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Correcting duplicate employees - Sage

Does this comply with RTI rules

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Client who processes own Sage payroll has seasonal staff who are placed on hold when they don't work. They didn't work for a few months but when they came back they were set up again as a new employee on Sage so the system is showing 2 employee records for the same person, one on hold and one active.   The client would like to keep the one record and the advice given is to roll back the employee on the most recent record to remove them as if they were not processed and submit and FPS adjustment to wipe them out, then re- process the payroll on the old record. Bearing in mind a few months may have passed by now so we are looking at historical corrections. I think this would be incorrect as technically HMRC will have two records and a split tax code plus re-running it may mean that the employee could receive a refund on the first record so what is then been re-submitted on the old record as a re run isn't technically agreeing with what they were paid.

Any thoughts on this. I would have thought it would be easier to P45 the original record and enter P45 figures on the new record but I think the client wants all the figures on the one record for continuity

Thanks

 

Replies (4)

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By Wanderer
13th Oct 2021 17:56

Were they regarded as a leaver? If so Sage say it's correct to regard them as a leaver then rejoiner with a new record.
https://help.accounting.sage.com/en-gb/payroll/employees/returning-emplo...
Alternatively if on hold:-
https://my.sage.co.uk/public/help/askarticle.aspx?articleid=29230

Watch holiday entitlement though!

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By Hugo Fair
13th Oct 2021 20:48

OP: "seasonal staff .. placed on hold when they don't work. They didn't work for a few months but when they came back they were set up again as a new employee on Sage so the system is showing 2 employee records for the same person, one on hold and one active."

The big issue isn't sorting out Sage (although that will be necessary), but finding out what's been submitted to HMRC - and correcting that.
For instance:

* I assume that they weren't marked as a leaver (employment contract end date) in any FPS?
In which case there is still an employment record (let's call it A) for them on HMRC's system.

* When you say they were "placed on hold", do you mean that the 'Irregular Employment Payment Pattern' flag was set for them in an FPS?
In which case that employment record A is still likely to be 'open' on HMRC's system (depending on things like how long ago the flag was set).

* When you say "they were set up again as a new employee on Sage", did you as part of that process presumably give them a new 'Payroll ID'?
In which case when this was included in an FPS, a further employment record (let's call it B) will have been created on HMRC's system ... as if that person had two concurrent employments.

If the above is a correct description of what has happened, then (depending on what data you supplied regarding a 'starter declaration' for each 'new employee') ... it is quite probable that the wrong amount of Tax will have been deducted from payments in their 'second employment'.

BTW, when you say "the advice given is to roll back the employee on the most recent record .. then re- process the payroll on the old record" - who gave this advice?
If it was Sage, then check back with them after going through the above points - in case that changes their advice. Note: I am not a Sage user.
If it was HMRC, then take it with a pinch of salt (given the unreliability of much of their 'advice') - but again see if you can get clarification on the status of employment records at their end.

Oh, and one key fact that you've omitted, are the 'old' and 'new' employments in the same Tax Year (or was the last FPS for the former in 2020-21 and the first FPS for the latter in 2021-22)?

There is unlikely to be a single 'automated' routine to fix it all ... for instance some employees may not have been on cumulative Tax Codes - and, as Wanderer has pointed out, there are many Entitlement calcs (not just holidays) where you will need to treat both employments as a single employment (whether or not that is what ends up being shown on Sage).

Finally, you mention the possibility that "what is then re-submitted on the old record as a re-run (may not) technically agree with what they were paid."
There is a high likelihood of that - but that just means that you have to deduct (or pay as appropriate) sufficient sums in the next pay period to make things balance.

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By Paul Crowley
13th Oct 2021 20:38

It must be a pub
The only client that we do wages for that gives us this much grief

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By Barbara G
13th Oct 2021 23:24

We use Sage as agents for multiple employers and have had the same issue on far too many occasions. What we were advised to do was as you say, keep the oldest record and get rid of the most recent ones. How we did that was roll the record back for the newest ones to the first pay date, process a zero pay (set the tax code to 0Twk1), submit an fps adjustment dated as per the most recent pay date, thus showing zero pay to date, then change the tax code back to what it had been and submit another fps adjustment showing status as a leaver. If the tax codes had been split they should rectify when HMRC pick up the adjustments and issue a new code for the one remaining record. We had to run the payroll week by week on the first payroll record according to what was processed on the second record. No need to enter year to date figures as we were processing the payroll as it should have been week by week but just using the first record. It was tedious but it worked.

Sage issues a different r.t.i. identifier number for every new employee, regardless of whether or not they're already on the payroll, so HMRC thinks it's the same employee with more than one job in one company. If there's anyone from Sage on this forum, is there no way your software writers could include an element which identifies that an NI number is already in use on the payroll and avoid these duplications?

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