The furlough scheme has once again been extended, this time until the end of September 2021. The rules in relation to scheme eligibility, the levels of subsidy support, and the reference period used for newly eligible employees are all due to change between now and September.
1st November 2020 to 30th June 2021
Under the existing scheme rules, employers can claim grants covering 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is not working. Where the employee is not working, the employer does not have to contribute towards wages for unworked hours, but they are responsible for paying employer NICs and pension contributions. Where an employee is on flexible furlough, or also known as partial furlough, employers have to pay full pay for any hours worked.
The Government subsidy will continue at this level until 30th June 2021, but from 1st July, employers will be asked to contribute a percentage of their employees' wages as the scheme winds down.
1st July 2021 to 30th September 2021
For the month of July, the Government will contribute 70% of wages up to a maximum of £2,187.50 per month for unworked hours. The employer will also have to contribute 10% of wages so that the employee receives 80% of their usual wages for any hours not worked, (up to the cap of £2,500).
For August and September, the Government subsidy will drop to 60% up to a cap of £1,875 per month, with the employer having to top up the additional 20% so that the employee receives 80% of their wages (again, up to the cap of £2,500).
Employers must continue to pay the employer NICs and pension contributions on the Government subsidy for the hours not worked. Employers can also continue to choose to top up their employees’ wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense.
On or before 30th April 2021
For periods ending on or before 30th April 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 30th October 2020, as long as you have made an RTI submission to HMRC between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020, notifying HMRC of a payment made to that employee.
Employees made redundant, or who stopped working for you, after 23rd September 2020 can be rehired and placed on furlough under the scheme up until 30th April 2021. This is allowed as long as the employee was employed as of 23rd September 2020 and included in an RTI submission between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020.
On or after 1st May 2021
For periods starting on or after 1st May 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 2nd March 2021, as long as they were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission between 20th March 2020 and 2nd March 2021. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 2nd March 2021 to claim for periods starting on or after 1st May 2021.
The Government has not yet produced guidance for calculating hours for workers who were first on the payroll after 30th October 2020 but will do so shortly. This will only be relevant for workers furloughed for the first time from 1st May 2021 onwards.
Join the BrightPay team for a free webinar where they explore the upcoming changes to the furlough scheme, how BrightPay payroll software caters for CJRS and furlough, and answer any questions that you may have.
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.
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:
Rates from 1 April 2021 will be:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
We are delighted to reveal that we have been shortlisted for both ICB LUCA Payroll Software of the Year 2020 and ICB LUCA Friendliest Software of the Year 2020. Having won the LUCA Award for Payroll Software of the Year last year, 2019, we are hoping to make it two years running.
The LUCA Awards are the ‘Oscars’ of the bookkeeping profession and are presented in recognition of the year’s outstanding bookkeepers and the many organisations and vendors that complement the valuable work that they do. It will be down to ICB students and members to vote and determine which payroll software provider is the best and friendliest.
Our recent BrightPay customer survey suggests some of the reasons why we have been shortlisted:
The winners will be announced as part of the 11th Annual Bookkeeping Summit, being held virtually at the awards evening on 17th November. Best of luck to all the finalists!
Businesses are continuing to be massively impacted by COVID-19, and for many, their payroll solution may not be up to the challenge. At BrightPay, we believe that our COVID-19 response plan means that we are the perfect payroll partner to help you adapt to an ever-changing world.
Making simple changes and investing in payroll solutions with integrated cloud access can save money, improve productivity and increase profits. It is important to choose the right payroll software provider that will ensure COVID-19 does not slow down your bureau’s payroll processing.
Research different payroll software providers and compare them against what you are currently using. Choose the right payroll technology that not only streamlines your payroll processes but supports your business continuity needs.
Ask other providers what their customer satisfaction rating is, what are the hidden costs and how they are helping their customers through COVID-19.
''Complex CJRS claims, 4 weekly pay periods crossing into July, the beginning of flexible furloughing. We could be in the middle of a logistical nightmare, but thanks to @BrightPayUK our lives have been made considerably easier.’’ Lucy Stupples @autumn_ cottage – Twitter
‘‘BrightPay have made it easy for us during this difficult time. They have kept us up to date on their information hub on all matter COVID-19 related, with free webinars on CJRS matters and other resources.’’ Linda Nicholls – Trustpilot
''We have worked around the clock since COVID disrupted life as we know it to support our clients. However, it would have been a lot harder to provide that support if we didn’t use BrightPay. Well done team @ BrightPayUK.” Investment Bookkeeping @InBookkeeping – Twitter
Download the guide now: ‘Safeguard your payroll against COVID-19 and the (hidden) cons of the Job Support Scheme’
Originally introduced in March, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme & Furlough Leave has been extended beyond the original October deadline.
The Furlough scheme had been winding down over the last couple of months, with 70% government contribution to hours not worked in September and the employer paying 10%. In October the government paid 60% of the furloughed employees wages for their unworked hours, up to a maximum of £1,875, with employers contributing the remaining 20%.
The announcement made on 31st October in line with the second lockdown means that businesses can receive grants covering 80% of wages throughout November and the JSS implementation has been delayed to 1st December. The employer must pay for all the employer’s NIC and employer’s minimum workplace pension contributions on those wages and the grant will be for time not worked, up to £2,500 per month.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme allows all UK employers to access financial support to continue paying part of their employees' salary that would otherwise have been laid off due to the second lockdown. It prevents against layoffs and redundancies.
All UK companies are eligible: limited companies, sole traders who employee people, LLPs, partnerships and charities.
Employees who were on the employer’s payroll on 30 October 2020 will qualify to be included in CJRS claim for November; they don’t have to have been included in an earlier CJRS claim. The employee must have been paid by the employer, and that pay must have been reported on a RTI return before midnight on 30 October.
Furlough leave is available to all employees on a contract, including;
• full-time employees
• part-time employees
• employees on agency contracts
• employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
Flexible furlough will still run alongside full-time furlough, so staff may be brought back part-time to say, prepare the premises for the lifting of national restrictions, or to prepare for Christmas.
The same rules for flexible furlough will continue to apply as they have done since 1 July, so the employee may be furloughed for a couple of days or hours per week. No minimum time set for furloughed hours or working hours has been communicated.
However, each furlough claim must be for a period of at least seven consecutive calendar days.
• The employer must designate affected employees as furloughed workers.
• They should notify the employee that they have been marked as Furlough. Agreement from the employee may be required.
• HMRC must be notified of the employee designated as furloughed workers as well as details of their earnings. This is done through an online portal (not currently set up).
• HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, based on the February earnings of salaried workers, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
• Wages for those on variable hours, can be calculated based on the higher of either:
o the same month's earning from the previous year
o average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year
If the employee has been employed for less than a year, employers can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work.
• Employees remain employed, their continuity of service is not impacted.
• Employer may choose to top-up the other 20% of salary. If they don’t top-up the 20% it will be a deduction in wages.
• Wages paid through the scheme are subject to the usual income tax and other deductions.
Changing the status of employees to a furloughed worker remains subject to existing employment law. Generally, where an employee’s contract contains a layoff or short term clause employers should be able to place employees on furlough leave. Where there is no such clause, it is best advised to get agreement from the employee.
Additionally, a 20% reduction in salary will be a change in terms and conditions of employment. Where employers are not topping up the government payment, they should also seek agreement from the employee.
Given the current situation and the alternatives for those employees should they not agree, one can expect that most employees will agree. That said, prudent employers will seek to get their employees agreement as part of their furlough leave process.
A BrightPay UK (Windows) upgrade has just been released to cater for the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This upgrade also removes previously released Job Support Scheme (JSS) functionality.
During COVID-19, BrightPay have been running regular webinars to keep businesses and accountants up-to-date with the latest changes and the impact on payroll processing don’t miss the latest webinar.
18th November – 10.30am
In this webinar, we look at what you need to know about the re-instated Furlough scheme and 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 share top tips to ensure COVID-19 does not slow down payroll processing. Plus, we will explore the rise in redundancies and the new changes regarding statutory redundancy and notice pay for furloughed employees.
What you'll learn:
• What the extended CJRS means for your business
• Everything you need to know about the Job Support Scheme
• Tips for safeguarding your payroll
• How BrightPay’s Job Support Scheme Calculator & Claim Report works
• How to calculate notice pay and redundancy pay for furloughed employees
• Top tips to ensure COVID-19 does not slow down payroll processing
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.