Jun 2021

11

3 APIs that your Business Should be Using

Have you ever been asked, “can’t you just use an API for that?” and thought to yourself “what the hell is an API and how does it work?”. APIs are a type of integration and are used in everyday life. API stands for application programming interface which allow two applications to talk to each other. APIs increase automation, improve efficiency and if you use APIs to your advantage, they'll make your life a lot easier.

If you’re a payroll processor you’re going to be very happy to hear that BrightPay payroll software includes a number of API integrations. These include direct payments from BrightPay, payroll journal APIs and integration with pension providers.

 

1. Direct Payments

BrightPay’s integration with Modulr will give you a fast, secure and easy way to pay employees and subcontractors through BrightPay. Get ultimate convenience with real-time and 24/7 payments including one-off and emergency payments. To avail of this integration, users will require an active Modulr account. Visit the Modulr website for more information.

Prior Problem: Time-consuming Bacs files and a 3-day process to pay employees

Our Solution: Pay employees in less than 90 seconds

 

2. Accounting Software

With BrightPay’s payroll journal integration, users will be able to directly send the payroll journal directly to the accounting package from within BrightPay. This accounts software integration eliminates the need to export the CSV file from the payroll software and import it into the accounting system, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. BrightPay includes direct API integration with Xero, AccountsIQ, Quickbooks Online and many more. A 'generic' CSV file journal option is also available for those who use other accounting software packages that are not listed on our website. Please note: the generic CSV file journal option is not part of the API integrations.

Prior Problem: Manually exporting wage journals and importing them into the accounting software

Our Solution: No more manual work – do it all within BrightPay

 

3. Pension Providers

BrightPay offers direct API integration with four pension providers: NEST, The People's Pension, Smart Pension and Aviva. This functionality means that users can submit their workplace pension data from within the payroll software directly into the pension provider. This API integration allows BrightPay users to send their pension data with one click.

Prior Problem: A lot of time spent importing and exporting files to send them to the pension provider

Our Solution: Send pension data to the pension provider with just one click

 

BrightPay invests a lot of time developing API integrations to improve the software and increase functionality for its users.

Book an online demo of BrightPay today to see how the accounts, pension and direct payments API integration features can benefit your business and help automate payroll tasks.

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Posted byHolly McHughinPayroll Software


Jun 2021

3

The key to managing the annual leave backlog

Managers will likely be in a situation where many employees will request to take leave at the same time. Whether it’s during the summer months, winter months or during school holidays, there will be a higher demand for leave at certain times of the year. But how do you handle it?

Employers should have a clear policy on holiday requests. Typically, a “first-come, first-served” approach works well. While it might not be possible to please everyone and give them their requested time off, it is important that you deal with annual leave requests in a way that is transparent and fair to all employees.

With the average annual leave in the UK at approximately 28 days per year, a recent Glassdoor Annual Leave Survey revealed that the average UK employee only uses 77% of their annual leave per year. To achieve a better work-life balance, employers should encourage employees to take their full annual leave days every year to avoid burn out further down the line.

Where possible, managers should allow and accept the annual leave requested. However, managers have the right to decline holiday requests (with the correct notice) if the timing of leave would result in the business being understaffed and unmanageable.

If your business is faced with a high demand for annual leave for certain time periods every year, you can require employees to take annual leave on dates chosen by the employer. Employers must give the employee twice as many days’ notice as the period of leave requested.

By introducing BrightPay Connect, employees can access a self-service portal via an app on their smartphone or tablet device. They will be able to request leave 24/7 from anywhere, meaning they don’t need to be in the workplace to request leave. When an employee requests leave, the employer will get a notification to login to their online portal to approve or reject the leave. The requests will be time stamped so you can see the order in which they come in. Employers can access a company-wide calendar that will display all leave so that you can ensure adequate staffing before approving an annual leave request.

You can have multiple users on BrightPay Connect meaning each department/line manager can approve leave for their own department. More information on user access and permissions can be found here.

Book a 10-minute online demo of BrightPay Connect to discover how it can benefit your business.

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Posted byHolly McHughinAnnual Leave


Jun 2021

1

Customer Update: June 2021

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


Leaving Lockdown & The Ongoing Need for Furlough       

Although the UK is approaching the end of the roadmap out of lockdown, many businesses will need to avail of the furlough scheme until its very end in September 2021. Join BrightPay for a free webinar on 16th June where we discuss the furlough changes that are taking effect from the beginning of July.

Book your place now Webinar agenda

Disaster Recovery and How Cloud Backups Can Help   

Data loss poses a serious and unpredictable risk for many businesses. Never lose your payroll data again with BrightPay Connect as it maintains a chronological history of your backups. You can restore and download any of the backups to your PC or Mac at any time. 

10-minute demo

Digital Banking and its Impact on the Payroll Sector 

Rather than using the traditional Bacs payment services to pay employees, you can use Faster Payments Service to send money in real-time between bank accounts. A digital payments infrastructure offers greater payroll flexibility, reducing unnecessary stress. 

Read more

How to Manage the Annual Leave Backlog  

A self-service system is the simplest way to manage your staff's annual leave – both from a HR and employee perspective. Give employees control to request annual leave, view leave taken and leave remaining all through an app on their smartphone or tablet.  


Make your Payroll Bureau Service Stand Out   

Introducing new cloud technologies to your clients and their employees can make it easier to grow your practice while saving money, time and improving efficiencies. Download this guide to discover easy steps you can take to ensure your bureau service stands out.   

 

Posted byHolly McHughinCustomer Update


May 2021

21

What are the biggest GDPR advantages of BrightPay Connect?

BrightPay Connect is an online payroll and HR tool that offers significant benefits to help your business comply with the GDPR legislation. BrightPay Connect is an add-on to BrightPay on your PC or Mac that introduces powerful new features. The main objective of BrightPay Connect is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of payroll work to keep in line with the GDPR guidelines by linking your payroll data to the cloud to enable new features.

 

Automatic Cloud Backup

Are you keeping your payroll files safe and protected? It is important to keep them protected in case of the event of fire, theft, cyber-attacks and damaged computers. BrightPay Connect is the solution. When you link an employer to BrightPay Connect, it will be automatically synchronised to the cloud as you run your payroll or make any changes. It is hosted on Microsoft Azure for ultimate performance and reliability. BrightPay Connect keeps a chronological history of all backups which can be restored at any time. 

 

BrightPay Connect Icon of cloud with arrow pointing up

Employee Self-Service Portal

Are you trying to find ways to improve your time-management skills? You can invite employees to their own self-service online portal which can be accessed using a smartphone app or any web browser. Employees will be able to securely access and download payslips, P60s, P45s, submit annual leave requests and view leave taken and leave remaining and also view the personal details you currently hold for them, and request to make updates such as change of address, etc.

 

Bureau / Employer Dashboard

Are you looking for an easy and secure way to share documents? BrightPay Connect provides a self-service dashboard to both accountants and employers so they can access payslips, payroll reports, amounts due to HMRC, annual leave requests and employee contact details. You can also securely share resources, upload HR documents and get payroll data approval from the client electronically.

 

BrightPay Connect Icon: Computer and phone showing self-portal app

No Conflicting Payroll Copies

BrightPay Connect includes improved remote working functionality, including a ‘version checking’ feature when opening an employer, and an ‘other users check’ when opening an employer to prevent the risk of conflicting copies.

  

Two Factor Authentication

Two Factor Authentication is a second layer of protection to re-confirm the identity for users logging into Connect through an internet browser or through BrightPay. This improves security, protects against fraud and lowers the risk of GDPR data breaches as users can access sensitive employer and employee data in Connect with the increased security layer. Click here to find out more about how this feature works.

BrightPay Connect Icon of Computer and phone with lockscreen

 

Data Input

Bright Pay Connect allows users to securely send payroll entry requests and payroll approval requests to their clients, changing the way payroll bureaus interact and communicate with clients. Once the hours are added/imported, information can be automatically synchronised to the employer file. Bureaus can then securely send a payroll summary back to the client for approval through BrightPay Connect. This will eliminate the need to exchange emails, reduce the double entry requirement and minimise errors from manual data input. Inputting data through BrightPay Connect’s secure portal will help with GDPR compliance.

Additionally, there is an audit trail of the requests being approved by the client. The audit trail includes each of the steps taken by your client and includes payroll files approved and submitted by the client.

 

HR & Annual Leave Management

BrightPay Connect also includes an employee calendar, which can keep record of all employees past and future leave including annual leave, unpaid leave, absence leave, sick leave and parenting leave. Employers can upload sensitive HR documents such as contracts of employment.

BrightPay Connect Icon of Calender

 

24/7 Online Access

Do you want to be in control at anytime and anywhere? BrightPay Connect allows mobile and online access at any time of the day. This fulfils the GDPR best practice recommendation to provide remote access to a secure system where individuals have direct access to their personal payroll data.  

 

If you are interested in BrightPay Connect, why not attend one of our free online demos!


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Posted byHolly McHughinAnnual LeaveGDPRPayrollPayroll Software


May 2021

14

Free webinar: Leaving lockdown

Remote Payroll

Finally, the country is beginning to reopen and there is an end of COVID-19 in sight! BrightPay are hosting a free online webinar where our team of experts discuss the recent changes to the furlough scheme including the extension of the scheme until 30th September 2021.

Join our upcoming webinar on 18th May at 10.30 am BST and learn:

  • Changes to scheme eligibility
  • The wind-down of subsidy rates
  • The challenge of reference periods
  • The dos and don’ts of furlough agreements
  • How BrightPay caters for furlough pay
  • COVID-19 & Redundancies
  • Vaccine Policy – Do You Need One?
  • Managing the annual leave backlog

 

Don’t miss out – book your free seat here

 

Free eBook

Download a free copy of our latest eBook: Top tips for managing employees as lockdown ends (and what you should avoid). We discuss the need for a Vaccine Policy and other challenges that employers and HR managers will face over the coming months as the country re-opens and employees start requesting annual leave.

 Free Webinar | Free eBook

 

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Posted byHolly McHughinCoronavirus


May 2021

4

Customer Update: May 2021

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


Don’t miss the P60 deadline  

You need to provide a P60 for each employee on the payroll who was working for you on the last day of the tax year (5 April). All employers are legally obliged to issue P60s to employees by 31 May. You could face hefty fines from HMRC if you miss the deadline.


How to manage employees as lockdown ends  

As the UK draws closer to the end of lockdown and employees return to the workplace from furlough, employers and HR managers have a busy few months ahead. In this guide, we highlight important HR tips and best practices to remember as we approach the return to the workplace (and mistakes to avoid).

furlough extension

Connecting payroll & payments  

Eliminate the need to create bank files and forget the manual workload associated with making payments to employees and subcontractors. Join our free upcoming webinar to find out more about BrightPay’s new Direct Payments functionality. Click here to find out more.

Register here View agenda

Leaving Lockdown: Furlough, Redundancies & Vaccines in the Workplace 

This webinar will discuss the furlough wind-down, redundancies and how to implement a vaccine policy in the workplace. Discover how the furlough rules are changing in May and how the government subsidy will gradually decline from July onwards.  


Never lose your payroll data again  

With our add-on product, BrightPay Connect, you don't need to worry about manually backing up your payroll data. BrightPay Connect maintains a chronological history of your backups. You can restore or download any of the backups to your PC or Mac at any time.


Upcoming webinar – How to choose the right payroll software for your business 

There are so many payroll software providers on the market and each offer different packages and add-on products that choosing the right one for your business can become overwhelming. Join our free online webinar where we can help you make the right decision.

 

Posted byHolly McHughinCustomer Update


Apr 2021

29

Don’t miss the P60 deadline

All employers are legally obliged to issue P60s to employees by 31 May. This is a deadline, so aim to send them before this date. You can use your payroll software, such as BrightPay, to produce them. They can be issued to employees in paper form or electronically. Employees need their P60 to claim back overpaid tax, to apply for tax credits, or as proof of income if applying for a loan or a mortgage.

Does this include all employees?

You need to provide a P60 for each employee on the payroll who was working for you on the last day of the tax year (5 April). Therefore, you’re not required to issue P60s to employees who have left your business during the tax year.

How do I issue P60s in BrightPay?

  • The P60 option is located within the Employees menu
  • Select an employee who is in active employment as of 5th April from the left-hand listing
  • Click P60 on the menu bar and simply select the P60 option you require

Go paperless. We encourage employers to supply P60s digitally to employees. There are many digital options available to you in BrightPay such as email or through the secure online portal, BrightPay Connect. If you do decide to print P60s, there is no need to buy special print paper, as P60 layouts produced by BrightPay have been approved by HMRC for printing on to plain paper.

Read about BrightPay’s sustainability journey and goal of becoming net-zero by 2023.

What happens if I miss the deadline?

If you miss the 31 May deadline to issue P60s to employees, you could face hefty fines from HMRC. The initial penalty for missing the deadline is £300, followed by an additional fine of £60 per day after that. So, if you miss the deadline, make sure to give your employees their P60s as soon as possible or the fine will keep increasing. However, if you miss the P60 deadline due to a genuine error and you take steps to issue the P60 as soon as possible, a fine is less likely.

To assist employers in completing the 2020/21 tax year and transitioning to tax year 2021/22, BrightPay have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, answered by payroll experts.

 

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Posted byHolly McHughinHMRC


Apr 2021

23

Working from Home Tax Relief 2021/22

Working from home became normality for many people since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and still is one year later. A recent survey estimates that 60% of us are still working from the confines of our own homes.

Some good news is that if your employer requires you to work from home, you can benefit from the working-from-home allowance. Employers can pay you £6 a week extra tax-free. And if your employer doesn’t add this allowance to your payslip, you can claim it yourself.

Employees can claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have to work from home on a regular basis, either for all or part of the week. This includes if you have to work from home due to COVID-19. However, you cannot claim tax relief if you choose to work from home. You can apply through the government's dedicated site where you can also check if you are eligible to claim. To claim, you'll need a Government Gateway User ID and password.

Additional household costs include things like extra heating & electricity expenses, work-related calls, internet connection and metered water bills. They don’t include costs that would stay the same whether you were working at home or in an office, for example, rent.

You’ll get tax relief based on the rate at which you pay tax. For example, if you pay the 20% basic rate of tax and claim tax relief on £6 a week you would get £1.20 per week in tax relief (20% of £6). You do not receive this money by cheque as it is done by altering your tax code that indicates to your employer how much tax to take off your payslip. Less tax will be taken off your payslip, meaning you’ll take home more.

You may also be able to claim tax relief on equipment you’ve bought for work, such as a laptop, office chair or mobile phone.

You can now claim for the 2021/22 tax year.

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Posted byHolly McHughinHMRC


Apr 2021

1

Customer Update: April 2021

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


Furlough Extension: How the Rules are Changing  

The furlough scheme has once again been extended, this time until the end of September 2021. The rules in relation to scheme eligibility, the levels of subsidy support, and the reference period used for newly eligible employees are all due to change between now and September. 


Introducing BrightPay’s New Integration with Clear Books, FreshBooks, QuickFile and Zoho  

We are delighted to announce our new API integration with even more accounting software solutions including Clear Books, FreshBooks, QuickFile and Zoho. This joins our growing list of Integration options created by us to ensure our customers save time and reduce the risk of errors. 


Coming Soon: Pay Employees Directly through BrightPay  

BrightPay’s new integration with Modulr will give you a fast, secure and easy way to pay employees through BrightPay. Processing payroll and paying employees shouldn’t be separate tasks and we have a solution! Coming next week.  

Upcoming Webinar Find out more

IR35 - Are you Ready?  

IR35 rules take effect 6th April. It is fast-approaching and recent studies found that 30% of businesses are unprepared despite organisations having had an additional year to prepare for the extension. Take action now with just under 1 week to go. 


Greener Supply Chain with BrightPay 

Here at BrightPay we take environmental responsibility very seriously and are committed to developing our business towards ecological sustainability at both a company and an individual level. Our new carbon efficient offices will open in 2021. Additionally, we are excited to announce our very ambitious sustainability campaign to become net zero by 2023. To achieve this, we have recently established a passionate Green Team to educate, promote and inspire sustainability to our employees and our loyal customers. Subscribe to BrightPay’s sustainability newsletter to follow our journey.

 

Posted byHolly McHughinCustomer Update


Mar 2021

19

The Key to Keeping in Touch with Employees while Working from Home

One of the biggest frustrations for many employees who now work from home is not having access to the physical paper-based files they had in the office. Many organisations still rely on a HR cabinet which stores sensitive employee data such as contracts of employment, annual leave requests and appraisal documents. Due to COVID-19, the new remote working culture has created many new challenges, data security being a significant one. How secure is your filing cabinet, particularly when you aren’t in the office?

Without the added challenge of a pandemic, HR productivity and managing HR workflows are everyday issues. Common tasks such as the managing of annual leave requests/cancelling requests or dealing with employee queries such as, ‘‘Can I have a copy of my last 3 payslips?’’ can take up unnecessary amounts of time.

BrightPay Connect can help. BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud add-on to BrightPay's payroll desktop application that offers employers flexibility and online benefits, making the payroll process easier.

Along with many other features, BrightPay Connect offers a HR Document Upload feature which allows managers to share documents with individuals, teams or the whole company at the touch of a button. Distribute the company handbook to all employees or upload an individual’s contract of employment, performance reviews or training material. The document upload feature ensures company documents are organised and that employees can securely access HR information anytime, anywhere using their smartphone or tablet device.

Regular communication is an essential way to help your teams adjust to home working. Without it your employees can feel disconnected, morale can dip, and priorities can become confused.

BrightPay Connect’s HR Document Upload tool can be used to distribute COVID-19 mandatory documents such as a COVID-19 Safe Working Policy, the company newsletter or details of the Return-to-Work Policy. The notification system will stand out and draw employees to read the communications via an employee app, avoiding it becoming lost in their email inbox.

Sending this important information directly to the employee’s phone is so much more powerful than simply sending a company-wide email. The click rate of a push notification is 7 times higher than that of email, and so it’s a great way of communicating with employees when it comes to important updates.

Things can – and should – be much simpler in your HR department. And with BrightPay Connect, that’s the new reality. Book a demo of BrightPay Connect today and see how you can eliminate time-consuming HR tasks.

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Posted byHolly McHughinCoronavirus