Sep 2017

26

42 Year Low in UK Unemployment

The UK's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1975, according to official figures which also show a growing gap between price rises and wage growth. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in the three months to July, down from 4.4% in the previous quarter and 4.9% a year earlier.

The employment rate, which measures the proportion of people aged 16- 64 in work, hit 75.3% - the highest since comparable records began in 1971. In total, there are 32.1 million people at work in the UK, according to the figures, or 181,000 more than the previous quarter.

While that performance suggests the labour market is continuing to shrug off uncertainties and other headwinds in the wake of the Brexit vote, the figures also highlighted a worsening squeeze for family budgets. It is also reported that average wage growth remained static at an annual rate of 2.1% over the same three months. With inflation coming in at 2.9%, the real value of wage growth is falling.

Posted byCaoimhe ByrneinEmployment UpdatePay/WageWages


May 2017

29

Hiring An Apprentice:

If you are considering employing an apprentice there are some things you should know:

 

  • An apprentice will be aged 16 or over
  • An apprentice must be paid at least the minimum wage for their age  
  • An apprentice must work with experienced staff, learn job specific skills and study for a work based qualification during the working week
  • An apprentice must work for at least 16 hours per week and will usually work for 30 hours
  • An apprentice must be paid for time spent training or studying
  • An apprentice must be provided with the same conditions as other employees i.e. paid holiday, sick pay and any benefits such as childcare voucher schemes.

 

If you employ an apprentice you may be eligible for an apprenticeship grant of £1,500 if you have less than 50 employees and your apprentice is aged between 16 and 24.  

If you are providing the training you can apply for training funding to cover some or all of the training costs.  Further information is available on the HMRC website.

Employers who have an apprentice will not be required to pay employers National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on their earnings if they are under 25, earning below £45,000 and on an approved UK government apprenticeship.  National Insurance category ‘H’ is to be used for apprentices under 25 in qualifying circumstances.

Posted byCaoimhe ByrneinHMRCNICPay/WageWages


Apr 2013

22

HMRC clarifies RTI NI number issues

HMRC has been forced to issue a clarification about national insurance number verification requests after being contacted by worried employers trying to meet the Real Time Information (RTI) requirements.

The employers have been receiving rejections in response to their requests. This, says HMRC, is correct. They are being rejected because the employers are sending their requests in before they have made their first full payment submission (FPS).

“You cannot send a national insurance number verification request (NVR) until you have started to send PAYE information in real time,” HMRC advises. “Wait two weeks after sending your first FPS before sending an NVR.”

It points employers to its guidance, Making Sure You Use the Correct National Insurance Number

HMRC also says that it has been receiving phone calls from employees trying to find out what their NI number is after being told by their employer that they must have one for when the employer submits the RTI returns.

Although HMRC does want employers to provide correct NI numbers in their PAYE submissions, it stresses that there will be occasions when an NI number is not available. For example, the employee will not have been allocated one if they are under 16 years old.

Again, it points employers towards the NI guidance to make it clear that they should leave the NI number field blank and not be tempted to fill it in with a dummy or incorrect number.

Bright Contracts – Employment Contracts and Handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software.

Posted byAnn TigheinPAYEPayrollPayroll SoftwarePRSIReal time informationRTIWages


Apr 2013

17

Minimum Wage to be Increased by the Government

The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will rise by 5p to £5.03, and by 4p to £3.72 for 16 and 17-year-olds.

Ministers said they had rejected a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission that the rate for apprentices should be frozen, announcing a 3p an increase to £2.68 an hour.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The independent Low Pay Commission plays a crucial role in advising the Government when setting the national minimum wage every year. It balances wages of low paid workers against employment prospects if the rate was set too high.

"We are accepting its recommendations for the adult and youth rate increases, which I am confident strikes this balance. However, there is worrying evidence that a significant number of employers are not paying apprentices the relevant minimum wage rate.

"Apprenticeships are at the heart of our goal to support a stronger economy, and so it is important to continue to make them attractive to young people.

"Therefore, I am not taking forward the LPC's recommendation to freeze the apprenticeship rate due to non-compliance, but instead am raising it in line with the youth rates. We are working on a series of tough new measures to ensure we tackle non-compliance issues across the board."

Tim Thomas of the manufacturers' organisation the EEF, commented: "Today's announcement strikes a delicate balance between the need for an element of pay progression and the limitations employers face in accommodating pay rises.

"The modest increase in the apprenticeship rate is unlikely to negatively affect apprenticeship recruitment and of much greater importance is the raising of apprenticeships standards, better information and advice to students and ensuring that apprenticeships are truly employer-led and employer-driven."

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Boosting the incomes of the low paid goes straight into the economy and wage-led growth must be part of the recovery so we would have liked to have seen minimum wage rates go up further today, even if the Government has rightly rejected calls for a freeze.

"But we are pleased that ministers have increased the apprenticeship rate. This sends a positive signal about the importance of apprentices.

"We will continue to press ministers for more action to ensure the minimum wage is properly enforced - particularly for apprentices where there is considerable evidence that many miss out. It is time to get tough with wage-cheat employers who break this law.

"We will continue to urge the many employers who can afford it to implement a full living wage for their staff."

The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will rise by 5p to £5.03, and by 4p to £3.72 for 16 and 17-year-olds.

Ministers said they had rejected a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission that the rate for apprentices should be frozen, announcing a 3p an increase to £2.68 an hour.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The independent Low Pay Commission plays a crucial role in advising the Government when setting the national minimum wage every year. It balances wages of low paid workers against employment prospects if the rate was set too high.

"We are accepting its recommendations for the adult and youth rate increases, which I am confident strikes this balance. However, there is worrying evidence that a significant number of employers are not paying apprentices the relevant minimum wage rate.

"Apprenticeships are at the heart of our goal to support a stronger economy, and so it is important to continue to make them attractive to young people.

"Therefore, I am not taking forward the LPC's recommendation to freeze the apprenticeship rate due to non-compliance, but instead am raising it in line with the youth rates. We are working on a series of tough new measures to ensure we tackle non-compliance issues across the board."

Tim Thomas of the manufacturers' organisation the EEF, commented: "Today's announcement strikes a delicate balance between the need for an element of pay progression and the limitations employers face in accommodating pay rises.

"The modest increase in the apprenticeship rate is unlikely to negatively affect apprenticeship recruitment and of much greater importance is the raising of apprenticeships standards, better information and advice to students and ensuring that apprenticeships are truly employer-led and employer-driven."

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Boosting the incomes of the low paid goes straight into the economy and wage-led growth must be part of the recovery so we would have liked to have seen minimum wage rates go up further today, even if the Government has rightly rejected calls for a freeze.

"But we are pleased that ministers have increased the apprenticeship rate. This sends a positive signal about the importance of apprentices.

"We will continue to press ministers for more action to ensure the minimum wage is properly enforced - particularly for apprentices where there is considerable evidence that many miss out. It is time to get tough with wage-cheat employers who break this law.

"We will continue to urge the many employers who can afford it to implement a full living wage for their staff."

The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will rise by 5p to £5.03, and by 4p to £3.72 for 16 and 17-year-olds.

Ministers said they had rejected a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission that the rate for apprentices should be frozen, announcing a 3p an increase to £2.68 an hour.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The independent Low Pay Commission plays a crucial role in advising the Government when setting the national minimum wage every year. It balances wages of low paid workers against employment prospects if the rate was set too high.

"We are accepting its recommendations for the adult and youth rate increases, which I am confident strikes this balance. However, there is worrying evidence that a significant number of employers are not paying apprentices the relevant minimum wage rate.

"Apprenticeships are at the heart of our goal to support a stronger economy, and so it is important to continue to make them attractive to young people.

"Therefore, I am not taking forward the LPC's recommendation to freeze the apprenticeship rate due to non-compliance, but instead am raising it in line with the youth rates. We are working on a series of tough new measures to ensure we tackle non-compliance issues across the board."

Tim Thomas of the manufacturers' organisation the EEF, commented: "Today's announcement strikes a delicate balance between the need for an element of pay progression and the limitations employers face in accommodating pay rises.

"The modest increase in the apprenticeship rate is unlikely to negatively affect apprenticeship recruitment and of much greater importance is the raising of apprenticeships standards, better information and advice to students and ensuring that apprenticeships are truly employer-led and employer-driven."

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Boosting the incomes of the low paid goes straight into the economy and wage-led growth must be part of the recovery so we would have liked to have seen minimum wage rates go up further today, even if the Government has rightly rejected calls for a freeze.

"But we are pleased that ministers have increased the apprenticeship rate. This sends a positive signal about the importance of apprentices.

"We will continue to press ministers for more action to ensure the minimum wage is properly enforced - particularly for apprentices where there is considerable evidence that many miss out. It is time to get tough with wage-cheat employers who break this law.

"We will continue to urge the many employers who can afford it to implement a full living wage for their staff."

Bright Contracts – Employment Contracts and Handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software.

Posted byCaroline MaloneinEmployee ContractsEmployment ContractPAYEPayrollPayroll SoftwareWages


Apr 2013

4

RTI: STARTER PROCESS AMENDED

HMRC has amended its guidance on the starter process to help increase accuracy for individuals with a P45 and more than one job. In such cases, instead of selecting statement C and operating code BR, the employer should select statement B and operate the tax code on the P45 – unless the tax code on the P45 is BR, 0T or D prefix – in which case statement C would still apply.

Individuals without a P45 or with an old P45 will continue to complete the starter declaration to confirm their employment situation. The full guidance on the starter process will be updated and available from 6 April 2013 here.

Please be aware the guidance linked above will not be updated to reflect this change until 6 April 2013. HMRC acknowledges that the starter process guidance has gone through several iterations and for 2013-14 says it will accept if an employer’s payroll does not follow this new process.

Bright Contracts – Employment Contracts and Handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software.

Read more at www.hmrc.gov.uk >

Posted byAnn TigheinHMRCPAYEPayrollPayroll SoftwarePRSIRTISMEWages


Mar 2013

19

BrightPay 13/14 is Now Available

We are delighted to announce that BrightPay 13/14 has obtained full HMRC recognition for RTI submissions and is now available to download.

 

Preparing for RTI

From 6th April, all payments to employees must be reported to HMRC using RTI. Although we have worked hard to make your RTI experience with BrightPay as painless as possible, there are a few things you need to do before your first 13/14 payroll run to ensure that it all runs smoothly.

  1. Make sure that all employees are included in your payroll before you send your first RTI submission.

    • If you run payroll for both weekly and monthly employees, your first weekly FPS submission will include the employment details for the monthly staff, even if they have not yet been paid.
    • If you have imported from BrightPay 12/13 and an employee joins in 12/13 after the import, make sure you add this employee to your 13/14 payroll.
    • Unlike previous years, you must include all employees, including nannies and domestic staff, casual employees, part-time staff, students working in their vacation and those below the Lower Earnings Limit.
  2. Make sure you know your Accounts Office Reference as HMRC requires this to be included in RTI submissions. If you have your yellow Employer Payment Booklet issued by HMRC, the Accounts Office Reference will be on the front cover in the top right hand corner. Here is a useful link on the HMRC website to help you find your Accounts Office Reference.
  3. In so far as possible, try to ensure that the information you have entered in BrightPay for each of your employees is accurate. To help with this, we have created a Request Form that you can have your employees complete and return to you.

 

RTI Examples

It is important that you understand how BrightPay handles Full Payment Submissions (FPS) and in particular your first FPS which acts as an alignment submission. This understanding is best served by a couple of examples.

Example 1

You process your first week's payroll before the start of the 13/14 tax year, just to have it ready to go. You will notice after finalising the first week in BrightPay that an FPS has been automatically prepared for you and is awaiting submission. If your first payday is Thursday 11th April, then the FPS must be submitted on or before 11th April. (HMRC will not accept an RTI submission prior to 6th April).

One of the really nice things about BrightPay is that until an RTI submission is sent, it will be automatically updated with any changes you make to employer, employee or payment details. Let's say you only add your monthly paid employees in BrightPay after already finalising your first week. In this case, the pending first FPS will be automatically updated to include the details for the monthly employees. Similarly, if you discover that the NINO for one of your employees is incorrect, you can simply correct the employee record and the pending FPS will be automatically updated with the correct NINO. You do not have to process the payroll again or prepare the FPS again for these changes to be made.

Example 2

You process your first week's payroll before the start of the 13/14 tax year, just to have it ready to go. An FPS is automatically prepared and is awaiting submission. You then notice that you forgot to include overtime and so you re-open the payslips for all or some of your employees and finalise them again. In this case, the pending FPS will be automatically updated with the adjustments that you made.

The same automatic updating applies to other RTI submission types as well (EAS, NVR and EPS). Once they are created and until they are sent, any changes you make to employer or employee information will be automatically applied.

 

Reporting and Paying HMRC in Real Time: Getting it Right

HMRC have published a useful one page leaflet entitled "Reporting and paying HMRC in real time: getting it right". Download it here.


Any Questions?

We will be delighted to help you with any questions you may have. You can call us on 0845 3004304.

Bright Contracts – Employment Contracts and Handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software.

Posted byPaul ByrneinHMRCPAYEPayroll SoftwarePRSIRTIWages