Aug 2021

30

How API is Taking the Pain out of Payroll

Payroll and payments workflows are a headache for employers, accountants and their clients. The act of calculating payroll has always been separate from the act of settling the payroll... until the API came along.

Modern API-driven platforms are taking the pain out of payroll and delivering new ways of securely managing and automating payments and payroll, all via a single API.

And, because there’s no manual integration required, you can get set up and running quickly and start processing payroll straight away.

Let’s show you how…

Traditionally payroll can be considered a time-consuming process that carries a heavy administrative burden. For accountants and bureaus, there can be a lot of manual workflows involved, especially when you look at actually paying the employees.

It’s can be a long process even before we consider the manual time taken to fix file errors, incorrect value inputs, double-checking, duplicates and payment rejections.

The weakest link in the chain? The payment file.

The payment files, that use outdated technology, are what is traditionally used to bridge disparate payroll and banking separate systems. Payment files are widely used because they are the only compatible method of exchange with legacy bank accounts.

Introducing API – the biggest new trend in payroll technology

However, businesses no longer need to rely on their banks to make and receive payments, and they don’t have to rely on manual, error-prone and slow payment files.

That’s because companies like BrightPay are using the same API technology that Google, Netflix and Uber use as standard. BrightPay has integrated Modulr’s payments technology into the payroll software, merging payroll and payments to create one simple, cost-effective and streamlined process.

BrightPay simultaneously talks to the payments account behind the scenes, creating exact matching values per accounting entry with no errors between the two. When you’re ready to pay your employees, you simply need to approve the payments in your Modulr payment account.

All you need to do is simply enable your payment account with Modulr within the BrightPay software. Seamless, harmonious API-enabled payroll, at the touch of a button.

Here’s a recap of how BrightPay and Modulr are using API to bring payments and payroll together:

BrightPay has teamed up with Modulr to harness API technology and deliver a payments account that gives you a fast, secure and easy way to make payments and provide your clients with seamless payroll workflows.

The single and secure online Modulr portal allows you to make payroll payments at the same time as running client payroll, saving time, removing manual processes, and eliminating costly errors.

Payroll payments can be initiated within BrightPay without the need for payment files, allowing for a flexible, secure and fast way for accountants/payroll bureaus and their clients to work together to make and approve payments.

1. Run payroll as normal within BrightPay - Once payslips are finalised within BrightPay, select 'pay by Modulr' to send the payment instructions to Modulr, without the need for manual payment file exporting.

2. The client is notified that payments are awaiting approval - The person authorised to make payments is notified that payments are pending approval and logs into the Modulr portal to approve by secure mobile two-factor authentication.

3. Top up the Modulr account - Clients then transfer funds to the Modulr account in one single transaction from the primary business account. Once the account is funded, employees can be paid in minutes.

Book a demo today or watch this short video to see the BrightPay and Modulr integration in action.

Posted byModulrinPayrollWages


Jul 2021

8

Employer contribution to furlough – what happens if their pay has changed?

Although lockdown restrictions are continuing to ease, many businesses are still dependant on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for paying their employees. The latest HMRC figures show that 2.4 million people still relied on the furlough scheme for their income at the end of May 2021. Although numbers continued to fall in June, it is estimated that there are now between 1.3 million and 1.9 million people on the scheme.

New rules since 1st July mean that employers are now required to pay 10% of their employees' wages to make up 80% of their pay (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month), with the government contribution now reduced to 70% of the employee’s wages.

But now that employers have the added expense of contributing to wage costs, they are looking for more clarity on how their employees' wages are calculated for the purposes of furlough.

Calculating Employee’s Furlough Pay

There are different calculations to consider when calculating your employee’s usual wages for furlough, depending on whether they work fixed or variable hours:

  • Employees on fixed hours - You must work out 80% of the employee's usual wage by looking at the wages payable to your employee in the past pay period ending on or before the employee’s reference date.

  • Employees on variable hours - How you work out the usual wages for employees with variable hours also depends on their reference date. You must also take the lookback period into consideration.

Click here to find out more about furlough reference period rules.

Calculating furlough when their pay has changed

Regardless of what the employee’s pay is now, you must still use the wages payable in the relevant reference period when calculating their furlough pay. The majority of employees have a 19th March 2020 reference date, i.e. those who were eligible for furlough under the original scheme, regardless of whether or not they were actually placed on furlough at that time.

For employees who are paid minimum wage, there have been two increases to the National Minimum Wage rate since 19th March 2020. While employees must be paid the new rate for hours worked (or doing work-related training), the furlough pay is still calculated on the wages payable in the reference period, even if this means that their hourly rate will fall below minimum wage.

Read: Minimum Wage Increases and Furlough: What Happens Now?

Regardless of the National Minimum Wage, where employees pay has increased (for example if they got a promotion or an annual wage increase), the wages payable at the reference period must still be used when calculating the 80% of wages.

On the other hand, where an employees pay has been reduced, for example if there has been a slowdown in business and the employee is now working fewer hours, again the reference period must still be used. Therefore, in this scenario, the employee’s furlough pay may, in fact, work out much higher than the wages they would be earning if they weren’t on furlough.

Furlough Calculations Made Easy

BrightPay provides functionality to calculate and apply furlough pay to an employee's payslip, and this includes support for flexible furlough. By entering in the employee’s usual hours worked and the actual hours worked into BrightPay, the software will automatically calculate the pro-rated subsidy. For more information, you can also view HMRC’s help guidance for examples of how to work out 80% of your employee’s usual wage.

Free Furlough Webinar

Join BrightPay for a free webinar on 28th July where their team of payroll and HR experts discuss recent changes to the furlough scheme and the challenge of reference periods. There will also be a live Q&A session to answer any questions that you may have.

Limited Places Remaining – Click here to reserve your place.



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Posted byRachel HynesinCoronavirusPayroll SoftwareWages


Feb 2021

1

Changes to the Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme was introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions for employers in September 2020. This new scheme has created over 120,000 jobs since September 2020 for employees aged between 16 and 24 years old. It is helping young people start their careers as they have been some of the people hardest hit due to economic conditions from the global pandemic.

This scheme allows an employer or group of employers to create new placements for young people and apply for funding from the scheme. The 6 month placements are open to those currently claiming Universal Credit and in danger of long term unemployment. The job placements will allow the participants to gain experience and skills that will assist them in finding employment when they have completed the scheme.

There was a condition previously that an employer had to have a minimum of 30 job placements in order to qualify under this scheme but from 3rd February this threshold will be removed and employers will be able to apply to the Kickstart Scheme without this condition. The closing date for new applicants under this scheme was 28th January, but for employers who want to partake in this scheme they can contact one of the 600 gateway organisations that have been set up such as a Local Authority or Chamber of Commerce. The Department for Work and Pensions welcomes existing gateways continuing to apply to add more employers and job placements. There is £2 billion available under this scheme and the scheme will run until December 2021.

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 minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions is available per participant. Funding of £1,500 for setup, support and training costs per placement is also paid. This scheme is available to employers in England, Scotland and Wales.

The job placements must:

  • Be a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months 
  • Pay at least the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage for the person’s age category 
  • Only require basic training 

Every application ought to include how the employer will aid the participants grow their skills and experience.

Development options could include:

  • Providing support to the participants to seek long-term work, including career advice and setting goals 
  • Support with CV and interview preparations 
  • Developing their skills in the workplace such as timekeeping, attendance and teamwork

Related Articles: 

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Posted byDebbie ClarkeinPAYEWages


Jan 2020

8

Minimum Wage Rates Increase from 1st April 2020

It has been announced that on the 1st April 2020 the minimum wage will increase by amounts ranging from 4.6% to 6.5%. The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour that most employees are entitled to by law. An employee's age and if they are an apprentice will determine the rate they will receive.

These rates were recommended to the government by the Low Pay Commission, an independent body that advise on the national minimum wage and living wage. It is estimated that approximately three million workers will see pay increases due to the new rates being introduced. Employees aged 25 and over will see a rise of 51p from £8.21 to £8.72, which will result in an increase of £930 annually.

Please see the current rates and the new rates below:

  Rates from 1 April 2019 are Rates from 1 April 2020 will be
25 yrs old and over £8.21 per hour £8.72 per hour
21-24 yrs old £7.70 per hour £8.20 per hour
18-20 yrs old £6.15 per hour £6.45 per hour
16-17 yrs old £4.35 per hour £4.55 per hour
Apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who
are in the first year of apprenticeship
£3.90 per hour £4.15 per hour


It has also been recommended by the Low Pay Commission that the national living wage will be paid to employees aged 21 and over. The National Living Wage is an obligatory minimum wage currently paid to employees aged 25 and over that was introduced in April 2016. The government aims to achieve this recommendation by 2024.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinWages


Dec 2019

11

New Living Wage Rates Announced

The Living Wage Week ran from 11th to 17th November 2019 and as part of this week, the new Living Wage rate details were revealed on Monday 11th November 2019. The Mayor of London announced the London rate for the Living Wage whereas the UK rate is announced countrywide at the same time. 

The UK Living Wage rate has increased by 30p per hour to £9.30, an increase of 3.3%.

The new London Living Wage, announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has increased by 20p from £10.55 to £10.75 per hour. This is a 1.9% increase and this rate is £2.54 higher than the legal minimum wage set by the Government. This helps reflect the higher cost of living facing families in the city.

There are now 1,700 London Living Wage accredited employers in London such as London City Airport and Crystal Palace Football Club. With this increase, London full time employees who receive the Living Wage will be almost £5,000 better off than other employees in London on the minimum wage.

According to the Trust for London, almost 20% of employees in London are paid less than the Living Wage which include 60% of jobs in the hotel and restaurant sector and 40% in the retail sector.

For information about the Living Wage Foundation and Living Wage Week visit the Living Wage Foundation website.

   

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinWages


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