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Beating the heat of summer payroll: how to avoid the annual leave nightmare

23rd Jun 2023
Brought to you by
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The payroll solution that provides all you need for Auto Enrolment.

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As the weather heats up, everyone’s mind turns to taking a break. However, while this might be a pleasant thought for employees, for employers and the accountants and payroll bureaus they work with, it means an onslaught of time-off requests, complicated schedule management and complex reporting. This is exacerbated by the last-minute nature of much of this work, as plans change and opportunities arise.

Without the right processes and systems in place, this can quickly lead to unnecessary stress and extra work for payroll teams, just as everyone else is heading off to relax. But with the right online payroll tools on your side, you can help your clients take control of the process with better visibility, control and insight, to ensure that both their business and yours keep running smoothly this summer. 

The summer crunch

The challenge with managing summer leave requests is that most businesses are not set up to handle the work they bring. Processes set up for business-as-usual payroll management quickly struggle when conditions change, requiring extensive manual intervention to keep them running. 

During the summer period, providers and clients have to deal with:

  • High request volumes: As all employees request time off within a short window, each leave request must be accurately tracked and factored into the payroll. Legacy systems can make this time-consuming and slow, increasing the risk of scheduling errors or data gaps.
  • Last minute updates: Many requests come in with relatively short notice, forcing employers and providers to work quickly to integrate the request to keep the employee happy while ensuring the business is covered.
  • Revising payroll data: Time off requires calculating the correct pay rate for the leave period, which can be complicated by overtime, bonuses, or commissions, as well as ensuring that all the details are complete and compliant.

Closing the leave data gap

Time is the hidden risk of leave management – some employees book their leave months in advance, some wait until a few weeks before. For businesses working with outsourced payroll, all this needs to be communicated to their provider in enough time to manage the work involved, but it’s easy to miss the window, leading to a last-minute rush to grant as many requests as possible.

One of the most effective ways to streamline this process is to remove the middle step, letting employees request leave in a simple, trackable process that ensures nothing gets forgotten. 

BrightPay Connect, BrightPay’s secure cloud add-on, includes a self-service portal, where they can instantly request annual leave, view remaining allowance and access a personal calendar containing any upcoming booked leave or previous leave taken.

  • Once the request is sent, the employer will receive a notification allowing them to either approve or deny that request straight away
  • Employers can view a complete company-wide leave calendar showing all employees leave dates, so staffing levels can be easily tracked
  • Once leave is approved by the employer or HR manager, the data automatically flows back to BrightPay payroll software

There’s no chance for forgotten requests and all outstanding leave is visible and tracked, meaning more employees can get what they want,  while the business stays on top of their staffing.

Taking control of your employees’ leave management 

For firms and bureaus managing large portfolios of clients, the summer rush can be especially taxing on internal resources. During this period, providers need to be able to monitor client communications at scale, while also accessing the depth of insight needed to ensure that all compliance and workflow steps have been taken.

BrightPay Connect brings all your client communication into one platform, with a centralised payroll approval and entry system that links directly to each client’s dashboard, enabling seamless approvals and collaboration.

  • Providers can send payroll entry requests to their clients for them to input their payroll data via their employer dashboard, including hours worked, additions, deductions, and employee leave
  • Providers and employers can view the same information in real-time, ready to review, approve, or reject
  • For high volume periods, these entry requests can be set up as mandatory, ensuring that all relevant payroll information is collected quickly and accurately

Once the provider completes the payroll run, they can send an approval request to their client. The client can then review and approve the payroll or request changes, ensuring a watertight process for the period.

Prioritise payroll peace of mind this summer

Summer should be a time for everyone to find some time to relax, payroll providers included. With the right tools, accountants and payroll bureaus can make the leave request and compliance process more transparent, trackable and efficient for employers and employees alike.

BrightPay payroll software brings all your most important communication into one place, helping you collaborate seamlessly, efficiently and securely, even during high volume periods. By working with shared data and real-time requests, providers can minimise missed information, analyse requests quickly and help employers make the right decisions around staffing this summer.

To find out how BrightPay can help you and your clients avoid the summer stress, book a free online demo of our software. We also offer 60-day free trials if you would like to try it for yourself and your clients.