How we’ve Helped our Customers to Adapt and Respond to the Coronavirus Crisis
As we reach week six of lockdown, I wanted to reflect on the journey we’ve taken at Moorepay. I’m sure you’ll all agree that as well as the serious implications for people’s health and the NHS, coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a significant impact on UK businesses.
A big thank you to the Moorepay team for their dedication to supporting customers through these challenging times
Here at Moorepay, we’re acutely aware of the extreme pressure that all our customers are currently under. Like many businesses, we’ve been working tirelessly to support our customers and I’d like to thank all my colleagues for their dedication. The commitment of our people to our customers is one of the things that I’m most proud of at this very challenging time.
How we’re balancing huge shifts in demand
The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on payroll and HR processes has been significant. The introduction of emergency legislation, primarily the job retention scheme, has led to a great deal of confusion and challenges as business owners and HR / Payroll practitioners attempt to digest the fast-moving information.
Up until a few weeks ago, many of us had never heard of furlough. Now it’s a term we hear daily – whether that’s at work, in the news or on a Zoom call with friends.
Since the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal opened on 20 April, our payroll teams have seen a significant increase in demand for support. Coupled with the usual increase in activity as we reach the end of the month, our teams have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that all payrolls are processed, and employees are paid on time.
From a HR perspective, we saw close to a 400% increase in calls to our 24-hour HR Advice Line in March as our customers sought urgent advice on how to manage the pandemic within their businesses. In addition, over 7,000 pieces of content have been downloaded by customers within the Employment Law and Health & Safety modules of our HR Hub.
New product updates and support services
I’d also like to share a few of the new product updates and support services we’ve put in place to help our customers.
We’re supporting customers in calculating payroll for furloughed employees through a combination of updates to our payroll & HR software and advice from our qualified payroll experts. It’s a complex process that involves designating furloughed workers in our payroll system, using appropriate pay codes, payment of holiday pay, the impact on Statutory Sick Pay and Maternity Pay, implications for National Minimum Wage workers, average pay calculations for zero or irregular hours workers, dealing with over-payments and paying apprentices – to name just a few of the implications!
We’ve successfully deployed our Job Retention Scheme Solution and the calculations for furlough are now automated. We’re extremely proud to be one of the first payroll providers in the UK to offer this functionality that significantly reduces the time it takes to set up and process furloughed employees.
The following features and updates have been developed in our HR & Payroll software:
- System flag to indicate a furloughed employee
- History table to show employee furlough dates
- Two new pay codes to support furloughed employees
- An average pay calculation to define workers of irregular hours pay
- Ability to calculate 80% for salaried employees using February 2020 Salary
- Ability to look up previous year for irregular hours workers
- Report functionality showing 80% furloughed value, Employers National Insurance and Employers Minimum Auto Enrolment calculations
In addition, to support our customers, we’ve developed a chatbot where customers can ask questions on coronavirus (COVID-19) related topics. Each question prompts the chatbot to predict a user’s next question and it’s updated daily with new information. It can be accessed 24/7 via both our website and payroll & HR software.
As part of our service to our customers, and the wider HR and Payroll community, we’re also updating the COVID-19 section of our Knowledge Centre on a daily basis with webinar recordings, frequently asked questions and blog posts. If you haven’t visited the Knowledge Centre yet, our COVID-19: Job Retention Scheme FAQs blog is a great place to start.
Moorepay is fully operational with everyone working from home and we remain firmly committed to delivering our services and solutions to the highest possible standard.
Preparing for the New Normal
As we plan for our emergence from lockdown, we will support our customers in managing a safe return to the workplace for their people. We realise it won’t be as easy as simply going back to how things were before, and many people will feel anxious about being in the workplace.
I’d like to conclude by thanking our customers for their understanding and support and to wish you, your families and your colleagues all the best in the challenging weeks ahead.