Payroll News Update

Irregular Employment Payment Pattern

This option should be ticked if payments are paid on an irregular basis, for example:

  • Seasonal workers
  • An employee on extended unpaid maternity leave
  • An employee on long term unpaid absence for three or more months

HMRC may remove an employee from their databases and treat the employee as a leaver after submissions have been analysed and a specific amount of time has passed (usually 3 months+). This is regardless of whether the employee was included in the original EAS. There may also be occasions where employees have been included in the FPS submissions and, subsequently have the irregular payment flag ticked, that HMRC will regard such employees as leavers and remove their records from their database. For example: The employee was submitted in the last FPS but they are now on long term leave of unpaid absence. The Irregular Payment Pattern indicator is switched on, however, as the employee will not be paid in the near future, they will not be default be included in future FPS files.

Remember, only employees who are ‘paid’ will be included by default in an FPS. You have the option to manually select any employee to be included within the FPS if required. HMRC will check if employees have not been paid for a specific period of time and treat them as having left that employment. To avoid this scenario for for employees who do not get paid regularly or will be going on long term unpaid absence (3 months or more), we suggest setting the Irregular Payment pattern indicator.

To avoid this scenario for employees who do not get paid regularly, we suggest using the irregular payment pattern indicator on every FPS submitted for that employee.

Unpaid Absence Indicator

Current guidance from HMRC is that employers are not required to complete the Unpaid Absence indicator on the FPS. Employers therefore should not select the associated option in Details and Bank – Additional Information – Unpaid Absence. As Universal Credit is progressively rolled out nationally, HMRC will issue further guidance on when employers should complete the indicator.

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