As a tight-knit team of payroll professionals we have, in recent weeks, been reflecting on the challenges our clients faced during the pandemic and the challenges we ourselves have faced in our endeavours to support them, as we begin to see the landscape alter for the better.

When the first lockdown was announced, and the UK realised things were serious, many employers were understandably concerned about how they could continue to keep staff on the payroll, and whether their businesses would survive.

The Government responded quickly, with the creation of the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (CJRS). This was undoubtedly an invaluable lifeline for so many employers and employees, keeping people in jobs and giving employers the breathing room and flexibility they needed when the status quo had been thrown into disarray.

Whilst thankful for it having been established, we also found ourselves needing to get to grips with the scheme and it’s many refinements, practically overnight, in order to support our clients with furlough claims, in addition to continuing to ensure that payrolls were processed accurately and on time. No mean feat!

It was challenging too, to learn of the tough conversations employers were needing to have with employees, and the changes some were reluctantly forced to make in respect of staffing levels in order to continue operating.

We saw the number of employees on payrolls drop by 19%, compared with the same time in 2019, and for some time we really didn’t know if and when things might improve.

However, we couldn’t be happier to see that things finally appear to be turning around and everything points to a positive outlook for employers going forward; both in terms of retaining staff and growing their existing workforce. We have seen the overall payroll headcount increase by 16.5% in comparison to 2020.

This corroborates what is being observed elsewhere too, as we discuss in our blog ‘SME employers confident in workforce expansion plans’.

We are proud to have supported our clients during such a difficult period; to see businesses bouncing back and taking on new employees, and a number even offering apprenticeship positions, is all we could have hoped for.

If you’re an employer that has plans to expand your workforce, we can support you to ensure you are compliant with all the latest legislation and meeting your legal obligations.

To discuss your payroll needs with our dedicated payroll bureau servicing Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and beyond, contact GH Payscheme today on 01767 315010, email or fill in one of our online enquiry forms.

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