Ask ACAS About Strong Payroll Practices for Smaller Firms

The legal requirements for employers when it comes to minimum pay rates are very confusing right now. Since April 2016 the National Minimum Wage rate has been replaced–but only for workers over 25 or with certain exemptions–by the National Living Wage, which is re-evaluated every April to make sure it keeps abreast of inflation and other rises in the cost of living. So how much should you be paying your employees, and how can you tell?

It doesn’t take a magician to figure it out, but it does take someone who knows all the nuances of the laws governing payroll and how they apply to your situation.  That’s where Acas comes in.  Not only do they know the law, but they are in business to help employers and employees avoid costly and unnecessary disputes by making sure all parties have the information and assistance they need.

Acas makes many of their tools and resources available online, including the current age-adjusted minimum rates of pay here. Other resources available for smaller firms include their comprehensive guide to pay and wages and their ongoing schedule of training and support classes for owners, supervisors and payroll managers.   If your challenge is more complicated or more uncommon than these resources can address, Acas can work directly with you to find a solution. Contact them here to see an overview of their services and request personalized assistance.

Specialized situations that may impact your payroll include:

Equal pay requirements.  You are required by law to pay men and women at the same rate for the same work in the same job.  How can you ensure you are doing this, and how should it be tracked and reported?

Hiring migrant workers.  What special requirements come into play when hiring and paying someone whose permanent home is not near their workplace? What additional information should you document and what rules govern their rates of pay?

Bonuses and other one-time payments. If you want to reward your employees with extra money in their pay, how should you structure the program? When is the best time of the fiscal year for payout? Should it be tied to individual or firm performance? Who is or should be excluded from a reward program?

Employment contracts.  Although these documents typically contain much more than pay information, disputes about pay are a common ground for misunderstanding during the hiring process and afterwards.  What are the most conflict-free and effective ways to discuss and establish a rate of pay when drawing up an employment contract? When should you negotiate directly and when is it best to bring an objective third party to mediate? How can you establish clear, appropriate expectations for your employees concerning their pay?

There is no role more critical in an organization from the employees’ point of view than that of paying them what they’re worth: accurately, fairly and on time.  Acas can help you fulfill that role with confidence. Not only will it reduce your administrative burden, Acas will be a knowledgeable and helpful ally in growing your business. Don’t let payroll anxiety keep your firm down.  With Acas to help you build a solid, healthy relationship with your team, the sky’s the limit. To learn more about ACAS and the helpline contact them here.

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