Can my staff buy holiday?

Posted on December 2nd, by Helen in business advice, Payroll, Uncategorized. Comments Off

If a member of your staff asks for extra holiday – what do you say?

Your gut reaction will probably be No!

But if you allow the staff member to BUY holiday from you then it could work to your advantage. In today’s job market it can be expensive and time consuming to find the right people to join your team. Allowing staff to buy more annual leave can help you to retain staff and improve morale.

So what are the benefits to you?

You will save the cost of the salary for the days bought and 13.8% employer’s national insurance on top of that.
You may reduce the number of days absence for family emergencies or sickness.

To make this work you need to make sure that you could apply this to all staff if requested.  A maximum number of days should be agreed to … Read More »

Auto Enrolment Pensions – How will it affect you?

Posted on December 16th, by Helen in Payroll, Pension auto-enrolment. Comments Off

How does Auto Enrolment affect the employee?

If you’ve worked for a large organisation chances are you’ve benefited from being able to join a company pension scheme. So you’ll be familiar with the idea of saving from your pay packet into a pension scheme with a limited choice of funds.

But for the millions working in micro and small businesses it will be the first opportunity to join a low cost pension scheme. Over the next 3-4 years all employees will have the opportunity to join a pension scheme with much lower charges than those offered in the past by financial advisers.

Both your employer and the government will contribute to the Auto Enrolment scheme.

But it will mean reduced take-home pay. Although your employer will make contributions, you will also be expected to pay a minimum of 4% into the fund after tax. … Read More »

Payroll – Are you paying the National Minimum Wage?

Posted on December 15th, by Helen in Payroll. Comments Off

Whether you are running your own payroll or using an accountant it is your responsibility to pay the National Minimum Wage to all of your staff. and that includes teenagers.

I came across a case this week of a 16 year old who had not received the payrise due when the National Minimum Wage went up in October. It might not seem a lot, but 7p per hour is a lot to a 16 year old. Maybe you set your pay rises for January or April – at the start of your business year. Well don’t forget to review them in October when the National Minimum Wage usually rises.

So just a recap, what should you be paying:

National Minimum Wage from 1st October 2014:

£6.50 per hour    21+ years

£5.13 per hour   18-20 year

£3.79 per hour    Under 18

£2.73 per hour   Apprentices aged 16-18, or … Read More »

Are you paying the National Minimum Wage?

Posted on September 19th, by Helen in business advice, News, Payroll. Comments Off

Look out for changes to the National Minimum Wage from October 1st. The rate for adults rises by just over 3%.

For most employers this will have little effect as employees are paid more or substantially more than the minimum wage. And it seems on the surface, a pretty straight forward calculation – amount paid divided by numbers of hours worked.

But it can catch you out as an employer, particularly when you take on casual employees to achieve a specific task. For example you may agree a fixed amount, say £500 for an employee to lay a patio. You need to make sure that the rate you pay actually covers the average hours it takes to do the job.

Have a think about the way you decide to reward employees and make sure that you have methods in place to check that … Read More »

Tax free mobile phones

Posted on March 19th, by Helen in Payroll, Tax. Comments Off

You are allowed to provide your employees with one tax free mobile phone each. But you have to do it the right way otherwise it could cost you and your employee tax and national insurance.

The tax free mobile phone

The contract must be between the employer and the mobile phone company.
There are no reporting requirements
There is no tax or NI to pay
Tablets are not included but smartphones are.

Employee’s own phone – employer pays supplier direct

The contract is between the employee and the phone company
You have to report on a P11D
Add the value of the benefit to earnings through the payroll
Employer pays class 1 NI
Employee pays NI, but no tax
No NI is payable if it was acquired for business use only but still have to report

Employee’s own phone – employer reimburses monthly contract

The contract is between the employee and the phone company
You … Read More »

RTI non-filing notice?

Posted on February 12th, by Helen in Payroll. Comments Off

If your business has a payroll then you may, like me, have received an RTI non-filing notice from HMRC. “Rubbish” is a polite version of my reaction. RTI should be the most straight-forward part of the payroll. The hard part is often calculating who is owed what if you have many non-salaried staff. So it would be fair to say that I was a bit miffed. And, understandably, my client was a bit miffed too.

OK, so what is the consequence? Well until April, nothing. But, after April, possibly a fine from HMRC. So to preserve client relations I phoned HMRC. Their assumption (incorrectly) was that I had not filed a return, hence the RTI non-filing notice. More worrying was that they could not tell me specifically why I had received the notice. My theory is that it was caused … Read More »

We have no payroll, we have no employees!

Posted on October 18th, by Helen in business advice, News, Payroll. Comments Off

If you have employees then by now you should be filing on-line payroll returns every time you pay your employees. From 6 April 2013 employers started reporting payroll information to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in real time. You may see this referred to as Real Time Information – or RTI. This means that employers (or their accountant or bookkeeper) have to:

send details to HMRC every time they run the payroll and pay an employee, at the time they pay them
use payroll software to send this information electronically as part of their routine payroll process

But we don’t have any employees!

Really? Are you sure?

Think very carefully about all of the people you make payments to. Are you really sure that they are self-employed?

Now that I have planted a seed a doubt in your mind take a look at the Employment Status … Read More »