Universal Credits

(Or; Why Submitting Your Payroll On Time Is Important.)

Universal credits are replacing the way benefits used to work.

Information gathered on employees’ pay is sent to HMRC via real time information (RTI) – which we send when we process your payroll.

A Universal Credits system is being rolled out which will work alongside RTI, so if your payroll isn’t submitted on time each week/month/fortnight/4 weeks, your employees’ Universal Credits will be stopped with immediate effect.

This could potentially lead to backlash from your employees.

Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:

Child Tax Credit

Housing Benefit

Income Support

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Working Tax Credit

The Holiday Calculator.


Many of you will be familiar with this handy little Excel Spreadsheet.

The primary reason for you to use the holiday calculator is that all staff accrue holiday, regardless of contract. This means hourly staff, salaried staff – even those on a Zero-Hour Contract all accrue holiday! The calculator takes the hard work out of figuring the hourly staffs’ holiday with the help of some clever, built-in formulae.

By using the calculator, you will always know how much holiday your staff are entitled to – you can then make sure your staff take all of their holiday, and that you don’t pay them for holiday they haven’t earned!

Holiday Calculator How-To!

  1. Enter staff names in the column along the top, under the ‘working hours’ line.
  2. For each week/month/fortnight enter how many hours the employee has worked against the correct week/month number.
  3. At the bottom of the spreadsheet below “Total Hours”, the “Accrued Holiday” in hours will be calculated, from the worked hours you have entered.
  4. When staff take holiday, enter as hours in “Holiday taken”.
  5. Remember “Holiday taken” is a running total for the year. So keep adding on hours for each holiday period taken, recording the grand total in the box.
  6. This then leaves you with the “Outstanding Holiday” in hours, available for the staff member to take before April 5th.
  7. You will need a fresh holiday calculator for each tax year (feel free to request one).

The holiday calculator must not be used for Salaried staff. Their salary for the year includes holiday pay for 5.6 weeks per annum (pro rata), that they are legally allowed to take.

Employers are NOT legally allowed to pay “rolled up holiday” for hourly paid staff. If your current contracts include rolled up holiday they will need to be re-negotiated. Melrose will not include rolled up holiday in Payroll calculations from the new tax year.

Using NEST

Don’t forget about the workplace pension!


If you have chosen a NEST pension scheme for your staff, you will first need to set up your NEST log in. Once we have set up your Pension scheme for you, you will receive an e-mail from NEST requesting this – remember to make a note of your information, as you will need this to pay your employee pensions going forward.

Once in your account –

Click on Manage contributions.

You will see a screen with a table layout.

This has several column headings including Payment Due Date, Payment Source and Payment Frequency.

To pay your contributions –

Click on the arrow in the Edit/Pay column for the relevant Payment Due Date line.

You should now see a screen with contributions on and an option to Save changes or Make Payment

Click Make Payment.

You will need to log into NEST regularly based on your payroll frequency in order to keep on top of your pension contributions. (Monthly, Weekly, 4 weekly, 2 weekly)

If you requested to pay NEST by DD, as the amounts can vary you have to log in and confirm that you want to make payment each period. The payment will not automatically be taken.

You should receive e-mails from NEST letting you know that your contributions are ready to be paid; please do not ignore these e-mails. By not paying your contributions you are liable to be reported to the pensions regulator and may incur large penalties.

Melrose is unable to pay pension contributions on your behalf.