BrightPay and other companies were required to offer essential functions such as supporting all RTI submission types, full automatic enrolment functionality and HMRC recognised.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
Thursday 5th November 11am
What you'll learn:
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.
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.
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
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.
Before diving into the positives and negatives of the new Job Support Scheme I want to recap on what it is.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
The Kickstart Scheme allows an employer or group of employers to create new placements for young people and can apply for funding from the scheme. The people who are currently receiving Universal Credit and are in danger of long-term unemployment can be placed in these 6-month job placements. The jobs placements will allow the participants to gain experience and skills that will assist them in finding employment when they have completed the scheme.
Under the Kickstart Scheme funding for 25 hours per week for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage category in addition to Employer National Insurance contributions and Employer automatic enrolment pension minimum contributions is available per participant. Funding of £1,500 for setup, support and training costs per placement is available too. This scheme is available to employers in England, Scotland and Wales.
In order to apply for funding under this scheme an employer must have a minimum of 30 job placements. If an employer cannot offer the 30 job placements, they can become partners with other employers in order to reach the minimum number of placements required. Other organisations could include similar employers, registered charities, local authorities and trade bodies. Information about applying for a grant as a group of employers can be found here.
A company, regardless of their size, can apply for funding under the Kickstart Scheme. The job placements created by employers under this scheme have to be for new jobs and cannot be to replace existing or planned jobs or result in any existing employee or contractor to lose or reduce their employment.
The job placements must be:
Every application ought to include how the employer will aid the participants grow their skills and experience. Development options to be supplied by the organisations include providing support to the participants to seek long-term work and support with CV and interview preparation and assisting participants with basic functions such as timekeeping, attendance and teamwork.
HMRC have advised that if an employee needs to take time off sick or to self-isolate due to COVID-19, the first 3 waiting days that normally apply for SSP will be disregarded and the employee will be entitled to receive SSP from the first day.
We have programmed BrightPay 20/21 so that there is a new option for ‘COVID-19 Related Sick Leave’ and, by choosing this option, the software will automatically apply any SSP due to the employee from day one. Whereas, if you were to choose the normal SSP, the software will take into account the usual 3 waiting days.
With the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, the employer can claim for up to 2 weeks sick leave for an employee that cannot work due to COVID-19, and also those who are self-isolating or shielding, subject to eligibility criteria.
An SSP Claim Report is available in BrightPay to assist users in ascertaining the amounts needed for input into HMRC's Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme online service.
Processing COVID-19 related Statutory Sick Pay is easy in BrightPay. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you do it.
Processing COVID-19 Related Sick Leave in BrightPay
It is important to note that if existing payment records have not been recorded in BrightPay or if there is insufficient historical payroll data to determine the employee's average weekly earnings, the automatic calculation may be inaccurate or not possible. In this instance, you can manually override the employee’s average weekly earnings.
BrightPay’s Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme Claim Report
As mentioned, BrightPay also has a claim report to assist users in determining the amounts that you can reclaim through the Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme. This report can be found within the ‘Employees’ tab in BrightPay.
Each claim report generated in the software is stand-alone and no data is saved each time a claim report is run. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have exported the report, so that you don’t lose the information.
Furloughed employees retain their statutory rights, including their right to Statutory Sick Pay, and so furloughed employees who become ill must be paid at least the rate of SSP, subject to them meeting the eligibility criteria. You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the SSP rebate scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time.
If an employee becomes sick while furloughed, it is up to the employers to decide whether to move these employees onto Statutory Sick Pay or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate. If the employee is moved onto SSP, employers can no longer claim for the furloughed salary. Whereas, if the employee is kept on the furloughed rate, they remain eligible for the employer to claim for these costs through the furlough scheme.
Want to keep up-to-date with the latest updates regarding COVID-19 and businesses? We’re holding regular webinars to share with you all news relating to HMRC updates, what employers need to know and how you can make sure you’re complying with best practices at all times.
Click here to watch our previous webinars on-demand, where we cover everything from important COVID-19 payroll updates to return to work government policies and more.
To receive email notifications letting you know when we’re holding our next webinar, sign-up to our mailing list and ensure you don’t miss out on the latest updates for your business.
HMRC has issued details regarding the latest Advisory Fuel Rates for company cars. From the 1st June 2020 employers may use the old rates or new rates for one month. 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.
The rates are as below:
|Engine size||Petrol - amount per mile||LPG - amount per mile|
|1400cc or less||10 pence||6 pence|
|1401cc to 2000cc||12 pence||8 pence|
|Over 2000cc||17 pence||11 pence|
|Engine size||Diesel - amount per mile|
|1600cc or less||8 pence|
|1601cc to 2000cc||9 pence|
|Over 2000cc||12 pence|
For fully electric cars the Advisory Electricity Rate is 4 pence per mile. But electricity is not a fuel for car fuel benefit purposes.
From 6th April 2020 the eligibility rules for an employer claiming the Employment Allowance will change. Employers will have to check if they meet the correct criteria in order to check if they are eligible to claim the allowance. Some of the eligibility rules are as follows:
In Budget 2020 it was announced that the Employment Allowance will increase from £3,000 to £4,000 from 6th April 2020 thus helping to reduce the employers’ (secondary) Class 1 National Insurance contributions liabilities.
In the tax years before 2020-21 the Employment Allowance claim auto-renewed, as in the employer did not have to make separate claims every tax year. But this is changing from 6th April 2020 onwards. The method of claiming through the Employer Payment Summary remains the same but the employer will have to make a new claim for the Employment Allowance to HMRC each tax year.
The new legislation of The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2020 was laid to Parliament on 3rd March 2020 and the changes will come into force on 6th April 2020.
In this legislation the maximum amount weekly pay for redundancy payment calculations will increase by £13 from £525 to £538 from 6th April. This law applies to England, Scotland and Wales.
Currently, where an ex gratia payment is made on termination of employment (on top of notice pay), the first £30,000 can be paid free of income tax and any amount above this is taxable. However, the entire payment is currently exempt from national insurance contributions. From 6 April 2020, the first £30,000 of any ex gratia termination payment (including any redundancy payment) will still be free of income tax and national insurance but any amount above this will be subject to Class 1A employer national insurance contributions.
Employees that are employed by their employer for two years or more are normally entitled to statutory redundancy payments. The age of the person can determine the monetary amount they received based on the following:
In England, Scotland and Wales the maximum an employee can be awarded for statutory redundancy is £15,750 and £16,410 in Northern Ireland. Statutory redundancy payments are capped at 20 years length of services.
In England, Scotland and Wales the maximum an employee can be awarded for compensation for unfair dismissal has increased by £2,075 to £88,519 from 6th April onwards.
An increase of £1 for the employment protection daily rate amount will apply to England, Scotland and Wales from the start of 2020-21. The new daily rate is £30.
At present there are no details of changes to the statutory maximum weekly amount or the employment protection daily rate amount for Northern Ireland. The maximum rate operating in 2019-20 was £547 per week and £29 respectively.
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.
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.
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 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.