SAAF Education Blog

10 Frequently Asked Questions About Payroll, Answered

The world of education payroll can be complex. For National Payroll Week, our payroll experts have answered your frequently asked questions to make it less so!

There is a lot to consider when it comes to processing and administrating your school, academy, or trust’s payroll. From processing maternity and paternity pay to tax code changes – we address and provide answers to some of our clients’ most frequently asked payroll questions.

Teachers’ Pension Contributions Increase 2019

Every four years, the Government’s actuary department performs a valuation of all public service pension schemes, including the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS).  The rationale of the valuation is to assess the cost of pensions being provided to members of each scheme and to establish suitable employer and employee contribution rates.

Teachers’ Pay Scales from September 2019

National recommendations / statutory requirements to teachers pay scales can sometimes become confusing, that’s why today we’re going to catch you up on all the changes to teachers pay since 2018.  On 1 September 2018 changes to the School Teacher’s Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) came into effect with central government announcing changes to inflationary pay range uplifts for three groups: main pay / unqualified teachers, teachers on the upper pay range and members of the leadership team. In addition to this, the DfE announced a teachers’ pay grant to help support rising costs due to the recommended pay lift. This affected each school differently based on their original budget and a range of other factors.

IR35 Explained

This year the IR35 guidelines came into force. IR35 is a set of guidelines that employers must now follow when engaging ‘intermediaries’ for goods and services. These guidelines have been introduced by the government to tighten the controls around employer responsibilities, ensuring the correct application of Pay as you Earn (PAYE) and National insurance(NI) contributions.

The guidelines relate to the decision which must be made as to whether the individual is an employee, and thus paid through the payroll subject to PAYE and NI, or a sub-contractor, paid by invoice.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting: What you need to know

Effective from 1st April 2017 employers with over 250 staff are required to begin collecting data to report on the gender pay gap, which simply put is the difference in aggregate hourly pay between men and women under their employment.

However, if you employ less than 250 staff, you can still voluntarily report on the gender pay gap criteria, although, this is not currently a mandatory requirement.

How we improved a multi-academy trust's payroll management

The client

Transform Trust is a multi-academy trust that was formed in 2013. Based in Nottingham, it currently has fifteen academies and 826 employees.

Payroll Management: The pitfalls and how to avoid them


It is vital to take steps to ensure your team is paid accurately and on time every month, so how do you do that? 

In a fully functioning payroll system, every member of your team is paid accurately and on time. Understandably, any failure to do so leads to employee dissatisfaction and poor productivity. However, one of the most common payroll mistakes, often caused by an inexperienced or overworked payroll team, relates to incorrect processing, which can cause distress to the employees concerned.

If your payroll is managed in-house, it's vital your team is fully trained to understand the complexities of payroll processing because correcting errors can be time-consuming and difficult.