Birmingham Employers and Employees Meet With Low Pay Commissioners

Payroll services birminghamThere are nine Low Pay Commissioners who make recommendations to the government on National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates. Four of the Commissioners recently visited Birmingham for a meeting with businesses and individuals.  Following the visit, they posted a blog.

They said that meetings, such as the one in Birmingham, help them to prepare themselves to make their recommendations. Of course, they have access to the best economic data, statistics and evidence sessions with academics, but the real-life experience of real people who are in low paid jobs helps them to stay in touch with what’s working and what needs more attention.

It is now accepted that the National Living Wage has led to the largest fall in numbers of people in low pay for decades, and the National Minimum Wage has all but eliminated extreme low pay. But the Commissioners say there can be no complacency.  There are still a lot of improvements to be made, not least of all in the less visible end of the labour market.  For example, some MP’s are calling for a licensing scheme for Hand Car Wash Businesses.

The Commissioners also heard complaints from employers who were concerned that HMRC were being heavy handed in investigations and taking benefits away from employees, that the employers say they are entitled to, such as the salary sacrifice scheme. The Commissioners will be discussing this with HMRC.

Calculating pay, especially for people who are on zero hours contracts or short hour contracts with unpredictable shift patterns can be a challenge for the most dedicated in-house payroll clerk. Good employers want to ensure that their staff get the correct salary and benefits, with the least amount of paperwork and certainty that the calculations are correct.  Talk to us about outsourcing your payroll to Payroll Masters, our head office is in Birmingham, but we work across the UK.

What Employers Need To Know About The Settled Status For EU Citizens After Brexit

Payroll Agency BirminghamThere isn’t a day that goes by without some new information or process that business needs to know concerning Brexit. At Payroll Masters we are keeping fully up to date with announcements affecting payroll and matters associated with managing the outsourced payroll service we provide to our clients.

If you employ EU citizens, an employer’s tool kit is now available from the Home Office.  This is being updated as required.  There is also the option to sign up for email alerts

What Employers Need To Know About The EU Settlement Scheme

  • EU citizens who want to stay in the UK after 31 December 2020, and their close family, will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme
  • As an employer you cannot discriminate against EU citizens as a current or prospective employer, now that the UK has decided to leave the EU
  • Current right to work checks apply until the end of 2020
  • You do not have to pay the cost of the application by your EU employee, but you may at your own discretion
  • You do not have to interpret information provided by government
  • You must be careful not to provide immigration advice

At Payroll Masters HR issues arise every day as we carry out the outsourced payroll function for our clients in education, the public sector and private businesses. We can answer common questions, but we also have specialist trusted HR partners with whom we work. So, if you have a question regarding payroll or HR issues post Brexit, please give our experts in our Birmingham head office a call or drop us an email.

20% Of Organisations Say Mental Illness Is The Main Cause of Long Term Absence

Payroll Service BirminghamThe Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development’s (CIPD) Wellbeing At Work Survey May 2018, reported that more than 20% of organisations said mental health issues were the primary cause of long-term absence from work.

Acas has launched a new framework to be used alongside their existing guidance, to help employers tackle this issue with more confidence. The goal of the framework is ‘Positive wellbeing and productive workplaces’.  The framework has three interlinking elements that need to work together, Employers, Managers and Employees.

For employers it outlines things like, reducing stigma and tackling the causes of workplace stress. For managers it focuses on things like planning work with people in mind and supporting work-life balance.  For employees it describes looking after their own wellbeing, engaging with line managers and taking notice of and supporting colleagues.

At Payroll Masters we take mental and physical health issues very seriously. Some of the work we do involves working with people with all kinds of disabilities both physical and mental.  We also believe that the service we provide to employers takes the stress and hassle of dealing with payroll issues away from them.

Payroll can be stressful, especially if you are not an expert. There are dual pressures of making sure your people get paid, but also the regulatory and tax side of things that you have to get right! Talk to us about outsourcing your payroll to Payroll Masters. We are based in Birmingham but operate across the UK.

Over 100 People Have Reported Employers To The Pensions Regulator

Payroll Agency BirminghamFollowing a freedom of information request The Pensions Regulator confirmed that it had received 114 allegations of employers persuading employees to opt out of pension schemes. Even if the employee doesn’t opt out this is an offense under section 54 of the Pensions Act 2008.

TPR said that there was no evidence that employers trying to encourage their workers to opt out of pension schemes was widespread. A TPR spokesperson said “Nevertheless, we would encourage any workers who are not being given the pensions they are entitled to or who believe their employers are committing pensions offences to contact us and we will investigate.”

Membership of a workplace pension is a valuable employment right, if the employee meets the criteria. But what is the criteria?  If you don’t know it is possible that your employees could report you to The Pensions Regulator.  We have reported on this news page in recent months on a number of cases being brought to Court by TPR.  Keeping up to date with all the obligations of being an employer and payroll processes is a full-time job, which is 100% what we do.  We take the burden of payroll administration and processing away from our clients so get in touch if you would like to know more about how we work.

Should Workers On Sleep-in Shifts Be Paid?

Payroll Services BirminghamAccording to the Court of Appeal, the answer is no. They made this ruling in July 2018 after they heard an appeal from Mencap, against an employment appeal tribunal decision of April 2017.

UNISON has now asked the Supreme Court to hear their appeal as they hope to reverse this latest decision which they believe the Court of Appeal got completely wrong.

On the website it states that “A sleep shift in the night period (e.g. care worker) counts as working hours if the worker is both on call and in the workplace.” And “Workers on a sleep shift must be paid the National Minimum Wage.”

Seems clear enough, but payroll calculations and regulations can be complicated. This is why the outsourced payroll service provided by Payroll Masters makes sense. We guarantee accuracy and can ensure that you are compliant with all the necessary rules and regulations and we do the calculations! If you want to pass the hassle of your payroll function to experts and free up your time to grow your business please get in touch with our team at our Birmingham head office.

The Pensions Regulator Prosecutes An Accountant For False Information

Payroll BirminghamFor the first time The Pensions Regulator is prosecuting not an employer, but their accountant for allegedly falsely claiming that the staff employed by his client, Gran Caffee Londra had been enrolled in a workplace pension scheme, when he knew this was not correct. The TPS allege that he did this to avoid an inspection that would have revealed that Gran Caffee Londra had not automatically enrolled their employees into a workplace pension scheme.

The accountant has been charged with knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information to TPR. The accountant, was due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court.

Choosing your business service providers such as your accountant or outsourced payroll service should be done with great care. These third parties are going to have to give you news that you don’t want to hear from time to time, but this is probably the best advice you are going to get from them.  Advice that will protect you from falling foul of legislation and regulations.

We have a great deal of testimonials on our website from satisfied clients. If you chose to outsource your payroll to us we will provide references that support our credentials as expert providers of all the functions that an in-house payroll department can offer.  But, when you work with us you have the added benefit of impartial advice, years of experience and up to date knowledge of your payroll and pensions obligations and reporting duties. Please contact us for a discussion about auto enrolment and all your payroll needs.

A Fifth Of Employers Provide A Payroll Loan Scheme – Would You?

Payroll services birminghamAfter receiving a press release from the Co-op our professional body the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) were so intrigued that they decided to run a poll.

The press release stated that UK workers could save more than £250 million a year in interest rate charges if their employers had a payroll loan scheme.

CIPP ran their poll for the month of July and into the beginning of August and found that of the 352 respondents a fifth (19%) already had an employee loan scheme. The team here at Payroll Masters were pleasantly surprised.  The poll also found that 27% of respondents would consider offering such a scheme.  34% said they would not consider a scheme and the last 19% were unsure.  The uncertainty of this latter group of companies could be they were worried about what is involved or afraid of an admin burden.

This is where Payroll Masters can help. Payroll departments (including us as your outsourced payroll department) can play a vital role in helping employees with their financial awareness and we can help you set up a payroll loan scheme.  This could have significant benefits for your employees and is an employee benefit that demonstrates social responsibility and could help you keep your best people.

Please contact us for a discussion about payroll loan schemes and all your payroll needs.

Business, Brexit & CBI’s New Approach to Immigration

Payroll birminghamBrexit is always in the headlines and no wonder as we are on course to leave the EU on 29th March 2019.  One of the big issues of the Referendum and the exit negotiations is immigration. Many businesses and organisations have employees from across the EU and around the world that they simply can’t afford to lose because they need them to provide their products and services and to grow.  Therefore, the new rules that the UK adopts for immigration need to be carefully sculpted.

The CBI has published a report based upon evidence from 129,000 firms across 18 industry sectors. It hopes their recommendations will lead to a new approach to immigration that can be open enough for the UK economy to grow but with sufficient controls in place to build public trust and confidence in the immigration system.

You can access the full report here <link to report> but in summary the report can be grouped into five themes:

  • Build public trust by shifting away from controlling numbers to assessing contribution and investing in local public services where demand has been increased by migration
  • Reform the non-EU immigration system so UK firms can access people and skills more easily from around the world, not only the EU
  • Recognise the strong links between people and trade as the UK forges new economic relationships on the world stage
  • Replace free movement with an open and controlled immigration system

And finally, the theme that we at Payroll Masters feel is particularly important

  • Ensure that the transition to any new migration system is done with respect for people and is done in an orderly manner

If you are employing people from abroad we can help you ensure you are compliant with your obligations as an employer and help you with your entire payroll function. Please talk to our team at our head office in Birmingham.

HMRC Warning For 1st October 2018 When The Common Reporting Standard Comes Into Force

Outsourced Payroll BirminghamFrom 1st October HMRC will have its ability to detect offshore tax non-compliance greatly enhanced.  This is because the Common Reporting Standard comes into force and the UK, along with more than 100 other countries, will be able to exchange data on financial accounts much more easily.

This works hand in hand with the new Requirement to Correct legislation which is already in force and requires UK tax payers to notify HMRC about any offshore tax liabilities. This will affect people who rent out a property abroad, transfer income and assets from one country to another or rent out a UK property when living abroad.  If you are not aware of this you could well find yourself branded an offshore tax evader!

HMRC are saying that it is in tax payers’ interests to correct any non-compliance before the CRS data is received by them. They also say if anyone is unsure, then they should seek the advice of a professional tax adviser.  As experts in all things related to payroll we can help.  Please contact one of our team at our Birmingham head office.

Why Do We Avoid Difficult Conversations With Employees?

Payroll Services BirminghamEver had that sinking feeling when one of your staff asks if they “can have a word?”   You just know they are going to tell you that something has gone wrong, or worse they have a personal issue they want to discuss with you!

When you have a difficult conversation at work you usually have to say or hear things that mean you have to manage emotions and information in a sensitive way. This could be you initiating the conversation around complaints against a member of staff or addressing poor performance, or your staff member wanting to talk to you.

Our instinct is to ask ourselves if we are the right person to have this conversation. It is easy to get things wrong so if you do not think it is not your responsibility it is often better to direct the person to the right line manager or even the HR department, or at least check with them.

If you are the right person for the staff member to talk to, Acas has some useful guidance that might help you approach the conversation in the right way, follow this link . Acas says that hoping that things sort themselves out is no solution.  At best is delays the inevitable and at worst it can result in formal discussions.

If you are an employer and you don’t have an in-house HR department, at Payroll Masters we have HR partners that can help you with any aspect of HR, whether you employ one person under direct payments  or are a commercial or public sector organisation employing lots of people.