Mar 2021

4

Customer Update: March 2021

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


BrightPay 2021/22 is Now Available to Pre-Order  

BrightPay 2021/22 is scheduled for release the week commencing 22nd March. We will send you another email once it is released and ready to download.  

furlough extension

Top Tips for Migrating your Payroll to BrightPay  

In this webinar, we explore the benefits associated with switching to BrightPay. Plus, discover some top tips for making the transition to BrightPay as seamless as possible.  


Free Webinar | IR35 Reforms - Are you Ready?  

Discover how to comply with the upcoming changes to the off-payroll working rules, and how they will affect your business and payroll processes. Guest Speaker: Jas Jhooty, emTax  

furlough extension

Pay Employees Directly from BrightPay – Coming in BrightPay 21/22  

BrightPay’s new functionality will give you a fast, secure and easy way to pay employees through BrightPay. Eliminate the need to create bank files and the manual workload associated with making payments to employees.


Another Furlough Extension, Another Set of Changes 

The furlough scheme has been extended for a further five months until the end of September, with the scheme winding down from July. In this webinar, we look at how the scheme rules are going to change between now and September. 

furlough extension

New and Improved Multi-User Features are on the way  

We are introducing new multi-user features that work in conjunction with BrightPay Connect to improve the working from home experience, including an 'other users' check and a 'latest version' check.


Posted byRachel HynesinCustomer Update


Mar 2021

3

Budget 2021 – An Employer Focus

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak presented Budget 2021 to Parliament today 3rd March 2021.

The main points to be noted by employers are:

  • The personal tax allowance will increase from £12,500 to £12,570 for the new tax year 2021-22 and the plan is to keep it at this level until 2026.
  • The higher rate income tax threshold will increase by £270 to £50,270 from 6th April 2021 and will be frozen until April 2026.
  • The NIC primary threshold will increase by £68, from £9,500 to £9,568 for 2021-22.
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is to be extended until the end of September 2021 with the government to continue paying 80% of employees' wages for hours they cannot work. Employers will be asked to contribute 10% for July and 20% for August and September.
  • The grant for new apprenticeships made available by employers in England to be extended to September 2021 and the amount increased to £3,000.
  • Traineeships to get a £126 million boost to fund 40,000 more places.
  • The Employment Allowance remains at £4,000 and will apply to eligible employers whose Secondary Class 1 National Insurance Contributions liability is under £100,000 a year.
  • From 1st April 2021, the National Living Wage of £8.91 per hour will now be paid to employees aged 23 years and over instead of the previous age threshold of 25 years and older.
  • The Vat rate for the hospitality sector will remain at 5% until 30th September 2021. This will increase to 12.5% until 31st March 2022, with the 20% rate resuming from April 2022.
  • £5 billion in new Restart Grants for businesses announced – £6,000 for non-essential outlets that are due to re-open in April and for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, gym and personal care businesses, a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000.

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinHMRC


Mar 2021

3

New Advisory Fuel Rates from 1st March 2021

The latest Advisory Fuel Rates that will come into effect from 1st March 2021 for company cars has been advised by HMRC. Employers may use the old rates for up to one month from the date the new rates apply. Employers are under no obligation to make supplementary payments to reflect the new rates but can do so if they wish. Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for this purpose for the fuel rates. For fully electric cars, the Advisory Electricity Rate is 4 pence per mile. However, electricity is not a fuel for car fuel benefit purposes. Click here to see all details per HMRC.

 Engine size  Petrol - amount per mile  LPG - amount per mile
 1400cc or less  10 pence  7 pence
 1401cc to 2000cc  12 pence  8 pence 
 Over 2000cc  18 pence  12 pence

 

 Engine size  Diesel - amount per mile
 1600cc or less  9 pence
 1601cc to 2000cc  11 pence
 Over 2000cc  12 pence

 

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinHMRC


Mar 2021

1

Year End - Frequently Asked Questions

To assist users in completing the 2020-21 tax year and transitioning to tax year 2021-22, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions below.

1. What steps do I need to complete to finalise the 2020-21 tax year?
Please click here to access our simple step-by-step guide for completing the 2020-21 year end process in BrightPay.

2. How do I issue P60s to employees?
The P60 option is located within the 'Employees' menu. Select an employee who is in active employment as at 5th April from the left-hand listing. Click 'P60' on the menu bar and simply select the P60 option you require.

3. How do I notify HMRC that the last RTI submission is my final submission for the tax year?

Within the 'RTI' menu in BrightPay 2020-21, select 'RTI > New > Employer Payment Summary'. Where you have recoverable amounts, tick this box and select 'tax month 12' or 'tax quarter 4'. Tick the 'Final Submission' indicator and click OK to generate the EPS and submit to HMRC.

4. Do I have a week 53 in the 2020-21 tax year?
Only if an employer pays employees on a Monday and the last pay date of the 2020-21 tax year is Monday 5th April 2021.

5. When will BrightPay 21-22 be available?
BrightPay 21-22 is scheduled for release week commencing 22nd March 2021.

6. Is it ok to import my data into BrightPay 2021-22 before my payroll is finished for the 2020-21 tax year?
We advise waiting until your payroll is fully completed for the current tax year before importing into the new tax year version. This will ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information is being imported from the previous tax year.

7. Why is BrightPay 2021-22 downloading as a 60-day free trial - I have already purchased a licence?
BrightPay will initially download as a 60-day free trial (with full functionality). On purchasing a 2021-22 licence, you will have received a licence key on the invoice that was emailed to you. Simply select 'Upgrade Licence' on the 'Open Company' screen of your BrightPay 2021-22 software and enter and activate your licence key here. Your software will no longer show as a free trial and instead will indicate your purchased licence type.

8. How do I install BrightPay 21-22 for the new tax year?
Every tax year we release brand new software in line with the new budgetary requirements. Thus, to move your payroll on to a new tax year, simply download the new tax year version of BrightPay that is available on our website here

Once downloaded, this will install separately to your previous year’s software and you will see a new BrightPay icon appear on your desktop. You can still access the information for the previous tax year in BrightPay 2020-21.

9. How do I import my data from BrightPay 2020-21 into BrightPay 2021-22 for the new tax year?
First, check the location of where your 2020-21 employer data file is saved - you can do this by hovering your mouse over the employer name on your 'Open Employer' screen in BrightPay 2020-21 and making a note of the location that will appear.

Next, on the 'Open Company' screen in BrightPay 2021-22, select 'Import Employer(s) > Import BrightPay 2020-21 file(s)'. Browse to the location of your 2020-21 employer data file and double click on the file name to commence the import. Your employer and employee details will now be imported into BrightPay 2021-22 and your employer name will be added to your 2021-22 Open Company screen.

Please note: If the employer file is password protected, the password will be the same as the previous year.

10. Will tax codes L, M and N be automatically uplifted when I import my data from BrightPay 20-21 into BrightPay 2021-22?
Tax codes for L, M and N will be automatically uplifted for the new tax year in BrightPay 2021-22 when your employer file is imported from BrightPay 2020-21. Tax code L will be uplifted by 7, tax code M will be uplifted by 8 and tax code N will be uplifted by 6 in BrightPay 2021-22.

11. Do I need to send a new Employer Payment Summary to HMRC to claim the Employment Allowance?
Yes. Since 6th April 2020, Employment Allowance does not auto-renew for an employer as it did in previous tax years.

An employer now has to submit an 'Employer Payment Summary' to HMRC every tax year to notify HMRC that they will be claiming the Employment Allowance. Once this EPS is sent to HMRC, the employer can then 'enable' the Employment Allowance in the first tax period within the 'HMRC Payments' utility in BrightPay.

Please note: HMRC must also be notified via an Employer Payment Summary if you are no longer eligible for the Employment Allowance. Further guidance on operating the Employment Allowance in BrightPay is available here.

12. How do I sign into BrightPay Connect for the new tax year?

Please select the 'Connect' tab on your BrightPay 2021-22 'Open Company' screen and sign in to your BrightPay Connect account using your Connect username and password.

13. Why do I receive HMRC error 6010 when I try to submit a P11D(b) for the 2020-21 tax year?
HMRC will only accept a P11D(b) for the 2020-21 tax year from 6th April 2021. If trying to submit before this date, error number 6010 will be returned from HMRC into BrightPay. HMRC are currently accepting a P11D(b) for the tax year 2019-20 up until 5th April 2021.

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPayroll


Feb 2021

25

Get ready for April: IR35 rule changes in full-effect

It feels like it has dragged on for a long time, but the government’s much talked about changes to IR35 are finally kicking in from April 2021. These rules aren’t, of course, ‘new’. They’ve been in effect in the public sector for years. Indeed, IR35 has been in the pipeline since the turn of the Millennium. It’s simply that it’s only just trickled through to the private sector. April 2021 is simply the private sector catching up.

So what’s changing for private sector companies? As you may know, businesses will have to determine whether a contractor falls inside or outside IR35. So, the onus has been shifted onto the business to deduct the right tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pay this directly to HMRC on behalf of the worker through RTI.

A small change with a big impact

If you employ contractors, you are now responsible for deciding whether the rules should apply and making sure they and their workers' pay the right tax. Critics have said this outsources compliance work to businesses. In effect, these critics are right. But that’s little solace for the many businesses who now have to reorient the way they work contractors.

The good news is that your only focus for these ‘off-payroll workers’ is tax and NICs. Off-payroll workers are not entitled to receive:

  • Statutory payments: Statutory sick pay, statutory maternity pay, statutory adoption pay, statutory paternity pay, shared parental pay or statutory bereavement leave
  • National Minimum Wage/ National Living Wage rates
  • Annual leave entitlement / holiday pay
  • Student Loans or Postgraduate Loans
  • Automatic enrolment pension scheme contributions

This substantially decreases the complexity of what a business needs to do. The potential financial penalties of getting it wrong, however, are significant.

A blanket approach isn’t compliant

There is a right way and a wrong way to comply with IR35 rules. Just putting all contractors ‘inside IR35’ and hoping for the best isn’t good enough.

You can use HMRC’s online tool to assess whether that freelancer you're working with should be classified as an off-payroll worker. Your payroll software needs to be IR35 ready, too. BrightPay will be able to cater for workers who are inside IR35. Once an employee is set up in BrightPay as an off-payroll worker, some settings will be automatically disabled, including student loans, postgraduate loans, directorship, and annual leave entitlements.

Click here to discover how BrightPay caters for IR35

Free IR35 Webinar

BrightPay is hosting a free IR35 webinar with industry expert Jas Jhooty, Director at emTax. Discover how to comply with the upcoming changes to the off-payroll working rules, and how they will affect your business and payroll processes. Plus, learn how you can obtain ‘outside IR35’ SDS rulings for as many contractors as possible to keep 'inside IR35’ contractors to a minimum and reduce costs from April 2021.

Limited places available - click here to book your place now.

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Feb 2021

22

Plan for Jobs - £1,000 for Traineeships

In the July 2020 Plan for Jobs announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, an investment fund of £111 million is available to assist the largest development ever for traineeships and employers that provide a traineeship. An employer can claim a £1,000 bonus for each trainee that is enrolled under this new traineeship programme. The new project will help young people learn new skills and experience that will assist them in finding employment or an apprenticeship or equip them for further study options.

Registration for applicants for this scheme can now be made online here. The bonus of £1,000 will be available to employers to claim until 31st July 2021 and will help employers with the traineeship costs such as uniforms, travel cost and providing facilities. The maximum number of trainees an employer can claim under this programme is 10 trainees. Employers can claim this incentive of £1,000 per trainee for any trainee placement they have since 1st September 2020

The traineeship programme period will last for a period of at least 6 weeks and can be as long as 12 months. The programmes will help the trainees develop skills for the workplace such as digital skills in conjunction with English and maths skills. Traineeships will be combined with job placements for a minimum of 70 hours.

Research has shown that traineeship programmes have previously assisted nearly 120,000 young people since 2013 and two thirds of trainees either progress to employment or study further or partake in an apprenticeship within six months of completing the traineeship programme.

This scheme encourages and assists employers to help train or educate young people in conjunction with the apprenticeship scheme. Under the apprenticeship scheme employers can claim £2,000 for any new apprentice aged under 25 that is hired and £1,500 for any new apprentice aged 25 or older. This scheme will end in March 2021 and over 10,000 have already availed of this scheme.

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPay/Wage


Feb 2021

12

Minimum Wage Increase on 1st April 2021

The Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for the new National Minimum Wage were approved by Government and these new wage rates will come into effect on the 1st April 2021. The National Living Wage of £8.91 per hour will now be paid to employees aged 23 years and over instead of the previous age threshold of 25 years and older. This is an increase of 2.2% from £8.72.

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most employees are entitled to by law. An employee's age and if they are an apprentice will determine the rate they will receive. The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on an employee's age and whether they are an apprentice:

  • The apprentice rate is applicable to apprentices aged under 19 and those aged 19 or over when they are in the first year of their apprenticeship
  • Employees under 23 years old are entitled to the National Minimum Wage
  • Employees aged 23 or over are entitled to the National Living Wage

Rates from 1 April 2021 will be:

Minimum wage rates

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPay/WagePayroll


Feb 2021

8

10 Reasons why People are Switching to BrightPay

As we approach the new 2021/22 tax year, many employers are evaluating whether they are using the right payroll software to suit their business and if they should start looking at other options. 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. To make it easier for you, we have summarised the key reasons why you should switch to BrightPay today.

Book a demo to discover more about BrightPay or read on to find out more.

1. At the forefront for COVID-19

With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme being processed through payroll software, our development and support teams have been working hard to provide a quick response with ample payroll upgrades. We have been at the forefront for our customers both with product upgrades and expert guidance. We were awarded a COVID-19 Hero Award (Suppliers) at the Accounting Excellence Awards.

2. Furlough Pay Calculator

BrightPay provides a furlough pay calculator to assist users with calculating pay for furloughed employees, including support for flexible furlough. BrightPay also includes a CJRS Claim Report to help you work out how much to claim when making a claim through HMRC’s online claim portal. 

3. Automatic enrolment at no extra cost

Auto enrolment is free with all BrightPay licences. BrightPay automates many tasks and ensures employers comply with their pension duties, for example, BrightPay automatically assesses employees each pay period and notifies you when you have auto enrolment duties to perform. BrightPay includes direct integration with a number of pension schemes including NEST, The People’s Pension, Smart Pension and Aviva.

4. Integration with accounting & bookkeeping software

Directly send the payroll journal to your accounting software from within BrightPay. You no longer need to export the journal via a CSV file and upload it manually through your accounting software. It’s secure and reduces the risk of errors making it more seamless. BrightPay includes integration with Sage One, Quickbooks Online, Xero, FreeAgent, AccountsIQ, Twinfield and Kashflow. 

5. Batch Payroll Processing

Process payroll for multiple companies at the same time with BrightPay. Batch finalise open pay periods, batch send RTI & CIS submissions to HMRC and batch check for coding notices. This feature is available for accountants and payroll bureaus who process payroll for a number of clients. It enables you to save time on administrative tasks, especially if you have a large number of single-director companies on your payroll, or payrolls that don’t change from week to week.

6. Free CIS Module

BrightPay caters for all subcontractor types, including companies, trusts, sole traders and partnerships on a weekly and/or monthly basis. BrightPay also creates CIS300 monthly returns for submitting to HMRC. The CIS module is free with all BrightPay licences. 

7. Payroll software you can trust

We have been developing payroll software for almost 30 years and our products are trusted by over 320,000 businesses across the UK and Ireland. With a 99% customer satisfaction rate, it’s no surprise that BrightPay won Payroll Software of the Year awards in both 2018 & 2019. 

8. Free Friendly Customer Support

We're here to help you every step of the way with FREE phone and email support. We also have a whole range of step-by-step guides and video tutorials available on our website. Not only do our team of experts offer product advice, but we also run free online webinars and distribute free eBooks regarding legislative updates and changes. Whether it’s Auto Enrolment, GDPR, Employment Legislation or COVID-19 Furlough Schemes, you will always be kept one step ahead. 

9. Online access anywhere, anytime

With the BrightPay Connect optional add-on, you can access a whole range of payroll and HR features anywhere anytime. As well as the peace of mind of having your payroll data automatically backed up to the cloud, you will also have access to a secure online employer dashboard and employee smartphone and tablet app. Access employee payslips, run payroll reports, view amounts due to HMRC, manage your employees’ leave, upload and distribute HR documents, send notifications to employees and much more. 

10. Cost-effective solution with a 60-day free trial

BrightPay's 60 day free trial is a great way for you to discover just how easy BrightPay is to use without having to make any commitment. The trial version has full functionality with no limitations on any of the features, including auto enrolment, CIS, payrolling of benefits, integration with accounting systems and much more. There is no obligation to buy. We will not ask you for any credit card details or get you to sign any contract. Should you decide to purchase BrightPay, our pricing structure is simple and straightforward with no hidden charges, in-year upgrade charges or additional charges for customer support.

But don’t just take our word for it. Have a read of our customer testimonials to see why 99% of customers would recommend BrightPay.

Book a free online demo of BrightPay to avail of a free migration consultation with the BrightPay team. You will be assigned a dedicated account manager to help you through your decision making and setup process, ensuring a smooth transition to BrightPay.

Download Free Trial  | Book a Demo

BrightPay UK

 

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Posted byHolly McHughinPayrollPayroll Software


Feb 2021

8

Two Factor Authentication Explained

As security is a large concern for many businesses nowadays as data breaches are a threat to all entities, Two Factor Authentication can now be enabled as a feature for users of BrightPay Connect. 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 data breaches as users can access sensitive employer and employee data in Connect with the increased security layer.

BrightPay Connect is an optional cloud add-on feature that works with BrightPay. BrightPay Connect provides a secure, automated and user-friendly way to backup and 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.

How it works

If Two Factor Authentication is enabled for a Connect account, when any user on the Connect account tries to sign into Connect via their internet browser here or through BrightPay, they will be asked to enter in a security code that needs to be sent to them. The user can select to have the security code to be sent by email or by text to the user. 

Once the user receives the security code the user enters this in the 'verify code' field and selects 'Verify Code'. The user will only be able to access the security code if they have access to the email account or mobile device. The random generated 6 digit security code will expire after fifteen minutes so a new code will have to be sent if the code is not used in the time limit. 

This Two Factor Authentication uses a second security measure of identification ensuring the user is the correct user when logging into Connect. It adds an additional layer of security to an already secure hosted platform and gives the user more reassurance that their payroll data is safer and more secure.

To Enable this option in Connect when you are logged in > Go to 'Settings' > Go to 'Two Factor Authentication' > Tick the box > 'Save Changes'.

 

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinBrightPay Cloud


Feb 2021

4

Five Challenges Businesses Face When Switching Payroll Software

Switching software for any business can be a confusing, challenging, and disagreeable process. When it comes to payroll software, this challenge can be even greater. If you are in the process of switching to a new payroll software you may have spent weeks, months even, searching for the best available solution. This likely involved speaking to various customer service and sales teams, watching online product demos, and comparing all the different options available to you. By now, you may have narrowed down your choices. Chances are, this will include BrightPay Payroll Software!

From your research, you fully understand all the additional features and advantages that this new software will bring, from automating tedious tasks to saving you money in the long run. Yet, many businesses who have spent months and months of their time analysing their options, who are fully aware that they are losing money and opportunities by staying with their current provider, are still hesitant to make the move. They feel that the challenges are greater than the benefits.

Let’s take a look at some of these very real challenges and examine how they can be minimised.

1. Business as usual:

Implementing any new software has teething problems. It’s not simply a matter of installing the software; it also means migrating the data over to a new system and ensuring that your team is properly trained to use and make the most of it. Accomplishing this while ensuring that it doesn’t interfere with your day-to-day operations can be quite challenging. You cannot afford to process your own or your client’s payroll incorrectly.

With BrightPay, we recommend that you initially run your new payroll software alongside your previous software. This is a good way to determine that everything has been set up correctly in BrightPay and there are no inaccuracies. It also provides the comfort of knowing you have a fail-safe. We offer a 60-day free trial, an ideal way to test out the software to see if it’s the right fit for your business.

2. Migrating data:

How much time will you have to spend entering data to get the new payroll system up and running? Arguably, migrating data from an old system to a new one, is the most time-consuming part of the job. Certainly, it’s the most tedious. However, it is an important part of the process and requires careful attention to reduce errors and minimise potential issues. Early preparation is key.

To speed up this process, BrightPay facilitates the importing of employee information. If your current payroll software allows it, you can export your data in a CSV file format (or to Excel, which can subsequently be converted to CSV format) and import it into BrightPay. If there is no option to export a CSV file, you also have the option to import the employee information using a FPS file. We also have a dedicated migration team that can assist you through this process.

3. Support for your Software:

Customer support is something that every business needs when switching to a different payroll software. Even if migration runs smoothly, chances are you’ll have a question or a tricky issue down the line that you will need help with. When considering your options, check whether the payroll software provider you choose has a dedicated customer support team, how you can get in touch with them, and if there are any additional costs to avail of support. What other forms of support do they offer? Are there webinars, online product documentation, step-by-step guides and video tutorials easily available?

A lack of support beyond the implementation phase is not acceptable and neither is a whole load of added costs. BrightPay support is completely free and has been for nearly 30 years! This includes payroll experts available via phone or email, free webinars, video tutorials, eBooks, and comprehensive online support documentation. All BrightPay licences include software updates in response to any changes to payroll legislation and government schemes.

We believe providing free support is what’s best for our customers and it motivates us to create easy to use, problem-free software. Don’t just take our word for it though. View our customer testimonials page and see for yourself!

4. Integrating with Internal Processes:

A different challenge but one that can be equally frustrating to buyers is ensuring that the new software they’re looking at will work with internal workplace policies. You may be convinced the software is right for you and your team, but it’s equally important the software meets your IT and Legal team’s requirements. Data protection and compliance with GDPR should be a priority for any company. Speak to the software provider about their privacy policy and how they handle your data or your client’s data. If you’re still unsure, ask your company’s Data Protection Officer to join in on the conversation.

Data Protection has always been a concern for BrightPay and we’ve always aimed to act with complete integrity in this regard. Like all companies, in preparation for GDPR we have had to complete a total review on how we gather, maintain and use data. Find out about BrightPay’s security measures.

5. Timing Differences

Knowing when to make the move can be difficult. On one hand, waiting for the new tax year may look appealing but on the other hand, staying with your current provider may have a negative impact on your business. We would recommend moving at a time that is most convenient to you. If this means waiting for the new tax year, then you will only have to import employee details into BrightPay. If you want to move mid-year, then both employee information and their mid-year pay information will need to be imported.

Book a demo to avail of a free migration consultation with the BrightPay team. You will be assigned a dedicated account manager to help you through your decision making and setup process, ensuring a smooth transition to BrightPay.

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BrightPay UK

Posted byÁine CourtneyinGDPRPayrollPayroll Software