FAQs regarding the change from 4-weekly to monthly payments
Can my PA continue to be paid every 4 weeks?
No. We have agreed this change with Essex County Council as the benefits for both Direct Payment holders and PAs outweigh any disadvantages. In addition, Purple has had many requests from Direct Payment holders and PAs to move to monthly for the reasons set out in the letter. We are therefore ceasing the 4-weekly payroll option after the next payment cycle.
Why are you changing to monthly payroll?
Moving to monthly payroll is better for the Direct Payment holder and the PA for the reasons set out in the letter.
The 4 weekly payroll means 13 pay days a year, but HMRC payments are made monthly. There is one month each year when two payrolls are paid – when HMRC receive this monthly payment it shows the sum of two payrolls and HMRC systems assume there has been a pay increase which potentially adversely affects tax codes and universal credits. This will not happen with a monthly payroll.
Why is there a 5-week pay period for October?
To get to a monthly payroll as quickly as possible, there are 3 days in September following the next 4 weekly payroll that have been added to the October payroll – that makes a total of 5 weeks and enables monthly payroll to start properly in November. We have attached a specific timesheet template for this period.
When do timesheets need to be submitted?
The deadlines for timesheets are set out in the letter. From 1 November they must be submitted by the 1st day of every month using the new monthly timesheet template – attached.
What timesheet do I use for the next payroll deadline?
Please use the existing 4 weekly timesheet for the payroll period 5 September – 28 September 2020. The deadline for sending to Purple is midday on 26 September 2020.
Why is payday on 14th of the month?
Setting payday on the 14th of the month ensures that payments are made on a set date every month. It also enables Purple staff to address any issues arising from the receipt of the timesheet in advance of payday.
Some of my staff are paid weekly, will they be affected?
There are no changes to staff who are paid weekly at this stage. We will be reviewing this in the new year. However if your PA would like to move from weekly to monthly payment then please contact us by email at email@example.com
Will I still be getting a statement?
Yes. Statements are sent during the third week of every month. Email is the quickest and most efficient way to receive statements. If you currently receive a posted statement and would like to receive it by email in future please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What other changes are being planned?
We are exploring the use of technology that enables PAs to submit their timesheets online and we will send more information about this in due course.
In the new year we will also be implementing a website that enables to you to confidentially log into your account to see your statement.
Will this affect my PA’s tax code
Your PA’s tax code may change but not necessarily because of these changes that have been made. It may appear you are paying more tax, this is because you usually receive 13 payments in a year for the 4 weekly cycle, whereas now there will be 12 payments.
Where can I get more timesheets?
The schedule and timesheet template, together with other useful forms for setting up new PAs, can be found in the Essex Toolbox
Who is ultimately responsible for the Direct Payment?
The service user is ultimately responsible for the direct payment. Ensuring that they use the funding according to their support plan. Making sure that they spend within the agreed budget.
How much can we pay a PA?
There is a range of rates which might apply so you are advised to contact us to discuss if you are unsure. We are always happy to discuss individual cases.
How do I make a referral?
We accept referrals by email or post or fax. The referral form is available here. A copy of our agreed referral form is also available in the ECC SW Practice library.
What is the deadline for timesheets?
ECC service users are paid every 4 weeks. A schedule of payments is sent to every service user. Timesheets signed by the service user must be with Purple by Friday at midday, in order for the PAs to be paid the following week.
How quickly do you pay invoices to agencies and suppliers?
If the invoice is received by Friday lunchtime, we will normally process the invoice on the following week’s payment run.
In what circumstances do you not pay PAs or suppliers?
Where the social worker has expressly advised not to pay; when there is insufficient funds in the service user account; where we consider there may be a safeguarding issue and report to social worker.
What do we do about letters from HMRC to our clients?
Refer the service user to Purple and we will be able resolve any issues as their HMRC agent. It may be that the payroll account needs to be closed down or the amount paid in one month generates an overestimate of tax by HMRC. In most cases, the HMRC letter is an automated estimate based on the information they have and a call from Purple usually resolves the issue. Please be aware that HMRC often continue to generate letters for up to two weeks after the amendment/correction has been made.