Oct 2020

28

5 (hidden) pitfalls of the Updated Job Support Scheme

Before leaping into the pitfalls of the updated Job Support Scheme (and why your clients will lose out), I am going to clear up some of the confusion about what it is.

Explained: The Updated Job Support Scheme Rules

An overhaul of the scheme rules was announced on 22 October, making the scheme much more attractive to employers across the UK.

  • The scheme has been adjusted to reduce the employer contribution for the employees unworked hours from 33% to just 5%.
  • The minimum hours required for employees to work was also lowered from 33% to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible.

Although these updated scheme rules make much more sense for employers trying to save their business in these trying times, there are still a number of shortfalls to the scheme that you need to be aware of to ensure you give your clients the best advice. Many businesses need to decide whether to avail of the Job Support Scheme or face the possibility of employee redundancies.

The 5 (hidden) pitfalls of the Updated Job Support Scheme

  1. The scheme is not open to businesses over 250 employees unless they can prove their turnover has fallen due to COVID-19.

  2. The employee must work at least 20% of their usual hours and the employees must be paid their normal contracted wage for the time worked. Although this threshold has dropped from 33% to 20%, the Government have said that they will still review this after 3 months to decide whether to increase this minimum hour's threshold.

  3. Short-time working arrangements must cover a minimum period of seven days. However, employees will be able to rotate on and off the scheme and they do not have to be working the same pattern each month.

  4. Increase in admin - Employers must agree to the new short-time working arrangements with their staff, make any changes to the employment contract by agreement, and notify the employee in writing.

  5. Employers will be paid on a monthly basis and grants can only be used as reimbursement for wage costs actually incurred.

Sadly, it does not appear that the Job Support Scheme will avoid arise 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 clients. These webinars are incredibly popular, and our COVID-19 series has achieved 99.4% customer satisfaction, so register now to secure your place.

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

In this webinar, we look at what you need to know about the new and updated Job Support Scheme, including which employees are eligible, why your clients will lose out, the level of government funding, and how the scheme is actioned through payroll. Whether you use BrightPay or not to run your payroll you are more than welcome to join. We will also explore the rise in redundancies and the new changes regarding statutory redundancy and notice pay for furloughed employees. Register now.

What you'll learn:

  • Everything you need to know about the Job Support Scheme 
  • Which employers and employees are eligible
  • How to operate the Job Support Scheme
  • How BrightPay’s Job Support Scheme Calculator & Claim Report works
  • How to calculate notice pay and redundancy pay for furloughed employees
  • How to keep in touch with employees on reduced hours

Register Now

 

Related articles:

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

Posted byZoe ColverinHMRCPayroll 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

22

BrightPay announces API integration with AccountsIQ

Processing the payroll for your client’s employees and calculating payroll taxes accurately and on time are two of the most important tasks for payroll bureaus and accountants. That's why we have created this new webinar:

Payroll in the Connect Era: How integration has transformed the world of payroll

Thursday 5th November 11am

What you'll learn:

  • The Importance of Automation
  • What is Payroll Journal Integration?
  • How BrightPay’s Accounts Software Integration can help
  • The Benefits of Integrated Payroll & Accounting Systems
  • API Integration in BrightPay

Register Now

Tracking payroll figures in accounting systems is also equally important. In the past adding payroll journals was a manual process of exporting a CSV file from the payroll software, mapping the nominal codes and uploading them into AccountsIQ.

Without API integration between payroll and accounting systems, payroll journal information would need to be entered manually into the accounting system, which can result in errors and duplication of efforts. You may also need to make journal entries to fix mistakes. In order for this information to be included in financial statements efficiently, the payroll and accounting system should ideally be integrated through an API facility.

Payroll and accounting integration between BrightPay and AccountsIQ is a critical part of the payroll reporting process. BrightPay have now added an API payroll journal feature allowing users to create wage journals from finalised pay periods so that they can be added into AccountsIQ.

How the BrightPay & AccountsIQ integration works

BrightPay produces the payroll journal in a file format that is unique to AccountsIQ allowing users to easily upload their payroll figures into their general ledger in just a few clicks.

Once you have entered your AccountsIQ login credentials, BrightPay will automatically retrieve your nominal ledger accounts so that you can easily map each payroll data item to the relevant nominal account. The nominal ledger mapping is then saved for an even speedier process going forward. The payroll journal can include records for payslips across multiple pay frequencies. Users then have the option to include individual records for each employee or merge the records for each unique date. A nominal account can be used for multiple items. 

What are the benefits of BrightPay’s API integration with AccountsIQ

 Some accounting programs come with payroll modules that are fully integrated from the outset. However, the payroll module can be expensive, outdated or/and lack basic automation features. BrightPay and AccountsIQ are multi-award winning software systems that increase efficiency, avoid duplication of efforts and reduce the possibility of manual processing errors. The accuracy and automation of this wage journal API will help to ensure that your books and your payroll journal match up. This can be a critical part of both payroll and accounting.

Webinar: Payroll in the Connect Era: How integration has transformed the world of payroll

To find out more about how you could benefit from the BrightPay and AccountsIQ integration register for the webinar now. 

Thursday 5th November - 11am

Register Now

In today’s technology-driven world, how well a business performs – whether it succeeds or fails – is increasingly dependent on how well it connects applications and integrates systems. That’s why BrightPay and AccountsIQ have teamed up, making it easier to keep your payroll and accounting systems aligned. Join BrightPay & AccountsIQ on Thursday 5th November to discover how you can streamline your payroll and accounting processes. Register today.

Related articles:

Step by step guide to BrightPay & AccountsIQ integration
Find out more about the BrightPay & AccountsIQ integration
Press Release: Accounts IQ partners with BrightPay

 

Posted byKaren BennettinAccounts SoftwareBookkeepingPayrollPayroll 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 will open on 1 November 2020 and run for 6 months, until April 2021.

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:

  • Everything you need to know about the Job Support Scheme
  • Which employers and employees are eligible
  • How to operate the Job Support Scheme
  • How BrightPay’s Job Support Scheme Calculator & Claim Report works
  • How to calculate notice pay and redundancy pay for furloughed employees
  • How to keep in touch with employees on reduced hours

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


Oct 2020

8

Beyond Furlough: Important updates – New Job Support Scheme

Figures announced have advised that under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) HMRC have already paid out £39.3 billion to employers up until 20th September 2020, an increase of £4.9 billion from £35.4 billion that was paid out to employers up until 16th August 2020. 9.6 million employees still have been furloughed and the amount of employers claiming under the CJRS remained at 1.2 million.

In October, only 60% of the wages up to a maximum of £1,875 in the month can be claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and employers must pay the additional 20% to ensure employees are receiving 80%. Employers must also pay employers’ National Insurance and employers’ pension contribution costs. As the CJRS comes to an end on 31st October 2020, employers must submit all claims under this scheme on HMRC’s online portal by 30th November 2020.

HMRC has confirmed that if an employee is on jury duty and is being paid by their employer while on jury duty, the employer can submit a claim for wages paid under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. HMRC have advised “The employee is furloughed, so is not doing any work for their employer or doing anything of benefit for them. They are doing work for a third party, but that’s allowable under CJRS (whether voluntary or paid)”.

When flexible furlough was introduced on 1st July 2020, approximately 950,000 employees returned to work on a part time basis which was equal to 20% of employees that were furloughed nationwide.

HMRC have started to send letters regarding Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims to approximately 3,000 employers who HMRC believe may have overclaimed for payments under the scheme. HMRC estimate that there could be a figure of up to £3.6 billion claimed wrongly or fraudulently under the CRJS and there are 27,000 cases being examined by HMRC at present where an overclaim may have occurred. There have been a number of arrests due to fraud relating to the CJRS, one being for an amount of nearly £495,000.

As soon as we know more, we will be updating our online help guides, and join our webinar on 18th November where we will be able to show you the Job Support Scheme in more detail, along with how it is actioned in the payroll software.

Webinar: New Job Support Scheme Explained

18th November – 10.30am 

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. Register now. 

What you'll learn: 

• Everything you need to know about the Job Support Scheme
• Which employers and employees are eligible
• How to operate the Job Support Scheme
• How BrightPay’s Job Support Scheme Calculator & Claim Report works
• How to calculate notice pay and redundancy pay for furloughed employees
• How to keep in touch with employees on reduced hours

Register now.

Related articles:
Covid-19 Resources Hub
On Demand webinar: The end of CJRS, Remote Working & Redundancies
Blog: HMRC set to crack down on furlough fraud

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinCoronavirusHMRCPayrollPayroll Software


Sep 2020

10

Remote Working Is Becoming The New Normal - What Does This Means For Payroll?

2020 has been a transformative year for most businesses. Many employers have had to take a long hard look at how they manage their employees and make significant changes in the wake of COVID-19 in order to adapt to what is quickly becoming the new normal. For a large proportion of these businesses, allowing employees to work remotely is playing a central role in that change. And this throws up some challenges.

Remote working isn’t a new phenomenon. Cloud innovations have made it possible for people to work from home for many years. However, most businesses have been reluctant to embrace this practice up until now. This is because, when employees are spread out, even the most basic tasks such as distributing payslips, applying for annual leave and internal communication can be more difficult.

Today, however, employers are finding themselves in a position where they must allow employees to work remotely and find clever solutions to these challenges. And BrightPay Connect is one such solution that makes remote working easier for everyone.

How Does Remote Working Affect Payroll and HR?

You might not think that remote working has any impact on processing payroll, especially if you’re a small business with just one payroll administrator. But there are a number of ways that remote working can indirectly impact payroll. It also has numerous knock-on effects on human resources management which need to be addressed in order for a business to thrive.

Here are some examples of the payroll and HR challenges presented by remote working:

  • Distributing payslips manually can be more time-consuming, costly and less secure when employees are not located in the workplace, and instead payslips must be posted to their home addresses. 
  • Making sure that the payroll and any employee leave during that particular pay period are aligned can be tricky, especially if a number of different line managers and/or HR staff are operating from different locations. 
  • Checking that the information for the current pay period is accurate can be challenging with employers and managers working from home with often unreliable internet connections. 

BrightPay Connect Makes Remote Working Easier

BrightPay Connect is a cloud portal add-on to our payroll software. While the payroll software gives you everything you need to process your payroll, BrightPay Connect offers a range of additional features that streamline your human resource management.

The features of BrightPay Connect include:

  • An employee self-service app that’s compatible with both iOS and Android. On the app employees can apply for leave, view and edit their personal data, access a secure payslip library and view HR documents, all from their smartphone or tablet. 
  • An online employer dashboard. Because payroll information is stored online with BrightPay Connect, employers can access their dashboard from their laptops at home. On this dashboard, employers can view a company calendar which displays all past and upcoming employee leave, upload and share documents with employees, and view any outstanding payments due to HMRC. The employer dashboard also shows notifications for any employee leave requests, or requests from the payroll processor. 
  • Automatic cloud backups. With BrightPay Connect, you don’t need to worry about safely storing your data. BrightPay Connect automatically backs up the payroll data to the cloud and keeps a chronological history of all backups so that you can restore previous versions if needed. This is a great step towards GDPR compliance for businesses who are trying to modernise their data protection practices. The cloud backup is also extremely useful for remote working because everything is stored and accessible via the cloud from any location.
  • Clever employee leave management. Employees can request leave directly from their smartphone app. This is beneficial to remote employees because it eliminates the need for employees to visit their line manager or human resources manager in order to fill out leave request paperwork. The request instantly appears as a notification on their manager’s online dashboard. From here, the manager can use the company calendar to see who else is on leave for the dates requested, and either approve or deny the leave request. A time-stamped log of all leave requests is maintained which is particularly useful when a number of different people are managing employee leave as all of the relevant parties can easily see who approved or denied a request, and when. 
  • Requests for payroll data. Whether you are a payroll bureau processing payroll for a number of clients, or an in-house payroll administrator looking for payroll information from various departmental managers, BrightPay Connect’s payroll entry requests feature can be extremely beneficial when working remotely. You can send a request to your clients or to in-house managers requesting information regarding the employee’s hours and payment information for that particular pay period. Once the payroll information has been entered or uploaded, you will receive a notification on your employer dashboard and can synchronise the information directly to the payroll software. As well as eliminating the need for double entry of payroll information, it also frees up time spent chasing the various managers for the employee timesheets, especially if they are working remotely. 

Book Your Free BrightPay Connect Demo Now

If your business is embracing remote working and trying to find ways to facilitate this new practice, then book your free BrightPay Connect demo today and let our team of experts show you just how much easier remote working can be.

Posted bySarah TyrrellinBrightPay CloudPayroll Software


Aug 2020

21

Thresholds to rise for Student Loan repayment from 6th April 2021

The Department of Education have announced the new student loan thresholds that will apply from 6th April 2021.

The repayment threshold for Student Loan Plan 1 will increase by 3% and the repayment threshold for Student Loan Plan 2 will increase by 2.7%. 

The repayment threshold for the Postgraduate loans will remain the same. 

For any loans before 2012, Plan 1 Loans will apply and for loans after 2012 Plan 2 Loans will apply.

Earnings above the thresholds for both Plan 1 and Plan 2 for 2021/22 will be calculated as normal at 9%. The rate of the postgraduate loan type introduced in the 2019/20 tax year will continue to be calculated at 6%. 

Summary of the Student Plan thresholds: 

  • Plan 1 loans will increase from the current threshold of £19,390 to £19,895 in 2021/22. 
  • Plan 2 loans will increase from the current threshold of £26,575 to £27,295 in 2021/22. 
  • Postgraduate loans will not change and remain at the current threshold of £21,000. 

A Student Loan Type 4 will come into effect from 6th April 2021 for students who have taken a loan out in Scotland. The First Minister has committed to the student loan repayment threshold which will rise to £25,000 in Scotland from April 2021.

In BrightPay 2021/22, the new student loan repayment thresholds for both plans will automatically be calculated by the payroll software and the appropriate student loan deduction applied.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPayroll Software


Mar 2020

19

BrightPay 2020/21 is Now Available. What's New?

BrightPay 2020/21 is now available (for new customers and existing customers). Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:


2020/21 Tax Year Updates

  • There are no changes to tax bands, rates or the emergency tax code in 2020/21. BrightPay continues full support for Welsh Rate of Income Tax (WRIT) and Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT).
  • 2020/21 employee and employer National Insurance contribution rates, thresholds and calculations.
  • 2020/21 Student Loan and Postgraduate Loan thresholds.
  • 2020/21 rate of Statutory Sick Pay, including support for COVID-19 related periods of sick leave (in which SSP is paid from day one).
  • 2020/21 rates for Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, and Statutory Shared Parental Pay.
  • Support for new Parental Bereavement Leave and Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay.
  • 2020/21 rates for company cars, vans and fuel. BrightPay now allows input of 'zero emission miles' for cars with a C02 rating of less than or equal to 50g/km (which is now used in the calculation of cash equivalent).
  • Support for real-time PAYE tax and Employer Class 1A NICs due on year-to-date termination awards over the £30K annual threshold and on year-to-date sporting testimonial payments over the £100K annual threshold.
  • Ability to process 2020/21 HMRC coding notices.
  • April 2020 National Living Wage rates.
  • Eligible employers can continue to claim Employment Allowance which can be used to reduce Employer Class 1 Secondary NICs payments to HMRC. For 2020/21, the maximum Employment Allowance claim has been increased to £4,000.
  • Updated P11, P45, P60, P30, P32, P11D and PBIK forms.
  • Updated RTI submissions in line with the latest HMRC specifications, including the new De Minimis State Aid declaration on the EPS. BrightPay continues to be officially HMRC Recognised for all submission types (FPS, EPS, NVR, EXB, CIS300, CISREQ).
  • Support for off-payroll workers subject to April 2020 rules. Off-payroll working rules have been postponed until April 2021.

 

Automatic Enrolment Updates

  • 2020/21 qualifying earnings thresholds.
  • For 2020/21, the minimum required pension contribution level continues to be 8%, at least 3% of which must be contributed by the employer.
  • Various enrolment/contributions API submission and CSV formats have been updated to the latest versions to ensure continued compatibility with all pension scheme providers.
  • Additional one-off contributions can now be optionally persisted to following pay periods.
  • Makes it more clear on the Automatic Enrolment journey report when an assessment is part of automatic re-enrolment.

 

Define and Set Custom Leave Types on Employee Calendar

  • You can now define up to nine additional custom types of employee leave. Six of the custom types are set up with default descriptions, which you can edit, add to, or remove as need be.
  • Custom leave types act like the existing built-in kinds of leave, in that they are mutually exclusive and can only be applied to working days. They can be set on a per-employee basis, or batch set for multiple employees at once.
  • Custom leave types also appear on the employer calendar. Mouse-hover tooltips have been added to the various views of the employer calendar to help determine what each colour indicates where it's not clear.
  • A new Calendar Report (which replaces the previous Print Calendar functionality) gives you the power and flexibility to create and/or share a customised report of employee leave that can be filtered by type of leave, and presented individually for each employee, or as a summary containing multiple employees.

 

More Journal API Support

Along with the API support added for Sage, Quickbooks and Xero in 2019/20, BrightPay 2020/21 now supports posting journals directly via API to FreeAgent, Kashflow, Twinfield and AccountsIQ. The option to create a CSV journal is also still available where supported.

 

Update Employees from CSV File

BrightPay has traditionally only allowed new employees to be added from a CSV file. Now, you can both add new employees and update existing employees from a CSV file. (The same has been done for subcontractors).

 

BrightPay Connect

  • The Connect tab on the start-up window now directly shows your sign-in status.
  • The list of employers (in the Open/Create Employer tab of start-up window) now shows cloud icons for employers that are linked to the signed-in BrightPay account.
  • Ability to download and import a 2019/20 Connect backup into BrightPay 2020/21 (only applies for employers which have not yet been linked and synchronised for 2020/21).
  • When an employer is opened in BrightPay 2020/21 that is not linked to Connect, but it is known that the 2019/20 version of that file was linked to Connect, BrightPay will now automatically prompt you to link the 2020/21 file to Connect.

 

Other 2020/21 Updates in BrightPay

  • Annual leave entitlement calculations now include 'upcoming booked annual leave days', which can optionally be included on reports and payslips.
  • When zero-ising payslips (or subcontractor payments), new options to set amount to zero, or remove items altogether.
  • Ability to create an SSP1 document in BrightPay.
  • When importing payments from CSV, any lines which failed to import (e.g. due to not matching an employee pay record, or due to the matching pay record being already finalised) are now clearly indicated in the response dialog (instead of the previously unhelpful 'X of Y succeeded' message).
  • Public holidays on employee calendar are now shown with a dotted text underline (rather than appearing as if they were non-working days by default).
  • In analysis, if the column ordering settings of a report is manually changed from the 'default' settings (which are derived from employee UI display preferences), and then that report is saved, the custom ordering is now maintained, and this report will no longer receive 'default' column ordering settings when it is re-opened.
  • Ability to import saved reports from another BrightPay data file into the currently open file.
  • Allows one of the added emergency contacts for an employee to be set as the 'primary' contact. New analysis columns (and a new report) for emergency contact details have been added.
  • New 'notes' input for parenting leave and attachment orders.
  • Lots of minor improvements throughout the entire BrightPay user interface, as well as the latest bug fixes and security improvements.

 

Includes all updates made to BrightPay during the 2019/20 tax year

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 2019/20, we released many updates and enhancements throughout the tax year, all of which are of course included in BrightPay 2020/21. See our release notes for full details. Here's a quick reminder of some of the main areas of improvement:

  • Supports the latest UK and London Living Wage rates, announced in November 2019.
  • New flexibility and control over when an employee's P60 and P11D are to be made available in Self Service in Connect.
  • Ability to batch print, email and export P45 for multiple employees.
  • Ability to print, export or email currently open payslips (i.e. those which have not yet been finalised). Such payslips are decorated with a 'DRAFT' watermark.
  • Bureau features
    • New 'Bureau Statistics Report' which shows various totals for each employer for informational or billing purposes. Accessed via the BrightPay startup window employer menu, it can be viewed/printed or exported to CSV.
    • Ability to batch check for coding notices for multiple employers.
    • Ability to sort employers by label colour on the BrightPay startup window.
  • Improved interface and workflow for viewing/entering the 'average weekly earnings' for statutory parenting pay, including new warnings where BrightPay detects that there are more or fewer historic payment records than expected.
  • Several new payroll period summary column options for amounts "in previous period" (allowing you to compare current and previous period amounts on the period summary view). Also new column options for tax code, NI number, department, payment method and directorship.
  • Improves rounding of calculated weighted departmental amounts (which prevents penny differences both in analysis and when posting a departmental journal).
  • Ability to ignore BrightPay's "Auto enrolment scheme contributions are below minimum level" warning for any given membership (e.g. where employee has opted down).
  • Coding notices – where an employee is unable to be matched, the NINO or works number that HMRC have on file is now clearly shown to help determine why.
  • 'Contracted hours per week' and 'Is payment to a non-individual' fields are now available as column options in Analysis.
  • When using the ’Select By’ button in lists of employees, the ’Name Initial’ and ’Surname Initial’ options now show grouped selection choices (e.g. A–F, G–L, etc., depending on total number of selectable employees).

 

What's Next?

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.

Posted byRoss WebsterinPayroll SoftwareSoftware Upgrade


Mar 2020

10

Covid-19 - are you ready?

In light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, many employers are starting to prepare for the possibility of employees needing to work from home.

Have you Internet?

Whether you are a single employer or a bureau, you will need an internet connection for transmitting files to HMRC.

Are you using a computer other than your work computer?

Where you are using a different computer, BrightPay will need to be installed on that computer. This is a quick download from our website. Then, simply enter the activation key that was included on your invoice. If you can’t find this key, we can resend it to you.

Okay, you have an internet connection and a computer with BrightPay installed on it, what about the payroll file(s)?

Are you a single employer?

  • Using your work computer - you already have the file and need read no further.
  • Using Dropbox or Google Drive as your file save location - the files will automatically be available to you on any other machine which is also signed in to the shared drive.
  • Using Connect - you can simply restore your payroll data into your BrightPay software by signing into your Connect account at home through the software.

Alternatively, before leaving the office, simply copy the payroll file to a USB key or email it to yourself.

There are some useful help links at the bottom of this article to help with any of these options.

Are you a payroll bureau?

  • Using Connect – An Administrator can set relevant payroll staff members up as a user and give them access to the companies that they need to work on. Users can then simply restore the required payroll data into their BrightPay software from their Connect account and also synchronise completed payroll back up to Connect. Users will be able to log in to their Connect account at home through the software and restore in the latest cloud backup. Care however must be taken that synchronisation is up to date and that other users are not working on the same data file at the same time. When restoring in from a cloud backup, you will see the time and date of the most recent backup that was done. Setting up a user in Connect and Restoring from Connect are covered in the help articles below.
  • Using remote desktop – log in to your remote desktop as normal. No further action is required.
  • Using a shared drive (e.g. Dropbox) – Once your PC is logged in to the shared drive and BrightPay’s file save location was set as this drive, then all payroll files should be available within your home environment. You may need to browse to the shared file location when opening an employer.

Alternatively, before leaving the office, staff members may wish to save their payroll file(s) to an external drive, then follow the help below on Transferring BrightPay from one PC to another.


Help articles

Posted byPaul ByrneinCoronavirusPayroll Software


Mar 2020

10

Don’t let Covid-19 stop you from running payroll

As of 10 March, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus increased to 373 in the UK, with cases across Europe also surging. With the number of cases bound to escalate, it has been predicted that if the coronavirus outbreak worsens, up to a fifth of UK workers could be off sick.

With panic over coronavirus soaring, many workers are being asked to stay away from the office and do day-to-day tasks from the comfort of their home. Not going into the office is an effective way of preventing the spread of coronavirus, because it minimises the risk of you coming into contact with someone carrying the disease.

Flexible working is becoming a growing trend

The reality is, working from home is already very popular, potential pandemic or not. Flexible working is a trend that has emerged in the last decade as more people seek that ideal work-life balance instead of work-life burnout.

Nearly a quarter of Britain’s workforce now work flexibly, that is, they work part of the week in an office and part at home, highlighting how quickly this trend is growing. Flexible working brings many work-life balance benefits as employees have more time to see their family, exercise and dedicate time to themselves. Seven in 10 of those who work flexibly say they are less stressed as a result of their working arrangement.

As well as the health benefits, it often results in happier employees. They then potentially work harder and are more productive. For employers, flexible working also helps to attract and retain talented employees. Additionally, it can result in increased loyalty and reduced office space cost.

Businesses need to carefully consider which processes and tools will make flexible work as productive and positive as possible for their employees. You need to make sure that they have essentials such as laptops, a reliable internet connection and being able to connect to systems remotely. This would have been difficult a few years ago, but thanks to the cloud, you can have everything you need at all times.

Flexible working with BrightPay Payroll

Although the payroll itself cannot be processed online with BrightPay Connect, the payroll software is still very flexible. Each BrightPay licence can be installed on up to 10 PCs where users have the option to process the payroll from 10 separate locations meaning you don’t need cloud payroll to operate and process your payroll. In addition, you can log into your BrightPay Connect account to view your payroll information at any time. You no longer need to be seated at your desk in the office to access the system - all the data you need to do your job is available on any of the 10 PC’s that the BrightPay application is installed on.

If you are not using the BrightPay Connect add-on, you can still access the payroll data file through a cloud environment to process the payroll. Again, the software itself can be installed to the local C drive of up to 10 PCs, be it a home computer or a laptop. The payroll files can be stored on a secure server or cloud environment, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, where the payroll information can be accessed from multiple computers.

With BrightPay Connect’s automatic cloud backup, payroll information is stored online and can be accessed by employers anywhere, anytime. Employers can also use BrightPay Connect to remotely manage employee’s leave, upload employee documents and send communications to employees that are working remotely.

Will coronavirus lead to long-term changes?

Will 2020 be the year in which office employees working more from home becomes the norm? Although many employers have implemented a mandatory ‘work from home’ policy as a precaution against coronavirus, it could also be the turning point for many businesses to recognise just how beneficial flexible working can be.

Book a demo today to discover how you can process payroll remotely with BrightPay.

Posted byRachel HynesinCoronavirusPayrollPayroll Software