14 September 2021

The CIPP policy and research team delivered a selection of sessions exclusively for members over the summer

Summer 2021 saw the policy team present three webinars on topics that impact the work and roles of payroll professionals. Each team member delivered a different session covering:

  • payrolling benefits

  • salary sacrifice

  • termination payments.

The concept of BeKnowledgeable webinars is to provide insight into a specific area of payroll and to explain how legislation is put into practice within a payroll environment. It also presents an opportunity for CIPP members to ask the policy team any questions they have on the topic at hand.

Gemma Mullis kicked off the summer series by discussing payrolling benefits, which is something that the policy team is keen to encourage organisations to adopt. The process gives employees a more accurate idea of their financial position as tax is applied and paid in real time. It also removes some of the administrative pressures surrounding tax year-end for the payroll team, as there is no requirement to produce individual P11Ds by the 6 July deadline.

The session gave a brief overview of expenses and benefits, discussed what payrolling means and explained how an organisation would register to payroll benefits. In addition, delegates were notified which benefits can be payrolled, and those which cannot, with examples provided to put it all into practice. Special focus was placed on the payrolling of company cars, as this can often be an area of confusion. Finally, Gemma answered some frequently asked questions prepared by the CIPP’s advisory team, before presenting attendees with the opportunity to ask questions of their own.

It was then Samantha Johnson’s turn to take centre stage, delivering a webinar on salary sacrifice. Sam discussed what makes a salary sacrifice arrangement and outlined what an optional remuneration arrangement is. Comprehensive examples were provided to help delegates understand the intricacies of both. The session also considered the implications of national minimum wage obligations when implementing salary sacrifice. Finally, Sam looked at how statutory payments interact with salary sacrifice and explored the potential future of salary sacrifice arrangements.

In the third and final session for the summer, Lora Murphy discussed termination payments. Unfortunately, coronavirus has had such a negative impact on so many organisations that this was an area that could not be left uncovered. This felt particularly pertinent with the closure of the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) in September 2021 – a scheme that was a lifeline for employees and employers alike throughout the pandemic.

Lora discussed what termination payments can consist of, for example, pay in lieu of notice, post-employment notice pay and redundancy. She explored statutory redundancy periods and pay, and briefly touched on mandatory consultation period requirements. The most frequently asked questions surrounding termination payments were addressed, followed by a Q&A session with webinar delegates.

The team took a break from delivering the BeKnowledgeable sessions to turn their focus to National Payroll Week, which took place in early September. However, the series returned with a bang in October, with the first autumn webinar focused on payroll beyond the pandemic, reviewing the key considerations for businesses and payroll teams as the CJRS wound down. Payroll teams will continue to see significant activity from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the coming months and years, as the scheme is audited for fraud and abuse. The CIPP urges organisations to thoroughly prepare for future audit activity.

The topics to close out 2021 in November and December are statutory payments, and a huge area of challenge for payroll professionals – overpayments.

CIPP members have access to recordings of each of the sessions and can request a copy of any of the BeKnowledgeable webinars by getting in touch with the CIPP’s events team, at [email protected]

The policy team hopes the sessions will continue to attract large audiences and that you assist in shaping the content produced. Please get in touch to let us know which topics are currently challenging you, or that you would simply like some additional information on. The policy team’s email address is [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.

Featured in the October 2021 issue of Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward. Correct at time of publication.