Nearly 5 months since the General data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced across all of the European Union, complaints around Data Protection have nearly doubled in the UK according to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
GDPR was designed to give Data Subjects more control over their personal data, with more transparency and the threat of larger fines to those in breach of the new rules. The GDPR requires any company that suffers a data breach to notify its users/data subjects within 72 hours of the breach being discovered.
• Data protection complaints to the UK’s ICO rose to 4214 in July compared to just 2310 complaints received in May before the GDPR came into force. A spokes person for the ICO said the increase was expected, as more users became aware of data protection because of publicity around the new rules and following a series of high-profile data scandals involving some well-known household names, like Morrison’s and Dixons Carphone.
• In July the ICO reported that since May 25th, it had seen a four-fold increase in the number of breaches that organizations were self-reporting.
Experts note, however that the increase’s do not mean that the number of data breaches has suddenly gone up, but rather reflects the full scale of the data breach problem becoming better known.
Organisations that fail to comply with GDPR can face fines of up to 4% of annual global revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater. So far none of the EU’s Data Protection Agency’s have levied any fines. Multiple DPA’s told the International Association of Privacy Professionals Advisor Newsletter that it is simply too soon.
We will be hosting a free online webinar on ‘GDPR 5 Months On’ on Tuesday October 16th at 11am, where we will look at the implications of GDPR on payroll processing and how employer’s can be demonstrate compliance by following a few, simple steps.
To register for this webinar please click here.
Is the emailing of payslips permissible under GDPR?
There is nothing in the GDPR that states it is no longer permissible to email payslips, this practice is still very much acceptable. The thing to keep in mind in relation to emailing payslips is to ensure that all appropriate security measures are in place. The payslips that are emailed from BrightPay are encrypted and deleted from our servers once sent, however it may also be prudent of a processor of the payroll to password protect the payslips also. It will be the responsibility of the Data controllers (employers) to be vigilant that correct email addresses are inputted.
Can I still use my hard-earned mailing lists after May 25th?
Not automatically - the GDPR states that to be able to ‘Lawfully Process’ personal data you must be able to fall into at least 1 of the 6 processing classifications, the first one being Consent. Consent must be:
• Specific, informed, unambiguous, and freely given – there must be evidence that clear affirmative action has been given.
• Must be for a specified purpose
• Where consent is obtained as part of a larger document covering other things, consent text must be clearly distinguished from everything else
• Evidence needs to be retained as to how the consent was obtained. For example; forms, brochures signage, website screenshots.
• Language must be accessible and easily understood.
• Have a clear and seamless opt-Out process in place.
If you have mailing lists that you’ve used pre GDPR you will not be able to continue using them if you haven’t got specific approval or consent from the individuals.
Do we need to ask for consent from our employees to process their data?
No, as the reliance for processing and retaining their data will be down to lawful processing because of the employer’s legal obligation to deduct taxes etc. and also down to the contractual agreement in place to pay them and pay forward the taxes owed on their behalf. And also to the nature of the relationship between the employer and the employee, the status quo is in the employer’s favour so consent would not be unambiguous or freely given.
More information can be found in the GDPR section of our online support documentation on our website - Bright Contracts UK - GDPR
Accounting firms and payroll bureaus are increasingly moving into the cloud to offer clients a more flexible and streamlined payroll service. Many believe that payroll isn’t a profitable service due to the complexity of the work, the manual administrative time required and the increasing number of mistakes when it comes to recording employee leave.
The actual process of running payroll is straightforward enough due to easy to use features in payroll software. But what about the administrative payroll and HR related tasks such as processing & sending payslips, managing & recording employee leave, lost payslips, backing up your payroll data, sending payroll reports to clients and updating employee records? All of these tasks can take a considerable amount of managerial time to process and correct where errors have occurred.
The payroll landscape is changing and many payroll bureaus are offering clients a certain level of cloud functionality that automates otherwise time consuming tasks. Online access to payroll information for your clients and their employees offers significant benefits for today's bureau which can will streamline many workforce management tasks.
Storing payroll information and data protection continues to be a challenge for payroll bureaus. With an automated cloud backup tool you will never lose your payroll data again. You don’t need to worry about manually backing up your payroll data. Where you payroll software is integrated with the cloud, your payroll data will synchronised to the cloud as you run your payroll or make any changes whilst maintaining a chronological history of your backups. You can restore or download any of the backups to your PC or Mac at any time.
The concept of a paper payslips that need to be downloaded and emailed or printed, enveloped and then posted in an outdated process. More and more, employees want their payslips to be accessible and securely stored online. Payslips and other payslips related documents such as P60’s, P45’s and employment contracts can be easily accessible on an employee self service online portal. With the cloud, payroll bureaus can avoid spending time printing, emailing and resending lost documents to employees. An online employee self service option allows employees to view current and historic payslips and access all HR employee documents.
A cloud client and employee dashboard provides 24/7 flexibility and control of payroll information. Clients can access all employees payslips, payroll reports, amounts due to HMRC, employee contact details and can even approve annual leave requests. Employees can access their self service portal on their computer or via a mobile app to view and download payslips, easily submit holiday requests and view leave taken and leave remaining.
Cloud functionality allows for many payroll related tasks to be synchronized with your payroll software. Payroll bureaus radically save time as they no longer need to send payslips to employees, send payroll reports to clients, re-send lost payslips or manually process employee leave on the payroll software.
Annual leave approvals can be approved in the cloud and automatically recorded on your payroll software reducing errors and ensuring leave data is up to date at all times. Clients can view a company wide online calendar where they can easily approve leave while managing staff availability for their business. Employees can benefit as a cloud portal will calculate accurate leave balances in real time. Senior managers and supervisors can be given a high level access to approve holiday requests.
Payroll software systems that offer a fully integration with the cloud is a must. Integrated payroll and cloud allows both tools in share and synchronise your payroll data in real time. An online payroll tool that links to clients data that is saved on your payroll software can directly communicate with each other ensuring all information is current and correct.
Using the cloud to automate many daily payroll and HR related tasks will improve efficiencies for payroll bureaus, employers/clients and their employees. BrightPay Connect is one such cloud solution that fully integrate with BrightPay Payroll offering:
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The Government has announced a change to the Plan 2 repayment threshold for Student Loan borrowers. The threshold that will come into effect from 6th April 2018 will be £25,000, a £4,000 increase from the current threshold of £21,000.
It has previously been confirmed by the Student Loans Company that the student loan repayment threshold will rise to £18,330 for Student Loan Plan 1, taking effect from 6th April 2018. Student Loan Plan 1 is for pre-2012 loans.
The Plan 2 repayment threshold of £21,000 was to be fixed until the year 2021, but this has been changed following an announcement made by the Prime Minister about changes to the student finance system.
Summary of the Student Plan thresholds:
This figure will apply to all current and future borrowers for whom employers make Student Loan deductions. In BrightPay 2018-19, the new student loan repayment thresholds for both plans will automatically be calculated and the appropriate student loan deduction applied.
What is BrightPay Connect's Self-Service Portal?
BrightPay Connect offers an employee self-service portal that provides employees with online access to their personal records and payroll details. Employees have secure access to their own personal, password protected, self-service portal from any computer, tablet or smartphone.
BrightPay Connect allows employees to make changes to their own personal contact information including their address, contact phone number, emergency contact details and more. Employees also have the ability to complete administrative tasks, such as applying for leave, viewing leave taken and remaining leave.
Additionally, employees are able to view and retrieve their historic payslips and other payroll documents such as their P60, P45 or P11d, all of which can be exported to PDF and printed. Employers can upload HR documents including an employee handbook, company newsletters and training materials, all of which can be available to employees on the self-service portal.
Benefits of BrightPay Connect
BrightPay Connect offers significant time-saving benefits for employers who want an easy-to-use payroll and HR software package. Benefits of the self-service portal for the employer and employee include:
Find out more about the Employee Self-Service feature on BrightPay Connect with an online demo.
Based on a new report, Royal London estimates that the number of mothers missing out on vital credits towards their State Pension has more than doubled in the last two years and now stands at around 50,000. The increase has occurred since the introduction in January 2013 of the ‘High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge’.
This rule means that couples where one partner earns more than £60,000 per year have the value of their Child Benefit wiped out by a tax charge. In response to this, growing numbers of mothers starting a family since January 2013 have declined to claim Child Benefit at all. This means however they are missing out on vital National Insurance credits towards their state pension. Each year missed could cost 1/35 of the value of the state pension of around £231 per year or over £4,600 over the course of a typical 20 year retirement. Together, these mothers have lost hundreds of millions of pounds in retirement.
Prior to the 2013 changes, the number of families receiving child benefit had risen every year since 2007. Since then, the number has been falling. HMRC themselves say: “The number of children for whom Child Benefit is being paid is now at its lowest level since HMRC began producing these statistics (in 2003)”.
A woman who started her family in early 2013 and decided not to claim Child Benefit could have missed out on state pension credits for five years so far. The total loss over those five years could be 5/35 of a state pension. This is over £1,000 per year in retirement. Over the course of a twenty year retirement, such women could be more than £20,000 worse off in total. Worse still, as things stand, Child Benefit claims can only be backdated for three months so they will never recover the lost pension rights.
BrightPay Connect our latest cloud add-on works alongside BrightPay Payroll. Payroll information is stored in the cloud and can be accessed online by you and your clients anywhere. BrightPay Connect offers additional innovative payroll and HR features that will enhance client relationships and increase revenue for your bureau.
Secure online Backup
Don't worry about manually backing up or losing your client payroll data again. Simply link an employer to BrightPay Connect, then the payroll data will be automatically synchronised to the cloud as you run your payroll or make any changes. Payroll files are automatically backed up every 15 minutes when open and again when closed down, offering cloud security against ransomware and cyber attacks. A chronological history of backups will be maintained which can be restored at any time.
Access your online multi-company dashboard which gives an overview of clients’ payroll information in one place. BrightPay Payroll and BrightPay Connect are automatically synced to capture annual leave and changes to employee details.
Client / Employer Access
Invite clients to their own company dashboard where they have online access to an overview of their employer details, employee requests, employee contact details, employee payslips and any outstanding amounts due to HMRC. Payroll reports that have been set up and saved in the payroll are automatically available on BrightPay Connect.
Employee Online Access
Employees can access their own personal self service portal from any computer, tablet or smartphone. They can view and retrieve their historic payslips and other payroll documents such as a P60, P45, or P11d which can be exported to PDF and printed. Employees can easily submit holiday requests, view leave taken and leave remaining as well as amend personal contact details.
Annual Leave Management
Your client can view a company leave calendar allowing them to effectively manage their staffing resources and plan ahead to ensure there is sufficient staff cover at all times. Once an employee requests leave, clients can authorise or reject the request which then flows back to the payroll. Clients will have full visibility of how much leave an employee has taken, the number of annual leave days remaining and how frequently an employee is on sick leave.
BrightPay Connect has built-in features giving your clients a ready-to-go HR solution. HR documents can be uploaded including employee handbooks and contracts, disciplinary documents, company newsletters, training material and more. Clients can also manage all leave for their employees including sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave and paternity leave.
Benefits for Payroll Bureaus
BrightPay Connect introduces powerful new online features that offers a range of benefits for your bureau, your clients and your clients’ employees.
The two things that our bureau customers really rave about are (1) you are up and running in seconds, as this is all the time it takes to sync all of your client data to the cloud and and (2) you, your clients and their employees can access their payroll information from anywhere, from any device.
Auto enrolment is not a one off job and employers need to carry out a number of tasks on an ongoing basis. Automatic enrolment is a continuing responsibility for employers. Employers must complete the following tasks in order to remain fully compliant with the law.
Employers must continually keep records of their auto enrolment activities including names and addresses of employees they have enrolled, records of when the contributions were paid to the pension provider, opt in requests, pension scheme reference or registry numbers and information that was sent to the pension provider. These records must be kept for a period of six years. Opt out requests or notices must be kept for four years.
Ongoing employee assessment:
You must complete an employee assessment each pay period to monitor any changes to an employee's age and earnings. For example, if an employee turns 22 or their qualifying earnings increase then they may become an eligible jobholder. Payroll software should handle this automatically for you. Be aware, HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools will not cater for employee assessment. Additionally, new staff must also be assessed to see if they are eligible for enrolment.
Enrolling staff after the staging date:
All existing or new staff that become eligible will need to be enrolled into the pension scheme. As part of this, eligible jobholders will need to receive an enrolment letter informing them of how auto enrolment will affect them now that they have become eligible. These employees will have the right to opt out of the scheme within the opt out period.
Avoid Auto Enrolment Fines
Ultimately the responsibility of auto enrolment is with the employer. Employer payroll software will make auto enrolment must easier to manage these new duties on an ongoing basis. The Pensions Regulator will fine employers who fail to submit their declaration of compliance or comply with their duties. Make sure you avoid fines and fully complete all of the mandatory duties required.
Over 100,000 businesses now process their payroll through BrightPay. BrightPay is free for employers with three or less employees, £89 + VAT / per tax year for an employer licence and £229 + VAT / per tax year. Download a BrightPay 60 day trial to see just how user friendly it is.
The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 for private and voluntary-sector employers comes into effect at the start of the new tax year. With that, large companies (i.e. those with over 250 employees) will legally have to reveal the gender pay gap in their workforce. Thousands of employers will begin recording their gender pay gap figures for the first time and must publish their results before the end of the tax year.
At 18.1%, the difference between the average pay for men and women is at an all time low. The new legislation hopes to drastically reduce the gap. Experts are suggesting that these reporting provisions will likely do more for pay equality than equal pay legislation has done in decades. The government are hoping that by exposing company’s pay disparities they will be forced to take action and eliminate gender pay gaps, arguing that it could increase annual GDP by £150 billion.
Unfortunately, the 18.1% pay gap does not show the differences in the rate of pay for comparable jobs. The Office for National Statistics has provided an interactive tool to discover the gender pay gap for your job. According to the government the reasons for gender inequality are complex and can include:
The Equality and Human Rights Commission will enforce the following rule where: Companies who employ more than 250 people must provide data about their pay gap, the proportion of male and female employees in different pay bands, a breakdown of how many women and men get a bonus and their gender bonus gap. This legislation applies to over 9,000 companies, with over 15 million employees.