29 April 2020
The Coronavirus Job Retention scheme (CJRS) is a lifeline for many UK businesses. But the scheme is evolving rapidly, with new updates every week. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, but we’re here to help.
Helping you to debunk the myths is SD Worx’s Payroll guru, Simon Parsons - Director of Payments, Benefits and Compliance Strategies. We asked Simon some of the most common questions about furlough to provide you with the facts.
A: While there are no definitive government rules about annual leave and furlough, guidance by the ACAS states that furloughed workers can still request and take their annual leave in the usual way and they should be paid in full for any holiday days that they take. Annual leave entitlement still builds as normal in accordance with the Working Time Regulations as the employment contract is continuing. Remember, employees being furloughed should retain all their employment rights.
However, the government has introduced a temporary law giving employees and workers the right to carry over up to four weeks’ paid holiday into their next two annual leave years. This law applies for any holiday the employee or worker does not take because of COVID-19, for example if:
A: If your employee is on statutory leave, which includes maternity leave, adoption leave, paternity leave or shared parental leave, then the normal rules of pay still apply. Employers can claim through the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme (CJRS) scheme for enhanced (earnings related) contractual pay for employees who qualify.
If an employee is returning from statutory leave, then claims for full or part-time employees returning from statutory leave after 28 February 2020 should be calculated against their salary, before tax, not the pay they received whilst on statutory leave.
Claims for those on variable pay returning from statutory leave should be calculated using either the:
A: The £2,500 cap applies to earnings that were due to be paid in cash excluding any benefits, flex arrangement or salary sacrifice. So, in effect it relates to the earnings being declared to the government as income, not notional pay which may be used to operate flexible benefit provision.
A: You can choose to pay employees 100% of their wage but you don’t have to. Those who choose to top up can still only claim the 80% back. Whatever amount claimed under the scheme must be paid to the employee as cash wages.
A: In some cases, it will be all your employees, in others it will only be certain departments. Where selection does need to take place, it may be appropriate to implement a similar selection period as would be used in a redundancy situation so that the most effective employees remain in work.
A: Government guidance on this is constantly evolving, but new guidance suggests you can now include regular payments that you are obliged to pay including past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. But discretionary bonuses including tips, commission payments and non-cash payments (such as the value of benefits in kind) must still be excluded from the calculation of wages.
Benefits provided through salary sacrifice arrangements (including pension contributions) that reduce an employee’s taxable pay should also be excluded from the calculation. Where employers provide benefits to furloughed employees, these should be continued unless a different arrangement is agreed with the employee. HMRC has confirmed that COVID-19 counts as a life event that could warrant changes to salary sacrifice arrangements, if the relevant employment contract is updated accordingly.
A: If an employee has been instructed to self-isolate on separate occasions, then they are unfit for work on both occasions and entitled to SSP. So, assuming a four-day Period of Incapacity for Work (PIW) has been formed and the earnings conditions have been met, they are entitled to SSP from day one. An employer with under 250 employees can reclaim SSP for 2 weeks only. The entitlement to SSP by the employer can be up to 28 weeks.
A: I would suggest the basis of the count of 250 employees relates to the organisation’s employees with PAYE records within the UK.
A: The government has extended The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme eligibility to the 19th March. This means employers can claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020.
However, the caveat to this is that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020, essentially, they must have been paid during that time to be applicable.
A: You can potentially agree different furlough arrangements with difference groups of employees. However, for the grant application and reimbursement from government, the furlough (or associated absence from work) needs to be for a continuous period of 21 calendar days.
Government guidance published on 15 April 2020 confirms that employees who were subject to a TUPE transfer after 19 March 2020 can still be furloughed and the new employer can claim for their wages, to the prescribed amount, via the Scheme. Previous guidance had stated that any employee transferred on or after 28 February could be furloughed, however, key dates for eligibility have since been amended.
Watch our on-demand webinar with Simon Parsons for an update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and other government proposals here.
Download the ebook: Unexpectedly simple: Outsourcing your payroll is much easier than you think
Misconceptions around payroll outsourcing could be holding back your business. Our customers find that moving to a managed payroll service pays them back dividends, driving productivity, increasing ROI and giving payroll teams the opportunity to focus on strategic rather than tactical initiatives.
We understand that managed payroll can be a daunting topic, so we’ve put together some useful information to help you make an informed choice about your payroll strategy.
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How to build resilience into your new normal strategy
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This article covers all aspects of T&A functionality ranging from how to create effective workload plans, building rosters, collecting and validating variable time information, implementing business and legislative validation, and finally ensuring correct payments to employees by integrating with an industry-leading payroll solution.
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This article is intended to give a balanced view of payroll software versus payroll services. In the UK, the markets for payroll software and service co-exist and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.8 January 2018
Retention of the personal data is ‘lawful basis’ where it is necessary, for compliance with a legal obligation, for the exercise or defence of legal claims. For Payroll and HR reasons, employers must hold and retain personal information about their employees and former employees to meet these legal requirements.4 December 2017
In our fast paced world, it can sometimes feel like people are out for themselves, chivalry is on the way out, and people say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ less and less. I find myself more often than not standing in front of till making a purchase, and when the transaction is complete I say ‘thank you’ but receive no response in return. I leave annoyed.27 November 2017
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Read Simon Parson's latest blog where he answers the frequently asked question: 'Do you know if HMRC are likely to want us to include more options for employees that may be transitioning or don’t identify themselves with either gender?'23 November 2017
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Traditionally in a relay, the fastest team member goes last, with the second fastest giving the team a good start at the front. The other two run or swim in the middle section of the race. A smooth baton changeover is usually seen as essential to a good race – and is often where it is won or lost.30 October 2017
“Stand still and the rest of the world will walk past you,” said Marc Woods, speaking in February 2017. However, doing nothing would have been very easy for this particular speaker. When Marc was aged 17, he was diagnosed with bone cancer and subsequently had his left leg amputated below the knee.23 October 2017
The payroll industry is fundamentally no different to any other in that success is typically delivered relevant to the quality of the individuals providing a service. As such, attracting and retaining the right people is critical. The job market has changed significantly over the last twenty years and the pace of change continues to be even faster. People displaying the right attitude and aptitude is appearing to be more important than those with just job skills and experience.23 October 2017
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018. It applies to any organisation that processes the personal data of
EU citizens regardless of where they are situated. Brexit won’t let UK companies off the hook as the government has announced that the legislation
will be brought into UK law.
9 October 2017
In order to get to understand Alabaster, we recommend that you know a little about the case precedent behind it.2 October 2017
There was once a level of anxiety surrounding smart working and its impending implementation in the workplace. Once thought of as merely a fruitless buzzword, smart working has caused a lot of confusion due to its previously indefinite or unclear meaning. Surely we should all be working smart? And how exactly can you define ‘smart’?21 August 2017
Our Head of Legal, Leon Daniel, has written some useful information on GDPR and what it might mean for your organisation. This is the second of a series of articles on the steps we are taking at SD Worx to ensure GDPR compliance.14 August 2017
Our Head of Legal, Leon Daniel, has written some useful information on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and what it might mean for your organisation. This is the first of a series of articles on the new Regulation and will cover the steps we are taking at SD Worx to ensure GDPR compliance.7 August 2017
Part two of our blog, our Commercial Director John Cusack and Business Development Manager Steve Knapman, built upon the information outlined by Mercer in part 1 – and discuss how SD Worx’s analysis tools can provide you with in-depth statistics on the gender pay gap. Read more on some of the useful points that we took away from the webinar...10 July 2017
Minimum pay is governed by employment law, and breach is criminal; HM Revenue & Customs are charged with policing its application based on a number of significant factors and structures. In this blog, our Director of Payment, Benefits & Compliance Strategies, Simon Parsons, discusses critical touch points for compliance and recent payroll error examples regarding this legal requirment.3 July 2017
There’s no real definition of part-time work in terms of hours. The definition just means fewer hours per week than a full-time job. But there’s still a stigma attached to part-time or flexible working. Flexible working is often associated with women returning to work after maternity leave or having to fit jobs around a school run or even working in low paid or low skilled professions. This view is a tad outdated to say the least.27 June 2017
At SD Worx, we believe it is important to keep a healthy work-life balance. A healthy work-life balance should be a necessity, but many employers don’t take the appropriate steps to ensure that their workers are implementing this concept. Here are some top tips!21 June 2017
The gender pay gap has been a hot topic for years, dominating discussion in the media and in boardrooms. Seemingly refusing to close, the gap stood at 9.4% in 2016, down from 17.4% in 1997. While the UK is getting nearer and nearer to gender parity in pay, figures suggest it still has a long way to go...19 June 2017
Having a one-to-one with your team members is vital to ensuring they feel valued. They’ll have the chance to address their concerns to you and understand their place in the organisation a little more. Our Head of HR, Fiona McKee, shares top tips on how to coordinate a productive one-to-one meeting with your team members.16 May 2017
You will be aware that a great deal of our Employment Law is what we call “European law”. What will happen to those laws when we are no longer a member of the EU?20 March 2017
2017 is going to be both interesting & challenging. With Brexit and changing government leadership much is to be done and quickly. Now is the time for the business to come together and plan for change...2 March 2017
As the business world becomes ever more disparate and global, it comes as no surprise that managing payroll across multiple markets is presenting more challenges than ever before. To delve into the issues at hand, our SD Worx Global solution and services team recently conducted pan-European research to gauge a better understanding of the key payroll challenges impacting modern multinationals, as well as the changes that industry professionals want to see in the New Year.9 January 2017
2016 has been an eventful year, with lots of social and political change occurring around the world. Change, of course, can be a great thing – it can bring new perspective and a fresh outlook, something which also holds true in the context of business and HR. And with the New Year fast approaching, now is an opportune time to start planning.12 December 2016
Never before has it been more vital for businesses to optimise the ideas, strengths and skills of their entire workforce – and of others within their industry and beyond. Is it time for HR to become more proactive? Hear Doug's thoughts, MD of SD Wrox UK & Ireland, on HR and its role in the future of work.21 November 2016
In August 2016, HMRC launched a ‘Consultation on salary sacrifice for the provision of benefits in kind’. The indication is to bring in law changes from April 2017.11 October 2016
Often once the deal is done you can’t see the lawyers for dust, so if you receive notice from a supplier or customer that they have been acquired, or if you have been acquired yourself, what do you need to do to keep your current contracts in order?3 October 2016
For the world of business and more specifically HR, the Brexit vote has brought on a time of uncertainty. The momentous decision taken by the public on June 23 has left employers across the UK having to wrestle with a vast range of workforce-related issues.26 September 2016
The way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. The 6th April 2017 sees the introduction of a new employment tax on United Kingdom employers. Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland, each having their share of the levy, will have to decide how apprenticeship spending will take place. In this blog I cover some key points that employers should be considering in order to prepare for the upcoming changes...5 September 2016
As a union, the UK has voted to leave the European Union with some Scottish politicians hinting of a further independence referendum, and some in Northern Ireland wanting a joint Irish nation! At the same time, Job Centre Plus has run out of National Insurance numbers and in June 2016, decided in to start issuing NINOs with prefix ‘KC’ - but there is an issue with this...15 August 2016
With the result of the UK referendum to leave the European Union and indication by Scotland's first minister to run a further Devolution referendum, Simon Parsons considers the potential implications for the next few years for Scotland and Payroll services...8 August 2016
In the UK alone, there are 11 million households with pets, equating to 57 million animals and a subsequent market where £4.6b is spent annually on pampering these additions to our family units. Despite this; pet owners do not feel confident to use their pet as the reason for a need to take unexpected absence when requesting time off or for needing flexible working. So is it not time for us to recognise the benefits that pet ownership has on both our employees and our businesses, and put stronger policies in place that continue to nurture and support our employees’ relationships with their pets?1 August 2016
So the nation has chosen to progress leaving the EU with a popular vote of 52%. So what's changed, apart from volatility in currency and stock markets? And what major action do we see impacting payroll?26 July 2016
I recently attended a seminar in London with over 100 Talent Managers from some of the biggest brands in the UK. During this excellent seminar we looked at Talent Management processes and explored whether we need to rethink our approach for the modern world. This session provoked me to reflect on all the performance and talent systems I have seen, designed and implemented over the years. After reflecting on this I think the answer is a resounding YES! We do need to change, but not in the way you might think. So please allow me a few minutes to explain...18 July 2016
On 23rd June 2016, UK voters decided in favour of leaving the European Union (EU) in a landmark referendum. Since then it’s fair to say that UK politics has seen a fair amount of turmoil. One thing we can be sure of is that, whenever it does happen, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have implications for workers and employers. In this blog I want to focus on what this could mean...11 July 2016
On Thursday 23rd June 2016, a team of 25 SD Worx colleagues completed the epic challenge of walking the UK 5 Peaks challenge in 48 hours. In doing so, the team drove 2600km and walked 55km, raising a record breaking £30,100 in the process for The PayBack Foundation.4 July 2016
The National Living Wage (NLW) became compulsory for employees aged 25 and above, at a new minimum rate... Have you considered the implications and reviewed your maternity leave payments and made top-ups of SMP?27 June 2016
With the upcoming referendum later this month, which will decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union, UK businesses – employing EU workers – will need to contemplate how “Bexit” might potentially influence their future hiring, talent management and overall workforce management best practices. Currently, millions of highly skilled EU immigrants work in the UK. The following article examines a few possible scenarios and outcomes of Brexit and its potential impact to the UK – and increasingly global workforce. I will also review how human capital management technology can help businesses comply with the current and future new world of work.20 June 2016
April 2016 saw some of the most significant legal changes to impact payroll operations and software. I would venture that this year’s new changes have been some of the most impactful yet, more so than the introduction of Real Time Information (RTI). New requirements for Scotland including the Scottish Rate of Income Tax and changes to Earnings and Maintenance Arrestments. A revolution in national insurance with the removal of Contracting out and Under 25 Apprentice NICs being introduced. The list can go on.13 June 2016
Do you believe that above all else, the most important factor behind an employee’s engagement and productivity is their relationship with the direct supervisor? If you do, you’re not alone. Many believe that if people get along with their managers well, they’re likely to work well – it’s often as simple as that!1 June 2016
It is up to management to create a culture that fuels innovation, and there are some steps leadership should take to achieve that sort of workplace. Innovation doesn’t just happen. It is the result of the sort of office culture that idolizes a forward-thinking approach. New strategies and products are hard to come across in a workplace that doesn’t actively seek them. That sort of pro-innovation attitude is a top-down value. It is up to management to decide whether the company should be one that promotes innovative work.23 May 2016
Following the judgement of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (9th March 2016), the question of salary sacrifice and maternity rights has been thrown into question! Was HMRC errant in providing guidance? Are employers now off the hook with provision of non-cash benefits in kind during maternity?16 May 2016
Interview by FDE TV at HR Tech London 2016. David Woodward, our Chief Product & Marketing Officer, speaks with Darina Ivanova from FDE about HR and Payroll technologies, workforce optimisation and what it means to be "digital" from an enterprise level perspective.4 May 2016
I’ve been working in a software implementation environment for nearly 20 years ,and in that time I’ve seen many successful projects. Sadly I’ve also seen a number of less successful projects and if I were to pick a main cause for each of them the two recurring themes would undoubtedly be...25 April 2016
In the 2015 Queens speech, the Government set out to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. As part of the Enterprise Bill, apprenticeships would gain the same legal treatment of degrees. ‘The Richard Review’ brings new standards being developed by ‘trailblazers’ and new funding trialled giving employers greater control over spend on training delivery.11 April 2016
In my last two blogs I described how important a transparent labour model and flexible workforce are to the successful implementation of a WFM system. Today I want to focus on how such a system can help re-engage your workforce, improving morale and colleague retention.4 April 2016
I always like to think I give 100% to everything I do. For most of my career I thought the best way to do this was to work every hour I could. Almost by mistake, two years ago I set out on a path that has fundamentally changed my life and my perception of what giving 100% means...21 March 2016
In my last blog I described how keeping the labour model as simple and transparent as possible increases the chances of user buy-in whilst still generating an accurate labour forecast. Today I want to talk about how critical the flexibility of your workforce is to the successful implementation of a WFM system...14 March 2016
Our WFM System experts, describe how keeping the labour model simple and transparent could increases chances of user buy-in, whilst still generating an accurate labour forecast.15 February 2016
In today’s working society, being busy has suddenly become the new yardstick in the workplace, the key measure of a person’s success and contribution to the business. If we don’t look very busy, we worry that people might think we’re not working hard enough. We pride ourselves on being too busy to take a vacation or relax, and taking on so much that we risk getting ill, all to prove how hardworking we are.9 February 2016
We thought 2013 was busy with the introduction of Real Time Information, but looking back it now seems a doddle! 2016 is proving to be one of the most substantial change years ever for payroll, software and service providers and especially payroll managers. Never before have I seen such a wide, heavy plethora of change. Now seems a good time to start the preparations in earnest and put the brain in gear...25 January 2016
Before the advent of the internet, applying for jobs was a fairly straightforward process. Now, with an incredible amount of technology infused into the recruitment process, there’s an entirely new approach to talent acquisition. Here are 5 ways the resume is changing in modern recruitment...4 January 2016
HR professionals deal with a lot of challenges on a daily basis, but at the root of it, the primary goal is to maintain a high level employee retention and productivity. Read our top tips for improving employees’ productivity in the new year.21 December 2015
There can be numerous challenges to staying productive throughout December. Employees may not be working as much as they’re frequently taking time off around the holidays. They’re traveling all over the place, shopping and making plans with family and friends. They may also become stressed! Here are our top tips for reducing office stress during the holiday season.15 December 2015
With Christmas upon us, payroll managers will be experiencing some annual adjustment planning with the holiday season. In this blog I explore some of the most common scenarios in December's pay cycle.7 December 2015
As an HR leader, your assignment from day to day and from month to month is to maximise employee engagement, while increasing employee retention and productivity. Your company is investing a great deal in talent – and you want to make the most of that talent. So what makes us productive, and what doesn’t?30 November 2015
Many factors contribute to stress and overload in the workplace, including organisational change, demanding workloads, poor communication, and interpersonal conflicts among individuals or groups. Read our top tips on how to tackle these challenges...2 November 2015
Paying the living wage isn’t optional for survival, but neither should it be a problem. Lidl were the first supermarket to recognise the benefits of paying the living wage. Their stores may be no frills but their operation is efficient. Lidl’s customers, many deserting the likes of Waitrose and Sainsbury’s for all or some of their purchases, have clearly embraced the shopping experience...19 October 2015
Stress has an enormous effect on the workplace on a daily basis. If and when employees are feeling overworked, their negative attitude makes it very difficult for them to tackle everything on their plates. Check out our top tips on how to reduce stress in the office!12 October 2015
To celebrate National Work Life Week taking place this week, we share top tips on how to maintain a Work and Life balance. Read our NWLW15 blog and download infographic...16 September 2015
At all places of business, large and small, there's a growing expectation that HR's role is to increase employee retention and productivity. A productive workforce is the lifeblood of a successful company. If your employees are willing to stay in their positions and work hard, your business is more likely to make money.3 August 2015
Through HR and Marketing, you can promote internal success and employee achievement to greater extents. HR can pinpoint outstanding employee performance and Marketing can spread these positive actions through internal communication channels27 July 2015
Like many, I believe that HR and Marketing are, and will, continue to move closer and closer. This belief has been further accelerated by increased and dominating use of both social media and mobile.20 July 2015
We often hear about favouritism occurring in classrooms, amongst friends, or even families, but how about in the workplace?14 July 2015
A great deal of the conversation in human capital management concerns the on-going movement of generations through the workforce. There are two undeniable trends happening in the present day - one, the baby boomer generation is gradually moving into retirement, and two, millennials are entering the office in full force.24 June 2015
Every organisation experiences conflict in one form or another, not only in the workplace but in our homes and our social life. Honestly, it's bound to happen with people working and being together with different personalities, values and culture but actually in some situations conflict can be the base for a healthy debate. However, it's not so much the conflict that causes problems and issues but how it is managed.16 June 2015
The long-term goal in HR is always to drive employee retention and productivity upwards - you're given a staff with a certain number of employees on board, and your job is to maximise their output. You want every single worker under your roof to have the highest possible impact on the achievements of the company, so that in the long run, the business stays profitable and everyone's happy.20 May 2015
Andrew Strauss, the new director of cricket for the England & Wales Cricket Board this week announced that Kevin Pietersen would not be selected for England in the short-term due to "massive trust issues". This was after Pietersen scored a career best 355 not out for Surrey and a dismal run...14 May 2015
Everyone's talking about mindfulness right now, including the Mental Health Foundation as part of their Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 11th - 17th May, 2015. You may still be sceptical, but there's more and more evidence to support the art and practice of mindfulness, particularly in relation to mental health.12 May 2015