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Our Top Tips for a successful Christmas Payroll

It is nearly Christmas, which means many people can look forward to a well-earned rest, which is definitely needed after the emotions and events of this year!

If you are running a business, you are no doubt planning ahead to make sure orders go out in time, sending gifts to your customers and also attending the Zoom meetings booked for your festive Christmas drinks, as we still can’t celebrate as we might have hoped.

There will without doubt need to be a space in that busy diary for your company payroll. Some companies pay their December wages a little earlier to give their staff a nice little boost before Christmas; others prefer to stick with their usual scheduled date.

Many surveys have been carried out to gauge what the employee preference is here. Being paid before Christmas is great to cover those extra costs; however, it can then be a very long six weeks until the next pay day. Either way, be sure to let your payroll team know as the bank holidays this month may affect their timings and processes. If you use an outsourced payroll company & are considering bringing your payday forward you may want to think about having that conversation sooner rather than later to make sure they can accommodate your request.

Your Full Payment Submission (FPS) should still show your normal contractual pay date and your Employer Payroll Summary (EPS) should be submitted to the normal timetable, otherwise HM Revenue and Customs could impose some easily avoided fines.

Other considerations around Christmas time are in the following areas:

Will you be offering any Christmas gifts or bonuses this year to your staff? It’s important to distinguish between cash gifts and tangible gifts. Then there is the rather confusing areas of whether these gifts could be sold for cash; is the recipient a director of the business and considerations around the salary levels of the recipient. Your accountant or tax adviser can advise you in this area.

Will any of your team be working over the festive period? You will need to consider any potential contractual increases staff are entitled to for working bank holidays, or if indeed there are any other details of this nature within their contracts. If you are closing your business for a rest over the festive period, have you considered if any payrolls will need to be run in advance to cover this period?

The last thing we all need before Christmas is a mad rush to get all these jobs completed or during an IT crash or employee sickness period, so we would recommend that you start working on those Christmas payrolls and other considerations discussed above as soon as you can!

For any questions on your payroll, please contact our specialist payroll team or your usual Seymour Taylor representative. If you are not currently a Seymour Taylor client and need any help with your payroll, or would like to discuss this area with us, please get in touch:   01494 552 100

This blog is for guidance only, professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. The information was correct at time of publishing 9th December 2020.