Nov 2020

12

BrightPay Shortlisted For Two Top Payroll Awards

We are delighted to reveal that we have been shortlisted for both ICB LUCA Payroll Software of the Year 2020 and ICB LUCA Friendliest Software of the Year 2020. Having won the LUCA Award for Payroll Software of the Year last year, 2019, we are hoping to make it two years running.

The LUCA Awards are the ‘Oscars’ of the bookkeeping profession and are presented in recognition of the year’s outstanding bookkeepers and the many organisations and vendors that complement the valuable work that they do. It will be down to ICB students and members to vote and determine which payroll software provider is the best and friendliest.

Our recent BrightPay customer survey suggests some of the reasons why we have been shortlisted:

  • We asked: How satisfied are you with BrightPay Payroll Software?
    You said: 47% of our customers said they were extremely satisfied, 43% said they were very satisfied and 9% said they were satisfied with BrightPay. This comes together to a total of 99.6% customer satisfaction rate, which is fantastic news for everyone on the BrightPay team.

  • We asked: How satisfied are you with BrightPay Connect?
    You said: An incredible 97.9% of our respondents said they were satisfied with BrightPay Connect, our optional add-on to the payroll software. The most highly rated BrightPay Connect features included automatic cloud backup (99.6%), online employer dashboard (99.5%) and employee self-service portal & app (99.4%).

  • We asked: How satisfied are you with BrightPay's Customer Support?
    You said: The majority of customers rated BrightPay's telephone support (97.35%), email support (98.2%), online help documentation (98.1%) and online video tutorials (99.2%) as excellent, very good or good, giving our customer support team an overall satisfaction rate of 98.2%.

  • We asked: How would you rate BrightPay’s handling of COVID-19?
    You said: 98.6% of customers answered that they found our handling of COVID-19 overall to be either excellent, very good or good - in particular, our free online COVID-19 webinars (99.4%), payroll upgrades (98.8%), online help and support (98.3%) and phone and email support (97.4%).

The winners will be announced as part of the 11th Annual Bookkeeping Summit, being held virtually at the awards evening on 17th November. Best of luck to all the finalists!

Related articles: 

Posted byZoe ColverinAwardsBookkeepingPayrollPayroll Software


Nov 2020

2

Why are BrightPay the perfect payroll partner during challenging times?

Businesses are continuing to be massively impacted by COVID-19, and for many, their payroll solution may not be up to the challenge. At BrightPay, we believe that our COVID-19 response plan means that we are the perfect payroll partner to help you adapt to an ever-changing world.

How to find the right payroll partner for your business

Making simple changes and investing in payroll solutions with integrated cloud access can save money, improve productivity and increase profits. It is important to choose the right payroll software provider that will ensure COVID-19 does not slow down your bureau’s payroll processing.

Research different payroll software providers and compare them against what you are currently using. Choose the right payroll technology that not only streamlines your payroll processes but supports your business continuity needs.

Ask other providers what their customer satisfaction rating is, what are the hidden costs and how they are helping their customers through COVID-19.

How BrightPay are helping with payroll performance during unprecedented challenges

  • Support payroll remote working: BrightPay customers can process their payroll from 10 different locations.
  • Help you achieve business continuity: BrightPay Connect, the optional cloud add-on, will automatically backup your payroll data every 15 minutes, enabling you to restore your data should the unforeseen happen.
  • Competitively priced payroll software: BrightPay includes unlimited employees, no additional charge for auto enrolment, CIS or customer support.
  • Quality and speed of COVID-19 updates: In a recent survey, BrightPay achieved 98.6% rating for our overall handling of COVID-19 including customer support, payroll upgrades, COVID-19 webinars and online support.
  • Automation of scheme calculations: We have released 15 software upgrades across three payroll products to assist users with calculations and make it easier for the user when making a claim via HMRC.
  • No disruption to our customer support service: We transitioned 95% of staff to working remotely before the lockdown announcement in March 2020.
  • Loyal customers say it all: In a recent survey, 97% of our customers said that they would renew with us next year and gave us an enviable Net Promoter Score of 69.3 for customer satisfaction.
  • Management of mandatory COVID-19 employee documents: BrightPay Connect enables users to upload contracts of employment and COVID-19 HR documents and gives the employer or manager visibility as to when the employee views the document.
  • Increased employee numbers by 40%: ensuring that we could help our customers with the new payroll demands (March to October 2020).
  • Automation of your bureau’s payroll workflows: Using BrightPay Connect, you can not only give your client’s employees access to their own self-service payroll portal, but you can also give your clients access to their own employer dashboard.
  • Streamlining of employee payroll and HR admin: BrightPay Connect gives your employees the ability to self-service, allowing them to browse and download historic payslips, request annual leave, view leave remaining and update their personal details.
  • We’re prepared to put in the hours: An additional 122 hours of customer support overtime resulted in 97% of support emails being responded to within 24 hours.
  • Excellent communication and education: The BrightPay COVID-19 help guides have been viewed over 136,600 times and the COVID-19 Resources Hub has been viewed over 32,000 times.
  • We expertly answer your questions: We have hosted over 30 COVID-19 payroll webinars with live Q&A sessions joined by payroll experts and key government bodies (over 26,000 attendees and 15,500 views on-demand).
  • Regular legislation updates: To date we have published 265 blogs detailing COVID-19 payroll legislative changes, with 540,125 users accessing our website, a 57% increase compared to last year.

What BrightPay customers have to say…

''Complex CJRS claims, 4 weekly pay periods crossing into July, the beginning of flexible furloughing. We could be in the middle of a logistical nightmare, but thanks to @BrightPayUK our lives have been made considerably easier.’’ Lucy Stupples @autumn_ cottage – Twitter

‘‘BrightPay have made it easy for us during this difficult time. They have kept us up to date on their information hub on all matter COVID-19 related, with free webinars on CJRS matters and other resources.’’ Linda Nicholls – Trustpilot

''We have worked around the clock since COVID disrupted life as we know it to support our clients. However, it would have been a lot harder to provide that support if we didn’t use BrightPay. Well done team @ BrightPayUK.Investment Bookkeeping @InBookkeeping – Twitter

Download the guide now: ‘Safeguard your payroll against COVID-19 and the (hidden) cons of the Job Support Scheme’ 

 

Related articles:

BrightPay Covid-19 Resources Hub
Webinar: CJRS Changes & Flexible Furlough - What you need to know
Blog: The Results of our Customer Survey are in, and we want to say Thank You!

Posted byZoe ColverinCoronavirusPayrollPayroll Software


Nov 2020

2

The Original Furlough Scheme is back: Who can claim?

Originally introduced in March, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme & Furlough Leave has been extended beyond the original October deadline.

What has changed?

The Furlough scheme had been winding down over the last couple of months, with 70% government contribution to hours not worked in September and the employer paying 10%. In October the government paid 60% of the furloughed employees wages for their unworked hours, up to a maximum of £1,875, with employers contributing the remaining 20%.

The announcement made on 31st October in line with the second lockdown means that businesses can receive grants covering 80% of wages throughout November and the JSS implementation has been delayed to 1st December. The employer must pay for all the employer’s NIC and employer’s minimum workplace pension contributions on those wages and the grant will be for time not worked, up to £2,500 per month.

What is it?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme allows all UK employers to access financial support to continue paying part of their employees' salary that would otherwise have been laid off due to the second lockdown. It prevents against layoffs and redundancies.

What organisations are eligible?

All UK companies are eligible: limited companies, sole traders who employee people, LLPs, partnerships and charities.

Which employees are eligible?

Employees who were on the employer’s payroll on 30 October 2020 will qualify to be included in CJRS claim for November; they don’t have to have been included in an earlier CJRS claim. The employee must have been paid by the employer, and that pay must have been reported on a RTI return before midnight on 30 October.

Furlough leave is available to all employees on a contract, including;

• full-time employees
• part-time employees
• employees on agency contracts
• employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

Does Flexi Furlough still run?

Flexible furlough will still run alongside full-time furlough, so staff may be brought back part-time to say, prepare the premises for the lifting of national restrictions, or to prepare for Christmas.
The same rules for flexible furlough will continue to apply as they have done since 1 July, so the employee may be furloughed for a couple of days or hours per week. No minimum time set for furloughed hours or working hours has been communicated.

However, each furlough claim must be for a period of at least seven consecutive calendar days.

How does it work?

• The employer must designate affected employees as furloughed workers.
• They should notify the employee that they have been marked as Furlough. Agreement from the employee may be required.
• HMRC must be notified of the employee designated as furloughed workers as well as details of their earnings. This is done through an online portal (not currently set up).
• HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, based on the February earnings of salaried workers, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
• Wages for those on variable hours, can be calculated based on the higher of either:
              o the same month's earning from the previous year
              o average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year

If the employee has been employed for less than a year, employers can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work.

• Employees remain employed, their continuity of service is not impacted.
• Employer may choose to top-up the other 20% of salary. If they don’t top-up the 20% it will be a deduction in wages.
• Wages paid through the scheme are subject to the usual income tax and other deductions.

What are the employment issues?

Changing the status of employees to a furloughed worker remains subject to existing employment law. Generally, where an employee’s contract contains a layoff or short term clause employers should be able to place employees on furlough leave. Where there is no such clause, it is best advised to get agreement from the employee.

Additionally, a 20% reduction in salary will be a change in terms and conditions of employment. Where employers are not topping up the government payment, they should also seek agreement from the employee.

Given the current situation and the alternatives for those employees should they not agree, one can expect that most employees will agree. That said, prudent employers will seek to get their employees agreement as part of their furlough leave process.

BrightPay Software Update

A BrightPay UK (Windows) upgrade has just been released to cater for the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This upgrade also removes previously released Job Support Scheme (JSS) functionality. 

Get the details right

During COVID-19, BrightPay have been running regular webinars to keep businesses and accountants up-to-date with the latest changes and the impact on payroll processing don’t miss the latest webinar.

Free Webinar: New Job Support Scheme Explained and how to safeguard your payroll against COVID-19

18th November – 10.30am

Register Now - For Free

In this webinar, we look at what you need to know about the re-instated Furlough scheme and new Job Support Scheme, including which employees are eligible, the level of government funding, and how the scheme is actioned through payroll. We will also share top tips to ensure COVID-19 does not slow down payroll processing. Plus, we will explore the rise in redundancies and the new changes regarding statutory redundancy and notice pay for furloughed employees.

What you'll learn:

• What the extended CJRS means for your business
• Everything you need to know about the Job Support Scheme
• Tips for safeguarding your payroll
• How BrightPay’s Job Support Scheme Calculator & Claim Report works
• How to calculate notice pay and redundancy pay for furloughed employees
• Top tips to ensure COVID-19 does not slow down payroll processing

Register Now

Related articles:

BrightPay Covid-19 Resource Hub
On-demand webinar: Redundancies & Furloughed Employees
Guide: Safeguard your payroll against COVID-19 and the (hidden) cons of the Job Support Scheme

Posted byZoe ColverinPayrollPayroll Software


Oct 2020

28

BrightPay wins Best Payroll Software of 2020 by Digital.com

Digital.com has added BrightPay to its list of best payroll software of 2020. The top 20 solutions were selected based on basic payroll functions, reporting, and additional features. 


 

BrightPay and other companies were required to offer essential functions such as supporting all RTI submission types, full automatic enrolment functionality and HMRC recognised.

It was also necessary for the payroll software to offer additional features such as payroll journal integration and the ability to batch process multiple employers at the same time.

Digital.com’s research team conducted a 40-hour assessment of over 210 payroll software companies across the web.

Digital.com reviews and compares the best products, services, and software for running or growing a small business website or online shop. The platform collects twitter comments and uses sentiment analysis to score companies and their products.


Payroll Software you can trust…

The award comes just one year after BrightPay was announced as the winner of ‘Payroll Software of the Year’ 2019 at the ICB Luca Awards. This also follows BrightPay winning Payroll Software of the Year 2018 at the AccountingWEB Software Excellence Awards.

With over 25 years of payroll experience, our products are used to process the payroll for over 250,000 businesses across the UK and Ireland. BrightPay also has an impressive 99% customer satisfaction rate and a 5-star rating on Software Advice.

BrightPay for SMEs

BrightPay includes several useful payroll features and support that are very beneficial for employers:

  • Since COVID-19 started impacting life as we know it, BrightPay introduced a comprehensive payroll response plan which to date includes 34 webinars, with over 26,000 attendees and released 15 software upgrades to automate the new scheme calculations.
  • This year we introduced payroll journal API integration with a number of new accounting packages. This allows users to send the payroll journal directly to their accounting software from within BrightPay. BrightPay currently has direct integration with AccountsIQ, FreeAgent, KashFlow, Twinfield, Sage One, Quickbooks Online and Xero with many more currently in development.
  • With BrightPay Connect, we have also launched the employer payroll dashboard which gives an overview of the payroll information in one place. It also automatically backs up your payroll file every 15 minutes when open and again when the payroll file is closed.

These are just a few of the many features we have in BrightPay that can help SMEs, but there’s so much more on offer.

See how BrightPay can help your business

Don’t miss out - book a payroll demo today to see these features in action and to discover more ways that BrightPay’s award-winning software can improve efficiency and save you time.

Thanks again to Digital.com for the award and all our customers supporting us during this challenging period.

Related articles:

Blog: BrightPay wins ‘Payroll Software of the Year 2019'
Blog: BrightPay wins ‘Payroll Software Product of the Year’
Digital.com: The Best Payroll Software of 2020 - BrightPay

 

Posted byZoe ColverinAwardsPayrollPayroll Software


Oct 2020

15

Pros and Cons: The New Job Support Scheme

Before diving into the positives and negatives of the new Job Support Scheme I want to recap on what it is. 

What is the Job Support Scheme?

The new Job Support Scheme was announced by the government in September, and it'is designed to top up the wages of employees unable to work full-time because of coronavirus restrictions over the winter. Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Businesses will continue to pay their employees for time worked, but the burden of hours not worked will be split between the employer, the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job.

The scheme was originally set to open on 1 November 2020 and run for 6 months, until April 2021.  However, the start of a second England-wide lockdown has prompted the Government to extend the original furlough scheme until December – pushing back the start date for the Job Support Scheme.

 

Main Pros for the Job Support Scheme

This scheme is designed to protect jobs where businesses are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus. 9.6 million employees are still on furlough leave across the UK, with the scheme still supporting 1.2 million businesses. This new scheme could help mitigate the impact of the end of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ending on 31st October.

Employers can receive up to £697.92 per month wage top up of eligible employees unable to work full-time because of coronavirus restrictions over the winter.

An unexpected silver lining to the scheme is that employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria. This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers who have availed of the CJRS for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021.

Main cons of the Job Support Scheme

It’s far less generous than the current Job Retention Scheme - The Government contribution will be capped at £697.92 a month compared to the initial £2,500 plus associated Employers’ National Insurance and pension contribution under the Job Retention Scheme placing a greater responsibility on the employer to fund employment costs. In fact, under the scheme the government never pays more than 22% of the employees' overall salary.

The employer ends up paying more in wages than the hours they get in return - The percentage cost to the employer far outweighs the percentage of productive hours provided by that employee to the business and a stark reality is that it costs more than 50% more to employ several people working 40% of the time compared to fewer people working full time.

Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming the grant for that employee. Therefore, employers face the dilemma now of assessing demand for the forthcoming months for their business and making decisions about the number of employees required.

Job Support Scheme payments will be made monthly in arrears commencing in December, reimbursing the employer for the government’s contribution. The grant will not cover employer NICs or pension contributions, but these contributions will remain payable by the employer. This means that the overall cost of employment for employers is higher than simply their contribution to employee salaries.

Sadly, it does not appear that the Job Support Scheme will avoid a rise of redundancies over the coming months as employers seek to manage their cashflows to survive the winter months. Join our latest webinar to find out more about the New Job Support Scheme and whether it’s right for your organisation.

Webinar: New Job Support Scheme Explained
18th November – 10.30am

Register Now

In this webinar, we look at what you need to know about the new Job Support Scheme, including which employees are eligible, the level of government funding, and how the scheme is actioned through payroll. We will also explore the rise in redundancies and the new changes regarding statutory redundancy and notice pay for furloughed employees. 

What you'll learn:

  • What the extended CJRS means for your business
  • Everything you need to know about the Job Support Scheme
  • Tips for safeguarding your payroll
  • How BrightPay’s Job Support Scheme Calculator & Claim Report works
  • How to calculate notice pay and redundancy pay for furloughed employees
  • Top tips to ensure COVID-19 does not slow down payroll processing

Register Now

Related articles:

BrightPay Covid-19 Resources Hub
Webinar: CJRS Changes & Flexible Furlough - What you need to know
HMRC set to crack down on furlough fraud

Posted byZoe ColverinCoronavirusPayrollPayroll Software


Aug 2020

18

Furlough wind down timescales

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been hugely popular and will continue to support jobs until the end of October, however, from 1st July, many changes were made to the scheme.

The government’s furlough scheme will wind down in upcoming months, employers will need to contribute to employees’ wages and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will end fully at the end of October.

Before August, employers could claim 80% of a furloughed employee’s wage costs, to a monthly maximum of £2,500. The government also refunded employer NICs and auto-enrolment pension contributions on this sum.

Going forward, 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 August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500, but employers are now required to pay employer National Insurance contributions and employer pension contributions. For the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs that they would have incurred if the employee had not been furloughed.
  • For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work. Employers will need to pay employer NI contributions and employer pension contributions plus 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total, up to a cap of £2,500.
  • In October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work. Employers will need to pay employer NI contributions and employer pension contributions plus 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total, up to a cap of £2,500.

Employers will continue to be able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense if they wish. Employers will have to pay their employees for the hours worked.

After 31st October, the government contributions will finish and the scheme will come to an end.

When the scheme was extended until October, employers were promised that they would not face a ‘cliff-edge’ withdrawal of funding and that the scheme would be wound down gradually. The wind-down phase of the furlough scheme is more generous than many had expected, with most furloughed employee wage costs still being met by the government over the coming months. Depending on how the re-opening of businesses progresses, this approach may give some employers time to rebuild and save jobs that would otherwise have been lost.

Job Retention Bonus Scheme

During last month’s summer economic update, the chancellor announced that although the scheme will end at the end of October, all businesses can avail of a Job Retention Bonus Scheme for each employee they bring back from furlough. This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021.

To be eligible, employees will need to earn at least an average of £520 per month for November, December and January, they must have been furloughed at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and they must have been continuously employed up until at least 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021.

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31‌‌‌ ‌January has been received.

How BrightPay can help? 

BrightPay software is being continually updated to ensure you can adapt your processes to all the upcoming changes regarding furlough. 

If you’re not already using BrightPay, why not book a demo or download BrightPay’s free 60 day trial? One of our payroll experts will show you its clear and easy to use interface and talk you through its underlying comprehensive set of payroll functionality.

Posted byZoe ColverinCoronavirus