We know that some employers pay their employees earlier than usual over the Christmas period, for example the business may close for Christmas and New Year. If you do pay early, please report your normal payment date on your Full Payment Submission (FPS).
For example: if you pay on 18 December 2020 but your normal payment date is 31 December 2020, please report the payment date as ’31 December 2020′. In this example the FPS would need to be sent on or before the 31 December.
Doing this will help protect your employees’ eligibility for Universal Credit, because reporting an early payment could affect further entitlements.
For further information, please refer to the Employer Bulletin – 87, which will be published in early December 2020.
HMRC Director General, Customer Services
There are still significant timing issues with the monthly assessment of Universal Credits and where payments sit. Where an original claim was made between 29th and 31st of the month, and due to the impact of weekends and some bank holidays, and that aligned with the timing of earnings from employment, a UC claim month can appear to have no earnings reported, whereas another month has multiple payments reported. Distortion can also occur especially with 4 weekly payments where there will be two lots of 4 weeks pay counted as one month.
This notice from HMRC attempts to alleviate issues experienced around Christmas early payments, the same challenges exist for Easter and business holiday closures.
Employers will be receiving periodic panic contact from employees who at in receipt of UC benefits.