Helping Staff with Universal Credit

Sticking plastersBack in August, the Child Poverty Action Group flagged up a problem caused by the interaction between an employer’s choice of pay dates and their employee’s entitlement to universal credit. Although the recent budget did include some changes to universal credit, this particular problem wasn’t addressed. So, what can employers do about it?

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Real Pay Cycles Send Universal Credit Loopy

Part of the lunar cycleUniversal Credit is a monthly payment that is replacing six benefits, including Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. It gives essential support for people who need it, including those in low paid jobs. However, the way it is calculated makes it highly sensitive to the exact dates when the worker is paid. As a result, employers choosing certain pay patterns can inadvertently make life very difficult for staff who receive Universal Credit.

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The Payroll Apprenticeship

A stack of booksWe have a terrific skills and resource crisis in the payroll profession just around the corner.  Not enough people are coming into the profession, and payroll training does not always equip existing staff with the relevant skills.  Whilst they have always been a route into a career or used for career changes, apprenticeships have achieved a higher profile in recent months and years. Read more The Payroll Apprenticeship

Farewell, Government Gateway

A heart shape in an old gatewayThe Government Gateway is a collection of computers which work together in order to accept electronic submissions on behalf of HMRC and other government departments.

It was launched in 2001, and our system has been sending payroll returns to the gateway since 2005, starting with the old year end forms P14 and P35. The format of the submissions has changed many times over the years and, since 2013, it has been in the form of Real Time Information (RTI). After nearly 17 years of service, it will soon be time for the Government Gateway to retire. According to HMRC’s plan, the gateway will stop accepting RTI submissions on the 14th February, 2018.

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RTI Post-Implementation Review

Timepieces in a treeNearly all employers now report their payroll information to HMRC via Real Time Information (RTI). The introduction of RTI is widely acknowledged to be the biggest change to PAYE since 1944. Most employers started reporting via RTI in 2013 and HMRC has since conducted a post-implementation review. The resulting report was published last week and this shows what went well, and also what didn’t go so well. It explains the ways in which government departments use the information that RTI gives them, and how it may be employed in the future.

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Why Universal Credit Depends on Real Time Information

Information in the UniverseUniversal Credit is a new payment that replaces 6 benefits, including Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. It has been under the spotlight recently, with MPs pointing out some of its problems and calling for a delay in the planned roll-out.  Universal Credit is designed to reduce automatically if an employee’s income increases and, for this reason, its success is dependent on employers reporting their payroll information via Real Time Information.

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