UNISON has recently been looking in more detail at a new computer system – Real Time Information (RTI) – that will be used to calculate how much Universal Credit low paid workers are entitled to. The results are worrying: there is too little information or guidance for all the parties – employers, employees, DWP, HMRC – involved and that some anomalies need to be addressed to ensure that RTI works to benefit in–work claimants rather than penalise them.
RTI is a new PAYE system, introduced this year by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to calculate income tax more accurately and quickly. All UK employers will have to use RTI by April 2014 and they are currently in a transition phase moving on to the new system. They will have a legal obligation to input details about employee’s status and wages, just before employees are paid – whether weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Employers are required to register all employees on the RTI system including causal labourers, zero hours workers, daily and seasonal labourers but not the self employed.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has decided it will use RTI for in-work claims for Universal Credit.