Large businesses dominate our conversations. Their brands are everywhere we look, in advertising and in the news. It is easy to overlook, however, the fact that large businesses, with 250 or more employees, make up a tiny proportion of the businesses in the UK.
Nearly 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.
The Pensions Regulator and the Department for Work and Pensions have sent employers the clear message, “Don’t ignore the Workplace Pension”. If you don’t remember the adverts with the big, colourful monster, you can still watch them on YouTube. Last week, we witnessed the first criminal convictions for deliberately disregarding this message.
Universal 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.
I was recently asked what advice I’d give somebody who is starting a new business and hiring his or her first employee. As you’d probably expect from someone whose business is payroll software, my answer was about the importance of organising your payroll.
New businesses that make their first payments to employees today will be allocated an automatic enrolment staging date of 1st February 2018. This is the date when they must assess their workers for enrolment into a pension, unless they are operating postponement.