Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Self-Indulgent End Of Year Update

Time for an overdue update.  On a personal level, I am very happy to have become an employee of Workday.

I am still taking an interest in UK Payroll, Absence and HR issues, although my role is more a global one relating to Absence.

I won't therefore be blogging any further in relation to PeopleSoft.  I have to wave goodbye to the Software product that's been paying my mortgage for the last 15ish years, but happily not to all of the friends and colleagues I've met.  Quite a few former PeopleSoft folk have, like me, turned up at Workday and I intend to stay in touch with those who haven't and are still working with PeopleSoft

To anyone still working with PeopleSoft - I salute you and have fond memories of my "PeopleSoft days".

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (Happy holidays if you prefer) to one and all.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

More on Court Orders - Direct Earnings Attachments

Not strictly a Court Order at all, but -

There's a new type of order for employers to operate.

Only announced towards the end of last year, these are due to begin a pilot in April.  The orders are going to be operated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

So where are all the details? Weeeelll, apparently the DWP will be publishing a guide on their website soon.

Sadly for everyone, the timescales are a bit challenging for anyone wanting their payroll software package to calculate and prioritise the orders automatically.

The timing could be better, given the advent of RTI, the recent changes to the requirements for reporting of other orders demanded by CMEC (which replaced CSA) - although CMEC is apparently now called Child Maintenance Group, presumably on the grounds that they hadn't had a name change for a few months.

All that said, the requirements don't look too onerous - and there's a chance that an employer may never see one of these orders at all.

Monday, 4 March 2013

HMRC Demands for Underpayment

Following my previous post, it seems that concerns were raised at the Customer User Group. HMRC has issued a formal response, published (for members) on the CIPP website. So far so good - but the response seems to lay all the "blame" on employers or their agents - for example;

Duplicate (or too few) employment records held by HMRC:

If the employment records held by HMRC contain duplicate employments,
and therefore do not match the employment records held by the
employer, it's likely that we will be expecting the employer to pay
more than is actually due. We have published guidance about avoiding
the creation of duplicate employments to software developers and in
our pilot employer updates.

This of course, is fine up to a point, but neither employers nor software providers or payroll bureaux are creating duplicate records on purpose to cause problems.

I'm hoping that HMRC will make an effort to find out what the source of the issues is and offer some help in sorting it out. I hope they won't be looking for a way to try and complain they are being sent bad data (even if strictly speaking they are) - because a lot of people have spent a huge amount of time and cash trying to comply with their requirements.

Not many payroll people are also systems experts so some of these issues are not immediately transparent to them - I suspect the same is true for many in HMRC - but it's no good HMRC just saying "you're wrong" if a new system seems to be doing unexpected things. Clearly, as I alluded to in my first posting, if you are suddenly "underpaying" by a significant amount that is worthy of further investigation and not just a demand to "pay up"

Fingers crossed.  Like all postings here - this is a purely personal view.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

RTI Worries - one serious, one not

In the RTI "news" recently have been two issues - the number of "hashes" that don't match, and HMRC sending outrageous demands for underpaid tax to employers in the RTI pilot.

Without revisiting all the comment I've read on this (hand there's been plenty on Linkedin), I offer my personal opinion for what it's worth:

The hashing issues - the hash was supposed to ensure that HMRC could match the source of the payment to its destination.  It was a nice theory but flawed for a number of reasons.  The best thing would be to forget it - but that may not happen.  I assume no-one will want to admit it doesn't really work, and there may be a future for it if anyone resurrects the idea of HMRC doing our deductions.

The Demands for payment - this is serious for two reasons - it shows that HMRC don't seem to be "joined-up" in the sense of wondering how an Organisation (in one example) could suddenly owe an extra £60k in tax despite having paid over everything their (respected in the Industry) software told them to.  They seem to have simply picked up the phone to ask for the £60k
The second reason is that there's apparently a bit of a mess up in the way HMRC deals with people who have more than one job with the same employer - it isn't totally clear yet what this issue is, but it looks serious, given the numbers of people who do this.

Interesting times for a payroll systems geek like me.