Get Smart With Holiday Planning

Get Smart With Holiday Planning 150 150 Cypher

Get Smart With Holiday Planning

Whether you are setting up a side hustle or creating a new start-up company, if as a business owner, you intend to pay yourself, or anyone else, more than £113 a week, you need to register for a payroll scheme with HMRC.

Businesses can choose which payroll system to use and it will help record employees’ details, work out employees’ pay and deductions, report payroll information to HMRC and calculate statutory pay, for example, maternity or sick pay.

Payroll is a complex, time-consuming part of your business and payroll errors, such as late or incorrect pay slips, are a sensitive topic that can cause a lot of tension between employees and their employer. It’s a service that Cypher offers clients and Clare Haynes, who heads up our Payroll Team has noticed, more and more, that one element of the payroll requirement is managed less well.

When we manage the Payroll for a member of staff who is leaving the business, often, when we come to calculate their annual leave allowance, we find it isn’t managed well or accurate.

Often, in a small business, with a limited HR function, this information will be kept on a spreadsheet as a manual process, which leads to inaccuracies. This means that when we are processing a leaver for example, it is difficult to identify what leave they have accrued, what they have taken and what they are owed.

To avoid this, with our clients, we use a piece of software called BrightHR. It is smart software that can help manage this potential minefield.

All employees and workers can have time off with pay, but the amount varies between full and part-time staff. Workers are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks is 5 x 5.6 = 28 days. The 28 days includes the UK’s eight bank holidays.

For part-time staff, holidays should be calculated pro-rata and be representative of their typical working week, so if they work three days a week the calculation is 3 x 5.6 = 16.8 days of annual leave.

And it affects agency workers individuals with irregular hours, or those on zero-hour contracts. Plus your employment contracts might include additional terms covering annual leave, such as:

  • Additional days off for all staff
  • Additional days off linked to the individual employee’s role or length of service
  • Payment in lieu for annual leave not taken
  • Rules for taking and accruing contractual annual leave while off sick or on maternity leave. (Remember, employees always accrue statutory annual leave in these circumstances).

We think it is good business practice to work out as soon as possible what an employee is entitled to, so your workers know what they have available to them when they start their role.

Right now, holiday entitlement may seem a trivial concern, but by law you must get it right. BrightHR automatically calculates employee holiday entitlement, even the awkward calculations like when a new member of staff joins during the holiday year. All staff entitlements auto-refresh when your new holiday year begins and it handles booking mandatory leave easily. Your employees can request a holiday and you can sign it off in seconds—even if you are all working remotely.

With so many work patterns affected by the COVID pandemic, another useful tool from BrightHR, we find is the shift scheduling software which is great for shift and rota planning. It avoids piles of paper rotas littering the office, which are pretty useless if colleagues aren’t even in the building. Everything you need is in one place in the people management hub.

Finally, for clients with multiple locations BrightHR also has a function that helps to easily track your employees’ work hours and locations. We know that whether your team is working from home or they’re back in the office, it’s difficult to stay on top of all of their hours. To make it easier, the software can create a clever ‘geofence’, which is a sort of virtual boundary around your chosen workplace. Then, when your employees enter or leave the ‘geofence’, it picks up their location and asks them to clock in or out—helping you to see exactly when your staff have worked and how long for. It means that employees clock in properly and keep track of their hours, so you pay for their allocated time and they get credit for the hours worked, wherever and whenever that is.

Find out more

Payroll needn’t be the major time-consuming task on your to-do list, and these are just three added value functions that our system can offer to business owners. If you are interested in any of these services, get in touch with Clare@cypherhq.co.uk.