Last updated:

In the fast-paced world of modern business, keeping track of employee salaries can seem like a never-ending game of Whack-a-Mole. 

When it comes to tracking and paying salaries in your company, you want to be as efficient as possible.

Here’s everything you need to know about salary structure in the UK and how it differs between different industries and locations.

Payroll

But first off - we’ll review the best payroll firms (for the UK and London): 


Our Top Picks of Best Payroll Companies (UK & London) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

We’ve boiled down the vast soup of the internet into mission-critical data in order to produce this guide - but keep in mind that how aware you are of your own circumstances will reveal which of the world-leading UK & London payroll firms are ideal for you. To begin -

Let’s explore tips for managing staff payroll in the UK:

  • ๐Ÿ“ Create a salary range and stick to it - It’s important to be consistent and transparent when it comes to salary. 
  • Meet with your payroll team - This is the time to work out any payroll issues such as accruing holiday pay or paying late. 
  • ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ’ผ Make sure to communicate with HR - This will help to eliminate confusion or any confusion around what the company expects of staff. 
  • Don’t forget to communicate with your employees - This will help to eliminate confusion or any confusion around what the company expects of staff.

1. Moorepay โ€“ Overall Top Payroll Companies in the UK & London Pick

Moores Payroll Company is a third-party payroll provider headquartered in London, England. 

It is not one of the big-name providers that compete with Intuit and ADP. Instead, Moores is an independent company that specialises in small businesses and self-employed workers. With the help of their exclusive algorithms, Moores calculates payroll at a faster rate than other providers.

They also offer more tax deductions than others can provide. But at the cost of pricier rates, higher fees, and fewer services compared to other competitors. Let’s see if you should trust your hard-earned money with this company or not...

History

Moores Payroll Company was founded in London in 2005 by John Moores, the founder of Moores Music and the designer of the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. The company focuses on small businesses and self-employed workers in the UK, but it also provides payroll services to US employers. 

Moores launched their American branch in 2014, and they also have an office in California. Moores Payroll Company was founded in 2005 by John Moores, the founder of Moores Music. Mr. Moores was inspired to start the company because of his love for music and his desire to empower artists.

Mr. Moores’ wife, Gillian, is also involved in the company. According to their website, Moores Payroll Company is an independent payroll and HR services provider. 

They partner with more than 6,000 employers across the UK, providing payroll and HR services. As well as more than 50,000 self-employed individuals. Overall, it’s an independent payroll and HR services provider for small businesses and self-employed professionals..

How It Works

The basic process of payroll with Moores Payroll Company is simple, straightforward, and reliable. You set up your payroll account and allow them access to your business bank account. Then, every Friday, they deposit your employees’ paychecks into your bank account. 

The process is fairly straightforward and painless. If you want to add or remove employees, or make other changes to your payroll schedule, the company’s website makes it easy and quick. They offer a few basic payroll services, including biweekly payroll and payroll taxes.

Fees

Moores payroll services come with a one-time set-up fee of £245. There are no recurring or monthly fees. As with other payroll companies, employers are responsible for withholding and paying Social Security and Medicare taxes. The company calculates the amount you owe them and you pay them directly.

What Sized Business Should Use It?

Moores Payroll Company’s basic package is best for small businesses and self-employed workers. It includes payroll and taxes. If you have more than five employees, you should try out one of the other popular payroll companies. If you have fewer than five employees, Moores Payroll Company’s basic package is a good fit. It’s a good fit for anyone who wants a reliable and affordable payroll service.

PROS

  • Faster payroll processing than other providers
  • More tax benefits
  • Get free setup
  • Online payroll

CONS

  • Fewer services than other providers

2. Payescape โ€“ Top Payroll Firms in the UK & London Pick for Affordable, Online Outsourcing

If you own a small business or operate one on your own, you most likely pay your employees manually. 

Even if you are big enough to employ a payroll clerk or use a free accounting app, it can be time-consuming and costly without an integrative approach.

The National Business Research Institute revealed that it costs businesses between £1,000 and £1,600 per year to manually process payroll checks. Thankfully, the era of manual payrolls is coming to an end. Today, there are more than 30 different payroll solutions available for small businesses with no internal accounting department. 

History

The start-up Payspace began in 2015 when the founders launched a Kickstarter campaign to help scale up operations. Their goal was to offer online payroll solutions for small businesses at an affordable price, with the company offering a subscription model for £2.47 per month. Their crowdfunding campaign was a success, reaching its £80,000 goal in just eight hours. 

The company’s founders say that it’s an “open system, with 99% of the details remaining under lock and key.” Since then, Payspace has grown from a small operation to a system used by over 5,000 businesses. 

Payspace offers two main payroll solutions: one that works with a small network of employees, and one that works with a large network of employees. The company has its headquarters in New York City’s Financial District, where co-founder and CEO Jared Bergmann is the CTO.

How It Works

Aside from handling employee payroll duties, Payspace offers payroll services that include the following: 

  • โ˜‘๏ธ Capture Payroll: This is the software used to record employee hours. 
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Capture Payroll integration with QuickBooks: This is a payroll service that works with QuickBooks, a popular accounting software. 
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Accountant: Payspace’s accountants can help you get your company up and running. 
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Billing: You can choose between a service that comes with both invoicing and payment processing features, or a self-serve service. 
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Expense Claims: This is an additional service that lets you track and reimburse expenses incurred by employees.

Fees

Payspace charges £32 per month for a one-person plan and £49 per month for a two-person plan. These prices climb if you’re operating a bigger business. For example, a company with 100 employees can choose between a £1,000 monthly charge for a one-person plan or a £1,600 monthly charge for a two-person plan. 

Payspace’s pricing is based on the type of plan you choose. The company has three levels of service, each with additional features. The three service levels are: API, Advanced, and Premier. 

โ˜‘ API: This is the basic level that lets you use the Payspace API to integrate your payroll service with other software. 

โ˜‘ Advanced: This level adds the ability to create W2s and access the e-file system and advanced features. 

โ˜‘ Premier: This is the most advanced level, offering everything in the Advanced level plus a dedicated payroll team, back-end accounting, and more.

What Sized Business Should Use Payspace?

We recommend that you stay away from Payspace if your business employs fewer than 20 employees. If you’re in that niche market, you can save money by manually processing payroll checks. We also advise you to avoid using Payspace if your business is less than two years old. 

The startup’s pricing model isn’t designed for companies that are just starting out. Instead, these businesses can save money by manually processing payroll checks until they have enough employees to need Payspace’s payroll service.

PROS

  • No more paperwork and processing time
  • Dedicated support team
  • Tax-time assistance
  • Good performance on all devices
  • Cost-effective intuitive software

CONS

  • If you have fewer than 20 employees, you probably canโ€™t use Payspace

3. MHR โ€“ Excellent Payroll Firms in the UK & London Choice for SMBs

MHR Payroll Company is one of the leading HR agencies in the UK. 

They have offices across the country, and their team of experts is there to assist you with everything from employee management to training. MHR has helped a lot of small- and medium-sized businesses get up and running despite the impact of COVID-19 on UK businesses. Read on for more information about their services, fee structure, support network and more:

History

MHR Payroll Company was founded in 2006. Since then, the company’s popularity has increased exponentially and today, they are known as one of the leading payroll agencies in the UK. In fact, they have won a number of awards and at the time of writing, they have been listed as the No. 1 UK payroll company. 

They have built a strong portfolio of clients by providing them with the right payroll service. Their employees are well-trained and have the right experience to offer excellent HR services. In fact, they are certified by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. They also have an industry-leading training team who can help you with training and development initiatives.

How It Works

MHR Payroll Company offers payroll services for employers who have employees that are either on a fixed term contract or who work on a freelance basis. Your employees will be assigned to MHR and the company will then manage their pay. This makes it easy for you as an employer, as you don’t have to worry about anything related to payroll. 

The company’s services include payroll, provision of information regarding your employees and the ability to create payroll reports. You will be able to see how much money has been taken in and how it has been spent. MHR also provides information about your employees’ personal details, such as their address, address history, contact details and more.

Fees

MHR charges £195 per month for their payroll services. This is a one-off fee that is charged to begin the service. You will not be charged every month. The company will send you an invoice every month, and you will have to pay the invoice to continue receiving the services. MHR also has a range of payroll service fees, depending on what you are looking for. 

If you are looking for a single-source payroll service, you can go for a Multi-Source service, which provides the same service but with a higher price tag.

What Sized Business Should Use It?

MHR’s payroll service is ideal for organisations that have employees that are either on a fixed term contract or who work on a freelance basis. The company manages the pay of these employees and sends you the reports, so you don’t have to worry about anything related to payroll.

PROS

  • Easy to use service
  • Prevents the need to hire staff
  • Integrated software
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Includes payroll, information and tax services

CONS

  • May be a bit overpriced for sole traders, depending on revenue
  • ยฃ195 per month

4. JustPayroll โ€“ Great Payroll Companies UK & London Pick for Small Businesses

If you run a small business in the UK and are looking for an easy way to manage your payroll, then you should check out Just Payroll.

This company enables small businesses and self-employed individuals to handle payroll for their organisation in just two steps.

There’s no need to worry about tax calculations or reporting expenses because they will all be taken care of for you by Just Payroll. The process is also fast – within just one working day, your employees will receive their first monthly salary payment. 

Just Payroll is a fully online payroll service that caters specifically towards smaller businesses and self-employed individuals. They offer five different payroll services, including Pay As You Earn which grants employees access to a portion of their employer’s personal income tax allowance up until they reach the threshold where they must start paying taxes. 

With this service, employees don’t have to pay any federal or provincial taxes during the first four years after they start working as long as they earn less than £43,000 per year and their annual gross income is less than £900 per week.

Unfortunately, this means that even if your company has 5 employees it may still be too large for the service unless you reduce your company's size or move to a province where lower employee thresholds apply such as Nova Scotia for example. If you want more details about this "Just Payroll" service from Canada before signing up with them please read our review

History

The company was founded in 2007 by Darren Miller and Sandra Hodge. The two met in 1998 when Darren started managing Sandra’s payroll for her business. During their partnership, Darren and Sandra identified the need for a simple and efficient way for small businesses to manage their payroll. They decided to offer an online payroll service that does not require any accounting skills or knowledge about payroll laws. Thus, Just Payroll was born.

How It Works

The main service offered by Just Payroll is their Pay As You Earn service. Like the name suggests, employees who sign up for this service are granted access to a portion of their employer’s personal income tax allowance up until they reach the threshold where they must start paying taxes. 

For example, if an employee’s income is below the £44,000 federal tax threshold, the person will pay zero federal taxes. If the employee earns above this, they will be required to pay taxes on their income. However, with the Pay As You Earn service, this employee will be able to access a portion of the £8,870 tax exemption until they reach the £44,000 threshold in order to pay no taxes.

Fees

There are no set-up or activation fees for using Just Payroll. The payroll service is completely free for employers and paid for by the employee. There are service fees for the Pay As You Earn service. These fees depend on the employee’s salary and the number of weeks they will work.

What Sized Business Should Use It?

The main purpose of creating a payroll service like Just Payroll was to make it easier for smaller businesses to manage their payroll. So, if you own a small business and have no need for the Pay As You Earn service this might be the perfect solution for you. If you do need the Pay As You Earn service, you’ll be happy to know you don’t need to be an employee of the company that has employees earning less than £44,000 per year in order to take advantage of the tax exemption.

PROS

  • No setup fees, no activation fees, and nothing to pay
  • Fully online โ€“ no need for employees to come into the office each month
  • Fast โ€“ employees receive their first paycheck in just one day

CONS

  • Only works for small businesses and self-employed individuals
  • You must have employees earning less than ยฃ44,000 per year

5. ADP โ€“ Perfect Payroll Companies Choice for Reputability and Offerings

If you’re working in the UK and looking for a solution to support your payroll needs, then you should definitely take a look at ADP Payroll Company (UK London).

ADP Payroll Company is a payroll company that was founded in 1980. They are now the largest payroll service provider in the UK.

They were created when a man named Phil Dunwoody decided to start his own business. ADP Payroll Company can trace their history all the way back to the 1960’s. In this time, there were many small businesses that were failing. Many of these businesses were run by men who did not have the financial know-how to run a business. They would often lose money every single month because they did not understand the ins and outs of accounting.

How It Works

The core of ADP Payroll Company’s business model is their payroll software. This software is used by all of their customers to manage their payroll needs. This software can be installed at the client’s work location or at the client’s home office. 

The software is used to manage employee and employer information. The software is used to track the hours worked, calculate the pay, calculate taxes and calculate the deductions. The software can also be used to manage leave and benefits. The information can be managed by the employee or by the employer.

Fees

Now that you know how ADP Payroll Company works and you’ve seen what their services are like, we can get into the fees that the company charges. The first thing that you should know about the prices is that there are no setup fees for any ADP Payroll Company payroll software. 

There are no activation or installation fees either. For any tax services that the client wants, there is a charge that depends on the number of employees that are covered by the service. The charge for a one-employee tax service is just £11 per month. The charge for a 25-employee service is £12 per month.

What Sized Business Should Use It?

ADP Payroll Company can support a range of payroll sizes. The smallest payroll size that they do is one employee. In this case, the company charges £102.50 per month. The largest payroll size that they offer is 50 employees. The charge for this size is £1,208.00 per month.

PROS

  • No setup or installation fees
  • No minimum contract length
  • No activation or start-up fees
  • No integration or migration fees for existing systems
  • The IT staff are included in the price of the service

CONS

  • The software is only Windows-compatible
  • The company only provides payroll service
  • The software is only for the UK market

Buying Guide

Before you select your ideal pick of all the payroll companies in the UK & London we’ve listed above, check out this section for wider essentials.


What is Staff Payroll?

There’s a lot more to employee compensation than just how much someone gets paid. Who you work for, your company’s culture and even the cost of living in your city can all play a role in dictating how much money you should have coming in every month.

How Does an Employer Calculate a Salary for Staff Payroll?

When a company hires a new employee, the employer will typically conduct a salary survey to gather information about their current salary range and the factors that influence salary.

This information will help the business understand the salary range for potential employees and how much each employee is worth based on their experience and skill sets.

Calculation of salary

The employer can use this information to either increase or decrease the salary range depending on their needs. The employer will typically start with a salary range to see what candidates are willing to take jobs at that salary before closing it.

Shifting Staff to New Salaries and Reviewing in Staff Payroll

Typically, once a year, the company’s payroll team will review employee pay and adjust any payouts or deductions as necessary. This will typically be conducted in the month of December. 

For example, the payroll team will review salary information from the previous year and make any necessary adjustments to pay. This may include adjusting pay for a new hire if their salary was inaccurate, increasing or decreasing an existing salary range, or adjusting payouts for holiday pay.


Top Payroll Firms (UK & London) ๐Ÿ“’ โ€“ FAQs

What is The UK’s National Minimum Wage?

The UK’s National Minimum Wage is the hourly minimum wage that all employees must be paid. 

  • 23 and over - £9.50       
  • 21 to 22 - £9.18
  • 18 to 20 - £6.83
  • Under 18 - £4.81
  • Apprentice - £4.81

What is a Salary Structure in Staff Payroll?

A salary structure is a salary range that gives an idea of how much each employee in the organisation is paid. This is typically displayed prominently on the company website so that potential employees can quickly find out more about the job role, and how much they can expect to be paid. It’s also included as part of your staff payroll information and terms and conditions of employment.