The impact of Covid-19 is escalating and the need for organisations to have business continuity strategies in place are becoming even more urgent.
Unusually with this virus, one of the largest threats isn’t the virus itself but the potential for large scale self-isolation that would interrupt normal business processes.
We are really pleased to advise that we are continuing to provide an uninterrupted payroll service for our 286 customers and have paid their 68,000 employees accurately and on-time.
Unlike many of our competitors who are struggling to provide an accurate service, we are proud to say that our payslip accuracy in March was 99.86% at the first edit, so when we first submit the payroll to them for approval, this is extremely high in normal circumstances, but in a period of significant challenges it highlights our focus on providing a high quality payroll service to our customers.
We are also working closely with our customers to assist them with all the requirements of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Many other payroll providers have, just like they did with Auto-Enrolment, seen this as an opportunity to charge their customers more to help them through this difficult period, that is not our philosophy, as our strap line states: “A partner not just and provider”. More information about CJRS can be found here:
We are 100% UK based and we do not offshore any of our services. We understand that some other payroll providers with large offshore operations are struggling as a direct result and because they do not have the operational capability in the UK are finding it hard to service their customers.
Trace Payroll Services is well prepared, and our operational teams are geared up and will be delivering payrolls and ensuring employees are paid whatever the future situation is with COVID-19.
Our contingency plans
- Guidance has been issued to all employees in line with the information provided by Public Health England.
- All of our staff are working remotely using a secure connection to our network.
- We have collected telephone numbers from all employees, and we have diverted DDI phone lines to the appropriate employees
- All Customer Profiles are up-to-date, and they are stored on the network that can be accessed by all employees remotely.
- All manual carry-forward files have eitbeen her scanned and stored on the network or entered into spreadsheets that are available on the network. This means that anybody can pick up this information remotely.
- We have fully tested our BACS backup facilities and ensured that all software is updated and that all SUN numbers are loaded into the backup systems. We have 2 offsite PC’s with Smart Readers that are being used to transmit BACS securely.
- All of our Technical staff are able to login to core systems remotely using a secure connection and we have tested running payrolls and submitting RTI to HMRC using remote connections.
- We have established that our hosting partner has a sufficient contingency plan in place to ensure continuity of service for our web-application.
We have asked all customers to advise us as soon as they are aware if they have any issues getting us data in order to run their payroll(s). And if they have any issues, we have asked them to advise us how they would like us to handle this for the current period. We will discuss what to do for future periods.
We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that we can continue to provide our customers with an excellent payroll service even with our main office closed.
How can you prepare?
Payroll requires two-way communication, however, so it is essential that our customers also put processes into place to enable payroll data and approval to carry on throughout this crisis.
Here are some of the ways you can be prepared in regard to your payroll.
- Make sure we have your latest and most comprehensive contact details. Consider adding additional telephone or email contact details.
- Is there an alternative authorised contact we can set up should the main contact not be able to provide the necessary information and approvals?
- Ensure you have access to the data required for us to process your payroll?
- Can you let us have information about starts and leavers earlier than usual? Underpayments (such as overtime and expenses) are easy to resolve, whereas overpayments (such as payments to leavers) may be complex and difficult to recover. It is very important, therefore that you keep us up to date with leaver information as soon as possible.
- Can you bring forward your payroll? We have additional resource available to process payrolls early if we are supplied with the relevant information.
- If you have hourly-paid employees, please contact us so we can discuss a plan for these employees.
- We have had to make the tough, but correct decision to close our production department, this means that with immediate effect we will no longer be able to print and post paper payslips. We are however providing you with additional reports which will allow you to print or email PDF payslips to employees that would normally receive a paper payslip. Now is maybe a good time to consider switching to branded electronic payslips, please speak to your Payroll Officer to find our more.
Now is maybe a good time to consider switching to branded electronic payslips, please speak to your Payroll Officer to find our more.