Use Our Forum & Tap Into The Knowledge Of Your Peers

Payroll BirminghamSometimes the best way to get a straight answer is to ask people who are just like yourself! On the Payroll Masters website, we have a Forum and a brand new video to show you how to use it.

We are encouraging all of our clients and staff to use this great facility, so if you don’t already have a login for our website, click here and register it is very easy and we just need a bare minimum of information to get you set up.

Once you are registered you can go to the Forum and ask questions about anything, not just payroll related matters.  Of course, if you do have a payroll related matter one of our team will answer it straight-away.  But with any question you have, the benefit of putting your question on the Forum is that all of our other clients will be able to see it and the answer.  So, you could be helping others by using our Forum.

Our clients include people with disabilities, public sector bodies, schools and businesses. So whether you want to ask about recruiting a carer or the best place to buy products or services, or comment about something you’ve heard in the “news”, we are sure you will find a wealth of knowledge, information and experience amongst your peers.

Enjoy using our Forum or for more information please contact our payroll experts at our Birmingham office.

Employees Say No To Christmas Party, Yes To Regular Rewards

Outsourced Payroll BirminghamWith the memory of last month’s office Christmas Party fading, you might be thinking about what you might do at the end of this year.  Well, if you have found organising the Xmas bash a thankless task, this might be why.  Maybe you are not giving your employees what they truly value.

Reward Gateway conducted a survey of 1400 employees and senior decision-makers in the UK, USA and Australia.  The survey found that most staff would prefer to get rewards that were offered throughout the year, rather than a Christmas party or Christmas bonus.

58% of recent graduates opted for more frequent rewards rather than a Christmas bonus and overall, over half of staff said they would forego the Christmas party if they could have access to ongoing rewards, recognition and savings. Maybe what you’ve done traditionally needs a re-think.

But whatever you decide to do, you have to process any rewards and bonuses appropriately through your payroll taking into account the tax and NI treatment of various benefits and expenses.  We can take that hassle away from you, if you outsource your payroll to us.  And, we can give you advice on what rewards programme to put in place from a tax and NI point of view. Contact our payroll experts at our Birmingham head office.


Why Have 4 In 10 Small Businesses Put Their Prices Up?

Payroll Services BirminghamThe statistic that 4 in 10 small businesses have put up their prices is from a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).  They cite that small firms have done this to compensate for the rise in the National Living Wage (NLW).  The FSB also say that the survey of more than 1,162 business owners shows that small firms are cutting profits, delaying investment and reducing the hours worked by staff.

The research shows that following the increase in NLW that came into force in April, the first reaction of small business owners was to pay themselves less rather than cutting staff. 7 in 10 of them, that’s 71%, decided to try and absorb the extra costs or lower profits.  This is bad news for the UK economy with the knock-on effects being less investment, fewer training opportunities and higher prices.

The Low Pay Commission advises Government on what the level of the NLW should be.  The FSB has urged them to remain independent, not to be influenced by political targets and suggested that any future large-scale pay goals should be implemented over a ten-year period.

The Government’s over-riding goal is to reduce poverty in the UK. The NLW is only one part of their strategy with Universal Credit, affordable housing and other aspects of policy also playing their part.

All of this has an impact on the payroll function of businesses of every size and public sector organisations.  NLW, Universal Credit, flexible or reduced working hours all add to the payroll processing workload. We can show you how you will save time and cut costs by outsourcing your payroll management to Payroll Masters. Contact us for more information.

Do You Really Know Who You Are Employing? Get A DBS Check!

DBS Checks BirminghamOur outsourced payroll service provides you with a complete solution, including things like DBS Checks.

We’ve made applying for a DBS check with Payroll Masters even easier.  We’ve created a short video on our DBS Checks page, that takes you through the payment and application process step by step. The animated screen shots show you exactly where you need to click, and the narration explains what you need to do.

No employer wants to get a compliant from a client or a co-worker about one of their employees. A DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service check) is one aspect of the recruitment process that can give you some peace-of-mind.  A DBS check checks the criminal convictions and cautions record of someone being recruiting into a role. If you are recruiting someone to work with children or vulnerable adults, you must get a DBS check done.

We recommend DBS checks are carried out every time you employ a new person, but don’t forget existing employees.  Their record could have changed, and you may not be aware of this.  For existing employees, we recommend re-doing their DBS check every year, but every three years as a minimum. Go to DBS Checks or contact our payroll experts at our Birmingham office.

The Pensions Regulator To Prosecute Recruitment Agency

Outsourced Payroll Management BirminghamThe Pensions Regulator is prosecuting a recruitment agency, SKL Professional Recruitment Agency Ltd, based in Bushey, Hertfordshire.  SKL who operate in the care sector are accused of wilfully failing to comply with their auto enrolment duties and knowingly or recklessly providing false and misleading information to the TPR. This includes falsely claiming to have enrolled 22 staff into a workplace pension scheme.

Both the agency’s MD and the agency itself are being prosecuted.  This kind of crime can be tried either in a Magistrates court or a Crown Court.  In this case SKL and the MD have been summoned to appear before magistrates.  This carries a maximum sentence of an unlimited fine for each defendant.  In a Crown Court the maximum sentence is two years’ imprisonment.

Proving a workplace pension for your staff is one of the many legal requirements that every employer must deal with. The benefit of outsourcing your payroll management to Payroll Masters, is that we provide a level of independent double-checking.  Often, when something illegal happens within a business, and is initiated by a director or an employee, it can be covered up for a time. This is more difficult when you have an expert third-party managing your payroll and all the reporting that goes along with this.  Contact our payroll experts at our Birmingham head office.

Unbelievable Gender Pay Gap Data To Be Investigated

Payroll BirminghamIn the UK every employer with over 250 employees is required to report their gender pay gap data to The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), every April.  This year most organisations have done this. The few that haven’t have been contacted by the EHRC and formal investigations have been opened.

The EHRC is not a body to be trifled with.  They mean business and they have now shifted their attention to going after the organisations who have submitted suspicious-looking data.  For example, reports of a 50/50 split of male and female employees and claims of no pay gap from the lowest-paid to the highest-paid roles.

Interestingly, EHRC has requested the payroll data from these organisations, as well as an explanation of the rationale for their figures.

So, as an employer you not only have to get your gender pay gap data in on time, you also have to ensure it is accurate, because it is very clear that the data is scrutinised by EHRC.

At Payroll Masters we ensure that our staff is trained and up to date with all the legal requirements relating to payroll.  Our team has received training on gender pay gap reporting and the HR implications of this.  For complete peace of mind, outsource your payroll management to Payroll Masters and we will also demonstrate how we will save you management time and money. Contact our payroll experts at our Birmingham head office.

HMRC Penalise Late Tax Payments And Rake In £860m In Penalties

Outsourced Payroll BirminghamAccording to accounting group UHY Hacker Young. Late payments and overdue tax returns have resulted in HMRC imposing a record £860m in penalties on individual taxpayers in 2018-2019. This is up 24% from £694m.

UHY say a slow economy means people have less of a cash cushion leading to an increasing number of people struggling to pay their tax on time, or simply having no money to pay the tax bill.

The penalties cover late payments of tax and people filing their tax returns late. The penalties are high and so we do everything we can here at our head office in Birmingham to make sure all Payroll Masters’ outsourced payroll clients have all the information they need, well in advance, so they can complete their tax returns and pay their tax on time.

If your tax return or tax payments are more than six months overdue the penalty is 5% of the tax due. For the late filing of a tax return the penalty is £100. Then £10 per day if your tax return is 3 months late!

For peace of mind that P60s, P11ds and other personal tax requirements for your employees are available and correct, outsource your payroll function to us. We provide our services to people employing one or two people through to organisations employing hundreds of people. We are always available to talk to you about your requirements and how we can help. Contact us now.

GDPR And What The ICO Is Doing For SMEs

Outsourced Payroll Management BirminghamThe General Data Protection Regulation came into force in May 2018. The Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO) has published a report ‘GDPR one year on’ giving an overview of the ICO’s experience and sharing information and insights. Importantly for small businesses the report says what the ICO is doing to help SME’s to comply with these new legal responsibilities.

The GDPR was brought in across the EU to uphold the information rights of the public and to give them confidence about how personal information on them is held and used. This gave the public greater awareness of their individual rights, and as you can imagine, has led to a big increase in the number of reported data breaches, data concerns received and a doubling of Subject Access Requests (SAR). A SAR is made by an individual to ask for a copy of the personal data an organisation or business holds about them and an explanation of what their personal data is being used for.

For businesses the ICO will continue to update its guidance, but it will also be creating four statutory codes. They will be on Data Sharing, Direct Marketing, Age-Appropriate Design, Data Protection and Journalism. The first code will be on Data Sharing and it is expected to go before Parliament Autumn 2019.

Another way the ICO is helping SMEs in a practical way is by coming out and doing a one-day Advisory Visit. The Advisory Visit covers advice to organisations on how to improve data protection practice. Following the visit, the ICO will send a short follow up report. This costs nothing and the report summarises what you need to do next. Follow this link and scroll down to Advisory Visits

And finally, here is a brief overview of some of the stats the ICO shared in their ‘GDPR one year on’ report.

14,000 personal data breach reports from 25 May 2019 to 1 May 2019. In the year from 1st April 2017 the number was 3,000.  Only 0.5% of these led to either an improvement plan or civil monetary penalty.

Concerns raised by the public to the ICO. From 25 May 2019 to 1 May 2019 over 41,000 which is almost double the figure for 2017/2018 which was around 21,000.

Complaints about Subject Access Requests continue to be the most frequent kind of complaint accounting for 38% of all complaints the ICO received. However, this compares to 39% before GDPR. The ICO says that all complaints have risen proportionately in line with the overall increased number of complaints.

Here at Payroll Masters we do so much more for our clients than simply providing outsourced payroll services. To find out more about our experience and what we offer to our clients as trusted professional business partners take a look around our website or contact our Payroll Masters head office in Birmingham.

Legal Ruling Sees HMRC Set To Collect £40m In Unpaid Taxes

Payroll Services BirminghamAn eye-watering £40 million in unpaid taxes is going to be collected by HMRC from high earning people using a tax avoidance scheme.

The scheme promoter is Hyrax Resourcing Ltd. HMRC are now demanding they disclose the details of the scheme along with the names and addresses of 1,180 people who used the scheme. The scheme users were paid National Minimum Wage, and the remainder of their earnings was made up in the form of loans which were transferred to an offshore trust.

This is even more distasteful when you think that the National Minimum Wage, which has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, having been introduced in 1999, was set up to improve the earnings of the lowest paid members of our society.  The legal case that HMRC has won will allow them to collect unpaid taxes of over £40m and if the scheme promoter fails to comply with the ruling to provide the required information, they will face a penalty of almost £6 million and £5,000 per day.

At Payroll Masters we ensure that we calculate the correct amount of income tax and national insurance for our client’s employees, and advise the employer what they need to pay to the authorities. As an independent third party we help your management team with their governance responsibilities.  We are ideally positioned to see that the rules on tax, national insurance and benefits are applied correctly. This gives owners and directors peace of mind when they outsource their payroll processing and management to us.  Please contact our Birmingham based head office team to discuss your requirements.

Don’t Fall For HMRC Phone Scam

Outsourced Payroll BirminghamHMRC has issued an alert about a new phone scam. People are being called and threatened with court action.  The scammers are also saying a summons for arrest has been issued for tax avoidance and non-payment of tax.  As you can imagine this is causing a great deal of alarm for the people receiving these calls.

You can help HMRC by reporting any such incident to Action Fraud via their website, or by calling them on 0300 123 2040.

If you think a communication from HMRC is suspicious they ask that you report this to their phishing team (

  • Forward text messages to 60599 (you will be charged at your normal network rate)
  • Emails, send to the email address above
  • Phone call, send caller’s phone number, date of the call and brief description of the call, to the email address above

HMRC want to remind everyone that they will never send a text, email or phone you telling you about a tax rebate or penalty or ask for your personal payment information.

Let’s all stay vigilant and if we all report such incidents, we can help HMRC to combat the scammers.

For any other aspect of bona fide tax communication from HMRC if it’s to do with payroll and making sure you are being correct and diligent in your handling of your employees’ tax then we can help. Our experts are based in Birmingham but we work with clients all over the UK. We are used to dealing with wages and salaries and benefits in relation to payroll processing, which is our core competency, but our service extends well beyond this. Get in touch with our expert team if we can be of assistance.