It’s predicted that by 2020, the global workforce would be dominated by millennials (35%) and generation X (35%). That means by next year, over 70% of the global workforce will be under the age of 40. A younger workforce presents knock-on effects for the entire business. As an employer, you need to adapt to meet the expectations of this new generation of employees; they’re very different from the workforce that preceded them. Having grown up using the internet as second nature, these young employees are true digital natives and have never known a world without it.
Take, for instance, payroll. With payment technologies evolving, millennials have become some of the fastest adopters of mobile and digital payments. Their influence on mobile payroll adoption cannot be ignored. The simple fact is these new generation employees don’t do paper forms. They are increasingly looking for digital options to access payslips and apply for annual leave.
In recent years, employees are using holiday time differently than previous generations, with the average leave duration reduced to just 2.34 days. This alone creates new challenges for payroll and HR managers. Shorter, more frequent bursts of annual leave tend to be requested last minute rather than planned in advance. It is important for employers and HR personnel to be able to quickly review and approve leave requests.
Mobile payroll solutions, such as BrightPay Connect, are an ideal way to improve the efficiency of your business, especially as new generation workers continue to integrate smartphones into every aspect of business operations.
As an employer, adopting these few features favoured by younger workers, along with the additional employer benefits (such as an automatic cloud backup of payroll data and instant access to payroll reports), you are guaranteed to improve the efficiency of your business and payroll processing.
Book a demo today to find out how you can benefit from BrightPay Connect.
Guys, if you’re anything like me then you’ve been counting down the days, been kept awake with excitement thinking of what to wear and how hard you’ll party for what seems like forever. Yes, that’s right folks, on May 25th of this year our beloved GDPR turns 1 year old! *dries eyes* - they grow up so fast.
We all know that GDPR has been a resounding success but we also know that, like all 1 year olds, there's been some teething problems. So let’s take a look back through our photo album of the past year and see how our little trooper has fared over its first year.
Let’s start with the reason GDPR is in our lives - data breaches. How’s it been doing with those? Well, this is probably the most successful part of GDPR’s short life. Prior to GDPR, there was no single breach notification regulation for the EU. Instead, it was compiled of lots of different interpretations of the 1995 Data Protection Directive (which GDPR replaced) meaning it was a kind of Wild West of data and sensitive information. Then GDPR came sauntering in to bring law and order to a lawless wasteland and created a unified framework for all breach notifications.
A data breach is when personal data for which a company is responsible is accidentally or unlawfully disclosed. If this happens, under GDPR, companies are obliged to report the data breach to their national DPA within 72 hours. The number of these reported in the last year is a whopping 41,502. Crikey! Looks like GDPR is really whipping people into shape!
To add to that, there has been an eye-watering 95,180 complaints made since the introduction of GDPR - a complaint being from those who believe that their rights under GDPR had been violated. The most common types of complaints (no surprises) were concerning telemarketing and promotional emails.
So what’s been happening as a result of these complaints and breaches then? Well, this is where our golden child’s report card slips from an “A+” to a “B - could be better, gets distracted easily” because although the number of breaches reported has been incredible, the total penalties imposed under the statute added up to €55,955,871. Which sounds really impressive until you remember that a single €50 million fine levied against Google in January accounts for nearly 90% of that sum. The vast majority of companies are still not being penalised at all for data breaches or are being fined so insignificantly that frankly, my dear, they don't give a damn.
So as we dry our eyes and close the photo album of the first year of GDPR’s existence, we can let out a big sigh and know that GDPR is the little regulation that is doing its best and making us all proud as punch. Now let’s all join together in singing a big ol’ Happy Birthday - and don’t worry, I received consent from all present, purchased the rights to the song and accepted cookies on all our behalves so no chance of the feds swooping in mid-song.
As a concept, self-service is nothing new. From paying at the supermarket self-service checkouts to online banking, consumers don’t want to have to wait for assistance if they know they can get it themselves. It’s no different in the workplace. With a self-service system, employees can download payslips, request annual leave, look at policies and HR documents and update personal information - all without once contacting HR personnel.
BrightPay now includes direct API integration with Sage One, Xero and Quickbooks Online. With this direct integration, users will be able to directly send the payroll journal to the accounting package from within BrightPay. This accounts software integration eliminates the need to export CSV files from the payroll software and import them into the accounting system, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.
BrightPay Connect is better than ever before. Bureau customers now have the ability to send requests to clients through BrightPay Connect’s secure portal. Requests can be sent to get client approval of the payroll summary before the payroll is finalised or to ask clients to upload their employees’ timesheets and payments, known as Client Payroll Entry.
The release includes exciting new features to make your payroll journey easier and less time consuming, including:
It's currently a busy time for our customer support and phone lines with the 2018/19 tax year coming to an end and the new tax year commencing. We have updated our FAQs to include the top 10 questions that we get asked. You can also search our online support documents before getting in touch. You may get the answer to your query so much more quickly!
In the six years since BrightPay was launched, a new wave of payroll innovation and cloud access has completely remoulded the sector, from onerous, manual input into a low effort, dynamic and automated service offering. Download our free guide for payroll bureaus where we look at four specific areas where cloud innovation is already impacting the future of payroll.
When it comes to being GDPR compliant, you might think that you only need to password protect all the payroll reports and payslips. There is nothing in the GDPR legislation that states it is no longer permissible to email payslips, that doesn’t mean you can email payslips without protecting the information you send. There is a strict process that needs to be followed.
It’s that time of year again where accountants, bookkeepers, practice managers and finance directors are preparing to travel from all over the UK to Accountex. Discover the latest technical tools from over 250 exhibitors that could help you run your practice more efficiently and productively. After winning Payroll Software of the Year 2018 at the Accounting Excellence awards, the BrightPay team are back with a bang this year, our fifth year in a row.
Minimum auto enrolment contribution rates faced further increases on 6th April 2019, with the total minimum contribution rate now at 8%. Employers are now required to contribute a minimum of 3%. Employees need to contribute the remaining 5%. Find out more about the various scenarios that can occur and how to handle them in BrightPay.
As a concept, self-service is nothing new. From paying at the supermarket self-service checkouts to online banking, consumers don’t want to have to wait for something if they know they can get it themselves. It’s no different in the workplace.
An employee self-service is the ultimate tool whereby employees can login from anywhere to view their employment and pay related information. With a self-service system, employees can download payslips, request annual leave, look at policies and HR documents and update personal information - all without once contacting HR personnel.
Today’s employees are accustomed to having information readily available. An employee portal can help fulfil that expectation with the added benefit of creating workflow efficiencies. The employee self-service portal eliminates the burden of sending payslips, updating personal information, approving annual leave requests and answering leave balance enquiries for the payroll department.
Managers and HR personnel will save administrative hours and frustration on a daily basis when no longer faced with working through these monotonous and time-consuming tasks.
The former way of managing employee data is fast becoming outdated. What was once considered normal in the past is no longer considered normal anymore. Today, the new normal is to implement an employee self-service system whereby workflows are streamlined, with added benefits for both employees and employers.
Book a demo today to find out how BrightPay Connect can transform your business.
When it comes to being GDPR-compliant in a payroll bureau, you might think that you only need to password protect all the payroll reports and payslips. There is nothing in the GDPR legislation that states it is no longer permissible to email payslips, that doesn’t mean you can email payslips without protecting the information you send. There is a strict process that needs to be followed.
If you choose to email payslips, you need to ensure that they are all password protected and sent directly to the employee’s chosen email address. It is very important that a unique password is used for each employee, as using the same password is for all employees could be considered a breach of GDPR. Once they are sent, then the payslips need to be deleted from the server of your payroll software provider.
But sharing the information securely is not the only thing that you need to do to make sure that you are GDPR compliant. Making sure you put all the necessary steps in place to avoid cyber attacks, keeping secure copies of the data in case of theft, fire or damage to the computers and providing employees with a way to easily update the information their employer holds about them are other important GDPR requirements.
Putting a system in place that takes into account all these requirements can be time consuming. Instead, secure portals can simplify the payroll process and offer the most secure environment to protect the employees’ information. Secure portals offer the maximum level of security and compliance with GDPR and make the payroll process much easier since they automate payslip distribution and eliminate the need to email payroll reports each pay period.
Besides the ability to securely send and store payslips and other sensitive payroll documents, self-service portals also have other advantages such as providing employers and employees with an easy way of remotely accessing information. Additionally, self-service portals make it easy for employees to request leave, keep track of their personal information and update it when necessary, and they also keep a secure backup of all the payroll records.
Self-service portals does not only make GDPR processes much easier, they also eliminate the risk of being fined up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover of the previous year, whichever is higher. BrightPay Connect automatically backs up payroll data every 15 minutes when the payroll is open, and again when you close down the employer file and all the backups are available to be downloaded and restored if necessary.
This means that the portal always keeps a secure copy of the payroll files in the cloud, protecting the data in case of cyber attacks and making it possible to restore it should something happen to the physical equipment, such as any damage to the computers.
GDPR specifies that individuals have a right to have inaccurate personal data rectified, or completed if necessary. The BrightPay Connect portal makes all the personal data held by their employer visible to the employee, who can easily edit approve leave requests and update contact details for employees.
When the employee information is incomplete or inaccurate, for instance, should their phone number or postal address change, employees can easily update their details from the portal, which they can access 24/7 from any device, such as PCs, Macs, tablets or even their smartphone via the employee smartphone app.
To be GDPR compliant, all the payslip information should only be available to payroll processors, only when it is strictly necessary for processing the payroll. With BrightPay Connect, users can be set up so that they only have access to the information needed to complete their assigned tasks.
Stay GDPR compliant with BrightPay Connect. Book a demo to find out more.
The ability for employees to view and edit their own data is one of the most important advancements of HR in recent years. Providing employees with remote access to view personal information held is also a best practice recommendation of the GDPR. It's obviously true that employees have a lot to gain from a self-service system, such as BrightPay Connect. The option to view and manage their data online provides a source of independence, power and control.
But what about HR personnel, managers and everyone else involved in the payroll and HR process? They benefit too! For administrators, it's a way of delegating the workload that would otherwise be handled solely by them. Implementing an employee self-service system is a way to re-distribute various tasks and bring it to the employee’s level.
On the surface, an employee self-service system seems designed simply to relieve a bit of pressure on your HR department. But the benefits to the business go much deeper than that. Some employee self-service systems also have the following benefits:
If your HR and payroll administrators spend a lot of time printing payslips, managing annual leave or responding to employee requests, consider how an employee self-service system could help your business.
When implemented successfully, a company may see immediate increases in productivity and efficiency. Managers and HR personnel will save labour hours and frustration on a daily basis, and instead have more time to concentrate on more important tasks.
Book a demo today to find out how BrightPay Connect can transform your business.
A popular customer request has been to create a 'departmental' payroll journal in BrightPay. We've went one step further, allowing not only for a simple departmental mapping of nominal account codes, but for an advanced multi-option mapping as well.
For example, if you want to map commission paid to directors on a weekly basis in the sales department to a particular account code, you now can.
For Xero journals, BrightPay now supports including the department as the Xero tracking option, including where employees are split across multiple departments.
To make all this easier to manage, the Create Journal window in BrightPay now remembers it's size and position between usages.
BrightPay now supports posting journals directly to Sage, Quickbooks and Xero via API (while continuing to offer the creation of a CSV journal as an option if need be).
We have significantly improved the power and flexibility of how pay records are imported from CSV, effectively allowing an entire pay run to be imported from a single CSV file if need be.
A popular customer request has been for BrightPay to better handle the definition, carry-over and adjustment of annual leave in the situation where the annual leave year is offset from the tax year.
In BrightPay 2019/20, you can now enter the annual leave settings for each overlapping year individually, giving you full control and helping you work out entitlements more accurately.
In late 2018 we introduced a powerful new feature for Bureau customers of BrightPay Connect: the ability to request client payroll entry and/or approval for a payroll run, which is then automatically facilitated though a secure, GDPR-compliant process within the BrightPay Connect dashboard.
Sign in to your BrightPay Connect account and click the Requests header link to find out more.
While we have traditionally focused our announcements of new features and updates in each new tax year version of BrightPay, it doesn't mean we're not busy during the rest of the year. In 2018/19, we released many updates and enhancements throughout the tax year, all of which are of course included in BrightPay 2019/20. See our release notes for full details. Here's a quick reminder of some of the main areas of improvement:
We're continually at work on the next version of BrightPay, developing new features and making any required fixes and improvements. See our release notes to keep track of what has been changed to date at any time.
I know you've all been dying for another one so here it is; a brand spanking new GDPR blog! Well… if you’re like me then you cannot get enough of GDPR. For my birthday, my pals over at BrightPay got me an extra special GDPR gift in the form of two new Bureau features called ‘Client Payroll Entry’ and ‘Client Payroll Approval’.
So we all know how much of a nightmare it is inputting timesheet data from your clients into your payroll software. The back and forth, and the mistakes. Because if you duplicate the data, the margin for error is in turn doubled. Not only this but the payroll data is sent to the bureau in the form of emails, word documents, spreadsheets, sometimes even a phone call. We’ve talked before about emails and GDPR but in case you missed it, it’s better to avoid.
Emails are not the most secure channel, especially for the vast amount of sensitive employee data being transmitted. If you do use email to send clients payslips, it is strongly advisable to ensure payslips are encrypted and deleted from email servers once sent. And of course, you would need to ensure passwords are used on all payslips.
So what this new Payroll Entry Feature does is put the onus on the client to input their own payroll data into the secure employer dashboard, thus reducing the back and forth and making sure all that important data is sent through a secure portal. Once the payroll data has been submitted to the bureau, hey presto - the bureau has all of the accurate payroll information, ready to download to the payroll software.
Before, this would have had to be approved via email and then sent to the client who would send back what needed to be rectified and then back and forth, back and forth again. It’s a mess! But with the second new feature from BrightPay Connect is the Payroll Approval feature - the bureau sends the client a preview of payroll summary statement to the secure BrightPay Connect portal, the client reviews it, approves it and then *ping* the bureau has confirmation that the payroll is correct and everyone lives happily ever after.
With these new BrightPay Connect features the exchange of information is super secure; no one is getting in! The online portal is also protected by username and password with role and permission based access for each user. This is the stuff that GDPR dreams are made of as it places the responsibility of security into the hands of you, the people, who GDPR was made for.
If you want to get technical *puts on glasses and lab coat* - “The BrightPay Connect service is a web based application hosted on the Microsoft Azure platform. All data transmitted to and from the cloud service is secured using SSL over HTTPS. This includes data sent via web browsers and data sent from payroll applications”. - BrightPay Connect
Book your demo today at https://www.brightpay.co.uk/connect/
Every new year brings with it a host of changes and 2019 is no different. Here’s a quick recap of the two most important changes that have happened/are yet to happen to our lovely payslips in the 2019/20 tax year.
BrightPay 2019/20 and BrightPay Connect are now available to pre-order. BrightPay 2019/20 is scheduled for release week ending 22nd March. We will send you an email once BrightPay 2019/20 is released and ready to download. All customers will also receive a full list of new features when BrightPay 2019/20 is released.
BrightPay won Payroll Software of the Year 2018 at the Accounting Excellence awards. With a 99% customer satisfaction rate, our products are used to process the payroll for over 200,000 businesses across the UK and Ireland.
“BrightPay is so much better than the software that we used previously. I get my work done much faster, and it is just so easy to use.” - Simon Gledhill, Gerard Tool & Die Limited
Under automatic enrolment, minimum pension contributions are required to increase over time. The first increase took place last April at the start of the 2018/19 tax year. The second increase will take place on 6th April 2019, with the total minimum contribution rate increasing to 8%, representing a 3% employer and 5% employee contribution. These increases are seamlessly handled by BrightPay 2019/20.
With the 2019/20 tax year fast approaching, this 60 minute webinar will cover the main legislative changes coming into effect and how they will be handled in BrightPay 2019/20, as well as the new functionality we will be introducing into the software. We will also look at a quick introduction to the BrightPay Connect add-on product.
BrightPay’s employee self-service smartphone and tablet app is available with our BrightPay Connect add-on. Employee mobile apps offer many benefits for employers, employees, and the business as a whole. The user-friendly portal will streamline payroll processing while reducing the number of payroll queries from employees.
The UK is due to leave the European Union on the 29th of March 2019. There are thousands upon thousands of EU citizens currently employed by British companies that will end up being illegal workers if they do not apply for settled status by the deadline. You as the employer, have an obligation to prepare them for this and make sure that your house is in order.
A time consuming part of payroll is requesting and receiving employee hours and timesheets from your payroll clients. Today, managing and tracking this information is much easier thanks to online tools and applications. Ultimately, your client becomes accountable for ensuring the payroll information is 100% correct before the payroll is finalised.
Security is extremely important in payroll bureaus. After all, you are handling the personal and financial data of your clients and your client’s employees, which puts you at risk of data breaches and cyber attacks. In order to comply with the current GDPR legislation, you also need to follow a strict process when processing the payroll data, and make sure that your system meets the GDPR regulation standards.
Ten million people have joined workplace pension schemes since auto enrolment began in 2012. The scheme faced its first major test in April, when the total minimum pension contributions increased from 2% to 5%.
Under automatic enrolment, minimum pension contributions are required to increase over time. This happens on set dates - the 6th of April 2018 and the 6th of April 2019 - and is a key feature of automatic enrolment. By law, a total minimum amount of contributions must be paid into a pension scheme. The employer must make at least the minimum employer contribution towards this amount and employees must make up the difference. It is an employer’s responsibility to make sure these increases are implemented.
In 2019, the minimum contribution levels will rise again on the 6th of April, with the employer paying a minimum of 3% of qualifying earnings towards the pension. Staff members will have to make up whatever shortfall remains of the new total minimum contribution up to 8%, including the employer's contribution. These increases should be seamlessly handled by payroll software.
|Date effective||Employer minimum
|Staff contribution||Total contribution|
|Before 6th April 2018||1%||1%||2%|
|6th April 2018 to 5th April 2019||2%||3%||5%|
|6th April 2019 onwards||3%||5%||8%|
If a member does not wish to pay the increased contributions due, they can choose to opt-out of the pension scheme, or they may be allowed to remain at the lower contribution rate after the increase. This will mean they continue to be a member of the scheme, but as contributions are below the minimum level required by law, the scheme will not be a qualifying auto enrolment pension scheme.
Since April 2018, many pension providers have said that they have seen very little impact on opt-out rates as a result of the higher contributions. In the two months after the April 2018 increase, the opt-out rate rose by approx. 0.2% to 8.2%. In a survey of nearly 350 employers, 88% said that the increase in minimum auto enrolment contribution rates in April 2018 had not reduced scheme participation. Prior to the increases, there were fears of a bigger spike, with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) projecting opt-out rates as high as 28%.
There was also a very low percentage of workers who opted to reduce their contribution rate to the previous 1% contribution level. One employer with 30,000 workers enrolled had just 40 employees choosing to remain at the lower amounts.
Steve Webb from Royal London said: “We have seen very little impact of April’s rise in contributions. The rise coincided with the annual boost to tax thresholds, some annual pay rises and an increase in the living wage, all of which will have cushioned the rise in contributions. Inertia also remains a powerful force and will continue to be so as long as contributions remain at relatively modest levels.”
Employers are predicting that opt-out rates will remain low as auto enrolment contribution rates are set for another increase this year.
Click here for more information about phasing / increases to minimum contributions.