In order to explain how approval works in SmartPay™, we’ll first need to explain the payroll periods.
Payroll periods contain 3 key dates that allow for a smooth process:
- Approvals date - This date serves as a cut off date for any changes the employee can make. Once it has passed, the gathered applications will be available for approval.
- Cut off date - This date serves as a cut-off date for client approvals. On this date, RG will generate a deduction report for all approved applications which can be downloaded from the Payroll tab in SmartPay. Please note that all applications that haven’t been processed by the Cut off date will be automatically pushed to the next payroll period (thus missing a whole month worth of contribution). We’ll also send the client an invoice for the total amount of approved vouchers + an admin fee.
- Pay day - Employees receive their CCV contributions in their accounts on Pay Day. The invoice must be paid before this date in order to release the vouchers on pay day.
How do clients approve the applications?
Each payroll period, on Approvals date we send a notification email to our clients, advising them that they can start reviewing their applications. Clients won’t be able to process any applications before the Approvals date.
The time between the Approvals date and the Cut off date is what we call the Approval window - clients must process all pending applications during this period. All applications that are still pending on Cut off date will be added to the next period so it is really important to get this done as soon as possible.
To make approvals, clients simply need to log in to Reward Manager and navigate to SmartPay™, and then Applications. There's a comprehensive guide on making approvals in SmartPay™ hosted here, but the ultimate responsibility is to check the applications to make sure that a parent is receiving the right value of vouchers and that they won't fall below the National Minimum Wage after the deduction.
In the application listing, clients can filter by product to see only Childcare Voucher applications, as well as by type. These are the main types of applications:
- New applications - While the changes from October 2018 closed the scheme for new applicants, existing participants can still pause and restart their contribution. Such requests will be detected as “new” applications. Additionally, members transferred through TUPE will also show up as new applications.
- Continuations - This shows employees who already receive Childcare Vouchers and have not made any changes to their request. They need to be checked in case there are changes to their circumstances.
- Amendments - These are employees who already receive Childcare Vouchers but have requested to alter the amount they sacrifice from their salary.
When should an employee’s request be rejected?
An employee request should be rejected if:
- The CCV deduction would bring the employee below the National Minimum Wage.
- The employee has not returned a signed copy of the employee contract variation agreement to the relevant person (this is only applicable if the programme is operating with the paper agreement option, which will have been agreed during implementation).
- The employee’s circumstances have changed for any other reason and it is deemed suitable to reject their request.
Can clients make amendments to the applications?
Yes, clients can amend the value of requested vouchers when making their approvals if, for example, they find that an employee would otherwise need to be rejected. They can also change the status of an application from Approved to Rejected in case such a change is required - this can only be done before the Cut off date so it’s crucial to process all applications before the deduction report is generated. In case where a client needs to amend the status of an application after the Cut off date, they’ll have to contact RG as soon as possible.
On the Cut off date, we’ll take all approved applications and send the client an invoice. A deduction report will also be available to download from the Payroll tab in Smart Pay which clients can use to make the correct adjustments to the employees’ salaries. The deduction report contains all approved applications as well as all suspensions for the period.
If the invoice has been paid, the vouchers get released on the Pay day.