Sep 2019

5

Changes to Student Loans from 6th April 2020

New rates for the tax year 2020/21 for Student Loan Plans 1 and 2 have been announced by the Department of Education. The Student Loan Plan 1 rate will rise to £19,390 on 6th April 2020 from £18,935. The current Plan 2 rate of £25,725 will also rise to £26,575. Earnings above the thresholds for both Plan 1 and Plan 2 for 2020/21 will be calculated as normal at 9%.

The rate of the postgraduate loan type introduced in the 2019/20 tax year of £21,000 will remain the same in 2020/21 and will continue to be calculated at 6%.

Summary of the Student Plan thresholds:

  • Plan 1 loans will increase by £455 from the current threshold of £18,935 to £19,390 in 2020/21.
  • Plan 2 loans will increase by £850 from the current threshold of £25,725 to £26,575 in 2020/21.

This figure will apply to all current and future borrowers for whom employers make Student
Loan deductions. In BrightPay 2020/21, the new student loan repayment thresholds for both plans will automatically be calculated and the appropriate student loan deduction applied.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPayroll


Jul 2019

18

Proposed Changes for the Employment Allowance for 2020-21

The Employment Allowance was introduced on 6 th April 2014 by HMRC as an allowance to reduce businesses’ and charities employers’ national insurance liability for the tax year. The employer Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) would be reduced up to the maximum of the allowance in the tax year. The allowance was introduced at £2,000 in the tax year 2014-15 but it was increased to £3,000 from 6 th April 2016 to the current tax year.

HMRC are in the process of drafting legislation to change the Employment Allowance for employers. The main change would be that to focus the Employment Allowance on small to medium businesses in the case that employers with a liability of Class 1 secondary National Insurance of £100,000 or more in the preceding tax year will not be able to claim the Employment Allowance. In order for an employer to be able to claim the Employment Allowance for the tax year, they must have space for the full Employment Allowance within their relevant de minimis state aid threshold.

HMRC intend for this legislation to come into effect from 6 th April 2020, once the regulations are published under powers in section 5 of the National Insurance Contributions Act 2014. In October 2019 a final version of the guidance will be published and made available for employers to view.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPayroll


Jun 2019

27

The P11D filing deadline is almost here

As an employer, if you provide expenses or benefits to employees or directors, you may need to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and pay tax and National Insurance on them. The means of reporting these details to HMRC is on a P11D and P11D(b) form. The P11D is a statutory form required by HMRC from UK based employers detailing the cash equivalents of benefits and expenses that they have provided during the tax year to their directors and employees. Your P11D(b) tells HMRC how much Class 1A National Insurance you need to pay on all the expenses and benefits you’ve provided.

The deadline for reporting these details to HMRC for the tax year 2018-19 is on or before the 6th July 2019. An employer will get a penalty of £100 per 50 employees from HMRC for each month or part month the P11D(b) is filed late. The employer needs to ensure that employees employed on 5th April 2019 receive their P11D / P9D by 6th July 2019. The deadline for the employer to submit payment to HMRC for the liability for Class1A National Insurance owed on benefits or expenses is 22nd of July (or 19th July if you pay by cheque).

Examples of expenses and benefits include:

  • company cars and fuel
  • health insurance
  • travel and entertainment expenses
  • childcare

Some business expenses or benefits do not need to be reported to HMRC such as business travel, business entertainment expenses, telephone bills and uniform and tools for work.

BrightPay can produce a P11D for sending to HMRC after year end, which includes your Class 1A NICs declaration and details of the expenses and benefits provided including cash equivalents. If the P11d(b) has been already submitted to HMRC from BrightPay and amendments have to be made you must submit using a paper form.

Click here for more information.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPayroll


Jun 2019

18

Payroll Implications of Brexit

If you have eyes and ears then you will have heard something about Brexit lately as the deadline looms ever closer. Britain is currently like a cat that waits at the door crying to be let out but once the door is open, decides it doesn’t want to leave anymore. But never mind all these bigwigs in Westminster saying how this will affect that and so on; today I want to talk about what Brexit means for the unsung heroes of HR, in particular, payroll. How will leaving the EU affect their everyday work life? Well, there are a few key areas to note:

Data Protection - I mean, obviously. This has been pretty much every payroll department’s waking nightmare for the past year since GDPR was introduced. If you have been a good little payroll bureau then you will have all your ducks in a row. But even still, once we leave the EU, it’s up to the European Commission (EC) whether it grants the UK an ‘Adequacy Decision’ to transfer data around the region as the country will no longer be an EU member. So all going to plan it should be ok. But we all know that nothing has gone to plan so far, so in the event we weren’t given an Adequacy Decision, transferring data could become administratively burdensome for employers, especially global ones who rely on data exchanges across borders.

Payment processing - Money’s great isn’t it? Especially when someone puts it conveniently into your bank account. Do you know who loves money? Payroll. It’s their whole world! And what makes it easy to move money to all its lovely employees is being a member of the Single Euro Payments Area or SEPA. This is a body made up of EU member states (and a few non-EU ones too) that streamlines the sending and receiving of payments across SEPA regions meaning that payments are processed in the same way as UK payments. Therefore, continued membership of SEPA is of paramount importance to payroll providers and something they’ll be keeping an eye on.

Employment law - Payroll is made up of tons of HR stuff like holiday pay and maternity pay etc. And where we get the rulebook on these processes is from EU directives on employment law. Although these laws have been great, freedom from EU Directives means that the British government could decide to revisit some laws and make some reforms where necessary. Or maybe not! Who knows. Britain may want to maintain their obsequious stance to the EU to make life easier but it is still an interesting point.

Anything else? How you deal with EU staff (which you can read more about here). Social security payments made in Member states could see a big shift. Along with this, payroll functions that operate across more than one country with, say, expatriate staff could be in for a wild ride. But the most startling obvious thing at the moment is that nothing is really clear at all and none of us can predict what will come out of the woodwork.

The best way to safeguard your payroll against all this uncertainty is to make sure all your HR processes are in place and your payroll software is up-to-date and ready for changes).

Posted byAoibheann ByrneinPayroll


Nov 2018

1

What are the biggest GDPR advantages of BrightPay Connect?

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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Posted byHolly McHughinAnnual LeaveGDPRPayrollPayroll Software


Oct 2018

19

Announced Change to Apprenticeship Levy

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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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPayroll


Sep 2018

21

BrightPay wins ‘Payroll Software Product of the Year’

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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Posted byRachel HynesinPayrollPayroll Software


Aug 2018

16

Threshold to rise for Student Loan repayment in Scotland

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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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPayroll


Nov 2017

20

Additional annual leave for non smokers

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?

 

Posted byNiamh ShortallinAnnual LeavePayroll


Sep 2017

27

What do you mean…. “Do I have a backup?”

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 :

Posted byDonna WalshinPayroll