Celebrating one year of Payroll Question Time

9 April 2021 - Reading time: 4 Minutes

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It’s always important to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to payroll. Since its creation in April 2020, SD Worx’s monthly live Q&A webinars – known as ‘Payroll Question Time’ – have helped thousands of Payroll, HR and finance professionals get the answers they need to help their business perform and keep Britain paid.

11 live sessions, thousands of attendees, and hundreds of audience questions later, Payroll Question Time is still just as vital to the payroll and HR community now as it was a year ago. As our panellists prepare to mark the one-year anniversary of Payroll Question time, we asked them to share their thoughts on how the industry had changed over the last 12 months, what HR and payroll professionals need to focus on in 2021 and beyond, and what’s next for Payroll Question Time?

Watch the video below to hear their thoughts.

Payroll Question Time

Before the pandemic, HR and payroll professionals were used to implementing changes to legislation and pay policies quickly, but the introduction of the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme in March 2020 caught even the most knowledgeable payroll expert off-guard.

The new legislation was unlike anything the UK had experienced before. With very little guidance from the government on the new legislation, SD Worx’s support teams were flooded with questions from customers about the technicalities of the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme. We thought that if our customers had these questions, other payroll and HR professionals must have questions too: ; we needed to do something to help the payroll community.

Simon Parsons, Director of UK Compliance Strategies at SD Worx, stepped up to run a series of live Q&A sessions to help explain the complexities that were arising from the new policies and legislation. Simon assembled a team of external experts to provide clarity across a variety of subjects, from payroll, to pensions and employment law. Payroll Question Time was born.

Initially, Payroll Question Time was only due to run for a few months. But as changes to legislation were released, naturally more questions arose, and it became clear that the sessions were still very necessary. Over the last year, the panellists have come together to dissect a plethora of legislative updates, policies and topics, all while answering live questions from the audience. As such, Payroll Question Time has become a firm favourite with business leaders and professionals of all kinds.

Long-term impact of the CJRS

Even though restrictions around Covid-19 are easing and businesses are bringing employees back from furlough, it seems that Payroll and HR professionals aren’t out of the woods yet.

Due to the many iterations of guidance for the Corona Job Retention scheme (CJRS), the worry is that this will have a long-term impact on employer compliance and HMRC enforcement in the coming months and years. There is a chance that employers will have made mistakes when processing their claims and the knock-on impact could be felt for some time to come.

In addition, the workforce has changed dramatically over the last year. Workers that were office-based are now enjoying improved work-life balance from being home-based and they don’t intend to go back to how things were pre-pandemic. This creates even more challenges for HR and payroll teams to ensure that they have robust compliance procedures and flexible working policies in place.

Payroll’s rise to the top

The popularity of the Payroll Question Time sessions shows the impact that payroll has had across all business functions. As we’ve seen, when organisations struggle to perform the basics and pay their employees accurately and on time, it has a ripple effect on the entire business.

Despite the panellists coming from different backgrounds, they all share the common belief that the payroll profession deserves more recognition. By coming together and championing the payroll community every month at Payroll Question Time, our panellists hope that they are encouraging this change of mindset in the wider community and leading positive change.

Join our community of likeminded professionals. You can register for our next Payroll Question Time here.

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