New flexible working rules: Supporting payroll clients
Last month, the flexible working bill 2022-23 was made law. The new law brings some changes to how employees can request flexible working, and how employers must deal with requests.
But what exactly does flexible working mean? Flexible working refers to any type of work arrangement that allows employees to have more control over when, where, and how they work, providing them with greater work-life balance and adaptability. Flexible working could mean an employee who works entirely or part of their time from home. It could mean an employee who job shares, or that they work flexible hours where their start and finishing times can change.
How have flexible working laws changed?
- There is no longer a requirement for employees to explain in their applications what effect they think them working flexibly will have on the employer
- Employees can now make two flexible working requests each 12 months instead of the one
- Employers are now required to consult with the employee before being allowed to refuse an application
- The deadline for an employer decision on flexible working requests has reduced from three months to two months
The Bill would apply to England, Scotland and Wales but not Northern Ireland where employment law is a devolved matter.
Source: UK Parliament website
Do employees now have the right to request flexible working from day one?
It was outlined in proposals that the new law would mean that employees would now have the right to request flexible working from day one. This however, is not the case, and employees will still need to have at least 26 weeks of continues employment before they have the right to request flexible working. The government has said that they will deal with the day-one request right through separate, secondary legislation.
How can you support clients affected by flexible working changes?
Because of the changes, we’re sure to see an increase in the number of employees who work flexibly. This new way of working changes your clients' days-to-day operations, including tasks related to payroll and HR. As a bureau, you can offer your clients access to technology that can help streamline payroll and HR processes for everyone involved.
From online security to employee communications, it can be difficult to know where to start and which payroll software to choose. BrightPay Connect, the cloud-extension of Bright’s payroll softwrae, BrightPay, offers a client dashboard, which can be a powerful tool in the payroll mix, helping you stand out from competitors when it comes to your service offering. Here are five key ways client dashboards can support and enhance your clients’ flexible working models.
1. Gives clients’ more control over their payroll
Sending payroll data back and forth to clients can be both frustrating and time-consuming, between tiresome phone calls and never-ending email threads; and when there are employees who work flexibly, it can mean the payroll changes a lot each period. Client dashboards, such as BrightPay Connect, allow you to send payroll information seamlessly to your clients each period, which they can then approve. The client also has the option to enter any payroll information for that period, such as adding additions or deductions to employees’ pay, changing hours, or new starter details. Once you and your client are happy with the payroll information, you can then accept it, and it will flow directly back to the payroll software.
Clients can also access their dashboard from anywhere at any time, with multi-user access. This means that multiple users in the company can access the client dashboard, whether they work in the office or remotely. Being able to have multiple users is also handy for any employees who job share. The client dashboard saves you time, while also giving your clients more control of their payroll.
2. Increases your clients’ online security
When you’re processing payroll, you’re dealing with important financial and personal data. If your computer was to be stolen or hacked by ransomware, your bureau could be liable for breaching data protection regulations. This can result in costly fines that could potentially damage client relationships, and the reputation of your practice.
Client dashboards increase your GDPR compliance by giving clients more control over their data. This means that any sensitive information, such as reports or payslips, no longer have to be sent by email, reducing the likelihood of a data breach occurring. When you and your clients use BrightPay Connect, it allows employees to access their payslip history themselves via the employee app, eliminating the need for you to send payslips email. With BrightPay Connect, your clients’ payroll data is backed up to the cloud every 15 minutes or each time you close out of a file. Having the ability to automatically backup your payroll data to the cloud, improves clients’ online security even further.
3. Sharing documents online made easy
When your clients are sharing important HR documents with their employees, such as contracts of employment or a flexible working policy, there’s a chance of these documents getting lost – or worse – getting sent to the wrong person.
Having all of these documents in one centralised hub, like BrightPay Connect’s online platform and employee app, makes it easy for your clients to share documents with multiple employees at the same time - no matter if they’re in the office or working remotely. It also reduces the likelihood of unauthorised people accessing them. Customising access to specific documents, as well as viewing who has and who hasn’t read each document, is all available through the client dashboard. This streamlines many HR processes for clients, as well as supporting their long-term flexible working models.
4. Makes annual leave a breeze for both clients and employees
Whether your client has 10 or 10,000 employees, managing annual leave can be overwhelming, especially when this is employees who work flexible hours. Having an online, user-friendly tool for annual leave is the key to building a sustainable flexible working model. BrightPay Connect’s client dashboard gives your clients the ability to view all of their employees’ leave through an easy-to-use calendar format. Being able to easily see who is on leave and when allows your clients to make better staffing decisions. From the dashboard, your clients can also approve or deny any leave requests. Employees can also benefit with the ability to submit annual leave requests on the go, through the employee app.
Interested in learning more about BrightPay and BrightPay Connect? Why not sign up for a free 15-minute demo of today.
Written by Eleanor Vaughey | Bright
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join forces. Bright is a leading provider of accounting, payroll, tax and HR solutions to businesses across the UK and Ireland. We help thousands of accountants, bookkeepers and small to mid-sized businesses become more productive and efficient with our...