Changes to national minimum wage could also affect your record keeping

30 June 2021
3 min read

If you are a dental practice owner, an efficient payroll is a priority. Over the past year, the payroll industry has faced a number of challenges due to the pandemic. If you were, or still are, covering any employee wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), or furlough, that is likely to spring to your mind first. 

However, there have been other recent changes that could affect your payroll, with the delayed legislation for off-payroll working, known as IR35, finally hitting the private sector being an example. Additionally, at the beginning of April, rules on how long companies have to keep National Minimum Wage (NMW) records changed.

From April, employers now have to keep the records that establish they are renumerating at a rate at least equal to NMW for six years, rather than three years as had previously been the case. If they do not stick to the rules, they face a fine or risk being “named and shamed” – this was happening before April though, with some big, household names exposed as failing to pay the NMW to some of its workers. Furthermore, employers are also now required to keep all records of furlough claim calculations for six years, too. Retaining all of this data is for lawful purpose, so there is no breach of GDPR.

Related were increases to the NMW for workers age 16 and over: the apprentice rate of NMW, for any apprentice aged either under 19, or aged 19 and over, for the first year of their apprenticeship, has also increased to £4.30 per hour. The National Living Wage (NLW) rose in April as well, from £8.72 to £8.91 per hour, and this now applies to anyone aged 23 or over (it had applied to anyone 25 or over). All the new rates are the result of the government accepting the findings of the Low Pay Commission’s 2020 report.

Protecting all workers
The first point to make here is the pandemic has made it plain how lower-paid workers often perform the kinds of critical roles that keep the economy going during the toughest of times. The second is that HMRC is clearly committed to ensuring that these workers’ living standards are protected.

Taking care of everyone in your practice, irrespective of how many people there are and how much they earn, means that you can not only grow your reputation for being a great place to work, but that you will also retain a motivated, talented team to support you on this journey. Your patients will benefit from an efficiently-run, productive practice too, which is why outsourcing your payroll to a specialist provider is often a great idea. By doing so, they can take care of all the functions of payroll – cutting though any complexity – to ensure it is smooth and accurate. This will also ensure you are compliant with any change to the law, whilst also helping you prepare for any more changes to come. This saves stress as well as time, eliminating the risk of errors and leaving you free to get on with the day to day of providing an exceptional level of care. Wagemate is one specialist provider that manages payroll for many happy clients: combining expertise and experience with the best use of the latest technology, you will get other features that simplify certain processes, such as its ePayslips portal – which is user-friendly as well as highly secure.

Relevant record keeping is a key protocol of efficient payroll. Knowing that you have the correct information to hand, if and when required, means peace of mind for you – and that you won’t get into hot water with HMRC. Payroll is a hard-working process that keeps all businesses functioning properly, as well as keeping all those who work for them happy. It has had changes forced upon it by the pandemic, but some new rules have been long planned, and there are likely to be more in the not-so-distant future. To stay on top, outsource to a provider that will make the job easy, effortless and correct, every time.

To better manage your payroll, contact payroll specialists Wagemate today,
tel: 03330 102102 or email