Payroll Real Time Information

Payroll Real Time Information (often abbreviated as RTI) reporting with HM Revenue and Customs is compulsory if you are under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme.

Under the scheme, each time you make a salary payment you must report the income tax and national insurance contribution payable by your staff and your company before or on the day. You do this by submitting FPS form online.

If your company payroll is on monthly basis then you must submit FPS every month. However, if no salary was made in any months, you must submit the form called EPS stating zero payment was made.

Generally, your company is the employer thus has the responsibility to ensure correct income tax and national insurance contribution are deducted correctly from your staff. Subsequently, pay it over to HMRC.

One man company

PAYE payroll for a limited company, where the director is also the owner of the company. As long as your director intend to withdraw money from the company through salary and bonus payments, you must register for PAYE. Correspondingly, you must submit PAYE forms with HM Revenue and Customs. In this case, your director would be considered an employee of the company.

Payroll real time information software

There are many independent payroll software providers you may choose. Usually, purchase of the software comes with technical support. You may call them if you do not know how to use the software for Real time Information reporting.

Free payroll software

Furthermore, there are also free payroll software for small companies with no more than 10 staff. The Gov.UK website give a few recommendations.

HMRC telephone helpline

HMRC telephone helpline if you have any questions about your corporation tax, self assessment, VAT, PAYE and payroll compliance, tax credits and so on.

HMRC stands for HM Revenue and Customs. They are the official Tax Authority in the United Kingdom. HMRC provide dedicated telephone helpline for specific tax related subject matters to help businesses and companies to deal with their tax matters efficiently.

Ensure you dial the correct numbers to avoid being transferred from department to department to reach the right person to speak to.

For general help, you may tweet with @HMRCcustomers.

HMRC department contact details

HMRC DepartmentTel Helpline
Self Assessment general enquiriesTelephone:
0300 200 3310
Textphone:
0300 200 3319
Outside UK:
+44 161 931 9070

Postal:
Self Assessment
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AS
United Kingdom
Tax credits general enquiriesTelephone:
0345 300 3900
Textphone:
0345 300 3909
Outside UK:
+44 02890 538 192

Postal:
Complaints or change of circumstances
Tax Credit Office
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1LR
United Kingdom

New tax credit claims
Tax Credit Claims
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1HE
Child benefit general enquiriesTelephone:
0300 200 3100
Textphone:
0300 200 3103
Outside UK:
+44 161 210 3086

Postal:
HM Revenue and Customs
Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE88 1AA
United Kingdom
Income tax general enquiries and Marriage AllowanceTelephone:
0300 200 3300
Textphone:
0300 200 3319
Outside UK:
+44 135 535 9022

Postal:
Pay As You Earn and Self Assessment
HM Revenue an Customs
BX9 1AS
United Kingdom
National Insurance general enquiriesTelephone:
0300 200 3500
Textphone:
0300 200 3519
Outside UK:
44 191 203 7010

Postal:
PT Operations North East England
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AN
United Kingdom
Employers general enquiriesTelephone:
0300 200 3200
Textphone:
0300 200 3212
Outside UK:
+44 151 268 0558
Fax:
03000 523 030

Postal:
PT Operations North East England
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1BX
United Kingdom
VAT general enquiriesTelephone:
0300 200 3700
Textphone:
0300 200 3719
Outside UK:
+44 2920 501 261

Postal:
HM Revenue and Customs
VAT Written Enquiries Team
Portcullis House
21 India Street
Glasgow
G2 4PZ
United Kingdom
Construction Industry Scheme general enquiriesTelephone:
0300 200 3210
Textphone:
0300 200 3219
Outside UK:
+44 161 930 8706

Postal:
PT Operations North East England
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1BX
United Kingdom

Courier documents to HMRC

Lastly, if you are going to use a courier service to deliver your documents to HMRC with PO Box and BX postcodes.

Please use the address below instead:

HM Revenue and Customs
Benton Park View
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ
United Kingdom

HMRC online service

Broadly, HMRC has dedicated technical support helpline to help with any filing problems you face.

If you have any technical issues please call 0300 200 3600. The number for textphone is 0300 200 3603. If you are calling from outside the United Kingdom call +44 161 930 8445.

National minimum wage

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) set the national minimum wage in the United Kingdom. Thus, UK businesses must pay the minimum wage to their staff as required by law.

Your staff could make complaints with HMRC against you if you are not paying the national minimum wage. You as an employer has the obligation to comply with the minimum wage requirement.

For this reason, every person working for your business is entitled to be paid the minimum wage rate per hour. Your staff must be at least the school leaving age to get paid that minimum wage rate.

Broadly, a person working for a business include:

  • Your employees.
  • agency staff.
  • piece workers.
  • employees with disabilities.
  • staff paid by commission.
  • Directors who are employed by your business to carry out their duties under contract of employment.

UK minimum wage rates

Generally, the minimum wage rates changes every April. HMRC will announce the new national wage rate and update this information on the GOV.UK website. You as the employer is responsible to get the updated national minimum wage rates from HMRC. Subsequently, update your payroll system accordingly.

On one hand, your staff minimum wage rate per hour is calculated depending on your age.

  • Aged 25 and above.
  • Aged 21-24.
  • 18-20 of age.
  • Under 18.
  • Apprentice aged 19 and above.

You may get the national minimum wage rates from gov.uk webiste.

Lastly, you must give a payslip to your staff each time you pay them.

How to pay HMRC

There are many ways you can pay HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Ensure your payment reach HMRC on time to avoid interest on late payment.

Universally, you have to pay HMRC for your self assessment tax, income tax, stamp duty, corporation tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), pay as you earn (PAYE), national insurance contributions (NIC) and late filing penalty.

How to pay HMRC using the following payment methods.

By debit card or credit card

Go to www.tax.service.gov.uk/pay-online

Telephone or Internet banking

You may contact your own bank and provide the banker with the HMRC bank details:

  • Tax amount due
  • Sort code: 08-32-10
  • Account number 12001020
  • Account name: HMRC

Remember to provide the reference as shown on the HMRC payslip, for example, if you are paying for corporation tax please provide the 10 digits unique tax reference numbers. This allows HMRC to allocate the payment to your accounts.

Direct Debit

Go to www.gov.uk/pay-tax-direct-debit to setup a direct debit payment. You must register for HMRC online services before you can setup direct debit payment. Register for HMRC online services are quick and easy and secure.

For example, you may like to setup direct debit if your business is registered for VAT so that HMRC can automatically take the VAT payment due or refund VAT every quarter from/to your business accounts based on the VAT return you submitted. Your accountants can set this up for you.

Post office

Take the HMRC payment slip to any participating Post Office. You may pay by debit card or by cheque. If paying by cheque, please make your cheque payable to Post Office LTD.

Pay by Cheque

If you would like to pay by cheque, please make your cheque payable to HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS ONLY and remember to include your payslip.

Please ensure you affix a correct stamp on your envelop.

Disciplinary meeting notes

Employers conduct staff disciplinary meeting are advised to take notes of what has been said and discussed during the investigatory meeting, disciplinary hearing and appeal meeting.

For this purpose, you must give copies of the disciplinary meeting notes to your staff concerned within reasonable time after each meeting. Subsequently, your staff can digest the notes and highlight any misunderstanding based on what was discussed and written in the notes.

Staff to comment on the disciplinary meeting notes

On one hand, It is important you give the staff concerned the opportunity to comment on the notes and evidences discussed. Particularly, where the case is serious enough to warrant dismissal of your staff.

Above all, the staff disciplinary procedure is to be used to resolve disputes between employers and employees fairly and reasonably. It is not meant to be used to abuse or to discriminate your staff you do not like.

ACAS code of practice

The ACAS Code of Practice 1 suggests that refused or failed to provide copies of the meeting notes to the staff concerned is a breach of statutory disciplinary procedures and constitutes an unfair disciplinary process.

For an example, you disciplined a staff for misconduct and you sack him/her immediately. In this case, you shall provide copies of the disciplinary meeting notes to the staff. At the same time, you must give the staff the opportunity to comment on the notes and evidences. So that your staff can decide accordingly whether or not to make an appeal against your decision.

On the other hand, you shall provide your staff with the disciplinary meeting notes before the staff disciplinary appeal hearing. However, if you gave the meeting notes after the appeal hearing, it is obvious that you have no intention to give your staff opportunity to comment on the meeting notes. In other words, your outcome of the disciplinary process is probably pre-decided and matters are pre-judged. Hence, the process is just a formality.

Consequently, your staff can make a claim against you as the employers for unfairly treatment and discrimination at work. Thus, this may attract unwelcome publicity for your company. We believe you won’t want that kind of publicity about your business as an employer.

Staff handbook

Generally, it is a good idea to have in-house staff handbook. The staff handbook is compilation of rules on how you would what you staff to conduct themselves while under your employment. In other words, your own rules book for your staff. You must provide a copy of this handbook to all your staff.

For example, staff cannot drink alcohol while at work. Accordingly, the consequence would be liable to staff disciplinary and immediate dismissal.

Another example is staff performance appraisal. Staff that need improvement. How would you help your staff to improve their performance. In what circumstance, you would dismiss your staff based on their performance.

Besides, you can also include rules on punctuality, salary deductions, maternity and paternity pay and so on.

Staff disciplinary procedure

The UK employment law suggests all employers to introduce staff disciplinary procedure at work. As employers, you have to inform your staff of the disciplinary procedure in place and also explain the examples of actions that will amount to staff disciplinary and/or dismissal.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) published guidance for employers on statutory disciplinary and grievance procedures. ACAS Code of Practice 1 provides details on how to draw up and operate a staff disciplinary procedure. The code provides reasonable steps of employers must follow in executing staff disciplinary process. It is also used as a guideline how reasonable you are as employer if your employee brings a claim for unfair dismissal at the Employment Tribunals.

Generally, the statutory minimum steps you must follow in your staff disciplinary procedure is discussed below. However, your own disciplinary procedure may allow for more warnings, meetings. Other courses of action may include demotion and suspension.

Statutory Disciplinary Procedure

Step 1: Investigate To Establish Facts

Investigate the situation fully by talking to your staff concerned and any other staff who might be able to throw some light on the situation. Gather any evidence you can find including emails and letters. Interview any witnesses and take signed written statements from them if necessary.

Step 2: Invite The Employee Concern To An Investigatory Meeting

You must make it clear to them that the meeting is not part of a formal disciplinary procedure. The purpose of the meeting is to give them the opportunity to comment on the allegations.

Step 3: After The Investigatory Meeting

Should you think that a formal disciplinary hearing should be conducted then you must inform your staff concern in writing setting out the allegations include evidences supporting the allegations.

You must give your staff the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or a work colleague.

Step 4: Go Ahead With Formal Disciplinary Hearing

Explain your complaint and your evidences and give your staff the opportunity to state their case, ask questions, give evidence and call their witnesses.

Step 5: Yours Decisions On The Disciplinary Hearing

If you decide on disciplinary action rather than dismissal, you should write to your staff spelling out what the misconduct is, what has to be done about it and the deadline. And explain the consequences if things don’t change – perhaps a final written warning and then the sack.

You must give your staff a copy of the disciplinary meeting notes soon after the meeting.

Step 6: Employee’s Right To Appeal

Try to get another person to chair the appeal hearing if possible. If this is not the option then try to be impartially as possible and don’t be afraid to overturned previous decision. After the appeal you have to let your staff know your final decision.

Failed To Follow Statutory Disciplinary Procedures

If you do not follow the basic disciplinary procedure and any claims against you by your staff will be considered automatic unfair dismissal and the employment tribunal can increase the compensation payable to your staff.

Only staff with more than a year of service are able to bring a claim at Employment Tribunals.

Payslip

You must produce a payslip for your staff. This is required under the Pay As Your Earn (PAYE) scheme. Additionally, your company must keep a proper payroll record too.

Legally, your staff can make a compliant to Employment Tribunal if you failed to provide payslip to your staff.

Generally, Payslip should include the following information:

Gross Pay in payslip

Gross pay is the amount of salary or wages your staff earns before you make any deductions. The amount comprises the basic wage/salary and any other elements of pay due in the pay period. This may include elements such as:

  • Bonuses
  • Commission
  • Holiday pay
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Maternity pay
  • Overtime

Gross pay doesn’t include items such as loans or advances in wages, expenses, or redundancy payments made to your staff.

PAYE Deductions

If you’re intending to make any deductions other than the Income tax and national insurance contribution. You need prior written consent from your staff in writing. Otherwise, the deductions is illegal.

Tax Code

Your staff should have a unique tax code that is issued by HMRC. The tax code represents the amount of tax free income your staff entitled to for each tax year. The tax code is effectively representing your staff personal allowance and tax free income entitlement.

Net pay

Net pay is what your staff left with after the PAYE deductions. This is often referred to as take home pay.

Undue delay in staff disciplinary appeal

As employers, when handling staff disciplinary appeal, care must be taken to avoid undue delay in staff disciplinary appeal hearing and decision. The ACAS codes recommend five working days as usually appropriate. ACAS stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

The Employment Act 2002 also requires employers to ensure each step and action taken under your staff disciplinary Appeal procedure without unreasonable delay.

For example, a member of staff was being disciplined for alleged in direct competition with the employer. The staff was dismissed immediately. The staff wrote to the employer to appeal against their decisions on 21 November.

The appeal hearing was made to hear on 2 December. It was more than 5 working days. Subsequently, the decision of appeal was communicated to the staff on 08 December. Overall, the whole appeal process took 11 working days to finalize. This was an obvious undue delay in the staff disciplinary Appeal process.

Universally, the Employment Tribunals or the court take into account the undue delay in your staff disciplinary appeal process into account when assessing employers’ reasonableness.

Generally, If the employer considered the allegations were serious enough to dismiss the staff immediately. According to the evidences gathered then there should be no excuse to delay finalizing the appeal case.

At the same time, the Employment Tribunals or the court want to make sure employers do not use the disciplinary process to get rid of their staff. For the reason to avoid redundancy payout or compensation.

Thus, it is important that you include a staff disciplinary procedure in your staff handbook. If you do not have a staff handbook, it is the time to create one.

Treat staff right

Treat staff right is the employer’s responsibilities. Your staff is protected by the employment law in the United Kingdom.

Your staff could make a complaint with the Employment Tribunals and this may attract unwelcome publicity for your company. As a result, the publicity can be damaging your business reputation and labelled you as bad employers.

Staff handbook

You may put in place a staff policy and procedures at work so everyone understand their roles within your company. Accordingly, as an employer and as an employee and what are the rules your staff must follow. This staff policy and procedures often being called a Staff handbook and it is a must have. Do not be put off by the fact that it is a time consuming writing the staff handbook task. The handbook is there to protect you as an employer and also will be used as a guide to resolve any disputes with your staff.

Treat staff right so they don’t complaint

Your staff can make a compliant to Employment Tribunals against your company for any of the following:

  • Sacking your staff on unfair ground
  • Not allowing your staff to take their holidays or breaks
  • Refusing employees’ rights
  • Discriminating against people who work for you, want to work for you or have worked for you
  • Not providing safe working environment for your staff
  • Paying your staff less than the national minimum wage
  • Asking your staff to work long hours
  • Flaw in disciplinary procedures
  • Not paying your staff for sickness, maternity and redundancy
  • Not paying men and women equal pay for the same job.

Staff handbook and appraisal

The employment law has given employees more protection in recent years. There are now disciplinary and grievances procedures you must follow if you are firing your staff. Employers who sacked their employees without reasonable grounds can get themselves into serious trouble. Having a staff handbook and appraisal is useful when comes to employment disputes.

However, if you stay on the right side of the law, follow all the statutory disciplinary procedures and fair about the reasons for dismissal you do have the right to sack your employees.

The laws are there to protect employees from bad employers. These laws also help employers to protect themselves from disgruntle employees.

The law is not a burden to good employers who look after their employees and promote fairness within workplace.

It is a good practice to have an employee handbook and formal appraisal system in place at work so that every employee is aware of your company’s policy and procedure and the purpose of the appraisal system.

The appraisal system is used to evaluate staff performance and any aspects of staff shortfall can be picked up and encourage improvements and it can also be used as planning for staff training on desired skills.

If you are thinking of employing people or your company has employees but do not have time to prepare employees handbook and appraisal forms. You are welcome to speak to our accountants. They will be able to offer you the best solutions.

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