More admin for farmers employing harvest casuals

Payroll rules will mean more admin work for employers of harvest casuals and beaters.

Real Time Information (RTI) came in April, and means payroll should be run every time an employee is paid, and must be submitted online. So, for employers of harvest casuals and beaters, where no further employment is promised, the pay cycle is daily. Therefore employers must run payroll for each day worked, submitting the individual’s personal and pay information each time.

During negotiations with Farmplan and the NFU, HMRC recognised it was not possible to pay harvest casuals and beaters before they work, particularly where pay is based on volumes picked, for example, and so it allows employers to report within a week. However, these need to be separate reports for each day worked.

This means more admin work for employers, but also means harvest casuals and beaters may be exempt from National Insurance, where they have had to pay it before, according to Sally Ashwell product co-ordinator at Farmplan.

The NFU’s Michael Parker said the union would have preferred a system more neatly aligned with that for payroll for regular employees.

“We would have preferred employers to do everything when they normally run payroll, for example weekly or fortnightly,” he said.

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