Debbie Lovewell: Running out of time on RTI

How can employers comply with major legislative changes if service providers cannot supply compliant products or systems in an appropriate timeframe?

This is an issue employers have been grappling with ahead of the introduction of real-time information (RTI) reporting on 6 April, with many concerned over payroll providers’ preparedness to deal with it.

A survey of HR and payroll professionals published by PricewaterhouseCoopers in February found that one in four believed their payroll provider had not finalised its RTI-compliant software at that stage, and more than half were unsure if their provider had any RTI-compliant software.

This is not a new problem. In the lead-up to the first employers reaching their auto-enrolment staging dates last year, a number of organisations told us their payroll providers had been slow to reveal their service offerings around the new pensions requirements, so they were unable to progress their preparations as quickly as they would have liked.

But despite this, payroll providers remain a key source of support for employers preparing for such changes.

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This raises issues for the industry in terms of how quickly providers (not just payroll) should bring compliant software to market. After all, such legislation is often years in the pipeline, so they do not have the excuse that they didn’t know it was coming. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all providers, so those dragging their feet risk being left behind by their more forward-thinking peers.

Follow Debbie on Twitter: @DebbieLovewell