Top payroll tips for the festive season

Keep staff informed of Christmas pay dates


For many staff ‘pay day’ is a much looked forward to event in their diary, so ensure that expectations are met and disappointments avoided. If you pay early due to the Christmas holidays this is great to communicate to staff, but please remember that you should not move your pay date any later than the employees’ contracted pay date, even if this falls on a bank holiday (remember your staff have their own ‘suppliers’ to consider).


Ensure you have contingency plans for the season


With bank Holidays, office closures and sickness check you have covered your risk areas, ask yourself;

  • Who deals with the payroll, what happens if they call in sick?
  • What happens if at the last minute there are IT issues and you cannot run the payroll?
  • If you’re paying wages early how does this affect cashflow?


How does the glut of bank holidays and annual leave affect your timetable?


In recent years the payroll function has needed to become much more disciplined in terms of Real Time Information and more recently Auto Enrolment. This has led to more regimental timetables in the payroll process and inevitably the higher risk of missing and deadline (and incurring penalties). Have you checked how your payroll timetable is affected over the Christmas season and have you got your deadlines covered?


Is your staff handbook up to date with policies and procedures?


Christmas is a time of happiness and joy, but can also be a period of sickness and absence. When was the last time you checked your staff handbook covered all possibilities, policies, and procedures?


New Year – time for a fresh look


Payroll has gone through a high level of change in recent years and is continuing to adapt to the changes imposed by HMRC. The New Year is a good time to look again at your payroll process, assess risk, look for efficiencies and streamline procedures. Consider the following:


  • Has technology moved on but your payroll process hasn’t, ie spreadsheets vs manual    records, email vs fax, e-payslips vs hard copies?
  • Processing Benefits in Kind though payroll, such as company cars, medical insurance Register with HMRC prior to 5th April 2018 and employees tax codes will be amended to collect tax in real time via payroll, removing the requirement for P11d’s.  What a time-saver!
  • Is the payroll process well documented in the event of ‘disaster’?
  • Is outsourcing an option to reduce risk, create efficiency and give you valuable time back into   your business?


If you would like to discuss the above blog in more detail, or you would like to speak with a member of our team, please contact Tracey Simpson or call 01772 821021 to be put in contact with a member of our Payroll Solutions team.