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24
Feb 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

The Closure of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

On the 17th of March 2022, the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme will close. You have until the 24th of March 2022 to submit any new claims for absence periods up until the 17th of March, or you can amend claims you have already submitted.

You will also no longer be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay for your employees’ Covid-19 related absences or self-isolation that occur after March 17th.

From the 25th of March, the normal Statutory Sick Pay rules will return. This means you can revert to paying Statutory Sick Pay from the fourth qualifying day your employee is off work regardless of the reason for their sickness absence.

For more information on how to make your final claims click here.

 

 

Posted in Contract of employment, Coronavirus, Customer Update, Sick Leave/Absence Management

12
Jan 22

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Employer Update: Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Following on from our previous blog post where we discussed 'The Omicron Variant & The Workplace', it is evident that many employers and employees are still being hugely affected by COVID-19 and as such the topic of the Sick Pay Rebate Scheme has re-appeared. It has been announced that the Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will be reintroduced across the UK with effect from the 14th of January 2022.

The Scheme allows employers with fewer than 250 employees to recover up to two weeks' Statutory Sick Pay for each employee who is unable to work due to Covid-19 in relation to days of absence after the 20th of  December 2021 (even if the period of absence began on or prior to this date). The Scheme also extends to employees who are absent due to a requirement to self-isolate. Employers must submit any relevant claims by no later than 24 March 2022. Employers can make more than one claim per employee, but they cannot claim for more than 2 weeks in total.

The online service employers will use to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is now available.

Employers are reminded that they must keep the following records for 3 years after the date they receive payment for their claim:

  • the dates the employee was off sick
  • which of those dates were qualifying days
  • the reason they said they were off work – if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding
  • the employee’s National Insurance number

Employers can choose how they keep records of their employees’ sickness absence but it is important these records are kept as the HMRC may need to see these records if a dispute was to arise in relation to over payment of SSP.

Employers will also need to print or save their state aid declaration (from their claim summary) and keep this until the 31st of December 2024.

Other Important Points for Employers to Note:

  • It remains a criminal offence for an employer to knowingly allow a worker to attend the workplace when they are required to be self-isolating and as such it is critical that employers understand these new rules and review their policies and procedures accordingly. 
  • Employers are still under a duty of care to provide a safe system of work for their employees and this includes employees who are clinically vulnerable to Covid-19. 

Related Articles:

- The Omicron Variant & The Workplace 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) & Isolation

 

Posted in Coronavirus, Employee Records, Health & Safety, HMRC, Sick Leave/Absence Management

30
Aug 17

Posted by
Jennie Hussey

The importance of having an Absence/Sick Leave Policy

As an employer, it can be quite a daunting prospect having to deal with sick leave and long-term sick leave can throw up other issues making it seem more complicated and even more daunting for the employer to deal with effectively. So how can an employer ensure compliance during these periods of absence?

First and foremost an Absence/Sick Leave Policy needs to be put in place. It must contain clear and concise guidelines for the employee and employer to follow in cases of absence

Your Absence Policy should include:

1. Details of any company Sick Pay Policy:

  • If an employer will/will not pay employee while on certified/uncertified sick leave.
  • If payments are to be made, length of term for payments.

2. Notification and certification requirements if employees are absent due to illness:

  • How much notice an employee needs to give an employer if they will be absent from work.
  • After how many days of absence a medical certificate is required.
  • For long-term absences, how often a medical certificate is required to be presented to the employer.

3. A statement that in the case of long-term absence due to illness, the employee may be required to attend a company GP or other nominated medical persons/facilities at the request of the employer.

It would also be advisable to include details on what is classed as being short-term, long-term and unauthorised absences - Unauthorised leave is absence by the employee without consent or approval from management or without proof of illness by means of a doctors certificate and should be dealt with as a matter of misconduct via the company disciplinary procedures.

As with most company policies and procedures, once in place, the employees will be aware of what is expected of them during times of absence or sick leave; this, in turn, should eliminate any further issues from arising.

Bright Contracts has a comprehensive Absence and Sick Leave Policy built into the Company Handbook which can be customised to suit your own company specifications and requirements.

BrightPay - Payroll and Auto Enrolment Software
Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment, Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Employee Records, Employment Contract, Pay/Wage, Sick Leave/Absence Management, Staff Handbook

27
Jun 17

Posted by
Karen Bennett

How can BrightPay Connect benefit your payroll bureau?

BrightPay Connect our latest cloud add-on works alongside BrightPay Payroll. Payroll information is stored in the cloud and can be accessed online by you and your clients anywhere. BrightPay Connect offers additional innovative payroll and HR features that will enhance client relationships and increase revenue for your bureau.

 

Secure online Backup

Don't worry about manually backing up or losing your client payroll data again. Simply link an employer to BrightPay Connect, then the payroll data will be automatically synchronised to the cloud as you run your payroll or make any changes. Payroll files are automatically backed up every 15 minutes when open and again when closed down, offering cloud security against ransomware and cyber attacks. A chronological history of backups will be maintained which can be restored at any time.

 

Bureau Dashboard

Access your online multi-company dashboard which gives an overview of clients’ payroll information in one place. BrightPay Payroll and BrightPay Connect are automatically synced to capture annual leave and changes to employee details.

 

Client / Employer Access

Invite clients to their own company dashboard where they have online access to an overview of their employer details, employee requests, employee contact details, employee payslips and any outstanding amounts due to HMRC. Payroll reports that have been set up and saved in the payroll are automatically available on BrightPay Connect.

 

Employee Online Access

Employees can access their own personal self service portal from any computer, tablet or smartphone. They can view and retrieve their historic payslips and other payroll documents such as a P60, P45, or P11d which can be exported to PDF and printed. Employees can easily submit holiday requests, view leave taken and leave remaining as well as amend personal contact details.

 

Annual Leave Management

Your client can view a company leave calendar allowing them to effectively manage their staffing resources and plan ahead to ensure there is sufficient staff cover at all times. Once an employee requests leave, clients can authorise or reject the request which then flows back to the payroll. Clients will have full visibility of how much leave an employee has taken, the number of annual leave days remaining and how frequently an employee is on sick leave. 

 

HR Solution

BrightPay Connect has built-in features giving your clients a ready-to-go HR solution. HR documents can be uploaded including employee handbooks and contracts, disciplinary documents, company newsletters, training material and more. Clients can also manage all leave for their employees including sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave and paternity leave.

 

Benefits for Payroll Bureaus

BrightPay Connect introduces powerful new online features that offers a range of benefits for your bureau, your clients and your clients’ employees.

  • Add your own bureau or firm logo to boost the visibility of your brand and enhance client relationships.
  • Clients get 24/7 access to their employees’ payslips and other payroll reports which will improve transparency for your client and their employees.
  • Never worry about losing your client’s payroll data again as your data is now securely stored in the cloud.
  • Make significant savings when bulk purchasing multiple BrightPay Connect licences. With savings of up to 75%, the more clients you sign up to BrightPay Connect, the more profits you can make.
  • Increase revenue by adding a new payroll service offering to clients.
  • Save time and reduce admin by automating and streamlining many internal payroll and HR administrative processes.
  • Eliminate the administrative work and time it takes to send payroll documents to clients and their employees each pay period.

The two things that our bureau customers really rave about are (1) you are up and running in seconds, as this is all the time it takes to sync all of your client data to the cloud and and (2) you, your clients and their employees can access their payroll information from anywhere, from any device.

Read: Benefits of BrightPay Connect for Bureaus

BrightPay - Payroll and Auto Enrolment Software
Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Employee Records, Employee Self Service, Payroll, Sick Leave/Absence Management

16
Jan 15

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Fit for Work Service

Fit for Work Service (FFWS) is a new free government service, introduced with the intention of helping UK workplaces manage sickness absences. The Fit for Work scheme provides an occupational health assessment and general health and work advice to employees, employers and GPs.

Assessments

When an employee has reached, or is expected to reach four weeks of absence through sickness, the GP will refer them to the FFWS. Employers can also make the referral after four weeks of absence.

All referrals will be at the consent of the employee. If the employee refuses to attend, the GP may stop issuing the Fit Note. The consequence of this is that without the Fit Note, the employer is unable to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

On attending for assessment the employee will be given a return to work plan, with recommendations on how they can return to the workplace quickly.

Advice

The FFWS will offer free, “independent objective” advice to GPs, employees and employers on how to prevent sickness absences occurring, and how to assist employees returning to the workplace when absences do occur. This advice service will be accessible via telephone and online services.

Tax Exemptions

From 1st January 2015, the Government is also introducing a tax exemption of up to £500 (per year, per employee) on medical treatments recommended by the FFWS to help their employees return to work.

General Advice

Both services have been designed to compliment rather than replace existing occupational health service schemes. However, the service will be particularly beneficial to smaller organisations that are likely to have limited existing occupational health services in place. The service is being rolled out across the UK throughout 2015 and further details are expected during the year. In the meantime, employers are recommended to update their sickness absence policies to reflect the availability of Fit for Work.

Bright Contracts – Employment Contracts and Handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software.

Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment, Sick Leave/Absence Management

20
Feb 14

Posted by
Alan Kelly

How to deal with employee absence due to bad weather

The last few weeks has seen the UK and Ireland battle record-breaking storms and floods. This has literally left many employers high and dry. So what do you do if your employee’s can’t attend work due to bad weather?

Employees must attend work unless they are on authorised absence, or if they are unwell. Under their contracts of employment, employees still have to attend work, even in extreme weather conditions. If the workplace remains open during the bad weather and the employee cannot make it in, the employer can treat the absence as un-authorised. In such situations, employers would be well within their rights to refuse to pay an employee who cannot make it into work.

However, employers should consider the impact of deducting pay on productivity and employee morale in the long run in these circumstances, especially if the weather makes it impossible to get to the workplace or the workplace is closed through no fault of the employees. Often in these situations the financial burden is compensated by the positive impact on morale and productivity.

In general, it is recommended that employers try to implement as flexible an approach as possible. Possible options can include:

• Having the employee take time off as annual leave. It should be noted that employers also cannot force their employees to take annual leave unless this is expressly provided for in the employment contract.
• Consider whether the employee can work from home
• Allow the employee to make up the time at a later date

Whatever option you do go with, make sure it is clearly communicated and consistently applied to all staff. It’ll make managing the situation a lot easier when the situation does arise.

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Contract of employment, Employment Contract, Sick Leave/Absence Management

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