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Coronavirus and payroll: your common questions answered

A lot of pressure has been placed under employers and employees alike to adapt to a new way of working during Covid-19. From remote working to furlough, the coronavirus has brought new challenges to businesses and has impacted payroll in lots of different ways.

Businesses will need to adapt their payroll systems and structures once again to ensure they’re in-line with new Government restrictions. Employers will also need to ensure that their team are paid correctly and on-time.

New challenges can bring lots of uncertainty and questions. So, here we share answers to the most common questions about coronavirus and payroll.

If you’re an employer, there’s also expert advice on how to protect your payroll during the second national lockdown.

 

My employees are working remotely – is my payroll secure?

Recent government guidelines advise employees to work from home, where they can. As an employer, payroll is often your biggest expense, which unfortunately makes it a prime target for fraud. Working remotely doesn’t have to impact your security. There are a few ways to ensure your payroll always remains secure.

It’s an ideal time to review how you create your passwords and how they are used within your company. Simple combinations – whilst they may be easier to remember – can put your business at risk of cyber-attacks. Your team should update their passwords on a regular basis. They should also opt for strong passwords that include a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.

There are other ways to keep your payroll systems secure when you work from home. You could ask your staff to encrypt their home wi-fi (update this through the router’s default password), use a VPN (virtual private network) and ensure your team are clued up on current scams.

You may also want to set up a two-factor authentication for the whole team. This will require users to provide two different authentications to verify themselves. This may be a password and a security token, or a fingerprint.

Working remotely isn’t new to Global HRIS. We’re a flexible, remote-based company, but we’re also happy to travel for any on-site payroll projects you may have.

It’s more important than ever to keep your data secure. So, we’ll only recommend payroll and HR software that meets globally-recognised security standards.

 

How can I keep payroll costs under control during the pandemic?

As the impact of the coronavirus spreads, business owners may face pressure to cut costs where they can. Whilst it’s a good opportunity to review your outgoings in the business, it’s crucial to avoid any sudden changes.

During times like these, it becomes clear just how important payroll is to your business. Your staff are the most important aspect of any business: make sure they’re paid on-time and correctly. Be readily-available to answer any coronavirus and payroll queries your team have.

You may be tempted to switch your payroll provider, but be mindful of any hidden costs. We’ll set expectations from the start and tailor our project costs to suit your individual needs. We’re up-front about the cost from the outset.

 

With the furlough scheme extended, Ive placed some of my employees on furlough. How can I ensure my payroll is correct?

The government recently announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now available until March 2021. Whilst this is great news for business owners, it can wreak havoc on your payroll, if it’s not implemented correctly.

If you’re new to the furlough scheme, employees will receive 80% of their current salary (up to the value of £2500) for hours not worked. As an employer, you can make up the difference between the government grant and your employee’s normal salary. This needs to be shown separately on the employee’s payslip.

If your payroll team are in-house, they can follow a step-by-step guide from HMRC. Before you can submit your furlough claim you’ll need to work out your employees’ wages. You should consider the length of your claim period and your employees’ usual working hours.

Communication is key to ensuring your payroll remains a smooth process whilst your staff are on furlough, especially if you outsource your payroll. A good payroll provider should be in regular contact and help the transition from work to furlough. They should be on-hand for all your coronavirus and payroll queries, too.

We understand every payroll is unique – especially now. If you’ve got any questions about the coronavirus and payroll, we’re here to help. Find out more about how our payroll consultants could help your business through the pandemic today.

 

How can I protect my payroll during Covid-19?

Covid-19 has shown how important it is to have a contingency plan, especially during these unprecedented and uncertain times. Whether you operate a small business or a large corporation, there’s a few ways you can protect your payroll.

Protect your team

Your staff are working harder than ever through this global pandemic to ensure your business still runs smoothly. One of the best ways to protect your team is through a smooth, hassle-free payroll.

Whether it’s being paid late or the wrong amount, problems with payroll can be a burden for your business and take its toll on your staff’s wellbeing. If you’re looking to switch up your payroll provider, we’re here to help. Your employees rely on their salaries, so let’s make it as easy as possible: we’ll review your current payroll and HR software, identify any areas to improve on and find a payroll solution that works for your business.

Test your payroll processes

If you’re new to the furlough scheme, or you’ve had issues with payroll over the last few months, block out time to test your processes. This will ensure your payroll and HR software work with any of the recent changes you’ve implemented, such as furlough or redundancy pay.

No time to test your payroll? We’ve got the solution for you: our consultants are readily available to test your payroll processes. No matter which payroll provider you are working with we can support you and your payroll project over the next few months.

Seek additional support

During these uncertain times, your payroll team may become unavailable. This may be as a result of sickness, childcare issues or problems with working remotely.

To help you prepare for situations like these, you could speak to your software providers to check if they can increase support if required or consider an external payroll project manager. Managing a payroll system is complex at the best of times, and with the added uncertainty of Covid-19, it’s important to have a strong contingency plan.

 

If you’re looking for additional support for your payroll during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve got you covered. Speak to our advisers today to find out how we can help your business run smoothly.

 

Find out more about how we can help you by calling Global HRIS today on 0161 900 8227 or get in touch through our website.
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