BrightPay Connect is an online payroll and HR tool that offers significant benefits to help your business comply with the GDPR legislation. BrightPay Connect is an add-on product to the payroll software. The main objective of BrightPay Connect is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of payroll work within the remit of the GDPR guidelines.
Automatic Cloud Backup
Are you keeping your payroll files safe and protected? It is important to keep them protected in case of the event of fire, theft, cyber-attacks and damaged computers. BrightPay Connect is the solution. It is hosted on Microsoft Azure for ultimate performance and reliability. BrightPay Connect keeps a chronological history of all backups which can be restored at anytime.
Employee Self-Service Portal
Are you trying to find ways to improve your time-management skills? You can invite employees to their own self-service online portal which can be accessed using a smartphone app or any web browser. Employees will be able to securely access and download payslips, P60s, P45s, submit annual leave requests and view leave taken and leave remaining.
Bureau / Employer Dashboard
Are you looking for an easy and secure way to share documents? BrightPay Connect provides a self-service dashboard to both accountants and employers so they can access payslips, payroll reports, amounts due to HMRC, annual leave requests and employee contact details. You can also securely share resources, upload HR documents and get payroll data approval from the client electronically.
24/7 Online Access
Do you want to be in control at anytime and anywhere? BrightPay Connect allows mobile and online access at anytime of the day. This fulfils the GDPR best practice recommendation to provide remote access to a secure system where individuals have direct access to their personal payroll data.
Data Input (coming soon)
For bureaus, clients can upload or manually input their employees’ hours and payment details. This is offering an additional layer of GDPR protection. Once the hours are added/imported, information can be automatically synchronised to the employer file on the bureau’s PC, ready for processing. Bureaus can then securely send a payroll summary back to the client for approval through BrightPay Connect. This will eliminate the need to exchange emails, reduce the double entry requirement and minimise errors from manual data input.
HR & Annual Leave Management
BrightPay Connect also includes an employee calendar, which can keep record of all employees past and future leave including annual leave, unpaid leave, absence leave, sick leave and parenting leave. Employers can upload sensitive HR documents such as contracts of employment. Access can be restricted for certain users.
There is a considerable business opportunity for payroll bureaus to increase revenue while complying with the GDPR. There are significant discounts for bulk purchases.
If you are interested in BrightPay Connect, why not attend one of our free online demos!
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The Chancellor Philip Hammond announced at the Conservative Party Conference that from April 2019 large employers paying the apprenticeship levy will be able to transfer up to 25% of their apprenticeship levy funds to businesses in their supply chain.
He is reported to have said “We have heard the concerns about how the apprenticeship levy is working, so today we’ve set out a series of measures to allow firms more flexibility in how the levy is spent. But we know we may need to do more to ensure that the levy supports the development of the skilled workforce our economy needs.”
The apprenticeship levy is paid by employers and will help fund new apprenticeships in the future. This levy of 0.5% is charged on employers’ pay bills which will be based on the total employee earnings subject to Class 1 secondary NICs. The levy is payable through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and is payable alongside Income Tax and National Insurance.
Currently, an employer paying the apprenticeship levy can transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship service funds to one other employer. In June this year Skills Minister Anne Milton announced that from July 2018 an employer paying the apprenticeship levy can make transfers up to 10% to multiple employers. This transfer option is the first large flexibility HMRC have offered to employers to assist in making apprenticeships work better for everyone.
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BrightPay was announced the winner of ‘Payroll Software of the Year’ at this year’s AccountingWEB’s Software Excellence Awards. The winner was decided by a public vote held by AccountingWEB, whereby members were asked to rate the software systems that they use to determine the best products on the market.
It’s a great achievement for BrightPay to win this prestigious award, especially since it is a relatively new payroll system which was introduced just six years ago. BrightPay also has a 99% customer satisfaction rate, and is used to process payroll for over 120,000 businesses across the UK and Ireland.
Marketing Manager at BrightPay, Karen Bennett says: “We’re delighted to win this award, especially after coming so close last year. It’s fantastic for BrightPay and our team to be recognised by our customers and the AccountingWEB members, and a massive thank you to everyone who voted for us.”
Paul Byrne, Managing Director, says: “It’s a real pleasure and honour to receive this award. It’s great to see such recognition for all the hard work we have put in. We work hard each year to improve the BrightPay experience for all of our customers, both in terms of the payroll software itself and the customer support that we offer.”
We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who voted for us this year and to all of our customers. Go team BrightPay!!
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From April 2021 the student loan repayment threshold will rise to £25,000 in Scotland. Before graduates start to pay back their loans they will have to earn at least £25,000. The First Minister announced this change along with plans to reduce the maximum repayment period for student loans by 5 years, from 35 years to 30 years.
Currently, the student loan repayment threshold is £18,330 for Student Loan Plan 1 for 2018-19. Student Loan Plan 1 is for pre-2012 loans, the threshold for 2017-18 was £17,775.
For Student Loan Plan 2, the current student loan repayment threshold is £21,000 for 2018-19. The student loan repayment threshold for postgraduate loans is also £21,000, these loans are due for repayment through the PAYE system from April 2019.
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A Japanese company is rewarding its non-smoking employees with an extra six days annual leave a year with pay.
This all came about when an employee from a marketing firm based in Tokyo, used the company's suggestion box to point out that his co-workers who smoked, worked much less than the non-smokers. The employee went on to outline how smokers took time away from their desks while the non-smokers had to hold down the fort.
In a clever twist, instead of punishing the smokers by deducting their pay or insisting that they make up the extra time, the company decided to reward the non-smokers by giving them an extra six days off a year with pay.
Chief Executive Officer Takao Asuka also feels that this might encourage some of the smokers to quit because of the incentive.
The Huffingting Post has reported that 30 of the 120 employees are eligible for the extra six days off, and four employees have already quit smoking since the policy was put in place.
Is this something that you would consider in your workplace?
One of the most common calls I get on the support line is from a distressed customer who tells me they have lost their payroll information. Reasons for the loss of this information are varied and could be anything from a laptop being stolen, a virus attacking the computer, holding files to ransom or fire or water damage to the computers in the office.
The first question I’ll ask on a call of this type will be “do you have a backup?”. Honestly, I can’t tell you the number of people that say “No” to this. People are also mistakenly under the impression that we have a copy of their payroll data. Unfortunately this is never the case, we do not have access to the employer’s payroll information so this can add to the customer's stress levels as you can imagine!
We would always stress the importance of taking a backup of your payroll information.
You would have your computers and office equipment insured against anything happening so why would you not do the same for your data? Think of your backup as your information’s insurance policy, after all it is almost irreplaceable or at the very least a major inconvenience to try and rebuild your payroll.
In a lot of cases, the call to our customer support line comes too late for us to be of any real assistance and the only advice we have to give is to start over and process payroll from the beginning again.
We never think anything like this will happen to us, but take it from me, it does, so go ahead and take out that insurance policy and backup before it is too late!
The following links will guide you to taking a backup in your software or book a demo of BrightPay Connect our latest cloud add on that offers an automated online backup feature :
BrightPay Connect our latest cloud add-on works alongside BrightPay Payroll. Payroll information is stored in the cloud and can be accessed online by you and your clients anywhere. BrightPay Connect offers additional innovative payroll and HR features that will enhance client relationships and increase revenue for your bureau.
Secure online Backup
Don't worry about manually backing up or losing your client payroll data again. Simply link an employer to BrightPay Connect, then the payroll data will be automatically synchronised to the cloud as you run your payroll or make any changes. Payroll files are automatically backed up every 15 minutes when open and again when closed down, offering cloud security against ransomware and cyber attacks. A chronological history of backups will be maintained which can be restored at any time.
Access your online multi-company dashboard which gives an overview of clients’ payroll information in one place. BrightPay Payroll and BrightPay Connect are automatically synced to capture annual leave and changes to employee details.
Client / Employer Access
Invite clients to their own company dashboard where they have online access to an overview of their employer details, employee requests, employee contact details, employee payslips and any outstanding amounts due to HMRC. Payroll reports that have been set up and saved in the payroll are automatically available on BrightPay Connect.
Employee Online Access
Employees can access their own personal self service portal from any computer, tablet or smartphone. They can view and retrieve their historic payslips and other payroll documents such as a P60, P45, or P11d which can be exported to PDF and printed. Employees can easily submit holiday requests, view leave taken and leave remaining as well as amend personal contact details.
Annual Leave Management
Your client can view a company leave calendar allowing them to effectively manage their staffing resources and plan ahead to ensure there is sufficient staff cover at all times. Once an employee requests leave, clients can authorise or reject the request which then flows back to the payroll. Clients will have full visibility of how much leave an employee has taken, the number of annual leave days remaining and how frequently an employee is on sick leave.
BrightPay Connect has built-in features giving your clients a ready-to-go HR solution. HR documents can be uploaded including employee handbooks and contracts, disciplinary documents, company newsletters, training material and more. Clients can also manage all leave for their employees including sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave and paternity leave.
Benefits for Payroll Bureaus
BrightPay Connect introduces powerful new online features that offers a range of benefits for your bureau, your clients and your clients’ employees.
The two things that our bureau customers really rave about are (1) you are up and running in seconds, as this is all the time it takes to sync all of your client data to the cloud and and (2) you, your clients and their employees can access their payroll information from anywhere, from any device.
Firms are being urged to relax workplace dress codes to help staff cope with the heatwave, the TUC has urged firms to temporarily relax their dress codes and leave work all together if it gets too hot.
The advice will come as a particular relief for male office workers who are often expected to wear shirts, suits and ties to work.
Heatwaves are generally easier for female workers to dress for, as they are able to switch to smart short-sleeved dresses.
It comes as Sunday saw a high of 32C, the hottest day of the year so far and emergency services are on standby after the Government issued a level three amber heat alert as temperatures are set to increase further this week.
Temperatures are due to peak at 34C in certain parts of the UK – hotter than the Bahamas – before cooling down at least a few degrees by next weekend.
As well as allowing comfortable clothes, the TUC has suggested that any outside work is done in the morning or afternoon to avoid the searing heat of the mid-day sun.
The union organisation again called for a change in the law to let workers go home if the temperature reaches 30C or 27C for people carrying out physical work. At present there is no upper temperature limit at which workers have a right to leave work.
It also called for a change in the law to introduce a maximum indoor temperature, with employers obliged to adopt cooling measures when a workplace temperature reaches 24C.
Companies should supply workers with cool drinks and allow them to take regular breaks, advised the TUC.
As we move into the new tax year, employers and payroll bureaus across the UK are reviewing their software packages to ensure their payroll processing is working at maximum efficiently. There are many things to compare between different packages, such as price, ease of use, automation and support.
BrightPay’s development team have been working hard this past year to add as many new features that benefit our customers into the 2017/18 version of BrightPay. The ease of switching to BrightPay was a key priority for us to simplify the transfer process from other software packages.
Importing from Moneysoft & HMRC Basic PAYE Tools
If you are switching from HMRC Basic PAYE Tools or Moneysoft, we now have a seamless import, bringing in both employer and employee information for multiple company files instantly. Watch this video to see how easily you can import from HMRC Basic PAYE Tools straight into BrightPay.
Importing from other software packages
When switching from other payroll software packages, the first step is to set up your employer information. For bureaus with multiple employers, you can access your database or csv file with a list of your clients along with their payroll information, then you can easily set up the employers using our new bulk employer import feature.
Once you have the ability to export the employer data from your payroll you can import a csv file or FPS file into BrightPay. This will allow you to instantly add all of your employee information into the payroll compared with manually typing in all of the information. If your current payroll software allows you to export your payroll information (such as Sage, IRIS, etc), the easiest way to import employees is via CSV file. This will import all employee information, including year-to-date figures if the transfer is mid-year.
If you cannot export such a file from your current payroll software, then you have the option to import using a Full Payment Submission (FPS) file. This will import all the information that is included on an FPS to HMRC, including NI letter, tax code and year to date figures. However, this method will not import information not included on the FPS, such as employee email addresses, bank details, annual leave entitlement, departmental allocation etc.
Along with an improved transfer process, we have also introduced a number of exciting new features this year, including the ability to batch send RTI submissions, export a payroll journal to accounting packages, automatically retrieve coding notices and much more.
BrightPay 2017/18 is Now Available
You can now purchase BrightPay 2017/18. The bureau licence is just £229 + VAT, per tax year including unlimited employers, unlimited employees, free auto enrolment and free phone and email support. The single employer licence is is £99 + VAT, per tax year and includes unlimited employees, free auto enrolment and free phone and email support.
The main points to be noted by employers from Spring Budget 2017 announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond are:
• The personal tax allowance will increase by £500 from £11,000 to £11,500 from 6th April 2017 as previously announced, this is in line with the government's goal to have the personal tax allowance at £12,500 by 2020.
• The Dividend Allowance will decrease by £3,000 from £5,000 to £2,000 from 6th April 2018. This means that there is no tax payable on dividend payments up to £2,000 from April 2018 onwards. Any dividends above this allowance will be taxed at 7.5% for basic-rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher-rate taxpayers and 38.1% for additional-rate taxpayers.
• There were no changes regarding company car and van charges or fuel charges.
• In the Finance Bill 2017, legislation will be introduced by the government about dates where an employee can make a payment in return for a Benefit in Kind they receive, this can reduce the taxable value of the Benefit in Kind. The 6th of July after the end of that tax year has been decided by the government, so if employees make a payment for the BIK before that date, they can reduce the taxable value of the BIK or remove if payment in full is made. This will be for the 2017-18 tax year and following tax years.
• Termination payments over £30,000 which are subject to income tax currently from April 2018 will be subject to Employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) The first £30,000 of a termination payment will remain exempt from Income Tax and NICs. In the Finance Bill 2017, the tax treatment of termination payments will be clarified and this will include all contractual and non-contractual payments in lieu of notice taxable as earnings and requiring employers to tax the equivalent of an employee’s basic pay if notice is not worked. The changes, including to Foreign Service Relief, will take effect from 6 April 2018.
• The Money Purchase Annual Allowance to £4,000 will be reduced from April 2017, down from £10,000. This restricts the amount of tax relieved contributions an individual can make in a year into a money purchase pension, if they have flexibly accessed their pension savings.
• The Government is carrying out the first statutory review of State Pension Age and the details will be published in their review by 7th May 2017.
• HMRC's compliance team are monitoring employers that are claiming the Employment Allowance, as it has been reported that some employers are using avoidance schemes to avoid paying National Insurance amounts due.