PAYE and payroll for employers

Skip to contents of guide

Choose how to run payroll

You can operate PAYE by either:

  • paying a payroll provider to do it for you
  • doing it yourself using payroll software

Paying a payroll provider

If you decide to pay a payroll provider (for example, a bureau or accountant) to run your payroll, you’ll need to consider how much support you’ll need.

You’re responsible for collecting and keeping records of your employee’s details. Your payroll provider will need these to run payroll for you.

Some payroll providers can offer you more support if you need it, for example keeping employee records, providing payslips and making payments to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

As an employer, you’re legally responsible for completing all PAYE tasks - even if you pay someone else to do them.

Running payroll yourself

You need to complete certain tasks to set up payroll and pay your employees for the first time. This includes registering as an employer with HMRC and telling them about your employees.

Exemptions to online reporting

You may be exempt from reporting payroll online if:

  • you’re prevented from using a computer on religious grounds
  • you’re getting care or support services for yourself or a member of your family
  • you’re unable to send reports electronically because you’re disabled, elderly or cannot access the internet

HMRC has guidance if you believe you’re exempt and would prefer to report on paper.