An Overview of Basic UK payroll

An Overview of Basic UK payroll

  • Country

    United Kingdom

  • learning hour's


  • Material Year



The UK is not alone in having a complex tax and social security system, although it does have the dubious distinction of having more tax legislation than any other country in the world at over 17,000 pages. Of course, the employment tax and social security obligations are only part of this, so if you’re prepared for a fast-paced course spread over three two hour sessions this course will give you an overview of the obligations that the UK places on employers.

The course is delivered over three days from 3.30pm to 5.30pm GMT in order to accommodate worldwide time zones. A pack of slides, exercises and answers to exercises are provided to all delegates

Who is this course for?

It is aimed at those who are looking to start running a payroll in the UK for their organisation, or those who are utilising the services of a service provider who want a better understanding of the setup requirements so they are better able to support their business and ensure compliance in their organisation.

What will you achieve?

Through practical exercises undertaken during the course, designed to consolidate learning, delegates will have sufficient knowledge to understand how UK payroll software should operate and to be able to manually calculate and check tax and national insurance calculations.

Course Trainers

  • Kate

    Payroll Lecturer

    Kate, AMBCS, mGPA, is a regular conference speaker, lecturer and writer on legislative issues, including tax and National Insurance, benefits and the whole range of employer compliance responsibilities. She undertakes consultancy work with employers and payroll agents assisting them with topics such as payroll health checks, national minimum wage and auto-enrolment, systems selection and departmental re-engineering. She is the vice chair of the ICAEW Employment Taxes and NI committee and Chair of the pan-professional Reward and Employment Engagement Forum. Prior to setting up her own company in 2005, she was the Payroll Legislation Manager at M&S, for whom she worked for 20 years, eleven of them in payroll. 

What will be covered?

Course Overview 

  • The background to PAYE (the UK’s tax withholding mechanism for employers)
  • The annual payroll cycle and real-time information reporting to the UK tax authorities
  • The difference between gross pay, gross taxable pay and gross pay for social security
  • Understand how tax codes and social security table letters are allocated
  • How new employees and leavers are handled
  • Be able to calculate social security and tax deductions
  • Receive an overview of the legislative framework relating to
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Apprenticeship Levy (a training tax on employers)
  • Student loans (loans for higher education studies are repayable via payroll)
  • Court orders (payment to creditors made via payroll)

Even though the course is delivered online there is the opportunity to ask the presenter any technical questions or request additional support throughout.

Post-course support can also be offered with the fee subject to negotiation depending upon whether this is one-off or the delegate would prefer a retainer service which we offer to clients based on an hourly rate.

Complementary courses

The Global Payroll Association also offers the following courses for employers with employees based in the UK:

  • An overview of UK benefits and expenses taxation (three x 2 hour sessions over three days)
  • A UK payroll compliance update - covering recent and future legislative developments (two x 1 ½ hour sessions over two days)
  • Preparing for the taxation of contractors and consultants through the payroll from April 2021 (two x 1 ½ hour sessions over two days)