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.

Scottish Widows Says Two Million Workers Missing Out On Auto Enrolment

Outsourced Payroll BirminghamScottish Widows’ 14th annual Retirement Report looks in detail at auto enrolment and whether this is actually helping people to save more for their retirement.  They have found that almost 2 million people who have more than one job, termed “multi-jobbers” don’t reach the minimum earnings level in any of their employments so are not getting the opportunity to opt in to Auto Enrolment schemes.

In 2017 the Department for Work and Pensions published a report which set out the analysis and findings they used for the Auto Enrolment Review 2017. One of the two major proposals in this report was to remove the lower earnings limit, which would open the door for the multi-jobbers, who are in many cases working full-time hours overall, to benefit.  The government are looking to implement this change by the mid 2020’s after discussions with stakeholders and a formal consultation.

In the meantime Scottish Widows projections show that the 1.9m multi jobbers are missing out on over £90 million of employer contributions a year which could be claimed if the earnings threshold was scrapped.

For employers there seems to be a never ending stream of new regulations especially around payroll. We are payroll experts based in Birmingham and it is our job to take away the headache of compiling the right figures for reporting and of course to make sure your employees get paid correctly and on-time.  Please contact us for a discussion about your payroll needs, for today or the future.

91% Of Your New Starters Are Willing To Quit In First Month

Outsourced Payroll BirminghamA research study involving 9,000 candidates in 11 counties across four continents has found that 91% of people who accept a new role will consider leaving their new job in the first month. A staggering 93% would consider leaving during their probation period.

At Payroll Masters we understand the costs of recruitment. So why are employers getting it so wrong?  Let’s face it, people have been recruiting people for thousands of years so why can’t we get this right?

The study found that the reasons people leave during the first month include:

  • Poor Management
  • Discrepancy between the job in practice and how it was advertised
  • A mismatch of corporate culture
  • Lack of proper on-boarding
  • They received a better job offer

The research was commissioned by specialist recruiter Robert Half. Their UK Managing Director, Matt Weston said “In today’s market top candidates are receiving multiple job offers and therefore have a host of criteria beyond pure remuneration.”  He continued “….Recruitment is a two-way street.  It starts with providing candidates an efficient and timely recruitment experience and extends throughout the on-boarding process to ensure new hires are motivated, engaged and quickly contributing to the business.”

It would seem that a lot of the reasons people leave are down to poor processes and communication within the recruiting company. At Payroll Masters we process the payroll for thousands of individuals.  We have an accuracy guarantee.  We can only offer this because our processes and communications internally and with our clients is second to none.  Can you say that for your business?  If you look dis-organised and departments are competing with each other, rather than working together, no wonder good candidates get disillusioned very quickly and move on.  It is important for hiring companies to think holistically about their recruitment processes across their whole company.

If you would like to know more about our accuracy guarantee contact our team of payroll professionals at our Birmingham head office.

Former Employee of Scrivens Ltd Awarded £11,000 For Maternity Discrimination

Payroll Services BirminghamScrivens Ltd implemented a policy that if an employee left the company within a period of time they would have to repay a proportion of their training costs. You could say, ‘fair enough’ and many companies have a similar policy.

However, the Employment Tribunal awarded the claimant, Ms Walworth a total of £11,000 in compensation for loss of earnings and injury to feelings after they upheld her claim of discrimination.

The employee advised Scrivens that she was pregnant and that she would go on maternity leave in April 2016. The HR Department wrote to her confirming this and that the training repayment period under her training agreement would be ‘paused’ for the period of maternity leave.  It is this ‘pause’ that Ms Walworth believed was discriminatory and this is what the tribunal upheld.  Whilst on maternity leave the employee informed the HR department that she may not return to work and following the response from the company that she would have to give 12 weeks’ notice and repay all of her training costs that she complained.

The Employment Tribunal held that Ms Walworth should be awarded the following compensation:

  • A basic award for £2,615.36 (in respect of the claim of unfair dismissal)
  • Financial losses of £4,148.50
  • Compensation for Injury To Feelings £4,374.36
  • Unpaid holiday pay £325.59

Here is a link to the full judgement

The payroll function we carry out for our clients is closely associated with the HR matters. Our payroll specialists at our Birmingham head office have a great deal of experience and we also have trusted HR partners that we work with and who work on behalf of our clients. For more information about our payroll services and HR partners please talk to us.

TGI Fridays Workers Step Up Pressure On Bosses And Government

Outsourced Payroll BirminghamWe’ve previously posted about this ongoing dispute between workers and management at TGI Fridays (see below). This stems from a string of changes that were put into place and adversely affect their people.

Workers have had time and a half payments for bank holiday working stopped, free staff meals were stopped 3 years ago when the national minimum wage was introduced, and then TGI’s announced that 40% of tips paid on a card would be redistributed to the kitchen teams. This final change was the last straw. The change to tips means that some waiting staff have lost £250 per month in lost wages.  Four days of strike action has taken place at some restaurants and the next step was for them to deliver a letter to the business secretary, Greg Clarke at the department of Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills.

The government are also under pressure from Jeremy Corbyn who has said that hospitality workers will keep 100% of tips left by customers under a Labour government.

Dave Turnbull, Unite regional officer said: “…Rogue bosses like TGI Fridays are being let off the hook to abuse tips and exploit government/HMRC guidelines (E24) on tips and troncs, to boost their own profits and offset the cost of the government’s pay rise to low earners.” Unite will be informing TGI’s management of its intention to hold a consultative ballot of all union members across the chain’s 82 restaurants on strike action.

We are disappointed that the government has failed to act to make sure that every worker in the hospitality sector is treated with fairness and transparency. We continue to watch developments.  If you are unsure about tips and would like to know what a tronc is, please give us a call here at our Birmingham Payroll Masters head office.