Pay Categories - Creating & Managing

Pay Categories are used to define the rates that employees are paid. Setting up your pay categories will help simplify the management of employee pay rates by: 

  • Automatically calculating linked rates through loading and penalty rate multipliers
  • Configuring National Insurance (NI)
  • Configuring leave accrual
  • Calculating National Minimum/National Living Wage (NMW/NLW)
  • Configuring Pensionable options.

To view our YouTube video on Pay Categories click here.

Create a Pay Category

You can create a pay category by following these steps:

  1. Log into your payroll platform.
  2. Click the  Business menu.
  3. Click the Payroll Settings submenu.
  4. Under Pay Run Settings, click Pay Categories.
  5. Click the Add button.

    Helpful Hint

    When you create a new business, you can select from the common pay categories we have on the platform. However, you can still create new ones that match your business needs.
    screenshot of the pay categories screen, highlighting the add button
  6. Type the name of the new pay category in the Pay category name field.
  7. Tick the Is Fixed checkbox if this is a fixed pay category.


    Fixed pay categories cannot be changed to hourly/annually/daily/monthly after it has been created. If that is required, you​ will need to create a new pay category.

  8. Click the Save button.
    screenshot of the new pay category pop up, highlighting the save button
  9. Fields in this category include:
    • Name
    • Units - If the pay category is a fixed pay category, this field will be locked and not editable. For all other pay categories, you can select from hourly, annually, daily, or monthly.
    • Penalty loading - this is penalty loading that applied on top of the base rate and is only applicable in a linked pay category.
    • Exempt from National Insurance
    • PAYE tax exempt
    • External Id - If an external id is used that has been used before, you will not be able to save it if the 'unique external Id' setting is switched on. This setting is located on the Payroll Settings > Advanced Settings page. See here for more information. 
    • Accrues leave
    • Hide Units on Pay Slip - When paying employees, there may be pay categories where you do not require the number of units and rate per unit to be displayed on the pay slip. Examples include paying a commission or bonus, or the primary pay category for salaried staff. Even though the units will still be displayed in the pay run, ticking this checkbox means they will not appear on the pay slip. For example, if you have ticked the setting for the 'Salary' pay category, the pay run will still appear as follows:  


      The employee's pay slip, however, will appear as follows: 

    • Employee Pensionable 
    • Employer Pensionable 


    • Rate Precision - option to set rate at between 0 and 5 decimal places. 
      N.B. In regards to rate precision, please note the following:
      * Additional earnings lines (configured at the bottom of the employees' pay rates screen) can be specified to up to 5 decimal points, regardless of the pay category setting.
      * In the pay run, rates may be specified to up to 5 decimal points, regardless of the pay category setting.

  10. Once you have completed the details of the pay category, click the Save button on the bottom left of the pay category box.

Manage Pay Categories

In addition to the base value pay category, you are able to create linked categories.

For example, a pay category could have the base value of part-time weekdays but have linked categories of part-time Saturday and another one for part-time Sunday.

When a pay category is linked to a base pay category, you only need to specify the base rate for the employee and the rate for the linked pay categories will be automatically calculated.

You can create Linked Categories, by following the steps below;

  1. Click on the 'Add linked category' button in the bottom right hand corner of the chosen pay category.


  2. You will need to enter a name for the linked category, then press the 'Add' button. 
    Note: you have the opportunity to delete the linked pay category up until the point that it is used in a pay run. If you move your cursor towards the end you will see a figure like this  By clicking on this figure you are able to delete the new linked pay category.
  3. Once the linked pay category is added you will need to complete the relevant fields.  The image below is explained;
    1. Units - Set to hourly
    2. Penalty Loading % - As per employment agreement

      Tick the remaining fields, by clicking on the box adjacent to the field, if you require this function, e.g. Accrues Leave, PAYE Exempt etc.

  4. Press the Save button in the bottom left hand corner.

Net to Gross Pay Categories

You can create a pay category that will enable you to pay a net amount to an employee.  You can do this by following the set up process above and pressing the 'Net Payment' box. 



This can then be entered at either an employee level or in the pay run.  When entered using the Net to Gross Pay Category, the details for the gross and net figures will appear in the notes section of the pay run. 


System default pay categories

When you create a new business, there are a number of pay categories that are pre-loaded into the system for your convenience. Among these, there are 'System default' categories that are marked with a 'System' tag, as shown below:


These system maintained pay categories cannot be deleted or replaced, although some settings (such as loading) can in some cases be edited. This is intentional to ensure the system calculates the pay categories and associated components in a specific manner.

Deleting Pay Categories

To delete a pay category, hover your mouse over the pay category name where you will then see a red cross icon on the right hand side of the pay category. 


Click on the "x" icon where a confirm popup dialog will then appear. If you click on "Delete" the pay category will be removed from the platform.  

Note: If a pay category has been used in a pay run, you are NOT able to delete it. Additionally, no "SYSTEM" configured pay categories can be deleted.

Restoring a pay category

You are able to restore a pay category by going to Payroll settings > Restore deleted items, and selecting 'Pay category' from the drop down box. A list of all deleted pay categories will appear and you can click the 'Restore' option against the pay category that you are wanting to reinstate. 

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