also quite a few clients on BrightPay and Xero and it just flows through quite happily.” Another integration that has saved Judy time is BrightPay’s integration with pension providers, in particular, Nest. “We’ve clients who are on Nest and once we got through the initial set up it was very easy. It works out everything for you and the clients just pay them what they’re meant to pay and that’s it, job done,” she said. Judy also found the in-software notifications very handy for remembering pension related tasks, “The nudges the software gives you all the time to remind you what you need to do for auto-enrolment have been great. So yes, it works brilliantly; it’s secure and saves us so much time.”

BrightPay’s cloud add-on saves more time by cutting down on emails

Fernhill Accountants are also using the optional cloud add-on, BrightPay Connect. They didn’t initially use BrightPay Connect until Judy heard about the pricing structure where you only pay for what you use. “As soon as I heard that, I signed up. It’s very reasonably priced,” Judy said. One of the ways Judy has saved time using BrightPay Connect is by giving clients access to an online dashboard where they can run payroll reports anytime, anywhere. “It’s more secure and saves me from having to email clients and add in the attachments. Everything the client needs is there. I don’t have to worry about making mistakes or not attaching the correct report.” “Before, when I had to save the reports and then go and find them and attach them to the emails it was taking me about 15 minutes per client each time. So now that we have BrightPay Connect we don’t need to do that anymore. It cuts out a lot of emails that would come in as well. The time saving is immense for me.” BrightPay Connect’s automatic online backup has also saved Judy time when processing payroll. “An additional benefit of BrightPay Connect is that your payroll data is automatically backed up to the cloud so we no longer have to back it up manually.”

Speaking to someone gets problems solved quicker

Another feature of BrightPay that has been very important for Judy and Fernhill Accountants is the level of assistance she receives from the support team. As mentioned, it is important for Judy that she gets to speak to someone over the phone whenever she needs help. “The support is excellent. Both email and phone. It’s great to be able to speak to a real person because when you’re not sure about what you’re doing, you don’t always explain it very well in an email. So, I find when I’m unsure about something when running payroll and I speak to BrightPay’s support team, they can kind of prise out of me what it is I’m doing or not doing and the issue gets solved a lot quicker.”

So, after four years of Fernhill Accountants using BrightPay to process payroll for their clients we asked Judy if she would be renewing her BrightPay licence next year. “Definitely, without a doubt,” Judy answered without hesitation. “When I first made the decision to use BrightPay I was hopeful that I wouldn’t be dissatisfied in any way, and I can honestly say I haven’t.”

If you want to find out exactly why Judy hasn’t looked back since making the move to BrightPay, schedule a free 15-minute demo of BrightPay and BrightPay Connect with a member of our team today. Or why not book a free 60-day trial of BrightPay and try the software for yourself with no obligation to purchase.

Posted byElaine CarrollinBrightPay ConnectPayroll Software


Dec 2021

22

Documents you must share with employees (and how you should share them)

What documents do I need to share with a new employee?

When hiring a new employee or worker there is certain information which you, the employer, must share with them. On the employee’s first day, they must be provided with a document known as a ‘principal statement’. The principal statement must include:

  • The employer’s name
  • The employee/worker’s name, their job title and/or description of work and their start date
  • The employee/worker’s pay and how often they will be paid
  • The employee/worker’s hours of work
  • The employee/worker’s holiday entitlement
  • Location/locations that the employee/worker will be working from (further details will need to be included if the employee is expected to work abroad)
  • The length of the employment
  • The length of the probation period and its conditions
  • Information on any benefits
  • Employee training information

Other information which the employee must be given on their first day which can be included on the ‘principal statement’ or can be provided separately includes:

  • Sick pay and procedures
  • Information on paid leave (eg. parental leave, bereavement leave.)
  • Notice periods

Within two months of the employee starting, they must be given a ‘wider written statement’ which must include information on:

  • Pensions and pension schemes
  • Collective agreements
  • Information on any other right to non-compulsory training provided by the employer
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures

 

 

Providing employees with payslips

For each pay period, employees must receive an itemised payslip which clearly shows:

  • Total pay before deductions
  • Total pay after deductions
  • Amounts of any variable or fixed deductions
  • A breakdown of how the wages will be paid if more than one payment method is used

What other documents should you share with employees?

While it is a legal requirement to share the documents which are listed above with employees, it is also important to clearly communicate company policies and procedures with employees. Examples could be an employee handbook, an IT policy, a working from home policy or a code of conduct document. Documents such as these helps establish what behaviour is expected of employees by the employer and to explain any consequences of breaching the guidelines. Not keeping employees up to date on what the company expects from them in terms of ethics and morals could result in legal or financial consequences for your business.

A regular staff newsletter is another example of a document that may be shared with employees. While not imperative, newsletters can be used as a way of keeping employees informed of staff events while also reinforcing your company culture.

How do I share documents with employees?

All documents should be easily accessed by employees. While you can share physical documents with employees, to save time and money, it is better to share these documents digitally. Sharing documents by email is another option but this can also become time-consuming. One of the best ways of sharing documents with employees is through an online employee portal where you can share tailored documents with individual employees or share company documents with multiple employees at once.

BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud add-on to BrightPay’s payroll software that allows employers to upload documents through their own online portal. Employees can then access these documents anytime, anywhere from the BrightPay Connect employee app on their smartphones or from an internet browser. Sharing documents with employees this way means they are instantly available for employees to view, whether in the office or working from home. Employees will receive a push notification on their mobile every time a new document has been uploaded or when the employer has updated a document. From the employer dashboard, you can also keep track of which employees have viewed which documents.

How can I generate employee documents?

BrightPay’s sister product Bright Contracts, syncs with BrightPay’s payroll software and allows you to easily create tailored employee contracts and staff handbooks which fully conform to the latest employment law guidelines. When there are any changes in employment law, Bright Contracts will automatically send you an update, making it easy for you to comply with employment law, even with no HR experience. These documents can then be uploaded via BrightPay Connect’s employer dashboard and shared instantly with employees.

To learn more about sharing documents with employees using BrightPay Connect, book a free online demo today.

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Posted byElaine CarrollinEmployee Handbook