Category Archives: Payroll

Changes to payslips from 6 April ’19

From the start of the new tax year, payslips must show the total number of variable hours a worker has worked, meaning that it will no longer be acceptable to just show a total £ pay figure in some circumstances.

The guidance from ACAS is as follows:

‘From April 2019, a payslip must show the total number of variable hours a worker has worked. This is only required when workers get a different wage depending on the hours they have worked. This might be because they have worked overtime, the number of hours they work changes in each pay period, or the rate they get for working certain hours is different.

The payslip only needs to show the hours that actually vary. For example, if a worker is salaried to work for 20 hours in a pay period but also works 4 hours of overtime, only the additional 4 hours must be recorded.

These hours can be shown as a single total or they can be broken down.’

We suggest employers look at how their current payslip format can be amended to incorporate the extra data and stay within the new legal requirements.

If we can be of assistance with this, or any other aspect of payroll, please do get in touch.  We offer a cloud based payroll solution which incorporates a secure, self-service employee portal, ensuring GDPR compliance.









April ’19 increase in automatic enrolment pension contribution rates

Minimum workplace pension contribution rates are set to increase from April. 

Current contribution rates:

2% employer

3% employee

Contributions rates from 6 April 2019:

3% employer

5% employee

Employers will need to inform their workers of the increase and ensure that they collect and pay across the new pension contribution amounts.

This is the last of the planned phased increases announced when auto enrolment was introduced.  There has been some chatter about possible future changes to the auto enrolment system.  This includes the possible removal of the lower earnings limit in the calculation of ‘qualifying earnings’ on which pension contributions are based and the reduction of the age trigger for auto enrolment which is currently 22.  We’ll keep you posted!

Contact us today if we can be of assistance with any aspect of auto enrolment.  We offer affordable and bespoke payroll solutions for any size of business.




Employee contracts & staff handbooks

Do you have employment contracts in place for your employees?  Do you have a staff handbook outlining your company’s policies and procedures?

If the answer is no, or if your contracts aren’t up to date, then we are pleased to be able to offer a new service to help you meet your legal obligations in this area.

Employee contracts 

Most employees are legally entitled to a written statement of the main terms and conditions of their employment, such as pay, working hours and holiday entitlement, within two calendar months of starting work.

Staff handbook

Additional information regarding general conditions of employment, such as sick leave, pensions, grievance procedures, etc. can be provided in a staff handbook.  The handbook allows you to outline your policies and procedures in more detail and provides all parties with clear guidelines should any issues arise.

Not having these documents in place can leave employers exposed to disputes over pay and conditions resulting in disgruntled employees, difficulties in recruiting and potentially expensive employment tribunal claims.

How we can help 

We can now provide you with up-to-date, legally compliant employment contracts and staff handbooks at an affordable price.

The cost

Our fee structure for this new service is as follows:

12 months subscription, to include 4 employee contracts plus staff handbook with unlimited updates to cover any changes in employment law – £160

Additional contracts – £40 each

For more information please contact us.

Payroll changes for the 2018 / 2019 tax year

With a new tax year fast approaching there are some key changes to be aware of:

  • the tax free personal allowance will increase to £11,850 and the new emergency tax code will be 1185L.
  • the National Living Wage NLW (for those aged 25 & over) will increase from £7.50 to £7.83.
  • the National Minimum Wage NMW will increase as follows:
Employees aged 21-24 – from £7.05 to £7.38
Employees aged 18-20- from £5.60 to £5.90
Employees aged under 18- from £4.05 to £4.20
Apprentices aged under 19, or aged over 19 in the first year of their apprenticeship – from £3.50 to £3.70 
  • the minimum contribution rates for workplace pension schemes will increase to 5%, with a minimum of 2% employer contribution.  (eg. employer 2%, employee 3% contribution)
  • Statutory Sick Pay will increase from £89.35 per week to £92.05 per week.
  • Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay will increase from £140.98 per week to £145.18 per week.
  • the repayment threshold for student loans will increase as follows:
    Plan type 1 loans from £17,775 to £18,330
    Plan type 2 loans from £21,000 to £25,000

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can help you meet your payroll and workplace pension duties.

Do you understand how new pension laws affect your business?

In a recent press release The Pensions Regulator urged small and micro employers to check how auto enrolment affects them. It comes at a time when quarterly figures show a rise in the number of non compliance penalties being issued.

The penalties for non compliance are sizeable and can include a fixed £400 penalty and an escalating penalty of £50 to £10,000 per day depending on number of staff.

The Pensions Regulator detailed two employers who were fined £400 when they did not comply with their duties after failing to understand how the law affected them:

  • A garage owner failed to complete a declaration of compliance as they thought a staff member had done it.
  • A travel agent with no staff eligible for automatic enrolment failed to complete other duties such as completing their declaration of compliance after wrongly assuming the law did not apply to them.

The good news is that Grant & Co can help. Whether you need just a little assistance to meet your new duties, or a fully comprehensive service, our value for money solution can be tailored to meet your exact needs. We can:

  • Introduce you to our experienced payroll team who will ensure the smooth transfer of your payroll scheme to our systems
  • Assist with choice & set up of a compliant pension scheme
  • Assess your workforce
  • Calculate your costs
  • Handle statutory staff communications
  • Enrol your staff into your chosen pension scheme
  • Calculate & report pensions contributions
  • Complete The Pensions Regulator declaration of compliance
  • Manage your ongoing employer duties

Call us today for a free, initial consultation.

Voluntary payrolling of benefits in kind

As the 6 July deadline for filing forms P11D, P9D and P11D(b) passes for this year, HMRC is consulting on the introduction of a voluntary system of payrolling benefits in kind.

The government believes that payrolling benefits in kind instead of submitting forms P11D can offer substantial administrative savings for some employers and wishes to create a system that will enable employers to do so if they wish.  In particular three priority areas for consultation are:

  • private use contributions for company cars and fuel,
  • private medical and gym membership fees, and
  • one-off large benefits through transfers of assets.

The consultation document can be found here and the consultation closes on 9 September 2014.  HMRC are particularly keen to hear from employers who already have payrolling in place.

After the introduction of RTI and the additional burden of Workplace Pensions and Auto-enrolment we wonder if this move will be welcomed or just add further strain to increasingly stretched payroll departments.

If you would like further information on how to handle expenses and benefits, or would like to know how we can help you with our Payroll and Auto-enrolment service, please do get in touch.




KEY CHANGES for the 2014 / 2015 TAX YEAR

 Income Tax Allowances

 The basic personal allowance for 2014-15 increases to £10,000 and the tax code for emergency use will be 1000L.

 Income Tax bands and rates

 The tax bandwidths for 2014-15 are as follows:

 Basic rate = 20%                           £1 to £31,865

 Higher rate = 40%                £31,866 to £150,000

 Additional rate = 45%          £150,001 & above


 The Lower Earnings Limit, the amount of earnings which allow an employee to qualify for certain state benefits, increases to £111 per    week (£5772 per annum). 

 The Primary Threshold, above which employees begin to pay National Insurance, increases to £153 per week.  The main rate of    Class1 NIC’s due on earnings above this threshold and up to the Upper Earnings Limit remains unchanged at 12%.

 The Upper Earnings Limit increases to £805 per week.  The additional rate of employee Class 1 NIC’s on earnings above this point  remains unchanged at 2%.

 The Secondary Threshold, above which employers Class 1 NIC’s become due, increases to £153 per week.

 The Class 1 employer rate of NIC’s remains unchanged at 13.8%.

 Statutory Payments

 The Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rate increases to £87.55 per week. 

 From 6 April 2014 employers are no longer able to recover any SSP from HMRC.

 The weekly rate for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP), Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) increases to £138.18.


 From 6 April 2013 it became compulsory for the large majority of employers to begin reporting PAYE information to HMRC in real time – known as Real Time Information or RTI.  The system hasn’t been without its teething problems with HMRC admitting glitches that required fixing. 

 Payroll year end will feel a bit different this year, with employers no longer required to file a P35 Employer Annual Return and associated P14s.  Instead generally it should be as simple as marking your final RTI return for 2013/14 as being the ‘Final Return’, completing the end of year questions and declarations and providing P60’s for your employees.  Further guidance can be found at

 Changes in RTI reporting for the 2014/15 tax year include the addition of an extra banding in reporting the hours worked by your employees and the introduction of a field for indicating the reason for any late reporting of RTI.

 Under RTI employers are no longer required to submit new starter forms P46 or P45 Part 3.  Instead HMRC have introduced Starter Checklists to help employers gather the information required to be reported the first time you pay your employee, which is done via the FPS.  These can be found  at


 New in-year penalties for late filing of RTI and late payment of PAYE/NI were due to be introduced from this April, however HMRC announced that, to allow more time to adapt to reporting in real time, employers won’t be charged late filing penalties as long as they bring themselves fully up to date by 5 October 2014 and that automatic late-payment penalties won’t be introduced until April 2015.  However, from April 2014 HMRC will charge interest on any in-year payments not made by the due date.

 NICs Employment Allowance

 In the Budget 2013 the Chancellor announced the creation of a new Employment Allowance, allowing the majority of businesses and charities a reduction of up to £2000 in their employer Class 1 NIC liability each year.  The allowance will be claimed as part of the normal payroll process via RTI reporting.  The Employment Allowance will be offset against employers Class 1 NICs when they become due, until either the full £2000 allowance is used up or the tax year ends, whichever is soonest.


You will no doubt have read in the Press and seen on the TV news about Workplace Pensions and Auto-enrolment.  This change in law will see every employer in the UK required to help more of their workers save for retirement.  It will involve new legal duties including the auto-enrolment of eligible employees into a qualifying pension scheme and paying a minimum contribution into that scheme.  The changes, which for larger employers began in 2012, are being phased in over a number of years, with each employer being allocated a ‘staging date’ from when their duties will begin.  

If you are a payroll client of ours, we will already have contacted you if this legislation is relevant to you.  Alternatively please visit the Payroll News section of our website for more details.  Grant & Co will be offering a complete Auto-enrolment service to our payroll clients, which will include workforce assessment and communication and management of pension contributions making compliance simple and hassle free.

If you would like further information or advice, please do get in touch.

 A Greener Service

 As part of our effort to be as green as possible, please note it is possible for us to upload payslips / payroll summaries to the secure Clientzone area of our website for you to download at your convenience.  If you would like to take advantage of this service, please let our Payroll Department know. 

If you would like further advice or information on any of the above issues, then we’d be pleased to help. 

Telephone – 01242 223160

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