Tag: Payroll

New look shifts focus to frontline workforces

South African fintech company, SmartWage, known for pioneering the ‘on-demand pay’ model in South Africa has rebranded. The new brand aims to re-establish the company’s commitment to making HR and Payroll easier for companies with deskless employees.

Now called Jem, the organisation helps employees take advances without getting into a payday debt cycle. This comes off the back of accelerated company growth, an evolving product line and a renewal of their ambitious vision.

Simon Ellis, Co-Founder and CEO of Jem said: “We gave ourselves the literal name ‘SmartWage’ when our core focus was on our on-demand pay product, but after listening closely to our customers for the past two years, we realised that there was a need for so many other HR and Payroll products that satisfied the unique needs of companies with frontline employees. So we built those products – like our Payslips system which lets you send payslips to employees over WhatsApp. Our product range and ambitions outgrew the SmartWage brand. We needed a name that could reflect both who we are today and our long term vision.”

About Jem

Jem was founded in May 2020 by Simon Ellis and Caroline van der Merve. They started out offering financial wellness products to employers, including on-demand pay and financial education, and now give employers the ability to do much more. Over the past 12 months, Jem has cemented its status as the market leader for HR and Payroll Systems for companies with deskless employees. It has grown exponentially, with an eight-times increase in its user base and companies like KFC, Edgars, Defy Appliances, Mukuru, and Twizza are using their systems. This growth is a clear indicator that companies of all sizes with deskless employees are starting to acknowledge that enterprise software built for office-based employees does not suit the needs of their deskless workforces.

Caro van der Merwe, Co-Founder and COO commented: “In the world of HR, most processes are still done manually. Existing software like SAGE, Workday and Oracle are missing the ‘last mile’ of HR: connecting with deskless and distributed workers. What we see is that day-to-day, most large companies that employ deskless workforces haven’t found a way to digitally communicate with their employees, so despite plenty of HR & Payroll software, much of their processes remain paper-based. If we can save employers time and money through digitisation, helping them communicate clearly, efficiently and dynamically with their employees we can add real value to their operations.”

The numbers tell the same story. 90% of deskless employees don’t have or don’t use email, but 97% of formally employed people in South Africa use WhatsApp. In a country where the majority of people have less than five apps on their phone, it makes sense to leverage an existing distribution channel to help employers automate many of their HR processes. This is the fundamental reason why Jem uses WhatsApp to send payslips, process leave requests, manage salary advances and communicate with frontline employees.

Simon explained the origin of the name: “Since announcing the rebrand the most common question has actually been around our name. The oldest form of long-distance communication is through drums. They were used for centuries to connect people in faraway communities. The most well-known ‘talking drum’ of them all is the Djembe. Our name comes from the middle of that word. Connecting the office with its faraway, deskless employees is at the heart of what we do, and our new name is a constant reminder of our purpose.”

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Access FastTrack 360 is a powerful cloud-based payroll and billing system

Business management software provider The Access Group, has announced the launch of Access FastTrack360 in the UK market, following its acquisition of the Australian-based business, FastTrack360 in March 2022. Access FastTrack360 is a powerful cloud-based payroll and billing system that caters for the unique and complex needs of recruitment agencies allowing them to pay workers and clients with precision from one system that can be uniquely configured to their business.

Access Recruitment, a division of the Access Group, supports agencies from start-up to scale-up through to large enterprise players around the globe with technology that spans the entire front to back-office ecosystem. Access FastTrack360 will sit alongside their existing Access Pay and Bill software and outsourced solutions, providing customers with the choice of the industry’s most comprehensive range of pay solutions on the market. Access FastTrack360 will seamlessly connect with top recruitment CRMs including Vincere, for an end-to-end system that dramatically reduces the number of manual touchpoints in the payment and billing process thereby increasing accuracy and efficiency.

Paul Vogel, Managing Director of Access Recruitment said: “We are excited to launch the world-class pay and bill solution that is Access FastTrack360 into the UK to augment our existing pay solutions. Access FastTrack360 offers a modern, configurable pay and bill solution that removes a whole host of admin for agencies and is integrated with candidate and client portals for a better experience.”

FastTrack360’s powerful pay and bill solution was recently selected by ManpowerGroup to underpin their international operations building on their 25-year relationship in Australia. The single cloud-based platform was selected for its breadth of functionality and flexibility that will be configured across a broad range of different country requirements.

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Late payments from suppliers and payroll system issues cited as reasons for delays

Despite contract work being on the rise since the pandemic, freelancers often wait three times longer to get paid than full-time staff who earn a monthly salary. Research shows that this is due to firms struggling with cash flow and payroll issues.

The survey, conducted by embedded finance and payment solutions provider, Sonovate, showed that 53% of all small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) use contractors. However, this number increased to 81% when looking only at medium-sized businesses.

More than a quarter (27%) of SMEs said it takes them over 90 days to pay their contract staff. This figure increases to 37% among medium-sized businesses (50 to 249 employees), even though they are expected to have more predictable cash flow and should be able to make more timeous payments.

Five hundred senior business decision makers were surveyed, and it was discovered that 28% cited cash flow as one of the main reasons for slow payments (rising to 33% among mid-sized enterprises). It was also found that 62% believed that these cashflow issues were caused by the knock-on effect of late payments from their suppliers and customers. Twenty-eight percent said that issues with payroll systems stopped them from paying contract workers on time.

Regardless of the clear need for good contractors, 39% agreed that failure to pay timeously might result in missing out on quality talent. A further 24% admitted they had lost contract workers as they couldn’t pay them on time.

Richard Prime, co-founder and co-CEO at Sonovate, said: “Despite the last few years accelerating the number of workers going freelance or contracting, they are consistently being paid late which is not sustainable for many people –  particularly at the moment.”

“We know that contract workers are the future of the UK’s workforce, but with the cost-of-living crisis front of mind, 90 days is just absurdly long to wait for payment. Against the backdrop of this crisis, it is paramount that businesses have access to solutions that support them to offer fairer and swifter payment across the workforce supply chain.”

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Can employers help by scrapping outdated payday cycles?

According to a recent survey over 2,000 British people, one in four people are skipping meals over their rising cost of living worries.

With inflation at record highs, and increasing financial pressure, especially on ‘lower income’ workers, employers are urged to scrap outdated payday cycles which exacerbate stress.

Steve Tonks, SVP EMEA at WorkForce Software commented: “48% of the UK population frequently feel monetary stress, with financial anxiety being a leading cause of poor mental health for three fifths (60%) of employees – with the rising cost of living soaring it is no surprise that the fear of food poverty is growing. With grocery price inflation reaching 5.9 per cent, the highest level since December 2011, it is inevitable that the most affected by these hikes will be low-wage, hourly workers – many of whom are frontline.”

“For these employees, lunar pay cycles can be a particular pressure point– as there can be up to eight weeks of elapsed time between when hours were worked and when payment is received. As a result, many workers are forced into high-interest payday loans to make it through the month- an issue that is only being exacerbated by rising inflation.”

“Earned Wage Access (EWA) is a simple yet highly effective way to improve the employee experience, while helping workers to better manage their finances both in the short and long term.”

“Employers have a responsibility to help break outdated pay cycles, now more than ever. But, EWA shouldn’t just be a ‘nice-to-have’ during times of economic upheaval. Instead, it should be viewed as a long-term CSR goal for organisations, supported by ongoing education and advice on money management.”

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By David McCormack, CEO of HIVE360

Recruitment businesses are wrestling with how to cover the increased costs following the IR35 changes that took effect last month. An outsourced PAYE model is the solution as both recruiters and their workers will be financially better off.

Following a year of COVID-19-related delays, IR35 changes kicked-in last month. To comply, recruitment businesses have three options: set-up an in-house payroll facility, cut workers’ pay, or outsource payroll to a recommended PAYE, compliant specialist.

The cost of IR35

The new off-payroll rules mean there is more tax to pay.  Umbrella companies charge recruiters for administering payroll, at an average £20 per worker per week – so that’s around £1,000 per worker a year, based on an £18,000 salary.

An in-house payroll also carries additional costs – we estimate a recruitment company with 400 workers should plan for an additional £30,000 each year in administration and resource costs.

To cover these and the additional tax, recruitment business must either ‘absorb’ the financial hit, or pass the costs on to workers in the form of a pay cut, which, if using an umbrella model, would have to be at least five percent to cover the additional costs.

If agencies offer workers a fair, comparable PAYE rate, workers are financially better off being paid this way. When you deduct the weekly fee and all costs of employment going through an umbrella company, and see the real ‘take-home pay’ for workers, you have to ask if the vanity of a higher umbrella rate (and we all know it’s not really a higher pay rate) is stopping recruiters moving workers to PAYE, which is the ‘IR35 safe solution’.

The cost-savings of outsourcing PAYE payroll to a compliant provider speak for themselves:

  • > Recruiters outsourcing temporary workers’ PAYE payroll to Hive360 report savings of £100 or more per worker in the first year.
  • > A temp agency with 2,000 PAYE temps could see a return of £200,000 per annum.
  • > An employer with 100 employees could achieve a bottom-line return of over £10,000.

Added benefits on-the-go 

HIVE360 is an expert in recruitment agency PAYE payroll including those governed by the GLAA (Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority). We are also specialists in wellbeing and benefits provision – and bring all this together in one powerful and unique solution: Engage.

Recruiters that outsource their PAYE payroll to HIVE360 gain automatic, complimentary access for all pay-rolled workers to this employee digital health and wellbeing app.

The app’s features include a personal doctor, personal support helpline, care support, and gym memberships, thousands of high-street and online lifestyle, dining and insurance discounts, mobile phone savings, online training resources, and GDPR-compliant pay and pension information such as digital payslips and a real-time workplace pension dashboard.

Recruitment businesses using Engage record worker engagement levels of over 80%.

Recruiters’ choice

By bringing recruiters’ candidate and HR systems seamlessly together in one mobile experience, and by working closely with our team, Engage delivers customised, accurate, on time and fully transparent agency worker pay, whilst creating significant cost savings on PAYE Payroll and Pensions Administration, as well as improving internal process efficiencies and reducing overheads.

Dean Nixon, Commercial Director of First Call Contract Services told me: “Operating extensively in the GLAA Sector means our business has a big commitment to the welfare of our workers. Our decision to launch a new engagement platform with HIVE360 during the global pandemic was an easy one. By giving our temporary workers access to a mobile app that provides immediate GP services, mental health counsellors, pay and pensions information, means we’re helping to support and protect them ‘on the go’ and can give them immediate access to vital information.”

Tricia Hay, MD of First Base Employment added: “I’m really passionate about making sure we consistently uphold high standards in what is a highly competitive recruitment market, especially in the way we treat and look after our temporary workers. Partnering with HIVE360 has allowed First Base to really take welfare and benefits to an exemplary level for all of our valued candidates and our own staff.”

Speaking about its partnership with HIVE360, MD of Rocket Software, Danny Steel, said: “We had been looking for a strategic partner in the employee benefits space and after reviewing numerous potential partners, we found HIVE360 innovative, collaborative, progressive and creative. Their mobile-based tech easily integrates with our TempID+ software and Pocket Rocket app, and as GLAA license holders with much experience in this vital sector, we felt HIVE360 was a really good fit for us, and so they became the obvious choice for our preferred strategic partner.”

Specialist employee benefits and outsourced payroll provider, GLAA license holder and Inspiring Workplaces corporate member, HIVE360 is championing a new model of employment administration in the UK market, and redefining employment and pension administration processing.  For more information, visit: www.hive360.com  

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