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Process Pays For The Holiday Season

This article is for users who are wanting to process pays for their employees in advance for the holiday season. 

Save pays in advance over company closedown / pay a number of weeks in one payment in advance including public holidays over company closedown.

When processing pays in advance for the shutdown period over Christmas and New Year as one payment, enter the hours worked for the pay period, add the annual leave date range for the shutdown period and any public holidays as Make-Up Pay that fall on their normal working days in between.

Alternatively, process each pay period, generate separate bank files to be uploaded and processed on the same day. After each bank file has been generated, report the Pay Event to the ATO; the ATO requires you to report a Pay Event on or before the pay date. 

If the company closedown is a 4 week period, you may decide to change/edit the pay cycle to a 4-week pay cycle. However, with this option, you will need to consider that any employees with net bank split, addition super or tax, and per pay allowances still calculate at the normal pay cycle amount and these will need editing.

Paying Out Leave Loading

According to some awards or registered agreements, employees’ accumulated leave loadings may be payable at the end of the year as lump-sum payments. This is possible as per normal via the Wages Wizard by selecting Leave > Leave Loading and selecting the From and To dates as one day within the pay period, selecting a non-work day (i.e. a Saturday), overwriting the hours as required i.e. 152.00 hours.

Cashing Out Annual Leave

For Example
Employees that have a lot of annual leave available may want to encash leave for extra money and continue to work their normal hours.

When employees request to cash out their annual leave on top of their normal worked hours instead of taking time off work (if permitted according to their award or registered agreement), launch the Wages Wizard. Select the employee and enter the worked hours on the timesheet. Proceed to the Adjustments page to add the annual leave, selecting the From and To dates as one day within the pay period, selecting a non-work day (i.e. a Saturday), overwriting the hours as required, i.e. 76:00.

General Tips For Making Your Wages Process Easier

Tip 1: Setting Up Your Public Holiday

Now is a great time to setup your public holidays for 2021.

Tip 2: Add Messages Before Saving Payslips

At this time of year, payslips provide an effective communication platform for you to get messages to your employees. It is important to remember to save the messages (Setup > Messages) before saving your payslips. If you are using Wagemaster in a Terminal Server environment, please keep these messages brief and the font standard.

Tip 3: Utilising The Planned Leave Function

Many employees will request leave over Christmas & New Year. To save time over this busy period, add in leave requests now as Planned Leave. Go to Employees > Leave > Annual, select the Planned tab at the bottom of the screen and Add. Remember to change status from Pending to Approved.

Tip 4: Preparing Wages In Advance

Many businesses have a closedown period over Christmas/New Year and this can affect the regular processing of the payroll. If your business is closing down over this time, or you are taking leave, it is a great idea to process these wages in advance.

To do this, process the payroll as you would normally and when creating the EFT bank file, nominate a payment release date in the future and send this to the bank prior to you going on leave. By doing this, your wages will be deposited on the correct date without staff needing to come into the office to finalise the payroll process and disrupt their holidays.

Note For STP Users: As each EFT bank file is generated, an STP Pay Event will be created (as normal). Report the Pay Event to the ATO after each bank file has been uploaded to the bank. The ATO requires you to report a Pay Event on or before the payment date so it is acceptable to report your Pay Events in advance.

Tip 5: Licensing

The Sage Software Australia Help Desk operates with a skeleton staff over the Christmas & New Year period, so only limited staff resources are available to make any changes to software licenses. If you have any licensing changes (such as a change of company name), please finalise this before the 21st of December, if possible, to avoid any temporary licenses expiring and locking you out of your Wagemaster system.

Tip 6: Back-Up Your Database Prior To Processing Your EFT (Bank File)

It is important that you back up your Wagemaster database prior to producing your EFT file as you are not able to delete any payslips after you have completed this task. By taking a backup you will be able to restore to this point if you need to make any adjustment to the EFT file prior to it being sent to the bank.

Tip 7: Compacting Your Database

Regularly compacting your database will assist the performance of Wagemaster. To perform this task, make sure all users are logged out, click on File > Maintenance > Database > Maintenance and complete a backup of the database when prompted.

Once you have completed the backup, click on OK and the Database Maintenance Wizard will open. Click Next and Next as you will be selecting the default database. Tick the Compact Database check box and click Next. Once the database has finished compacting, click Finish and then log back in.

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