This month saw a number of updates to BrightPay Connect, including a new option to download all payslips in a given period. The calendar functionality in BrightPay Connect has also been updated and improved, making it more user-friendly and graphically appealing for both employers and employees. Improvements such as calendar and leave view, custom leave types and requesting leave are part of the new enhancements.
Join BrightPay on 12th August for a free COVID-19 & Payroll webinar. In this webinar, we explore the key changes in relation to flexible furlough, phasing out of the scheme and changes to making a claim. This new flexibility will help businesses with reopening and help boost the economy. Places are limited. Click here to book your place now.
We’re always keen to hear what the biggest challenges are for payroll bureaus and how we can help make their job easier. One of the most common issues we understand is that requesting payroll information from clients can be an inefficient, time-consuming and often, frustrating process. The good news is that BrightPay Connect makes this process so much simpler. It has become a must-have tool for bureaus who want to streamline their payroll process and increase efficiency.
After months of lockdown, many people are embracing the idea of staycations in a bid to save what’s left of the summer. For employers, however, managing employee leave can be far from relaxing if it is a manual process. BrightPay Connect’s online leave management tools eliminate cumbersome people management tasks. It’s more than just payroll software, it’s a ready-to-go, easy-to-use HR software solution. The staycation trend should be a reason to be excited, not an admin nightmare.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing to support businesses as the economy is carefully reopened. Before July, employees that were placed on furlough could not undertake work for you. Originally, the scheme was only for employees who were not working, and while on furlough, an employee could not undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation.
From 1st July, businesses have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim under the CJRS for hours not worked. This new flexibility will help businesses with reopening and help boost the economy.
The government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees wages for any normal hours they do not work, up until the end of August, but the employer will have to pay employees for the hours they do work. For example, if a furloughed worker returns to work for two days per week, they would need to be paid as normal by their employer for these two days, while the government would cover the other three days.
Employers will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, and so employees can work as much or as little as the business needs, with no minimum time that they can furlough staff for.
Any working hours arrangement agreed between a business and their employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. You must keep a written record of the agreement for five years and keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (i.e. not working).
If employees are unable to return to work, or employers do not have work for them to do, they can remain fully furloughed and the employer can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.
From 1st July, employers will only be able to claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks any time between 1st March 2020 and 30th June 2020. An exception to this is where an employee is returning from statutory parental leave after 10th June and meets the qualifying criteria to be furloughed for the first time.
Where an employee is flexibly furloughed, employers will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period, the employee’s actual hours worked, and the number of furloughed hours for each claim period.
If you claim in advance and your employee works for more hours than you agreed, then you’ll have to pay some of the grant back to HMRC. This means that you should not claim until you have certainty about the number of hours your employees are working during the claim period.
Interested in finding out more about the new changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme? Watch our webinar on-demand where we discuss flexible furlough, the wind-down of the scheme and changes to making a CJRS claim.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been hugely popular and will continue to support jobs until the end of October. However, from 1st July, there will be many changes to the scheme. Here we've put together a summary of some of the key points in relation to flexible furlough, phasing out of the scheme and changes to making a claim.
From 1st July 2020, employers will only be able to claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks any time between 1st March 2020 and 30th June 2020. An exception to this is where an employee is returning from statutory parental leave after 10th June 2020 and meets the qualifying criteria to be furloughed for the first time.
For many of our customers, this calculation change will not make a difference. But those who pay in lieu (e.g. a July pay date for June payroll), or those for whom an already submitted claim period ending 30 June did not actually cover all of June's earnings, will need to check and ensure that all reclaimable amounts are accounted for and submitted to HMRC prior to making July claims.
During our most recent webinar, we looked at upcoming changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We also examined five principles that employers should be following to protect employees as they come back to work. Don't miss out - watch it back anytime.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been hugely popular and, according to recent statistics, over 1.1 million employers had furloughed employees in 9.2 million jobs and claimed more than £23 billion in grants. The CJRS scheme will continue to support jobs until the end of October, however, from 1st July, there will be many changes to the scheme. Here we've put together a summary of some of the key points to note.
To date, employees that were placed on furlough could not undertake work for you. Originally, the scheme was only for employees who were not working, and while on furlough, an employee could not undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation. However, from 1st July, employers will be able to bring furloughed workers back to work on a part-time basis while still being able to claim under the CJRS for hours not worked.
From August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month. Employers will have to start contributing to the wage costs of paying their furloughed staff, and this employer contribution will gradually increase in September and October.
In line with the above changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, there are also changes to the way employers need to make a claim.
Interested in finding out more about the new changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme? Watch our webinar on-demand where we discuss flexible furlough, the wind-down of the scheme and changes to making a CJRS claim.
This webinar will examine key facts & updated guidance on COVID-19 payroll impacts. Understand what the lockdown easing will mean for your business as you reopen and what COVID-19 safety policies you need to introduce.
In recent months, HMRC have introduced COVID-19 Government schemes to help keep paying employees with a number of important updates being rolled out. The government has announced the first steps to ease the coronavirus restrictions with a roadmap in place for lockdown measures to be slowly lifted. Understand how to adapt your payroll processes to accommodate for the schemes and subsequent updates.
The UK government has set out a roadmap for lifting further restrictions and opening more businesses and venues, but this plan is dependent on successfully controlling the spread of the virus. Employers should stay safe in public spaces and workplaces by following 'COVID-19 secure' guidelines.
With the emergence from lockdown becoming clearer, businesses will need to start to put plans and COVID-19 policies in place for their employees to go back to the workplace safely. It is advisable for all workplaces to adapt their workplace HR policies, procedures and practices to comply with the COVID-19 related safety guidelines.
If you are unable to attend the webinar at the specified time, simply register for the webinar anyway and we will send you the recording afterwards. You can also click here to view more webinar dates.
The BrightPay team have received lots of words of praise and thanks over the past few weeks. Here's a selection of some of the wonderful comments that have been sent in. We would like to thank everyone for their positive feedback, your kind words are very much appreciated and encourage us to keep going during in these challenging times.
Thank you. Stay Safe.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for four months starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by COVID-19.
If you have any employees who have been placed on a leave of absence, they would be considered a furloughed employee. Employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ usual monthly wage cost, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer NI contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.
All UK companies are eligible: limited companies, sole traders who employ people, LLPs, partnerships, and charities. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period. Claims can be backdated until the 1 March if applicable, and grants will be prorated if your employee is only furloughed for part of a pay period.
Prior to now, furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, but this has now been extended to 19th March. This brings into scope a large number of people who fell outside the scheme because they had recently changed jobs.
It’s available to all employees on a contract, including:
You can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying HMRC of a payment to that employee on or before 19 March 2020. For employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. an RTI submission was sent to HMRC) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and before 19 March, they can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.
A business may need to furlough all employees if it has temporarily closed down, as in hospitality or non-food retail. However, you do not need to place all your employees on furlough. You can choose to furlough a group of employees, whilst key workers continue to work, or to rotate groups between furloughing and working.
However, those employees who you do place on furlough cannot undertake work for you. This scheme is only for employees who are not working. While on furlough, an employee cannot undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation, but if their contract of employment permits, they may take on new employment with an alternative employer whilst on furlough.
Even if an employee is working, but on reduced hours, or for reduced pay, again, they will not be eligible for this scheme and you will have to continue paying the employee through your payroll and pay their salary subject to the terms of their employment contract.
When calculating claim values for directors of owner-managed companies you can only consider the salary that has been subject to PAYE, not any dividends paid to those directors. They are essentially furloughing themselves, and the understanding is that they do no income-generating work for their business while on furlough, but they can continue to run the business from a statutory perspective, for example preparing their accounts and returns. This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC).
You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the SSP rebate scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time. When an employee is on furlough, you can only reclaim expenditure through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and not the SSP rebate scheme. Likewise, if a non-furloughed employee becomes ill, or needs to self-isolate or shield themselves, then you might qualify for the SSP rebate scheme, enabling you to claim up to two weeks of SSP per employee.
Furloughed employees retain their statutory rights, including their right to Statutory Sick Pay. This means that furloughed employees who become ill must be paid at least Statutory Sick Pay (subject to them meeting the eligibility criteria). It’s up to the employer to decide whether to move these employees onto SSP or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate.
If an employee has a condition which makes them extremely vulnerable and received a letter from the NHS, they are strongly advised to shield themselves. Shielding is in place to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus. Employers can claim for furloughed employees who are shielding, if they are unable to work from home and you would otherwise have to make them redundant. This also applies to those who need to stay home with someone who is shielding.
An employee can be furloughed for a minimum period of three consecutive weeks. When they return to work, they must be taken off furlough. Employees can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks.
The scheme was originally available for a maximum of three months from 1 March, but this has since been extended to four months. The individual could remain furloughed even after the scheme ends, but in this instance, the employer would not have any grant funding to cover their wages. Depending on your circumstances, it may be necessary to consider termination of employment (redundancy). Grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.
Join BrightPay for a free COVID-19 webinar where we discuss what you need to know about remote working, processing SSP, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and placing employees on furlough leave. Places are limited - Click here to book your place now.
As of 10 March, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus increased to 373 in the UK, with cases across Europe also surging. With the number of cases bound to escalate, it has been predicted that if the coronavirus outbreak worsens, up to a fifth of UK workers could be off sick.
With panic over coronavirus soaring, many workers are being asked to stay away from the office and do day-to-day tasks from the comfort of their home. Not going into the office is an effective way of preventing the spread of coronavirus, because it minimises the risk of you coming into contact with someone carrying the disease.
The reality is, working from home is already very popular, potential pandemic or not. Flexible working is a trend that has emerged in the last decade as more people seek that ideal work-life balance instead of work-life burnout.
Nearly a quarter of Britain’s workforce now work flexibly, that is, they work part of the week in an office and part at home, highlighting how quickly this trend is growing. Flexible working brings many work-life balance benefits as employees have more time to see their family, exercise and dedicate time to themselves. Seven in 10 of those who work flexibly say they are less stressed as a result of their working arrangement.
As well as the health benefits, it often results in happier employees. They then potentially work harder and are more productive. For employers, flexible working also helps to attract and retain talented employees. Additionally, it can result in increased loyalty and reduced office space cost.
Businesses need to carefully consider which processes and tools will make flexible work as productive and positive as possible for their employees. You need to make sure that they have essentials such as laptops, a reliable internet connection and being able to connect to systems remotely. This would have been difficult a few years ago, but thanks to the cloud, you can have everything you need at all times.
Although the payroll itself cannot be processed online with BrightPay Connect, the payroll software is still very flexible. Each BrightPay licence can be installed on up to 10 PCs where users have the option to process the payroll from 10 separate locations meaning you don’t need cloud payroll to operate and process your payroll. In addition, you can log into your BrightPay Connect account to view your payroll information at any time. You no longer need to be seated at your desk in the office to access the system - all the data you need to do your job is available on any of the 10 PC’s that the BrightPay application is installed on.
If you are not using the BrightPay Connect add-on, you can still access the payroll data file through a cloud environment to process the payroll. Again, the software itself can be installed to the local C drive of up to 10 PCs, be it a home computer or a laptop. The payroll files can be stored on a secure server or cloud environment, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, where the payroll information can be accessed from multiple computers.
With BrightPay Connect’s automatic cloud backup, payroll information is stored online and can be accessed by employers anywhere, anytime. Employers can also use BrightPay Connect to remotely manage employee’s leave, upload employee documents and send communications to employees that are working remotely.
Will 2020 be the year in which office employees working more from home becomes the norm? Although many employers have implemented a mandatory ‘work from home’ policy as a precaution against coronavirus, it could also be the turning point for many businesses to recognise just how beneficial flexible working can be.
BrightPay’s payroll journal feature allows users to create wage journals from finalised pay periods so that they can be added into various accounting packages. With this direct integration, users will be able to send the payroll journal to the accounting package directly from within BrightPay. BrightPay includes direct API integration with Sage One, Quickbooks Online and Xero, and coming soon is integration with FreeAgent, AccountsIQ, Kashflow and Twinfield.
There's been a lot of talk recently about online client platforms. They can bring many benefits to both employers and employees alike - from online payslip access to annual leave management to a HR document hub. But can cloud payroll portals really help with employer obligations? Here we look at how BrightPay Connect can help with record keeping requirements, employment law obligations and GDPR compliance.
It has been announced that on the 1st April 2020 the minimum wage will increase by amounts ranging from 4.6% to 6.5%. An employee's age and if they are an apprentice will determine the rate they will receive. BrightPay can track employee hourly rates against the National Minimum/Living Wage (including apprentices), UK Living Wage, London Living Wage, or they can be marked as not eligible.
There's been a lot of talk recently about online client platforms. They can bring many benefits to both employers and employees alike - from online payslip access to annual leave management to a HR document hub.
But can cloud payroll portals really help with employer obligations? Here we look at how BrightPay Connect can help with record-keeping requirements, employment law obligations and GDPR compliance.
By law, employers must retain certain documentation relating to their employees for specific minimum periods. Good cloud systems will record this information for you, meaning everything is stored securely online.
Not only is BrightPay Connect useful for keeping a record of payroll information, but employers can also use it to hold various employment and leave records. Sometimes record-keeping can be something that we let slip or are perhaps not as diligent as we might be with say, payroll files, where we tend to be very diligent.
If you have an inspection, the inspector will want to see all of the employee records, whether it’s pay records, annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, and they’ll expect the records to be readily accessible. With BrightPay Connect, you can access the calendar and reporting features to see at a glance who has taken leave, and when, so should an inspector arrive, you can simply log into Connect to access the records, rather than getting into a panic about what is saved where.
For employers, there’s also compliance with employment legislation. This will be even more important over the coming months, as three new pieces of employment legislation come into force on 6th April 2020.
One of the changes being introduced is the introduction of a day-one right to receive a written statement of terms and conditions (more commonly known as a contract of employment). At the moment, this needs to be given to new employees, no later than two months after the beginning of their employment, so this new day-one timeframe requirement from this April of providing an employee with their contract on their first day of employment will be a big change for many employers. For employers who use Bright Contracts to create contracts of employment, the software will soon be updated in line with the new legislation.
If you are on leave or not based at the same location as the new employee, meeting that day-one deadline could be challenging, and that’s where the online employer and employee portals can help. Being able to upload employment contracts and other employee documentation onto the cloud from any location, and share it with the employee, could be a lifesaver. With BrightPay Connect, the documents and resources hub also offers an activity log, which gives the date and time stamps in relation to when an employee accessed the document.
In the new world of GDPR, non-compliance will be a continuous threat to all businesses. BrightPay Connect offers significant benefits to help your business or practice comply with GDPR legislation.
The GDPR legislation includes a best practice recommendation, whereby organisations should provide individuals with remote access to a secure system, which would give them direct access to their personal information. An online employee portal, such as BrightPay Connect, will store employee’s information online, giving the employee access to personal data that employer has on file for them. The employee can update their contact information easily, with changes instantly and seamlessly updated in the payroll software.
Your data accuracy and compliance improve even further when you add in the ability to automatically backup payroll data in the cloud. If you only keep your payroll data on your desktop, you are at risk of losing the information. How prepared are you for a disaster recovery situation? Would employees still get paid if the information was lost? Without cloud backup, the consequences would be dire. But now, these problems can be solved quickly, and that’s because of cloud innovation.
Cloud integration introduces the ability to automatically and securely backup the payroll data to the cloud. BrightPay Connect maintains a chronological history of all your backups, and these backups can be restored at any time if required. It’s simply an added layer of data protection to safeguard your payroll data.
Book a demo today to discover more ways that BrightPay Connect can help you comply with your employer obligations.